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Sample records for biologically plausible mechanistic

  1. Invariant visual object recognition: biologically plausible approaches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robinson, Leigh; Rolls, Edmund T

    2015-10-01

    Key properties of inferior temporal cortex neurons are described, and then, the biological plausibility of two leading approaches to invariant visual object recognition in the ventral visual system is assessed to investigate whether they account for these properties. Experiment 1 shows that VisNet performs object classification with random exemplars comparably to HMAX, except that the final layer C neurons of HMAX have a very non-sparse representation (unlike that in the brain) that provides little information in the single-neuron responses about the object class. Experiment 2 shows that VisNet forms invariant representations when trained with different views of each object, whereas HMAX performs poorly when assessed with a biologically plausible pattern association network, as HMAX has no mechanism to learn view invariance. Experiment 3 shows that VisNet neurons do not respond to scrambled images of faces, and thus encode shape information. HMAX neurons responded with similarly high rates to the unscrambled and scrambled faces, indicating that low-level features including texture may be relevant to HMAX performance. Experiment 4 shows that VisNet can learn to recognize objects even when the view provided by the object changes catastrophically as it transforms, whereas HMAX has no learning mechanism in its S-C hierarchy that provides for view-invariant learning. This highlights some requirements for the neurobiological mechanisms of high-level vision, and how some different approaches perform, in order to help understand the fundamental underlying principles of invariant visual object recognition in the ventral visual stream.

  2. Biologically Plausible, Human-scale Knowledge Representation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crawford, Eric; Gingerich, Matthew; Eliasmith, Chris

    2016-01-01

    Several approaches to implementing symbol-like representations in neurally plausible models have been proposed. These approaches include binding through synchrony (Shastri & Ajjanagadde, 1993), "mesh" binding (van der Velde & de Kamps, 2006), and conjunctive binding (Smolensky, 1990). Recent theoretical work has suggested that…

  3. Speech recognition employing biologically plausible receptive fields

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fereczkowski, Michal; Bothe, Hans-Heinrich

    2011-01-01

    The main idea of the project is to build a widely speaker-independent, biologically motivated automatic speech recognition (ASR) system. The two main differences between our approach and current state-of-the-art ASRs are that i) the features used here are based on the responses of neuronlike spec...

  4. Classification using sparse representations: a biologically plausible approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spratling, M W

    2014-02-01

    Representing signals as linear combinations of basis vectors sparsely selected from an overcomplete dictionary has proven to be advantageous for many applications in pattern recognition, machine learning, signal processing, and computer vision. While this approach was originally inspired by insights into cortical information processing, biologically plausible approaches have been limited to exploring the functionality of early sensory processing in the brain, while more practical applications have employed non-biologically plausible sparse coding algorithms. Here, a biologically plausible algorithm is proposed that can be applied to practical problems. This algorithm is evaluated using standard benchmark tasks in the domain of pattern classification, and its performance is compared to a wide range of alternative algorithms that are widely used in signal and image processing. The results show that for the classification tasks performed here, the proposed method is competitive with the best of the alternative algorithms that have been evaluated. This demonstrates that classification using sparse representations can be performed in a neurally plausible manner, and hence, that this mechanism of classification might be exploited by the brain.

  5. 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.

  6. A biologically plausible embodied model of action discovery

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rufino eBolado-Gomez

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available During development, animals can spontaneously discover action-outcomepairings enabling subsequent achievement of their goals. We present abiologically plausible embodied model addressing key aspects of thisprocess. The biomimetic model core comprises the basal ganglia and itsloops through cortex and thalamus. We incorporate reinforcementlearning with phasic dopamine supplying a sensory prediction error,signalling 'surprising' outcomes. Phasic dopamine is used in acorticostriatal learning rule which is consistent with recent data. Wealso hypothesised that objects associated with surprising outcomesacquire 'novelty salience' contingent on the predicability of theoutcome. To test this idea we used a simple model of predictiongoverning the dynamics of novelty salience and phasic dopamine. Thetask of the virtual robotic agent mimicked an in vivo counterpart(Gancarz et al., 2011 and involved interaction with a target objectwhich caused a light flash, or a control object which did not.Learning took place according to two schedules. In one, the phasicoutcome was delivered after interaction with the target in anunpredictable way which emulated the in vivo protocol. Without noveltysalience, the model was unable to account for the experimental data.In the other schedule, the phasic outcome was reliably delivered andthe agent showed a rapid increase in the number of interactions withthe target which then decreased over subsequent sessions. We arguethis is precisely the kind of change in behaviour required torepeatedly present representations of context, action and outcome, toneural networks responsible for learning action-outcome contingency.The model also showed corticostriatal plasticity consistent withlearning a new action in basal ganglia. We conclude that actionlearning is underpinned by a complex interplay of plasticity andstimulus salience, and that our model contains many of the elementsfor biological action discovery to take place.

  7. Biologically plausible and evidence-based risk intervals in immunization safety research.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rowhani-Rahbar, Ali; Klein, Nicola P; Dekker, Cornelia L; Edwards, Kathryn M; Marchant, Colin D; Vellozzi, Claudia; Fireman, Bruce; Sejvar, James J; Halsey, Neal A; Baxter, Roger

    2012-12-17

    In immunization safety research, individuals are considered at risk for the development of certain adverse events following immunization (AEFI) within a specific period of time referred to as the risk interval. These intervals should ideally be determined based on biologic plausibility considering features of the AEFI, presumed or known pathologic mechanism, and the vaccine. Misspecification of the length and timing of these intervals may result in introducing bias in epidemiologic and clinical studies of immunization safety. To date, little work has been done to formally assess and determine biologically plausible and evidence-based risk intervals in immunization safety research. In this report, we present a systematic process to define biologically plausible and evidence-based risk interval estimates for two specific AEFIs, febrile seizures and acute disseminated encephalomyelitis. In addition, we review methodologic issues related to the determination of risk intervals for consideration in future studies of immunization safety.

  8. A biologically plausible model of time-scale invariant interval timing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Almeida, Rita; Ledberg, Anders

    2010-02-01

    The temporal durations between events often exert a strong influence over behavior. The details of this influence have been extensively characterized in behavioral experiments in different animal species. A remarkable feature of the data collected in these experiments is that they are often time-scale invariant. This means that response measurements obtained under intervals of different durations coincide when plotted as functions of relative time. Here we describe a biologically plausible model of an interval timing device and show that it is consistent with time-scale invariant behavior over a substantial range of interval durations. The model consists of a set of bistable units that switch from one state to the other at random times. We first use an abstract formulation of the model to derive exact expressions for some key quantities and to demonstrate time-scale invariance for any range of interval durations. We then show how the model could be implemented in the nervous system through a generic and biologically plausible mechanism. In particular, we show that any system that can display noise-driven transitions from one stable state to another can be used to implement the timing device. Our work demonstrates that a biologically plausible model can qualitatively account for a large body of data and thus provides a link between the biology and behavior of interval timing.

  9. Biologically plausible learning in recurrent neural networks reproduces neural dynamics observed during cognitive tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miconi, Thomas

    2017-02-23

    Neural activity during cognitive tasks exhibits complex dynamics that flexibly encode task-relevant variables. Chaotic recurrent networks, which spontaneously generate rich dynamics, have been proposed as a model of cortical computation during cognitive tasks. However, existing methods for training these networks are either biologically implausible, and/or require a continuous, real-time error signal to guide learning. Here we show that a biologically plausible learning rule can train such recurrent networks, guided solely by delayed, phasic rewards at the end of each trial. Networks endowed with this learning rule can successfully learn nontrivial tasks requiring flexible (context-dependent) associations, memory maintenance, nonlinear mixed selectivities, and coordination among multiple outputs. The resulting networks replicate complex dynamics previously observed in animal cortex, such as dynamic encoding of task features and selective integration of sensory inputs. We conclude that recurrent neural networks offer a plausible model of cortical dynamics during both learning and performance of flexible behavior.

  10. A biological plausible Generalized Leaky Integrate-and-Fire neuron model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Zhenzhong; Guo, Lilin; Adjouadi, Malek

    2014-01-01

    This study introduces a new Generalized Leaky Integrate-and-Fire (GLIF) neuron model. Unlike Normal Leaky Integrate-and-Fire (NLIF) models, the leaking resistor in the GLIF model equation is assumed to be variable, and an additional term would have the bias current added to the model equation in order to improve the accuracy. Adjusting the parameters defined for the leaking resistor and bias current, a GLIF model could be accurately matched to any Hodgkin-Huxley (HH) model and be able to reproduce plausible biological neuron behaviors.

  11. Mechanistic Effects of Calcitriol in Cancer Biology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lorenza Díaz

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Besides its classical biological effects on calcium and phosphorus homeostasis, calcitriol, the active vitamin D metabolite, has a broad variety of actions including anticancer effects that are mediated either transcriptionally and/or via non-genomic pathways. In the context of cancer, calcitriol regulates the cell cycle, induces apoptosis, promotes cell differentiation and acts as anti-inflammatory factor within the tumor microenvironment. In this review, we address the different mechanisms of action involved in the antineoplastic effects of calcitriol.

  12. 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.

  13. Bridging Mechanistic and Phenomenological Models of Complex Biological Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Transtrum, Mark K.; Qiu, Peng

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:27187545

  14. Mechanistic modeling confronts the complexity of molecular cell biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phair, Robert D

    2014-11-05

    Mechanistic modeling has the potential to transform how cell biologists contend with the inescapable complexity of modern biology. I am a physiologist-electrical engineer-systems biologist who has been working at the level of cell biology for the past 24 years. This perspective aims 1) to convey why we build models, 2) to enumerate the major approaches to modeling and their philosophical differences, 3) to address some recurrent concerns raised by experimentalists, and then 4) to imagine a future in which teams of experimentalists and modelers build-and subject to exhaustive experimental tests-models covering the entire spectrum from molecular cell biology to human pathophysiology. There is, in my view, no technical obstacle to this future, but it will require some plasticity in the biological research mind-set.

  15. A biologically plausible learning rule for the Infomax on recurrent neural networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hayakawa, Takashi; Kaneko, Takeshi; Aoyagi, Toshio

    2014-01-01

    A fundamental issue in neuroscience is to understand how neuronal circuits in the cerebral cortex play their functional roles through their characteristic firing activity. Several characteristics of spontaneous and sensory-evoked cortical activity have been reproduced by Infomax learning of neural networks in computational studies. There are, however, still few models of the underlying learning mechanisms that allow cortical circuits to maximize information and produce the characteristics of spontaneous and sensory-evoked cortical activity. In the present article, we derive a biologically plausible learning rule for the maximization of information retained through time in dynamics of simple recurrent neural networks. Applying the derived learning rule in a numerical simulation, we reproduce the characteristics of spontaneous and sensory-evoked cortical activity: cell-assembly-like repeats of precise firing sequences, neuronal avalanches, spontaneous replays of learned firing sequences and orientation selectivity observed in the primary visual cortex. We further discuss the similarity between the derived learning rule and the spike timing-dependent plasticity of cortical neurons.

  16. Biologic plausibility, cellular effects, and molecular mechanisms of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) in atherosclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borow, Kenneth M; Nelson, John R; Mason, R Preston

    2015-09-01

    Residual cardiovascular (CV) risk remains in dyslipidemic patients despite intensive statin therapy, underscoring the need for additional intervention. Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), an omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid, is incorporated into membrane phospholipids and atherosclerotic plaques and exerts beneficial effects on the pathophysiologic cascade from onset of plaque formation through rupture. Specific salutary actions have been reported relating to endothelial function, oxidative stress, foam cell formation, inflammation, plaque formation/progression, platelet aggregation, thrombus formation, and plaque rupture. EPA also improves atherogenic dyslipidemia characterized by reduction of triglycerides without raising low-density lipoprotein cholesterol. Other beneficial effects of EPA include vasodilation, resulting in blood pressure reductions, as well as improved membrane fluidity. EPA's effects are at least additive to those of statins when given as adjunctive therapy. In this review, we present data supporting the biologic plausibility of EPA as an anti-atherosclerotic agent with potential clinical benefit for prevention of CV events, as well as its cellular effects and molecular mechanisms of action. REDUCE-IT is an ongoing, randomized, controlled study evaluating whether the high-purity ethyl ester of EPA (icosapent ethyl) at 4 g/day combined with statin therapy is superior to statin therapy alone for reducing CV events in high-risk patients with mixed dyslipidemia. The results from this study are expected to clarify the role of EPA as adjunctive therapy to a statin for reduction of residual CV risk.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Biological Aging - Criteria for Modeling and a New Mechanistic Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pletcher, Scott D.; Neuhauser, Claudia

    To stimulate interaction and collaboration across scientific fields, we introduce a minimum set of biological criteria that theoretical models of aging should satisfy. We review results of several recent experiments that examined changes in age-specific mortality rates caused by genetic and environmental manipulation. The empirical data from these experiments is then used to test mathematical models of aging from several different disciplines, including molecular biology, reliability theory, physics, and evolutionary biology/population genetics. We find that none of the current models are consistent with all of the published experimental findings. To provide an example of how our criteria might be applied in practice, we develop a new conceptual model of aging that is consistent with our observations.

  1. Investigation of plausible mechanistic pathways in hydrogenation of η⁵-(C₅H₅)₂Ta(H)=CH₂: an analysis using DFT and AIM techniques.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neogi, Soumya Ganguly; Das, Anita; Chaudhury, Pinaki

    2014-03-01

    In this manuscript, we investigate two plausible pathways for addition of H₂ across the bond Ta=C in η⁵-(C₅H₅)₂Ta(H)=CH₂. One of the investigated reaction pathways involves a single concerted step with a four-membered transition state keeping the oxidation state of tantalum unaltered, where as the other pathway deals with a two step reaction with α-insertion of H₂ to produce a 16e⁻ Ta(III)-methyl species and a subsequent oxidative addition. We must emphasize that an experimental study by Bregel et al. [J Am Chem Soc 2002, 124:13827-13832] on a derivative of the investigated chemical system in the present study showed that the two step strategy of α-insertion followed by subsequent oxidative addition is the preferred one. Our numerical investigations using DFT and AIM calculations lead to a similar conclusion. To establish our conclusion, we employ various basis sets to obtain the free energy of activation of the reaction. The AIM technique especially helps us to characterize the bond critical points at the optimized geometries of the reactants, products, transition states, and intermediates for the two step mechanism.

  2. Plausibility of the implausible: is it possible that ultra-high dilutions ‘without biological activity’ cause adverse effects?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcus Zulian Teixeira

    2013-06-01

    .7% of cases the potencies were described as below of the 12ª Centesimal, the point beyond which the likelihood of a single molecule being present in the remedy approaches zero”, the authors claim that “in the majority of cases, the possible mechanism of action involved allergic reactions or ingestion of toxic substances”. With this approach, the authors seek to dismiss the biological effects of ultra-high dilutions, because if they cause AEs would be confirming the plausibility of its possible therapeutic effects. However, toxicological tests are required to affirm that AEs are a consequence of toxic (allergic effects of the substances or of ‘imponderable’ effects of ultra-high dilutions. In view of the recent report cited in the review [12] in which a complex homeopathic medicine indicated for treating infant colic (Gali-col Baby, GCB caused apparent life-threatening events (ALTEs were described by the National Institutes of Health consensus group in 1986 as “an episode that is frightening to the observer and that is characterized by some combination of apnea (central or occasionally obstructive, color change (usually cyanotic or pallid but occasionally erythematous or plethoric, a marked change in muscle tone (usually marked limpness, choking or gagging” [13] in consequence of the ‘toxicity of active ingredients’ (Citrullus colocynthis, Matricaria chamomilla, Bryonia alba, Nux vomica, Veratrum album, Magnesia phosphorica and Cuprum metallicum at potencies between 4C and 5C, Oberbaum et al. [14] performed a toxicological study of these components showing that “doses ingested in the GCB series were 10-13 orders of magnitude smaller than those reported to cause toxic reactions in humans” and that “there was poor correlation between symptoms with GCB and toxic profiles of the components”. As alternative explanation, they suggest that “four components (Veratrum album, Cuprum metallicum, Bryonia alba and Matricaria chamomilla have an

  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."

  4. 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

    ). 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...... is essential to estimate a marine eutrophication impacts indicator in Life Cycle Impact Assessment (LCIA) of anthropogenic-N emissions. Every relevant process was modelled and the uncertainty of the driving parameters considered low suggesting valid applicability in characterisation modelling in LCIA....

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

    OpenAIRE

    Seebacher, Frank; Craig E. Franklin

    2012-01-01

    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 causa...

  6. Looking for plausibility

    CERN Document Server

    Abdullah, Wan Ahmad Tajuddin Wan

    2010-01-01

    In the interpretation of experimental data, one is actually looking for plausible explanations. We look for a measure of plausibility, with which we can compare different possible explanations, and which can be combined when there are different sets of data. This is contrasted to the conventional measure for probabilities as well as to the proposed measure of possibilities. We define what characteristics this measure of plausibility should have. In getting to the conception of this measure, we explore the relation of plausibility to abductive reasoning, and to Bayesian probabilities. We also compare with the Dempster-Schaefer theory of evidence, which also has its own definition for plausibility. Abduction can be associated with biconditionality in inference rules, and this provides a platform to relate to the Collins-Michalski theory of plausibility. Finally, using a formalism for wiring logic onto Hopfield neural networks, we ask if this is relevant in obtaining this measure.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. Design and control strategies for CELSS - Integrating mechanistic paradigms and biological complexities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, B., III; Kaufmann, R.; Reinhold, C.

    1981-01-01

    Systems analysis and control theory consideration are given to simulations of both individual components and total systems, in order to develop a reliable control strategy for a Controlled Ecological Life Support System (CELSS) which includes complex biological components. Because of the numerous nonlinearities and tight coupling within the biological component, classical control theory may be inadequate and the statistical analysis of factorial experiments more useful. The range in control characteristics of particular species may simplify the overall task by providing an appropriate balance of stability and controllability to match species function in the overall design. The ultimate goal of this research is the coordination of biological and mechanical subsystems in order to achieve a self-supporting environment.

  11. 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

  12. Biological plausibility as a tool to associate analytical data for micropollutants and effect potentials in wastewater, surface water, and sediments with effects in fishes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maier, Diana; Blaha, Ludek; Giesy, John P; Henneberg, Anja; Köhler, Heinz-R; Kuch, Bertram; Osterauer, Raphaela; Peschke, Katharina; Richter, Doreen; Scheurer, Marco; Triebskorn, Rita

    2015-04-01

    of micronuclei in erythrocytes of chub from the river. Chemicals potentially responsible for effects on DNA were identified. Embryotoxic effects on zebrafish (Danio rerio), investigated in the laboratory, were associated with embryotoxic effects in trout exposed in streamwater bypass systems at the two rivers. In general, responses at all levels of organization were more pronounced in samples from the Schussen than in those from the Argen. These results are consistent with the magnitudes of chemical pollution in these two streams. Plausibility chains to establish causality between exposures and effects and to predict effects in biota in the river from studies in the laboratory are discussed.

  13. Mechanistic pathways and biological roles for receptor-independent activators of G-protein signaling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blumer, Joe B; Smrcka, Alan V; Lanier, Stephen M

    2007-03-01

    Signal processing via heterotrimeric G-proteins in response to cell surface receptors is a central and much investigated aspect of how cells integrate cellular stimuli to produce coordinated biological responses. The system is a target of numerous therapeutic agents and plays an important role in adaptive processes of organs; aberrant processing of signals through these transducing systems is a component of various disease states. In addition to G-protein coupled receptor (GPCR)-mediated activation of G-protein signaling, nature has evolved creative ways to manipulate and utilize the Galphabetagamma heterotrimer or Galpha and Gbetagamma subunits independent of the cell surface receptor stimuli. In such situations, the G-protein subunits (Galpha and Gbetagamma) may actually be complexed with alternative binding partners independent of the typical heterotrimeric Galphabetagamma. Such regulatory accessory proteins include the family of regulator of G-protein signaling (RGS) proteins that accelerate the GTPase activity of Galpha and various entities that influence nucleotide binding properties and/or subunit interaction. The latter group of proteins includes receptor-independent activators of G-protein signaling (AGS) proteins that play surprising roles in signal processing. This review provides an overview of our current knowledge regarding AGS proteins. AGS proteins are indicative of a growing number of accessory proteins that influence signal propagation, facilitate cross talk between various types of signaling pathways, and provide a platform for diverse functions of both the heterotrimeric Galphabetagamma and the individual Galpha and Gbetagamma subunits.

  14. Biological dosimetry: Mechanistic concepts

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Preston, R.J.

    1990-01-01

    The study of the induction of chromosome aberrations by ionizing radiations has a 50 year history, having its initiation in the pioneering work of Karl Sax. Lea and his colleagues provided a more mathematical description of dose response curves and the effects of split doses, that allowed for the development of studies to better understand the process by which radiation induced chromosome aberrations. Subsequent studies have refined our understanding of the mechanism of induction, but many of the questions raised by these original studies still remain unanswered. It is the intention of this short review to revisit some of the questions pertinent to the mechanism of induction of chromosome aberrations and provide a personal view of what I think is happening. 19 refs.

  15. 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

  16. Gradient Matching Methods for Computational Inference in Mechanistic Models for Systems Biology: A Review and Comparative Analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Macdonald, Benn; Husmeier, Dirk

    2015-01-01

    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 optimized, so as to minimize 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.

  17. 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.

  18. What can we learn from Plausible Values?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marsman, Maarten; Maris, Gunter; Bechger, Timo; Glas, Cees

    2016-06-01

    In this paper, we show 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. We use this result to clarify some of the misconceptions that exist about plausible values, and also show how they can be used in the analyses of educational surveys.

  19. Plausibility functions and exact frequentist inference

    CERN Document Server

    Martin, Ryan

    2012-01-01

    In the frequentist program, inferential methods with exact control on error rates are a primary focus. Methods based on asymptotic distribution theory may not be suitable in a particular problem, in which case, a numerical method is needed. This paper presents a general, Monte Carlo-driven framework for the construction of frequentist procedures based on plausibility functions. It is proved that the suitably defined plausibility function-based tests and confidence regions have desired frequentist properties. Moreover, in an important special case involving likelihood ratios, conditions are given such that the plausibility function behaves asymptotically like a consistent Bayesian posterior distribution. An extension of the proposed method is also given for the case where nuisance parameters are present. A number of examples are given which illustrate the method and demonstrate its strong performance compared to other popular existing methods.

  20. Bisimulation for Single-Agent Plausibility Models

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2013-01-01

    Epistemic plausibility models are Kripke models agents use to reason about the knowledge and beliefs of themselves and each other. Restricting ourselves to the single-agent case, we determine when such models are indistinguishable in the logical language containing conditional belief, i.e., we...... 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....

  1. A biologically plausible model of human shape symmetry perception.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poirier, Frédéric J A M; Wilson, Hugh R

    2010-01-19

    Symmetry is usually computationally expensive to encode reliably, and yet it is relatively effortless to perceive. Here, we extend F. J. A. M. Poirier and H. R. Wilson's (2006) model for shape perception to account for H. R. Wilson and F. Wilkinson's (2002) data on shape symmetry. Because the model already accounts for shape perception, only minimal neural circuitry is required to enable it to encode shape symmetry as well. The model is composed of three main parts: (1) recovery of object position using large-scale non-Fourier V4-like concentric units that respond at the center of concentric contour segments across orientations, (2) around that recovered object center, curvature mechanisms combine multiplicatively the responses of oriented filters to encode object-centric local shape information, with a preference for convexities, and (3) object-centric symmetry mechanisms. Model and human performances are comparable for symmetry perception of shapes. Moreover, with some improvement of edge recovery, the model can encode symmetry axes in natural images such as faces.

  2. Biologically-Plausible Reactive Control of Mobile Robots

    OpenAIRE

    Rene, Zapata; Pascal, Lepinay

    2006-01-01

    This chapter addressed the problem of controlling the reactive behaviours of a mobile robot evolving in unstructured and dynamic environments. We have carried out successful experiments for determining the distance field of a mobile robot using two

  3. Prebiotically plausible mechanisms increase compositional diversity of nucleic acid sequences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Derr, Julien; Manapat, Michael L; Rajamani, Sudha; Leu, Kevin; Xulvi-Brunet, Ramon; Joseph, Isaac; Nowak, Martin A; Chen, Irene A

    2012-05-01

    During the origin of life, the biological information of nucleic acid polymers must have increased to encode functional molecules (the RNA world). Ribozymes tend to be compositionally unbiased, as is the vast majority of possible sequence space. However, ribonucleotides vary greatly in synthetic yield, reactivity and degradation rate, and their non-enzymatic polymerization results in compositionally biased sequences. While natural selection could lead to complex sequences, molecules with some activity are required to begin this process. Was the emergence of compositionally diverse sequences a matter of chance, or could prebiotically plausible reactions counter chemical biases to increase the probability of finding a ribozyme? Our in silico simulations using a two-letter alphabet show that template-directed ligation and high concatenation rates counter compositional bias and shift the pool toward longer sequences, permitting greater exploration of sequence space and stable folding. We verified experimentally that unbiased DNA sequences are more efficient templates for ligation, thus increasing the compositional diversity of the pool. Our work suggests that prebiotically plausible chemical mechanisms of nucleic acid polymerization and ligation could predispose toward a diverse pool of longer, potentially structured molecules. Such mechanisms could have set the stage for the appearance of functional activity very early in the emergence of life.

  4. Transcriptomic Analysis Reveals Novel Mechanistic Insight into Murine Biological Responses to Multi-Walled Carbon Nanotubes in Lungs and Cultured Lung Epithelial Cells

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Poulsen, Sarah Søs; Jacobsen, Nicklas R.; Labib, Sarah

    2013-01-01

    responses of multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNT) to those in vitro in cultured lung epithelial cells (FE1) at the global transcriptomic level. Primary size, surface area and other properties of MWCNT-XNRI -7 (Mitsui7) were characterized using DLS, SEM and TEM. Mice were exposed via a single intratracheal...... instillation to 18, 54, or 162 mu g of Mitsui7/mouse. FE1 cells were incubated with 12.5, 25 and 100 mu g/ml of Mitsui7. Tissue and cell samples were collected at 24 hours post-exposure. DNA microarrays were employed to establish mechanistic differences and similarities between the two models. Microarray...... at the pathway-level, the specific genes altered under these pathways were different, suggesting that the underlying mechanisms of responses are different in cells in culture and the lung tissue. Our results suggest that careful consideration should be given in selecting relevant endpoints when substituting...

  5. The Role of Plausible Values in Large-Scale Surveys

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Margaret

    2005-01-01

    In large-scale assessment programs such as NAEP, TIMSS and PISA, students' achievement data sets provided for secondary analysts contain so-called "plausible values." Plausible values are multiple imputations of the unobservable latent achievement for each student. In this article it has been shown how plausible values are used to: (1) address…

  6. Comprehending Conflicting Science-Related Texts: Graphs as Plausibility Cues

    Science.gov (United States)

    Isberner, Maj-Britt; Richter, Tobias; Maier, Johanna; Knuth-Herzig, Katja; Horz, Holger; Schnotz, Wolfgang

    2013-01-01

    When reading conflicting science-related texts, readers may attend to cues which allow them to assess plausibility. One such plausibility cue is the use of graphs in the texts, which are regarded as typical of "hard science." The goal of our study was to investigate the effects of the presence of graphs on the perceived plausibility and…

  7. 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...... combined with a Markov Random Field regularisation method. Conceptually, the method maintains an implicit ideal description of the sought surface. This implicit surface is iteratively updated by realigning the input point sets and Markov Random Field regularisation. The regularisation is based on a prior...... energy that has earlier proved to be particularly well suited for human surface scans. The method has been tested on full cranial scans of ten test subjects and on several scans of the outer human ear....

  8. Interactions between visual and motor areas during the recognition of plausible actions as revealed by magnetoencephalography.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pavlidou, Anastasia; Schnitzler, Alfons; Lange, Joachim

    2014-02-01

    Several studies have shown activation of the mirror neuron system (MNS), comprising the temporal, posterior parietal, and sensorimotor areas when observing plausible actions, but far less is known on how these cortical areas interact during the recognition of a plausible action. Here, we recorded neural activity with magnetoencephalography while subjects viewed point-light displays of biologically plausible and scrambled versions of actions. We were interested in modulations of oscillatory activity and, specifically, in coupling of oscillatory activity between visual and motor areas. Both plausible and scrambled actions elicited modulations of θ (5-7 Hz), α (7-13 Hz), β (13-35 Hz), and γ (55-100 Hz) power within visual and motor areas. When comparing between the two actions, we observed sequential and spatially distinct increases of γ (∼65 Hz), β (∼25 Hz), and α (∼11 Hz) power between 0.5 and 1.3 s in parieto-occipital, sensorimotor, and left temporal areas. In addition, significant clusters of γ (∼65 Hz) and α/β (∼15 Hz) power decrease were observed in right temporal and parieto-occipital areas between 1.3 and 2.0 s. We found β-power in sensorimotor areas to be positively correlated on a trial-by-trial basis with parieto-occipital γ and left temporal α-power for the plausible but not for the scrambled condition. These results provide new insights in the neuronal oscillatory activity of the areas involved in the recognition of plausible action movements and their interaction. The power correlations between specific areas underscore the importance of interactions between visual and motor areas of the MNS during the recognition of a plausible action.

  9. Analytic Models of Plausible Gravitational Lens Potentials

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2007-05-04

    Gravitational lenses on galaxy scales are plausibly modeled as having ellipsoidal symmetry and a universal dark matter density profile, with a Sersic 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. Emphasizing 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 Sersic 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 modeled, 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.

  10. Encoding the target or the plausible preview word? The nature of the plausibility preview benefit in reading Chinese.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Jinmian; Li, Nan; Wang, Suiping; Slattery, Timothy J; Rayner, Keith

    2014-01-01

    Previous studies have shown that a plausible preview word can facilitate the processing of a target word as compared to an implausible preview word (a plausibility preview benefit effect) when reading Chinese (Yang, Wang, Tong, & Rayner, 2012; Yang, 2013). Regarding the nature of this effect, it is possible that readers processed the meaning of the plausible preview word and did not actually encode the target word (given that the parafoveal preview word lies close to the fovea). The current experiment examined this possibility with three conditions wherein readers received a preview of a target word that was either (1) identical to the target word (identical preview), (2) a plausible continuation of the pre-target text, but the post-target text in the sentence was incompatible with it (initially plausible preview), or (3) not a plausible continuation of the pre-target text, nor compatible with the post-target text (implausible preview). Gaze durations on target words were longer in the initially plausible condition than the identical condition. Overall, the results showed a typical preview benefit, but also implied that readers did not encode the initially plausible preview. Also, a plausibility preview benefit was replicated: gaze durations were longer with implausible previews than the initially plausible ones. Furthermore, late eye movement measures did not reveal differences between the initially plausible and the implausible preview conditions, which argues against the possibility of misreading the plausible preview word as the target word. In sum, these results suggest that a plausible preview word provides benefit in processing the target word as compared to an implausible preview word, and this benefit is only present in early but not late eye movement measures.

  11. Plausibility Judgments in Conceptual Change and Epistemic Cognition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lombardi, Doug; Nussbaum, E. Michael; Sinatra, Gale M.

    2016-01-01

    Plausibility judgments rarely have been addressed empirically in conceptual change research. Recent research, however, suggests that these judgments may be pivotal to conceptual change about certain topics where a gap exists between what scientists and laypersons find plausible. Based on a philosophical and empirical foundation, this article…

  12. Source Effects and Plausibility Judgments When Reading about Climate Change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lombardi, Doug; Seyranian, Viviane; Sinatra, Gale M.

    2014-01-01

    Gaps between what scientists and laypeople find plausible may act as a barrier to learning complex and/or controversial socioscientific concepts. For example, individuals may consider scientific explanations that human activities are causing current climate change as implausible. This plausibility judgment may be due-in part-to individuals'…

  13. Plausible values: how to deal with their limitations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Monseur, Christian; Adams, Raymond

    2009-01-01

    Rasch modeling and plausible values methodology were used to scale and report the results of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development's Programme for International Student Achievement (PISA). This article will describe the scaling approach adopted in PISA. In particular it will focus on the use of plausible values, a multiple imputation approach that is now commonly used in large-scale assessment. As with all imputation models the plausible values must be generated using models that are consistent with those used in subsequent data analysis. In the case of PISA the plausible value generation assumes a flat linear regression with all students' background variables collected through the international student questionnaire included as regressors. Further, like most linear models, homoscedasticity and normality of the conditional variance are assumed. This article will explore some of the implications of this approach. First, we will discuss the conditions under which the secondary analyses on variables not included in the model for generating the plausible values might be biased. Secondly, as plausible values were not drawn from a multi-level model, the article will explore the adequacy of the PISA procedures for estimating variance components when the data have a hierarchical structure.

  14. 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.

  15. Some Remarks on the Model Theory of Epistemic Plausibility Models

    CERN Document Server

    Demey, Lorenz

    2010-01-01

    Classical logics of knowledge and belief are usually interpreted on Kripke models, for which a mathematically well-developed model theory is available. However, such models are inadequate to capture dynamic phenomena. Therefore, epistemic plausibility models have been introduced. Because these are much richer structures than Kripke models, they do not straightforwardly inherit the model-theoretical results of modal logic. Therefore, while epistemic plausibility structures are well-suited for modeling purposes, an extensive investigation of their model theory has been lacking so far. The aim of the present paper is to fill exactly this gap, by initiating a systematic exploration of the model theory of epistemic plausibility models. Like in 'ordinary' modal logic, the focus will be on the notion of bisimulation. We define various notions of bisimulations (parametrized by a language L) and show that L-bisimilarity implies L-equivalence. We prove a Hennesy-Milner type result, and also two undefinability results. ...

  16. The Plausibility of a String Quartet Performance in Virtual Reality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bergstrom, Ilias; Azevedo, Sergio; Papiotis, Panos; Saldanha, Nuno; Slater, Mel

    2017-04-01

    We describe an experiment that explores the contribution of auditory and other features to the illusion of plausibility in a virtual environment that depicts the performance of a string quartet. 'Plausibility' refers to the component of presence that is the illusion that the perceived events in the virtual environment are really happening. The features studied were: Gaze (the musicians ignored the participant, the musicians sometimes looked towards and followed the participant's movements), Sound Spatialization (Mono, Stereo, Spatial), Auralization (no sound reflections, reflections corresponding to a room larger than the one perceived, reflections that exactly matched the virtual room), and Environment (no sound from outside of the room, birdsong and wind corresponding to the outside scene). We adopted the methodology based on color matching theory, where 20 participants were first able to assess their feeling of plausibility in the environment with each of the four features at their highest setting. Then five times participants started from a low setting on all features and were able to make transitions from one system configuration to another until they matched their original feeling of plausibility. From these transitions a Markov transition matrix was constructed, and also probabilities of a match conditional on feature configuration. The results show that Environment and Gaze were individually the most important factors influencing the level of plausibility. The highest probability transitions were to improve Environment and Gaze, and then Auralization and Spatialization. We present this work as both a contribution to the methodology of assessing presence without questionnaires, and showing how various aspects of a musical performance can influence plausibility.

  17. Collective cell migration: a mechanistic perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vedula, Sri Ram Krishna; Ravasio, Andrea; Lim, Chwee Teck; Ladoux, Benoit

    2013-11-01

    Collective cell migration is fundamental to gaining insights into various important biological processes such as wound healing and cancer metastasis. In particular, recent in vitro studies and in silico simulations suggest that mechanics can explain the social behavior of multicellular clusters to a large extent with minimal knowledge of various cellular signaling pathways. These results suggest that a mechanistic perspective is necessary for a comprehensive and holistic understanding of collective cell migration, and this review aims to provide a broad overview of such a perspective.

  18. Families of Plausible Solutions to the Puzzle of Boyajian's Star

    CERN Document Server

    Wright, Jason T

    2016-01-01

    Good explanations for the unusual light curve of Boyajian's Star have been hard to find. Recent results by Montet & Simon lend strength and plausibility to the conclusion of Schaefer that in addition to short-term dimmings, the star also experiences large, secular decreases in brightness on decadal timescales. This, combined with a lack of long-wavelength excess in the star's spectral energy distribution, strongly constrains scenarios involving circumstellar material, including hypotheses invoking a spherical cloud of artifacts. We show that the timings of the deepest dimmings appear consistent with being randomly distributed, and that the star's reddening and narrow sodium absorption is consistent with the total, long-term dimming observed. Following Montet & Simon's encouragement to generate alternative hypotheses, we attempt to circumscribe the space of possible explanations with a range of plausibilities, including: a cloud in the outer solar system, structure in the ISM, natural and artificial ma...

  19. Representations of physical plausibility revealed by event-related potentials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roser, Matthew E; Fugelsang, Jonathan A; Handy, Todd C; Dunbar, Kevin N; Gazzaniga, Michael S

    2009-08-05

    Maintaining an accurate mental representation of the current environment is crucial to detecting change in that environment and ensuring behavioral coherence. Past experience with interactions between objects, such as collisions, has been shown to influence the perception of object interactions. To assess whether mental representations of object interactions derived from experience influence the maintenance of a mental model of the current stimulus environment, we presented physically plausible and implausible collision events while recording brain electrical activity. The parietal P300 response to 'oddball' events was found to be modulated by the physical plausibility of the stimuli, suggesting that past experience of object interactions can influence working memory processes involved in monitoring ongoing changes to the environment.

  20. Mechanistic studies of olefin metathesis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Grubbs, R.H.

    1979-03-01

    A review covers studies of the olefin metathesis mechanism which indicated that the reaction proceeds by a non-pairwise mechanism; detailed mechanistic studies on the homogeneously and heterogeneously catalyzed metathesis; and stereochemical investigations.

  1. 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

  2. Complex Learning in Bio-plausible Memristive Networks

    OpenAIRE

    Deng, Lei; Li, Guoqi; Deng, Ning; Dong WANG; Zhang, Ziyang; He, Wei; Li, Huanglong; Pei, Jing; Shi, Luping

    2015-01-01

    The emerging memristor-based neuromorphic engineering promises an efficient computing paradigm. However, the lack of both internal dynamics in the previous feedforward memristive networks and efficient learning algorithms in recurrent networks, fundamentally limits the learning ability of existing systems. In this work, we propose a framework to support complex learning functions by introducing dedicated learning algorithms to a bio-plausible recurrent memristive network with internal dynamic...

  3. From mechanistic to functional behaviorism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moxley, R A

    1992-11-01

    A shift from mechanistic behaviorism to functional behaviorism is presented against the background of two historical traditions, one with an emphasis on form, the other with an emphasis on function. Skinner's work, which made more contributions to a functional behaviorism than to a mechanistic behaviorism, exemplifies this shift. The two traditions and an account of Skinner's development of functional relations are presented in order to show Skinner's contributions to aligning modern behavior analysis with the functional tradition.

  4. 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

  5. Probability, plausibility, and adequacy evaluations of the Oriente Study demonstrate that supplementation improved child growth.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Habicht, Jean-Pierre; Martorell, Reynaldo

    2010-02-01

    This article presents evidence that the high-nutrient supplement in the Oriente study (Atole) improved child growth. The evidence is presented at 4 levels. There was a causal effect of the intervention on child length, as assessed by probability analyses of the randomized, controlled trial (P < 0.05). The plausibility analyses, which included an examination of wasting, showed that the nutritional impact was due to the Atole, especially in those who were <3 y old and who suffered from diarrhea. The adequacy analyses revealed excellent biological efficacy of the Atole at the individual level. At the level of the whole population, the efficacy of impact was much less, because many children did not participate fully in the supplementation program. The external validity of the biological impact is likely to be good for populations with similar diets and medical care.

  6. Biologic

    CERN Document Server

    Kauffman, L H

    2002-01-01

    In this paper we explore the boundary between biology and the study of formal systems (logic). In the end, we arrive at a summary formalism, a chapter in "boundary mathematics" where there are not only containers but also extainers ><, entities open to interaction and distinguishing the space that they are not. The boundary algebra of containers and extainers is to biologic what boolean algebra is to classical logic. We show how this formalism encompasses significant parts of the logic of DNA replication, the Dirac formalism for quantum mechanics, formalisms for protein folding and the basic structure of the Temperley Lieb algebra at the foundations of topological invariants of knots and links.

  7. Is air pollution a plausible candidate for prenatal exposure in autism spectrum disorder (ASD)? : a systematic review / y Dhanashree Vernekar

    OpenAIRE

    Vernekar, Dhanashree

    2013-01-01

    Objective: To present a systematic review of existing literature that investigates biological plausibility of prenatal hazardous air pollutants’ (HAPs) exposure, in the etiology of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and related outcomes. Method: Electronic databases Pubmed, Biomed Central and National Database for Autism Research, and grey literature pertaining to air pollution association with ASD and related outcomes were searched using specific keywords. The search included 190 HAPs as defi...

  8. A Biomass-based Model to Estimate the Plausibility of Exoplanet Biosignature Gases

    CERN Document Server

    Seager, S; Hu, R

    2013-01-01

    Biosignature gas detection is one of the ultimate future goals for exoplanet atmosphere studies. We have created a framework for linking biosignature gas detectability to biomass estimates, including atmospheric photochemistry and biological thermodynamics. The new framework is intended to liberate predictive atmosphere models from requiring fixed, Earth-like biosignature gas source fluxes. New biosignature gases can be considered with a check that the biomass estimate is physically plausible. We have validated the models on terrestrial production of NO, H2S, CH4, CH3Cl, and DMS. We have applied the models to propose NH3 as a biosignature gas on a "cold Haber World," a planet with a N2-H2 atmosphere, and to demonstrate why gases such as CH3Cl must have too large of a biomass to be a plausible biosignature gas on planets with Earth or early-Earth-like atmospheres orbiting a Sun-like star. To construct the biomass models, we developed a functional classification of biosignature gases, and found that gases (such...

  9. 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.

  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. Don't Plan for the Unexpected: Planning Based on Plausibility Models

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersen, Mikkel Birkegaard; Bolander, Thomas; Jensen, Martin Holm

    2015-01-01

    on serendipity. In the present paper we introduce a planning framework with the potential of overcoming the problems of both weak and strong epistemic planning. This framework is based on plausibility models, allowing us to define different types of plausibility planning. The simplest type of plausibility plan...

  12. One-pot synthesis of tetrazole-1,2,5,6-tetrahydronicotinonitriles and cholinesterase inhibition: Probing the plausible reaction mechanism via computational studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hameed, Abdul; Zehra, Syeda Tazeen; Abbas, Saba; Nisa, Riffat Un; Mahmood, Tariq; Ayub, Khurshid; Al-Rashida, Mariya; Bajorath, Jürgen; Khan, Khalid Mohammed; Iqbal, Jamshed

    2016-04-01

    In the present study, one-pot synthesis of 1H-tetrazole linked 1,2,5,6-tetrahydronicotinonitriles under solvent-free conditions have been carried out in the presence of tetra-n-butyl ammonium fluoride trihydrated (TBAF) as catalyst and solvent. Computational studies have been conducted to elaborate two plausible mechanistic pathways of this one-pot reaction. Moreover, the synthesized compounds were screened for cholinesterases (acetylcholinesterase and butyrylcholinesterase) inhibition which are consider to be major malefactors of Alzheimer's disease (AD) to find lead compounds for further research in AD therapy.

  13. Spontaneous formation and base pairing of plausible prebiotic nucleotides in water.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cafferty, Brian J; Fialho, David M; Khanam, Jaheda; Krishnamurthy, Ramanarayanan; Hud, Nicholas V

    2016-04-25

    The RNA World hypothesis presupposes that abiotic reactions originally produced nucleotides, the monomers of RNA and universal constituents of metabolism. However, compatible prebiotic reactions for the synthesis of complementary (that is, base pairing) nucleotides and mechanisms for their mutual selection within a complex chemical environment have not been reported. Here we show that two plausible prebiotic heterocycles, melamine and barbituric acid, form glycosidic linkages with ribose and ribose-5-phosphate in water to produce nucleosides and nucleotides in good yields. Even without purification, these nucleotides base pair in aqueous solution to create linear supramolecular assemblies containing thousands of ordered nucleotides. Nucleotide anomerization and supramolecular assemblies favour the biologically relevant β-anomer form of these ribonucleotides, revealing abiotic mechanisms by which nucleotide structure and configuration could have been originally favoured. These findings indicate that nucleotide formation and selection may have been robust processes on the prebiotic Earth, if other nucleobases preceded those of extant life.

  14. Evaluation and integration of cancer gene classifiers: identification and ranking of plausible drivers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Yang; Tian, Feng; Hu, Zhenjun; DeLisi, Charles

    2015-05-11

    The number of mutated genes in cancer cells is far larger than the number of mutations that drive cancer. The difficulty this creates for identifying relevant alterations has stimulated the development of various computational approaches to distinguishing drivers from bystanders. We develop and apply an ensemble classifier (EC) machine learning method, which integrates 10 classifiers that are publically available, and apply it to breast and ovarian cancer. In particular we find the following: (1) Using both standard and non-standard metrics, EC almost always outperforms single method classifiers, often by wide margins. (2) Of the 50 highest ranked genes for breast (ovarian) cancer, 34 (30) are associated with other cancers in either the OMIM, CGC or NCG database (P plausible. Biological implications are briefly discussed. Source codes and detailed results are available at http://www.visantnet.org/misi/driver_integration.zip.

  15. Alkaloids from Pandanus amaryllifolius: Isolation and Their Plausible Biosynthetic Formation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsai, Yu-Chi; Yu, Meng-Lun; El-Shazly, Mohamed; Beerhues, Ludger; Cheng, Yuan-Bin; Chen, Lei-Chin; Hwang, Tsong-Long; Chen, Hui-Fen; Chung, Yu-Ming; Hou, Ming-Feng; Wu, Yang-Chang; Chang, Fang-Rong

    2015-10-23

    Pandanus amaryllifolius Roxb. (Pandanaceae) is used as a flavor and in folk medicine in Southeast Asia. The ethanolic crude extract of the aerial parts of P. amaryllifolius exhibited antioxidant, antibiofilm, and anti-inflammatory activities in previous studies. In the current investigation, the purification of the ethanolic extract yielded nine new compounds, including N-acetylnorpandamarilactonines A (1) and B (2); pandalizines A (3) and B (4); pandanmenyamine (5); pandamarilactones 2 (6) and 3 (7), and 5(E)-pandamarilactonine-32 (8); and pandalactonine (9). The isolated alkaloids, with either a γ-alkylidene-α,β-unsaturated-γ-lactone or γ-alkylidene-α,β-unsaturated-γ-lactam system, can be classified into five skeletons including norpandamarilactonine, indolizinone, pandanamine, pandamarilactone, and pandamarilactonine. A plausible biosynthetic route toward 1-5, 7, and 9 is proposed.

  16. Hamiltonian formulation of time-dependent plausible inference

    CERN Document Server

    Davis, Sergio

    2014-01-01

    Maximization of the path information entropy is a clear prescription for performing time-dependent plausible inference. Here it is shown that, following this prescription under the assumption of arbitrary instantaneous constraints on position and velocity, a Lagrangian emerges which determines the most probable trajectory. Deviations from the probability maximum can be consistently described as slices in time by a Hamiltonian, according to a nonlinear Langevin equation and its associated Fokker-Planck equation. The connections unveiled between the maximization of path entropy and the Langevin/Fokker-Planck equations imply that missing information about the phase space coordinate never decreases in time, a purely information-theoretical version of the Second Law of Thermodynamics. All of these results are independent of any physical assumptions, and thus valid for any generalized coordinate as a function of time, or any other parameter. This reinforces the view that the Second Law is a fundamental property of ...

  17. Complex Learning in Bio-plausible Memristive Networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deng, Lei; Li, Guoqi; Deng, Ning; Wang, Dong; Zhang, Ziyang; He, Wei; Li, Huanglong; Pei, Jing; Shi, Luping

    2015-06-19

    The emerging memristor-based neuromorphic engineering promises an efficient computing paradigm. However, the lack of both internal dynamics in the previous feedforward memristive networks and efficient learning algorithms in recurrent networks, fundamentally limits the learning ability of existing systems. In this work, we propose a framework to support complex learning functions by introducing dedicated learning algorithms to a bio-plausible recurrent memristive network with internal dynamics. We fabricate iron oxide memristor-based synapses, with well controllable plasticity and a wide dynamic range of excitatory/inhibitory connection weights, to build the network. To adaptively modify the synaptic weights, the comprehensive recursive least-squares (RLS) learning algorithm is introduced. Based on the proposed framework, the learning of various timing patterns and a complex spatiotemporal pattern of human motor is demonstrated. This work paves a new way to explore the brain-inspired complex learning in neuromorphic systems.

  18. A perspective on SIDS pathogenesis. The hypotheses: plausibility and evidence

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Goldwater Paul N

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Several theories of the underlying mechanisms of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS have been proposed. These theories have born relatively narrow beach-head research programs attracting generous research funding sustained for many years at expense to the public purse. This perspective endeavors to critically examine the evidence and bases of these theories and determine their plausibility; and questions whether or not a safe and reasoned hypothesis lies at their foundation. The Opinion sets specific criteria by asking the following questions: 1. Does the hypothesis take into account the key pathological findings in SIDS? 2. Is the hypothesis congruent with the key epidemiological risk factors? 3. Does it link 1 and 2? Falling short of any one of these answers, by inference, would imply insufficient grounds for a sustainable hypothesis. Some of the hypotheses overlap, for instance, notional respiratory failure may encompass apnea, prone sleep position, and asphyxia which may be seen to be linked to co-sleeping. For the purposes of this paper, each element will be assessed on the above criteria.

  19. A plausible explanation for male dominance in typhoid ileal perforation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Khan M

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available Mohammad KhanDepartment of Microbiology, College of Medicine, Chichiri, Blantyre, MalawiAbstract: The phenomenon of consistent male dominance in typhoid ileal perforation (TIP is not well understood. It cannot be explained on the basis of microbial virulence, Peyer's patch anatomy, ileal wall thickness, gastric acidity, host genetic factors, or sex-linked bias in hospital attendance. The cytokine response to an intestinal infection in males is predominantly proinflammatory as compared with that in females, presumably due to differences in the sex hormonal milieu. Sex hormone receptors have been detected on lymphocytes and macrophages, including on Peyer's patches, inflammation of which (probably similar to the Shwartzman reaction/Koch phenomenon is the forerunner of TIP, and is not excluded from the regulatory effects of sex hormones. Hormonal control of host-pathogen interaction may override genetic control. Environmental exposure to Salmonella typhi may be more frequent in males, presumably due to sex-linked differences in hygiene practices and dining-out behavior. A plausible explanation of male dominance in TIP could include sex-linked differences in the degree of natural exposure of Peyer's patches to S. typhi. An alternative explanation may include sexual dimorphism in host inflammatory response patterns in Peyer's patches that have been induced by S. typhi. Both hypotheses are testable.Keywords: explanation, dominance, male, perforation, ileum, typhoid

  20. A plausible explanation for male dominance in typhoid ileal perforation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khan, Mohammad

    2012-01-01

    The phenomenon of consistent male dominance in typhoid ileal perforation (TIP) is not well understood. It cannot be explained on the basis of microbial virulence, Peyer's patch anatomy, ileal wall thickness, gastric acidity, host genetic factors, or sex-linked bias in hospital attendance. The cytokine response to an intestinal infection in males is predominantly proinflammatory as compared with that in females, presumably due to differences in the sex hormonal milieu. Sex hormone receptors have been detected on lymphocytes and macrophages, including on Peyer's patches, inflammation of which (probably similar to the Shwartzman reaction/Koch phenomenon) is the forerunner of TIP, and is not excluded from the regulatory effects of sex hormones. Hormonal control of host-pathogen interaction may override genetic control. Environmental exposure to Salmonella typhi may be more frequent in males, presumably due to sex-linked differences in hygiene practices and dining-out behavior. A plausible explanation of male dominance in TIP could include sex-linked differences in the degree of natural exposure of Peyer's patches to S. typhi. An alternative explanation may include sexual dimorphism in host inflammatory response patterns in Peyer's patches that have been induced by S. typhi. Both hypotheses are testable.

  1. 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.

  2. Plausible rice yield losses under future climate warming.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Chuang; Piao, Shilong; Wang, Xuhui; Huang, Yao; Ciais, Philippe; Elliott, Joshua; Huang, Mengtian; Janssens, Ivan A; Li, Tao; Lian, Xu; Liu, Yongwen; Müller, Christoph; Peng, Shushi; Wang, Tao; Zeng, Zhenzhong; Peñuelas, Josep

    2016-12-19

    Rice is the staple food for more than 50% of the world's population(1-3). Reliable prediction of changes in rice yield is thus central for maintaining global food security. This is an extraordinary challenge. Here, we compare the sensitivity of rice yield to temperature increase derived from field warming experiments and three modelling approaches: statistical models, local crop models and global gridded crop models. Field warming experiments produce a substantial rice yield loss under warming, with an average temperature sensitivity of -5.2 ± 1.4% K(-1). Local crop models give a similar sensitivity (-6.3 ± 0.4% K(-1)), but statistical and global gridded crop models both suggest less negative impacts of warming on yields (-0.8 ± 0.3% and -2.4 ± 3.7% K(-1), respectively). Using data from field warming experiments, we further propose a conditional probability approach to constrain the large range of global gridded crop model results for the future yield changes in response to warming by the end of the century (from -1.3% to -9.3% K(-1)). The constraint implies a more negative response to warming (-8.3 ± 1.4% K(-1)) and reduces the spread of the model ensemble by 33%. This yield reduction exceeds that estimated by the International Food Policy Research Institute assessment (-4.2 to -6.4% K(-1)) (ref. 4). Our study suggests that without CO2 fertilization, effective adaptation and genetic improvement, severe rice yield losses are plausible under intensive climate warming scenarios.

  3. Changing beliefs about implausible autobiographical events: a little plausibility goes a long way.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mazzoni, G A; Loftus, E F; Kirsch, I

    2001-03-01

    Three experiments investigated the malleability of perceived plausibility and the subjective likelihood of occurrence of plausible and implausible events among participants who had no recollection of experiencing them. In Experiment 1, a plausibility-enhancing manipulation (reading accounts of the occurrence of events) combined with a personalized suggestion increased the perceived plausibility of the implausible event, as well as participants' ratings of the likelihood that they had experienced it. Plausibility and likelihood ratings were uncorrelated. Subsequent studies showed that the plausibility manipulation alone was sufficient to increase likelihood ratings but only if the accounts that participants read were set in a contemporary context. These data suggest that false autobiographical beliefs can be induced in clinical and forensic contexts even for initially implausible events.

  4. 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…

  5. 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.

  6. Towards biological plausibility of electronic noses: A spiking neural network based approach for tea odour classification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sarkar, Sankho Turjo; Bhondekar, Amol P; Macaš, Martin; Kumar, Ritesh; Kaur, Rishemjit; Sharma, Anupma; Gulati, Ashu; Kumar, Amod

    2015-11-01

    The paper presents a novel encoding scheme for neuronal code generation for odour recognition using an electronic nose (EN). This scheme is based on channel encoding using multiple Gaussian receptive fields superimposed over the temporal EN responses. The encoded data is further applied to a spiking neural network (SNN) for pattern classification. Two forms of SNN, a back-propagation based SpikeProp and a dynamic evolving SNN are used to learn the encoded responses. The effects of information encoding on the performance of SNNs have been investigated. Statistical tests have been performed to determine the contribution of the SNN and the encoding scheme to overall odour discrimination. The approach has been implemented in odour classification of orthodox black tea (Kangra-Himachal Pradesh Region) thereby demonstrating a biomimetic approach for EN data analysis.

  7. Warfarin and acetaminophen interaction: a summary of the evidence and biologic plausibility.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lopes, Renato D; Horowitz, John D; Garcia, David A; Crowther, Mark A; Hylek, Elaine M

    2011-12-08

    Ms TS is a 66-year-old woman who receives warfarin for prevention of systemic embolization in the setting of hypertension, diabetes, and atrial fibrillation. She had a transient ischemic attack about 4 years ago when she was receiving aspirin. Her INR control was excellent; however, over the past few months it has become erratic, and her average dose required to maintain an INR of 2.0 to 3.0 appears to have decreased. She has had back pain over this same period and has been taking acetaminophen at doses at large as 650 mg four times daily, with her dose varying based on her symptoms. You recall a potential interaction and wonder if (1) her acetaminophen use is contributing to her loss of INR control, and (2) does this interaction place her at increased risk of warfarin-related complications?

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-09-29

    precise timing of individual spikes. The authors examined excitatory post synaptic potentials ( EPSPs ) and 56 inhibitory post synaptic potentials...IPSPs) of neurons and the question of how they are balanced. For orientation selective neurons, for example, EPSPs and IPSPs occur frequently for

  9. A biologically plausible mechanism for neuronal coding organized by the phase of alpha oscillations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gips, Bart; van der Eerden, Jan P J M; Jensen, Ole

    2016-08-01

    The visual system receives a wealth of sensory information of which only little is relevant for behaviour. We present a mechanism in which alpha oscillations serve to prioritize different components of visual information. By way of simulated neuronal networks, we show that inhibitory modulation in the alpha range (~ 10 Hz) can serve to temporally segment the visual information to prevent information overload. Coupled excitatory and inhibitory neurons generate a gamma rhythm in which information is segmented and sorted according to excitability in each alpha cycle. Further details are coded by distributed neuronal firing patterns within each gamma cycle. The network model produces coupling between alpha phase and gamma (40-100 Hz) amplitude in the simulated local field potential similar to that observed experimentally in human and animal recordings.

  10. 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.

  11. HTGR Mechanistic Source Terms White Paper

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wayne Moe

    2010-07-01

    The primary purposes of this white paper are: (1) to describe the proposed approach for developing event specific mechanistic source terms for HTGR design and licensing, (2) to describe the technology development programs required to validate the design methods used to predict these mechanistic source terms and (3) to obtain agreement from the NRC that, subject to appropriate validation through the technology development program, the approach for developing event specific mechanistic source terms is acceptable

  12. A simple biophysically plausible model for long time constants in single neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tiganj, Zoran; Hasselmo, Michael E; Howard, Marc W

    2015-01-01

    Recent work in computational neuroscience and cognitive psychology suggests that a set of cells that decay exponentially could be used to support memory for the time at which events took place. Analytically and through simulations on a biophysical model of an individual neuron, we demonstrate that exponentially decaying firing with a range of time constants up to minutes could be implemented using a simple combination of well-known neural mechanisms. In particular, we consider firing supported by calcium-controlled cation current. When the amount of calcium leaving the cell during an interspike interval is larger than the calcium influx during a spike, the overall decay in calcium concentration can be exponential, resulting in exponential decay of the firing rate. The time constant of the decay can be several orders of magnitude larger than the time constant of calcium clearance, and it could be controlled externally via a variety of biologically plausible ways. The ability to flexibly and rapidly control time constants could enable working memory of temporal history to be generalized to other variables in computing spatial and ordinal representations.

  13. 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…

  14. Applying mechanistic models in bioprocess development

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lencastre Fernandes, Rita; Bodla, Vijaya Krishna; Carlquist, Magnus;

    2013-01-01

    The available knowledge on the mechanisms of a bioprocess system is central to process analytical technology. In this respect, mechanistic modeling has gained renewed attention, since a mechanistic model can provide an excellent summary of available process knowledge. Such a model therefore...

  15. Robustness and adaptation reveal plausible cell cycle controlling subnetwork in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Jiun-Yan; Huang, Chi-Wei; Kao, Kuo-Ching; Lai, Pik-Yin

    2013-04-10

    signal stimulus entries of check points into the cell cycle, which are consistent with experimental findings. This evolution strategy method can be applied adequately to extract the plausible yeast cell cycle subnetworks from the whole network. Connections between modules in the obtained cell cycle subnetworks reveal significant cell cycle control mechanisms. This method can also be useful when applied to other biological systems at various temporal and spatial scales for example, the gene transcription networks, and biological systems from mesoscopic scale, e.g cortical network in brain, to subcellular molecular networks.

  16. MECHANISTIC STUDIES OF IMPROVED FOAM EOR PROCESSES

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    William R. Rossen

    2003-03-31

    . We find that such behavior is consistent with earlier models of foam viscosity in tubes, and a modified model for the low-quality regime can account for this behavior. It is not yet clear why this new regime appears in some cases and not in others. Simple modeling suggests that the answer may have to do with the sensitivity of gas trapping to pressure gradient. Research on Task 3 continued to focus on foam generation at limited pressure gradient in sandpacks. We investigated the effects of permeability, surfactant concentration and liquid injection rates on foam generation. In addition, a careful review of published studies showed that repeated snap-off is not a plausible mechanism of foam generation in homogeneous porous media beyond the stage of initial drainage from a fully liquid-saturated state. Snap-off has been the focus of much research on foam generation and is incorporated into most mechanistic foam simulators. This finding should force a reconsideration of its role in foam generation and properties in porous media.

  17. (Biological dosimetry)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Preston, R.J.

    1990-12-17

    The traveler attended the 1st International Conference on Biological Dosimetry in Madrid, Spain. This conference was organized to provide information to a general audience of biologists, physicists, radiotherapists, industrial hygiene personnel and individuals from related fields on the current ability of cytogenetic analysis to provide estimates of radiation dose in cases of occupational or environmental exposure. There is a growing interest in Spain in biological dosimetry because of the increased use of radiation sources for medical and occupational uses, and with this the anticipated and actual increase in numbers of overexposure. The traveler delivered the introductory lecture on Biological Dosimetry: Mechanistic Concepts'' that was intended to provide a framework by which the more applied lectures could be interpreted in a mechanistic way. A second component of the trip was to provide advice with regard to several recent cases of overexposure that had been or were being assessed by the Radiopathology and Radiotherapy Department of the Hospital General Gregorio Maranon'' in Madrid. The traveler had provided information on several of these, and had analyzed cells from some exposed or purportedly exposed individuals. The members of the biological dosimetry group were referred to individuals at REACTS at Oak Ridge Associated Universities for advice on follow-up treatment.

  18. 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.

  19. Choosing diverse sets of plausible scenarios in multidimensional exploratory futures techniques

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lord, Steven; Helfgott, Ariella; Vervoort, Joost M.

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Morphological analysis allows any number of dimensions to be retained when framing future conditions, and techniques within morphological analysis determine which combinations of those dimensions represent plausible futures. However, even a relatively low number of dimensions in future cond

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Green, Sara; Serban, Maria; Scholl, Raphael;

    2017-01-01

    The increasing application of network models to interpret biological systems raises a number of important methodological and epistemological questions. What novel insights can network analysis provide in biology? Are network approaches an extension of or in conflict with mechanistic research...

  1. 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.

  2. Exploring apposite therapeutic target for apoptosis in filarial parasite: a plausible hypothesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hande, Sneha; Goswami, Kalyan; Jena, Lingaraj; Reddy, Maryada Venkata Rami

    2014-03-01

    Human lymphatic filariasis is a parasitic disease with profound socioeconomic encumbrance owing to its associated disability, affecting predominantly but not limited to the developing nations of tropics and subtropics. There are several technical issues like poor therapeutic and preventive repertoire as well as administrative and infrastructural limitations which jeopardize the salvage measures and further complicate the plight. Therefore, considering the gravity of the problem, WHO has mandated (under tropical disease research scheme) for placing emphasis on validation of novel therapeutic targets against this disease with the unfortunate tag of 'neglected tropical disease'. However, dearth of knowledge of parasite biology viciously coupled with difficulty of access to parasitic material from suitable animal model along with growing cost burden of high end research poses formidable challenge. Based on the recent research evidences, here we propose a premise with targeted apoptotic impact as a novel rationale to be exploited towards anti-parasitic drug development. The new era of bioinformatics ushers in new optimism with a wide range of genomic and proteomic database in public domain. Such platform might offer wonders for drug research, but needs highly selective criterion specificity. In order to test our hypothesis presumptively, we deployed a scheme for identification of target proteins from filarial parasitic origin through wide database search with precise criteria of non-homology against the host along with functional essentiality for the parasite. Further screening for proteins with growth potential from such list of essential non-homologous proteins was undertaken to mine out suitable representative target for ensuing apoptotic impact though effective inhibitors. A unique protein enzyme, RNA dependent RNA polymerase, which besides its vital role in RNA virus is believed to have regulatory role in gene expression, emerged as a plausible target. This protein

  3. 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.

  4. The semiosis of prayer and the creation of plausible fictional worlds

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Peter Södergård

    1999-01-01

    Full Text Available Prayer and incantation can perhaps be said to be 'mechanisms' that promise that lack will be liquidated and that there is an unlimited signator, a father, or some other metaphysical creature, standing behind and legitimizing the discourse. A way of communicating with the Unlimited that is privileged by an interpretive community that read the prayers aloud and enacted the magical stage-scripts. These highly overlapping categories function as one of the most common subforms of religious discourse for the creation, actualization and maintenance of plausible fictional worlds. They are liminal and transitional mechanisms that manipulate an empirical reader to phase-shift from an actual world to a plausible, by being inscribed in a possible and fictional world, thus creating a model reader, that perceives and acts according to the plausible world outlined by a given interpretive community, and that hears god talking in voces magicae and in god-speaking silence.

  5. Inference and Plausible Reasoning in a Natural Language Understanding System Based on Object-Oriented Semantics

    CERN Document Server

    Ostapov, Yuriy

    2012-01-01

    Algorithms of inference in a computer system oriented to input and semantic processing of text information are presented. Such inference is necessary for logical questions when the direct comparison of objects from a question and database can not give a result. The following classes of problems are considered: a check of hypotheses for persons and non-typical actions, the determination of persons and circumstances for non-typical actions, planning actions, the determination of event cause and state of persons. To form an answer both deduction and plausible reasoning are used. As a knowledge domain under consideration is social behavior of persons, plausible reasoning is based on laws of social psychology. Proposed algorithms of inference and plausible reasoning can be realized in computer systems closely connected with text processing (criminology, operation of business, medicine, document systems).

  6. Don't Plan for the Unexpected: Planning Based on Plausibility Models

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersen, Mikkel Birkegaard; Bolander, Thomas; Jensen, Martin Holm

    2015-01-01

    We present a framework for automated planning based on plausibility models, as well as algorithms for computing plans in this framework. Our plausibility models include postconditions, as ontic effects are essential for most planning purposes. The framework presented extends a previously developed...... framework based on dynamic epistemic logic (DEL), without plausibilities/beliefs. In the pure epistemic framework, one can distinguish between strong and weak epistemic plans for achieving some, possibly epistemic, goal. By taking all possible outcomes of actions into account, a strong plan guarantees...... that the agent achieves this goal. Conversely, a weak plan promises only the possibility of leading to the goal. In real-life planning scenarios where the planning agent is faced with a high degree of uncertainty and an almost endless number of possible exogenous events, strong epistemic planning...

  7. Mechanistic models in computational social science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holme, Petter; Liljeros, Fredrik

    2015-09-01

    Quantitative social science is not only about regression analysis or, in general, data inference. Computer simulations of social mechanisms have an over 60 years long history. They have been used for many different purposes—to test scenarios, to test the consistency of descriptive theories (proof-of-concept models), to explore emergent phenomena, for forecasting, etc. In this essay, we sketch these historical developments, the role of mechanistic models in the social sciences and the influences from the natural and formal sciences. We argue that mechanistic computational models form a natural common ground for social and natural sciences, and look forward to possible future information flow across the social-natural divide.

  8. Mechanistic Models in Computational Social Science

    CERN Document Server

    Holme, Petter

    2015-01-01

    Quantitative social science is not only about regression analysis or, in general, data inference. Computer simulations of social mechanisms have an over 60 years long history. They have been used for many different purposes -- to test scenarios, to test the consistency of descriptive theories (proof-of-concept models), to explore emerging phenomena, for forecasting, etc. In this essay, we sketch these historical developments, the role of mechanistic models in the social sciences and the influences from natural and formal sciences. We argue that mechanistic computational models form a natural common ground for social and natural sciences, and look forward to possible future information flow across the social-natural divide.

  9. Exploring Organic Mechanistic Puzzles with Molecular Modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horowitz, Gail; Schwartz, Gary

    2004-01-01

    The molecular modeling was used to reinforce more general skills such as deducing and drawing reaction mechanisms, analyzing reaction kinetics and thermodynamics and drawing reaction coordinate energy diagrams. This modeling was done through the design of mechanistic puzzles, involving reactions not familiar to the students.

  10. Plausible Explanation of Quantization of Intrinsic Redshift from Hall Effect and Weyl Quantization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Smarandache F.

    2006-10-01

    Full Text Available Using phion condensate model as described by Moffat [1], we consider a plausible explanation of (Tifft intrinsic redshift quantization as described by Bell [6] as result of Hall effect in rotating frame. We also discuss another alternative to explain redshift quantization from the viewpoint of Weyl quantization, which could yield Bohr- Sommerfeld quantization.

  11. “合情推理”辨析%Analysis of Plausible Reasoning

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    连四清; 方运加

    2012-01-01

    波利亚的“合情推理”模式引进我国数学课程标准后,就成了我国数学教育研究的关键词。然而,“合情推理”的科学性尚需考证:(1)它的中文意义不明确;(2)它不满足推理模式的客观性要求,存在明显的缺陷;(3)过分强调“合情推理模式”则是过分强调归纳推理和演绎推理的区别,容易割裂它们之间的关系。%After the model of "plausible inference" being introduced into the mathematics curriculum standards, it became a key word of the research on mathematics education in China. However, there are doubts on whether it is scientific. (1) Chinese meaning of plausible inference is ambiguous. (2) The plausible inference can not meet the objective requirement of the reasoning, which has obvious defects. (3) Overemphasizing the model of plausible inference would overemphasize the difference between deductive inference and inductive inference, and would dispart them.

  12. 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…

  13. From bone to plausible bipedal locomotion. Part II: Complete motion synthesis for bipedal primates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nicolas, Guillaume; Multon, Franck; Berillon, Gilles

    2009-05-29

    This paper addresses the problem of synthesizing plausible bipedal locomotion according to 3D anatomical reconstruction and general hypotheses on human motion control strategies. In a previous paper [Nicolas, G., Multon, F., Berillon, G., Marchal, F., 2007. From bone to plausible bipedal locomotion using inverse kinematics. Journal of Biomechanics 40 (5) 1048-1057], we have validated a method based on using inverse kinematics to obtain plausible lower-limb motions knowing the trajectory of the ankle. In this paper, we propose a more general approach that also involves computing a plausible trajectory of the ankles for a given skeleton. The inputs are the anatomical descriptions of the bipedal species, imposed footprints and a rest posture. This process is based on optimizing a reference ankle trajectory until a set of criteria is minimized. This optimization loop is based on the assumption that a plausible motion is supposed to have little internal mechanical work and should be as less jerky as possible. For each tested ankle trajectory, inverse kinematics is used to compute a lower-body motion that enables us to compute the resulting mechanical work and jerk. This method was tested on a set of modern humans (male and female, with various anthropometric properties). We show that the results obtained with this method are close to experimental data for most of the subjects. We also demonstrate that the method is not sensitive to the choice of the reference ankle trajectory; any ankle trajectory leads to very similar result. We finally apply the method to a skeleton of Pan paniscus (Bonobo), and compare the resulting motion to those described by zoologists.

  14. Obesity, energy balance, and cancer: a mechanistic perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hursting, Stephen D

    2014-01-01

    Nearly 36 % of adults and 20 % of children in the USA are obese, defined as a body mass index (BMI) ≥30 kg/m(2). Obesity, which is accompanied by metabolic dysregulation often manifesting in the metabolic syndrome, is an established risk factor for many cancers. Within the growth-promoting, proinflammatory environment of the obese state, cross talk between macrophages, adipocytes, and epithelial cells occurs via obesity-associated hormones, cytokines, and other mediators that may enhance cancer risk and/or progression. This chapter synthesizes the evidence on key biological mechanisms underlying the obesity-cancer link, with particular emphasis on obesity-associated enhancements in growth factor signaling, inflammation, and vascular integrity processes, as well as obesity-dependent microenvironmental perturbations, including the epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition. These interrelated pathways represent possible mechanistic targets for disrupting the obesity-cancer link.

  15. Mechanistic fracture criteria for the failure of human cortical bone

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nalla, Ravi K.; Kinney, John H.; Ritchie, Robert O.

    2002-12-13

    A mechanistic understanding of fracture in human bone is critical to predicting fracture risk associated with age and disease. Despite extensive work, a mechanistic framework for describing how the underlying microstructure affects the failure mode in bone is lacking.

  16. Mechanistic models in computational social science

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Petter eHolme

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Quantitative social science is not only about regression analysis or, in general, data inference. Computer simulations of social mechanisms have an over 60 years long history. They have been used for many different purposes—to test scenarios, to test the consistency of descriptive theories (proof-of-concept models, to explore emergent phenomena, for forecasting, etc. In this essay, we sketch these historical developments, the role of mechanistic models in the social sciences and the influences from the natural and formal sciences. We argue that mechanistic computational models form a natural common ground for social and natural sciences, and look forward to possible future information flow across the social-natural divide.

  17. Mechanistic models in computational social science

    OpenAIRE

    Petter eHolme; Fredrik eLiljeros

    2015-01-01

    Quantitative social science is not only about regression analysis or, in general, data inference. Computer simulations of social mechanisms have an over 60 years long history. They have been used for many different purposes—to test scenarios, to test the consistency of descriptive theories (proof-of-concept models), to explore emergent phenomena, for forecasting, etc. In this essay, we sketch these historical developments, the role of mechanistic models in the social sciences and the influenc...

  18. Mechanistic models in computational social science

    OpenAIRE

    Holme, Petter; Liljeros, Fredrik

    2015-01-01

    Quantitative social science is not only about regression analysis or, in general, data inference. Computer simulations of social mechanisms have an over 60 years long history. They have been used for many different purposes -- to test scenarios, to test the consistency of descriptive theories (proof-of-concept models), to explore emergent phenomena, for forecasting, etc. In this essay, we sketch these historical developments, the role of mechanistic models in the social sciences and the influ...

  19. Tear gas: an epidemiological and mechanistic reassessment

    OpenAIRE

    Rothenberg, Craig; Achanta, Satyanarayana; Svendsen, Erik R.; Jordt, Sven‐Eric

    2016-01-01

    Deployments of tear gas and pepper spray have rapidly increased worldwide. Large amounts of tear gas have been used in densely populated cities, including Cairo, Istanbul, Rio de Janeiro, Manama (Bahrain), and Hong Kong. In the United States, tear gas was used extensively during recent riots in Ferguson, Missouri. Whereas tear gas deployment systems have rapidly improved—with aerial drone systems tested and requested by law enforcement—epidemiological and mechanistic research have lagged behi...

  20. Identifying plausible genetic models based on association and linkage results: application to type 2 diabetes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guan, Weihua; Boehnke, Michael; Pluzhnikov, Anna; Cox, Nancy J; Scott, Laura J

    2012-12-01

    When planning resequencing studies for complex diseases, previous association and linkage studies can constrain the range of plausible genetic models for a given locus. Here, we explore the combinations of causal risk allele frequency (RAFC ) and genotype relative risk (GRRC ) consistent with no or limited evidence for affected sibling pair (ASP) linkage and strong evidence for case-control association. We find that significant evidence for case-control association combined with no or moderate evidence for ASP linkage can define a lower bound for the plausible RAFC . Using data from large type 2 diabetes (T2D) linkage and genome-wide association study meta-analyses, we find that under reasonable model assumptions, 23 of 36 autosomal T2D risk loci are unlikely to be due to causal variants with combined RAFC < 0.005, and four of the 23 are unlikely to be due to causal variants with combined RAFC < 0.05.

  1. Acquiring Plausible Predications from MEDLINE by Clustering MeSH Annotations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miñarro-Giménez, Jose Antonio; Kreuzthaler, Markus; Bernhardt-Melischnig, Johannes; Martínez-Costa, Catalina; Schulz, Stefan

    2015-01-01

    The massive accumulation of biomedical knowledge is reflected by the growth of the literature database MEDLINE with over 23 million bibliographic records. All records are manually indexed by MeSH descriptors, many of them refined by MeSH subheadings. We use subheading information to cluster types of MeSH descriptor co-occurrences in MEDLINE by processing co-occurrence information provided by the UMLS. The goal is to infer plausible predicates to each resulting cluster. In an initial experiment this was done by grouping disease-pharmacologic substance co-occurrences into six clusters. Then, a domain expert manually performed the assignment of meaningful predicates to the clusters. The mean accuracy of the best ten generated biomedical facts of each cluster was 85%. This result supports the evidence of the potential of MeSH subheadings for extracting plausible medical predications from MEDLINE.

  2. Spelling in oral deaf and hearing dyslexic children: A comparison of phonologically plausible errors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roy, P; Shergold, Z; Kyle, F E; Herman, R

    2014-11-01

    A written single word spelling to dictation test and a single word reading test were given to 68 severe-profoundly oral deaf 10-11-year-old children and 20 hearing children with a diagnosis of dyslexia. The literacy scores of the deaf children and the hearing children with dyslexia were lower than expected for children of their age and did not differ from each other. Three quarters of the spelling errors of hearing children with dyslexia compared with just over half the errors of the oral deaf group were phonologically plausible. Expressive vocabulary and speech intelligibility predicted the percentage of phonologically plausible errors in the deaf group only. Implications of findings for the phonological decoding self-teaching model and for supporting literacy development are discussed.

  3. 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.

  4. On the plausible association between environmental conditions and human eye damage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feretis, Elias; Theodorakopoulos, Panagiotis; Varotsos, Costas; Efstathiou, Maria; Tzanis, Christos; Xirou, Tzina; Alexandridou, Nancy; Aggelou, Michael

    2002-01-01

    The increase in solar ultraviolet radiation can have various direct and indirect effects on human health, like the incidence of ocular damage. Data of eye damage in residents of three suburban regions in Greece and in two groups of monks/nuns and fishermen are examined here. The statistics performed on these data provides new information about the plausible association between increased levels of solar ultraviolet radiation, air-pollution at ground level, and the development of ocular defects.

  5. Families of Plausible Solutions to the Puzzle of Boyajian’s Star

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wright, Jason T.; Sigurdsson, Steinn

    2016-09-01

    Good explanations for the unusual light curve of Boyajian's Star have been hard to find. Recent results by Montet & Simon lend strength and plausibility to the conclusion of Schaefer that in addition to short-term dimmings, the star also experiences large, secular decreases in brightness on decadal timescales. This, combined with a lack of long-wavelength excess in the star's spectral energy distribution, strongly constrains scenarios involving circumstellar material, including hypotheses invoking a spherical cloud of artifacts. We show that the timings of the deepest dimmings appear consistent with being randomly distributed, and that the star's reddening and narrow sodium absorption is consistent with the total, long-term dimming observed. Following Montet & Simon's encouragement to generate alternative hypotheses, we attempt to circumscribe the space of possible explanations with a range of plausibilities, including: a cloud in the outer solar system, structure in the interstellar medium (ISM), natural and artificial material orbiting Boyajian's Star, an intervening object with a large disk, and variations in Boyajian's Star itself. We find the ISM and intervening disk models more plausible than the other natural models.

  6. What happened (and what didn't): Discourse constraints on encoding of plausible alternatives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fraundorf, Scott H; Benjamin, Aaron S; Watson, Duane G

    2013-10-01

    Three experiments investigated how font emphasis influences reading and remembering discourse. Although past work suggests that contrastive pitch contours benefit memory by promoting encoding of salient alternatives, it is unclear both whether this effect generalizes to other forms of linguistic prominence and how the set of alternatives is constrained. Participants read discourses in which some true propositions had salient alternatives (e.g., British scientists found the endangered monkey when the discourse also mentioned French scientists) and completed a recognition memory test. In Experiments 1 and 2, font emphasis in the initial presentation increased participants' ability to later reject false statements about salient alternatives but not about unmentioned items (e.g., Portuguese scientists). In Experiment 3, font emphasis helped reject false statements about plausible alternatives, but not about less plausible alternatives that were nevertheless established in the discourse. These results suggest readers encode a narrow set of only those alternatives plausible in the particular discourse. They also indicate that multiple manipulations of linguistic prominence, not just prosody, can lead to consideration of alternatives.

  7. Analysis of multi-domain hypothetical proteins containing iron-sulphur clusters and fad ligands reveal rieske dioxygenase activity suggesting their plausible roles in bioremediation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sathyanarayanan, Nitish; Nagendra, Holenarasipur Gundurao

    2012-01-01

    'Conserved hypothetical' proteins pose a challenge not just for functional genomics, but also to biology in general. As long as there are hundreds of conserved proteins with unknown function in model organisms such as Escherichia coli, Bacillus subtilis or Saccharomyces cerevisiae, any discussion towards a 'complete' understanding of these biological systems will remain a wishful thinking. Insilico approaches exhibit great promise towards attempts that enable appreciating the plausible roles of these hypothetical proteins. Among the majority of genomic proteins, two-thirds in unicellular organisms and more than 80% in metazoa, are multi-domain proteins, created as a result of gene duplication events. Aromatic ring-hydroxylating dioxygenases, also called Rieske dioxygenases (RDOs), are class of multi-domain proteins that catalyze the initial step in microbial aerobic degradation of many aromatic compounds. Investigations here address the computational characterization of hypothetical proteins containing Ferredoxin and Flavodoxin signatures. Consensus sequence of each class of oxidoreductase was obtained by a phylogenetic analysis, involving clustering methods based on evolutionary relationship. A synthetic sequence was developed by combining the consensus, which was used as the basis to search for their homologs via BLAST. The exercise yielded 129 multidomain hypothetical proteins containing both 2Fe-2S (Ferredoxin) and FNR (Flavodoxin) domains. In the current study, 40 proteins with N-terminus 2Fe-2S domain and C-terminus FNR domain are characterized, through homology modelling and docking exercises which suggest dioxygenase activity indicating their plausible roles in degradation of aromatic moieties.

  8. 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.

  9. A mechanistic model of ion-exchange chromatography on polymer fiber stationary phases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winderl, Johannes; Hahn, Tobias; Hubbuch, Jürgen

    2016-12-02

    Fibers are prominent among novel stationary phase supports for preparative chromatography. Several recent studies have highlighted the potential of fiber-based adsorbents for high productivity downstream processing in both batch and continuous mode, but so far the development of these materials and of processes employing these materials has solely been based on experimental data. In this study we assessed whether mechanistic modeling can be performed on fiber-based adsorbents. With a column randomly filled with short cut hydrogel grafted anion exchange fibers, we tested whether tracer, linear gradient elution, and breakthrough data could be reproduced by mechanistic models. Successful modeling was achieved for all of the considered experiments, for both non-retained and retained molecules. For the fibers used in this study the best results were obtained with a transport-dispersive model in combination with a steric mass action isotherm. This approach accurately accounted for the convection and dispersion of non-retained tracers, and the breakthrough and elution behaviors of three different proteins with sizes ranging from 6 to 160kDa were accurately modeled, with simulation results closely resembling the experimental data. The estimated model parameters were plausible both from their physical meaning, and from an analysis of the underlying model assumptions. Parameters were determined within good confidence levels; the average confidence estimate was below 7% for confidence levels of 95%. This shows that fiber-based adsorbents can be modeled mechanistically, which will be valuable for the future design and evaluation of these novel materials and for the development of processes employing such materials.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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....... The simple hydrocarbon flames are dominated by a series of hydrocarbonic ions and, to a minor extent, protonated oxo-compounds. The introduction of sulfur to the flames leads to significant changes in the ion composition, as sulfur-containing species become dominant. The ability of the technique to study...

  13. Understanding Karma Police: The Perceived Plausibility of Noun Compounds as Predicted by Distributional Models of Semantic Representation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Günther, Fritz; Marelli, Marco

    2016-01-01

    Noun compounds, consisting of two nouns (the head and the modifier) that are combined into a single concept, differ in terms of their plausibility: school bus is a more plausible compound than saddle olive. The present study investigates which factors influence the plausibility of attested and novel noun compounds. Distributional Semantic Models (DSMs) are used to obtain formal (vector) representations of word meanings, and compositional methods in DSMs are employed to obtain such representations for noun compounds. From these representations, different plausibility measures are computed. Three of those measures contribute in predicting the plausibility of noun compounds: The relatedness between the meaning of the head noun and the compound (Head Proximity), the relatedness between the meaning of modifier noun and the compound (Modifier Proximity), and the similarity between the head noun and the modifier noun (Constituent Similarity). We find non-linear interactions between Head Proximity and Modifier Proximity, as well as between Modifier Proximity and Constituent Similarity. Furthermore, Constituent Similarity interacts non-linearly with the familiarity with the compound. These results suggest that a compound is perceived as more plausible if it can be categorized as an instance of the category denoted by the head noun, if the contribution of the modifier to the compound meaning is clear but not redundant, and if the constituents are sufficiently similar in cases where this contribution is not clear. Furthermore, compounds are perceived to be more plausible if they are more familiar, but mostly for cases where the relation between the constituents is less clear. PMID:27732599

  14. Exploring discrepancies between quantitative validation results and the geomorphic plausibility of statistical landslide susceptibility maps

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steger, Stefan; Brenning, Alexander; Bell, Rainer; Petschko, Helene; Glade, Thomas

    2016-06-01

    Empirical models are frequently applied to produce landslide susceptibility maps for large areas. Subsequent quantitative validation results are routinely used as the primary criteria to infer the validity and applicability of the final maps or to select one of several models. This study hypothesizes that such direct deductions can be misleading. The main objective was to explore discrepancies between the predictive performance of a landslide susceptibility model and the geomorphic plausibility of subsequent landslide susceptibility maps while a particular emphasis was placed on the influence of incomplete landslide inventories on modelling and validation results. The study was conducted within the Flysch Zone of Lower Austria (1,354 km2) which is known to be highly susceptible to landslides of the slide-type movement. Sixteen susceptibility models were generated by applying two statistical classifiers (logistic regression and generalized additive model) and two machine learning techniques (random forest and support vector machine) separately for two landslide inventories of differing completeness and two predictor sets. The results were validated quantitatively by estimating the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUROC) with single holdout and spatial cross-validation technique. The heuristic evaluation of the geomorphic plausibility of the final results was supported by findings of an exploratory data analysis, an estimation of odds ratios and an evaluation of the spatial structure of the final maps. The results showed that maps generated by different inventories, classifiers and predictors appeared differently while holdout validation revealed similar high predictive performances. Spatial cross-validation proved useful to expose spatially varying inconsistencies of the modelling results while additionally providing evidence for slightly overfitted machine learning-based models. However, the highest predictive performances were obtained for

  15. A Novel Discovery of Growth Process for Ag Nanowires and Plausible Mechanism

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jiejun Zhu

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available A novel growth process of silver nanowires was revealed by tracing the morphology evolution of Ag nanostructures fabricated by an improved polyol process. A mixture of Ag nanowires and nanoparticles was obtained with the usage of PVP-K25 (MW = 38,000. The products sampled at different reaction time were studied in detail using UV-visible absorption spectra and transmission electron microscopy (TEM. An interesting phenomenon unknown in the past was observed where Ag nanoparticles undergo an important dissolution-recrystallization process and Ag nanowires are formed at the expense of the preformed Ag nanoparticles. A plausible novel growth mechanism for the silver nanowires was proposed.

  16. The Mechanistic Approach to Psychiatric Classification

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elisabetta Sirgiovanni

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available A Kuhnian reformulation of the recent debate in psychiatric nosography suggested that the current psychiatric classification system (the DSM is in crisis and that a sort of paradigm shift is awaited (Aragona, 2009. Among possible revolutionary alternatives, the proposed fi ve-axes etiopathogenetic taxonomy (Charney et al., 2002 emphasizes the primacy of the genotype over the phenomenological level as the relevant basis for psychiatric nosography. Such a position is along the lines of the micro-reductionist perspective of E. Kandel (1998, 1999, which sees mental disorders reducible to explanations at a fundamental epistemic level of genes and neurotransmitters. This form of micro-reductionism has been criticized as a form of genetic-molecular fundamentalism (e.g. Murphy, 2006 and a multi-level approach, in the form of the burgeoning Cognitive Neuropsychiatry, was proposed. This article focuses on multi-level mechanistic explanations, coming from Cognitive Science, as a possible alternative etiopathogenetic basis for psychiatric classification. The idea of a mechanistic approach to psychiatric taxonomy is here defended on the basis of a better conception of levels and causality. Nevertheless some critical remarks of Mechanism as a psychiatric general view are also offered.

  17. Tear gas: an epidemiological and mechanistic reassessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rothenberg, Craig; Achanta, Satyanarayana; Svendsen, Erik R; Jordt, Sven-Eric

    2016-08-01

    Deployments of tear gas and pepper spray have rapidly increased worldwide. Large amounts of tear gas have been used in densely populated cities, including Cairo, Istanbul, Rio de Janeiro, Manama (Bahrain), and Hong Kong. In the United States, tear gas was used extensively during recent riots in Ferguson, Missouri. Whereas tear gas deployment systems have rapidly improved-with aerial drone systems tested and requested by law enforcement-epidemiological and mechanistic research have lagged behind and have received little attention. Case studies and recent epidemiological studies revealed that tear gas agents can cause lung, cutaneous, and ocular injuries, with individuals affected by chronic morbidities at high risk for complications. Mechanistic studies identified the ion channels TRPV1 and TRPA1 as targets of capsaicin in pepper spray, and of the tear gas agents chloroacetophenone, CS, and CR. TRPV1 and TRPA1 localize to pain-sensing peripheral sensory neurons and have been linked to acute and chronic pain, cough, asthma, lung injury, dermatitis, itch, and neurodegeneration. In animal models, transient receptor potential inhibitors show promising effects as potential countermeasures against tear gas injuries. On the basis of the available data, a reassessment of the health risks of tear gas exposures in the civilian population is advised, and development of new countermeasures is proposed.

  18. Tear gas: an epidemiological and mechanistic reassessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rothenberg, Craig; Achanta, Satyanarayana; Svendsen, Erik R.

    2016-01-01

    Deployments of tear gas and pepper spray have rapidly increased worldwide. Large amounts of tear gas have been used in densely populated cities, including Cairo, Istanbul, Rio de Janeiro, Manama (Bahrain), and Hong Kong. In the United States, tear gas was used extensively during recent riots in Ferguson, Missouri. Whereas tear gas deployment systems have rapidly improved—with aerial drone systems tested and requested by law enforcement—epidemiological and mechanistic research have lagged behind and have received little attention. Case studies and recent epidemiological studies revealed that tear gas agents can cause lung, cutaneous, and ocular injuries, with individuals affected by chronic morbidities at high risk for complications. Mechanistic studies identified the ion channels TRPV1 and TRPA1 as targets of capsaicin in pepper spray, and of the tear gas agents chloroacetophenone, CS, and CR. TRPV1 and TRPA1 localize to pain‐sensing peripheral sensory neurons and have been linked to acute and chronic pain, cough, asthma, lung injury, dermatitis, itch, and neurodegeneration. In animal models, transient receptor potential inhibitors show promising effects as potential countermeasures against tear gas injuries. On the basis of the available data, a reassessment of the health risks of tear gas exposures in the civilian population is advised, and development of new countermeasures is proposed. PMID:27391380

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pers, Tune H; Timshel, Pascal; Ripke, Stephan; Lent, Samantha; Sullivan, Patrick F; O'Donovan, Michael C; Franke, Lude; Hirschhorn, Joel N

    2016-03-15

    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 approach, we show that genes in associated loci: (1) are highly expressed in cortical brain areas; (2) are enriched for ion channel pathways (false discovery rates genes that are functionally related to each other and hence represent promising candidates for experimental follow up. We validate the relevance of the prioritized genes by showing that they are enriched for rare disruptive variants and de novo variants from schizophrenia sequencing studies (odds ratio 1.67, P = 0.039), and are enriched for genes encoding members of mouse and human postsynaptic density proteomes (odds ratio 4.56, P = 5.00 × 10(-4); odds ratio 2.60, P = 0.049).The authors wish it to be known that, in their opinion, the first 2 authors should be regarded as joint First Author.

  20. 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 approach...... validate the relevance of the prioritized genes by showing that they are enriched for rare disruptive variants and de novo variants from schizophrenia sequencing studies (odds ratio 1.67, P=0.039), and are enriched for genes encoding members of mouse and human postsynaptic density proteomes (odds ratio 4......, we show that genes in associated loci: (1) are highly expressed in cortical brain areas; (2) are enriched for ion channel pathways (false discovery ratesgenes that are functionally related to each other and hence represent promising candidates for experimental follow up. We...

  1. Emergent structured transition from variation to repetition in a biologically-plausible model of learning in basal ganglia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ashvin eShah

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Often, when animals encounter an unexpected sensory event, they transition from executing a variety of movements to repeating the movement(s that may have caused the event. According to a recent theory of action discovery (Redgrave and Gurney 2006, repetition allows the animal to represent those movements, and the outcome, as an action for later recruitment. The transition from variation to repetition often follows a non-random, structured, pattern. While the structure of the pattern can be explained by sophisticated cognitive mechanisms, simpler mechanisms based on dopaminergic modulation of basal ganglia (BG activity are thought to underlie action discovery (Redgrave and Gurney 2006. In this paper we ask the question: can simple BG-mediated mechanisms account for a structured transition from variation to repetition, or are more sophisticated cognitive mechanisms always necessary?To address this question, we present a computational model of BG-mediated biasing of behavior. In our model, unlike most other models of BG function, the BG biases behaviour through modulation of cortical response to excitation; many possible movements are represented by the cortical area; and excitation to the cortical area is topographically-organized. We subject the model to simple reaching tasks, inspired by behavioral studies, in which a location to which to reach must be selected. Locations within a target area elicit a reinforcement signal. A structured transition from variation to repetition emerges from simple BG-mediated biasing of cortical response to excitation. We show how the structured pattern influences behavior in simple and complicated tasks. We also present analyses that describe the structured transition from variation to repetition due to BG-mediated biasing and from biasing that would be expected from a type of cognitive biasing, allowing us to compare behaviour resulting from these types of biasing and make connections with future behavioural experiments.

  2. 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.

  3. Self-assembly of phosphate amphiphiles in mixtures of prebiotically plausible surfactants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Albertsen, A N; Duffy, C D; Sutherland, J D; Monnard, P-A

    2014-06-01

    The spontaneous formation of closed bilayer structures from prebiotically plausible amphiphiles is an essential requirement for the emergence of early cells on prebiotic Earth. The sources of amphiphiles could have been both endo- and exogenous (accretion of meteorite carbonaceous material or interstellar dust particles). Among all prebiotic possible amphiphile candidates, those containing phosphate are the least investigated species because their self-assembly occurs in a seemingly too narrow range of conditions. The self-assembly of simple phosphate amphiphiles should, however, be of great interest, as contemporary membranes predominantly contain phospholipids. In contrast to common expectations, we show that these amphiphiles can be easily synthesized under prebiotically plausible environmental conditions and can efficiently form bilayer structures in the presence of various co-surfactants across a large range of pH values. Vesiculation was even observed in crude reaction mixtures that contained 1-decanol as the amphiphile precursor. The two best co-surfactants promoted vesicle formation over the entire pH range in aqueous solutions. Expanding the pH range where bilayer membranes self-assemble and remain intact is a prerequisite for the emergence of early cell-like compartments and their preservation under fluctuating environmental conditions. These mixed bilayers also retained small charged solutes, such as dyes. These results demonstrate that alkyl phosphate amphiphiles might have played a significant role as early compartment building blocks.

  4. 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.

  5. Mechanistic Modelling of DNA Repair and Cellular Survival Following Radiation-Induced DNA Damage

    Science.gov (United States)

    McMahon, Stephen J.; Schuemann, Jan; Paganetti, Harald; Prise, Kevin M.

    2016-09-01

    Characterising and predicting the effects of ionising radiation on cells remains challenging, with the lack of robust models of the underlying mechanism of radiation responses providing a significant limitation to the development of personalised radiotherapy. In this paper we present a mechanistic model of cellular response to radiation that incorporates the kinetics of different DNA repair processes, the spatial distribution of double strand breaks and the resulting probability and severity of misrepair. This model enables predictions to be made of a range of key biological endpoints (DNA repair kinetics, chromosome aberration and mutation formation, survival) across a range of cell types based on a set of 11 mechanistic fitting parameters that are common across all cells. Applying this model to cellular survival showed its capacity to stratify the radiosensitivity of cells based on aspects of their phenotype and experimental conditions such as cell cycle phase and plating delay (correlation between modelled and observed Mean Inactivation Doses R2 > 0.9). By explicitly incorporating underlying mechanistic factors, this model can integrate knowledge from a wide range of biological studies to provide robust predictions and may act as a foundation for future calculations of individualised radiosensitivity.

  6. 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

  7. Are Mechanistic and Statistical QSAR Approaches Really Different? MLR Studies on 158 Cycloalkyl-Pyranones.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhhatarai, Barun; Garg, Rajni; Gramatica, Paola

    2010-07-12

    Two parallel approaches for quantitative structure-activity relationships (QSAR) are predominant in literature, one guided by mechanistic methods (including read-across) and another by the use of statistical methods. To bridge the gap between these two approaches and to verify their main differences, a comparative study of mechanistically relevant and statistically relevant QSAR models, developed on a case study of 158 cycloalkyl-pyranones, biologically active on inhibition (Ki ) of HIV protease, was performed. Firstly, Multiple Linear Regression (MLR) based models were developed starting from a limited amount of molecular descriptors which were widely proven to have mechanistic interpretation. Then robust and predictive MLR models were developed on the same set using two different statistical approaches unbiased of input descriptors. Development of models based on Statistical I method was guided by stepwise addition of descriptors while Genetic Algorithm based selection of descriptors was used for the Statistical II. Internal validation, the standard error of the estimate, and Fisher's significance test were performed for both the statistical models. In addition, external validation was performed for Statistical II model, and Applicability Domain was verified as normally practiced in this approach. The relationships between the activity and the important descriptors selected in all the models were analyzed and compared. It is concluded that, despite the different type and number of input descriptors, and the applied descriptor selection tools or the algorithms used for developing the final model, the mechanistical and statistical approach are comparable to each other in terms of quality and also for mechanistic interpretability of modelling descriptors. Agreement can be observed between these two approaches and the better result could be a consensus prediction from both the models.

  8. Reaction Coordinates and Mechanistic Hypothesis Tests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peters, Baron

    2016-05-27

    Reaction coordinates are integral to several classic rate theories that can (a) predict kinetic trends across conditions and homologous reactions, (b) extract activation parameters with a clear physical interpretation from experimental rates, and (c) enable efficient calculations of free energy barriers and rates. New trajectory-based rare events methods can provide rates directly from dynamical trajectories without a reaction coordinate. Trajectory-based frameworks can also generate ideal (but abstract) reaction coordinates such as committors and eigenfunctions of the master equation. However, rates and mechanistic insights obtained from trajectory-based methods and abstract coordinates are not readily generalized across simulation conditions or reaction families. We discuss methods for identifying physically meaningful reaction coordinates, including committor analysis, variational transition state theory, Kramers-Langer-Berezhkovskii-Szabo theory, and statistical inference methods that can use path sampling data to screen, mix, and optimize thousands of trial coordinates. Special focus is given to likelihood maximization and inertial likelihood maximization approaches.

  9. Reaction Coordinates and Mechanistic Hypothesis Tests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peters, Baron

    2016-05-01

    Reaction coordinates are integral to several classic rate theories that can (a) predict kinetic trends across conditions and homologous reactions, (b) extract activation parameters with a clear physical interpretation from experimental rates, and (c) enable efficient calculations of free energy barriers and rates. New trajectory-based rare events methods can provide rates directly from dynamical trajectories without a reaction coordinate. Trajectory-based frameworks can also generate ideal (but abstract) reaction coordinates such as committors and eigenfunctions of the master equation. However, rates and mechanistic insights obtained from trajectory-based methods and abstract coordinates are not readily generalized across simulation conditions or reaction families. We discuss methods for identifying physically meaningful reaction coordinates, including committor analysis, variational transition state theory, Kramers-Langer-Berezhkovskii-Szabo theory, and statistical inference methods that can use path sampling data to screen, mix, and optimize thousands of trial coordinates. Special focus is given to likelihood maximization and inertial likelihood maximization approaches.

  10. Mechanistic issues in asparagine synthetase catalysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richards, N G; Schuster, S M

    1998-01-01

    The enzymatic synthesis of asparagine is an ATP-dependent process that utilizes the nitrogen atom derived from either glutamine or ammonia. Despite a long history of kinetic and mechanistic investigation, there is no universally accepted catalytic mechanism for this seemingly straightforward carboxyl group activating enzyme, especially as regards those steps immediately preceding amide bond formation. This chapter considers four issues dealing with the mechanism: (a) the structural organization of the active site(s) partaking in glutamine utilization and aspartate activation; (b) the relationship of asparagine synthetase to other amidotransferases; (c) the way in which ATP is used to activate the beta-carboxyl group; and (d) the detailed mechanism by which nitrogen is transferred.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Development and experimental validation of a mechanistic model of in vitro DNA recombination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bowyer, Jack; Jia Zhao; Rosser, Susan; Colloms, Sean; Bates, Declan

    2015-08-01

    Engineering cellular memory is a key area of research in which Synthetic Biology has already begun to make significant impacts. Recent work elucidating transcriptional memory devices has paved the way for the creation of bistable genetic switches based on DNA recombination. Attempts to experimentally design and build synthetic systems using recombinases have thus far been hindered by a lack of validated computational models that capture the mechanistic basis of DNA recombination. The predictive capabilities of such models could be exploited by Synthetic Biologists to reduce the number of iterative cycles required to align experimental results with design performance requirements. Here, we develop and validate the first detailed mechanistic model of DNA recombination, with a focus on how efficiently recombination can occur, and the model features required to replicate and predict experimental data.

  14. 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.

  15. Turix, a dynamic mechanistic model for feed evaluation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luis Manuel Vargas-Villamil

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available The objective of this study was to use the Turix model (a new mechanistic dynamic model that can be used for feed evaluation under tropical conditions, along with in situ and in vitro sugar cane experimental data from a previous study, to evaluate sugar cane kinetics through estimation of three parameters associated with ruminal bacterial growth: kM,SmL, the substrate uptake; kLM, the bacterial growth from intermediate metabolite; and Y VFAP,FS, the products related to volatile fatty acid yield. Values of these parameters for the whole sugar cane and its neutral detergent fiber (NDF and acid detergent fiber (ADF fractions were: a kM, SmL, 16.20, 50.47 and 21.97 mL h-1 (mg M-1 ; b kLM, 96.00, 543.00 and 1,680.00 h-1 ; and, 1.02, 0.40 and 0.23 g g-1 , respectively. Results from the model adjustment showed a slow microbial substrate uptake c Y VFAP, FS and a low biomass yield for whole sugar cane. The highest substrate uptake was obtained for NDF, while the highest biomass yield was obtained for ADF. The interrelation between the parameters kM, SmL showed to be important for biological and Y VFAP, FS description of microorganism growth and VFAP and biomass production.

  16. Mechanistic rationales for targeting interleukin-17A in spondyloarthritis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raychaudhuri, Siba P; Raychaudhuri, Smriti K

    2017-03-08

    The term spondyloarthritis (SpA) is used to describe a group of inflammatory autoimmune diseases, including ankylosing spondylitis and psoriatic arthritis, with common genetic risk factors and clinical features. SpA is clinically distinct from rheumatoid arthritis and typically affects the spine, sacroiliac joints, entheses, and, less commonly, peripheral joints. Although the pathogenesis of SpA is not fully understood, recent findings have identified the interleukin (IL)-17 pathway as a key mediator of disease pathogenesis. Clinical evidence for the efficacy of IL-17A inhibition by biologic agents was initially shown in patients with chronic plaque psoriasis, another autoimmune disease mediated by the IL-17 pathway. Subsequently, similar positive efficacy for inhibition of IL-17A was seen in patients with ankylosing spondylitis and psoriatic arthritis. Inhibition of IL-17A may also improve cardiovascular and metabolic comorbidities often found in patients with SpA because studies have linked these disorders to the IL-17 pathway. In this review, we will examine key preclinical studies that demonstrated the mechanistic role of IL-17A in the development SpA and discuss how these observations were translated into clinical practice.

  17. AIR POLLUTION, INFLAMMATION AND PRETERM BIRTH: A POTENTIAL MECHANISTIC LINK

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vadillo-Ortega, Felipe; Osornio-Vargas, Alvaro; Buxton, Miatta A.; Sánchez, Brisa N.; Rojas-Bracho, Leonora; Viveros-Alcaráz, Martin; Castillo-Castrejón, Marisol; Beltrán-Montoya, Jorge; Brown, Daniel G.; O´Neill, Marie S.

    2014-01-01

    Preterm birth is a public health issue of global significance, which may result in mortality during the perinatal period or may lead to major health and financial consequences due to lifelong impacts. Even though several risk factors for preterm birth have been identified, prevention efforts have failed to halt the increasing rates of preterm birth. Epidemiological studies have identified air pollution as an emerging potential risk factor for preterm birth. However, many studies were limited by study design and inadequate exposure assessment. Due to the ubiquitous nature of ambient air pollution and the potential public health significance of any role in causing preterm birth, a novel focus investigating possible causal mechanisms influenced by air pollution is therefore a global health priority. We hypothesize that air pollution may act together with other biological factors to induce systemic inflammation and influence the duration of pregnancy. Evaluation and testing of this hypothesis is currently being conducted in a prospective cohort study in Mexico City and will provide an understanding of the pathways that mediate the effects of air pollution on preterm birth. The important public health implication is that crucial steps in this mechanistic pathway can potentially be acted on early in pregnancy to reduce the risk of preterm birth. PMID:24382337

  18. A neurophysiologically plausible population code model for feature integration explains visual crowding.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ronald van den Berg

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available An object in the peripheral visual field is more difficult to recognize when surrounded by other objects. This phenomenon is called "crowding". Crowding places a fundamental constraint on human vision that limits performance on numerous tasks. It has been suggested that crowding results from spatial feature integration necessary for object recognition. However, in the absence of convincing models, this theory has remained controversial. Here, we present a quantitative and physiologically plausible model for spatial integration of orientation signals, based on the principles of population coding. Using simulations, we demonstrate that this model coherently accounts for fundamental properties of crowding, including critical spacing, "compulsory averaging", and a foveal-peripheral anisotropy. Moreover, we show that the model predicts increased responses to correlated visual stimuli. Altogether, these results suggest that crowding has little immediate bearing on object recognition but is a by-product of a general, elementary integration mechanism in early vision aimed at improving signal quality.

  19. A neurophysiologically plausible population code model for feature integration explains visual crowding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van den Berg, Ronald; Roerdink, Jos B T M; Cornelissen, Frans W

    2010-01-22

    An object in the peripheral visual field is more difficult to recognize when surrounded by other objects. This phenomenon is called "crowding". Crowding places a fundamental constraint on human vision that limits performance on numerous tasks. It has been suggested that crowding results from spatial feature integration necessary for object recognition. However, in the absence of convincing models, this theory has remained controversial. Here, we present a quantitative and physiologically plausible model for spatial integration of orientation signals, based on the principles of population coding. Using simulations, we demonstrate that this model coherently accounts for fundamental properties of crowding, including critical spacing, "compulsory averaging", and a foveal-peripheral anisotropy. Moreover, we show that the model predicts increased responses to correlated visual stimuli. Altogether, these results suggest that crowding has little immediate bearing on object recognition but is a by-product of a general, elementary integration mechanism in early vision aimed at improving signal quality.

  20. Plausible role of nanoparticle contamination in the synthesis and properties of organic electronic materials

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ananikov, Valentine P.

    2016-12-01

    Traceless transition metal catalysis (Pd, Ni, Cu, etc.) is very difficult to achieve. Metal contamination in the synthesized products is unavoidable and the most important questions are: How to control metal impurities? What amount of metal impurities can be tolerated? What is the influence of metal impurities? In this brief review, the plausible origins of nanoparticle contamination are discussed in the framework of catalytic synthesis of organic electronic materials. Key factors responsible for increasing the probability of contamination are considered from the point of view of catalytic reaction mechanisms. The purity of the catalyst may greatly affect the molecular weight of a polymer, reaction yield, selectivity and several other parameters. Metal contamination in the final polymeric products may induce some changes in the electric conductivity, charge transport properties, photovoltaic performance and other important parameters.

  1. Complex adaptive HIV/AIDS risk reduction: Plausible implications from findings in Limpopo Province, South Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burman, Chris J; Aphane, Marota A

    2016-05-16

    This article emphasises that when working with complex adaptive systems it is possible to stimulate new social practices and/or cognitive perspectives that contribute to risk reduction, associated with reducing aggregate community viral loads. The process of achieving this is highly participatory and is methodologically possible because evidence of 'attractors' that influence the social practices can be identified using qualitative research techniques. Using findings from Limpopo Province, South Africa, we argue that working with 'wellness attractors' and increasing their presence within the HIV/AIDS landscape could influence aggregate community viral loads. While the analysis that is presented is unconventional, it is plausible that this perspective may hold potential to develop a biosocial response - which the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS) has called for - that reinforces the biomedical opportunities that are now available to achieve the ambition of ending AIDS by 2030.

  2. 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.

  3. Oxidation of cefazolin by potassium permanganate: Transformation products and plausible pathways.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Liping; Wei, Dongbin; Wei, Guohua; Du, Yuguo

    2016-04-01

    Cefazolin was demonstrated to exert high reactivity toward permanganate (Mn(VII)), a common oxidant in water pre-oxidation treatment. In this study, five transformation products were found to be classified into three categories according to the contained characteristic functional groups: three (di-)sulfoxide products, one sulfone product and one di-ketone product. Products analyses showed that two kinds of reactions including oxidation of thioether and the cleavage of unsaturated CC double bond occurred during transformation of cefazolin by Mn(VII). Subsequently, the plausible transformation pathways under different pH conditions were proposed based on the identified products and chemical reaction principles. More importantly, the simulation with real surface water matrix indicated that the proposed transformation pathways of cefazolin could be replayed in real water treatment practices.

  4. Plausible authentication of manuka honey and related products by measuring leptosperin with methyl syringate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kato, Yoji; Fujinaka, Rie; Ishisaka, Akari; Nitta, Yoko; Kitamoto, Noritoshi; Takimoto, Yosuke

    2014-07-01

    Manuka honey, obtained from Leptospermum scoparium flowers in New Zealand, has strong antibacterial properties. In this study, plausible authentication of the manuka honey was inspected by measuring leptosperin, methyl syringate 4-O-β-D-gentiobiose, along with methyl syringate. Despite a gradual decrease in methyl syringate content over 30 days at 50 °C, even at moderate 37 °C, leptosperin remained stable. A considerable correlation between nonperoxide antibacterial activity and leptosperin content was observed in 20 certified manuka honey samples. Leptosperin and methyl syringate in manuka honey and related products were analyzed using HPLC connected with mass spectrometry. One noncertified brand displayed significant variations in the leptosperin and methyl syringate contents between two samples obtained from different regions. Therefore, certification is clearly required to protect consumers from disguised and/or low-quality honey. Because leptosperin is stable during storage and specific to manuka honey, its measurement may be applicable for manuka honey authentication.

  5. A plausible simultaneous synthesis of amino acids and simple peptides on the primordial Earth.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parker, Eric T; Zhou, Manshui; Burton, Aaron S; Glavin, Daniel P; Dworkin, Jason P; Krishnamurthy, Ramanarayanan; Fernández, Facundo M; Bada, Jeffrey L

    2014-07-28

    Following his seminal work in 1953, Stanley Miller conducted an experiment in 1958 to study the polymerization of amino acids under simulated early Earth conditions. In the experiment, Miller sparked a gas mixture of CH4, NH3, and H2O, while intermittently adding the plausible prebiotic condensing reagent cyanamide. For unknown reasons, an analysis of the samples was not reported. We analyzed the archived samples for amino acids, dipeptides, and diketopiperazines by liquid chromatography, ion mobility spectrometry, and mass spectrometry. A dozen amino acids, 10 glycine-containing dipeptides, and 3 glycine-containing diketopiperazines were detected. Miller's experiment was repeated and similar polymerization products were observed. Aqueous heating experiments indicate that Strecker synthesis intermediates play a key role in facilitating polymerization. These results highlight the potential importance of condensing reagents in generating diversity within the prebiotic chemical inventory.

  6. 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 .

  7. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marius Hans Raab

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Reptile prime ministers and flying Nazi saucers—extreme and sometimes off-wall conclusion are common 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.

  9. Mechanistic curiosity will not kill the Bayesian cat

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    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 spe

  10. 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...

  11. 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

  12. Mechanistic insights into type III restriction enzymes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raghavendra, Nidhanapati K; Bheemanaik, Shivakumara; Rao, Desirazu N

    2012-01-01

    Type III restriction-modification (R-M) enzymes need to interact with two separate unmethylated DNA sequences in indirectly repeated, head-to-head orientations for efficient cleavage to occur at a defined location next to only one of the two sites. However, cleavage of sites that are not in head-to-head orientation have been observed to occur under certain reaction conditions in vitro. ATP hydrolysis is required for the long-distance communication between the sites prior to cleavage. Type III R-M enzymes comprise two subunits, Res and Mod that form a homodimeric Mod2 and a heterotetrameric Res2Mod2 complex. The Mod subunit in M2 or R2M2 complex recognizes and methylates DNA while the Res subunit in R2M2 complex is responsible for ATP hydrolysis, DNA translocation and cleavage. A vast majority of biochemical studies on Type III R-M enzymes have been undertaken using two closely related enzymes, EcoP1I and EcoP15I. Divergent opinions about how the long-distance interaction between the recognition sites exist and at least three mechanistic models based on 1D- diffusion and/or 3D- DNA looping have been proposed.

  13. Automaticity: Componential, Causal, and Mechanistic Explanations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moors, Agnes

    2016-01-01

    The review first discusses componential explanations of automaticity, which specify non/automaticity features (e.g., un/controlled, un/conscious, non/efficient, fast/slow) and their interrelations. Reframing these features as factors that influence processes (e.g., goals, attention, and time) broadens the range of factors that can be considered (e.g., adding stimulus intensity and representational quality). The evidence reviewed challenges the view of a perfect coherence among goals, attention, and consciousness, and supports the alternative view that (a) these and other factors influence the quality of representations in an additive way (e.g., little time can be compensated by extra attention or extra stimulus intensity) and that (b) a first threshold of this quality is required for unconscious processing and a second threshold for conscious processing. The review closes with a discussion of causal explanations of automaticity, which specify factors involved in automatization such as repetition and complexity, and a discussion of mechanistic explanations, which specify the low-level processes underlying automatization.

  14. Mechanistic aspects in the biogenic synthesis of extracellular metal nanoparticles by peptides, bacteria, fungi, and plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Durán, Nelson; Marcato, Priscyla D; Durán, Marcela; Yadav, Alka; Gade, Aniket; Rai, Mahendra

    2011-06-01

    Metal nanoparticles have been studied and applied in many areas including the biomedical, agricultural, electronic fields, etc. Several products of colloidal silver are already on the market. Research on new, eco-friendly and cheaper methods has been initiated. Biological production of metal nanoparticles has been studied by many researchers due to the convenience of the method that produces small particles stabilized by protein. However, the mechanism involved in this production has not yet been elucidated although hypothetical mechanisms have been proposed in the literature. Thus, this review discusses the various mechanisms provided for the biological synthesis of metal nanoparticles by peptides, bacteria, fungi, and plants. One thing that is clear is that the mechanistic aspects in some of the biological systems need more detailed studies.

  15. Structural neurobiology: missing link to a mechanistic understanding of neural computation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Denk, Winfried; Briggman, Kevin L; Helmstaedter, Moritz

    2012-02-22

    High-resolution, comprehensive structural information is often the final arbiter between competing mechanistic models of biological processes, and can serve as inspiration for new hypotheses. In molecular biology, definitive structural data at atomic resolution are available for many macromolecules; however, information about the structure of the brain is much less complete, both in scope and resolution. Several technical developments over the past decade, such as serial block-face electron microscopy and trans-synaptic viral tracing, have made the structural biology of neural circuits conceivable: we may be able to obtain the structural information needed to reconstruct the network of cellular connections for large parts of, or even an entire, mouse brain within a decade or so. Given that the brain's algorithms are ultimately encoded by this network, knowing where all of these connections are should, at the very least, provide the data needed to distinguish between models of neural computation.

  16. Mechanistic aspects of protein corona formation: insulin adsorption onto gold nanoparticle surfaces

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grass, Stefan; Treuel, Lennart

    2014-02-01

    In biological fluids, an adsorption layer of proteins, a "protein corona" forms around nanoparticles (NPs) largely determining their biological identity. In many interactions with NPs proteins can undergo structural changes. Here, we study the adsorption of insulin onto gold NPs (mean hydrodynamic particle diameter 80 ± 18 nm), focusing on the structural consequences of the adsorption process for the protein. We use surface enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) spectroscopy to study changes in the protein's secondary structure as well as the impact on integrity and conformations of disulfide bonds immediately on the NP surface. A detailed comparison to SERS spectra of cysteine and cystine provides first mechanistic insights into the causes for these conformational changes. Potential biological and toxicological implications of these findings are also discussed.

  17. Emergent global patterns of ecosystem structure and function from a mechanistic general ecosystem model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harfoot, Michael B J; Newbold, Tim; Tittensor, Derek P; Emmott, Stephen; Hutton, Jon; Lyutsarev, Vassily; Smith, Matthew J; Scharlemann, Jörn P W; Purves, Drew W

    2014-04-01

    Anthropogenic activities are causing widespread degradation of ecosystems worldwide, threatening the ecosystem services upon which all human life depends. Improved understanding of this degradation is urgently needed to improve avoidance and mitigation measures. One tool to assist these efforts is predictive models of ecosystem structure and function that are mechanistic: based on fundamental ecological principles. Here we present the first mechanistic General Ecosystem Model (GEM) of ecosystem structure and function that is both global and applies in all terrestrial and marine environments. Functional forms and parameter values were derived from the theoretical and empirical literature where possible. Simulations of the fate of all organisms with body masses between 10 µg and 150,000 kg (a range of 14 orders of magnitude) across the globe led to emergent properties at individual (e.g., growth rate), community (e.g., biomass turnover rates), ecosystem (e.g., trophic pyramids), and macroecological scales (e.g., global patterns of trophic structure) that are in general agreement with current data and theory. These properties emerged from our encoding of the biology of, and interactions among, individual organisms without any direct constraints on the properties themselves. Our results indicate that ecologists have gathered sufficient information to begin to build realistic, global, and mechanistic models of ecosystems, capable of predicting a diverse range of ecosystem properties and their response to human pressures.

  18. Emergent global patterns of ecosystem structure and function from a mechanistic general ecosystem model.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael B J Harfoot

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Anthropogenic activities are causing widespread degradation of ecosystems worldwide, threatening the ecosystem services upon which all human life depends. Improved understanding of this degradation is urgently needed to improve avoidance and mitigation measures. One tool to assist these efforts is predictive models of ecosystem structure and function that are mechanistic: based on fundamental ecological principles. Here we present the first mechanistic General Ecosystem Model (GEM of ecosystem structure and function that is both global and applies in all terrestrial and marine environments. Functional forms and parameter values were derived from the theoretical and empirical literature where possible. Simulations of the fate of all organisms with body masses between 10 µg and 150,000 kg (a range of 14 orders of magnitude across the globe led to emergent properties at individual (e.g., growth rate, community (e.g., biomass turnover rates, ecosystem (e.g., trophic pyramids, and macroecological scales (e.g., global patterns of trophic structure that are in general agreement with current data and theory. These properties emerged from our encoding of the biology of, and interactions among, individual organisms without any direct constraints on the properties themselves. Our results indicate that ecologists have gathered sufficient information to begin to build realistic, global, and mechanistic models of ecosystems, capable of predicting a diverse range of ecosystem properties and their response to human pressures.

  19. Psychiatric Disorders, Morbidity, and Mortality: Tracing Mechanistic Pathways to Accelerated Aging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kiecolt-Glaser, Janice K; Wilson, Stephanie J

    2016-09-01

    A meta-analysis published in this issue of Psychosomatic Medicine provides convincing evidence that certain psychiatric populations have shorter telomeres than nonpsychiatric controls, in accord with the strong evidence linking psychiatric disorders with premature mortality. After addressing the clinical significance of shorter telomeres, this editorial describes mechanistic pathways that lead to telomere shortening. Additionally, two other novel methods for measuring biological markers of accelerated aging are briefly discussed: DNA methylation and cellular senescence based on p16. These innovative approaches could be used to confirm and extend our understanding of psychiatric patients' increased health and mortality risks.

  20. A mechanistic model of hydrogen-methanogen dynamics in the rumen.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Yuancheng; Janssen, Peter H; Lynch, Tammy A; Brunt, Bruce van; Pacheco, David

    2016-03-21

    Existing mathematical models to estimate methane production in the rumen are based on calculation of hydrogen balances without considering the presence of methanogens. In this study, a mechanistic model of methane production is proposed that depicts the interaction between hydrogen concentration and methanogens in the rumen. Analytical results show that it meets biological expectations, namely increased fractional passage rate leads to a greater growth rate of methanogens, and a greater steady state hydrogen concentration. This model provides a basis on which to develop a more comprehensive model of methane production in the rumen that includes thermodynamics and feed fermentation pathways.

  1. 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.

  2. Black tea polyphenols: a mechanistic treatise.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Butt, M S; Imran, A; Sharif, M K; Ahmad, Rabia Shabir; Xiao, Hang; Imran, M; Rsool, H A

    2014-01-01

    Dietary interventions are among the emerging trends to curtail physiological malfunctioning like cancer, diabetes, cardiac complications, etc. The essence of phytonutrients has developed the concept of nutraceuticals at the junction of diet health linkages. In this context, theaflavin & thearubigins are the oxidized derivatives of black tea catechins during fermentation having nutraceutical potential owing to esterification of hydroxyl ring with digallate esters. Theaflavin may influence activation of transcription factors such as NFnB or AP-1 that ultimately hinder the formation of nitric oxide expression gene. Likewise, black tea contains a unique amino acid theanine acts as neurotransmitter owing to its ability to cross the blood-brain barrier. Moreover, it boasts immunity by enhancing the disease-fighting ability of gamma delta T cells. Theaflavin & thearubigins act as safeguard against oxidative stress thereby effective in the cardiac functioning. The mechanistic approach of these antioxidants is likely to be associated with inhibition of redox sensitive transcription factors & pro-oxidant enzymes such as xanthine oxidase or nitric oxide synthase. However, their involvement in antioxidative enzyme induction as in glutathione-S-transferases is also well documented. They act as curative agent against numerous pathological disorders by disrupting the electron chain thus inhibiting the progression of certain ailments. Black tea polyphenols established themselves as strong antioxidants due to their standard one-electron potential, and their vitality is dependent on the concentration of polyphenols and pH for their inclusive execution. Present review is an attempt to enrich the readers regarding the health promoting aspects of black tea polyphenols. Concomitantly, it needs core attention of researchers for the exploitations of black tea flavanols as an important dietary constituent for the vulnerable segment.

  3. 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.

  4. From ether to acid: A plausible degradation pathway of glycerol dialkyl glycerol tetraethers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Xiao-Lei; Birgel, Daniel; Elling, Felix J.; Sutton, Paul A.; Lipp, Julius S.; Zhu, Rong; Zhang, Chuanlun; Könneke, Martin; Peckmann, Jörn; Rowland, Steven J.; Summons, Roger E.; Hinrichs, Kai-Uwe

    2016-06-01

    Glycerol dialkyl glycerol tetraethers (GDGTs) are ubiquitous microbial lipids with extensive demonstrated and potential roles as paleoenvironmental proxies. Despite the great attention they receive, comparatively little is known regarding their diagenetic fate. Putative degradation products of GDGTs, identified as hydroxyl and carboxyl derivatives, were detected in lipid extracts of marine sediment, seep carbonate, hot spring sediment and cells of the marine thaumarchaeon Nitrosopumilus maritimus. The distribution of GDGT degradation products in environmental samples suggests that both biotic and abiotic processes act as sinks for GDGTs. More than a hundred newly recognized degradation products afford a view of the stepwise degradation of GDGT via (1) ether bond hydrolysis yielding hydroxyl isoprenoids, namely, GDGTol (glycerol dialkyl glycerol triether alcohol), GMGD (glycerol monobiphytanyl glycerol diether), GDD (glycerol dibiphytanol diether), GMM (glycerol monobiphytanol monoether) and bpdiol (biphytanic diol); (2) oxidation of isoprenoidal alcohols into corresponding carboxyl derivatives and (3) chain shortening to yield C39 and smaller isoprenoids. This plausible GDGT degradation pathway from glycerol ethers to isoprenoidal fatty acids provides the link to commonly detected head-to-head linked long chain isoprenoidal hydrocarbons in petroleum and sediment samples. The problematic C80 to C82 tetraacids that cause naphthenate deposits in some oil production facilities can be generated from H-shaped glycerol monoalkyl glycerol tetraethers (GMGTs) following the same process, as indicated by the distribution of related derivatives in hydrothermally influenced sediments.

  5. Plausible molecular and crystal structures of chitosan/HI type II salt.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lertworasirikul, Amornrat; Noguchi, Keiichi; Ogawa, Kozo; Okuyama, Kenji

    2004-03-15

    Chitosan/HI type II salt prepared from crab tendon was investigated by X-ray fiber diffraction. Two polymer chains and 16 iodide ions (I(-)) crystallized in a tetragonal unit cell with lattice parameters of a = b = 10.68(3), c (fiber axis) = 40.77(13) A, and a space group P4(1). Chitosan forms a fourfold helix with a 40.77 A fiber period having a disaccharide as the helical asymmetric unit. One of the O-3... O-5 intramolecular hydrogen bonds at the glycosidic linkage is weakened by interacting with iodide ions, which seems to cause the polymer to take the 4/1-helical symmetry rather than the extended 2/1-helix. The plausible orientations of two O-6 atoms in the helical asymmetric unit were found to be gt and gg. Two chains are running through at the corner and the center of the unit cell along the c-axis. They are linked by hydrogen bonds between N-21 and O-61 atoms. Two out of four independent iodide ions are packed between the corner chains while the other two are packed between the corner and center chains when viewing through the ab-plane. The crystal structure of the salt is stabilized by hydrogen bonds between these iodide ions and N-21, N-22, O-32, O-61, O-62 of the polymer chains.

  6. Solvent effects on the photochemistry of 4-aminoimidazole-5-carbonitrile, a prebiotically plausible precursor of purines.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Szabla, Rafał; Sponer, Judit E; Sponer, Jiří; Sobolewski, Andrzej L; Góra, Robert W

    2014-09-01

    4-Aminoimidazole-5-carbonitrile (AICN) was suggested as a prebiotically plausible precursor of purine nucleobases and nucleotides. Although it can be formed in a sequence of photoreactions, AICN is immune to further irradiation with UV-light. We present state-of-the-art multi-reference quantum-chemical calculations of potential energy surface cuts and conical intersection optimizations to explain the molecular mechanisms underlying the photostability of this compound. We have identified the N-H bond stretching and ring-puckering mechanisms that should be responsible for the photochemistry of AICN in the gas phase. We have further considered the photochemistry of AICN-water clusters, while including up to six explicit water molecules. The calculations reveal charge transfer to solvent followed by formation of an H3O(+) cation, both of which occur on the (1)πσ* hypersurface. Interestingly, a second proton transfer to an adjacent water molecule leads to a (1)πσ*/S0 conical intersection. We suggest that this electron-driven proton relay might be characteristic of low-lying (1)πσ* states in chromophore-water clusters. Owing to its nature, this mechanism might also be responsible for the photostability of analogous organic molecules in bulk water.

  7. Plausible ergogenic effects of vitamin D on athletic performance and recovery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dahlquist, Dylan T; Dieter, Brad P; Koehle, Michael S

    2015-01-01

    The purpose of this review is to examine vitamin D in the context of sport nutrition and its potential role in optimizing athletic performance. Vitamin D receptors (VDR) and vitamin D response elements (VDREs) are located in almost every tissue within the human body including skeletal muscle. The hormonally-active form of vitamin D, 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D, has been shown to play critical roles in the human body and regulates over 900 gene variants. Based on the literature presented, it is plausible that vitamin D levels above the normal reference range (up to 100 nmol/L) might increase skeletal muscle function, decrease recovery time from training, increase both force and power production, and increase testosterone production, each of which could potentiate athletic performance. Therefore, maintaining higher levels of vitamin D could prove beneficial for athletic performance. Despite this situation, large portions of athletic populations are vitamin D deficient. Currently, the research is inconclusive with regards to the optimal intake of vitamin D, the specific forms of vitamin D one should ingest, and the distinct nutrient-nutrient interactions of vitamin D with vitamin K that affect arterial calcification and hypervitaminosis. Furthermore, it is possible that dosages exceeding the recommendations for vitamin D (i.e. dosages up to 4000-5000 IU/day), in combination with 50 to 1000 mcg/day of vitamin K1 and K2 could aid athletic performance. This review will investigate these topics, and specifically their relevance to athletic performance.

  8. 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.

  9. Vitamin D in primary biliary cirrhosis, a plausible marker of advanced disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agmon-Levin, Nancy; Kopilov, Ron; Selmi, Carlo; Nussinovitch, Udi; Sánchez-Castañón, María; López-Hoyos, Marcos; Amital, Howie; Kivity, Shaye; Gershwin, Eric M; Shoenfeld, Yehuda

    2015-02-01

    Vitamin D immune-modulating effects were extensively studied, and low levels have been linked with autoimmune diseases. The associations of vitamin D with autoimmune diseases of the liver, and particularly primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC), are yet to be defined. Hence, in this study, serum levels of vitamin D were determined in 79 patients with PBC and 70 age- and sex-matched controls by the LIAISON chemiluminescent immunoassays (DiaSorin-Italy). Clinical and serological parameters of patients were analyzed with respect to vitamin D status. Mean levels of vitamin D were significantly lower among patients with PBC compared with controls (16.8 ± 9 vs. 22.1 ± 9 ng/ml; p = 0.029), and vitamin D deficiency (≤10 ng/ml) was documented in 33% of patients with PBC versus 7% of controls (p plausible roles of vitamin D as a prognostic marker of PBC severity, and as a potential player in this disease pathogenesis. While further studies are awaited, monitoring vitamin D in patients with PBC and use of supplements may be advisable.

  10. A plausible (overlooked) super-luminous supernova in the SDSS Stripe 82 data

    CERN Document Server

    Kostrzewa-Rutkowska, Zuzanna; Wyrzykowski, Lukasz; Djorgovski, S George; Glikman, Eilat; Mahabal, Ashish A

    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 peaked at M_g<-21.3 mag in the second half of September 2005, but was missed by the real-time supernova 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 SN2007bi type. Spectrum of the host galaxy reveals a redshift of z=0.281 and the distance modulus of \\mu=40.77 mag. Combining this information with the SDSS photometry, we found the host galaxy to be an LMC-like irregular dwarf galaxy with the absolute magnitude of M_B=-18.2+/-0.2 mag and the oxygen abundance of 12+log[O/H]=8.3+/-0.2. 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 ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

    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.

  12. Plausible impact of global climate change on water resources in the Tarim River Basin

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    CHEN; Yaning; XU; Zongxue

    2005-01-01

    Combining the temperature and precipitation data from 77 climatological stations and the climatic and hydrological change data from three headstreams of the Tarim River: Hotan, Yarkant, and Aksu in the study area, the plausible association between climate change and the variability of water resources in the Tarim River Basin in recent years was investigated, the long-term trend of the hydrological time series including temperature, precipitation, and streamflow was detected, and the possible association between the El Ni(n)o/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and these three kinds of time series was tested. The results obtained in this study show that during the past years, the temperature experienced a significant monotonic increase at the speed of 5%, nearly 1℃ rise; the precipitation showed a significant decrease in the 1970s, and a significant increase in the1980s and 1990s, the average annual precipitation was increased with the magnitude of 6.8 mm per decade. A step change occurred in both temperature and precipitation time series around 1986, which may be influenced by the global climate change. Climate change resulted in the increase of the streamflow at the headwater of the Tarim River, but the anthropogenic activities such as over-depletion of the surface water resulted in the decrease of the streamflow at the lower reaches of the Tarim River. The study result also showed that there is no significant association between the ENSO and the temperature, precipitation and streamflow.

  13. Plausible futures of a social-ecological system: Yahara watershed, Wisconsin, USA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephen R. Carpenter

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Agricultural watersheds are affected by changes in climate, land use, agricultural practices, and human demand for energy, food, and water resources. In this context, we analyzed the agricultural, urbanizing Yahara watershed (size: 1345 km², population: 372,000 to assess its responses to multiple changing drivers. We measured recent trends in land use/cover and water quality of the watershed, spatial patterns of 10 ecosystem services, and spatial patterns and nestedness of governance. We developed scenarios for the future of the Yahara watershed by integrating trends and events from the global scenarios literature, perspectives of stakeholders, and models of biophysical drivers and ecosystem services. Four qualitative scenarios were created to explore plausible trajectories to the year 2070 in the watershed's social-ecological system under different regimes: no action on environmental trends, accelerated technological development, strong intervention by government, and shifting values toward sustainability. Quantitative time-series for 2010-2070 were developed for weather and land use/cover during each scenario as inputs to model changes in ecosystem services. Ultimately, our goal is to understand how changes in the social-ecological system of the Yahara watershed, including management of land and water resources, can build or impair resilience to shifting drivers, including climate.

  14. Is the de Broglie-Bohm interpretation of quantum mechanics really plausible?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jung, Kurt

    2013-06-01

    Bohmian mechanics also known as de Broglie-Bohm theory is the most popular alternative approach to quantum mechanics. Whereas the standard interpretation of quantum mechanics is based on the complementarity principle Bohmian mechanics assumes that both particle and wave are concrete physical objects. In 1993 Peter Holland has written an ardent account on the plausibility of the de Broglie-Bohm theory. He proved that it fully reproduces quantum mechanics if the initial particle distribution is consistent with a solution of the Schrödinger equation. Which may be the reasons that Bohmian mechanics has not yet found global acceptance? In this article it will be shown that predicted properties of atoms and molecules are in conflict with experimental findings. Moreover it will be demonstrated that repeatedly published ensembles of trajectories illustrating double slit diffraction processes do not agree with quantum mechanics. The credibility of a theory is undermined when recognizably wrong data presented frequently over years are finally not declared obsolete.

  15. Cultural group selection is plausible, but the predictions of its hypotheses should be tested with real-world data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turchin, Peter; Currie, Thomas E

    2016-01-01

    The evidence compiled in the target article demonstrates that the assumptions of cultural group selection (CGS) theory are often met, and it is therefore a useful framework for generating plausible hypotheses. However, more can be said about how we can test the predictions of CGS hypotheses against competing explanations using historical, archaeological, and anthropological data.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kostrzewa-Rutkowska, Zuzanna; Kozłowski, Szymon; Wyrzykowski, Łukasz [Warsaw University Observatory, Al. Ujazdowskie 4, 00-478 Warszawa (Poland); Djorgovski, S. George; Mahabal, Ashish A. [California Institute of Technology, 1200 E California Blvd., Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States); Glikman, Eilat [Department of Physics and Yale Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics, Yale University, P.O. Box 208121, New Haven, CT 06520-8121 (United States); Koposov, Sergey, E-mail: zkostrzewa@astrouw.edu.pl, E-mail: simkoz@astrouw.edu.pl, E-mail: wyrzykow@astrouw.edu.pl [Institute of Astronomy, University of Cambridge, Madingley Road, Cambridge CB3 0HA (United Kingdom)

    2013-12-01

    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 {sub 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{sub 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 {sub 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.

  17. Identifying and reducing potentially wrong immunoassay results even when plausible and "not-unreasonable".

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ismail, Adel A A

    2014-01-01

    The primary role of the clinical laboratory is to report accurate results for diagnosis of disease and management of illnesses. This goal has, to a large extent been achieved for routine biochemical tests, but not for immunoassays which remained susceptible to interference from endogenous immunoglobulin antibodies, causing false, and clinically misleading results. Clinicians regard all abnormal results including false ones as "pathological" necessitating further investigations, or concluding iniquitous diagnosis. Even more seriously, "false-negative" results may wrongly exclude pathology, thus denying patients' necessary treatment. Analytical error rate in immunoassays is relatively high, ranging from 0.4% to 4.0%. Because analytical interference from endogenous antibodies is confined to individuals' sera, it can be inconspicuous, pernicious, sporadic, and insidious because it cannot be detected by internal or external quality assessment procedures. An approach based on Bayesian reasoning can enhance the robustness of clinical validation in highlighting potentially erroneous immunoassay results. When this rational clinical/statistical approach is followed by analytical affirmative follow-up tests, it can help identifying inaccurate and clinically misleading immunoassay data even when they appear plausible and "not-unreasonable." This chapter is largely based on peer reviewed articles associated with and related to this approach. The first section underlines (without mathematical equations) the dominance and misuse of conventional statistics and the underuse of Bayesian paradigm and shows that laboratorians are intuitively (albeit unwittingly) practicing Bayesians. Secondly, because interference from endogenous antibodies is method's dependent (with numerous formats and different reagents), it is almost impossible to accurately assess its incidence in all differently formulated immunoassays and for each analytes/biomarkers. However, reiterating the basic concepts

  18. From the exposome to mechanistic understanding of chemical-induced adverse effects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Escher, Beate I; Hackermüller, Jörg; Polte, Tobias; Scholz, Stefan; Aigner, Achim; Altenburger, Rolf; Böhme, Alexander; Bopp, Stephanie K; Brack, Werner; Busch, Wibke; Chadeau-Hyam, Marc; Covaci, Adrian; Eisenträger, Adolf; Galligan, James J; Garcia-Reyero, Natalia; Hartung, Thomas; Hein, Michaela; Herberth, Gunda; Jahnke, Annika; Kleinjans, Jos; Klüver, Nils; Krauss, Martin; Lamoree, Marja; Lehmann, Irina; Luckenbach, Till; Miller, Gary W; Müller, Andrea; Phillips, David H; Reemtsma, Thorsten; Rolle-Kampczyk, Ulrike; Schüürmann, Gerrit; Schwikowski, Benno; Tan, Yu-Mei; Trump, Saskia; Walter-Rohde, Susanne; Wambaugh, John F

    2017-02-01

    The exposome encompasses an individual's exposure to exogenous chemicals, as well as endogenous chemicals that are produced or altered in response to external stressors. While the exposome concept has been established for human health, its principles can be extended to include broader ecological issues. The assessment of exposure is tightly interlinked with hazard assessment. Here, we explore if mechanistic understanding of the causal links between exposure and adverse effects on human health and the environment can be improved by integrating the exposome approach with the adverse outcome pathway (AOP) concept that structures and organizes the sequence of biological events from an initial molecular interaction of a chemical with a biological target to an adverse outcome. Complementing exposome research with the AOP concept may facilitate a mechanistic understanding of stress-induced adverse effects, examine the relative contributions from various components of the exposome, determine the primary risk drivers in complex mixtures, and promote an integrative assessment of chemical risks for both human and environmental health.

  19. Lead-induced SCC of alloy 600 in plausible steam generator crevice environments

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wright, M.D. [Atomic Energy of Canada Limited, Chalk River, Ontario (Canada); Manolescu, A. [Ontario Hydro Technologies, Toronto, Ontario (Canada); Mirzai, M. [Ontario Hydro, Toronto, Ontario (Canada)

    1998-07-01

    Laboratory stress corrosion cracking (SCC) test environments developed to simulate representative BNGS-A steam generator (SG) crevice chemistries have been used to determine the susceptibility of Alloy 600 to lead-induced SCC under plausible SG conditions. Test environments were based on plant SG hideout return data and analysis of removed tubes and deposits. Deviations from the normal near neutral crevice pH environment were considered to simulate possible faulted excursion crevice chemistry and to bound the postulated crevice pH range of 3-9 (at temperature). The effect of lead contamination up to 1000 ppm, but with an emphasis on the 100 to 500 ppm range, was determined. SCC susceptibility was investigated using constant extension rate tensile (CERT) tests and encapsulated C-ring tests. CERT tests were performed at 305 degrees C on tubing representative of BNGS-A SG U-bends. The C-ring test method allowed a wider test matrix covering three temperatures (280, 304 and 315 degrees C), three strain levels (0.2%, 2% and 4%) and tubing representative of U-bends plus tubing given a simulated stress relief to represent material at the tubesheet. The results of this test program confirmed that in the absence of lead contamination, cracking does not occur in these concentrated, 3.3 to 8.9 pH range, crevice environments. Also, it appears that the concentrated crevice environments suppress lead-induced cracking relative to that seen in all-volatile-treatment (AVT) water. For the (static) C-ring tests, lead-induced SCC was only produced in the near-neutral crevice environment and was more severe at 500 ppm than 100 ppm PbO. This trend was also observed in CERT tests but some cracking/grain boundary attack occurred in acidic (pH 3.3) and alkaline (pH 8.9) environments. The C-ring tests indicated that a certain amount of resistance to cracking was imparted by simulated stress relief of the tubing. This heat treatment, confirmed to have resulted in sensitization, promoted

  20. Lead-induced stress-corrosion cracking of alloy 600 in plausible steam generator crevice environments

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wright, M.D. [Atomic Energy of Canada Limited, Chalk River, Ontario (Canada); Manolescu, A. [Ontario Hydro Technologies, Toronto, Ontario (Canada); Mirzai, M. [Ontario Hydro, Toronto, Ontario (Canada)

    1999-03-01

    Laboratory stress-corrosion cracking (SCC) test environments were developed to simulate crevice chemistries representative of Bruce Nuclear Generating Station A (BNPD A) steam generators (SGs); these test environments were used to determine the susceptibility of Alloy 600 to lead-induced SCC under plausible SG conditions. Test environments were based on plant SG hideout return data and analysis of removed tubes and deposits. Deviations from the normal near-neutral crevice pH environment were considered to simulate possible faulted excursion crevice chemistry and to bound the postulated crevice pH range of 3 to 9 (at temperature). The effect of lead contamination up to 1000 ppm, but with an emphasis on the 100- to 500-ppm range, was determined. SCC susceptibility was investigated using constant extension rate tensile (CERT) tests and encapsulated C-ring tests. CERT tests were performed at 305 degrees C on tubing representative of BNPD A SG U-bends. The C-ring test method allowed a wider test matrix, covering 3 temperatures (280 degrees C, 304 degrees C and 315 degrees C), 3 strain levels (0.2%, 2% and 4%), and tubing representative of U-bends plus tubing given a simulated stress relief to represent material at the tube sheet. The results of this test program confirmed that in the absence of lead contamination, cracking does not occur in these concentrated, 3.3 to 8.9 pH range, crevice environments. Also, it appears that the concentrated crevice environments suppress lead-induced cracking relative to that seen in all-volatile-treatment (AVT) water. For the (static) C-ring tests, lead-induced SCC was only produced in the near-neutral crevice environment and was more severe at 500 ppm than at 100 ppm PbO. This trend was also observed in CERT tests, but some cracking-grain boundary attack occurred in acidic (pH 3.3) and alkaline (pH 8.9) environments. The C-ring tests indicated that a certain amount of resistance to cracking was imparted by simulated stress relief of

  1. Plausible antioxidant biomechanics and anticonvulsant pharmacological activity of brain-targeted β-carotene nanoparticles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yusuf, Mohammad; Khan, Riaz A; Khan, Maria; Ahmed, Bahar

    2012-01-01

    increased in P-80-BCNP to 231.0 ± 16.30 seconds, as compared to PTZ (120.10 ± 4.50 seconds) and placebo control (120.30 ± 7.4 seconds). The results of this study demonstrate a plausible novel anticonvulsant activity of β-carotene at a low dose of 2 mg/kg, with brain-targeted nanodelivery, thus increasing its bioavailability and stability.

  2. Informing mechanistic toxicology with computational molecular models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goldsmith, Michael R; Peterson, Shane D; Chang, Daniel T; Transue, Thomas R; Tornero-Velez, Rogelio; Tan, Yu-Mei; Dary, Curtis C

    2012-01-01

    Computational molecular models of chemicals interacting with biomolecular targets provides toxicologists a valuable, affordable, and sustainable source of in silico molecular level information that augments, enriches, and complements in vitro and in vivo efforts. From a molecular biophysical ansatz, we describe how 3D molecular modeling methods used to numerically evaluate the classical pair-wise potential at the chemical/biological interface can inform mechanism of action and the dose-response paradigm of modern toxicology. With an emphasis on molecular docking, 3D-QSAR and pharmacophore/toxicophore approaches, we demonstrate how these methods can be integrated with chemoinformatic and toxicogenomic efforts into a tiered computational toxicology workflow. We describe generalized protocols in which 3D computational molecular modeling is used to enhance our ability to predict and model the most relevant toxicokinetic, metabolic, and molecular toxicological endpoints, thereby accelerating the computational toxicology-driven basis of modern risk assessment while providing a starting point for rational sustainable molecular design.

  3. Predicting interactions from mechanistic information: can omic data validate theories?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borgert, Christopher J

    2007-09-01

    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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. Molecular biology of the honey bee

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Munk, Kathe

    While hoeneybees represent model organisms with complex social structures within populations, a comprehensive understanding of developmental regulation in relation to sexual development as well as cast determination still remains. Despite decades of research explanations on mechanistics underlyin...... and functional molecular biological techniques to advance current interpretations of heneybee development...

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Mechanistic action of gibberellins in legume nodulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hayashi, Satomi; Gresshoff, Peter M; Ferguson, Brett J

    2014-10-01

    Legume plants are capable of entering into a symbiotic relationship with rhizobia bacteria. This results in the formation of novel organs on their roots, called nodules, in which the bacteria capture atmospheric nitrogen and provide it as ammonium to the host plant. Complex molecular and physiological changes are involved in the formation and establishment of such nodules. Several phytohormones are known to play key roles in this process. Gibberellins (gibberellic acids; GAs), a class of phytohormones known to be involved in a wide range of biological processes (i.e., cell elongation, germination) are reported to be involved in the formation and maturation of legume nodules, highlighted by recent transcriptional analyses of early soybean symbiotic steps. Here, we summarize what is currently known about GAs in legume nodulation and propose a model of GA action during nodule development. Results from a wide range of studies, including GA application, mutant phenotyping, and gene expression studies, indicate that GAs are required at different stages, with an optimum, tightly regulated level being key to achieve successful nodulation. Gibberellic acids appear to be required at two distinct stages of nodulation: (i) early stages of rhizobia infection and nodule primordium establishment; and (ii) later stages of nodule maturation.

  11. Mechanistic action of gibberellins in legume nodulation

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Satomi Hayashi; Peter MGresshoff; Brett J.Ferguson

    2014-01-01

    Legume plants are capable of entering into a symbiotic relationship with rhizobia bacteria. This results in the formation of novel organs on their roots, cal ed nodules, in which the bacteria capture atmospheric nitrogen and provide it as ammonium to the host plant. Complex molecular and physiological changes are involved in the formation and establishment of such nodules. Several phytohormones are known to play key roles in this process. Gibberel ins (gibberel ic acids;GAs), a class of phytohormones known to be involved in a wide range of biological processes (i.e., cellelongation, germination) are reported to be involved in the formation and maturation of legume nodules, highlighted by recent tran-scriptional analyses of early soybean symbiotic steps. Here, we summarize what is currently known about GAs in legume nodulation and propose a model of GA action during nodule development. Results from a wide range of studies, including GA application, mutant phenotyping, and gene expression studies, indicate that GAs are required at different stages, with an optimum, tightly regulated level being key to achieve successful nodulation. Gibberel ic acids appear to be required at two distinct stages of nodulation:(i) early stages of rhizobia infection and nodule primordium establishment;and (i ) later stages of nodule maturation.

  12. Plausible antioxidant biomechanics and anticonvulsant pharmacological activity of brain-targeted β-carotene nanoparticles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yusuf M

    2012-08-01

    general tonic–clonic seizures reduced significantly to 2.90 ± 0.98 seconds by the use of BCNP and was further reduced on P-80-BCNP to 1.20 ± 0.20 seconds as compared to PTZ control and PTZ-placebo control (8.09 ± 0.26 seconds. General tonic–clonic seizures latency was increased significantly to 191.0 ± 9.80 seconds in BCNP and was further increased in P-80-BCNP to 231.0 ± 16.30 seconds, as compared to PTZ (120.10 ± 4.50 seconds and placebo control (120.30 ± 7.4 seconds. The results of this study demonstrate a plausible novel anticonvulsant activity of β-carotene at a low dose of 2 mg/kg, with brain-targeted nanodelivery, thus increasing its bioavailability and stability.Keywords: anticonvulsant, blood–brain barrier (BBB, targeted brain delivery, polysorbate-80-coated β-carotene nanoparticles (P-80-BCNP, maximal electroshock seizure (MES, pentylenetetrazole (PTZ

  13. 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

  14. Radical behaviorism and scientific frameworks. From mechanistic to relational accounts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chiesa, M

    1992-11-01

    A substantial portion of B. F. Skinner's scholarship was devoted to developing methods and terms for a scientific study of behavior. Three concepts central to scientific accounts--cause, explanation, and theory--are examined to illustrate the distinction between mechanistic and relational frameworks and radical behaviorism's relationship to those frameworks. Informed by a scientific tradition that explicitly rejects mechanistic interpretations, radical behaviorism provides a distinctive stance in contemporary psychology. The present analysis suggests that radical behaviorism makes closer contact with the "new world view" advocated by physicists and philosophers of science than does much of contemporary psychology.

  15. Preliminary Study on Plausible Reasoning in Chemistry Teaching of Senior Middle School%高中化学合情推理教学的初步研究

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    杨健; 吴俊明; 骆红山

    2009-01-01

    合情推理(Plausible reasoning)对科学教育具重要意义.通过科学哲学、逻辑学讨论以及历史实例说明科学发现离不开合情推理,科学教育必须重视合情推理能力的培养,并对高中化学合情推理教学的可能性、对象和内容等问题进行了讨论.%Plausible reasoning is significant to science education. Scientific philosophy, logic and historical examples prove that plausible reasoning is indispensable to scientific discoveries,so science education must pay attention to the development of plausible reasoning ability of students. Moreover, it discusses the possibility, object and content of plausible reasoning teaching in chemistry of senior middle school.

  16. Mechanistic considerations in benzene physiological model development

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Medinsky, M.A.; Kenyon, E.M.; Seaton, M.J.; Schlosser, P.M. [Chemical Industry Institute of Toxicology, Research Triangle Park, NC (United States)

    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 11 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. 39 refs., 4 figs., 2 tabs.

  17. 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.

  18. 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. T

  19. Rearrangements of Allylic Sulfinates to Sulfones: A Mechanistic Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ball, David B.; Mollard, Paul; Voigtritter, Karl R.; Ball, Jenelle L.

    2010-01-01

    Most current organic chemistry textbooks are organized by functional groups and those of us who teach organic chemistry use functional-group organization in our courses but ask students to learn organic chemistry from a mechanistic approach. To enrich and extend the chemical understanding and knowledge of pericyclic-type reactions for chemistry…

  20. 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…

  1. 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.

  2. Ultrasound and Microbubble Guided Drug Delivery: Mechanistic Understanding and Clinical Implications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Tzu-Yin; Wilson, Katheryne E.; Machtaler, Steven; Willmann, Jürgen K.

    2014-01-01

    Ultrasound mediated drug delivery using microbubbles is a safe and noninvasive approach for spatially localized drug administration. This approach can create temporary and reversible openings on cellular membranes and vessel walls (a process called “sonoporation”), allowing for enhanced transport of therapeutic agents across these natural barriers. It is generally believed that the sonoporation process is highly associated with the energetic cavitation activities (volumetric expansion, contraction, fragmentation, and collapse) of the microbubble. However, a thorough understanding of the process was unavailable until recently. Important progress on the mechanistic understanding of sonoporation and the corresponding physiological responses in vitro and in vivo has been made. Specifically, recent research shed light on the cavitation process of microbubbles and fluid motion during insonation of ultrasound, on the spatio-temporal interactions between microbubbles and cells or vessel walls, as well as on the temporal course of the subsequent biological effects. These findings have significant clinical implications on the development of optimal treatment strategies for effective drug delivery. In this article, current progress in the mechanistic understanding of ultrasound and microbubble mediated drug delivery and its implications for clinical translation is discussed. PMID:24372231

  3. A mechanistic niche model for measuring species' distributional responses to seasonal temperature gradients.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    William B Monahan

    Full Text Available Niche theory is central to understanding how species respond geographically to climate change. It defines a species' realized niche in a biological community, its fundamental niche as determined by physiology, and its potential niche--the fundamental niche in a given environment or geographic space. However, most predictions of the effects of climate change on species' distributions are limited to correlative models of the realized niche, which assume that species are in distributional equilibrium with respect to the variables or gradients included in the model. Here, I present a mechanistic niche model that measures species' responses to major seasonal temperature gradients that interact with the physiology of the organism. I then use lethal physiological temperatures to parameterize the model for bird species in North and South America and show that most focal bird species are not in direct physiological equilibrium with the gradients. Results also show that most focal bird species possess broad thermal tolerances encompassing novel climates that could become available with climate change. I conclude with discussion of how mechanistic niche models may be used to (i gain insights into the processes that cause species to respond to climate change and (ii build more accurate correlative distribution models in birds and other species.

  4. Mechanistic studies of protein arginine deiminase 2: evidence for a substrate-assisted mechanism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dreyton, Christina J; Knuckley, Bryan; Jones, Justin E; Lewallen, Daniel M; Thompson, Paul R

    2014-07-15

    Citrullination, which is catalyzed by protein arginine deiminases (PADs 1-4 and 6), is a post-translational modification (PTM) that effectively neutralizes the positive charge of a guanidinium group by its replacement with a neutral urea. Given the sequence similarity of PAD2 across mammalian species and the genomic organization of the PAD2 gene, PAD2 is predicted to be the ancestral homologue of the PADs. Although PAD2 has long been known to play a role in myelination, it has only recently been linked to other cellular processes, including gene transcription and macrophage extracellular trap formation. For example, PAD2 deiminates histone H3 at R26, and this PTM leads to the increased transcription of more than 200 genes under the control of the estrogen receptor. Given that our understanding of PAD2 biology remains incomplete, we initiated mechanistic studies on this enzyme to aid the development of PAD2-specific inhibitors. Herein, we report that the substrate specificity and calcium dependence of PAD2 are similar to those of PADs 1, 3, and 4. However, unlike those isozymes, PAD2 appears to use a substrate-assisted mechanism of catalysis in which the positively charged substrate guanidinium depresses the pKa of the nucleophilic cysteine. By contrast, PADs 1, 3, and 4 use a reverse-protonation mechanism. These mechanistic differences will aid the development of isozyme-specific inhibitors.

  5. Mechanistic investigation of a hemostatic keratin biomaterial

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rahmany, Maria Bahawdory

    biomaterial surfaces. While other groups have discussed keratin's capacity to specifically adhere cells, this work was the first to utilize function blocking antibodies to deduce the specific receptors involved in mediating the cell-keratin interaction. To explore keratin's role in the second arm of coagulation, the clotting cascade, we followed the kinetic behavior of fibrin generation in the presence and absence of keratin. Confirmed with samples of plasma and a purified system of fibrinogen and thrombin, we observed an increased rate of fibrin polymerization in the presence of keratin proteins. The final goal of this project was to utilize a Chinese hamster ovary cell line to more specifically explore integrin-mediated cell interactions with keratin biomaterials in a controlled, biologically relevant system. Together, this work provides key details regarding keratin's hemostatic characteristics, providing the foundations for further development and optimizing of the material's unique characteristics for use as a hemostatic agent. More broadly, application of the CHO cell model could provide a useful tool for developing a receptor-ligand profile for keratin biomaterials.

  6. Beyond Hebb XOR and biological learning

    CERN Document Server

    Klemm, K; Schuster, H G; Klemm, Konstantin; Bornholdt, Stefan; Schuster, Heinz Georg

    1999-01-01

    A learning algorithm for multilayer neural networks based on biologically plausible mechanisms is studied. Motivated by findings in experimental neurobiology, we consider synaptic averaging in the induction of plasticity changes, which happen on a slower time scale than firing dynamics. This mechanism is shown to enable learning of the exclusive-or (XOR) problem without the aid of error back-propagation, as well as to increase robustness of learning in the presence of noise.

  7. Palladium(II)-catalyzed oxidation of L-tryptophan by hexacyanoferrate(III) in perchloric acid medium: a kinetic and mechanistic approach

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Ahmed Fawzy

    2016-02-01

    The catalytic effect of palladium(II) on the oxidation of L-tryptophan by potassium hexacyanoferrate( III) has been investigated spectrophotometrically in aqueous perchloric acid medium. A first order dependence in [hexacyanoferrate(III)] and fractional-first order dependences in both [L-tryptophan] and [palladium(II)] were obtained. The reaction exhibits fractional-second order kinetics with respect to [H+]. Reaction rate increased with increase in ionic strength and dielectric constant of the medium. The effect of temperature on the reaction rate has also been studied and activation parameters have been evaluated and discussed. Initial addition of the reaction product, hexacyanoferrate(II), does not affect the rate significantly. A plausible mechanistic scheme explaining all the observed kinetic results has been proposed. The final oxidation products are identified as indole-3-acetaldehyde, ammonium ion and carbon dioxide. The rate law associated with the reaction mechanism is derived.

  8. 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.

  9. Mechanistic Studies of Planetary Haze Formation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hicks, Raea Kay

    2015-10-01

    Planetary atmospheres can be thought of as global-scale reactors capable of synthesizing large, complex molecules from small gases such as methane (CH4), carbon dioxide (CO2), and nitrogen (N2). The atmosphere of Titan, the largest moon of Saturn covered by a thick organic haze, contains trace amounts (2%) of CH4 in an atmosphere of N2 at a surface pressure of 1.5 bar. This is similar to the Earth's Archaean atmosphere, which possibly contained trace amounts of CH4 and CO2 (˜1,000 ppmv each) in an N2 -dominant atmosphere before the rise of biogenic oxygen. Laboratory simulations of the atmospheric chemistry on Titan and the early Earth have shown that these atmospheres are capable of generating biologically-relevant molecules that condense to form particles which can then settle to the surface of the planetary body, possibly providing the molecules required for the emergence of life. The work presented here examines the mechanisms by which FUV photochemistry initiates incorporation of N atoms into Titan aerosol analogs, and C atoms into early Earth aerosol analogs. Results from the Aerosol Collector and Pyrolyser onboard the Huygens lander reveal the presence of nitrogen in Titan's aerosols. This nitrogen incorporation is thought to occur primarily by extreme-UV photons or energetic electrons. However, recent results from our laboratory indicate a surprising amount of nitrogen incorporation- up to 16% by mass- in Titan aerosol analogs produced by photochemistry initiated by FUV irradiation of CH4/N 2 mixtures. The termolecular reaction CH+N2 +M → HCN2 has been proposed to account for this observation. Here, we test this hypothesis by using a high- resolution time-of-flight aerosol mass spectrometer (HR-ToF-AMS) to measure the mass loading and chemical composition of aerosol produced at a range of pressures from roughly 0.1 to 1 atm. We report a 10-fold increase in aerosol mass loading across the range of pressures studied, indicating that the mechanism

  10. 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.

  11. Growth signals, inflammation, and vascular perturbations: mechanistic links between obesity, metabolic syndrome, and cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hursting, Stephen D; Hursting, Marcie J

    2012-08-01

    Nearly 35% of adults and 20% of children in the United States are obese, defined as a body mass index ≥ 30 kg/m(2). Obesity, which is accompanied by metabolic dysregulation often manifesting in the metabolic syndrome, is an established risk factor for many cancers. Within the growth-promoting, proinflammatory environment of the obese state, cross talk between macrophages, adipocytes, and epithelial cells occurs via obesity-associated hormones, cytokines, and other mediators that may enhance cancer risk and progression. This review synthesizes the evidence on key biological mechanisms underlying the obesity-cancer link, with particular emphasis on obesity-associated enhancements in growth factor signaling, inflammation, and vascular integrity processes. These interrelated pathways represent possible mechanistic targets for disrupting the obesity-cancer link.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. How plausible is the use of dietary n-3 PUFA in the adjuvant therapy of cancer?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Serini, Simona; Ottes Vasconcelos, Renata; Fasano, Elena; Calviello, Gabriella

    2016-06-01

    Considerable debate exists regarding the potential antineoplastic effect of dietary long-chain n-3 PUFA contained in fatty fishes. Since the majority of published data has proven that their intake does not induce toxic or carcinogenic effects in humans, their possible preventive use against cancer has been suggested. On the other hand, it is unlikely that they could be effective in cancer patients as a single therapy. Nevertheless, a considerable effort has been put forth in recent years to evaluate the hypothesis that n-3 PUFA might improve the antineoplastic efficiency of currently used anticancer agents. The rationale for this therapeutic combinatory strategy is trying to increase cancer sensitivity to conventional therapies. This could allow the use of lower drug/radiation doses and, thereby, a reduction in the detrimental health effects associated with these treatments. We will here critically examine the studies that have investigated this possibility, by focusing particularly on the biological and molecular mechanisms underlying the antineoplastic effect of these combined treatments. A possible use of n-3 PUFA in combination with the innovative single-targeted anti-cancer therapies, that often are not completely devoid of dangerous side-effects, is also suggested.

  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. 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

  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. Ionic liquid pretreatment of biomass for sugars production: Driving factors with a plausible mechanism for higher enzymatic digestibility.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raj, Tirath; Gaur, Ruchi; Dixit, Pooja; Gupta, Ravi P; Kagdiyal, V; Kumar, Ravindra; Tuli, Deepak K

    2016-09-20

    In this study, five ionic liquids (ILs) have been explored for biomass pretreatment for the production of fermentable sugar. We also investigated the driving factors responsible for improved enzymatic digestibility of various ILs treated biomass along with postulating the plausible mechanism thereof. Post pretreatment, mainly two factors impacted the enzymatic digestibility (i) structural deformation (cellulose I to II) along with xylan/lignin removal and (ii) properties of ILs; wherein, K-T parameters, viscosity and surface tension had a direct influence on pretreatment. A systematic investigation of these parameters and their impact on enzymatic digestibility is drawn. [C2mim][OAc] with β-value 1.32 resulted 97.7% of glucose yield using 10 FPU/g of biomass. A closer insight into the cellulose structural transformation has prompted a plausible mechanism explaining the better digestibility. The impact of these parameters on the digestibility can pave the way to customize the process to make biomass vulnerable to enzymatic attack.

  19. Antimicrobial drug use in Austrian pig farms: plausibility check of electronic on-farm records and estimation of consumption.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trauffler, M; Griesbacher, A; Fuchs, K; Köfer, J

    2014-10-25

    Electronic drug application records from farmers from 75 conventional pig farms were revised and checked for their plausibility. The registered drug amounts were verified by comparing the farmers' records with veterinarians' dispensary records. The antimicrobial consumption was evaluated from 2008 to 2011 and expressed in weight of active substance(s), number of used daily doses (nUDD), number of animal daily doses (nADD) and number of product-related daily doses (nPrDD). All results were referred to one year and animal bodyweight (kg biomass). The data plausibility proof revealed about 14 per cent of unrealistic drug amount entries in the farmers' records. The annual antimicrobial consumption was 33.9 mg/kg/year, 4.9 UDDkg/kg/year, 1.9 ADDkg/kg/year and 2.5 PrDDkg/kg/year (average). Most of the antimicrobials were applied orally (86 per cent) and at group-level. Main therapy indications were metaphylactic/prophylactic measures (farrow-to-finish and fattening farms) or digestive tract diseases (breeding farms). The proportion of the 'highest priority critically important antimicrobials' was low (12 per cent). After determination of a threshold value, farms with a high antimicrobial use could be detected. Statistical tests showed that the veterinarian had an influence on the dosage, the therapy indication and the active substance. Orally administered antimicrobials were mostly underdosed, parenterally administered antimicrobials rather correctly or overdosed.

  20. 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…

  1. 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...... of b on the drying behaviour. Experimental data with the six-segmented fluidised bed dryer were collected to calibrate b. An exponential dependence on the drying air temperature was found. Independent experiments were done for the validation of the drying model....

  2. Human Glycinamide Ribonucleotide Transformylase: Active Site Mutants as Mechanistic Probes†

    OpenAIRE

    Manieri, Wanda; Moore, Molly E.; Soellner, Matthew B.; Tsang, Pearl; Caperelli, Carol A.

    2007-01-01

    Human glycinamide ribonucleotide transformylase (GART) (EC2.1.2.2) is a validated target for cancer chemotherapy, but mechanistic studies of this therapeutically important enzyme are limited. Site-directed mutagenesis, initial velocity studies, pH-rate studies, and substrate binding studies have been employed to probe the role of the strictly conserved active site residues, N106, H108, D144, and the semi-conserved K170 in substrate binding and catalysis. Only two conservative substitutions, N...

  3. Beyond Correlation in the Detection of Climate Change Impacts: Testing a Mechanistic Hypothesis for Climatic Influence on Sockeye Salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka) Productivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tillotson, Michael D; Quinn, Thomas P

    2016-01-01

    Detecting the biological impacts of climate change is a current focus of ecological research and has important applications in conservation and resource management. Owing to a lack of suitable control systems, measuring correlations between time series of biological attributes and hypothesized environmental covariates is a common method for detecting such impacts. These correlative approaches are particularly common in studies of exploited fish species because rich biological time-series data are often available. However, the utility of species-environment relationships for identifying or predicting biological responses to climate change has been questioned because strong correlations often deteriorate as new data are collected. Specifically stating and critically evaluating the mechanistic relationship(s) linking an environmental driver to a biological response may help to address this problem. Using nearly 60 years of data on sockeye salmon from the Kvichak River, Alaska we tested a mechanistic hypothesis linking water temperatures experienced during freshwater rearing to population productivity by modeling a series of intermediate, deterministic relationships and evaluating temporal trends in biological and environmental time-series. We found that warming waters during freshwater rearing have profoundly altered patterns of growth and life history in this population complex yet there has been no significant correlation between water temperature and metrics of productivity commonly used in fisheries management. These findings demonstrate that pairing correlative approaches with careful consideration of the mechanistic links between populations and their environments can help to both avoid spurious correlations and identify biologically important, but not statistically significant relationships, and ultimately producing more robust conclusions about the biological impacts of climate change.

  4. Dormancy and Recovery Testing for Biological Wastewater Processors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hummerick, Mary F.; Coutts, Janelle L.; Lunn, Griffin M.; Spencer, LaShelle; Khodadad, Christina L.; Birmele, Michele N.; Frances, Someliz; Wheeler, Raymond

    2015-01-01

    Resource recovery and recycling waste streams to usable water via biological water processors is a plausible component of an integrated water purification system. Biological processing as a pretreatment can reduce the load of organic carbon and nitrogen compounds entering physiochemical systems downstream. Aerated hollow fiber membrane bioreactors, have been proposed and studied for a number of years as an approach for treating wastewater streams for space exploration.

  5. All biology is computational biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-01-01

    Here, I argue that computational thinking and techniques are so central to the quest of understanding life that today all biology is computational biology. Computational biology brings order into our understanding of life, it makes biological concepts rigorous and testable, and it provides a reference map that holds together individual insights. The next modern synthesis in biology will be driven by mathematical, statistical, and computational methods being absorbed into mainstream biological training, turning biology into a quantitative science. PMID:28278152

  6. A biological rationale for musical consonance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bowling, Daniel L; Purves, Dale

    2015-09-01

    The basis of musical consonance has been debated for centuries without resolution. Three interpretations have been considered: (i) that consonance derives from the mathematical simplicity of small integer ratios; (ii) that consonance derives from the physical absence of interference between harmonic spectra; and (iii) that consonance derives from the advantages of recognizing biological vocalization and human vocalization in particular. Whereas the mathematical and physical explanations are at odds with the evidence that has now accumulated, biology provides a plausible explanation for this central issue in music and audition.

  7. Plausibility, necessity and identity: A logic of relative plausibility%似然性、必然性和恒等:一种相对似然性逻辑

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    李小五; 文学锋

    2007-01-01

    构造一个希尔伯特型的系统RPL, 来刻画由J·哈尔彭提出的似然性测度概念, 证明RPL相对一个邻域型语义是可靠和完全的.运用表述RPL的语言, 证明它可以定义已经得到深入研究的必然性、条件句和命题恒等这样的概念.%We construct a Hilbert style system RPL for the notion of plausibility measure introduced by Halpern J, and we prove the soundness and completeness with respect to a neighborhood style semantics.Using the language of RPL, we demonstrate that it can define well-studied notions of necessity,conditionals and propositional identity.

  8. 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...

  9. Solving Inverse Problems for Mechanistic Systems Biology Models with Unknown Inputs

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-10-16

    frusemide in terms of diuresis and natriuresis can be modeled by indirect response model [18]. In this project, a modified version of this model was used...were derived from their measurements. The model relating the effect site excretion rate of frusemide ( ) to diuresis is given by: 64433-MA-II...time courses of frusemide infusion rate, frusemide urinary excretion rate, diuresis and natriuresis). The “true” parameter values used in the

  10. Oleanolic acid (OA) as an antileishmanial agent: Biological evaluation and in silico mechanistic insights.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Melo, Tahira Souza; Gattass, Cerli Rocha; Soares, Deivid Costa; Cunha, Micael Rodrigues; Ferreira, Christian; Tavares, Maurício Temotheo; Saraiva, Elvira; Parise-Filho, Roberto; Braden, Hannah; Delorenzi, Jan Carlo

    2016-06-01

    Although a worldwide health problem, leishmaniasis is considered a highly neglected disease, lacking efficient and low toxic treatment. The efforts for new drug development are based on alternatives such as new uses for well-known drugs, in silico and synthetic studies and naturally derived compounds. Oleanolic acid (OA) is a pentacyclic triterpenoid widely distributed throughout the Plantae kingdom that displays several pharmacological activities. OA showed potent leishmancidal effects in different Leishmania species, both against promastigotes (IC(50 L. braziliensis) 30.47 ± 6.35 μM; IC(50 L. amazonensis) 40.46 ± 14.21 μM; IC(50 L. infantum) 65.93 ± 15.12 μM) and amastigotes (IC(50 L. braziliensis) 68.75 ± 16.55 μM; IC(50 L. amazonensis) 38.45 ± 12.05 μM; IC(50 L. infantum) 64.08 ± 23.52 μM), with low cytotoxicity against mouse peritoneal macrophages (CC(50) 235.80 ± 36.95 μM). Moreover, in silico studies performed to evaluate OA molecular properties and to elucidate the possible mechanism of action over the Leishmania enzyme sterol 14α-demethylase (CYP51) suggested that OA interacts efficiently with CYP51 and could inhibit the ergosterol synthesis pathway. Collectively, these data indicate that OA is a good candidate as leading compound for the development of a new leishmaniasis treatment.

  11. Influence of the Aqueous Environment on Protein Structure—A Plausible Hypothesis Concerning the Mechanism of Amyloidogenesis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Irena Roterman

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available The aqueous environment is a pervasive factor which, in many ways, determines the protein folding process and consequently the activity of proteins. Proteins are unable to perform their function unless immersed in water (membrane proteins excluded from this statement. Tertiary conformational stabilization is dependent on the presence of internal force fields (nonbonding interactions between atoms, as well as an external force field generated by water. The hitherto the unknown structuralization of water as the aqueous environment may be elucidated by analyzing its effects on protein structure and function. Our study is based on the fuzzy oil drop model—a mechanism which describes the formation of a hydrophobic core and attempts to explain the emergence of amyloid-like fibrils. A set of proteins which vary with respect to their fuzzy oil drop status (including titin, transthyretin and a prion protein have been selected for in-depth analysis to suggest the plausible mechanism of amyloidogenesis.

  12. The role of adverse childhood experiences in cardiovascular disease risk: a review with emphasis on plausible mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Su, Shaoyong; Jimenez, Marcia P; Roberts, Cole T F; Loucks, Eric B

    2015-10-01

    Childhood adversity, characterized by abuse, neglect, and household dysfunction, is a problem that exerts a significant impact on individuals, families, and society. Growing evidence suggests that adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) are associated with health decline in adulthood, including cardiovascular disease (CVD). In the current review, we first provide an overview of the association between ACEs and CVD risk, with updates on the latest epidemiological evidence. Second, we briefly review plausible pathways by which ACEs could influence CVD risk, including traditional risk factors and novel mechanisms. Finally, we highlight the potential implications of ACEs in clinical and public health. Information gleaned from this review should help physicians and researchers in better understanding potential long-term consequences of ACEs and considering adapting current strategies in treatment or intervention for patients with ACEs.

  13. A hitherto undescribed case of cerebellar ataxia as the sole presentation of thyrotoxicosis in a young man: a plausible association.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elhadd, Tarik Abdelkareim; Linton, Kathryn; McCoy, Caoihme; Saha, Subrata; Holden, Roger

    2014-01-01

    A 16-year-old male presented to hospital following an episode of unusual behavior on the football pitch, where he was witnessed as grossly ataxic by his teammates. The assessment demonstrated marked cerebellar signs on examination but no other neurological deficit. The investigation showed the evidence of biochemical thyrotoxicosis with free T4 at 37 pmol/L (normal reference range: 11-27) and thyrotropin (TSH) plausible because alternative etiologies were excluded, and the normalization of thyroid function with treatment was coupled with complete resolution of the neurological syndrome. Cerebellar syndromes may well be one of the presenting features of thyrotoxicosis, and this should be in the list of its differential diagnosis.

  14. Climate Change Impacts on Agriculture and Food Security in 2050 under a Range of Plausible Socioeconomic and Emissions Scenarios

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiebe, K.; Lotze-Campen, H.; Bodirsky, B.; Kavallari, A.; Mason-d'Croz, D.; van der Mensbrugghe, D.; Robinson, S.; Sands, R.; Tabeau, A.; Willenbockel, D.; Islam, S.; van Meijl, H.; Mueller, C.; Robertson, R.

    2014-12-01

    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 data. Recent work has examined (and narrowed) these differences through systematic model intercomparison using a high-emissions pathway to highlight the differences. New work extends that analysis to cover a range of plausible socioeconomic scenarios and emission pathways. Results from three general circulation models are combined with one crop model and five global economic models to examine the global and regional impacts of climate change on yields, area, production, prices and trade for coarse grains, rice, wheat, oilseeds and sugar to 2050. Results show that yield impacts vary with changes in population, income and technology as well as emissions, but are reduced in all cases by endogenous changes in prices and other variables.

  15. A mechanistic particle flux model applied to the oceanic phosphorus cycle

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. DeVries

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available The sinking and decomposition of particulate organic matter are critical processes in the ocean's biological pump, but are poorly understood and crudely represented in biogeochemical models. Here we present a mechanistic model for particle fluxes in the ocean that solves the evolution of the particle size distribution with depth. The model can represent a wide range of particle flux profiles, depending on the surface particle size distribution, the relationships between particle size, mass and velocity, and the rate of particle mass loss during decomposition. Spatially variable flux profiles are embedded in a data-constrained ocean circulation model, where the most uncertain parameters governing particle dynamics are tuned to achieve an optimal fit to the global distribution of phosphate. The resolution of spatially variable particle sizes has a significant effect on modeled organic matter production rates, increasing production in oligotrophic regions and decreasing production in eutrophic regions compared to a model that assumes spatially uniform particle sizes and sinking fluxes. The mechanistic particle model can reproduce global nutrient distributions better than, and sediment trap fluxes as well as, other commonly used empirical formulas. However, these independent data constraints cannot be simultaneously matched in a closed P budget commonly assumed in ocean models. Through a systematic addition of model processes, we show that the apparent discrepancy between particle flux and nutrient data can be resolved through P burial, but only if that burial is associated with a slowly decaying component of organic matter as might be achieved through protection by ballast minerals. Moreover, the model solution that best matches both datasets requires a larger rate of P burial (and compensating inputs than have been previously estimated. Our results imply a marine PO4 inventory with a residence time of a few thousand years, similar to that of the

  16. 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...

  17. A mechanistic soil biogeochemistry model with explicit representation of microbial and macrofaunal activities and nutrient cycles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fatichi, Simone; Manzoni, Stefano; Or, Dani; Paschalis, Athanasios

    2016-04-01

    The potential of a given ecosystem to store and release carbon is inherently linked to soil biogeochemical processes. These processes are deeply connected to the water, energy, and vegetation dynamics above and belowground. Recently, it has been advocated that a mechanistic representation of soil biogeochemistry require: (i) partitioning of soil organic carbon (SOC) pools according to their functional role; (ii) an explicit representation of microbial dynamics; (iii) coupling of carbon and nutrient cycles. While some of these components have been introduced in specialized models, they have been rarely implemented in terrestrial biosphere models and tested in real cases. In this study, we combine a new soil biogeochemistry model with an existing model of land-surface hydrology and vegetation dynamics (T&C). Specifically the soil biogeochemistry component explicitly separates different litter pools and distinguishes SOC in particulate, dissolved and mineral associated fractions. Extracellular enzymes and microbial pools are explicitly represented differentiating the functional roles of bacteria, saprotrophic and mycorrhizal fungi. Microbial activity depends on temperature, soil moisture and litter or SOC stoichiometry. The activity of macrofauna is also modeled. Nutrient dynamics include the cycles of nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium. The model accounts for feedbacks between nutrient limitations and plant growth as well as for plant stoichiometric flexibility. In turn, litter input is a function of the simulated vegetation dynamics. Root exudation and export to mycorrhiza are computed based on a nutrient uptake cost function. The combined model is tested to reproduce respiration dynamics and nitrogen cycle in few sites where data were available to test plausibility of results across a range of different metrics. For instance in a Swiss grassland ecosystem, fine root, bacteria, fungal and macrofaunal respiration account for 40%, 23%, 33% and 4% of total belowground

  18. Effect of some non functional surfactants and electrolytes on the hexavalent chromium reduction by glycerol. A mechanistic study

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Basu, A.; Ghosh, S.K.; Saha, R.; Nandi, R.; Saha, B. [Burdwan Univ., WB (India). Dept. of Chemistry; Gosh, T. [A.B.N. Seal College, Coochbehar, WB (India). Dept. of Chemistry

    2011-11-15

    Hexavalent chromium is a widespread environmental contaminant and a known human carcinogen. Kinetics of reduction of hexavalent chromium by bio-molecule glycerol in micellar media have been studied spectrophotometrically. The cytoplasmic reduction of hexavalent chromium to trivalent chromium occurs in micro-heterogeneous systems. In vitro, the micelles are considered to mimic the cellular membranes. The electron transfer processes occurring in the micellar systems is considered as model to obtain insight into the electron transport process prevailing in biological systems. Micellar media is also a probe to establish the mechanistic paths of reduction of hexavalent chromium to trivalent chromium. Effects of electrolytes common to biological system are studied to establish the proposed reaction mechanism strongly. (orig.)

  19. 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

    More than a million childhood diarrhoeal episodes occur worldwide each year, and in developed countries a considerable part of them are caused by viral infections. In this study, we aimed to search for genetic variants associated with diarrhoeal disease in young children by meta-analyzing genome-...

  20. 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...

  1. 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 pro...... as normalised, with herbalists, phytochemists and pharmacologists working to develop standardised production procedures as well as to identify ‘plausible’ explanations for the efficacy of these remedies....

  2. 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.

    2013-01-01

    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 from 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. 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's 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. PMID:23973663

  3. Novel catalytic and mechanistic studies on wastewater denitrification with hydrogen.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Theologides, C P; Olympiou, G G; Savva, P G; Pantelidou, N A; Constantinou, B K; Chatziiona, V K; Valanidou, L Y; Piskopianou, C T; Costa, C N

    2014-01-01

    The present work reports up-to-date information regarding the reaction mechanism of the catalytic hydrogenation of nitrates in water media. In the present mechanistic study, an attempt is made, for the first time, to elucidate the crucial role of several catalysts and reaction parameters in the mechanism of the NO(3)(-)/H(2) reaction. Steady-state isotopic transient kinetic analysis (SSITKA) experiments coupled with ex situ diffuse reflectance infrared Fourier transform spectroscopy (DRIFTS) were performed on supported Pd-Cu catalysts for the NO(3)(-)/H(2) and NO(3)(-)/H(2)/O(2) reactions. The latter experiments revealed that the formation and surface coverage of various adsorbed active intermediate N-species on the support or Pd/Cu metal surface is significantly favored in the presence of TiO(2) in the support mixture and in the presence of oxygen in the reaction's gaseous feed stream. The differences in the reactivity of these adsorbed N-species, found in the present work, adequately explain the large effect of the chemical composition of the support and the gas feed composition on catalyst behaviour (activity and selectivity). The present study leads to solid mechanistic evidence concerning the presence of a hydrogen spillover process from the metal to the support. Moreover, this study shows that Cu clusters are active sites for the reduction of nitrates to nitrites.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. New web-based applications for mechanistic case diagramming

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dee, Fred R.; Haugen, Thomas H.; Kreiter, Clarence D.

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:25059836

  8. Biological atomism and cell theory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nicholson, Daniel J

    2010-09-01

    Biological atomism postulates that all life is composed of elementary and indivisible vital units. The activity of a living organism is thus conceived as the result of the activities and interactions of its elementary constituents, each of which individually already exhibits all the attributes proper to life. This paper surveys some of the key episodes in the history of biological atomism, and situates cell theory within this tradition. The atomistic foundations of cell theory are subsequently dissected and discussed, together with the theory's conceptual development and eventual consolidation. This paper then examines the major criticisms that have been waged against cell theory, and argues that these too can be interpreted through the prism of biological atomism as attempts to relocate the true biological atom away from the cell to a level of organization above or below it. Overall, biological atomism provides a useful perspective through which to examine the history and philosophy of cell theory, and it also opens up a new way of thinking about the epistemic decomposition of living organisms that significantly departs from the physicochemical reductionism of mechanistic biology.

  9. Biological computation

    CERN Document Server

    Lamm, Ehud

    2011-01-01

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

  10. Chemical mixture toxicology: from descriptive to mechanistic, and going on to in silico toxicology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Raymond S H; El-Masri, Hisham A; Thomas, Russell S; Dobrev, Ivan D; Dennison, James E; Bae, Dong-Soon; Campain, Julie A; Liao, Kai H; Reisfeld, Brad; Andersen, Melvin E; Mumtaz, Moiz

    2004-11-01

    Because of the pioneering vision of certain leaders in the biomedical field, the last two decades witnessed rapid advances in the area of chemical mixture toxicology. Earlier studies utilized conventional toxicology protocol and methods, and they were mainly descriptive in nature. Two good examples might be the parallel series of studies conducted by the U.S. National Toxicology Program and TNO in The Netherlands, respectively. As a natural course of progression, more and more sophistication was incorporated into the toxicology studies of chemical mixtures. Thus, at least the following seven areas of scientific achievements in chemical mixture toxicology are evident in the literature: (a) the application of better and more robust statistical methods; (b) the exploration and incorporation of mechanistic bases for toxicological interactions; (c) the application of physiologically based pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic (PBPK/PD) modeling; (d) the studies on more complex chemical mixtures; (e) the use of science-based risk assessment approaches; (f) the utilization of functional genomics; and (g) the application of technology. Examples are given for the discussion of each of these areas. Two important concepts emerged from these studies and they are: (1) dose-dependent toxicologic interactions; and (2) "interaction thresholds". Looking into the future, one of the most challenging areas in chemical mixture research is finding the answer to the question "when one tries to characterize the health effects of chemical mixtures, how does one deal with the infinite number of combination of chemicals, and other possible stressors?" Undoubtedly, there will be many answers from different groups of researchers. Our answer, however, is first to focus on the finite (biological processes) rather than the infinite (combinations of chemical mixtures and multiple stressors). The idea is that once we know a normal biological process(es), all stimuli and insults from external stressors

  11. Organic Matter in SNC Meteorites: Is It Time to Re-Evaluate the Viking Biology Experimental Data?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Warmflash, D.; Clemett, S. J.; McKay, D. S.

    2001-01-01

    New data from SNC meteorites suggests that organic material may be present in the martian upper crust. This adds to possibility that the Viking biology experiments may have plausible biological interpretations as well as inorganic chemical interpretations Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract..

  12. The induction ability of qualitative plausibility measures in default reasoning%量化plausibility测度在默认推理系统中的推理能力

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    霍旭辉; 寇辉

    2011-01-01

    作者讨论了量化plausibility测度在默认推理逻辑系统(P系统)中的推理能力,给出了一般量化plausibility测度与possibility测度具有相同推理能力的条件.%In this paper,the authors investigate the induction ability of qualitative plausibility measures in default reasoning,and obtain the conditions such that the general qualitative plausibility measures and the possibilty measures have the same induction in default reasoning.

  13. Three-layered metallodielectric nanoshells: plausible meta-atoms for metamaterials with isotropic negative refractive index at visible wavelengths.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, DaJian; Jiang, ShuMin; Cheng, Ying; Liu, XiaoJun

    2013-01-14

    A three-layered Ag-low-permittivity (LP)-high-permittivity (HP) nanoshell is proposed as a plausible meta-atom for building the three-dimensional isotropic negative refractive index metamaterials (NIMs). The overlap between the electric and magnetic responses of Ag-LP-HP nanoshell can be realized by designing the geometry of the particle, which can lead to the negative electric and magnetic polarizabilities. Then, the negative refractive index is found in the random arrangement of Ag-LP-HP nanoshells. Especially, the modulation of the middle LP layer can move the negative refractive index range into the visible region. Because the responses arise from the each meta-atom, the metamaterial is intrinsically isotropic and polarization independent. It is further found with the increase of the LP layer thickness that the negative refractive index range of the random arrangement shows a large blue-shift and becomes narrow. With the decrease of the filling fraction, the negative refractive index range shows a blue-shift and becomes narrow while the maximum of the negative refractive index decreases.

  14. Plausible Drug Targets in the Streptococcus mutans Quorum Sensing Pathways to Combat Dental Biofilms and Associated Risks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaur, Gurmeet; Rajesh, Shrinidhi; Princy, S Adline

    2015-12-01

    Streptococcus mutans, a Gram positive facultative anaerobe, is one among the approximately seven hundred bacterial species to exist in human buccal cavity and cause dental caries. Quorum sensing (QS) is a cell-density dependent communication process that respond to the inter/intra-species signals and elicit responses to show behavioral changes in the bacteria to an aggressive forms. In accordance to this phenomenon, the S. mutans also harbors a Competing Stimulating Peptide (CSP)-mediated quorum sensing, ComCDE (Two-component regulatory system) to regulate several virulence-associated traits that includes the formation of the oral biofilm (dental plaque), genetic competence and acidogenicity. The QS-mediated response of S. mutans adherence on tooth surface (dental plaque) imparts antibiotic resistance to the bacterium and further progresses to lead a chronic state, known as periodontitis. In recent years, the oral streptococci, S. mutans are not only recognized for its cariogenic potential but also well known to worsen the infective endocarditis due to its inherent ability to colonize and form biofilm on heart valves. The review significantly appreciate the increasing complexity of the CSP-mediated quorum-sensing pathway with a special emphasis to identify the plausible drug targets within the system for the development of anti-quorum drugs to control biofilm formation and associated risks.

  15. X-ray investigation of the diffuse emission around plausible gamma-ray emitting pulsar wind nebulae in Kookaburra region

    CERN Document Server

    Kishishita, Tetsuichi; Uchiyama, Yasunobu; Tanaka, Yasuyuki; Takahashi, Tadayuki

    2012-01-01

    We report on the results from {\\it Suzaku} X-ray observations of the radio complex region called Kookaburra, which includes two adjacent TeV $\\gamma$-ray sources HESS J1418-609 and HESS J1420-607. The {\\it Suzaku} observation revealed X-ray diffuse emission around a middle-aged pulsar PSR J1420-6048 and a plausible PWN Rabbit with elongated sizes of $\\sigma_{\\rm X}=1^{\\prime}.66$ and $\\sigma_{\\rm X}=1^{\\prime}.49$, respectively. The peaks of the diffuse X-ray emission are located within the $\\gamma$-ray excess maps obtained by H.E.S.S. and the offsets from the $\\gamma$-ray peaks are $2^{\\prime}.8$ for PSR J1420-6048 and $4^{\\prime}.5$ for Rabbit. The X-ray spectra of the two sources were well reproduced by absorbed power-law models with $\\Gamma=1.7-2.3$. The spectral shapes tend to become softer according to the distance from the X-ray peaks. Assuming the one zone electron emission model as the first order approximation, the ambient magnetic field strengths of HESS J1420-607 and HESS J1418-609 can be estimate...

  16. Bethe-Heitler cascades as a plausible origin of hard spectra in distant TeV blazars

    CERN Document Server

    Zheng, Y G; Kang, S J

    2016-01-01

    Context. Very high-energy (VHE) $\\gamma$-ray measurements of distant TeV blazars can be nicely explained by TeV spectra induced by ultra high-energy cosmic rays. Aims. We develop a model for a plausible origin of hard spectra in distant TeV blazars. Methods. In the model, the TeV emission in distant TeV blazars is dominated by two mixed components. The first is the internal component with the photon energy around 1 TeV produced by inverse Compton scattering of the relativistic electrons on the synchrotron photons (SSC) with a correction for extragalactic background light absorbtion and the other is the external component with the photon energy more than 1 TeV produced by the cascade emission from high-energy protons propagating through intergalactic space. Results. Assuming suitable model parameters, we apply the model to observed spectra of distant TeV blazars of 1ES 0229+200. Our results show that 1) the observed spectrum properties of 1ES 0229+200, especially the TeV $\\gamma$-ray tail of the observed spect...

  17. Non-canonical 3'-5' extension of RNA with prebiotically plausible ribonucleoside 2',3'-cyclic phosphates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mutschler, Hannes; Holliger, Philipp

    2014-04-09

    Ribonucleoside 2',3'-cyclic phosphates (N>p's) are generated by multiple prebiotically plausible processes and are credible building blocks for the assembly of early RNA oligomers. While N>p's can be polymerized into short RNAs by non-enzymatic processes with variable efficiency and regioselectivity, no enzymatic route for RNA synthesis had been described. Here we report such a non-canonical 3'-5' nucleotidyl transferase activity. We engineered a variant of the hairpin ribozyme to catalyze addition of all four N>p's (2',3'-cyclic A-, G-, U-, and CMP) to the 5'-hydroxyl termini of RNA strands with 5' nucleotide addition enhanced in all cases by eutectic ice phase formation at -7 °C. We also observed 5' addition of 2',3'-cyclic phosphate-activated β-nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD>p) and ACA>p RNA trinucleotide, and multiple additions of GUCCA>p RNA pentamers. Our results establish a new mode of RNA 3'-5' extension with implications for RNA oligomer synthesis from prebiotic nucleotide pools.

  18. Removal of hazardous organics from water using metal-organic frameworks (MOFs): plausible mechanisms for selective adsorptions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hasan, Zubair; Jhung, Sung Hwa

    2015-01-01

    Provision of clean water is one of the most important issues worldwide because of continuing economic development and the steady increase in the global population. However, clean water resources are decreasing everyday, because of contamination with various pollutants including organic chemicals. Pharmaceutical and personal care products, herbicides/pesticides, dyes, phenolics, and aromatics (from sources such as spilled oil) are typical organics that should be removed from water. Because of their huge porosities, designable pore structures, and facile modification, metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) are used in various adsorption, separation, storage, and delivery applications. In this review, the adsorptive purifications of contaminated water with MOFs are discussed, in order to understand possible applications of MOFs in clean water provision. More importantly, plausible adsorption or interaction mechanisms and selective adsorptions are summarized. The mechanisms of interactions such as electrostatic interaction, acid-base interaction, hydrogen bonding, π-π stacking/interaction, and hydrophobic interaction are discussed for the selective adsorption of organics over MOFs. The adsorption mechanisms will be very helpful not only for understanding adsorptions but also for applications of adsorptions in selective removal, storage, delivery and so on.

  19. Simultaneous observations of a pair of kilohertz QPOs and a plausible 1860 Hz QPO from an accreting neutron star system

    CERN Document Server

    Bhattacharyya, Sudip

    2009-01-01

    We report an indication (3.22 sigma) of ~ 1860 Hz quasi-periodic oscillations from a neutron star low-mass X-ray binary 4U 1636-536. If confirmed, this will be by far the highest frequency feature observed from an accreting neutron star system, and hence could be very useful to understand such systems. This plausible timing feature was observed simultaneously with lower (~ 585 Hz) and upper (~ 904 Hz) kilohertz quasi-periodic oscillations. The two kilohertz quasi-periodic oscillation frequencies had the ratio of ~ 1.5, and the frequency of the alleged ~ 1860 Hz feature was close to the triple and the double of these frequencies. This can be useful to constrain the models of all the three features. In particular, the ~ 1860 Hz feature could be (1) from a new and heretofore unknown class of quasi-periodic oscillations, or (2) the first observed overtone of lower or upper kilohertz quasi-periodic oscillations. Finally we note that, although the relatively low significance of the ~ 1860 Hz feature argues for caut...

  20. Conservative or reactive? Mechanistic chemical perspectives on organic matter stability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koch, Boris

    2016-04-01

    Carbon fixation by terrestrial and marine primary production has a fundamental seasonal effect on the atmospheric carbon content and it profoundly contributes to long-term carbon storage in form of organic matter (OM) in soils, water, and sediments. The efficacy of this sequestration process strongly depends on the degree of OM persistence. Therefore, one of the key issues in dissolved and particulate OM research is to assess the stability of reservoirs and to quantify their contribution to global carbon fluxes. Incubation experiments are helpful to assess OM stability during the first, early diagenetic turnover induced by sunlight or microbes. However, net carbon fluxes within the global carbon cycle also act on much longer time scales, which are not amenable in experiments. It is therefore critical to improve our mechanistic understanding to be able to assess potential future changes in the organic matter cycle. This session contribution highlights some achievements and open questions in the field. An improved mechanistic understanding of OM turnover particularly depends on the molecular characterization of biogeochemical processes and their kinetics: (i) in soils and sediments, aggregation/disaggregation of OM is primarily controlled by its molecular composition. Hence, the chemical composition determines the transfer of organic carbon from the large particulate to the small dissolved organic matter reservoir - an important substrate for microbial metabolism. (ii) In estuaries, dissolved organic carbon gradients usually suggest conservative behavior, whereas molecular-level studies reveal a substantial chemical modification of terrestrial DOM along the land-ocean interface. (iii) In the ocean, previous studies have shown that the recalcitrance of OM depends on bulk concentration and energy yield. However, ultrahigh resolution mass spectrometry in combination with radiocarbon analyses also emphasized that stability is tightly connected to molecular composition

  1. A new mechanistic framework to predict OCS fluxes in soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sauze, Joana; Ogee, Jérôme; Launois, Thomas; Kesselmeier, Jürgen; Van Diest, Heidi; Wingate, Lisa

    2015-04-01

    A better description of the amplitude of photosynthetic and respiratory gross CO2 fluxes at large scales is needed to improve our predictions of the current and future global CO2 cycle. Carbonyl sulfide (COS) is the most abundant sulphur gas in the atmosphere and has been proposed as a new tracer of gross photosynthesis, as the uptake of COS from the atmosphere is dominated by the activity of carbonic anhydrase (CA), an enzyme abundant in leaves that also catalyses CO2 hydration during photosynthesis. However, soils also exchange COS with the atmosphere and there is growing evidence that this flux must also be accounted for in atmospheric budgets. In this context a new mechanistic description of soil-atmosphere COS exchange is clearly needed. Soils can take up COS from the atmosphere as the soil biota also contain CA, and COS emissions from soils have also been reported in agricultural fields or anoxic soils. Previous studies have also shown that soil COS fluxes present an optimum soil water content and soil temperature. Here we propose a new mechanistic framework to predict the fluxes of COS between the soils and the atmosphere. We describe the COS soil budget by a first-order reaction-diffusion-production equation, assuming that the hydrolysis of COS by CA is total and irreversible. To describe COS diffusion through the soil matrix, we use different formulations of soil air-filled pore space and temperature, depending on the turbulence level above the soil surface. Using this model we are able to explain the observed presence of an optimum temperature for soil COS uptake and show how this optimum can shift to cooler temperatures in the presence of soil COS emissions. Our model can also explain the observed optimum with soil moisture content previously described in the literature (e.g. Van Diest & Kesselmeier, 2008) as a result of diffusional constraints on COS hydrolysis. These diffusional constraints are also responsible for the response of COS uptake to soil

  2. Determination of nitric oxide metabolites, nitrate and nitrite, in Anopheles culicifacies mosquito midgut and haemolymph by anion exchange high-performance liquid chromatography: plausible mechanism of refractoriness

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adak Tridibesh

    2008-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The diverse physiological and pathological role of nitric oxide in innate immune defenses against many intra and extracellular pathogens, have led to the development of various methods for determining nitric oxide (NO synthesis. NO metabolites, nitrite (NO2- and nitrate (NO3- are produced by the action of an inducible Anopheles culicifacies NO synthase (AcNOS in mosquito mid-guts and may be central to anti-parasitic arsenal of these mosquitoes. Method While exploring a plausible mechanism of refractoriness based on nitric oxide synthase physiology among the sibling species of An. culicifacies, a sensitive, specific and cost effective high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC method was developed, which is not influenced by the presence of biogenic amines, for the determination of NO2- and NO3- from mosquito mid-guts and haemolymph. Results This method is based on extraction, efficiency, assay reproducibility and contaminant minimization. It entails de-proteinization by centrifugal ultra filtration through ultracel 3 K filter and analysis by high performance anion exchange liquid chromatography (Sphereclone, 5 μ SAX column with UV detection at 214 nm. The lower detection limit of the assay procedure is 50 pmoles in all midgut and haemolymph samples. Retention times for NO2- and NO3- in standards and in mid-gut samples were 3.42 and 4.53 min. respectively. Assay linearity for standards ranged between 50 nM and 1 mM. Recoveries of NO2- and NO3- from spiked samples (1–100 μM and from the extracted standards (1–100 μM were calculated to be 100%. Intra-assay and inter assay variations and relative standard deviations (RSDs for NO2- and NO3- in spiked and un-spiked midgut samples were 5.7% or less. Increased levels NO2- and NO3- in midguts and haemolymph of An. culicifacies sibling species B in comparison to species A reflect towards a mechanism of refractoriness based on AcNOS physiology. Conclusion HPLC is a sensitive

  3. A General Mechanistic Model of Solid Oxide Fuel Cells

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    SHI Yixiang; CAI Ningsheng

    2006-01-01

    A comprehensive model considering all forms of polarization was developed. The model considers the intricate interdependency among the electrode microstructure, the transport phenomena, and the electrochemical processes. The active three-phase boundary surface was expressed as a function of electrode microstructure parameters (porosity, coordination number, contact angle, etc.). The exchange current densities used in the simulation were obtained by fitting a general formulation to the polarization curves proposed as a function of cell temperature and oxygen partial pressure. A validation study shows good agreement with published experimental data. Distributions of overpotentials, gas component partial pressures, and electronic/ionic current densities have been calculated. The effects of a porous electrode structure and of various operation conditions on cell performance were also predicted. The mechanistic model proposed can be used to interpret experimental observations and optimize cell performance by incorporating reliable experimental data.

  4. 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.

  5. Structure determines medication errors in nursing units: a mechanistic approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hung, Chang-Chiao; Lee, Bih-O; Tsai, Shu-Ling; Tseng, Yun Shan; Chang, Chia-Hao

    2015-03-01

    Medication errors have long been considered critical in global health care systems. However, few studies have been conducted to explore the effects of nursing unit structure on medication errors. The purpose of this study, therefore, was to determine the effects of structural factors on medication errors in nursing units. A total of 977 staff nurses and 62 head nurses participated in this cross-sectional design study. The findings show that professional autonomy (β = .53, t = 6.03, p nursing experts (β = .52, t = 5.99, p medication error rates. This study shows that the structural factors influence medication administration and the mechanistic approach is specifically in relation of low medication error rates. The author suggests that head nurses should consider strategies that require adjustments to unit control mechanisms.

  6. Mechanistic study of ZnO nanorod array electrodeposition

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    El Belghiti, H.; Pauporte, T.; Lincot, D. [Laboratoire d' Electrochimie et Chimie Analytique, UMR7575, Ecole Nationale Superieure de Chimie de Paris-Universite Paris 6 (France)

    2008-10-15

    The growth of ZnO nanorods by electrodeposition from oxygenated aqueous mixture of zinc chloride and potassium chloride is studied experimentally as a function of the deposition time, zinc concentration and the substrate. These parameters influence markedly the characteristics of the deposits (rod density, aspect ratio, orientation). A mechanistic model is presented in order to explain the formation of ZnO nanorod arrays by electrodeposition. The model is based on the effect of zinc concentration on the interfacial pH at the electrode surface and then on the charged stable zinc species able to react with the growing film. The charge of the complex seems to be the key parameter which stops the lateral growth and then significantly increases the aspect ratio of the single crystalline nanorods. (copyright 2008 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH and Co. KGaA, Weinheim) (orig.)

  7. 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

    2016-07-01

    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.

  8. [Biological weapons].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kerwat, K; Becker, S; Wulf, H; Densow, D

    2010-08-01

    Biological weapons are weapons of mass destruction that use pathogens (bacteria, viruses) or the toxins produced by them to target living organisms or to contaminate non-living substances. In the past, biological warfare has been repeatedly used. Anthrax, plague and smallpox are regarded as the most dangerous biological weapons by various institutions. Nowadays it seems quite unlikely that biological warfare will be employed in any military campaigns. However, the possibility remains that biological weapons may be used in acts of bioterrorism. In addition all diseases caused by biological weapons may also occur naturally or as a result of a laboratory accident. Risk assessment with regard to biological danger often proves to be difficult. In this context, an early identification of a potentially dangerous situation through experts is essential to limit the degree of damage.

  9. 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…

  10. World Literacy Prospects at the Turn of the Century: Is the Objective of Literacy for All by the Year 2000 Statistically Plausible?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carceles, Gabriel

    1990-01-01

    Describes status and challenge of worldwide illiteracy. Discusses statistical plausibility of universal literacy by 2000. Predicts literacy universalization will take from 14 to 21 years, depending on region, if 1980s trends continue. Implies literacy work requires action strategies commensurate with problem, including national programs and mass…

  11. Combination of monoclonal antibodies and DPP-IV inhibitors in the treatment of type 1 diabetes: a plausible treatment modality?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dubala, Anil; Gupta, Ankur; Samanta, Malay K

    2014-07-01

    Regulatory T cells (Tregs) are crucial for the maintenance of immunological tolerance. Type 1 diabetes (T1D) occurs when the immune-regulatory mechanism fails. In fact, T1D is reversed by islet transplantation but is associated with hostile effects of persistent immune suppression. T1D is believed to be dependent on the activation of type-1 helper T (Th1) cells. Immune tolerance is liable for the activation of the Th1 cells. The important role of Th1 cells in pathology of T1D entails the depletion of CD4(+) T cells, which initiated the use of monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) against CD4(+) T cells to interfere with induction of T1D. Prevention of autoimmunity is not only a step forward for the treatment of T1D, but could also restore the β-cell mass. Glucagon-like peptide (GLP)-1 stimulates β-cell proliferation and also has anti-apoptotic effects on them. However, the potential use of GLP-1 as a possible method to restore pancreatic β-cells is limited due to rapid degradation by dipeptidyl peptidase (DPP)-IV. We hypothesize that treatment with combination of CD4 mAbs and DPP-IV inhibitors could prevent/reverse T1D. CD4 mAbs have the ability to induce immune tolerance, thereby arresting further progression of T1D; DPP-IV inhibitors have the capability to regenerate the β-cell mass. Consequently, the combination of CD4 mAbs and DPP-IV inhibitor could avoid or at least minimize the constraints of intensive subcutaneous insulin therapy. We presume that if this hypothesis proves correct, it may become one of the plausible therapeutic options for T1D.

  12. In Silico Structure Prediction of Human Fatty Acid Synthase-Dehydratase: A Plausible Model for Understanding Active Site Interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    John, Arun; Umashankar, Vetrivel; Samdani, A; Sangeetha, Manoharan; Krishnakumar, Subramanian; Deepa, Perinkulam Ravi

    2016-01-01

    Fatty acid synthase (FASN, UniProt ID: P49327) is a multienzyme dimer complex that plays a critical role in lipogenesis. Consequently, this lipogenic enzyme has gained tremendous biomedical importance. The role of FASN and its inhibition is being extensively researched in several clinical conditions, such as cancers, obesity, and diabetes. X-ray crystallographic structures of some of its domains, such as β-ketoacyl synthase, acetyl transacylase, malonyl transacylase, enoyl reductase, β-ketoacyl reductase, and thioesterase, (TE) are already reported. Here, we have attempted an in silico elucidation of the uncrystallized dehydratase (DH) catalytic domain of human FASN. This theoretical model for DH domain was predicted using comparative modeling methods. Different stand-alone tools and servers were used to validate and check the reliability of the predicted models, which suggested it to be a highly plausible model. The stereochemical analysis showed 92.0% residues in favorable region of Ramachandran plot. The initial physiological substrate β-hydroxybutyryl group was docked into active site of DH domain using Glide. The molecular dynamics simulations carried out for 20 ns in apo and holo states indicated the stability and accuracy of the predicted structure in solvated condition. The predicted model provided useful biochemical insights into the substrate-active site binding mechanisms. This model was then used for identifying potential FASN inhibitors using high-throughput virtual screening of the National Cancer Institute database of chemical ligands. The inhibitory efficacy of the top hit ligands was validated by performing molecular dynamics simulation for 20 ns, where in the ligand NSC71039 exhibited good enzyme inhibition characteristics and exhibited dose-dependent anticancer cytotoxicity in retinoblastoma cancer cells in vitro.

  13. 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.

  14. Assessing the Sensitivity of a Reservoir Management System Under Plausible Assumptions About Future Climate Over Seasons to Decades

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ward, M. N.; Brown, C. M.; Baroang, K. M.; Kaheil, Y. H.

    2011-12-01

    We illustrate an analysis procedure that explores the robustness and overall productivity of a reservoir management system under plausible assumptions about climate fluctuation and change. Results are presented based on a stylized version of a multi-use reservoir management model adapted from Angat Dam, Philippines. It represents a modest-sized seasonal storage reservoir in a climate with a pronounced dry season. The reservoir management model focuses on October-March, during which climatological inflow declines due to the arrival of the dry season, and reservoir management becomes critical and challenging. Inflow is assumed to be impacted by climate fluctuations representing interannal variation (white noise), decadal to multidecadal variation (MDV, here represented by a stochastic autoregressive process) and global change (GC), here represented by a systematic linear trend in seasonal inflow total over the simulation period of 2008-2047. Reservoir reliability, and risk of extreme persistent water shortfall, is assessed under different combinations and magnitudes of GC and MDV. We include an illustration of adaptive management, using seasonal forecasts and updated climate normals. A set of seasonal forecast and observed inflow values are generated for 2008-2047 by randomly rearranging the forecast-observed pairs for 1968-2007. Then, trends are imposed on the observed series, with differing assumptions about the extent to which the seasonal forecasts can be expected to track the trend. We consider the framework presented here well-suited to providing insights about managing the climate risks in reservoir operations, providing guidance on expected benefits and risks of different strategies and climate scenarios.

  15. Vitalistic causality in young children's naive biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Inagaki, Kayoko; Hatano, Giyoo

    2004-08-01

    One of the key issues in conceptual development research concerns what kinds of causal devices young children use to understand the biological world. We review evidence that children predict and interpret biological phenomena, especially human bodily processes, on the basis of 'vitalistic causality'. That is, they assume that vital power or life force taken from food and water makes humans active, prevents them from being taken ill, and enables them to grow. These relationships are also extended readily to other animals and even to plants. Recent experimental results show that a majority of preschoolers tend to choose vitalistic explanations as most plausible. Vitalism, together with other forms of intermediate causality, constitute unique causal devices for naive biology as a core domain of thought.

  16. A mechanistic treatment of the dominant soil nitrogen cycling processes: Model development, testing, and application

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maggi, F.; Gu, C.; Riley, W. J.; Hornberger, G. M.; Venterea, R. T.; Xu, T.; Spycher, N.; Steefel, C.; Miller, N. L.; Oldenburg, C. M.

    2008-06-01

    The development and initial application of a mechanistic model (TOUGHREACT-N) designed to characterize soil nitrogen (N) cycling and losses are described. The model couples advective and diffusive nutrient transport, multiple microbial biomass dynamics, and equilibrium and kinetic chemical reactions. TOUGHREACT-N was calibrated and tested against field measurements to assess pathways of N loss as either gas emission or solute leachate following fertilization and irrigation in a Central Valley, California, agricultural field as functions of fertilizer application rate and depth, and irrigation water volume. Our results, relative to the period before plants emerge, show that an increase in fertilizer rate produced a nonlinear response in terms of N losses. An increase of irrigation volume produced NO2- and NO3- leaching, whereas an increase in fertilization depth mainly increased leaching of all N solutes. In addition, nitrifying bacteria largely increased in mass with increasing fertilizer rate. Increases in water application caused nitrifiers and denitrifiers to decrease and increase their mass, respectively, while nitrifiers and denitrifiers reversed their spatial stratification when fertilizer was applied below 15 cm depth. Coupling aqueous advection and diffusion, and gaseous diffusion with biological processes, closely captured actual conditions and, in the system explored here, significantly clarified interpretation of field measurements.

  17. Reactivities of d~0 transition metal complexes toward oxygen:Synthetic and mechanistic studies

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2009-01-01

    Transition metals such as Fe in porphyrin complexes are known to bind or react with O2,and such reactions are critical to many biological functions and catalytic oxidation using O2.The transition metals in these reactions often contain valence d electrons,and oxidation of metals is an important step.In recent years,reactions of O2 with d0 transition metal complexes such as Hf(NR2)4(R=alkyl) have been used to make metal oxide thin films as insulating gate materials in new microelectronic devices.This feature article discusses our recent studies of such reactions and the formation of TiO2 thin films.In contrast to the reactions of many dn complexes where metals are often oxidized,reactions of d0 complexes such as Hf(NMe2)4 and Ta(NMe2)4(SiR3) with O2 usually lead to the oxidation of ligands,forming,e.g.,-ONMe2 and -OSiR3 from-NMe2 and-SiR3 ligands,respectively.Mechanistic and theoretical studies of these reactions have revealed pathways in the formation of the metal oxide thin films as microelectronic materials.

  18. Mechanistic aspects of sodium-binding sites in LeuT-like fold symporters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perez, Camilo; Ziegler, Christine

    2013-05-01

    Secondary active transporters are of paramount biological impact in all living cells, facilitating the movement of many different substrates across the membrane against a concentration gradient. The uphill transport of one substrate is coupled to the downhill transport of another and driven by the electrochemical gradient. In the last decade, an increasing number of atomic structures of secondary transporters have been reported, confirming a very fundamental mechanistic concept known as the alternating-access cycle. The wealth of structures of transporters sharing the so-called LeuT-like fold that is characterized by two five-transmembrane-helix repeats sharing a 2-fold inverted pseudo symmetry has raised big hopes to finally describe alternating access on a molecular level. Although comparing the individual transporter states of different LeuT-like fold transporters revealed striking similarities, the coupling process, which represents the heart of secondary transport, is far from being understood. Here, we review the structural, functional, and biophysical validation of sodium-binding sites in four different LeuT-like fold transporters. The conservation of sodium sites is discussed in light of their role as key elements connecting symmetry-related structural domains, which are involved in substrate translocation. Moreover, we highlight their crucial roles in conformational changes of LeuT-like fold transporters and their implication on a unifying mechanism in secondary transport.

  19. Rational Design of Transcranial Current Stimulation (TCS through Mechanistic Insights into Cortical Network Dynamics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Flavio eFrohlich

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available Transcranial current stimulation (TCS is a promising method of non-invasive brain stimulation to modulate cortical network dynamics. Preliminary studies have demonstrated the ability of TCS to enhance cognition and reduce symptoms in both neurological and psychiatric illnesses. Despite the encouraging results of these studies, the mechanisms by which TCS and endogenous network dynamics interact remain poorly understood. Here, we propose that the development of the next generation of TCS paradigms with increased efficacy requires such mechanistic understanding of how weak electric fields imposed by TCS interact with the nonlinear dynamics of large-scale cortical networks. We highlight key recent advances in the study of the interaction dynamics between TCS and cortical network activity. In particular, we demonstrate the opportunities provided by an interdisciplinary approach that bridges neurobiology and electrical engineering. We discuss the use of (1 hybrid biological-electronic experimental approaches to disentangle feedback interactions, (2 large-scale computer simulations for the study of weak global perturbations imposed by TCS, and (3 optogenetic manipulations informed by dynamics systems theory to probe network dynamics. Together, we here provide the foundation for the use of rational design for the development of the next generation of TCS neurotherapeutics.

  20. Mechanistic links between cellular trade-offs, gene expression, and growth.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weiße, Andrea Y; Oyarzún, Diego A; Danos, Vincent; Swain, Peter S

    2015-03-01

    Intracellular processes rarely work in isolation but continually interact with the rest of the cell. In microbes, for example, we now know that gene expression across the whole genome typically changes with growth rate. The mechanisms driving such global regulation, however, are not well understood. Here we consider three trade-offs that, because of limitations in levels of cellular energy, free ribosomes, and proteins, are faced by all living cells and we construct a mechanistic model that comprises these trade-offs. Our model couples gene expression with growth rate and growth rate with a growing population of cells. We show that the model recovers Monod's law for the growth of microbes and two other empirical relationships connecting growth rate to the mass fraction of ribosomes. Further, we can explain growth-related effects in dosage compensation by paralogs and predict host-circuit interactions in synthetic biology. Simulating competitions between strains, we find that the regulation of metabolic pathways may have evolved not to match expression of enzymes to levels of extracellular substrates in changing environments but rather to balance a trade-off between exploiting one type of nutrient over another. Although coarse-grained, the trade-offs that the model embodies are fundamental, and, as such, our modeling framework has potentially wide application, including in both biotechnology and medicine.

  1. A Mechanistic Treatment of the Dominant Soil Nitrogen Cycling Processes: Model Development, Testing, and Application

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Riley, William; Maggi, F.; Gu, C.; Riley, W.J.; Hornberger, G.M.; Venterea, R.T.; Xu, T.; Spycher, N.; Steefel, C.; Miller, N.L.; Oldenburg, C.M.

    2008-05-01

    The development and initial application of a mechanistic model (TOUGHREACT-N) designed to characterize soil nitrogen (N) cycling and losses are described. The model couples advective and diffusive nutrient transport, multiple microbial biomass dynamics, and equilibrium and kinetic chemical reactions. TOUGHREACT-N was calibrated and tested against field measurements to assess pathways of N loss as either gas emission or solute leachate following fertilization and irrigation in a Central Valley, California, agricultural field as functions of fertilizer application rate and depth, and irrigation water volume. Our results, relative to the period before plants emerge, show that an increase in fertilizer rate produced a nonlinear response in terms of N losses. An increase of irrigation volume produced NO{sub 2}{sup -} and NO{sub 3}{sup -} leaching, whereas an increase in fertilization depth mainly increased leaching of all N solutes. In addition, nitrifying bacteria largely increased in mass with increasing fertilizer rate. Increases in water application caused nitrifiers and denitrifiers to decrease and increase their mass, respectively, while nitrifiers and denitrifiers reversed their spatial stratification when fertilizer was applied below 15 cm depth. Coupling aqueous advection and diffusion, and gaseous diffusion with biological processes, closely captured actual conditions and, in the system explored here, significantly clarified interpretation of field measurements.

  2. 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.

  3. Reactivities of d~0 transition metal complexes toward oxygen:Synthetic and mechanistic studies

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    CHEN ShuJian; ZHANG XinHao; LIN ZhenYang; WU YunDong; XUE ZiLing

    2009-01-01

    Transition metals such as Fe in porphyrin complexes are known to bind or react with O_2,and such reactions are critical to many biological functions and catalytic oxidation using O_2.The transition metals in these reactions often contain valence d electrons,and oxidation of metals is an important step.In recent years,reactions of O_2 with d~0 transition metal complexes such as Hf(NR_2)_4 (R=alkyl) have been used to make metal oxide thin films as insulating gate materials in new microelectronic devices.This feature article discusses our recent studies of such reactions and the formation of TiO_2 thin films.In contrast to the reactions of many d~n complexes where metals are often oxidized,reactions of d~0 complexes such as Hf(Nme_2)_4 and Ta(Nme_2)_4(SiR_3) with O_2 usually lead to the oxidation of ligands,forming,e.g.,-ONMe_2 and-OSiR_3 from-Nme_2 and-SiR_3 ligands,respectively.Mechanistic and theoretical studies of these reactions have revealed pathways in the formation of the metal oxide thin films as microelectronic materials.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1986-11-01

    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/sub 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/sub 2/ ingestion, it seems that ClO/sub 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.

  5. Carcinogenicity and mechanistic insights on the behavior of epoxides and epoxide-forming chemicals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Melnick, Ronald L

    2002-12-01

    Many epoxides and their precursors are high production volume chemicals that have major uses in the polymer industry and as intermediates in the manufacture of other chemicals. Several of these chemicals were demonstrated to be carcinogenic in laboratory animal studies conducted by the Ramazzini Foundation (e.g., vinyl chloride, acrylonitrile, styrene, styrene oxide, and benzene) and by the National Toxicology Program (e.g., ethylene oxide, 1,3-butadiene, isoprene, chloroprene, acrylonitrile, glycidol, and benzene). The most common sites of tumor induction were lung, liver, harderian gland, and circulatory system in mice; Zymbal's gland and brain in rats; and mammary gland and forestomach in both species. Differences in cancer outcome among studies of epoxide chemicals may be related to differences in study design (e.g., dose, duration, and route of exposure; observation period; animal strains), as well as biological factors affecting target organ dosimetry of the DNA-reactive epoxide (toxicokinetics) and tissue response (toxicodynamics). N7-Alkylguanine, N1-alkyladenine, and cyclic etheno adducts, as well as K-ras and p53 mutations, have been detected in animals and/or workers exposed to several of these chemicals. The classifications of these chemical carcinogens by IARC and NTP are based on animal and human data and results of mechanistic studies. Reducing occupational and environmental exposures to these chemicals will certainly reduce human cancer risks.

  6. Hormesis: a fundamental concept in biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calabrese, Edward J.

    2014-01-01

    This paper assesses the hormesis dose response concept, including its historical foundations, frequency, generality, quantitative features, mechanistic basis and biomedical, pharmaceutical and environmental health implications. The hormetic dose response is highly generalizable, being independent of biology model (i.e. common from plants to humans), level of biological organization (i.e. cell, organ and organism), endpoint, inducing agent and mechanism, providing the first general and quantitative description of plasticity. The hormetic dose response describes the limits to which integrative endpoints (e.g. cell proliferation, cell migration, growth patterns, tissue repair, aging processes, complex behaviors such as anxiety, learning, memory, and stress, preconditioning responses, and numerous adaptive responses) can be modulated (i.e., enhanced or diminished) by pharmaceutical, chemical and physical means. Thus, the hormesis concept is a fundamental concept in biology with a wide range of biological implications and biomedical applications.

  7. Hormesis: a fundamental concept in biology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Edward J. Calabrese

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available This paper assesses the hormesis dose response concept, including its historical foundations, frequency, generality, quantitative features, mechanistic basis and biomedical, pharmaceutical and environmental health implications. The hormetic dose response is highly generalizable, being independent of biology model (i.e. common from plants to humans, level of biological organization (i.e. cell, organ and organism, endpoint, inducing agent and mechanism, providing the first general and quantitative description of plasticity. The hormetic dose response describes the limits to which integrative endpoints (e.g. cell proliferation, cell migration, growth patterns, tissue repair, aging processes, complex behaviors such as anxiety, learning, memory, and stress, preconditioning responses, and numerous adaptive responses can be modulated (i.e., enhanced or diminished by pharmaceutical, chemical and physical means. Thus, the hormesis concept is a fundamental concept in biology with a wide range of biological implications and biomedical applications.

  8. Clinical pharmacology considerations in biologics development

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Liang ZHAO; Tian-hua REN; Diane D WANG

    2012-01-01

    Biologics,including monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) and other therapeutic proteins such as cytokines and growth hormones,have unique characteristics compared to small molecules.This paper starts from an overview of the pharmacokinetics (PK) of biologics from a mechanistic perspective,the determination of a starting dose for first-in-human(FIH) studies,and dosing regimen optimisation for phase Ⅱ/Ⅲ clinical trials.Subsequently,typical clinical pharmacology issues along the corresponding pathways for biologics development are summarised,including drug-drug interactions,QTc prolongation,immunogenicity,and studies in specific populations.The relationships between the molecular structure of biologics,their pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic characteristics,and the corresponding clinical pharmacology strategies are summarised and depicted in a schematic diagram.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. A new mechanistic framework to predict OCS fluxes from soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ogée, Jérôme; Sauze, Joana; Kesselmeier, Jürgen; Genty, Bernard; Van Diest, Heidi; Launois, Thomas; Wingate, Lisa

    2016-04-01

    Estimates of photosynthetic and respiratory fluxes at large scales are needed to improve our predictions of the current and future global CO2 cycle. Carbonyl sulfide (OCS) is the most abundant sulfur gas in the atmosphere and has been proposed as a new tracer of photosynthetic gross primary productivity (GPP), as the uptake of OCS from the atmosphere is dominated by the activity of carbonic anhydrase (CA), an enzyme abundant in leaves that also catalyses CO2 hydration during photosynthesis. However soils also exchange OCS with the atmosphere, which complicates the retrieval of GPP from atmospheric budgets. Indeed soils can take up large amounts of OCS from the atmosphere as soil microorganisms also contain CA, and OCS emissions from soils have been reported in agricultural fields or anoxic soils. To date no mechanistic framework exists to describe this exchange of OCS between soils and the atmosphere, but empirical results, once upscaled to the global scale, indicate that OCS consumption by soils dominates OCS emission and its contribution to the atmospheric budget is large, at about one third of the OCS uptake by vegetation, also with a large uncertainty. Here, we propose a new mechanistic model of the exchange of OCS between soils and the atmosphere that builds on our knowledge of soil CA activity from CO2 oxygen isotopes. In this model the OCS soil budget is described by a first-order reaction-diffusion-production equation, assuming that the hydrolysis of OCS by CA is total and irreversible. Using this model we are able to explain the observed presence of an optimum temperature for soil OCS uptake and show how this optimum can shift to cooler temperatures in the presence of soil OCS emission. Our model can also explain the observed optimum with soil moisture content previously described in the literature as a result of diffusional constraints on OCS hydrolysis. These diffusional constraints are also responsible for the response of OCS uptake to soil weight and

  12. Development of a mechanistic model for forced convection subcooled boiling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shaver, Dillon R.

    The focus of this work is on the formulation, implementation, and testing of a mechanistic model of subcooled boiling. Subcooled boiling is the process of vapor generation on a heated wall when the bulk liquid temperature is still below saturation. This is part of a larger effort by the US DoE's CASL project to apply advanced computational tools to the simulation of light water reactors. To support this effort, the formulation of the dispersed field model is described and a complete model of interfacial forces is formulated. The model has been implemented in the NPHASE-CMFD computer code with a K-epsilon model of turbulence. The interfacial force models are built on extensive work by other authors, and include novel formulations of the turbulent dispersion and lift forces. The complete model of interfacial forces is compared to experiments for adiabatic bubbly flows, including both steady-state and unsteady conditions. The same model is then applied to a transient gas/liquid flow in a complex geometry of fuel channels in a sodium fast reactor. Building on the foundation of the interfacial force model, a mechanistic model of forced-convection subcooled boiling is proposed. This model uses the heat flux partitioning concept and accounts for condensation of bubbles attached to the wall. This allows the model to capture the enhanced heat transfer associated with boiling before the point of net generation of vapor, a phenomenon consistent with existing experimental observations. The model is compared to four different experiments encompassing flows of light water, heavy water, and R12 at different pressures, in cylindrical channels, an internally heated annulus, and a rectangular channel. The experimental data includes axial and radial profiles of both liquid temperature and vapor volume fraction, and the agreement can be considered quite good. The complete model is then applied to simulations of subcooled boiling in nuclear reactor subchannels consistent with the

  13. 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.

  14. Is synthetic biology mechanical biology?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holm, Sune

    2015-12-01

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

  15. 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...

  16. HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors (statins), inflammation, and endothelial progenitor cells-New mechanistic insights of atherosclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blum, Arnon

    2014-01-01

    Statins have been shown to favorably affect the prognosis of patients with risk factors to atherosclerosis-both as a primary and a secondary prevention. The beneficial effects observed with statin therapy are not merely related to changes in lipid profile but also are due to a positive effect on vascular inflammation and on immune-modulation of T lymphocytes and endothelial progenitor stem cells (EPCs). This dual effect has been demonstrated mainly in clinical trials where a change in endothelial function was observed within hours, much earlier than the effects of statins on the lipid profile (weeks). Based on all the knowledge that we have today questions were raised as to the mechanistic pathways that may explain the process of atherosclerosis and through this pathway to find better solutions and therapies to prevent and fight atherosclerosis. Our review will focus on the new updates in the field of inflammation and stem cells in vascular biology-in relation with atherosclerosis.

  17. 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.

  18. A Mechanistic Link between Olfaction and Autism Spectrum Disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rozenkrantz, Liron; Zachor, Ditza; Heller, Iris; Plotkin, Anton; Weissbrod, Aharon; Snitz, Kobi; Secundo, Lavi; Sobel, Noam

    2015-07-20

    Internal action models (IAMs) are brain templates for sensory-motor coordination underlying diverse behaviors. An emerging theory suggests that impaired IAMs are a common theme in autism spectrum disorder (ASD). However, whether impaired IAMs occur across sensory systems and how they relate to the major phenotype of ASD, namely impaired social communication, remains unclear. Olfaction relies on an IAM known as the sniff response, where sniff magnitude is automatically modulated to account for odor valence. To test the failed IAM theory in olfaction, we precisely measured the non-verbal non-task-dependent sniff response concurrent with pleasant and unpleasant odors in 36 children--18 with ASD and 18 matched typically developing (TD) controls. We found that whereas TD children generated a typical adult-like sniff response within 305 ms of odor onset, ASD children had a profoundly altered sniff response, sniffing equally regardless of odor valance. This difference persisted despite equal reported odor perception and allowed for 81% correct ASD classification based on the sniff response alone (binomial, p 0.18), impairment. These results uncover a novel ASD marker implying a mechanistic link between the underpinnings of olfaction and ASD and directly linking an impaired IAM with impaired social abilities.

  19. Mechanistic insight into sonochemical biodiesel synthesis using heterogeneous base catalyst.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choudhury, Hanif A; Chakma, Sankar; Moholkar, Vijayanand S

    2014-01-01

    The beneficial effect of ultrasound on transesterification reaction is well known. Heterogeneous (or solid) catalysts for biodiesel synthesis have merit that they do not contaminate the byproduct of glycerol. In this paper, we have attempted to identify the mechanistic features of ultrasound-enhanced biodiesel synthesis with the base-catalyst of CaO. A statistical design of experiments (Box-Behnken) was used to identify the influence of temperature, alcohol to oil molar ratio and catalyst loading on transesterification yield. The optimum values of these parameters for the highest yield were identified through Response Surface Method (with a quadratic model) and ANOVA. These values are: temperature=62 °C, molar ratio=10:1 and catalyst loading=6 wt.%. The activation energy was determined as 82.3 kJ/mol, which is higher than that for homogeneous catalyzed system (for both acidic and basic catalyst). The experimental results have been analyzed vis-à-vis simulations of cavitation bubble dynamics. Due to 3-phase heterogeneity of the system, the yield was dominated by intrinsic kinetics, and the optimum temperature for the highest yield was close to boiling point of methanol. At this temperature, the influence of cavitation bubbles (in terms of both sonochemical and sonophysical effect) is negligible, and ultrasonic micro-streaming provided necessary convection in the system. The influence of all parameters on the reaction system was found to be strongly inter-dependent.

  20. 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

    2013-02-01

    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.

  1. 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.

  2. A Mechanistic Model of a Passive Autocatalytic Hydrogen Recombiner

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rożeń Antoni

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available : A passive autocatalytic hydrogen recombiner (PAR is a self-starting device, without operator action or external power input, installed in nuclear power plants to remove hydrogen from the containment building of a nuclear reactor. A new mechanistic model of PAR has been presented and validated by experimental data and results of Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD simulations. The model allows to quickly and accurately predict gas temperature and composition, catalyst temperature and hydrogen recombination rate. It is assumed in the model that an exothermic recombination reaction of hydrogen and oxygen proceeds at the catalyst surface only, while processes of heat and mass transport occur by assisted natural and forced convection in non-isothermal and laminar gas flow conditions in vertical channels between catalyst plates. The model accounts for heat radiation from a hot catalyst surface and has no adjustable parameters. It can be combined with an equation of chimney draft and become a useful engineering tool for selection and optimisation of catalytic recombiner geometry.

  3. Mechanistic Enzymology of the Radical SAM Enzyme DesII.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruszczycky, Mark W; Liu, Hung-Wen

    2015-04-01

    DesII is a member of the radical SAM family of enzymes that catalyzes radical-mediated transformations of TDP-4-amino-4,6-didexoy-D-glucose as well as other sugar nucleotide diphosphates. Like nearly all radical SAM enzymes, the reactions begin with the reductive homolysis of SAM to produce a 5'-deoxyadenosyl radical which is followed by regiospecific hydrogen atom abstraction from the substrate. What happens next, however, depends on the nature of the substrate radical so produced. In the case of the biosynthetically relevant substrate, a radical-mediated deamination ensues; however, when this amino group is replaced with a hydroxyl, one instead observes dehydrogenation. The factors that govern the fate of the initially generated substrate radical as well as the mechanistic details underlying these transformations have been a key focus of research into the chemistry of DesII. This review will discuss recent discoveries pertaining to the enzymology of DesII, how it may relate to understanding other radical-mediated lyases and dehydrogenases and the working hypotheses currently being investigated regarding the mechanism of DesII catalysis.

  4. Mechanistic Differences Leading to Infectious and Sterile Inflammation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Behnia, Faranak; Sheller, Samantha; Menon, Ramkumar

    2016-05-01

    Inflammation is a physiologic component of pregnancy and parturition. Overwhelming intrauterine inflammatory load promotes quiescent feto-maternal tissues into a contractile phenotype. Like inflammation, oxidative stress is an inevitable component of both pregnancy and parturition. Pathologic activation of host innate immune response to adverse pregnancy conditions can lead to premature activation of inflammatory and oxidative stress. Inflammation and oxidative stress markers seen with both sterile and infectious inflammation are often similar; therefore, it is difficult to understand causality of conditions like spontaneous preterm birth. This review demonstrates potential mechanistic pathways of activation of sterile and infectious inflammation. We demonstrate the activation of two unique pathways of inflammation by factors that are well-documented proxies for oxidative stress (cigarette smoke extract) and infection (lipopolysaccharide). Sterile inflammation seen after exposure to an oxidative stress inducer is due to cellular elemental damage resulting in p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) induced cellular senescence. Infectious inflammation is through activation of transcription factor NF-κB and independent of oxidative stress-associated damages and p38 MAPK-induced senescence. Understanding the differences in the inflammatory pathway activation by various risk factors is important to design better screening, diagnostic and intervention strategies to reduce the risks of adverse pregnancy outcomes.

  5. Applying Mechanistic Dam Breach Models to Historic Levee Breaches

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Risher Paul

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Hurricane Katrina elevated levee risk in the US national consciousness, motivating agencies to assess and improve their levee risk assessment methodology. Accurate computation of the flood flow magnitude and timing associated with a levee breach remains one of the most difficult and uncertain components of levee risk analysis. Contemporary methods are largely empirical and approximate, introducing substantial uncertainty to the damage and life loss models. Levee breach progressions are often extrapolated to the final width and breach formation time based on limited experience with past breaches or using regression equations developed from a limited data base of dam failures. Physically based embankment erosion models could improve levee breach modeling. However, while several mechanistic embankment breach models are available, they were developed for dams. Several aspects of the levee breach problem are distinct, departing from dam breach assumptions. This study applies three embankments models developed for dam breach analysis (DL Breach, HR BREACH, and WinDAM C to historic levee breaches with observed (or inferred breach rates, assessing the limitations, and applicability of each model to the levee breach problem.

  6. A mechanistic stochastic framework for regulating bacterial cell division.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ghusinga, Khem Raj; Vargas-Garcia, Cesar A; Singh, Abhyudai

    2016-07-26

    How exponentially growing cells maintain size homeostasis is an important fundamental problem. Recent single-cell studies in prokaryotes have uncovered the adder principle, where cells add a fixed size (volume) from birth to division, irrespective of their size at birth. To mechanistically explain the adder principle, we consider a timekeeper protein that begins to get stochastically expressed after cell birth at a rate proportional to the volume. Cell-division time is formulated as the first-passage time for protein copy numbers to hit a fixed threshold. Consistent with data, the model predicts that the noise in division timing increases with size at birth. Intriguingly, our results show that the distribution of the volume added between successive cell-division events is independent of the newborn cell size. This was dramatically seen in experimental studies, where histograms of the added volume corresponding to different newborn sizes collapsed on top of each other. The model provides further insights consistent with experimental observations: the distribution of the added volume when scaled by its mean becomes invariant of the growth rate. In summary, our simple yet elegant model explains key experimental findings and suggests a mechanism for regulating both the mean and fluctuations in cell-division timing for controlling size.

  7. A Mechanistic Stochastic Ricker Model: Analytical and Numerical Investigations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gadrich, Tamar; Katriel, Guy

    The Ricker model is one of the simplest and most widely-used ecological models displaying complex nonlinear dynamics. We study a discrete-time population model, which is derived from simple assumptions concerning individual organisms’ behavior, using the “site-based” approach, developed by Brännström, Broomhead, Johansson and Sumpter. In the large-population limit the model converges to the Ricker model, and can thus be considered a mechanistic version of the Ricker model, derived from basic ecological principles, and taking into account the demographic stochasticity inherent to finite populations. We employ several analytical and precise numerical methods to study the model, showing how each approach contributes to understanding the model’s dynamics. Expressing the model as a Markov chain, we employ the concept of quasi-stationary distributions, which are computed numerically, and used to examine the interaction between complex deterministic dynamics and demographic stochasticity, as well as to calculate mean times to extinction. A Gaussian Markov chain approximation is used to obtain quantitative asymptotic approximations for the size of fluctuations of the stochastic model’s time series around the deterministic trajectory, and for the correlations between successive fluctuations. Results of these approximations are compared to results obtained from quasi-stationary distributions and from direct simulations, and are shown to be in good agreement.

  8. Stem cell guidance through the mechanistic target of rapamycin

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Kenneth; Maiese

    2015-01-01

    Stem cells offer great promise for the treatment of multiple disorders throughout the body. Critical to this premise is the ability to govern stem cell pluripotency, proliferation, and differentiation. The mechanistic target of rapamycin(mT OR), 289-kD a serine/threonine protein kinase, that is a vital component of mT OR Complex 1 and mT OR Complex 2 represents a critical pathway for the oversight of stem cell maintenance. mT OR can control the programmed cell death pathways of autophagy andapoptosis that can yield variable outcomes in stem cell survival and be reliant upon proliferative pathways that include Wnt signaling, Wnt1 inducible signaling pathway protein 1(WISP1), silent mating type information regulation 2 homolog 1(Saccharomyces cerevisiae)(SIRT1), and trophic factors. mT OR also is a necessary component for the early development and establishment of stem cells as well as having a significant impact in the regulation of the maturation of specific cell phenotypes. Yet, as a proliferative agent, mT OR can not only foster cancer stem cell development and tumorigenesis, but also mediate cell senescence under certain conditions to limit invasive cancer growth. mT OR offers an exciting target for the oversight of stem cell therapies but requires careful consideration of the diverse clinical outcomes that can be fueled by mT OR signaling pathways.

  9. Mechanistic insights into acyclovir-polyethylene glycol 20000 binary dispersions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Venkateskumar, Krishnamoorthy; Parasuraman, Subramani; Gunasunderi, Raju; Sureshkumar, Krishnan; Nayak, M. Muralidhar; Shah, Syed Adnan Ali; Kassen, Khoo; Kai, Heng Wei

    2016-01-01

    Objective: The objective of this study is to provide a mechanistic insight into solubility enhancement and dissolution of acyclovir (ACY) by polyethylene glycol20000 (PEG20000). Materials and Methods: Solid dispersions with differing ratios of drug (ACY) and carrier (PEG20000) were prepared and evaluated by phase solubility, in vitro release studies, kinetic analysis, in situ perfusion, and in vitro permeation studies. Solid state characterization was also done by Powder X-Ray Diffraction (PXRD), Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC), Fourier Transform Infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR) analysis and surface morphology was assessed by Polarizing Microscopic Image (PMI) analysis, Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM), and Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) analysis. Results: Thermodynamic parameters proved the solubilization effect of carrier. The aqueous solubility and dissolution of ACY were increased in all samples. Formation of solid solution, crystallinity reduction, and absence of interaction between drug and carrier was proved by XRD, DSC, and FTIR analysis. The particle size reduction and change in surface morphology were confirmed by SEM and AFM and analysis. The permeation coefficient and amount of drug diffused was higher in samples as compared to ACY. The stability was high in dispersions, and it was proved by NMR analysis. Conclusion: The mechanical insights into the enhancement of solubility and dissolution could be used as a platform to improve the aqueous solubility for other poor water soluble drugs. PMID:28123988

  10. 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.

  11. Mechanistic evaluation of virus clearance by depth filtration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Venkiteshwaran, Adith; Fogle, Jace; Patnaik, Purbasa; Kowle, Ron; Chen, Dayue

    2015-01-01

    Virus clearance by depth filtration has not been well-understood mechanistically due to lack of quantitative data on filter charge characteristics and absence of systematic studies. It is generally believed that both electrostatic interactions and sized based mechanical entrapment contribute to virus clearance by depth filtration. In order to establish whether the effectiveness of virus clearance correlates with the charge characteristics of a given depth filter, a counter-ion displacement technique was employed to determine the ionic capacity for several depth filters. Two depth filters (Millipore B1HC and X0HC) with significant differences in ionic capacities were selected and evaluated for their ability to eliminate viruses. The high ionic capacity X0HC filter showed complete porcine parvovirus (PPV) clearance (eliminating the spiked viruses to below the limit of detection) under low conductivity conditions (≤2.5 mS/cm), achieving a log10 reduction factor (LRF) of > 4.8. On the other hand, the low ionic capacity B1HC filter achieved only ∼2.1-3.0 LRF of PPV clearance under the same conditions. These results indicate that parvovirus clearance by these two depth filters are mainly achieved via electrostatic interactions between the filters and PPV. When much larger xenotropic murine leukemia virus (XMuLV) was used as the model virus, complete retrovirus clearance was obtained under all conditions evaluated for both depth filters, suggesting the involvement of mechanisms other than just electrostatic interactions in XMuLV clearance.

  12. A brief review of exercise, bipolar disorder and mechanistic pathways

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel eThomson

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Despite evidence that exercise has been found to be effective in the treatment of depression, it is unclear whether these data can be extrapolated to bipolar disorder. Available evidence for bipolar disorder is scant, with no existing randomised controlled trials having tested the impact of exercise on depressive, manic or hypomanic symptomatology. Although exercise is often recommended in bipolar disorder, this is based on extrapolation from the unipolar literature, theory and clinical expertise and not empirical evidence. In addition, there are currently no available empirical data on program variables, with practical implications on frequency, intensity and type of exercise derived from unipolar depression studies. The aim of the current paper is to explore the relationship between exercise and bipolar disorder and potential mechanistic pathways. Given the high rate of medical co-morbidities experienced by people with bipolar disorder, it is possible that exercise is a potentially useful and important intervention with regard to general health benefits; however, further research is required to elucidate the impact of exercise on mood symptomology.

  13. 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.

  14. Biological Oceanography

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dyhrman, Sonya

    2004-10-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. Foldit Biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-07-31

    Report 8/1/2013-7/31/2015 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE Sa. CONTRACT NUMBER Foldit Biology NOOO 14-13-C-0221 Sb. GRANT NUMBER N/A Sc. PROGRAM ELEMENT...Include area code) Unclassified Unclassified Unclassified (206) 616-2660 Zoran Popović Foldit Biology (Task 1, 2, 3, 4) Final Report...Period Covered by the Report August 1, 2013 – July 31, 2015 Date of Report: July 31, 2015 Project Title: Foldit Biology Contract Number: N00014-13

  17. Bipolar-pulses observed by the LRS/WFC-L onboard KAGUYA - Plausible evidence of lunar dust impact -

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kasahara, Yoshiya; Horie, Hiroki; Hashimoto, Kozo; Omura, Yoshiharu; Goto, Yoshitaka; Kumamoto, Atsushi; Ono, Takayuki; Tsunakawa, Hideo; Lrs/Wfc Team; Map/Lmag Team

    2010-05-01

    same) and thus most of bipolar-pulses which can be detected in MONO mode are cancelled in DIFF mode. This fact suggests that these bipolar pulses are not a kind of natural wave but these are caused by instantaneous potential changes of the KAGUYA spacecraft. Discussion: Similar type of bipolar-pulses has been observed by the monopole antenna measurements using Radio and Plasma Wave Science (RPWS) instruments on-board Cassini around Saturn [4]. They demonstrated that these bipolar pulses are caused by impacts of dusts floating around the Saturn. It is well-known that lunar dusts are widely dis-tributed in higher altitude range around the moon and it is plausible that these bipolar pulses are caused by the lunar dust impacts. In the presentation, we show the detailed charac-teristics of bipolar pulses detected by the WFC-L onboard KAGUYA. References: [1] Y. Kasahara et al., Earth, Planets and Space, 60(4), 341-351, 2008. [2] T. Ono et al., Earth, Planets and Space, 60(4), 321-332, 2008. [3] K. Hashimoto et al., The 4th SELENE (KAGUYA) Science Working Team Meeting, (this issue), 2010. [4] W.S. Kurth et al, Planetary and Space Science, 54(9-10), 988-998, 2006.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. Common mechanistic themes for the powerstroke of kinesin-14 motors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gonzalez, Miguel A; Cope, Julia; Rank, Katherine C; Chen, Chun Ju; Tittmann, Peter; Rayment, Ivan; Gilbert, Susan P; Hoenger, Andreas

    2013-11-01

    Kar3Cik1 is a heterodimeric kinesin-14 from Saccharomyces cerevisiae involved in spindle formation during mitosis and karyogamy in mating cells. Kar3 represents a canonical kinesin motor domain that interacts with microtubules under the control of ATP-hydrolysis. In vivo, the localization and function of Kar3 is differentially regulated by its interacting stoichiometrically with either Cik1 or Vik1, two closely related motor homology domains that lack the nucleotide-binding site. Indeed, Vik1 structurally resembles the core of a kinesin head. Despite being closely related, Kar3Cik1 and Kar3Vik1 are each responsible for a distinct set of functions in vivo and also display different biochemical behavior in vitro. To determine a structural basis for their distinct functional abilities, we used cryo-electron microscopy and helical reconstruction to investigate the 3-D structure of Kar3Cik1 complexed to microtubules in various nucleotide states and compared our 3-D data of Kar3Cik1 with that of Kar3Vik1 and the homodimeric kinesin-14 Ncd from Drosophila melanogaster. Due to the lack of an X-ray crystal structure of the Cik1 motor homology domain, we predicted the structure of this Cik1 domain based on sequence similarity to its relatives Vik1, Kar3 and Ncd. By molecular docking into our 3-D maps, we produced a detailed near-atomic model of Kar3Cik1 complexed to microtubules in two distinct nucleotide states, a nucleotide-free state and an ATP-bound state. Our data show that despite their functional differences, heterodimeric Kar3Cik1 and Kar3Vik1 and homodimeric Ncd, all share striking structural similarities at distinct nucleotide states indicating a common mechanistic theme within the kinesin-14 family.

  2. Mechanistic Investigation of Toxaphene Induced Mouse Liver Tumors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Zemin; Neal, Barbara H; Lamb, James C; Klaunig, James E

    2015-10-01

    Chronic exposure to toxaphene resulted in an increase in liver tumors in B6C3F1 mice. This study was performed to investigate the mode of action of toxaphene induced mouse liver tumors. Following an initial 14 day dietary dose range-finding study in male mice, a mechanistic study (0, 3, 32, and 320 ppm toxaphene in diet for 7, 14, and 28 days of treatment) was performed to examine the potential mechanisms of toxaphene induced mouse liver tumors. Toxaphene induced a significant increase in expression of constitutive androstane receptor (CAR) target genes (Cyp2b10, Cyp3a11) at 32 and 320 ppm toxaphene. aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) target genes (Cyp1a1 and Cyp1a2) were slightly increased in expression at the highest toxaphene dose (320 ppm). No increase in peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha activity or related genes was seen following toxaphene treatment. Lipid peroxidation was seen following treatment with 320 ppm toxaphene. These changes correlated with increases in hepatic DNA synthesis. To confirm the role of CAR in this mode of action, CAR knockout mice (CAR(-/-)) treated with toxaphene confirmed that the induction of CAR responsive genes seen in wild-type mice was abolished following treatment with toxaphene for 14 days. These findings, taken together with previously reported studies, support the mode of action of toxaphene induced mouse liver tumors is through a nongenotoxic mechanism involving primarily a CAR-mediated processes that results in an increase in cell proliferation in the liver, promotes the clonal expansion of preneoplastic lesions leading to adenoma formation.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Xu, Chonggang [Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL); Fisher, Rosie [National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR); Wullschleger, Stan D [ORNL; Wilson, Cathy [Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL); Cai, Michael [Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL); McDowell, Nathan [Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL)

    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{sub 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{sub 2} concentration, temperature, and radiation when evaluated against published data of V{sub c,max} (maximum carboxylation rate) and J{sub max} (maximum electron transport rate). A sensitivity analysis of the model for herbaceous plants, deciduous and evergreen trees implies that elevated CO{sub 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

  4. Mechanistic Insights into Homogeneous and Heterogeneous Asymmetric Iron Catalysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sonnenberg, Jessica

    Our group has been focused on replacing toxic and expensive precious metal catalysts with iron for the synthesis of enantiopure compounds for industrial applications. During an investigation into the mechanism of asymmetric transfer hydrogenation with our first generation iron-(P-N-N-P) catalysts we found substantial evidence for zero-valent iron nanoparticles coated in chiral ligand acting as the active site. Extensive experimental and computational experiments were undertaken which included NMR, DFT, reaction profile analysis, substoichiometric poisoning, electron microscope imaging, XPS and multiphasic analysis, all of which supported the fact that NPs were the active species in catalysis. Reversibility of this asymmetric reaction on the nanoparticle surface was then probed using oxidative kinetic resolution of racemic alcohols, yielding modest enantiopurity and high turnover frequencies (TOF) for a range of aromatic alcohols. Efficient dehydrogenation of ammonia-borane for hydrogen evolution and the formation of B-N oligomers was also shown using the NP system, yielding highly active systems, with a maximum TOF of 3.66 H2/s-1 . We have also begun to focus on the development of iron catalysts for asymmetric direct hydrogenation of ketones using hydrogen gas. New chiral iron-(P-N-P) catalysts were developed and shown to be quite active and selective for a wide range of substrates. Mechanistic investigations primarily using NMR and DFT indicated that a highly active trans-dihydride species was being formed during catalyst activation. Lastly, a new library of chiral P-N-P and P-NH-P ligands were developed, as well as their corresponding iron complexes, some of which show promise for the development of future generations of active asymmetric direct hydrogenation catalysts.

  5. 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.

  6. Metabolic diseases and pro- and prebiotics: Mechanistic insights.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakamura, Yukiko K; Omaye, Stanley T

    2012-06-19

    Metabolic diseases, such as obesity and type 2 diabetes, are world-wide health problems. The prevalence of metabolic diseases is associated with dynamic changes in dietary macronutrient intake during the past decades. Based on national statistics and from a public health viewpoint, traditional approaches, such as diet and physical activity, have been unsuccessful in decreasing the prevalence of metabolic diseases. Since the approaches strongly rely on individual's behavior and motivation, novel science-based strategies should be considered for prevention and therapy for the diseases. Metabolism and immune system are linked. Both overnutrition and infection result in inflammation through nutrient and pathogen sensing systems which recognize compounds with structural similarities. Dietary macronutrients (fats and sugars) can induce inflammation through activation of an innate immune receptor, Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4). Long-term intake of diets high in fats and meats appear to induce chronic systemic low-grade inflammation, endotoxicity, and metabolic diseases. Recent investigations support the idea of the involvement of intestinal bacteria in host metabolism and preventative and therapeutic potentials of probiotic and prebiotic interventions for metabolic diseases. Specific intestinal bacteria seem to serve as lipopolysaccharide (LPS) sources through LPS and/or bacterial translocation into the circulation due to a vulnerable microbial barrier and increased intestinal permeability and to play a role in systemic inflammation and progression of metabolic diseases. This review focuses on mechanistic links between metabolic diseases (mainly obesity and type 2 diabetes), chronic systemic low-grade inflammation, intestinal environment, and nutrition and prospective views of probiotic and prebiotic interventions for the diseases.

  7. Mechanistic basis for overcoming platinum resistance using copper chelating agents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liang, Zheng D; Long, Yan; Tsai, Wen-Bin; Fu, Siqing; Kurzrock, Razelle; Gagea-Iurascu, Mihai; Zhang, Fan; Chen, Helen H W; Hennessy, Bryan T; Mills, Gordon B; Savaraj, Niramol; Kuo, Macus Tien

    2012-11-01

    Platinum-based antitumor agents are widely used in cancer chemotherapy. Drug resistance is a major obstacle to the successful use of these agents because once drug resistance develops, other effective treatment options are limited. Recently, we conducted a clinical trial using a copper-lowering agent to overcome platinum drug resistance in ovarian cancer patients and the preliminary results are encouraging. In supporting this clinical study, using three pairs of cisplatin (cDDP)-resistant cell lines and two ovarian cancer cell lines derived from patients who had failed in platinum-based chemotherapy, we showed that cDDP resistance associated with reduced expression of the high-affinity copper transporter (hCtr1), which is also a cDDP transporter, can be preferentially resensitized by copper-lowering agents because of enhanced hCtr1 expression, as compared with their drug-sensitive counterparts. Such a preferential induction of hCtr1 expression in cDDP-resistant variants by copper chelation can be explained by the mammalian copper homeostasis regulatory mechanism. Enhanced cell-killing efficacy by a copper-lowering agent was also observed in animal xenografts bearing cDDP-resistant cells. Finally, by analyzing a public gene expression dataset, we found that ovarian cancer patients with elevated levels of hCtr1 in their tumors, but not ATP7A and ATP7B, had more favorable outcomes after platinum drug treatment than those expressing low hCtr1 levels. This study reveals the mechanistic basis for using copper chelation to overcome cDDP resistance in clinical investigations.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Metabolic diseases and pro- and prebiotics: Mechanistic insights

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nakamura Yukiko K

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Metabolic diseases, such as obesity and type 2 diabetes, are world-wide health problems. The prevalence of metabolic diseases is associated with dynamic changes in dietary macronutrient intake during the past decades. Based on national statistics and from a public health viewpoint, traditional approaches, such as diet and physical activity, have been unsuccessful in decreasing the prevalence of metabolic diseases. Since the approaches strongly rely on individual’s behavior and motivation, novel science-based strategies should be considered for prevention and therapy for the diseases. Metabolism and immune system are linked. Both overnutrition and infection result in inflammation through nutrient and pathogen sensing systems which recognize compounds with structural similarities. Dietary macronutrients (fats and sugars can induce inflammation through activation of an innate immune receptor, Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4. Long-term intake of diets high in fats and meats appear to induce chronic systemic low-grade inflammation, endotoxicity, and metabolic diseases. Recent investigations support the idea of the involvement of intestinal bacteria in host metabolism and preventative and therapeutic potentials of probiotic and prebiotic interventions for metabolic diseases. Specific intestinal bacteria seem to serve as lipopolysaccharide (LPS sources through LPS and/or bacterial translocation into the circulation due to a vulnerable microbial barrier and increased intestinal permeability and to play a role in systemic inflammation and progression of metabolic diseases. This review focuses on mechanistic links between metabolic diseases (mainly obesity and type 2 diabetes, chronic systemic low-grade inflammation, intestinal environment, and nutrition and prospective views of probiotic and prebiotic interventions for the diseases.

  13. 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

  14. Mechanistic, mathematical model to predict the dynamics of tissue genesis in bone defects via mechanical feedback and mediation of biochemical factors.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shannon R Moore

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available The link between mechanics and biology in the generation and the adaptation of bone has been well studied in context of skeletal development and fracture healing. Yet, the prediction of tissue genesis within - and the spatiotemporal healing of - postnatal defects, necessitates a quantitative evaluation of mechano-biological interactions using experimental and clinical parameters. To address this current gap in knowledge, this study aims to develop a mechanistic mathematical model of tissue genesis using bone morphogenetic protein (BMP to represent of a class of factors that may coordinate bone healing. Specifically, we developed a mechanistic, mathematical model to predict the dynamics of tissue genesis by periosteal progenitor cells within a long bone defect surrounded by periosteum and stabilized via an intramedullary nail. The emergent material properties and mechanical environment associated with nascent tissue genesis influence the strain stimulus sensed by progenitor cells within the periosteum. Using a mechanical finite element model, periosteal surface strains are predicted as a function of emergent, nascent tissue properties. Strains are then input to a mechanistic mathematical model, where mechanical regulation of BMP-2 production mediates rates of cellular proliferation, differentiation and tissue production, to predict healing outcomes. A parametric approach enables the spatial and temporal prediction of endochondral tissue regeneration, assessed as areas of cartilage and mineralized bone, as functions of radial distance from the periosteum and time. Comparing model results to histological outcomes from two previous studies of periosteum-mediated bone regeneration in a common ovine model, it was shown that mechanistic models incorporating mechanical feedback successfully predict patterns (spatial and trends (temporal of bone tissue regeneration. The novel model framework presented here integrates a mechanistic feedback system based

  15. Understanding impacts of climatic extremes on diarrheal disease epidemics: Insights from mechanistic disease propagation models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jutla, A.; Akanda, A. S.; Colwell, R. R.

    2013-12-01

    An epidemic outbreak of diarrheal diseases (primarily cholera) in Haiti in 2010 is a reminder that our understanding on disease triggers, transmission and spreading mechanisms is incomplete. Cholera can occur in two forms - epidemic (defined as sudden outbreak in a historically disease free region) and endemic (recurrence and persistence of the disease for several consecutive years). Examples of countries with epidemic cholera include Pakistan (2008), Congo (2008), and most recently Haiti (2010). A significant difference between endemic and epidemic regions is the mortality rate, i.e., 1% or lower in an endemic regions versus 3-7% during recent epidemic outbreaks. A fundamentally transformational approach - a warning system with several months prediction lead time - is needed to prevent disease outbreak and minimize its impact on population. Lack of information on spatial and temporal variability of disease incidence as well as transmission in human population continues to be significant challenge in the development of early-warning systems for cholera. Using satellite data on regional hydroclimatic processes, water and sanitation infrastructure indices, and biological pathogen growth information, here we present a Simple, Mechanistic, Adaptive, Remote sensing based Regional Transmission or SMART model to (i) identify regions of potential cholera outbreaks and (ii) quantify mechanism of spread of the disease in previously disease free region. Our results indicate that epidemic regions are located near regional rivers and are characterized by sporadic outbreaks, which are likely to be initiated during episodes of prevailing warm air temperature with low river flows, creating favorable environmental conditions for the growth of cholera bacteria. Heavy rainfall, through inundation or breakdown of sanitary infrastructure, accelerates interaction between contaminated water and human activities, resulting in an epidemic. We discuss the above findings in light of

  16. UTILITY OF MECHANISTIC MODELS FOR DIRECTING ADVANCED SEPARATIONS RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT ACTIVITIES: Electrochemically Modulated Separation Example

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schwantes, Jon M.

    2009-06-01

    The objective for this work was to demonstrate the utility of mechanistic computer models designed to simulate actinide behavior for use in efficiently and effectively directing advanced laboratory R&D activities associated with developing advanced separations methods.

  17. 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.

  18. Biological preconcentrator

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manginell, Ronald P.; Bunker, Bruce C.; Huber, Dale L.

    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.

  19. 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.

  20. Biology Notes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    School Science Review, 1981

    1981-01-01

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

  1. 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)

  2. 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.

  3. Biology Notes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    School Science Review, 1984

    1984-01-01

    Presents information on the teaching of nutrition (including new information relating to many current O-level syllabi) and part 16 of a reading list for A- and S-level biology. Also includes a note on using earthworms as a source of material for teaching meiosis. (JN)

  4. Network news: innovations in 21st century systems biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arkin, Adam P; Schaffer, David V

    2011-03-18

    A decade ago, seminal perspectives and papers set a strong vision for the field of systems biology, and a number of these themes have flourished. Here, we describe key technologies and insights that have elucidated the evolution, architecture, and function of cellular networks, ultimately leading to the first predictive genome-scale regulatory and metabolic models of organisms. Can systems approaches bridge the gap between correlative analysis and mechanistic insights?

  5. Phylogenetic analysis of NS5B gene of classical swine fever virus isolates indicates plausible Chinese origin of Indian subgroup 2.2 viruses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patil, S S; Hemadri, D; Veeresh, H; Sreekala, K; Gajendragad, M R; Prabhudas, K

    2012-02-01

    Twenty-three CSFV isolates recovered from field outbreaks in various parts of India during 2006-2009 were used for genetic analysis in the NS5B region (409 nts). Seventeen of these were studied earlier [16] in the 5'UTR region. Phylogenetic analysis indicated the continued dominance of subgroup 1.1 strains in the country. Detailed analysis of a subgroup 2.2 virus indicated the plausible Chinese origin of this subgroup in India and provided indirect evidence of routes of CSFV movement within South East Asia region.

  6. 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.

  7. Obesity and cancer: mechanistic insights from transdisciplinary studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allott, Emma H; Hursting, Stephen D

    2015-12-01

    Obesity is associated with a range of health outcomes that are of clinical and public health significance, including cancer. Herein, we summarize epidemiologic and preclinical evidence for an association between obesity and increased risk of breast and prostate cancer incidence and mortality. Moreover, we describe data from observational studies of weight change in humans and from calorie-restriction studies in mouse models that support a potential role for weight loss in counteracting tumor-promoting properties of obesity in breast and prostate cancers. Given that weight loss is challenging to achieve and maintain, we also consider evidence linking treatments for obesity-associated co-morbidities, including metformin, statins and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, with reduced breast and prostate cancer incidence and mortality. Finally, we highlight several challenges that should be considered when conducting epidemiologic and preclinical research in the area of obesity and cancer, including the measurement of obesity in population-based studies, the timing of obesity and weight change in relation to tumor latency and cancer diagnosis, and the heterogeneous nature of obesity and its associated co-morbidities. Given that obesity is a complex trait, comprised of behavioral, epidemiologic and molecular/metabolic factors, we argue that a transdisciplinary approach is the key to understanding the mechanisms linking obesity and cancer. As such, this review highlights the critical need to integrate evidence from both epidemiologic and preclinical studies to gain insight into both biologic and non-biologic mechanisms contributing to the obesity-cancer link.

  8. The challenges and scope of theoretical biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krakauer, David C; Collins, James P; Erwin, Douglas; Flack, Jessica C; Fontana, Walter; Laubichler, Manfred D; Prohaska, Sonja J; West, Geoffrey B; Stadler, Peter F

    2011-05-07

    Scientific theories seek to provide simple explanations for significant empirical regularities based on fundamental physical and mechanistic constraints. Biological theories have rarely reached a level of generality and predictive power comparable to physical theories. This discrepancy is explained through a combination of frozen accidents, environmental heterogeneity, and widespread non-linearities observed in adaptive processes. At the same time, model building has proven to be very successful when it comes to explaining and predicting the behavior of particular biological systems. In this respect biology resembles alternative model-rich frameworks, such as economics and engineering. In this paper we explore the prospects for general theories in biology, and suggest that these take inspiration not only from physics, but also from the information sciences. Future theoretical biology is likely to represent a hybrid of parsimonious reasoning and algorithmic or rule-based explanation. An open question is whether these new frameworks will remain transparent to human reason. In this context, we discuss the role of machine learning in the early stages of scientific discovery. We argue that evolutionary history is not only a source of uncertainty, but also provides the basis, through conserved traits, for very general explanations for biological regularities, and the prospect of unified theories of life.

  9. The concept of mechanism in biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nicholson, Daniel J

    2012-03-01

    The concept of mechanism in biology has three distinct meanings. It may refer to a philosophical thesis about the nature of life and biology ('mechanicism'), to the internal workings of a machine-like structure ('machine mechanism'), or to the causal explanation of a particular phenomenon ('causal mechanism'). In this paper I trace the conceptual evolution of 'mechanism' in the history of biology, and I examine how the three meanings of this term have come to be featured in the philosophy of biology, situating the new 'mechanismic program' in this context. I argue that the leading advocates of the mechanismic program (i.e., Craver, Darden, Bechtel, etc.) inadvertently conflate the different senses of 'mechanism'. Specifically, they all inappropriately endow causal mechanisms with the ontic status of machine mechanisms, and this invariably results in problematic accounts of the role played by mechanism-talk in scientific practice. I suggest that for effective analyses of the concept of mechanism, causal mechanisms need to be distinguished from machine mechanisms, and the new mechanismic program in the philosophy of biology needs to be demarcated from the traditional concerns of mechanistic biology.

  10. Mesoscopic biology

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    G V Shivashankar

    2002-02-01

    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 systems. In recent years advances in technology have led to the study of some of the design principles of these machines; in particular at the level of an individual molecule. For example, the forces that operate in molecular interactions, the stochasticity involved in these interactions and their spatio-temporal dynamics are beginning to be explored. Understanding such design principles is opening new possibilities in mesoscopic physics with potential applications.

  11. 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

  12. Cortically-Controlled Population Stochastic Facilitation as a Plausible Substrate for Guiding Sensory Transfer across the Thalamic Gateway

    Science.gov (United States)

    Béhuret, Sébastien; Deleuze, Charlotte; Gomez, Leonel; Frégnac, Yves; Bal, Thierry

    2013-01-01

    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 influence of

  13. Marine biology

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    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.

  14. Identification of the bkdAB gene cluster, a plausible source of the starter-unit for virginiamycin M production in Streptomyces virginiae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pulsawat, Nattika; Kitani, Shigeru; Kinoshita, Hiroshi; Lee, Chang Kwon; Nihira, Takuya

    2007-06-01

    The bkdAB gene cluster, which encodes plausible E1 and E2 components of the branched-chain alpha-keto acid dehydrogenase (BCDH) complex, was isolated from Streptomyces virginiae in the vicinity of a regulatory island for virginiamycin production. Gene disruption of bkdA completely abolished the production of virginiamycin M (a polyketide-peptide antibiotic), while the production of virginiamycin S (a cyclodepsipeptide antibiotic) was unaffected. Complementation of the bkdA disruptant by genome-integration of intact bkdA completely restored the virginiamycin M production, indicating that the bkdAB cluster is essential for virginiamycin M biosynthesis, plausibly via the provision of isobutyryl-CoA as a primer unit. In contrast to a feature usually seen in the Streptomyces E1 component, namely, the separate encoding of the alpha and beta subunits, S. virginiae bkdA seemed to encode the fused form of the alpha and beta subunits, which was verified by the actual catalytic activity of the fused protein in vitro using recombinant BkdA overexpressed in Escherichia coli. Supply of an additional bkdA gene under the strong and constitutive promoter ermE* in the wild-type strain of S. virginiae resulted in enhanced production of virginiamycin M, suggesting that the supply of isobutyryl-CoA is one of the rate-limiting factors in the biosynthesis of virginiamycin M.

  15. A Reconfigurable and Biologically Inspired Paradigm for Computation Using Network-On-Chip and Spiking Neural Networks

    OpenAIRE

    Jim Harkin; Fearghal Morgan; Liam McDaid; Steve Hall; Brian McGinley; Seamus Cawley

    2009-01-01

    FPGA devices have emerged as a popular platform for the rapid prototyping of biological Spiking Neural Networks (SNNs) applications, offering the key requirement of reconfigurability. However, FPGAs do not efficiently realise the biologically plausible neuron and synaptic models of SNNs, and current FPGA routing structures cannot accommodate the high levels of interneuron connectivity inherent in complex SNNs. This paper highlights and discusses the current challenges of implementing scalable...

  16. A Method to Identify and Analyze Biological Programs through Automated Reasoning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kugler, Hillel; Smith, Austin; Martello, Graziano; Emmott, Stephen

    2016-01-01

    Predictive biology is elusive because rigorous, data-constrained, mechanistic models of complex biological systems are difficult to derive and validate. Current approaches tend to construct and examine static interaction network models, which are descriptively rich but often lack explanatory and predictive power, or dynamic models that can be simulated to reproduce known behavior. However, in such approaches implicit assumptions are introduced as typically only one mechanism is considered, and exhaustively investigating all scenarios is impractical using simulation. To address these limitations, we present a methodology based on automated formal reasoning, which permits the synthesis and analysis of the complete set of logical models consistent with experimental observations. We test hypotheses against all candidate models, and remove the need for simulation by characterizing and simultaneously analyzing all mechanistic explanations of observed behavior. Our methodology transforms knowledge of complex biological processes from sets of possible interactions and experimental observations to precise, predictive biological programs governing cell function. PMID:27668090

  17. A glimpse of structural biology through X-ray crystallography.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shi, Yigong

    2014-11-20

    Since determination of the myoglobin structure in 1957, X-ray crystallography, as the anchoring tool of structural biology, has played an instrumental role in deciphering the secrets of life. Knowledge gained through X-ray crystallography has fundamentally advanced our views on cellular processes and greatly facilitated development of modern medicine. In this brief narrative, I describe my personal understanding of the evolution of structural biology through X-ray crystallography-using as examples mechanistic understanding of protein kinases and integral membrane proteins-and comment on the impact of technological development and outlook of X-ray crystallography.

  18. Applying math onto mechanisms: mechanistic knowledge is associated with the use of formal mathematical strategies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Allison S; Schunn, Christian D

    2017-01-01

    It is notoriously difficult for people to adaptively apply formal mathematical strategies learned in school to real-world contexts, even when they possess the required mathematical skills. The current study explores whether a problem context's mechanism can act as an "embodied analogy" onto which abstract mathematical concepts can be applied, leading to more frequent use of formal mathematical strategies. Participants were asked to program a robot to navigate a maze and to create a navigation strategy that would work for differently sized robots. We compared the strategy complexity of participants with high levels of mechanistic knowledge about the robot against participants with low levels of mechanistic knowledge about the robot. Mechanistic knowledge was significantly associated with the frequency and complexity of the mathematical strategies used by participants, suggesting that learning to recognize a problem context's mechanism may promote independent mathematical problem solving in applied contexts.

  19. Biological Databases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kaviena Baskaran

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Biology has entered a new era in distributing information based on database and this collection of database become primary in publishing information. This data publishing is done through Internet Gopher where information resources easy and affordable offered by powerful research tools. The more important thing now is the development of high quality and professionally operated electronic data publishing sites. To enhance the service and appropriate editorial and policies for electronic data publishing has been established and editors of article shoulder the responsibility.

  20. The cell as the mechanistic basis for evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Torday, J S

    2015-01-01

    The First Principles for Physiology originated in and emanate from the unicellular state of life. Viewing physiology as a continuum from unicellular to multicellular organisms provides fundamental insight to ontogeny and phylogeny as a functionally integral whole. Such mechanisms are most evident under conditions of physiologic stress; all of the molecular pathways that evolved in service to the vertebrate water-land transition aided and abetted the evolution of the vertebrate lung, for example. Reduction of evolution to cell biology has an important scientific feature—it is predictive. One implication of this perspective on evolution is the likelihood that it is the unicellular state that is actually the object of selection. By looking at the process of evolution from its unicellular origins, the causal relationships between genotype and phenotype are revealed, as are many other aspects of physiology and medicine that have remained anecdotal and counter-intuitive. Evolutionary development can best be considered as a cyclical, epigenetic, reiterative environmental assessment process, originating from the unicellular state, both forward and backward, to sustain and perpetuate unicellular homeostasis.

  1. Inhibition of insulin fibrillation by osmolytes: Mechanistic Insights

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choudhary, Sinjan; Kishore, Nand; Hosur, Ramakrishna V.

    2015-11-01

    We have studied here using a number of biophysical tools the effects of osmolytes, betaine, citrulline, proline and sorbitol which differ significantly in terms of their physical characteristics such as, charge distribution, polarity, H-bonding abilities etc, on the fibrillation of insulin. Among these, betaine, citrulline, and proline are very effective in decreasing the extent of fibrillation. Proline also causes a substantial delay in the onset of fibrillation in the concentration range (50-250 mM) whereas such an effect is seen for citrulline only at 250 mM, and in case of betaine this effect is not seen at all in the whole concentration range. The enthalpies of interaction at various stages of fibrillation process have suggested that the preferential exclusion of the osmolyte and its polar interaction with the protein are important in inhibition. The results indicate that the osmolytes are most effective when added prior to the elongation stage of fibrillation. These observations have significant biological implications, since insulin fibrillation is known to cause injection amyloidosis and our data may help in designing lead drug molecules and development of potential therapeutic strategies.

  2. Arenavirus budding: a common pathway with mechanistic differences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolff, Svenja; Ebihara, Hideki; Groseth, Allison

    2013-01-31

    The Arenaviridae is a diverse and growing family of viruses that includes several agents responsible for important human diseases. Despite the importance of this family for public health, particularly in Africa and South America, much of its biology remains poorly understood. However, in recent years significant progress has been made in this regard, particularly relating to the formation and release of new enveloped virions, which is an essential step in the viral lifecycle. While this process is mediated chiefly by the viral matrix protein Z, recent evidence suggests that for some viruses the nucleoprotein (NP) is also required to enhance the budding process. Here we highlight and compare the distinct budding mechanisms of different arenaviruses, concentrating on the role of the matrix protein Z, its known late domain sequences, and the involvement of cellular endosomal sorting complex required for transport (ESCRT) pathway components. Finally we address the recently described roles for the nucleoprotein NP in budding and ribonucleoprotein complex (RNP) incorporation, as well as discussing possible mechanisms related to its involvement.

  3. Arenavirus Budding: A Common Pathway with Mechanistic Differences

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Svenja Wolff

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available The Arenaviridae is a diverse and growing family of viruses that includes several agents responsible for important human diseases. Despite the importance of this family for public health, particularly in Africa and South America, much of its biology remains poorly understood. However, in recent years significant progress has been made in this regard, particularly relating to the formation and release of new enveloped virions, which is an essential step in the viral lifecycle. While this process is mediated chiefly by the viral matrix protein Z, recent evidence suggests that for some viruses the nucleoprotein (NP is also required to enhance the budding process. Here we highlight and compare the distinct budding mechanisms of different arenaviruses, concentrating on the role of the matrix protein Z, its known late domain sequences, and the involvement of cellular endosomal sorting complex required for transport (ESCRT pathway components. Finally we address the recently described roles for the nucleoprotein NP in budding and ribonucleoprotein complex (RNP incorporation, as well as discussing possible mechanisms related to its involvement.

  4. 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.

  5. Different design of enzyme-triggered CO-releasing molecules (ET-CORMs reveals quantitative differences in biological activities in terms of toxicity and inflammation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. Stamellou

    2014-01-01

    This study further provides a rational framework for designing acyloxydiene–Fe(CO3 complexes as ET-CORMs with differential CO release and biological activities. We also provide a better understanding of how these complexes affect cell-biology in mechanistic terms.

  6. Synthetic Biology: opportunities for Chilean bioindustry and education.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Federici, Fernán; Rudge, Timothy J; Pollak, Bernardo; Haseloff, Jim; Gutiérrez, Rodrigo A

    2013-01-01

    In an age of pressing challenges for sustainable production of energy and food, the new field of Synthetic Biology has emerged as a promising approach to engineer biological systems. Synthetic Biology is formulating the design principles to engineer affordable, scalable, predictable and robust functions in biological systems. In addition to efficient transfer of evolved traits from one organism to another, Synthetic Biology offers a new and radical approach to bottom-up engineering of sensors, actuators, dynamical controllers and the biological chassis they are embedded in. Because it abstracts much of the mechanistic details underlying biological component behavior, Synthetic Biology methods and resources can be readily used by interdisciplinary teams to tackle complex problems. In addition, the advent of robust new methods for the assembly of large genetic circuits enables teaching Biology and Bioengineering in a learning-by-making fashion for diverse backgrounds at the graduate, undergraduate and high school levels. Synthetic Biology offers unique opportunities to empower interdisciplinary training, research and industrial development in Chile for a technology that promises a significant role in this century's economy.

  7. Changes in the Distribution of Lesser Adjutant Storks (Leptoptilos javanicus in South and Southeast Asia: A Plausible Evidence of Global Climate and Land-use Change Effect

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kapil K. Khadka

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Species distribution Models (SDMs illustrate the relation between species and environmental variables. In an attempt to model the historical and current distribution of Lesser Adjutant Stork (Leptoptilos javanicus and gain qualitative insight into range shift, maxEnt modeling approach was applied. The model was projected into maps to illustrate the variation in spatial distribution of the species in South and Southeast Asia over time. A distributional shift was observed towards the north accompanied by range contraction to the south and expansion to the north. Besides, annual precipitation and temperature of the coldest period of a year appeared to be the major climatic determinants of species distribution. It provides plausible evidence of global climate and land-use change effect on the bird’s distribution and suggests avenues for further research.

  8. Insertion of O-H Bond of Rh(Ⅱ)-methylene Carbene into Alcohols: A Stepwise Mechanism More Plausible than a Concerted Mechanism

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2007-01-01

    The mechanisms of insertion of O-H bond of Rh( Ⅱ ) -methylene carbene into methanol and ethanol were studied by using B3LYP functional both in gas phase and in CH2Cl2. The formation of free alcoholic oxonium ylides is found to be impossible. Alcoholic oxonium ylide are formed as the intermediates before both the stepwise and the concerted transition states of insertion of O-H bond of Rh( Ⅱ ) -methylene carbene into methanol and ethanol. With regard to the mechanisms of insertion of O-H of Rh( Ⅱ ) -methylene carbene into alcohols, analysis of the energy barriers of the two mechanisms indicate that the stepwise mechanism is more plausible than the concerted mechanism.

  9. Relatively Selective Production of the Simplest Criegee Intermediate in a CH4/O2 Electric Discharge: Kinetic Analysis of a Plausible Mechanism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nguyen, Thanh Lam; McCarthy, Michael C; Stanton, John F

    2015-07-16

    High -accuracy coupled cluster methods in combination with microcanonical semiclassical transition state theory are used to investigate a plausible formation mechanism of the simplest Criegee intermediate in a CH4/O2 discharge experiment. Our results suggest that the Criegee intermediate is produced in a three-step process: (i) production of methyl radical by cleavage of a C-H bond of CH4; (ii) association of methyl radical with molecular oxygen to form a vibrationally excited methyl peroxy, which is in a rapid microequilibrium with the reactants; and finally, (iii) H-abstraction of CH3OO by O2, which results in the formation of cool CH2OO, which has insufficient internal energy to rearrange to dioxirane.

  10. Is the Framework of Cohn's 'Tritope Model' for How T Cell Receptors Recognize Peptide/Self-MHC Complexes and Allo-MHC Plausible?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bretscher, Peter A

    2016-05-01

    Cohn has developed the tritope model to describe how distinct domains of the T cell receptor (TcR) recognize peptide/self-MHC complexes and allo-MHC. He has over the years employed this model as a framework for considering how the TcR might mediate various signals [1-5]. In a recent publication [5], Cohn employs the Tritope Model to propose a detailed mechanism for the T cell receptor's involvement in positive thymic selection [5]. During a review of this proposal, I became uneasy over the plausibility of the underlying framework of the Tritope Model. I outline here the evolutionary considerations making me question this framework. I also suggest that the proposed framework underlying the Tritope Model makes strong predictions whose validity can most probably be assessed by considering observations reported in the literature.

  11. An Italian population-based case-control study on the association between farming and cancer: Are pesticides a plausible risk factor?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salerno, Christian; Carcagnì, Antonella; Sacco, Sara; Palin, Lucio Antonio; Vanhaecht, Kris; Panella, Massimiliano; Guido, Davide

    2016-05-01

    This population-based case-control study investigated the association between farming (a proxy for pesticide exposure) and cancer in the Vercelli suburban area (northwest Italy). The residents, aged 25 to 79 years, in the above-mentioned area during the period 2002-2009 were considered. Cases were all the first hospital admissions for cancer. Controls were all the subjects not included in the cases and not excluded from the study. Cases and controls were classified according to whether they occupationally resulted farmers or nonfarmers during the period 1965-2009. Cancer odds ratios (ORs) between farmers and nonfarmers were calculated with generalized linear mixed models adjusted by gender and age. Farmers showed higher odds for all cancers (OR=1.459; p plausible association between pesticide exposure and cancer occurrence.

  12. Synthetic biology and the moral significance of artificial life

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Christiansen, Andreas

    2016-01-01

    I discuss the moral significance of artificial life within synthetic biology via a discussion of Douglas, Powell and Savulescu's paper 'Is the creation of artificial life morally significant’. I argue that the definitions of 'artificial life’ and of 'moral significance’ are too narrow. Douglas......, Powell and Savulescu's definition of artificial life does not capture all core projects of synthetic biology or the ethical concerns that have been voiced, and their definition of moral significance fails to take into account the possibility that creating artificial life is conditionally acceptable....... Finally, I show how several important objections to synthetic biology are plausibly understood as arguing that creating artificial life in a wide sense is only conditionally acceptable....

  13. 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.

  14. Mechanistic Methodology for Airport Pavement Design with Engineering Fabrics. Volume 1. Theoretical and Experimental Bases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1984-08-01

    DOTIFAAIPM-8419,, Mechanistic Methodology for Program Engineering& Airport Pavement Design with Maintenance Service Engineerin Washington, D.C. 20591...Reflective cracks require labor intensive operations for crack sealing and patching, thus becoming a significant maintenance expense item. The problem of...models or prediciting allowable critical strains are not available. The problems are complicated further by the fact that since asphaltic concrete is a

  15. Sensitivity analysis of mechanistic models for estimating ammonia emission from dairy cow urine puddles

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Snoek, J.W.; Stigter, J.D.; Ogink, N.W.M.; Groot Koerkamp, P.W.G.

    2014-01-01

    Ammonia (NH3) emission can cause acidification and eutrophication of the environment, is an indirect source of nitrous oxide, and is a precursor of fine dust. The current mechanistic NH3 emission base model for explaining and predicting NH3 emissions from dairy cow houses with cubicles, a floor and

  16. Cine and direct aminations of 5- and 6-halogeno-pyrimidines. A mechanistic study

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rasmussen, C.A.H.

    1978-01-01

    This thesis describes investigations into the mechanistic aspects of the cine amination of 4-substituted 5-halogenopyrimidines and the direct amination of 4-substituted 6-halogenopyrimidines by potassium amide in liquid ammonia.PMR spectra of some 4-R-5-bromopyrimidines (R=C 6

  17. 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…

  18. 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 dair

  19. Mechanistic study on the ruthenium-catalyzed direct amination of alcohols

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pingen, Dennis; Lutz, Martin; Vogt, Dieter

    2014-01-01

    The Ru-catalyzed direct amination of alcohols with ammonia was investigated for the RuHCl(CO)(PPh3)3/Xantphos system in order to gain mechanistic insight. For several Ru(II) precursor complexes the influence of different additives on catalytic performance was investigated. NMR studies revealed that

  20. A dynamic mechanistic model of lactic acid metabolism in the rumen

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mills, J.A.N.; Crompton, L.A.; Ellis, J.L.; Dijkstra, J.; Bannink, A.; Hook, S.E.; Benchaar, C.; France, J.

    2014-01-01

    Current feed evaluation systems for ruminants are too imprecise to describe diets in terms of their acidosis risk. The dynamic mechanistic model described herein arises from the integration of a lactic acid (La) metabolism module into an extant model of whole-rumen function. The model was evaluated

  1. Predictive mechanistic bioenergetics to model habitat suitability of shellfish culture in coastal lakes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rinaldi, A.; Montalto, V.; Manganaro, A.; Mazzola, A.; Mirto, S.; Sanfilippo, M.; Sarà, G.

    2014-05-01

    Quantitative tools based on mechanistic modelling of functional traits able to enhance the sustainability of aquaculture and most other human activities (i.e. reducing the likelihood of detrimental impacts optimising productions), are especially important factors in the decision to site aquaculture facilities in coastal lakes, ponds and lagoons and, in the case of detrimental impact, to adopt mitigation measures. We tested the ability of mechanistic functional trait based models to predict life history traits of cultivable shellfish in shallow coastal lakes. Dynamic Energy Budget (DEB) models were run to generate spatially explicit predictions of Mytilus galloprovincialis life history (LH) traits (e.g. body size and fecundity). Using fortnightly data of food supply and hourly data of body temperatures, and exploiting the power of mechanistic rules, we estimated the amount of faeces ejected by a fixed quantity of organisms cultivated in two shallow Southern Mediterranean (Sicily) lakes. These differed in terms of temperature and food density, implying large differences in life history traits of mussels in the two study areas. This information could help facilitate the selection of sites where environmental conditions are more suitable for aquaculture and contextually compatible with sustainability. The validation exercise obtained by comparing the predicted and observed data was nearly consistent. Therefore, a mechanistic functional traits-based model seems able to capture the link between habitat characteristics and functional traits of organisms, delineating the fundamental portion of an ecological niche, the possibility of predicting LH traits and potential ecological applications in the management of natural coastal resources.

  2. 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…

  3. 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.

    2015-01-01

    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 ten

  4. Legitimising neural network river forecasting models: a new data-driven mechanistic modelling framework

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mount, N. J.; Dawson, C. W.; Abrahart, R. J.

    2013-01-01

    In this paper we address the difficult problem of gaining an internal, mechanistic understanding of a neural network river forecasting (NNRF) model. Neural network models in hydrology have long been criticised for their black-box character, which prohibits adequate understanding of their modelling mechanisms and has limited their broad acceptance by hydrologists. In response, we here present a new, data-driven mechanistic modelling (DDMM) framework that incorporates an evaluation of the legitimacy of a neural network's internal modelling mechanism as a core element in the model development process. The framework is exemplified for two NNRF modelling scenarios, and uses a novel adaptation of first order, partial derivate, relative sensitivity analysis methods as the means by which each model's mechanistic legitimacy is explored. The results demonstrate the limitations of standard, goodness-of-fit validation procedures applied by NNRF modellers, by highlighting how the internal mechanisms of complex models that produce the best fit scores can have much lower legitimacy than simpler counterparts whose scores are only slightly inferior. The study emphasises the urgent need for better mechanistic understanding of neural network-based hydrological models and the further development of methods for elucidating their mechanisms.

  5. Effect of irradiation temperature in PWR RPV materials and its inclusion in semi-mechanistic model

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Debarberis, L. [Joint Research Centre of the European Commission, Institute for Energy, P.O. Box 2, 1755 ZG Petten (Netherlands); Acosta, B. [Joint Research Centre of the European Commission, Institute for Energy, P.O. Box 2, 1755 ZG Petten (Netherlands)]. E-mail: beatriz.acosta-iborra@jrc.nl; Zeman, A. [Joint Research Centre of the European Commission, Institute for Energy, P.O. Box 2, 1755 ZG Petten (Netherlands); Sevini, F. [Joint Research Centre of the European Commission, Institute for Energy, P.O. Box 2, 1755 ZG Petten (Netherlands); Ballesteros, A. [Tecnatom, Avd. Montes de Oca 1, San Sebasitan de los Reyes, E-28709 Madrid (Spain); Kryukov, A. [Russian Research Centre Kurchatov Institute, Kurchatov Square 1, 123182 Moscow (Russian Federation); Gillemot, F. [AEKI Atomic Research Institute, Konkoly Thege M. ut 29-33, 1121 Budapest (Hungary); Brumovsky, M. [NRI, Nuclear Research Institute, Husinec, Rez 130, 25068 Rez (Czech Republic)

    2005-09-15

    The irradiation temperature is a very important parameter in radiation damage kinetics. In this article the challenge of including temperature into a general semi-mechanistic model for radiation embrittlement is presented. In this manner the model allows data obtained at different temperatures, both in surveillance programmes and in research reactors, to be understood.

  6. Slow component of VO2 kinetics: Mechanistic bases and practical applications

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jones, Andrew M; Grassi, Bruno; Christensen, Peter Møller

    2011-01-01

    state of knowledge concerning the mechanistic bases of the V¿O2 slow component and describes practical interventions which can attenuate the slow componentand thus enhance exercise tolerance. There is strong evidence that, during CWR exercise, the development of the V¿O2 slow component is associated...

  7. Mechanistic studies on a peptide-based self-replicating system

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Colomb-Delsuc, Mathieu

    2015-01-01

    Dit proefschrift beschrijft de werkzaamheden uitgevoerd op een zelfassemblerende en self-replicating systeem. Het werk is opgedeeld in verschillende studies, waarbij een eerste studie gedaan die een demonstratie en een beschrijving van de exponentiële zelfreplicerende aard van het systeem. Mechanist

  8. Structural Biology Fact Sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Home > Science Education > Structural Biology Fact Sheet Structural Biology Fact Sheet Tagline (Optional) Middle/Main Content Area What is structural biology? Structural biology is a field of science focused ...

  9. Multi-scale observation and cross-scale mechanistic modeling on terrestrial ecosystem carbon cycle

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    CAO; Mingkui; YU; Guirui; LIU; Jiyuan; LI; Kerang

    2005-01-01

    To predict global climate change and to implement the Kyoto Protocol for stabilizing atmospheric greenhouse gases concentrations require quantifying spatio-temporal variations in the terrestrial carbon sink accurately. During the past decade multi-scale ecological experiment and observation networks have been established using various new technologies (e.g. controlled environmental facilities, eddy covariance techniques and quantitative remote sensing), and have obtained a large amount of data about terrestrial ecosystem carbon cycle. However, uncertainties in the magnitude and spatio-temporal variations of the terrestrial carbon sink and in understanding the underlying mechanisms have not been reduced significantly. One of the major reasons is that the observations and experiments were conducted at individual scales independently, but it is the interactions of factors and processes at different scales that determine the dynamics of the terrestrial carbon sink. Since experiments and observations are always conducted at specific scales, to understand cross-scale interactions requires mechanistic analysis that is best to be achieved by mechanistic modeling. However, mechanistic ecosystem models are mainly based on data from single-scale experiments and observations and hence have no capacity to simulate mechanistic cross-scale interconnection and interactions of ecosystem processes. New-generation mechanistic ecosystem models based on new ecological theoretical framework are needed to quantify the mechanisms from micro-level fast eco-physiological responses to macro-level slow acclimation in the pattern and structure in disturbed ecosystems. Multi-scale data-model fusion is a recently emerging approach to assimilate multi-scale observational data into mechanistic, dynamic modeling, in which the structure and parameters of mechanistic models for simulating cross-scale interactions are optimized using multi-scale observational data. The models are validated and

  10. Identifying Second Language Errors: How Plausible are Plausible Reconstructions?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamid, Obaidul

    2007-01-01

    The research reported in the study was undertaken to measure English language teachers' ability to interpret second language learners' intended meanings in idiosyncratic utterances in written English. In doing so, it also aimed at verifying Corder's (1981) speculation that language teachers can correctly guess the intended meanings of learners in…

  11. Simulating Biological and Non-Biological Motion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bruzzo, Angela; Gesierich, Benno; Wohlschlager, Andreas

    2008-01-01

    It is widely accepted that the brain processes biological and non-biological movements in distinct neural circuits. Biological motion, in contrast to non-biological motion, refers to active movements of living beings. Aim of our experiment was to investigate the mechanisms underlying mental simulation of these two movement types. Subjects had to…

  12. 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.

  13. 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, as shown below. 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.

  14. Understanding biological functions through molecular networks

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Jing-Dong Jackie Han

    2008-01-01

    The completion of genome sequences and subsequent high-throughput mapping of molecular networks have allowed us to study biology from the network perspective. Experimental, statistical and mathematical modeling approaches have been employed to study the structure, function and dynamics of molecular networks, and begin to reveal important links of various network properties to the functions of the biological systems. In agreement with these functional links, evolutionary selection of a network is apparently based on the function, rather than directly on the structure of the network. Dynamic modularity is one of the prominent features of molecular networks. Taking advantage of such a feature may simplify network-based biological studies through construction of process-specific modular networks and provide functional and mechanistic insights linking genotypic variations to complex traits or diseases, which is likely to be a key approach in the next wave of understanding complex human diseases. With the development of ready-to-use network analysis and modeling tools the networks approaches will be infused into everyday biological research in the near future.

  15. Plausible Mechanisms of Cadmium Carcinogenesis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cadmium is a transition metal and an ubiquitous environmental and industrial pollutant. Laboratory animal studies and epidemiological studies have shown that exposure to cadmium is associated with various organ toxicities and carcinogenic effects. Several national and internation...

  16. Plausible Reasoning in Tactical Planning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1987-04-01

    Frames in a Person’s Memory i • flower type/of =(plant) types =Irose, daffodil, peony, bougainvillea ... parts =Ipetals, stem ..-I colors =Ipink...J World South AmericF r ESubtropical Surrey Flowers Daffodils Bougainvillea Peonies Roses Yellow RosesFa Figure 4. Part Hierarchy for England and...England) = Iyellow roses...I (7) SIm flower-type(England)= 1peonies... I (8) DIS flower-type(England)6 bougainvillea ... * *18 that they think are most

  17. Plausible Speech Translation in Literature%论文学作品中似是而非的辞格翻译

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    廖巧云

    2011-01-01

    辞格是一种语言变体,是各种语言共有的现象。由于各种原因,辞格的误译现象在翻译活动中并不鲜见。然而,辞格误译却有很大一部分呈现出似是而非的特征。辞格中似是而非的翻译,表面看来完全正确,并且在两种语言中具有形式上完全对等的特征,这使得它们更容易被译文读者接受,使其无意识中被迫接受错误信息。本文借用奈达的翻译功能对等理论,通过对文学作品中出现的似是而非的辞格译文进行案例分析,从而尽可能地为译者在今后的辞格翻译活动提供借鉴,减少辞格翻译中似是而非的现象。%Speech is a language variant,is the common phenomenon to all languages.For various reasons,the phenomenon of a mistranslation of speech activities in the translation is not uncommon.However,there is a huge misinterpretation of speech as part of showing a paradoxical character.Speech translation in the paradoxical,seemingly completely correct,and in the two languages have formal characteristics of full reciprocity,which makes them more likely to be asked readers to accept,it was forced to accept the error message unconscious.This paper uses Nida's translation functional equivalence theory,through the literary works that ap-pear plausible case analysis of the translation of speech,which as much as possible for the translators in the future of speech trans-lation activities provide a reference,to reduce the plausible translation of speech phenomenon.

  18. 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

    2017-01-01

    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. PMID:28101055

  19. Cell biology perspectives in phage biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ansaldi, Mireille

    2012-01-01

    Cellular biology has long been restricted to large cellular organisms. However, as the resolution of microscopic methods increased, it became possible to study smaller cells, in particular bacterial cells. Bacteriophage biology is one aspect of bacterial cell biology that has recently gained insight from cell biology. Despite their small size, bacteriophages could be successfully labeled and their cycle studied in the host cells. This review aims to put together, although non-extensively, several cell biology studies that recently pushed the elucidation of key mechanisms in phage biology, such as the lysis-lysogeny decision in temperate phages or genome replication and transcription, one step further.

  20. Mechanistic pathways of mercury removal from the organomercurial lyase active site

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pedro J. Silva

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Bacterial populations present in Hg-rich environments have evolved biological mechanisms to detoxify methylmercury and other organometallic mercury compounds. The most common resistance mechanism relies on the H+-assisted cleavage of the Hg–C bond of methylmercury by the organomercurial lyase MerB. Although the initial reaction steps which lead to the loss of methane from methylmercury have already been studied experimentally and computationally, the reaction steps leading to the removal of Hg2+ from MerB and regeneration of the active site for a new round of catalysis have not yet been elucidated. In this paper, we have studied the final steps of the reaction catalyzed by MerB through quantum chemical computations at the combined MP2/CBS//B3PW91/6-31G(d level of theory. While conceptually simple, these reaction steps occur in a complex potential energy surface where several distinct pathways are accessible and may operate concurrently. The only pathway which clearly emerges as forbidden in our analysis is the one arising from the sequential addition of two thiolates to the metal atom, due to the accumulation of negative charges in the active site. The addition of two thiols, in contrast, leads to two feasible mechanistic possibilities. The most straightforward pathway proceeds through proton transfer from the attacking thiol to Cys159 , leading to its removal from the mercury coordination sphere, followed by a slower attack of a second thiol, which removes Cys96. The other pathway involves Asp99 in an accessory role similar to the one observed earlier for the initial stages of the reaction and affords a lower activation enthalpy, around 14 kcal mol−1, determined solely by the cysteine removal step rather than by the thiol ligation step. Addition of one thiolate to the intermediates arising from either thiol attack occurs without a barrier and produces an intermediate bound to one active site cysteine and from which Hg(SCH32 may be removed

  1. Diagnostic Plausibility of MTBDRplus and MTBDRsl Line Probe Assays for Rapid Drug Susceptibility Testing of Drug Resistant Mycobacterium tuberculosis Strains in Pakistan

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Javaid

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Background World health organization (WHO recommends the use of line probe assays (LiPAs for rapid drug susceptibility testing (DST. However, only a limited number of studies from Pakistan have documented the performance characteristics of line probe assays in testing multi-drug resistant (MDR strains of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB. Objectives The objective of this work is to evaluate the diagnostic plausibility of the LiPA tests MTBDRplus and MTBDRsl on MDR MTB isolates from Pakistan. Patients and Methods This was a cross-sectional study conducted at the Indus hospital, Karachi. LiPA testing was performed on 196 smear-positive samples using BACTEC MGIT 960 as a gold standard. Results The sensitivity of MTBDRplus for isoniazid and rifampicin was found to be 88.8% and 90.2%, respectively, while sensitivity of MTBDRsl for fluoroquinolones, amikacin/capreomycin, and ethambutol was found to be 72.9%, 81.8%, and 56.6%, respectively. Conclusions The MTBDRplus and MTBDRsl genotypic testing can serve as useful additional tools for DST in a high-burden country like Pakistan provided it is used in combination with phenotypic testing.

  2. Effect of central metal ions of analogous metal-organic frameworks on adsorption of organoarsenic compounds from water: plausible mechanism of adsorption and water purification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jun, Jong Won; Tong, Minman; Jung, Beom K; Hasan, Zubair; Zhong, Chongli; Jhung, Sung Hwa

    2015-01-02

    The adsorptive removal of organoarsenic compounds such as p-arsanilic acid (ASA) and roxarsone (ROX) from water using metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) has been investigated for the first time. A MOF, iron benzenetricarboxylate (also called MIL-100-Fe) exhibits a much higher adsorption capacity for ASA and ROX than activated carbon, zeolite (HY), goethite, and other MOFs. The adsorption of ASA and ROX over MIL-100-Fe is also much more rapid than that over activated carbon. Moreover, the used MIL-100-Fe can be recycled by simply washing with acidic ethanol. Therefore, it is determined that a MOF such as MIL-100-Fe can be used to remove organoarsenic compounds from contaminated water because of its high adsorption capacity, rapid adsorption, and ready regeneration. Moreover, only one of three analogous MIL-100 species (MIL-100-Fe, rather than MIL-100-Al or MIL-100-Cr) can effectively remove the organoarsenic compounds. This selective and high adsorption over MIL-100-Fe, different from other analogous MIL-100 species, can be explained (through calculations) by the facile desorption of water from MIL-100-Fe as well as the large (absolute value) replacement energy (difference between the adsorption energies of the organoarsenic compounds and water) exhibited by MIL-100-Fe. A plausible adsorption/desorption mechanism is proposed based on the surface charge of the MOFs, FTIR results, calculations, and the reactivation results with respect to the solvents used in the experiments.

  3. Untemplated nonenzymatic polymerization of 3',5'cGMP: a plausible route to 3',5'-linked oligonucleotides in primordia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Šponer, Judit E; Šponer, Jiří; Giorgi, Alessandra; Di Mauro, Ernesto; Pino, Samanta; Costanzo, Giovanna

    2015-02-19

    The high-energy 3',5' phosphodiester linkages conserved in 3',5' cyclic GMPs offer a genuine solution for monomer activation required by the transphosphorylation reactions that could lead to the emergence of the first simple oligonucleotide sequences on the early Earth. In this work we provide an in-depth characterization of the effect of the reaction conditions on the yield of the polymerization reaction of 3',5' cyclic GMPs both in aqueous environment as well as under dehydrating conditions. We show that the threshold temperature of the polymerization is about 30 °C lower under dehydrating conditions than in solution. In addition, we present a plausible exergonic reaction pathway for the polymerization reaction, which involves transient formation of anionic centers at the O3' positions of the participating riboses. We suggest that excess Na(+) cations inhibit the polymerization reaction because they block the anionic mechanism via neutralizing the negatively charged O3'. Our experimental findings are compatible with a prebiotic scenario, where gradual desiccation of the environment could induce polymerization of 3',5' cyclic GMPs synthesized in liquid.

  4. A plausible worst-case scenario of increasing multidrug resistance as a tool for assessing societal risks and capabilities in Sweden.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roffey, Roger; Lindberg, Anna; Molin, Lena; Wikman-Svahn, Per

    2015-01-01

    A "plausible worst-case scenario" of a gradually increasing level of multidrug-resistant bacteria (carbapenem-resistant E. coli) in the human population was developed and used to study how Swedish authorities would manage this situation and to identify preventive measures that could be taken. Key findings include: (1) a scenario in which 5% of the population in southern Sweden become carriers of carbapenem-resistant E. coli is possible or even likely in 10 to 15 years; (2) it is not clear when and how the increase of E. coli resistant to carbapenems as in the scenario would be detected in the general human population; (3) identified negative consequences of the scenario on society were primarily due to increased demands on the healthcare system and potential consequences for food-producing animals, food safety, and environmental health; and (4) a number of preventive and mitigation measures were suggested, including initiating long-term screening programs for public and animal health as well as for food and water production to monitor increasing levels of carbapenem resistance. Strategies and plans to prevent and handle future increasing prevalence of multidrug-resistant bacteria need to be developed.

  5. Observational evidence for the plausible linkage of Equatorial Electrojet (EEJ electric field variations with the post sunset F-region electrodynamics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    V. Sreeja

    2009-11-01

    Full Text Available The paper is based on a detailed observational study of the Equatorial Spread F (ESF events on geomagnetically quiet (Ap≤20 days of the solar maximum (2001, moderate (2004 and minimum (2006 years using the ionograms and magnetograms from the magnetic equatorial location of Trivandrum (8.5° N; 77° E; dip lat ~0.5° N in India. The study brings out some interesting aspects of the daytime Equatorial Electrojet (EEJ related electric field variations and the post sunset F-region electrodynamics governing the nature of seasonal characteristics of the ESF phenomena during these years. The observed results seem to indicate a plausible linkage of daytime EEJ related electric field variations with pre-reversal enhancement which in turn is related to the occurrence of ESF. These electric field variations are shown to be better represented through a parameter, termed as "E", in the context of possible coupling between the E- and F-regions of the ionosphere. The observed similarities in the gross features of the variations in the parameter "E" and the F-region vertical drift (Vz point towards the potential usage of the EEJ related parameter "E" as an useful index for the assessment of Vz prior to the occurrence of ESF.

  6. Wedelolactone mitigates UVB induced oxidative stress, inflammation and early tumor promotion events in murine skin: plausible role of NFkB pathway.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ali, Farrah; Khan, Bilal Azhar; Sultana, Sarwat

    2016-09-05

    UVB (Ultra-violet B) radiation is one of the major etiological factors in various dermal pathology viz. dermatitis, actinic folliculitis, solar urticaria, psoriasis and cancer among many others. UVB causes toxic manifestation in tissues by inciting inflammatory and tumor promoting events. We have designed this study to assess the anti-inflammatory and anti-tumor promotion effect of Wedelolactone (WDL) a specific IKK inhibitor. Results indicate significant restoration of anti-oxidative enzymes due to WDL treatments. We also found that WDL was effective in mitigating inflammatory markers consisting of MPO (myeloperoxidase), Mast cells trafficking, Langerhans cells suppression and COX 2 expression up regulation due to UVB exposure. We also deduce that WDL presented a promising intervention in attenuating early tumor promotion events caused by UVB exposure as indicated by the results of ODC (Ornithine Decarboxylase), Thymidine assay, Vimentin and VEGF (Vascular-endothelial growth factor) expression. This study was able to provide substantial cues for the therapeutic ability of Wedelolactone against inflammatory and tumor promoting events in murine skin depicting plausible role of NFkB pathway.

  7. Substrate inhibition in the heterogeneous catalyzed aldol condensation: A mechanistic study of supported organocatalysts

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kandel, Kapil; Althaus, Stacey M.; Peeraphatdit, Chorthip; Kobayashi, Takeshi; Trewyn, Brian G.; Pruski, Marek; Slowing, Igor I.

    2012-05-23

    In this study, we demonstrate how materials science can be combined with the established methods of organic chemistry to find mechanistic bottlenecks and redesign heterogeneous catalysts for improved performance. By using solid-state NMR, infrared spectroscopy, surface and kinetic analysis, we prove the existence of a substrate inhibition in the aldol condensation catalyzed by heterogeneous amines. We show that modifying the structure of the supported amines according to the proposed mechanism dramatically enhances the activity of the heterogeneous catalyst. We also provide evidence that the reaction benefits significantly from the surface chemistry of the silica support, which plays the role of a co-catalyst, giving activities up to two orders of magnitude larger than those of homogeneous amines. This study confirms that the optimization of a heterogeneous catalyst depends as much on obtaining organic mechanistic information as it does on controlling the structure of the support.

  8. 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.

  9. 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)

  10. Synthesis, Cytotoxicity and Mechanistic Evaluation of 4-Oxoquinoline-3-carboxamide Derivatives: Finding New Potential Anticancer Drugs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luana da S. M. Forezi

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available As part of a continuing search for new potential anticancer candidates, we describe the synthesis, cytotoxicity and mechanistic evaluation of a series of 4-oxoquinoline-3-carboxamide derivatives as novel anticancer agents. The inhibitory activity of compounds 10–18 was determined against three cancer cell lines using the MTT colorimetric assay. The screening revealed that derivatives 16b and 17b exhibited significant cytotoxic activity against the gastric cancer cell line but was not active against a normal cell line, in contrast to doxorubicin, a standard chemotherapeutic drug in clinical use. Interestingly, no hemolytical activity was observed when the toxicity of 16b and 17b was tested against blood cells. The in silico and in vitro mechanistic evaluation indicated the potential of 16b as a lead for the development of novel anticancer agents against gastric cancer cells.

  11. The scope and limits of a mechanistic view of computational explanation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Serban, Maria

    2015-01-01

    An increasing number of philosophers have promoted the idea that mechanism provides a fruitful framework for thinking about the explanatory contributions of computational approaches in cognitive neuroscience. For instance, Piccinini and Bahar (Cogn Sci 37(3):453–488, 2013) have recently argued...... that neural computation constitutes a sui generis category of physical computation which can play a genuine explanatory role in the context of investigating neural and cognitive processes. The core of their proposal is to conceive of computational explanations in cognitive neuroscience as a subspecies...... of mechanistic explanations. This paper identifies several challenges facing their mechanistic account and sketches an alternative way of thinking about the epistemic roles of computational approaches used in the study of brain and cognition. Drawing on examples from both low-level and systems...

  12. Formalising a mechanistic linkage between heterotrophic feeding and thermal bleaching resistance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wooldridge, Scott A.

    2014-12-01

    In this paper, I utilise the CO2 (sink) limitation model of coral bleaching to propose a new biochemical framework that explains how certain (well-adapted) coral species can utilise heterotrophic carbon acquisition to combat the damaging algal photoinhibition response sequence that underpins thermal bleaching, thereby increasing thermal bleaching resistance. This mechanistic linkage helps to clarify a number of previously challenging experimental responses arising from feeding (versus starved) temperature stress experiments, and isotope labelling (tracer) experiments with heterotrophic carbon sources (e.g., zooplankton). In an era of rapidly warming surface ocean temperatures, the conferred fitness benefits arising from such a mechanistic linkage are considerable. Yet, various ecological constraints are outlined which caution against the ultimate benefit of the mechanism for raising bleaching thresholds at the coral community (reef) scale. Future experiments are suggested that can strengthen these proposed arguments.

  13. Studies on the interaction of isocyanides with imines: reaction scope and mechanistic variations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ouldouz Ghashghaei

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The interaction of imines with isocyanides has been studied. The main product results from a sequential process involving the attack of two units of isocyanide, under Lewis acid catalysis, upon the carbon–nitrogen double bond of the imine to form the 4-membered ring system. The scope of the reaction regarding the imine and isocyanide ranges has been determined, and also some mechanistic variations and structural features have been described.

  14. Biomimetic and Live Medusae Reveal the Mechanistic Advantages of a Flexible Bell Margin

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-11-07

    Citation: Colin SP, Costello JH, Dabiri JO, Villanueva A, Blottman JB, et al. (2012) Biomimetic and Live Medusae Reveal the Mechanistic Advantages of a...the bell motions of the vehicle with natural medusae are described by Villanueva et al. (2010a; 2010b; 2011). Briefly, the mesoglea was fabricated...the hydrodynamics of a highly deformable fish pectoral fin. Journal of Fluid Mechanics 645: 345. 26. Villanueva A, Smith C, Priya S (2011) A biomimetic

  15. A quantitative model of human DNA base excision repair. I. mechanistic insights

    OpenAIRE

    Sokhansanj, Bahrad A.; Rodrigue, Garry R.; Fitch, J. Patrick; David M Wilson

    2002-01-01

    Base excision repair (BER) is a multistep process involving the sequential activity of several proteins that cope with spontaneous and environmentally induced mutagenic and cytotoxic DNA damage. Quantitative kinetic data on single proteins of BER have been used here to develop a mathematical model of the BER pathway. This model was then employed to evaluate mechanistic issues and to determine the sensitivity of pathway throughput to altered enzyme kinetics. Notably, the model predicts conside...

  16. Development of Mechanistic-Empirical Pavement Design for Tropical Climate Using Cement-Treated Base Layer

    OpenAIRE

    Aderinola, O.S

    2016-01-01

    A mechanistic-empirical pavement design method is developed characterising cement-treated base layers for pavement design in Nigeria or other similar tropical and subtropical countries. Asphalt Concrete surface, Subbase and Aggregate base were characterised based on back calculation data from Claros et al (1986) while cement-treated base layer was based on modulus tests that had been conducted by past researchers. Failure criteria for the Asphalt Concrete fatigue failure and the s...

  17. The structural biology of patellamide biosynthesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koehnke, Jesko; Bent, Andrew F; Houssen, Wael E; Mann, Greg; Jaspars, Marcel; Naismith, James H

    2014-12-01

    The biosynthetic pathways for patellamide and related natural products have recently been studied by structural biology. These pathways produce molecules that have a complex framework and exhibit a diverse array of activity due to the variability of the amino acids that are found in them. As these molecules are difficult to synthesize chemically, exploitation of their properties has been modest. The patellamide pathway involves amino acid heterocyclization, peptide cleavage, peptide macrocyclization, heterocycle oxidation and epimerization; closely related products are also prenylated. Enzyme activities have been identified for all these transformations except epimerization, which may be spontaneous. This review highlights the recent structural and mechanistic work on amino acid heterocyclization, peptide cleavage and peptide macrocyclization. This work should help in using the enzymes to produce novel analogs of the natural products enabling an exploitation of their properties.

  18. Comparative evaluation of statistical and mechanistic models of Escherichia coli at beaches in southern Lake Michigan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Safaie, Ammar; Wendzel, Aaron; Ge, Zhongfu; Nevers, Meredith; Whitman, Richard L.; Corsi, Steven R.; Phanikumar, Mantha S.

    2016-01-01

    Statistical and mechanistic models are popular tools for predicting the levels of indicator bacteria at recreational beaches. Researchers tend to use one class of model or the other, and it is difficult to generalize statements about their relative performance due to differences in how the models are developed, tested, and used. We describe a cooperative modeling approach for freshwater beaches impacted by point sources in which insights derived from mechanistic modeling were used to further improve the statistical models and vice versa. The statistical models provided a basis for assessing the mechanistic models which were further improved using probability distributions to generate high-resolution time series data at the source, long-term “tracer” transport modeling based on observed electrical conductivity, better assimilation of meteorological data, and the use of unstructured-grids to better resolve nearshore features. This approach resulted in improved models of comparable performance for both classes including a parsimonious statistical model suitable for real-time predictions based on an easily measurable environmental variable (turbidity). The modeling approach outlined here can be used at other sites impacted by point sources and has the potential to improve water quality predictions resulting in more accurate estimates of beach closures.

  19. Mechanistic analytical models for long-distance seed dispersal by wind.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Katul, G G; Porporato, A; Nathan, R; Siqueira, M; Soons, M B; Poggi, D; Horn, H S; Levin, S A

    2005-09-01

    We introduce an analytical model, the Wald analytical long-distance dispersal (WALD) model, for estimating dispersal kernels of wind-dispersed seeds and their escape probability from the canopy. The model is based on simplifications to well-established three-dimensional Lagrangian stochastic approaches for turbulent scalar transport resulting in a two-parameter Wald (or inverse Gaussian) distribution. Unlike commonly used phenomenological models, WALD's parameters can be estimated from the key factors affecting wind dispersal--wind statistics, seed release height, and seed terminal velocity--determined independently of dispersal data. WALD's asymptotic power-law tail has an exponent of -3/2, a limiting value verified by a meta-analysis for a wide variety of measured dispersal kernels and larger than the exponent of the bivariate Student t-test (2Dt). We tested WALD using three dispersal data sets on forest trees, heathland shrubs, and grassland forbs and compared WALD's performance with that of other analytical mechanistic models (revised versions of the tilted Gaussian Plume model and the advection-diffusion equation), revealing fairest agreement between WALD predictions and measurements. Analytical mechanistic models, such as WALD, combine the advantages of simplicity and mechanistic understanding and are valuable tools for modeling large-scale, long-term plant population dynamics.

  20. 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.

  1. A systematic approach for identifying and presenting mechanistic evidence in human health assessments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kushman, Mary E.; Kraft, Andrew D.; Guyton, Kathryn Z.; Chiu, Weihsueh A.; Makris, Susan L.; Rusyn, Ivan

    2013-01-01

    Clear documentation of literature search and presentation methodologies can improve transparency in chemical hazard assessments. We sought to improve clarity for the scientific support for cancer mechanisms of action using a systematic approach to literature retrieval, selection, and presentation of studies. The general question was “What are the mechanisms by which a chemical may cause carcinogenicity in the target tissue?” Di(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate was used as a case study chemical with a complex database of >3,000 publications. Relevant mechanistic events were identified from published reviews. The PubMed search strategy included relevant synonyms and wildcards for DEHP and its metabolites, mechanistic events, and species of interest. Tiered exclusion/inclusion criteria for study pertinence were defined, and applied to the retrieved literature. Manual curation was conducted for mechanistic events with large literature databases. Literature trees documented identification and selection of the literature evidence. The selected studies were summarized in evidence tables accompanied by succinct narratives. Primary publications were deposited into the Health and Environmental Research Online (http://hero.epa.gov/) database and identified by pertinence criteria and key terms to permit organized retrieval. This approach contributes to human health assessment by effectively managing a large volume of literature, improving transparency, and facilitating subsequent synthesis of information across studies. PMID:23959061

  2. Exploiting Bioprocessing Fluctuations to Elicit the Mechanistics of De Novo Lipogenesis in Yarrowia lipolytica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silverman, Andrew M.; Stephanopoulos, Gregory

    2017-01-01

    Despite substantial achievements in elucidating the metabolic pathways of lipogenesis, a mechanistic representation of lipid accumulation and degradation has not been fully attained to-date. Recent evidence suggests that lipid accumulation can occur through increases of either the cytosolic copy-number of lipid droplets (LDs), or the LDs size. However, the prevailing phenotype, or how such mechanisms pertain to lipid degradation remain poorly understood. To address this shortcoming, we employed the–recently discovered–innate bioprocessing fluctuations in Yarrowia lipolytica, and performed single-cell fluctuation analysis using optical microscopy and microfluidics that generate a quasi-time invariant microenvironment. We report that lipid accumulation at early stationary phase in rich medium is substantially more likely to occur through variations in the LDs copy-number, rather than the LDs size. Critically, these mechanistics are also preserved during lipid degradation, as well as upon exposure to a protein translation inhibitor. The latter condition additionally induced a lipid accumulation phase, accompanied by the downregulation of lipid catabolism. Our results enable an in-depth mechanistic understanding of lipid biogenesis, and expand longitudinal single-cell fluctuation analyses from gene regulation to metabolism. PMID:28052085

  3. Mechanistic models of animal migration behaviour--their diversity, structure and use.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bauer, Silke; Klaassen, Marcel

    2013-05-01

    1. Migration is a widespread phenomenon in the animal kingdom, including many taxonomic groups and modes of locomotion. Developing an understanding of the proximate and ultimate causes for this behaviour not only addresses fundamental ecological questions but has relevance to many other fields, for example in relation to the spread of emerging zoonotic diseases, the proliferation of invasive species, aeronautical safety as well as the conservation of migrants. 2. Theoretical methods can make important contributions to our understanding of migration, by allowing us to integrate findings on this complex behaviour, identify caveats in our understanding and to guide future empirical research efforts. Various mechanistic models exist to date, but their applications seem to be scattered and far from evenly distributed across taxonomic units. 3. Therefore, we provide an overview of the major mechanistic modelling approaches used in the study of migration behaviour and characterize their fundamental features, assumptions and limitations and discuss their typical data requirements both for model parameterization and for scrutinizing model predictions. 4. Furthermore, we review 155 studies that have used mechanistic models to study animal migration and analyse them with regard to the approaches used and the focal species, and also explore their contribution to advancing current knowledge within six broad migration ecology research themes. 5. This identifies important gaps in our present knowledge, which should be tackled in future research using existing and to-be developed theoretical approaches.

  4. Biological activities and medicinal properties of Gokhru (Pedalium murex L.)

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    V Rajashekar; E Upender Rao; Srinivas P

    2012-01-01

    Bada Gokhru (Pedalium murex L.) is perhaps the most useful traditional medicinal plant in India. Each part of the neem tree has some medicinal property and is thus commercially exploitable. During the last five decades, apart from the chemistry of the Pedalium murex compounds, considerable progress has been achieved regarding the biological activity and medicinal applications of this plant. It is now considered as a valuable source of unique natural products for development of medicines against various diseases and also for the development of industrial products. This review gives a bird’s eye view mainly on the biological activities of some of this compounds isolated, pharmacological actions of the extracts, clinical studies and plausible medicinal applications of gokharu along with their safety evaluation.

  5. Biological warfare agents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pohanka, Miroslav; Kuca, Kamil

    2010-01-01

    Biological warfare agents are a group of pathogens and toxins of biological origin that can be potentially misused for military or criminal purposes. The present review attempts to summarize necessary knowledge about biological warfare agents. The historical aspects, examples of applications of these agents such as anthrax letters, biological weapons impact, a summary of biological warfare agents and epidemiology of infections are described. The last section tries to estimate future trends in research on biological warfare agents.

  6. Plausible mechanisms of the fenton-like reactions, M = Fe(II) and Co(II), in the presence of RCO2(-) substrates: are OH(•) radicals formed in the process?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kornweitz, Haya; Burg, Ariela; Meyerstein, Dan

    2015-05-01

    DFT calculations concerning the plausible mechanism of Fenton-like reactions catalyzed by Fe(II) and Co(II) cations in the presence of carboxylate ligands suggest that hydroxyl radicals are not formed in these reactions. This conclusion suggests that the commonly accepted mechanisms of Fenton-like reactions induced oxidative stress and advanced oxidation processes have to be reconsidered.

  7. Marine biogeochemical influence on primary sea spray aerosol composition in the Southern Ocean: predictions from a mechanistic model

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCoy, D.; Burrows, S. M.; Elliott, S.; Frossard, A. A.; Russell, L. M.; Liu, X.; Ogunro, O. O.; Easter, R. C.; Rasch, P. J.

    2014-12-01

    Remote marine clouds, such as those over the Southern Ocean, are particularly sensitive to variations in the concentration and chemical composition of aerosols that serve as cloud condensation nuclei (CCN). Observational evidence indicates that the organic content of fine marine aerosol is greatly increased during the biologically active season near strong phytoplankton blooms in certain locations, while being nearly constant in other locations. We have recently developed a novel modeling framework that mechanistically links the organic fraction of submicron sea spray to ocean biogeochemistry (Burrows et al., in discussion, ACPD, 2014; Elliott et al., ERL, 2014). Because of its combination of large phytoplankton blooms and high wind speeds, the Southern Ocean is an ideal location for testing our understanding of the processes driving the enrichment of organics in sea spray aerosol. Comparison of the simulated OM fraction with satellite observations shows that OM fraction is a statistically significant predictor of cloud droplet number concentration over the Southern Ocean. This presentation will focus on predictions from our modeling framework for the Southern Ocean, specifically, the predicted geographic gradients and seasonal cycles in the aerosol organic matter and its functional group composition. The timing and location of a Southern Ocean field campaign will determine its utility in observing the effects of highly localized and seasonal phytoplankton blooms on aerosol composition and clouds. Reference cited: Burrows, S. M., Ogunro, O., Frossard, A. A., Russell, L. M., Rasch, P. J., and Elliott, S.: A physically-based framework for modelling the organic fractionation of sea spray aerosol from bubble film Langmuir equilibria, Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 14, 5375-5443, doi:10.5194/acpd-14-5375-2014, 2014. Elliott, S., Burrows, S. M., Deal, C., Liu, X., Long, M., Ogunro, O., Russell, L. M., and Wingenter O.. "Prospects for simulating macromolecular surfactant

  8. 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

  9. Platinum-catalyzed direct amination of allylic alcohols under mild conditions: ligand and microwave effects, substrate scope, and mechanistic study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ohshima, Takashi; Miyamoto, Yoshiki; Ipposhi, Junji; Nakahara, Yasuhito; Utsunomiya, Masaru; Mashima, Kazushi

    2009-10-14

    Transition metal-catalyzed amination of allylic compounds via a pi-allylmetal intermediate is a powerful and useful method for synthesizing allylamines. Direct catalytic substitution of allylic alcohols, which forms water as the sole coproduct, has recently attracted attention for its environmental and economical advantages. Here, we describe the development of a versatile direct catalytic amination of both aryl- and alkyl-substituted allylic alcohols with various amines using Pt-Xantphos and Pt-DPEphos catalyst systems, which allows for the selective synthesis of various monoallylamines, such as the biologically active compounds Naftifine and Flunarizine, in good to high yield without need for an activator. The choice of the ligand was crucial toward achieving high catalytic activity, and we demonstrated that not only the large bite-angle but also the linker oxygen atom of the Xantphos and DPEphos ligands was highly important. In addition, microwave heating dramatically affected the catalyst activity and considerably decreased the reaction time compared with conventional heating. Furthermore, several mechanistic investigations, including (1)H and (31)P{(1)H} NMR studies; isolation and characterization of several catalytic intermediates, Pt(xantphos)Cl(2), Pt(eta(2)-C(3)H(5)OH)(xantphos), etc; confirmation of the structure of [Pt(eta(3)-allyl)(xantphos)]OTf by X-ray crystallographic analysis; and crossover experiments, suggested that formation of the pi-allylplatinum complex through the elimination of water is an irreversible rate-determining step and that the other processes in the catalytic cycle are reversible, even at room temperature.

  10. Rapamycin (Sirolimus) alters mechanistic target of rapamycin pathway regulation and microRNA expression in mouse meiotic spermatocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mukherjee, A; Koli, S; Reddy, K V R

    2015-09-01

    Mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR) is a signal transduction pathway that modulates translation initiation in several animals including mammals. Rapamaycin, an allosteric inhibitor of mTOR pathway, is often used as an immunosuppressive drug following kidney transplantation and causes gonadal dysfunction and defects in spermatogenesis. The molecular mechanism behind rapamycin-mediated testicular dysfunction is not known. We have therefore explored the contribution of rapamycin in mTOR regulation and microRNA (miRNA) expression in mouse spermatocytes, the intermediate stage of spermatogenesis, where meiosis takes place. In the present study, we optimized the isolation of highly pure and viable spermatocytes by flow sorting, treated them with rapamycin, and investigated the expression of mTOR and downstream effector molecules. Western blot and immunocytochemical analysis confirm that rapamycin treatment suppresses mTOR and phopsphorylated P70S6 kinase activities in spermatocytes, but not that of phosphorylated 4E-binding protein 1. Also, rapamycin treatment modulates the expression of several spermatocyte-specific miRNAs. To complement these finding an in vivo study was also performed. In silico prediction of target genes of these miRNAs and their functional pathway analysis revealed that, several of them are involved in crucial biological process, cellular process and catalytic activities. miRNA-transcription factor (TF) network analysis enlisted different TFs propelling the transcription machineries of these miRNAs. In silico prediction followed by quatitative real-time PCR revealed two of these TFs namely, PU.1 and CCCTC binding factor (CTCF) are down and upregulated, respectively, which may be the reason of the altered expression of miRNAs following rapamycin treatment. In conclusion, for the first time, the present study provides insight into how rapamycin regulates mTOR pathway and spermatocyte-specific miRNA expression which in turn, regulate expression of

  11. A biological mechanism for Bayesian feature selection: Weight decay and raising the LASSO.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Connor, Patrick; Hollensen, Paul; Krigolson, Olav; Trappenberg, Thomas

    2015-07-01

    Biological systems are capable of learning that certain stimuli are valuable while ignoring the many that are not, and thus perform feature selection. In machine learning, one effective feature selection approach is the least absolute shrinkage and selection operator (LASSO) form of regularization, which is equivalent to assuming a Laplacian prior distribution on the parameters. We review how such Bayesian priors can be implemented in gradient descent as a form of weight decay, which is a biologically plausible mechanism for Bayesian feature selection. In particular, we describe a new prior that offsets or "raises" the Laplacian prior distribution. We evaluate this alongside the Gaussian and Cauchy priors in gradient descent using a generic regression task where there are few relevant and many irrelevant features. We find that raising the Laplacian leads to less prediction error because it is a better model of the underlying distribution. We also consider two biologically relevant online learning tasks, one synthetic and one modeled after the perceptual expertise task of Krigolson et al. (2009). Here, raising the Laplacian prior avoids the fast erosion of relevant parameters over the period following training because it only allows small weights to decay. This better matches the limited loss of association seen between days in the human data of the perceptual expertise task. Raising the Laplacian prior thus results in a biologically plausible form of Bayesian feature selection that is effective in biologically relevant contexts.

  12. From provocative narrative scenarios to quantitative biophysical model results: Simulating plausible futures to 2070 in an urbanizing agricultural watershed in Wisconsin, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Booth, E.; Chen, X.; Motew, M.; Qiu, J.; Zipper, S. C.; Carpenter, S. R.; Kucharik, C. J.; Steven, L. I.

    2015-12-01

    Scenario analysis is a powerful tool for envisioning future social-ecological change and its consequences on human well-being. Scenarios that integrate qualitative storylines and quantitative biophysical models can create a vivid picture of these potential futures but the integration process is not straightforward. We present - using the Yahara Watershed in southern Wisconsin (USA) as a case study - a method for developing quantitative inputs (climate, land use/cover, and land management) to drive a biophysical modeling suite based on four provocative and contrasting narrative scenarios that describe plausible futures of the watershed to 2070. The modeling suite consists of an agroecosystem model (AgroIBIS-VSF), hydrologic routing model (THMB), and empirical lake water quality model and estimates several biophysical indicators to evaluate the watershed system under each scenario. These indicators include water supply, lake flooding, agricultural production, and lake water quality. Climate (daily precipitation and air temperature) for each scenario was determined using statistics from 210 different downscaled future climate projections for two 20-year time periods (2046-2065 and 2081-2100) and modified using a stochastic weather generator to allow flexibility for matching specific climate events within the scenario narratives. Land use/cover for each scenario was determined first by quantifying changes in areal extent every decade for 15 categories at the watershed scale to be consistent with the storyline events and theme. Next, these changes were spatially distributed using a rule-based framework based on land suitability metrics that determine transition probabilities. Finally, agricultural inputs including manure and fertilizer application rates were determined for each scenario based on the prevalence of livestock, water quality regulations, and technological innovations. Each scenario is compared using model inputs (maps and time-series of land use/cover and

  13. Plausible domain configurations and phase contents in two- and three-phase BaTiO3-based lead-free ferroelectrics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Topolov, Vitaly Yu; Brajesh, Kumar; Ranjan, Rajeev; Panich, Anatoly E.

    2017-02-01

    We have carried out a comparative study of plausible non-180° domain configurations in the two- and three-phase states of lead-free ferroelectrics Ba(Ti1-x Zr x )O3 (0.02  ⩽  x  ⩽  0.08) and (Ba0.85Ca0.15)(Ti0.90Zr0.10)O3, respectively, using the elastic matching approach. The phase contents and stress-relief conditions in Ba(Ti0.93Zr0.07)O3 and (Ba0.85Ca0.15)(Ti0.90Zr0.10)O3 strongly depend on domain types in the rhombohedral R3m phase, whereas domains of the orthorhombic Amm2 phase influence two-phase states in Ba(Ti0.98Zr0.02)O3. Changes in unit-cell parameters of (Ba0.85Ca0.15)(Ti0.90Zr0.10)O3 at poling lead to the complete stress relief in three-phase (P4mm  +  Amm2  +  R3m) structures by increasing the volume fraction of the R3m phase. A link between the heterophase/domain structures and high piezoelectric activity in (Ba0.85Ca0.15)(Ti0.90Zr0.10)O3 is discussed. Based on our results, we state that equal or almost equal volume fractions of the domain types at the three-phase coexistence in (Ba0.85Ca0.15). .(Ti0.90Zr0.10)O3 can lead to an enhanced contribution from domain-wall displacements and therefore, to the large piezoelectric response in this important lead-free ferroelectric compound.

  14. A new view into prokaryotic cell biology from electron cryotomography.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oikonomou, Catherine M; Jensen, Grant J

    2016-04-01

    Electron cryotomography (ECT) enables intact cells to be visualized in 3D in an essentially native state to 'macromolecular' (∼4 nm) resolution, revealing the basic architectures of complete nanomachines and their arrangements in situ. Since its inception, ECT has advanced our understanding of many aspects of prokaryotic cell biology, from morphogenesis to subcellular compartmentalization and from metabolism to complex interspecies interactions. In this Review, we highlight how ECT has provided structural and mechanistic insights into the physiology of bacteria and archaea and discuss prospects for the future.

  15. 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.

  16. Synthetic biology: insights into biological computation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manzoni, Romilde; Urrios, Arturo; Velazquez-Garcia, Silvia; de Nadal, Eulàlia; Posas, Francesc

    2016-04-18

    Organisms have evolved a broad array of complex signaling mechanisms that allow them to survive in a wide range of environmental conditions. They are able to sense external inputs and produce an output response by computing the information. Synthetic biology attempts to rationally engineer biological systems in order to perform desired functions. Our increasing understanding of biological systems guides this rational design, while the huge background in electronics for building circuits defines the methodology. In this context, biocomputation is the branch of synthetic biology aimed at implementing artificial computational devices using engineered biological motifs as building blocks. Biocomputational devices are defined as biological systems that are able to integrate inputs and return outputs following pre-determined rules. Over the last decade the number of available synthetic engineered devices has increased exponentially; simple and complex circuits have been built in bacteria, yeast and mammalian cells. These devices can manage and store information, take decisions based on past and present inputs, and even convert a transient signal into a sustained response. The field is experiencing a fast growth and every day it is easier to implement more complex biological functions. This is mainly due to advances in in vitro DNA synthesis, new genome editing tools, novel molecular cloning techniques, continuously growing part libraries as well as other technological advances. This allows that digital computation can now be engineered and implemented in biological systems. Simple logic gates can be implemented and connected to perform novel desired functions or to better understand and redesign biological processes. Synthetic biological digital circuits could lead to new therapeutic approaches, as well as new and efficient ways to produce complex molecules such as antibiotics, bioplastics or biofuels. Biological computation not only provides possible biomedical and

  17. 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.

  18. Computational Systems Chemical Biology

    OpenAIRE

    Oprea, Tudor I.; Elebeoba E. May; 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).

  19. 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.

  20. Inferring Mechanistic Parameters from Amyloid Formation Kinetics by Approximate Bayesian Computation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakatani-Webster, Eri; Nath, Abhinav

    2017-03-14

    Amyloid formation is implicated in a number of human diseases, and is thought to proceed via a nucleation-dependent polymerization mechanism. Experimenters often wish to relate changes in amyloid formation kinetics, for example, in response to small molecules to specific mechanistic steps along this pathway. However, fitting kinetic fibril formation data to a complex model including explicit rate constants results in an ill-posed problem with a vast number of potential solutions. The levels of uncertainty remaining in parameters calculated from these models, arising both from experimental noise and high levels of degeneracy or codependency in parameters, is often unclear. Here, we demonstrate that a combination of explicit mathematical models with an approximate Bayesian computation approach can be used to assign the mechanistic effects of modulators on amyloid fibril formation. We show that even when exact rate constants cannot be extracted, parameters derived from these rate constants can be recovered and used to assign mechanistic effects and their relative magnitudes with a great deal of confidence. Furthermore, approximate Bayesian computation provides a robust method for visualizing uncertainty remaining in the model parameters, regardless of its origin. We apply these methods to the problem of heparin-mediated tau polymerization, which displays complex kinetic behavior not amenable to analysis by more traditional methods. Our analysis indicates that the role of heparin cannot be explained by enhancement of nucleation alone, as has been previously proposed. The methods described here are applicable to a wide range of systems, as models can be easily adapted to account for new reactions and reversibility.

  1. Validating Mechanistic Sorption Model Parameters and Processes for Reactive Transport in Alluvium

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zavarin, M; Roberts, S K; Rose, T P; Phinney, D L

    2002-05-02

    The laboratory batch and flow-through experiments presented in this report provide a basis for validating the mechanistic surface complexation and ion exchange model we use in our hydrologic source term (HST) simulations. Batch sorption experiments were used to examine the effect of solution composition on sorption. Flow-through experiments provided for an analysis of the transport behavior of sorbing elements and tracers which includes dispersion and fluid accessibility effects. Analysis of downstream flow-through column fluids allowed for evaluation of weakly-sorbing element transport. Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (SIMS) analysis of the core after completion of the flow-through experiments permitted the evaluation of transport of strongly sorbing elements. A comparison between these data and model predictions provides additional constraints to our model and improves our confidence in near-field HST model parameters. In general, cesium, strontium, samarium, europium, neptunium, and uranium behavior could be accurately predicted using our mechanistic approach but only after some adjustment was made to the model parameters. The required adjustments included a reduction in strontium affinity for smectite, an increase in cesium affinity for smectite and illite, a reduction in iron oxide and calcite reactive surface area, and a change in clinoptilolite reaction constants to reflect a more recently published set of data. In general, these adjustments are justifiable because they fall within a range consistent with our understanding of the parameter uncertainties. These modeling results suggest that the uncertainty in the sorption model parameters must be accounted for to validate the mechanistic approach. The uncertainties in predicting the sorptive behavior of U-1a and UE-5n alluvium also suggest that these uncertainties must be propagated to nearfield HST and large-scale corrective action unit (CAU) models.

  2. 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

  3. Mechanistic Simmer-3 analyses of severe transients in accelerator driven systems (Ads)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Morita, K.; Rineiski, A.; Kiefhaber, E.; Maschek, W.; Flad, M. [Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe, Institute for Nuclear and Energy Technology, Karlsruhe (Germany); Rimpault, G. [CEA Cadarache, 13 - Saint Paul lez Durance (France); Coste, P.; Pigny, S. [CEA Grenoble, 38 (France); Kondo, S.; Tobita, Y.; Fujita, S. [Japan Nuclear Cycle Development Institute, O-arai, Ibaraki (Japan)

    2001-07-01

    Mechanistic analyses have been performed for various potential transients and accident initiators in subcritical accelerator driven systems (ADS) using the reactor safety analysis code SIMMER-III extended to describe ADS specifics. The current analyses aim at a deeper understanding of the severe accident behavior of an ADS dedicated to incinerate nuclear waste. The dedicated ADS with pure plutonium and minor actinide fuel without fertile is compared to an ADS of the energy amplifier type with thorium fuel. Results of the present analyses demonstrate that for such a dedicated ADS safety problems might exist. They are related to the inherent reactivity potentials and deteriorated safety parameters in such cores. (author)

  4. Deterministic chaos in government debt dynamics with mechanistic primary balance rules

    CERN Document Server

    Lindgren, Jussi Ilmari

    2011-01-01

    This paper shows that with mechanistic primary budget rules and with some simple assumptions on interest rates the well-known debt dynamics equation transforms into the infamous logistic map. The logistic map has very peculiar and rich nonlinear behaviour and it can exhibit deterministic chaos with certain parameter regimes. Deterministic chaos means the existence of the butterfly effect which in turn is qualitatively very important, as it shows that even deterministic budget rules produce unpredictable behaviour of the debt-to-GDP ratio, as chaotic systems are extremely sensitive to initial conditions.

  5. Validation and Evaluation of a Mechanistic Model of Phasic and Phenological Development in Wheat

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    YAN Mei-chun; CAO Wei-xing; LI Cun-dong; WANG Zhao-long

    2001-01-01

    Three sets of data from the field experiments with different wheat( Triticum L. ) varieties and sowing dates in China and USA were used to test the performance of the mechanistic model of wheat development. The results showed that the absolute prediction errors for most phasic and phenological stages ranged within 0 - 5 days, and the root mean square errors were generally less than 5 days. The model was of high accuracy and low error especially for emergence, tillering, stamen and pistil initiation, and heading stages, reflecting an enhanced level of mechanism and prediction.

  6. Comparative Molecular Mechanistic Modelling of a Tubular Thermal Cracker in Two and Three Dimensions

    OpenAIRE

    Olufemi, B. A.; O.O. Famuyide

    2014-01-01

    This study aimed at the modelling of a tubular thermal cracker in two and three dimensions using 0.15 kg/h of ethane and 1.5 kg/h of nitrogen in laminar flow using a molecular mechanistic model for ethane cracking, followed by the solution and comparison of the results obtained. This was used to find the effect that spatial development had on the generated profiles. The purpose was achieved by deriving the requisite model equations from mass, energy and momentum balances consisting of nine co...

  7. Comparison of mechanistic models in the initial rate enzymatic hydrolysis of AFEX-treated wheat straw

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Agbogbo Frank K

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Different mechanistic models have been used in the literature to describe the enzymatic hydrolysis of pretreated biomass. Although these different models have been applied to different substrates, most of these mechanistic models fit into two- and three-parameter mechanistic models. The purpose of this study is to compare the models and determine the activation energy and the enthalpy of adsorption of Trichoderma reesei enzymes on ammonia fibre explosion (AFEX-treated wheat straw. Experimental enzymatic hydrolysis data from AFEX-treated wheat straw were modelled with two- and three-parameter mechanistic models from the literature. In order to discriminate between the models, initial rate data at 49°C were subjected to statistical analysis (analysis of variance and scatter plots. Results For three-parameter models, the HCH-1 model best fitted the experimental data; for two-parameter models Michaelis-Menten (M-M best fitted the experimental data. All the three-parameter models fitted the data better than the two-parameter models. The best three models at 49°C (HCH-1, Huang and M-M were compared using initial rate data at three temperatures (35°, 42° and 49°C. The HCH-1 model provided the best fit based on the F values, the scatter plot and the residual sum of squares. Also, its kinetic parameters were linear in Arrhenius/van't Hoff's plots, unlike the other models. The activation energy (Ea is 47.6 kJ/mol and the enthalpy change of adsorption (ΔH is -118 kJ/mol for T. reesei enzymes on AFEX-treated wheat straw. Conclusion Among the two-parameter models, Michaelis-Menten model provided the best fit compared to models proposed by Humphrey and Wald. For the three-parameter models, HCH-1 provided the best fit because the model includes a fractional coverage parameter (ϕ which accounts for the number of reactive sites covered by the enzymes.

  8. Diversity Takes Shape: Understanding the Mechanistic and Adaptive Basis of Bacterial Morphology

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-01-01

    The modern age of metagenomics has delivered unprecedented volumes of data describing the genetic and metabolic diversity of bacterial communities, but it has failed to provide information about coincident cellular morphologies. Much like metabolic and biosynthetic capabilities, morphology comprises a critical component of bacterial fitness, molded by natural selection into the many elaborate shapes observed across the bacterial domain. In this essay, we discuss the diversity of bacterial morphology and its implications for understanding both the mechanistic and the adaptive basis of morphogenesis. We consider how best to leverage genomic data and recent experimental developments in order to advance our understanding of bacterial shape and its functional importance. PMID:27695035

  9. Technology Advances and Mechanistic Modelling in Freeze-drying and Dehydration of Food

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wanren Chen

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Aim of study is to introduce some advanced freeze-drying technology and mechanistic modelling in freeze-drying and dehydration of food, freeze-drying is based on the dehydration by sublimation of a frozen product, due to very low temperature, all the deterioration activity and microbiological activity are stopped and provide better quality to the final product. Meanwhile the main problems of the freeze-dried food were proposed and its prospect and outlook was also analyzed, expecting to obtain technical and theoretical support for the production of freeze-drying food.

  10. Alcohol amination with ammonia catalyzed by an acridine-based ruthenium pincer complex: a mechanistic study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ye, Xuan; Plessow, Philipp N; Brinks, Marion K; Schelwies, Mathias; Schaub, Thomas; Rominger, Frank; Paciello, Rocco; Limbach, Michael; Hofmann, Peter

    2014-04-23

    The mechanistic course of the amination of alcohols with ammonia catalyzed by a structurally modified congener of Milstein's well-defined acridine-based PNP-pincer Ru complex has been investigated both experimentally and by DFT calculations. Several key Ru intermediates have been isolated and characterized. The detailed analysis of a series of possible catalytic pathways (e.g., with and without metal-ligand cooperation, inner- and outer-sphere mechanisms) leads us to conclude that the most favorable pathway for this catalyst does not require metal-ligand cooperation.

  11. Catalytic intermolecular amination of C-H bonds: method development and mechanistic insights.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fiori, Kristin Williams; Du Bois, J

    2007-01-24

    Reaction methodology for intermolecular C-H amination of benzylic and 3 degrees C-H bonds is described. This process uses the starting alkane as the limiting reagent, gives optically pure tetrasubstituted amines through stereospecific insertion into enantiomeric 3 degrees centers, displays high chemoselectivity for benzylic oxidation, and enables the facile preparation of isotopically enriched 15N-labeled compounds. Access to substituted amines, amino alcohols, and diamines is thereby made possible in a single transformation. Important information relevant to understanding the initial steps in the catalytic cycle, reaction chemoselectivity, the nature of the active oxidant, and pathways for catalyst inactivation has been gained through mechanistic analysis; these studies are also presented.

  12. Parameterization of phosphine ligands reveals mechanistic pathways and predicts reaction outcomes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niemeyer, Zachary L.; Milo, Anat; Hickey, David P.; Sigman, Matthew S.

    2016-06-01

    The mechanistic foundation behind the identity of a phosphine ligand that best promotes a desired reaction outcome is often non-intuitive, and thus has been addressed in numerous experimental and theoretical studies. In this work, multivariate correlations of reaction outcomes using 38 different phosphine ligands were combined with classic potentiometric analyses to study a Suzuki reaction, for which the site selectivity of oxidative addition is highly dependent on the nature of the phosphine. These studies shed light on the generality of hypotheses regarding the structural influence of different classes of phosphine ligands on the reaction mechanism(s), and deliver a methodology that should prove useful in future studies of phosphine ligands.

  13. 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.

  14. Development of a mechanistically based computer simulation of nitrogen oxide absorption in packed towers

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    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.

  15. Neuronal nicotinic receptors as novel targets for inflammation and neuroprotection:mechanistic considerations and clinical relevance

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Merouane BENGHEKIF

    2009-01-01

    A number of studies have confirmed the potential for neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (NNR)-mediated neuro- protection and, more recently, its anti-inflammatory effects. The mechanistic overlap between these pathways and the ubiquitous effects observed following diverse insults suggest that NNRs modulate fundamental pathways involved in cell survival. These results have wide-reaching implications for the design of experimental therapeutics that regulate inflamma- tory and anti-apoptotic responses through NNRs and represent an initial step toward understanding the benefits of novel therapeutic strategies for the management of central nervous system disorders that target neuronal survival and associated inflammatory processes.

  16. Impacts of mechanistic changes on HOx formation and recycling in the oxidation of isoprene

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. E. Jenkin

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available Recently reported model-measurement discrepancies for the concentrations of the HOx radical species (OH and HO2 in locations characterized by high emission rates of isoprene have indicated possible deficiencies in the representation of OH recycling and formation in isoprene mechanisms currently employed in numerical models; particularly at low levels of NOx. Using version 3.1 of the Master Chemical Mechanism (MCM v3.1 as a base mechanism, the sensitivity of the system to a number of detailed mechanistic changes is examined for a wide range of NOx levels, using a simple box model. These studies place emphasis on processes for which experimental or theoretical evidence has been reported in the peer-reviewed literature, in addition to examining the impact of an intrinsic simplification in the MCM v3.1 chemistry. Although all the considered mechanistic changes lead to simulated increases in the concentrations of OH at low NOx levels, the greatest impact is achieved by implementation of a recently postulated mechanism involving isomerisation of the δ-hydroxyalkenyl peroxy radical isomers, formed from the sequential addition of OH and O2 to isoprene. In conjunction with necessary rapid photolysis of the resultant hydroperoxyaldehyde products, this mechanism yields approximately a factor of three increase in the simulated OH concentration at low NOx, and is the only considered mechanism which achieves enhancements which approach those necessary to explain the reported model-measurement discrepancies. Combination of all the considered mechanistic changes has an effect which is approximately additive, yielding an overall enhancement of about a factor of 3.2 in the simulated OH concentration at the lowest NOx input rate considered, with the simulated mean NOx mixing ratios at this input rate being 42 ppt and 29 ppt with the base case and modified mechanisms respectively. A parameterized representation of the mechanistic changes is optimized and

  17. Mechanistic Study Of The Atmospheric Photooxidation Of Trimethylbenzene In The Smog Chamber

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dommen, J.; Steinbacher, M.

    2005-03-01

    Mixtures of 1,3,5-trimethylbenzene, propene, NO and NO{sub 2} have been irradiated in our smog chamber. The temporal development of these precursors and many of the formed gaseous oxidation products have been measured and compared with model simulations based on the Master chemical mechanism. The fast reaction progress in the beginning of the experiment lets us assume that there is an additional OH radical source probably due to wall production of HONO. Higher production rates of photo oxidants in the model despite lower reactivity point to some mechanistic deficiencies of the model. (author)

  18. Abiotic synthesis of RNA in water: a common goal of prebiotic chemistry and bottom-up synthetic biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cafferty, Brian J; Hud, Nicholas V

    2014-10-01

    For more than half a century chemists have searched for a plausible prebiotic synthesis of RNA. The initial advances of the 1960s and 1970s were followed by decades of measured progress and a growing pessimism about overcoming remaining challenges. Fortunately, the past few years have provided a number of important advances, including new abiotic routes for the synthesis of nucleobases, nucleosides, and nucleotides. Recent discoveries also provide additional support for the hypothesis that RNA is the product of evolution, being preceded by ancestral genetic polymers, or pre-RNAs, that are synthesized more easily than RNA. In some cases, parallel searches for plausible prebiotic routes to RNA and pre-RNAs have provided more than one experimentally verified synthesis of RNA substructures and possible predecessors. Just as the synthesis of a contemporary biological molecule cannot be understood without knowledge of cellular metabolism, it is likely that an integrated approach that takes into account both plausible prebiotic reactions and plausible prebiotic environments will ultimately provide the most satisfactory and unifying chemical scenarios for the origin of nucleic acids. In this context, recent advances towards the abiotic synthesis of RNA and candidates for pre-RNAs are beginning to suggest that some molecules (e.g., urea) were multi-faceted contributors to the origin of nucleic acids, and the origin of life.

  19. Regulated Extracellular Choline Acetyltransferase Activity- The Plausible Missing Link of the Distant Action of Acetylcholine in the Cholinergic Anti-Inflammatory Pathway.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Swetha Vijayaraghavan

    Full Text Available Acetylcholine (ACh, the classical neurotransmitter, also affects a variety of nonexcitable cells, such as endothelia, microglia, astrocytes and lymphocytes in both the nervous system and secondary lymphoid organs. Most of these cells are very distant from cholinergic synapses. The action of ACh on these distant cells is unlikely to occur through diffusion, given that ACh is very short-lived in the presence of acetylcholinesterase (AChE and butyrylcholinesterase (BuChE, two extremely efficient ACh-degrading enzymes abundantly present in extracellular fluids. In this study, we show compelling evidence for presence of a high concentration and activity of the ACh-synthesizing enzyme, choline-acetyltransferase (ChAT in human cerebrospinal fluid (CSF and plasma. We show that ChAT levels are physiologically balanced to the levels of its counteracting enzymes, AChE and BuChE in the human plasma and CSF. Equilibrium analyses show that soluble ChAT maintains a steady-state ACh level in the presence of physiological levels of fully active ACh-degrading enzymes. We show that ChAT is secreted by cultured human-brain astrocytes, and that activated spleen lymphocytes release ChAT itself rather than ACh. We further report differential CSF levels of ChAT in relation to Alzheimer's disease risk genotypes, as well as in patients with multiple sclerosis, a chronic neuroinflammatory disease, compared to controls. Interestingly, soluble CSF ChAT levels show strong correlation with soluble complement factor levels, supporting a role in inflammatory regulation. This study provides a plausible explanation for the long-distance action of ACh through continuous renewal of ACh in extracellular fluids by the soluble ChAT and thereby maintenance of steady-state equilibrium between hydrolysis and synthesis of this ubiquitous cholinergic signal substance in the brain and peripheral compartments. These findings may have important implications for the role of cholinergic

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Mechanistic Investigation of the Ruthenium–N-Heterocyclic-Carbene-Catalyzed Amidation of Alcohols and Amines

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Makarov, Ilya; Fristrup, Peter; Madsen, Robert

    2012-01-01

    The mechanism of the ruthenium–N-heterocyclic-carbene-catalyzed formation of amides from alcohols and amines was investigated by experimental techniques (Hammett studies, kinetic isotope effects) and by a computational study by using dispersion-corrected density functional theory (DFT/ M06......, but that it is one of several slow steps in the catalytic cycle. Rapid scrambling of hydrogen and deuterium at the a position of the alcohol was observed with deuterium-labeled substrates, which implies that the catalytically active species is a ruthenium dihydride. The experimental results were supported...... by the characterization of a plausible catalytic cycle by using DFT/M06. Both cisdihydride and trans-dihydride intermediates were considered, but when the theoretical turnover frequencies (TOFs) were derived directly from the calculated DFT/M06 energies, we found that only the trans-dihydride pathway was in agreement...

  3. Construction of the Core of Pseudolaric Acid A and Mechanistic Studies on Intramolecular [4+3] Cycloaddition

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2001-01-01

    This paper describes the construction of hemiacetal 2, the core of pseudolaric acid A via oxidative cleavage of acetonide 6 or 7 and enolization-hemiacetalization of aldehyde 8. A plausible general mechanism for the intramolecular [4+3] cycloaddition of sulfoxide 4 to adduct 3 is suggested.

  4. Mechanistic investigation of the reaction of epoxides with heterocumulenes catalysed by a bimetallic aluminium salen complex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beattie, Christopher; North, Michael

    2014-06-23

    The bimetallic aluminium(salen) complex [(Al(salen))2O] is known to catalyse the reaction between epoxides and heterocumulenes (carbon dioxide, carbon disulfide and isocyanates) leading to five-membered ring heterocycles. Despite their apparent similarities, these three reactions have very different mechanistic features, and a kinetic study of oxazolidinone synthesis combined with previous kinetic work on cyclic carbonate and cyclic dithiocarbonate synthesis showed that all three reactions follow different rate equations. An NMR study of [Al(salen)]2O and phenylisocyanate provided evidence for an interaction between them, consistent with the rate equation data. A variable-temperature kinetics study on all three reactions showed that cyclic carbonate synthesis had a lower enthalpy of activation and a more negative entropy of activation than the other two heterocycle syntheses. The kinetic study was extended to oxazolidinone synthesis catalysed by the monometallic complex Al(salen)Cl, and this reaction was found to have a much less negative entropy of activation than any reaction catalysed by [Al(salen)]2O, a result that can be explained by the partial dissociation of an oligomeric Al(salen)Cl complex. A mechanistic rationale for all of the results is presented in terms of [Al(salen)]2O being able to function as a Lewis acid and/or a Lewis base, depending upon the susceptibility of the heterocumulene to reaction with nucleophiles.

  5. Ecological Forecasting in Chesapeake Bay: Using a Mechanistic-Empirical Modelling Approach

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Brown, C. W.; Hood, Raleigh R.; Long, Wen; Jacobs, John M.; Ramers, D. L.; Wazniak, C.; Wiggert, J. D.; Wood, R.; Xu, J.

    2013-09-01

    The Chesapeake Bay Ecological Prediction System (CBEPS) automatically generates daily nowcasts and three-day forecasts of several environmental variables, such as sea-surface temperature and salinity, the concentrations of chlorophyll, nitrate, and dissolved oxygen, and the likelihood of encountering several noxious species, including harmful algal blooms and water-borne pathogens, for the purpose of monitoring the Bay's ecosystem. While the physical and biogeochemical variables are forecast mechanistically using the Regional Ocean Modeling System configured for the Chesapeake Bay, the species predictions are generated using a novel mechanistic empirical approach, whereby real-time output from the coupled physical biogeochemical model drives multivariate empirical habitat models of the target species. The predictions, in the form of digital images, are available via the World Wide Web to interested groups to guide recreational, management, and research activities. Though full validation of the integrated forecasts for all species is still a work in progress, we argue that the mechanistic–empirical approach can be used to generate a wide variety of short-term ecological forecasts, and that it can be applied in any marine system where sufficient data exist to develop empirical habitat models. This paper provides an overview of this system, its predictions, and the approach taken.

  6. Mechanistic approach to multi-element isotope modeling of organic contaminant degradation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jin, Biao; Rolle, Massimo

    2014-01-01

    We propose a multi-element isotope modeling approach to simultaneously predict the evolution of different isotopes during the transformation of organic contaminants. The isotopic trends of different elements are explicitly simulated by tracking position-specific isotopologues that contain the isotopes located at fractionating positions. Our approach is self-consistent and provides a mechanistic description of different degradation pathways that accounts for the influence of both primary and secondary isotope effects during contaminant degradation. The method is particularly suited to quantitatively describe the isotopic evolution of relatively large organic contaminant molecules. For such compounds, an integrated approach, simultaneously considering all possible isotopologues, would be impractical due to the large number of isotopologues. We apply the proposed modeling approach to the degradation of toluene, methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE) and nitrobenzene observed in previous experimental studies. Our model successfully predicts the multi-element isotope data (both 2D and 3D), and accurately captures the distinct trends observed for different reaction pathways. The proposed approach provides an improved and mechanistic methodology to interpret multi-element isotope data and to predict the extent of multi-element isotope fractionation that goes beyond commonly applied modeling descriptions and simplified methods based on the ratio between bulk enrichment factors or on linear regression in dual-isotope plots.

  7. Dynamic mechanistic explanation: computational modeling of circadian rhythms as an exemplar for cognitive science.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bechtel, William; Abrahamsen, Adele

    2010-09-01

    We consider computational modeling in two fields: chronobiology and cognitive science. In circadian rhythm models, variables generally correspond to properties of parts and operations of the responsible mechanism. A computational model of this complex mechanism is grounded in empirical discoveries and contributes a more refined understanding of the dynamics of its behavior. In cognitive science, on the other hand, computational modelers typically advance de novo proposals for mechanisms to account for behavior. They offer indirect evidence that a proposed mechanism is adequate to produce particular behavioral data, but typically there is no direct empirical evidence for the hypothesized parts and operations. Models in these two fields differ in the extent of their empirical grounding, but they share the goal of achieving dynamic mechanistic explanation. That is, they augment a proposed mechanistic explanation with a computational model that enables exploration of the mechanism's dynamics. Using exemplars from circadian rhythm research, we extract six specific contributions provided by computational models. We then examine cognitive science models to determine how well they make the same types of contributions. We suggest that the modeling approach used in circadian research may prove useful in cognitive science as researchers develop procedures for experimentally decomposing cognitive mechanisms into parts and operations and begin to understand their nonlinear interactions.

  8. Divergence of mechanistic pathways mediating cardiovascular aging and developmental programming of cardiovascular disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allison, Beth J; Kaandorp, Joepe J; Kane, Andrew D; Camm, Emily J; Lusby, Ciara; Cross, Christine M; Nevin-Dolan, Rhianon; Thakor, Avnesh S; Derks, Jan B; Tarry-Adkins, Jane L; Ozanne, Susan E; Giussani, Dino A

    2016-05-01

    Aging and developmental programming are both associated with oxidative stress and endothelial dysfunction, suggesting common mechanistic origins. However, their interrelationship has been little explored. In a rodent model of programmed cardiovascular dysfunction we determined endothelial function and vascular telomere length in young (4 mo) and aged (15 mo) adult offspring of normoxic or hypoxic pregnancy with or without maternal antioxidant treatment. We show loss of endothelial function [maximal arterial relaxation to acetylcholine (71 ± 3 vs. 55 ± 3%) and increased vascular short telomere abundance (4.2-1.3 kb) 43.0 ± 1.5 vs. 55.1 ± 3.8%) in aged vs. young offspring of normoxic pregnancy (P programming of cardiovascular disease, and aging being decelerated by antioxidants even prior to birth.-Allison, B. J., Kaandorp, J. J., Kane, A. D., Camm, E. J., Lusby, C., Cross, C. M., Nevin-Dolan, R., Thakor, A. S., Derks, J. B., Tarry-Adkins, J. L., Ozanne, S. E., Giussani, D. A. Divergence of mechanistic pathways mediating cardiovascular aging and developmental programming of cardiovascular disease.

  9. 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.

  10. Induced polarization dependence on pore space geometry: Empirical observations and mechanistic predictions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weller, A.; Slater, L. D.

    2015-12-01

    We use an extensive database to compare empirical observations and previously proposed empirical models against recently developed mechanistic formulations for the induced polarization (IP) response in porous media as a function of pore space geometry and interfacial chemistry. These comparisons support the argument that the pore-volume normalized internal surface (Spor) is the most important geometric parameter influencing the polarization. The specific polarizability derived from the empirical relationship between imaginary conductivity σ″ and Spor is independent of the porosity. By contrast, equivalent specific polarizability terms in recently proposed mechanistic models are found to be significantly correlated with porosity, and thus do not appear to represent an interfacial chemistry factor independent of the pore space geometry. Furthermore, the database shows no evidence for a significant decrease in the counterion mobility of clayey materials relative to clay-free materials, as postulated in recent studies. On the contrary, a single value of cp is consistent with no significant differences in ionic mobility given that all samples were saturated with a NaCl solution close to a common salinity of about 100 mS/m.

  11. Reducing the weight of cancer: mechanistic targets for breaking the obesity-carcinogenesis link.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hursting, Stephen D; Lashinger, Laura M; Wheatley, Karrie W; Rogers, Connie J; Colbert, Lisa H; Nunez, Nomeli P; Perkins, Susan N

    2008-08-01

    The prevalence of obesity, an established epidemiologic risk factor for many cancers, has risen steadily for the past several decades in the US. The increasing rates of obesity among children are especially alarming and suggest continuing increases in the rates of obesity-related cancers for many years to come. Unfortunately, the mechanisms underlying the association between obesity and cancer are not well understood. In particular, the effects on the carcinogenesis process and mechanistic targets of interventions that modulate energy balance, such as reduced-calorie diets and physical activity, have not been well characterized. The purpose of this review is to provide a strong foundation for the translation of mechanism-based research in this area by describing key animal and human studies of energy balance modulations involving diet or physical activity and by focusing on the interrelated pathways affected by alterations in energy balance. Particular attention is placed on signaling through the insulin and insulin-like growth factor-1 receptors, including components of the Akt and mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling pathways downstream of these growth factor receptors. These pathways have emerged as potential targets for disrupting the obesity-cancer link. The ultimate goal of this work is to provide the missing mechanistic information necessary to identify targets for the prevention and control of cancers related to or caused by excess body weight.

  12. 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.

  13. 利用合情推理方法得到的Hausdorff L-闭包空间的刻画%Characterizations of Hausdorff L-closure spaces obtained by plausible reasoning

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    李生刚; 陆汉川; 伏文清; 黄秦安

    2011-01-01

    Aim To demonstrate the applications of plausible reasoning in mathematical learning and researsh. Methods Analogy, induction, and generalization. Results Some characteriations of Hausdorff L-closure spaces are obtained. Conclusion Some conclusions in general topology are generalized, and plausible reasoning is proved to be of much importance in mathematical learning.%目的 阐述合情推理在数学学习和研究中的应用.方法 类比、归纳、一般化等方法.结果 得到了Hausdorff L-闭包空间的若干个等价刻画.结论 推广了一般拓扑学中的一些已知结果,说明了合情推理方法的重要性.

  14. 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

  15. No question about exciting questions in cell biology.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas D Pollard

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Although we have a good grasp of many important processes in cell biology, including knowledge of many molecules involved and how they interact with each other, we still do not understand most of the dynamical features that are the essence of living systems. Fortunately, we now have the ability to dissect biological systems in enough detail to understand their dynamics, including the use of mathematical models to account for past observations and predict future experiments. This deep level of mechanistic understanding should be our goal—not simply to satisfy our scientific curiosity, but also to understand the causes of disease well enough to predict risks, make early diagnoses, and treat effectively. Many big questions remain to be answered before we reach this goal of understanding cellular dynamics.

  16. Exploiting structural biology in the fight against parasitic diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Modis, Yorgo

    2012-04-01

    Despite spectacular advances in structural biology over the past half-century, only approximately 2% of the structures in the Protein Data Bank are from eukaryotic parasites and less than 0.5% are from multicellular parasites. Even when only major human pathogens are considered, 3D structures of parasites are vastly underrepresented. Yet approximately one-third of the global burden of human disease comes from parasites. It is time to divert greater effort and resources in structural biology to benefit the fight against parasitic diseases. Using as leverage recent technological and methodological advances, a concerted effort to determine macromolecular structures from parasite pathogens would provide invaluable mechanistic insights on vital processes of the parasites and would suggest novel strategies for inhibiting infection.

  17. No question about exciting questions in cell biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pollard, Thomas D

    2013-12-01

    Although we have a good grasp of many important processes in cell biology, including knowledge of many molecules involved and how they interact with each other, we still do not understand most of the dynamical features that are the essence of living systems. Fortunately, we now have the ability to dissect biological systems in enough detail to understand their dynamics, including the use of mathematical models to account for past observations and predict future experiments. This deep level of mechanistic understanding should be our goal—not simply to satisfy our scientific curiosity, but also to understand the causes of disease well enough to predict risks, make early diagnoses, and treat effectively. Many big questions remain to be answered before we reach this goal of understanding cellular dynamics.

  18. Resetting Biological Clocks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winfree, Arthur T.

    1975-01-01

    Reports on experiments conducted on two biological clocks, in organisms in the plant and animal kingdoms, which indicate that biological oscillation can be arrested by a single stimulus of a definite strength delivered at the proper time. (GS)

  19. Biology is simple.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Newman, Tim

    2015-12-30

    This paper explores the potential for simplicity to reveal new biological understanding. Borrowing selectively from physics thinking, and contrasting with Crick's reductionist philosophy, the author argues that greater emphasis on simplicity is necessary to advance biology and its applications.

  20. Biology of Blood

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... here for 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 ...