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Sample records for biologically plausible mechanistic

  1. Towards Biologically Plausible Deep Learning

    OpenAIRE

    Bengio, Yoshua; Lee, Dong-Hyun; Bornschein, Jorg; Lin, Zhouhan

    2015-01-01

    Neuroscientists have long criticised deep learning algorithms as incompatible with current knowledge of neurobiology. We explore more biologically plausible versions of deep representation learning, focusing here mostly on unsupervised learning but developing a learning mechanism that could account for supervised, unsupervised and reinforcement learning. The starting point is that the basic learning rule believed to govern synaptic weight updates (Spike-Timing-Dependent Plasticity) can be int...

  2. 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.

  3. 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…

  4. 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...

  5. Biologically plausible multi-dimensional reinforcement learning in neural networks

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rombouts, J.O.; Ooyen, A. van; Roelfsema, P.R.; Bohte, S.M.

    2012-01-01

    How does the brain learn to map multi-dimensional sensory inputs to multi-dimensional motor outputs when it can only observe single rewards for the coordinated outputs of the whole network of neurons that make up the brain? We introduce Multi-AGREL, a novel, biologically plausible multi-layer neural

  6. 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.

  7. 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. PMID:25295915

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Srimathi Kannan

    2007-12-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Mechanistic modeling confronts the complexity of molecular cell biology

    OpenAIRE

    Phair, Robert D.

    2014-01-01

    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 fu...

  15. 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. PMID:21576756

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

  17. 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.

  18. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mark K Transtrum

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phair, Robert D

    2014-11-01

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-08-01

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

  2. Discerning mechanistically rewired biological pathways by cumulative interaction heterogeneity statistics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cotton, Travis B; Nguyen, Hien H; Said, Joseph I; Ouyang, Zhengyu; Zhang, Jinfa; Song, Mingzhou

    2015-01-01

    Changes in response of a biological pathway could be a consequence of either pathway rewiring, changed input, or a combination of both. Most pathway analysis methods are not designed for mechanistic rewiring such as regulatory element variations. This limits our understanding of biological pathway evolution. Here we present a Q-method to discern whether changed pathway response is caused by mechanistic rewiring of pathways due to evolution. The main innovation is a cumulative pathway interaction heterogeneity statistic accounting for rewiring-specific effects on the rate of change of each molecular variable across conditions. The Q-method remarkably outperformed differential-correlation based approaches on data from diverse biological processes. Strikingly, it also worked well in differentiating rewired chaotic systems, whose dynamics are notoriously difficult to predict. Applying the Q-method on transcriptome data of four yeasts, we show that pathway interaction heterogeneity for known metabolic and signaling pathways is indeed a predictor of interspecies genetic rewiring due to unbalanced TATA box-containing genes among the yeasts. The demonstrated effectiveness of the Q-method paves the way to understanding network evolution at the resolution of functional biological pathways. PMID:25921728

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Infrared Spectroscopy plausible

    CERN Document Server

    Schulz, P

    2003-01-01

    The rotation vibration spectra of small molecules can be described mathematically completely. Unfortunately, no vivid interpretation of the observed transitions exists. A qualitative interpretation attempt is undertaken for symmetric top molecules as example. For the first time the rotation changes in the case of parallel and vertical bands are explained mechanistically. A plausible photon model is represented simultaneously. ----- Die Rotations-Schwingungs-Spektren kleiner Molekuele lassen sich mathematisch vollstaendig beschreiben. Was fehlt, ist eine anschauliche Deutung der beobachteten Uebergaenge. Es wird ein qualitativer Deutungsversuch unternommen am Beispiel von symmetrischen Kreiselmolekuelen. Parallel- und Senkrecht-Schwingungen mit den zugehoerigen Rotationsuebergaengen in und quer zur Figurenachse samt einem Photonenmodell werden erstmals plausibel dargestellt.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoehler, Tori M.

    2010-01-01

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

  11. 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....

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stites, Edward C.

    2013-04-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. NifH: Structural and Mechanistic Similarities with Proteins Involved in Diverse Biological Processes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Surobhi Lahiri

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available The NifH protein is a subunit of the nitrogenase enzyme that catalyzes the reduction of atmospheric nitrogen to ammonia. This protein contains highly conserved regions including the nucleotide binding sites, metal center ligands and the Switch I and Switch II domains. A number of proteins have structural and mechanistic similarities as well as evolutionary relationships with the NifH protein, notable among them being: light independent protochlorophyllide (Pchlide reductase (ChlL/FrxC or bChL, arsenite pump ATPase (ArsA, 2-hydroxyglutaryl dehydratase Component A (CompA involved in glutamate degradation and MinD that functions in spatial regulation of cell division. Although involved in very diverse biological processes, these proteins share an underlying common structural framework. This review mainly focuses on the structural similarities of these proteins with the NifH protein and discusses recent reports of complementation studies involving NifH and few of the proteins mentioned.

  15. 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. PMID:26464089

  16. Nonsense-mediated mRNA decay: novel mechanistic insights and biological impact.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karousis, Evangelos D; Nasif, Sofia; Mühlemann, Oliver

    2016-09-01

    Nonsense-mediated mRNA decay (NMD) was originally coined to define a quality control mechanism that targets mRNAs with truncated open reading frames due to the presence of a premature termination codon. Meanwhile, it became clear that NMD has a much broader impact on gene expression and additional biological functions beyond quality control are continuously being discovered. We review here the current views regarding the molecular mechanisms of NMD, according to which NMD ensues on mRNAs that fail to terminate translation properly, and point out the gaps in our understanding. We further summarize the recent literature on an ever-rising spectrum of biological processes in which NMD appears to be involved, including homeostatic control of gene expression, development and differentiation, as well as viral defense. WIREs RNA 2016, 7:661-682. doi: 10.1002/wrna.1357 For further resources related to this article, please visit the WIREs website. PMID:27173476

  17. 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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. Novel pyrazolopyridine derivatives as potential angiogenesis inhibitors: Synthesis, biological evaluation and transcriptome-based mechanistic analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michailidou, Maria; Giannouli, Vassiliki; Kotsikoris, Vasilios; Papadodima, Olga; Kontogianni, Georgia; Kostakis, Ioannis K; Lougiakis, Nikolaos; Chatziioannou, Aristotelis; Kolisis, Fragiskos N; Marakos, Panagiotis; Pouli, Nicole; Loutrari, Heleni

    2016-10-01

    Modified purine derivatives exemplified by pyrazolopyrimidines have emerged as highly selective inhibitors of several angiogenic receptor tyrosine kinases. Herein, we designed and synthesized a new series of substituted pyrazolopyridines and explored their ability to influence crucial pro-angiogenic attributes of endothelial cells. Four of the synthesized compounds, possessing analogous substitution pattern, were found able to inhibit at low micromolar concentrations endothelial cell proliferation, migration and differentiation, constitutively or in response to Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF) and to attenuate VEGF-induced phosphorylation of VEGF receptor-2 and downstream kinases AKT and ERK1/2. Administration of effective compounds in mice delayed the growth of syngeneic Lewis lung carcinoma transplants and reduced tumor microvessel density, without causing toxicity. Genome-wide microarray and gene ontology analyses of treated endothelial cells revealed derivative 18c as the most efficient modulator of gene expression and "mitotic cell cycle/cell division" along with "cholesterol biosynthesis" as the most significantly altered biological processes. PMID:27240270

  1. 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

  2. Biological and mechanistic activities of xanthorrizol and 4-(1',5'-dimethylhex-4'-enyl)-2-methylphenol isolated from Iostephane heterophylla.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mata, R; Martínez, E; Bye, R; Morales, G; Singh, M P; Janso, J E; Maiese, W M; Timmermann, B

    2001-07-01

    Xanthorrizol (1) and 4-(1',5'-dimethylhex-4'-enyl)-2-methylphenol (2) were identified as the principal antimicrobial components of a CH(2)Cl(2)-MeOH (1:1) extract derived from Iostephane heterophylla. Compound 2 is a new natural product, but has been synthesized. Both compounds exhibited low level activity (MICs of 16-32 microg/mL) against methicillin-resistant staphylococci and vancomycin-resistant enterococci. They were either inactive or poorly active against Gram-negative bacteria and yeast. Mechanistic studies performed in Escherichia coli imp suggested nonspecific inhibition of DNA, RNA, and protein synthesis by both of these compounds. Compound 1 was tested in an in vivo model; it did not provide protection to mice infected with Staphylococcus aureus. PMID:11473422

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Benn eMacdonald

    2015-11-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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......-agent epistemic plausibility models on a finite set of propositions. This gives decidability for single-agent epistemic plausibility planning....

  7. 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.

  8. Neoproterozoic Glacial Extremes: How Plausible is the

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peltier, W. R.

    2004-05-01

    The suggestion that the glaciation events of the Neoproterozoic could have been global in extent, so-called "snowball" glaciations, during which the oceans were entirely covered by sea ice and the continents by massive continental ice sheets, is an idea tha is recurrent in the geological and climate dynamics literature. It is an idea that haa both critics and defenders but concensus concerning it's plausiblity has yet to emerge. Previous work on this problem has led to the suggestion that a more likely scenario than the "hard snowball" is one in which open water continues to persist at the equator, thus enabling biological evolution into the Cambrian to proceed, perhaps stimulated by the transition from the cold conditions of the Neoproterozoic to the warm condition of the Cambrian, thus leading to the Cambrian "explosion of life". We will discuss recent extensions of our previous efforts to model the extreme climate of the Neoproterozoic, using both the University of Toronto Glacial Systems Model and the NCAR Community Climate System Model. With an appropriate choice for the albedo of sea ice, the former model conntinues to deliver hysteresis in the surface temperature vs. CO2 concentration space when solar luminosity is reduced by 6% below modern, and thus continues to suggest the existence of the previously hypothesized "CO2 attractor". We argue here that the system could be locked onto this attractor by the strong "out of equilibrium" effects of the carbon cycle recently discussed by Rothman et al. (PNAS, 2003). The open water solution is confirmed as the preferred mode of the system by the detailed CCSM integrations that we have performed.

  9. George Pólya: el razonamiento plausible

    OpenAIRE

    Arguedas, Vernon

    2013-01-01

    Presentamos algunos aspectos de la vida del gran matemático, George Pólya así como sus ideas acerca de las técnicas para enseñar matemáticas por medio de la resolución de problemas y una aproximación a su concepto de pensamiento plausible.

  10. Anatomically Plausible Surface Alignment and Reconstruction

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Paulsen, Rasmus R.; Larsen, Rasmus

    2010-01-01

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

  11. A biologically plausible maturation of an ART network.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    M.E.J. Raijmakers; P.C.M. Molenaar

    1999-01-01

    We present a numerical bifurcation analysis of a shunting neural network (SNN). Fold bifurcations appear to occur in the plane of parameters that nle subject to post-natal maturation: the range and strength of lateral connections. The SNN is implemented as a content addressable memory (CAM) in Exact

  12. 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.

  13. 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…

  14. 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…

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

    OpenAIRE

    Sarah Søs Poulsen; Nicklas R. Jacobsen; Sarah Labib; Dongmei Wu; Mainul Husain; Andrew Williams; Bøgelund, Jesper P.; Ole Andersen; Carsten Købler; Kristian Mølhave; Kyjovska, Zdenka O.; Saber, Anne T.; Håkan Wallin; Yauk, Carole L.; Ulla Vogel

    2013-01-01

    There is great interest in substituting animal work with in vitro experimentation in human health risk assessment; however, there are only few comparisons of in vitro and in vivo biological responses to engineered nanomaterials. We used high-content genomics tools to compare in vivo pulmonary 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- X...

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

    OpenAIRE

    Poulsen, Sarah Søs; Nicklas R. Jacobsen; Labib, Sarah; Wu, Dongmei; Husain, Mainul; Williams, Andrew; Bøgelund, Jesper P.; Andersen, Ole; Købler, Carsten; Mølhave, Kristian; Kyjovska, Zdenka O.; Saber, Anne T.; Wallin, Håkan; Yauk, Carole L.; Vogel, Ulla Birgitte

    2013-01-01

    There is great interest in substituting animal work with in vitro experimentation in human health risk assessment; however, there are only few comparisons of in vitro and in vivo biological responses to engineered nanomaterials. We used high-content genomics tools to compare in vivo pulmonary 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-XN...

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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…

  1. 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'…

  2. A Three-Stage Mechanistic Model for Ammonia Borane Dehydrogenation by Shvo’s Catalyst

    OpenAIRE

    Lu, Zhiyao; Conley, Brian L.; Williams, Travis J.

    2012-01-01

    We propose a mechanistic model for three-stage dehydrogenation of ammonia borane (AB) catalyzed by Shvo’s cyclopentadienone-ligated ruthenium complex. We provide evidence for a plausible mechanism for catalyst deactivation, the transition from fast catalysis to slow catalysis, and relate those findings to the invention of a second-generation catalyst that does not suffer from the same deactivation chemistry.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Is semantic preview benefit due to relatedness or plausibility?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Veldre, Aaron; Andrews, Sally

    2016-07-01

    There is increasing evidence that skilled readers of English benefit from processing a parafoveal preview of a semantically related word. However, in previous investigations of semantic preview benefit using the gaze-contingent boundary paradigm the semantic relatedness between the preview and target has been confounded with the plausibility of the preview word in the sentence. In the present study, preview relatedness and plausibility were independently manipulated in neutral sentences read by a large sample of skilled adult readers. Participants were assessed on measures of reading and spelling ability to identify possible sources of individual differences in preview effects. The results showed that readers benefited from a preview of a plausible word, regardless of the semantic relatedness of the preview and the target. However, there was limited evidence of a semantic relatedness benefit when the plausibility of the preview was controlled. The plausibility preview benefit was strongest for low proficiency readers, suggesting that poorer readers were more likely to program a forward saccade based on information extracted from the preview. High proficiency readers showed equivalent disruption from all nonidentical previews suggesting that they were more likely to suffer interference from the orthographic mismatch between preview and target. (PsycINFO Database Record PMID:26752734

  6. 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.

  7. 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...

  8. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lundengård, Karin; Cedersund, Gunnar; Sten, Sebastian; Leong, Felix; Smedberg, Alexander; Elinder, Fredrik; Engström, Maria

    2016-06-01

    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, independent validation data

  10. 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.

  11. Computational Biology: A Programming Perspective

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2011-01-01

    identify some strengths and shortcomings from a programming perspective. To show concretely what one could see as programming in biocomputing, we outline (from recent work) a computation model and a small programming language that are biologically more plausible than existing silicon-inspired models....... Whether or not the model is biologically plausible in an absolute sense, we believe it sets a standard for a biological device that can be both universal and programmable....

  12. 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...

  13. Answering evolutionary questions: A guide for mechanistic biologists.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Masel, Joanna; Promislow, Daniel E L

    2016-07-01

    The questions and methods of molecular biology and evolutionary biology are clearly distinct, yet a unified approach can lead to deep insights. Unfortunately, attempts to unify these approaches are fraught with pitfalls. In this informal series of questions and answers, we offer the mechanistically oriented biologist a set of steps to come up with evolutionarily reasonable and meaningful hypotheses. We emphasize the critical power and importance of carefully constructed null hypotheses, and we illustrate our ideas with examples representing a range of topics, from the biology of aging, to protein structure, to speciation, and more. We also stress the importance of mathematics as the lingua franca for biologists of all stripes, and encourage mechanistic biologists to seek out quantitative collaborators to build explicit mathematical models, making their assumptions explicit, and their logic clear and testable. Biologists in all realms of inquiry stand to gain from strong bridges between our disciplines. PMID:27151396

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  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. How Physicists Made Stable Lévy Processes Physically Plausible

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schinckus, Christophe

    2013-08-01

    Stable Lévy processes have very interesting properties for describing the complex behaviour of non-equilibrium dissipative systems such as turbulence, anomalous diffusion or financial markets. However, although these processes better fit the empirical data, some of their statistical properties can raise several theoretical problems in empirical applications because they generate infinite variables. Econophysicists have developed statistical solutions to make these processes physically plausible. This paper presents a review of these analytical solutions (truncations) for stable Lévy processes and how econophysicists transformed them into data-driven processes. The evolution of these analytical solutions is presented as a progressive research programme provided by (econo)physicists for theoretical problems encountered in financial economics in the 1960s and the 1970s.

  19. 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 ...

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Plausible explanation for the Δ5/2+(2000) puzzle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xie, Ju-Jun; Martínez Torres, A.; Oset, E.; González, P.

    2011-05-01

    From a Faddeev calculation for the π-(Δρ)N5/2-(1675) system we show the plausible existence of three dynamically generated I(JP)=3/2(5/2+) baryon states below 2.3 GeV, whereas only two resonances, Δ5/2+(1905)(****) and Δ5/2+(2000)(**), are cataloged in the Particle Data Book Review. Our results give theoretical support to data analyses extracting two distinctive resonances, Δ5/2+(~1740) and Δ5/2+(~2200), from which the mass of Δ5/2+(2000)(**) is estimated. We propose that these two resonances should be cataloged instead of Δ5/2+(2000). This proposal gets further support from the possible assignment of the other baryon states found in the approach in the I=1/2,3/2 with JP=1/2+,3/2+,5/2+ sectors to known baryonic resonances. In particular, Δ1/2+(1750)(*) is naturally interpreted as a πN1/2-(1650) bound state.

  3. 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.

  4. Mechanistic investigations of shuttle glow

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caledonia, G. E.; Holtzclaw, K. W.; Krech, R. H.; Sonnenfroh, D. M.; Leone, A.; Blumberg, W. A. M.

    1993-01-01

    A series of laboratory measurements have been performed in order to provide a mechanistic interpretation for the visible shuttle glow. These studies involved interactions of an 8 km/s oxygen atom beam with both contaminant dosed surfaces and gaseous targets. We conclude that visible shuttle glow arises from surface mediated O + NO recombination via a Langmuir-Hinshelwood mechanism and that the gas-phase exchange reaction O + N2 - NO + N provides a viable source of precursor NO above surfaces oriented in the ram direction.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Poole, Matthew; Kentzoglanakis, Kyriakos

    2011-01-01

    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 modelling the dynamical behaviour of gene regulatory systems. More specifically, ACO is used for searching the discre...

  6. A new simple /spl infin/OH neuron model as a biologically plausible principal component analyzer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jankovic, M V

    2003-01-01

    A new approach to unsupervised learning in a single-layer neural network is discussed. An algorithm for unsupervised learning based upon the Hebbian learning rule is presented. A simple neuron model is analyzed. A dynamic neural model, which contains both feed-forward and feedback connections between the input and the output, has been adopted. The, proposed learning algorithm could be more correctly named self-supervised rather than unsupervised. The solution proposed here is a modified Hebbian rule, in which the modification of the synaptic strength is proportional not to pre- and postsynaptic activity, but instead to the presynaptic and averaged value of postsynaptic activity. It is shown that the model neuron tends to extract the principal component from a stationary input vector sequence. Usually accepted additional decaying terms for the stabilization of the original Hebbian rule are avoided. Implementation of the basic Hebbian scheme would not lead to unrealistic growth of the synaptic strengths, thanks to the adopted network structure. PMID:18238065

  7. 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. PMID:26356597

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Biologically Plausible Control of Fast Reaching Movements Using Non-Traditional Cost Functions

    OpenAIRE

    Gamble, Geoffrey

    2016-01-01

    Optimal control has been used as a technique to uncover mathematical principles which are observed regularly in the dynamics of human movement. We present two new models of human reaching movements. While both are rooted in optimal control theory, the models were conceived by questioning basic tenets and typical practices used in optimal control as applied to human movement. In the first model, we use cost functions that measure various control signals via the L_infinity norm as opposed to th...

  12. 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…

  13. 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

    2011-12-01

    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? PMID:21911832

  14. 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

  15. 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...

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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. PMID:23274654

  19. (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.

  20. 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

  1. People Believe it is Plausible to have Forgotten Memories of Childhood Sexual Abuse

    OpenAIRE

    Rubin, David C.; Berntsen, Dorthe

    2007-01-01

    Pezdek, Blandon-Gitlin, and Gabbay (2006) found that perceptions of the plausibility of events increase the likelihood of imagination inducing false memories of those events. Using a survey conducted by Gallup, we asked a large sample of the general population how plausible it would be for a person with longstanding emotional problems and a need for psychotherapy to be a victim of childhood sexual abuse, even though the person could not remember the abuse. Only 18% indicated that it was impla...

  2. 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.

  3. Using critical evaluation to reappraise plausibility judgments: A critical cognitive component of conceptual change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lombardi, D.

    2011-12-01

    Plausibility judgments-although well represented in conceptual change theories (see, for example, Chi, 2005; diSessa, 1993; Dole & Sinatra, 1998; Posner et al., 1982)-have received little empirical attention until our recent work investigating teachers' and students' understanding of and perceptions about human-induced climate change (Lombardi & Sinatra, 2010, 2011). In our first study with undergraduate students, we found that greater plausibility perceptions of human-induced climate accounted for significantly greater understanding of weather and climate distinctions after instruction, even after accounting for students' prior knowledge (Lombardi & Sinatra, 2010). In a follow-up study with inservice science and preservice elementary teachers, we showed that anger about the topic of climate change and teaching about climate change was significantly related to implausible perceptions about human-induced climate change (Lombardi & Sinatra, 2011). Results from our recent studies helped to inform our development of a model of the role of plausibility judgments in conceptual change situations. The model applies to situations involving cognitive dissonance, where background knowledge conflicts with an incoming message. In such situations, we define plausibility as a judgment on the relative potential truthfulness of incoming information compared to one's existing mental representations (Rescher, 1976). Students may not consciously think when making plausibility judgments, expending only minimal mental effort in what is referred to as an automatic cognitive process (Stanovich, 2009). However, well-designed instruction could facilitate students' reappraisal of plausibility judgments in more effortful and conscious cognitive processing. Critical evaluation specifically may be one effective method to promote plausibility reappraisal in a classroom setting (Lombardi & Sinatra, in progress). In science education, critical evaluation involves the analysis of how evidentiary

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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).

  7. 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.

  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. ‘One of the Challenges that Can Plausibly Be Raised Against Them’?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Holtermann, Jakob v. H.

    2016-01-01

    challenges that can plausibly be raised against them’ – and if so, in what ways. In this paper, I address the first of these questions asking whether truth-finding should at all be considered a desideratum for ICTs. To this end, I discuss the widespread claim that it should not because the legal truth found...... in law is intimately connected to ordinary truth. Truth-finding capacity therefore does belong in legitimacy debates as a challenge that can plausibly be raised against them. This, in turn makes it relevant, in future research, to map, analyse and interrelate the various critiques that have been launched...

  10. Mechanistic Indicators of Childhood Asthma (MICA) Study

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  11. Familiarity and Plausibility in Conceptual Combination: Reply to Gagne and Spalding (2006)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murphy, Gregory L.; Wisniewski, Edward J.

    2006-01-01

    E. J. Wisniewski and G. L. Murphy (see record EJ689195) suggested that the apparent effects of relation frequency in C. L. Gagne and E. J. Shoben's (1997) conceptual combination experiments could be explained by differences between the familiarity and plausibility of their stimuli (noun-noun phrases). However, C. L. Gagne and T. L. Spalding argued…

  12. “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.

  13. 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…

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Mechanistic Studies of Vertebrate Hedgehog Signaling

    OpenAIRE

    Tukachinsky, Hanna

    2012-01-01

    Metazoans use Hedgehog signaling to direct many stages of embryonic development, and deregulation of this pathway is implicated in many types of cancer. I investigated several steps of Hedgehog pathway transduction that were poorly understood in mechanistic terms. The mature Hedgehog ligand is produced by a self-proteolysis reaction that covalently attaches a cholesterol molecule to the signaling half of the protein. I showed that the catalytic cysteine forms a disulfide bridge that is essent...

  19. 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.

  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. Unified Description of Plausible Cause and Effect of the Big Bang

    OpenAIRE

    Choudhury, D. C.

    2001-01-01

    Plausible cause and effect of the big bang model are presented without violating conventional laws of physics. The initial cosmological singularity is resolved by introducing the uncertainty principle of quantum theory. We postulate that, preceding the big bang at the end of the gravitational collapse, the total observed mass including all forms of energy of the universe condensed into the primordial black hole (PBH) in a state of isotropic and minimal chaos (i.e., nearest to the absolute zer...

  4. Motion in Augmented Reality Games: An Engine for Creating Plausible Physical Interactions in Augmented Reality Games

    OpenAIRE

    Brian Mac Namee; David Beaney; Qingqing Dong

    2010-01-01

    The next generation of Augmented Reality (AR) games will require real and virtual objects to coexist in motion in immersive game environments. This will require the illusion that real and virtual objects interact physically together in a plausible way. The Motion in Augmented Reality Games (MARG) engine described in this paper has been developed to allow these kinds of game environments. The paper describes the design and implementation of the MARG engine and presents two pr...

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The initial cosmological singularity in the framework of the general theory of relativity is resolved by introducing the effect of the uncertainty principle of quantum theory without violating conventional laws of physics. A plausible account of the mechanism of the big bang, analogous to that of a nuclear explosion, is given and the currently accepted Planck temperature of ≅1032 K at the beginning of the big bang is predicted

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2016-01-01

    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 ...

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Rapid Discrimination Among Putative Mechanistic Models of Biochemical Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lomnitz, Jason G.; Savageau, Michael A.

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:27578053

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lomnitz, Jason G; Savageau, Michael A

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:27578053

  13. Composite Nanomechanics: A Mechanistic Properties Prediction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chamis, Christos C.; Handler, Louis M.; Manderscheid, Jane M.

    2007-01-01

    A unique mechanistic theory is described to predict the properties of nanocomposites. The theory is based on composite micromechanics with progressive substructuring down to a nanoscale slice of a nanofiber where all the governing equations are formulated. These equations have been programmed in a computer code. That computer code is used to predict 25 properties of a mononanofiber laminate. The results are presented graphically and discussed with respect to their practical significance. Most of the results show smooth distributions. Results for matrix-dependent properties show bimodal through-the-thickness distribution with discontinuous changes from mode to mode.

  14. GENE ARRAYS FOR ELUCIDATING MECHANISTIC DATA FROM MODELS OF MALE INFERTILITY AND CHEMICAL EXPOSURE IN MICE, RATS AND HUMANS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gene arrays for elucidating mechanistic data from models of male infertility and chemical exposure in mice, rats and humansJohn C. Rockett and David J. Dix Gamete and Early Embryo Biology Branch, Reproductive Toxicology Division, National Health and Environmental Effects ...

  15. 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

  16. Higher Data Quality by Online Data-Entry and Automated Plausibility Checks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pietragalla, Barbara; Sigg, Christian; Güsewell, Sabine; Clot, Bernard

    2014-05-01

    Long-term phenological observations are now recognized as important indicators for climate change impact studies. With the increased need for phenological data, there is also an increased need for higher data quality. Since 1951 MeteoSwiss has been operating a national phenological observation network. Currently the network consists of about 150 active stations observing up to 69 different phenophases. An important aim of a running three years project at MeteoSwiss is a further increase of the quality of the collected data. The higher data quality will be achieved by an automated procedure performing plausibility checks on the data and by online data-entry. Further measures such as intensified observer instructions and collection of more detailed metadata also contribute to a high data quality standard. The plausibility checks include the natural order of the phenophases within a species and also between different species (with regard to possible natural deviation). Additionally it will be checked if the observed date differs by less than two standard deviations from the average for this phenophase at the altitude of the station. A value outside of these limits is not necessarily a false value, since occurrences of extreme values will be beyond these limits. Therefore, within this check of the limits, the timing of the season of the respective year will also be taken into account. In case of an implausible value a comparison with other stations of the same region and sea level is proposed. A further possibility of data quality control could be to model the different phenophases statistically and to use this model for estimating the likelihood of observed values. An overall exploratory data analysis is currently performed providing a solid basis to implement the best possible methods for the plausibility checks. Important advantages of online data-entry are the near real-time availability of the data as well as the avoidance of various kinds of typical mistakes

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

    OpenAIRE

    Choudhury, D. C.

    2001-01-01

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

  18. 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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  20. 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 <0.05); and (3) contain 62 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.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fazekas, Peter; Kertész, Gergely

    2011-01-01

    This paper tracks the commitments of mechanistic explanations focusing on the relation between activities at different levels. It is pointed out that the mechanistic approach is inherently committed to identifying causal connections at higher levels with causal connections at lower levels. For the...... connections transparent. These general commitments get confronted with two claims made by certain proponents of the mechanistic approach: William Bechtel often argues that within the mechanistic framework it is possible to balance between reducing higher levels and maintaining their autonomy at the same time......, whereas, in a recent paper, Craver and Bechtel argue that the mechanistic approach is able to make downward causation intelligible. The paper concludes that the mechanistic approach imbued with identity statements is no better candidate for anchoring higher levels to lower ones while maintaining their...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Solana-Ortega, Alberto; Solana, Vicente

    2009-12-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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. PMID:23882250

  7. 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. PMID:25801097

  8. 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.

  9. Climate dynamics in deep time: Modeling the [snowball bifurcation] and assessing the plausibility of its occurrence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peltier, W. R.; Tarasov, L.; Vettoretti, G.; Solheim, L. P.

    The apparently global scale glaciation events that occurred during the Neoproterozoic era, in the interval from 750 Ma to 550 Ma, represent a significant challenge to our understanding of climate system behavior. If these episodes of glaciation were truly of "snowball" type, with the continents covered by thick ice-sheets and the oceans entirely capped by sea ice, then special pleading is required to understand the Cambrian explosion of life that occurred subsequently. Detailed models of Neoproterozoic climate, however, suggest the plausibility of preference for "equatorial refugium" or "oasis" solutions in which significant regions of open water are able to persist at the equator. We describe further analyses of such solutions in this paper, using both simple EBM coupled ice sheet models and fully articulated atmosphere-ocean-sea ice coupled models of climate evolution. Recently published analyses of the dynamics of the Neoproterozoic carbon cycle, taken together with the predictions of the models discussed herein, are strongly supportive of the equatorial refugium solutions as the most plausible form of the Neoproterozoic cooling events.

  10. 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

    2016-01-01

    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 R(2) > 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. PMID:27624453

  11. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rougier, Thibaud; Lassalle, Géraldine; Drouineau, Hilaire; Dumoulin, Nicolas; Faure, Thierry; Deffuant, Guillaume; Rochard, Eric; Lambert, Patrick

    2015-01-01

    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 adaptations to cold

  13. 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. PMID:27090846

  14. 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.

  15. Mechanistic and Correlative Models of Ecological Niches

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peterson A. Townsend

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available The suite of factors that drives where and under what conditions a species occurs has become the focus of intense research interest. Three general categories of methods have emerged by which researchers address questions in this area: mechanistic models of species’ requirements in terms of environmental conditions that are based on first principles of biophysics and physiology, correlational models based on environmental associations derived from analyses of geographic occurrences of species, and process-based simulations that estimate occupied distributional areas and associated environments from assumptions about niche dimensions and dispersal abilities. We review strengths and weaknesses of these sets of approaches, and identify significant advantages and disadvantages of each. Rather than identifying one or the other as ‘better,’ we suggest that researchers take great care to use the method best-suited to each specific research question, and be conscious of the weaknesses of any method, such that inappropriate interpretations are avoided.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Multiscale mechanistic modeling in pharmaceutical research and development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuepfer, Lars; Lippert, Jörg; Eissing, Thomas

    2012-01-01

    Discontinuation of drug development projects due to lack of efficacy or adverse events is one of the main cost drivers in pharmaceutical research and development (R&D). Investments have to be written-off and contribute to the total costs of a successful drug candidate receiving marketing authorization and allowing return on invest. A vital risk for pharmaceutical innovator companies is late stage clinical failure since costs for individual clinical trials may exceed the one billion Euro threshold. To guide investment decisions and to safeguard maximum medical benefit and safety for patients recruited in clinical trials, it is therefore essential to understand the clinical consequences of all information and data generated. The complexity of the physiological and pathophysiological processes and the sheer amount of information available overcharge the mental capacity of any human being and prevent a prediction of the success in clinical development. A rigorous integration of knowledge, assumption, and experimental data into computational models promises a significant improvement of the rationalization of decision making in pharmaceutical industry. We here give an overview of the current status of modeling and simulation in pharmaceutical R&D and outline the perspectives of more recent developments in mechanistic modeling. Specific modeling approaches for different biological scales ranging from intracellular processes to whole organism physiology are introduced and an example for integrative multiscale modeling of therapeutic efficiency in clinical oncology trials is showcased. PMID:22161351

  1. 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

  2. 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 .

  3. 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

    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...... is not computationally feasible. Weak epistemic planning is not satisfactory either, as there is no way to qualify which of two weak plans is more likely to lead to the goal. This seriously limits the practical uses of weak planning, as the planning agent might for instance always choose a plan that relies...

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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. PMID:27091169

  13. 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. PMID:26872071

  14. A mechanistic accounting of SOM speciation and kinetics in soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maggi, F.; Riley, W. J.; Guerry, N.; Torn, M. S.; Kleber, M.

    2012-12-01

    The nature and dynamics of soil organic matter (SOM) are arguably far from being understood and accurately represented in current site, regional, and global land use and climate models. Whereas consolidated models make use of aggregated pools describing SOM with characteristic turnover times such as inert, passive, slow cycling, and fast cycling, or linking the turnover time to the molecular weight of the compound, recent analyses of SOM below the top soil suggest that those approaches only partially capture SOM dynamics, and that SOM stability may largely be determined by biological and chemical protection as well as other environmental factors rather than the molecular structure of the compound and its molecular weight. We introduce here a new paradigm of SOM speciation and kinetics that explicitly decouples the assumed recalcitrance and turnover time from the SOM molecular density and structure in favour of a mechanistic accounting of microbially mediated processes and chemo-physical interactions among the various SOM species and soil environment. These processes include microbial assimilation, respiration and C recycling; depolymerization of solid litter, root exudates, and dead cells into various decomposed SOM groups; and incorporation of soluble SOM species into a protected phase not available to chemical and biological agents. SOM was described by means of functional compounds including mono- and polysaccharides, lignin, amino compounds, organic acids, nucleic acids, lipids, and phenols, each being accounted for by one or more representative species in the model. Fungal and bacterial microbial functional groups were used to characterize depolymerization and respiration rates. The SOM reaction network and characteristics, its mathematical inclusion within the TOUGHREACT framework, and some preliminary results of modeling grasslands and forested ecosystems are presented here. Biogeochemical reaction network of SOC pathways. Steady state vertical contentration

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-11-01

    The ecological impacts of nighttime light pollution have been a longstanding source of concern, accentuated by realized and projected growth in electrical lighting. As human communities and lighting technologies develop, artificial light increasingly modifies natural light regimes by encroaching on dark refuges in space, in time, and across wavelengths. A wide variety of ecological implications of artificial light have been identified. However, the primary research to date is largely focused on the disruptive influence of nighttime light on higher vertebrates, and while comprehensive reviews have been compiled along taxonomic lines and within specific research domains, the subject is in need of synthesis within a common mechanistic framework. Here we propose such a framework that focuses on the cross-factoring of the ways in which artificial lighting alters natural light regimes (spatially, temporally, and spectrally), and the ways in which light influences biological systems, particularly the distinction between light as a resource and light as an information source. We review the evidence for each of the combinations of this cross-factoring. As artificial lighting alters natural patterns of light in space, time and across wavelengths, natural patterns of resource use and information flows may be disrupted, with downstream effects to the structure and function of ecosystems. This review highlights: (i) the potential influence of nighttime lighting at all levels of biological organisation (from cell to ecosystem); (ii) the significant impact that even low levels of nighttime light pollution can have; and (iii) the existence of major research gaps, particularly in terms of the impacts of light at population and ecosystem levels, identification of intensity thresholds, and the spatial extent of impacts in the vicinity of artificial lights. PMID:23565807

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. Mechanistically based mapping of human cardiac fibrillation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Narayan, Sanjiv M; Zaman, Junaid A B

    2016-05-01

    The mechanisms underpinning human cardiac fibrillation remain elusive. In his 1913 paper 'On dynamic equilibrium in the heart', Mines proposed that an activation wave front could propagate repeatedly in a circle, initiated by a stimulus in the vulnerable period. While the dynamics of activation and recovery are central to cardiac fibrillation, these physiological data are rarely used in clinical mapping. Fibrillation is a rapid irregular rhythm with spatiotemporal disorder resulting from two fundamental mechanisms - sources in preferred cardiac regions or spatially diffuse self-sustaining activity, i.e. with no preferred source. On close inspection, however, this debate may also reflect mapping technique. Fibrillation is initiated from triggers by regional dispersion in repolarization, slow conduction and wavebreak, then sustained by non-uniform interactions of these mechanisms. Notably, optical mapping of action potentials in atrial fibrillation (AF) show spiral wave sources (rotors) in nearly all studies including humans, while most traditional electrogram analyses of AF do not. Techniques may diverge in fibrillation because electrograms summate non-coherent waves within an undefined field whereas optical maps define waves with a visually defined field. Also fibrillation operates at the limits of activation and recovery, which are well represented by action potentials while fibrillatory electrograms poorly represent repolarization. We conclude by suggesting areas for study that may be used, until such time as optical mapping is clinically feasible, to improve mechanistic understanding and therapy of human cardiac fibrillation. PMID:26607671

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Azmat, Rafia; Hamid, Neelofer

    2015-03-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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. PMID:25730809

  14. The chemical biology of sirtuins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Bing; Zang, Wenwen; Wang, Juan; Huang, Yajun; He, Yanhua; Yan, Lingling; Liu, Jiajia; Zheng, Weiping

    2015-08-01

    The sirtuin family of enzymes are able to catalyze the N(ε)-acyl-lysine deacylation reaction on histone and non-histone protein substrates. Over the past years since the discovery of its founding member (i.e. the yeast silent information regulator 2 (sir2) protein) in 2000, the sirtuin-catalyzed deacylation reaction has been demonstrated to play an important regulatory role in multiple crucial cellular processes such as transcription, DNA damage repair, and metabolism. This reaction has also been regarded as a current therapeutic target for human diseases such as cancer, and metabolic and neurodegenerative diseases. The unique β-nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (β-NAD(+) or NAD(+))-dependent nature of the sirtuin-catalyzed deacylation reaction has also engendered extensive mechanistic studies, resulting in a mechanistic view of the enzyme chemistry supported by several lines of experimental evidence. On the journey toward these knowledge advances, chemical biological means have constituted an important functional arsenal; technically, a variety of chemical probes and modulators (inhibitors and activators) have been developed and some of them have been employed toward an enhanced mechanistic and functional (pharmacological) understanding of the sirtuin-catalyzed deacylation reaction. On the other hand, an enhanced mechanistic understanding has also facilitated the development of a variety of chemical probes and modulators. This article will review the tremendous accomplishments achieved during the past few years in the field of sirtuin chemical biology. It is hoped that this would also help to set a stage for how outstanding mechanistic and functional questions for the sirtuin-catalyzed deacylation reaction could be addressed in the future from the chemical biology perspective. PMID:25955411

  15. Neutron structure and mechanistic studies of diisopropyl fluorophosphatase (DFPase)

    OpenAIRE

    Chen, Julian C.-H.; Mustyakimov, Marat; Schoenborn, Benno P.; Langan, Paul; Blum, Marc-Michael

    2010-01-01

    The structure and mechanism of diisopropyl fluorophosphatase (DFPase) have been studied using a variety of methods, including isotopic labelling, X-ray crystallography and neutron crystallography. The neutron structure of DFPase, mechanistic studies and subsequent rational design efforts are described.

  16. 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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. Plausibility check of a redesigned rain-on-snow simulator (RASA)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rössler, Ole; Probst, Sabine; Weingartner, Rolf

    2016-04-01

    Rain-on-snow events are fascinating but still not completely understood processes. Although, several studies and equations have been published since decades that describe past events and theoretical descriptions, empirical data of what is happening in the snow cover is far less available. A way to fill this gap of empirical data, rain-on-snow-simulators might be of help. In 2013, Juras et al. published their inspiring idea of a portable rain-on-snow simulator. The huge advantage of this devise - in contrast to other purely field-based experiments - are their fixed, and mostly standardized conditions and the possibility to measure all required data to monitor the water fluxes and melting processes at a time. Mounted in a convenient location, a large number of experiments are relatively easy conductible. We applied and further developed the original device and plausified the results of this redesigned version, called RASA. The principal design was borrowed from the original version being a frame with a sprinkler on top and a snow sample in a box at the bottom, from which the outflow is measured with a tipping gauge. We added a moving sprinkling plate to ensure a uniform distribution of raindrops on the snow, and - most importantly - we suspended the watered snow sampled on weighting cells. The latter enables to continuous measurement of the snow sample throughout the experiment and thus the indirect quantification of liquid water saturation, water holding capacity, and snowmelt amount via balance equations. As it is remains unclear if this device is capable to reproduce known processes, a hypothesis based plausibility check was accomplished. Thus, eight hypothesizes were derived from literature and tested in 28 experiments with the RASA mounted at 2000 m elevation. In general, we were able to reproduce most of the hypotheses. The RASA proved to be a very valuable device that can generate suitable results and has the potential to extend the empirical-experimental data

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

  3. 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

  4. Upgrading protein synthesis for synthetic biology

    OpenAIRE

    O’Donoghue, Patrick; Ling, Jiqiang; Wang, Yane-Shih; Söll, Dieter

    2013-01-01

    Genetic code expansion for synthesis of proteins containing noncanonical amino acids is a rapidly growing field in synthetic biology. Creating optimal orthogonal translation systems will require re-engineering central components of the protein synthesis machinery on the basis of a solid mechanistic biochemical understanding of the synthetic process.

  5. 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.

  6. Modelling soil-plant-atmosphere interactions by coupling the regional weather model WRF to mechanistic plant models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klein, C.; Hoffmann, P.; Priesack, E.

    2012-04-01

    Climate change causes altering distributions of meteorological factors influencing plant growth and its interactions between the land surface and the atmosphere. Recent studies show, that uncertainties in regional and global climate simulations are also caused by lacking descriptions of the soil-plant-atmosphere system. Therefore, we couple a mechanistic soil-plant model to a regional climate and forecast model. The detailed simulation of the water and energy exchanges, especially the transpiration of grassland and forests stands, are the key features of the modelling framework. The Weather Research and Forecasting model (WRF) (Skamarock 2008) is an open source mesoscale numerical weather prediction model. The WRF model was modified in a way, to either choose its native, static land surface model NOAH or the mechanistic eco-system model Expert-N 5.0 individually for every single grid point within the simulation domain. The Expert-N 5.0 modelling framework provides a highly modular structure, enabling the development and use of a large variety of different plant and soil models, including heat transfer, nitrogen uptake/turnover/transport as well as water uptake/transport and crop management. To represent the key landuse types grassland and forest, we selected two mechanistic plant models: The Hurley Pasture model (Thornley 1998) and a modified TREEDYN3 forest simulation model (Bossel 1996). The models simulate plant growth, water, nitrogen and carbon flows for grassland and forest stands. A mosaic approach enables Expert-N to use high resolution land use data e.g. CORINE Land Cover data (CLC, 2006) for the simulation, making it possible to simulate different land use distributions within a single grid cell. The coupling results are analyzed for plausibility and compared with the results of the default land surface model NOAH (Fei Chen and Jimy Dudhia 2010). We show differences between the mechanistic and the static model coupling, with focus on the feedback effects

  7. 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. PMID:26827961

  8. Molecular mechanistic associations of human diseases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stegmaier Philip

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The study of relationships between human diseases provides new possibilities for biomedical research. Recent achievements on human genetic diseases have stimulated interest to derive methods to identify disease associations in order to gain further insight into the network of human diseases and to predict disease genes. Results Using about 10000 manually collected causal disease/gene associations, we developed a statistical approach to infer meaningful associations between human morbidities. The derived method clustered cardiometabolic and endocrine disorders, immune system-related diseases, solid tissue neoplasms and neurodegenerative pathologies into prominent disease groups. Analysis of biological functions confirmed characteristic features of corresponding disease clusters. Inference of disease associations was further employed as a starting point for prediction of disease genes. Efforts were made to underpin the validity of results by relevant literature evidence. Interestingly, many inferred disease relationships correspond to known clinical associations and comorbidities, and several predicted disease genes were subjects of therapeutic target research. Conclusions Causal molecular mechanisms present a unifying principle to derive methods for disease classification, analysis of clinical disorder associations, and prediction of disease genes. According to the definition of causal disease genes applied in this study, these results are not restricted to genetic disease/gene relationships. This may be particularly useful for the study of long-term or chronic illnesses, where pathological derangement due to environmental or as part of sequel conditions is of importance and may not be fully explained by genetic background.

  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. 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.

  11. 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

  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. Biological mechanisms, one molecule at a time

    OpenAIRE

    Tinoco, Ignacio; Gonzalez, Ruben L.

    2011-01-01

    The last 15 years have witnessed the development of tools that allow the observation and manipulation of single molecules. The rapidly expanding application of these technologies for investigating biological systems of ever-increasing complexity is revolutionizing our ability to probe the mechanisms of biological reactions. Here, we compare the mechanistic information available from single-molecule experiments with the information typically obtained from ensemble studies and show how these tw...

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Mechanistic approaches to palladium-catalyzed alkene difunctionalization reactions

    OpenAIRE

    Jensen, Katrina H.; Sigman, Matthew S.

    2008-01-01

    Alkene difunctionalization, the addition of two functional groups across a double bond, exemplifies a class of reactions with significant synthetic potential. This emerging area examines recent developments of palladium-catalyzed difunctionalization reactions, with a focus on mechanistic strategies that allow for functionalization of a common palladium alkyl intermediate.

  17. 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…

  18. Mechanistic simulation of the vertical structure of mixed swards

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schulte, R.P.O.; Lantinga, E.A.

    2002-01-01

    The vertical structure is an important feature of mixed swards, as it influences the inter-species competition for light, as well as the patterns of grazing. Although the experimental measurement of the vertical sward structure is relatively straightforward, the mechanistic and dynamic modelling of

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  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. Using mechanistic Bayesian networks to identify downstream targets of the Sonic Hedgehog pathway

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    McMahon Andrew P

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The topology of a biological pathway provides clues as to how a pathway operates, but rationally using this topology information with observed gene expression data remains a challenge. Results We introduce a new general-purpose analytic method called Mechanistic Bayesian Networks (MBNs that allows for the integration of gene expression data and known constraints within a signal or regulatory pathway to predict new downstream pathway targets. The MBN framework is implemented in an open-source Bayesian network learning package, the Python Environment for Bayesian Learning (PEBL. We demonstrate how MBNs can be used by modeling the early steps of the sonic hedgehog pathway using gene expression data from different developmental stages and genetic backgrounds in mouse. Using the MBN approach we are able to automatically identify many of the known downstream targets of the hedgehog pathway such as Gas1 and Gli1, along with a short list of likely targets such as Mig12. Conclusions The MBN approach shown here can easily be extended to other pathways and data types to yield a more mechanistic framework for learning genetic regulatory models.

  3. A Mechanistic Explanation Linking Adaptive Mutation, Niche Change, and Fitness Advantage for the Wrinkly Spreader

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew J. Spiers

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Experimental evolution studies have investigated adaptive radiation in static liquid microcosms using the environmental bacterium Pseudomonas fluorescens SBW25. In evolving populations a novel adaptive mutant known as the Wrinkly Spreader arises within days having significant fitness advantage over the ancestral strain. A molecular investigation of the Wrinkly Spreader has provided a mechanistic explanation linking mutation with fitness improvement through the production of a cellulose-based biofilm at the air-liquid interface. Colonisation of this niche provides greater access to oxygen, allowing faster growth than that possible for non-biofilm—forming competitors located in the lower anoxic region of the microcosm. Cellulose is probably normally used for attachment to plant and soil aggregate surfaces and to provide protection in dehydrating conditions. However, the evolutionary innovation of the Wrinkly Spreader in static microcosms is the use of cellulose as the matrix of a robust biofilm, and is achieved through mutations that deregulate multiple diguanylate cyclases leading to the over-production of cyclic-di-GMP and the stimulation of cellulose expression. The mechanistic explanation of the Wrinkly Spreader success is an exemplar of the modern evolutionary synthesis, linking molecular biology with evolutionary ecology, and provides an insight into the phenomenal ability of bacteria to adapt to novel environments.

  4. 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.

  5. Biological Threats

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Workplace Plans School Emergency Plans Main Content Biological Threats Biological agents are organisms or toxins that can ... for Disease Control and Prevention . Before a Biological Threat Unlike an explosion, a biological attack may or ...

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Inhibition of the Mechanistic Target of Rapamycin (mTOR)-Rapamycin and Beyond.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lamming, Dudley W

    2016-01-01

    Rapamycin is a Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved immunosuppressant and anticancer agent discovered in the soil of Easter Island in the early 1970s. Rapamycin is a potent and selective inhibitor of the mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR) protein kinase, which acts as a central integrator of nutrient signaling pathways. During the last decade, genetic and pharmaceutical inhibition of mTOR pathway signaling has been found to promote longevity in yeast, worms, flies, and mice. In this article, we will discuss the molecular biology underlying the effects of rapamycin and its physiological effects, evidence for rapamycin as an antiaging compound, mechanisms by which rapamycin may extend life span, and the potential limitations of rapamycin as an antiaging molecule. Finally, we will discuss possible strategies that may allow us to inhibit mTOR signaling safely while minimizing side effects, and reap the health, social, and economic benefits from slowing the aging process. PMID:27048303

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Linbin Zhang

    2015-03-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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. PMID:27261761

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

  18. Mechanistic Study of the Spiroindolones: A New Class of Antimalarials

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas H. Keller

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available During the synthesis of the new antimalarial drug candidate NITD609, a high degree of diastereoselectivity was observed in the Pictet-Spengler reaction. By isolating both the 4E and 4Z imine intermediates, a systematic mechanistic study of the reaction under both kinetic and thermodynamic conditions was conducted. This study provides insight into the source of the diastereoselectivity for this important class of compounds.

  19. Approximate Bayesian inference in semi-mechanistic models

    OpenAIRE

    Aderhold, Andrej; Husmeier, Dirk; Grzegorczyk, Marco

    2016-01-01

    Inference of interaction networks represented by systems of differential equations is a challenging problem in many scientific disciplines. In the present article, we follow a semi-mechanistic modelling approach based on gradient matching. We investigate the extent to which key factors, including the kinetic model, statistical formulation and numerical methods, impact upon performance at network reconstruction. We emphasize general lessons for computational statisticians when faced with the c...

  20. Mechanistic approaches and the development of alternative toxicity test methods.

    OpenAIRE

    Balls, M

    1998-01-01

    A mechanism can be defined as an explanation of an observed phenomenon that explains the processes underlying the phenomenon in terms of events at lower levels of organization. A prerequisite for new, more mechanistic, approaches, which would use in vitro systems rather than conventional animal analogy models, is a strengthening of the underlying scientific basis of toxicity testing. This will require greater recognition of the differences between fidelity and discrimination models and betwee...

  1. Underreliance on mechanistic models: Comment on Ferguson (2015).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tryon, Warren W

    2016-09-01

    Ferguson (see record ) proposed that our overreliance on mechanistic models is responsible for the public's negative view of psychology. On the contrary, I claim that our explanations do not actually explain because they lack mechanism information and that is why the public has a negative view of psychology. Some of the mechanism information required to move from interpretations to explanations can be found in parallel distributed processing connectionist neural network models of psychology and behavior. (PsycINFO Database Record PMID:27571530

  2. 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.

  3. Biological models for active vision: Towards a unified architecture

    OpenAIRE

    Terzic K.; Lobato D.; Saleiro M.; Martins J; Farrajota M.; Rodrigues J.M.F.; Du Buf J.M.H.

    2013-01-01

    Building a general-purpose, real-time active vision system completely based on biological models is a great challenge. We apply a number of biologically plausible algorithms which address different aspects of vision, such as edge and keypoint detection, feature extraction,optical flow and disparity, shape detection, object recognition and scene modelling into a complete system. We present some of the experiments from our ongoing work, where our system leverages a combination of algorithms to ...

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Mechanistic modelling and mechanistic monitoring: simulation and shadowgraph imaging of particulate dissolution in the flow-through apparatus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    D'arcy, Deirdre M; Persoons, Tim

    2011-03-01

    Accurate mechanistic modelling of a complex system requires insight into the process being simulated, in addition to a theoretical 'first-principles' approach. The current work uses a numerical mechanistic model to simulate dissolution of a particulate system in the flow-through dissolution apparatus. A shadowgraph imaging method is also used to monitor the dissolution process, providing real-time estimates of particle motion, number and total dissolution time. Experimental dissolution studies of ibuprofen particles are used to assess the accuracy of the model. The numerical model adequately predicts the ibuprofen particle dissolution rate at 16 mL min(-1) . Parameter sensitivity analysis identified dissolution test circumstances requiring more, or less, accuracy in the particle size and density calculations. The shadowgraph imaging method successfully determined the total dissolution time and decreasing particle numbers over time. The images confirmed the pulsing particle motion of the numerical model but revealed some more complex velocity patterns, assisting numerical model development. Further optimisation of the sampling window is required to capture all relevant particle motion and changing particle size distribution. A mechanistic model can successfully simulate particulate dissolution in the flow-through apparatus, and when used along with shadowgraph imaging, can give valuable insight into the dissolution process mechanisms and environment. PMID:20848646

  7. Mechanistic and biological significance of DNA methyltransferase 1 upregulated by growth factors in human hepatocellular carcinoma.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fang, Qin-Liang; Yin, Yi-Rui; Xie, Cheng-Rong; Zhang, Sheng; Zhao, Wen-Xiu; Pan, Chao; Wang, Xiao-Min; Yin, Zhen-Yu

    2015-02-01

    Dysregulation of growth factor signaling plays a pivotal role in controlling the malignancy phenotype and progression of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). However, the precise oncogenic mechanisms underlying transcription regulation of certain tumor suppressor genes (TSGs) by growth factors are poorly understood. In the present study, we report a novel insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF1) pathway that mediates de novo DNA methylation and TSG (such as DLC1 and CHD5) silencing by upregulation of the DNA methyltransferase 1 (DNMT1) via an AKT/β-transducin repeat-containing protein (βTrCP)-mediated ubiquitin-proteasome pathway in HCC. Analysis of DNA methylation in CpG islands of target genes revealed high co-localization of DNMT1 and DNMT3B on the promoters of TSGs associated with enhanced CpG hypermethylation. Our results point to a novel epigenetic mechanism for growth factor-mediated repression of TSG transcription that involves DNA methylation. PMID:25420499

  8. 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. PMID:26772973

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2005-01-01

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

  10. Mechanistic aspects of biologically synthesized silver nanoparticles against food- and water-borne microbes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krishnaraj, Chandran; Harper, Stacey L; Choe, Ho Sung; Kim, Kwang-Pyo; Yun, Soon-Il

    2015-10-01

    In the present study, silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) synthesized from aqueous leaves extract of Malva crispa and their mode of interaction with food- and water-borne microbes were investigated. Formation of AgNPs was conformed through UV-Vis, FE-SEM, EDS, AFM, and HR-TEM analyses. Further the concentration of silver (Ag) in the reaction mixture was conformed through ICP-MS analysis. Different concentration of nanoparticles (1-3 mM) tested to know the inhibitory effect of bacterial pathogens such as Bacillus cereus, Staphylococcus aureus, Listeria monocytogenes, Escherichia coli, Salmonella typhi, Salmonella enterica and the fungal pathogens of Penicillium expansum, Penicillium citrinum, Aspergillus oryzae, Aspergillus sojae and Aspergillus niger. Interestingly, nanoparticles synthesized from 2 to 3 mM concentration of AgNO3 showed excellent inhibitory activities against both bacterial and fungal pathogens which are well demonstrated through well diffusion, poison food technique, minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC), and minimum fungicidal concentration (MFC). In addition, mode of interaction of nanoparticles into both bacterial and fungal pathogens was documented through Bio-TEM analysis. Further the genomic DNA isolated from test bacterial strains and their interaction with nanoparticles was carried out to elucidate the possible mode of action of nanoparticles against bacteria. Interestingly, AgNPs did not show any genotoxic effect against all the tested bacterial strains which are pronounced well in agarose gel electrophoresis and for supporting this study, UV-Vis and Bio-TEM analyses were carried out in which no significant changes observed compared with control. Hence, the overall results concluded that the antimicrobial activity of biogenic AgNPs occurred without any DNA damage. PMID:26178241

  11. Biology of infantile hemangioma.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Itinteang, Tinte; Withers, Aaron H J; Davis, Paul F; Tan, Swee T

    2014-01-01

    Infantile hemangioma (IH), the most common tumor of infancy, is characterized by an initial proliferation during infancy followed by spontaneous involution over the next 5-10 years, often leaving a fibro-fatty residuum. IH is traditionally considered a tumor of the microvasculature. However, recent data show the critical role of stem cells in the biology of IH with emerging evidence suggesting an embryonic developmental anomaly due to aberrant proliferation and differentiation of a hemogenic endothelium with a neural crest phenotype that possesses the capacity for endothelial, hematopoietic, mesenchymal, and neuronal differentiation. Current evidence suggests a putative placental chorionic mesenchymal core cell embolic origin of IH during the first trimester. This review outlines the emerging role of stem cells and their interplay with the cytokine niche that promotes a post-natal environment conducive for vasculogenesis involving VEGFR-2 and its ligand VEGF-A and the IGF-2 ligand in promoting cellular proliferation, and the TRAIL-OPG anti-apoptotic pathway in preventing cellular apoptosis in IH. The discovery of the role of the renin-angiotensin system in the biology of IH provides a plausible explanation for the programed biologic behavior and the β-blocker-induced accelerated involution of this enigmatic condition. This crucially involves the vasoactive peptide, angiotensin II, that promotes cellular proliferation in IH predominantly via its action on the ATIIR2 isoform. The role of the RAS in the biology of IH is further supported by the effect of captopril, an ACE inhibitor, in inducing accelerated involution of IH. The discovery of the critical role of RAS in IH represents a novel and fascinating paradigm shift in the understanding of human development, IH, and other tumors in general. PMID:25593962

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Gregory R; Birtwistle, Marc R

    2016-01-01

    A main application for mRNA sequencing (mRNAseq) is determining lists of differentially-expressed genes (DEGs) between two or more conditions. Several software packages exist to produce DEGs from mRNAseq data, but they typically yield different DEGs, sometimes markedly so. The underlying probability model used to describe mRNAseq data is central to deriving DEGs, and not surprisingly most softwares use different models and assumptions to analyze mRNAseq data. Here, we propose a mechanistic justification to model mRNAseq as a binomial process, with data from technical replicates given by a binomial distribution, and data from biological replicates well-described by a beta-binomial distribution. We demonstrate good agreement of this model with two large datasets. We show that an emergent feature of the beta-binomial distribution, given parameter regimes typical for mRNAseq experiments, is the well-known quadratic polynomial scaling of variance with the mean. The so-called dispersion parameter controls this scaling, and our analysis suggests that the dispersion parameter is a continually decreasing function of the mean, as opposed to current approaches that impose an asymptotic value to the dispersion parameter at moderate mean read counts. We show how this leads to current approaches overestimating variance for moderately to highly expressed genes, which inflates false negative rates. Describing mRNAseq data with a beta-binomial distribution thus may be preferred since its parameters are relatable to the mechanistic underpinnings of the technique and may improve the consistency of DEG analysis across softwares, particularly for moderately to highly expressed genes. PMID:27326762

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gregory R Smith

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

  17. 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...

  18. 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

  19. 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.)

  20. 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-...

  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. Water on hydrophobic surfaces: Mechanistic modeling of hydrophobic interaction chromatography.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Gang; Hahn, Tobias; Hubbuch, Jürgen

    2016-09-23

    Mechanistic models are successfully used for protein purification process development as shown for ion-exchange column chromatography (IEX). Modeling and simulation of hydrophobic interaction chromatography (HIC) in the column mode has been seldom reported. As a combination of these two techniques is often encountered in biopharmaceutical purification steps, accurate modeling of protein adsorption in HIC is a core issue for applying holistic model-based process development, especially in the light of the Quality by Design (QbD) approach. In this work, a new mechanistic isotherm model for HIC is derived by consideration of an equilibrium between well-ordered water molecules and bulk-like ordered water molecules on the hydrophobic surfaces of protein and ligand. The model's capability of describing column chromatography experiments is demonstrated with glucose oxidase, bovine serum albumin (BSA), and lysozyme on Capto™ Phenyl (high sub) as model system. After model calibration from chromatograms of bind-and-elute experiments, results were validated with batch isotherms and prediction of further gradient elution chromatograms. PMID:27575919

  3. 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.

  4. Centrifugal pumping of gas-liquid mixtures: a mechanistic approach

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Estevam, Valdir [PETROBRAS, Rio de Janeiro, RJ (Brazil); Franca, Fernando A. [Universidade Estadual de Campinas, SP (Brazil); Alhanati, Francisco J.S. [C-Fer Technologies, Edmonton, Alberta (Canada)

    2004-07-01

    Centrifugal pumps are known to show a 'surging' behavior at certain conditions of free gas and liquid flow rate at the intake. In the 'surging region' on a pump characteristic curve, the head generated is significantly lower than if the pump were handling a gas-liquid homogeneous mixture. The surging happens, as one shows in this paper, due to the existence of a gas pocket, referred as 'elongated bubble', at the pump impeller inlet region. Therefore, to be able to predict the performance of centrifugal pumps under two-phase conditions, one has to disclose and model the mechanisms that set existence of the elongated bubble at the impeller inlet, besides calculating its length inside the impeller. This paper reports on the results of experimental and mechanistic modelling work conducted with the objective of better predicting the gas-liquid performance of centrifugal pumps under all range of conditions, including those characterized by 'surging'. The focus was on small diameter centrifugal pumps used to produce oil wells. A mechanistic two-fluid model devised to calculate the head generated by the pump was developed. The predictions of the model show good agreement with data collected for this study, and with data recently collected by other research organizations. (author)

  5. From data patterns to mechanistic models in acute critical illness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aerts, Jean-Marie; Haddad, Wassim M; An, Gary; Vodovotz, Yoram

    2014-08-01

    The complexity of the physiologic and inflammatory response in acute critical illness has stymied the accurate diagnosis and development of therapies. The Society for Complex Acute Illness was formed a decade ago with the goal of leveraging multiple complex systems approaches to address this unmet need. Two main paths of development have characterized the society's approach: (i) data pattern analysis, either defining the diagnostic/prognostic utility of complexity metrics of physiologic signals or multivariate analyses of molecular and genetic data and (ii) mechanistic mathematical and computational modeling, all being performed with an explicit translational goal. Here, we summarize the progress to date on each of these approaches, along with pitfalls inherent in the use of each approach alone. We suggest that the next decade holds the potential to merge these approaches, connecting patient diagnosis to treatment via mechanism-based dynamical system modeling and feedback control and allowing extrapolation from physiologic signals to biomarkers to novel drug candidates. As a predicate example, we focus on the role of data-driven and mechanistic models in neuroscience and the impact that merging these modeling approaches can have on general anesthesia. PMID:24768566

  6. 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.

  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 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

  9. 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..

  10. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mutschler, Hannes; Holliger, Philipp

    2014-04-01

    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.

  12. 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...

  13. 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.

  14. 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...

  15. 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...

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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......-segmented fluidised bed drying system, which is part of a fully continuous from-powder-to-tablet manufacturing line. The drying model is based on a model described by Mezhericher et al. [1] and consists of two submodels. In the first drying phase (submodel 1), the surface water evaporates, while in the second drying...... 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....

  1. 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.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2014-01-01

    Emerging challenges of managing and interpreting large amounts of complex biological data have given rise to the growing field of computational biology. We investigated the applicability of an integrated systems toxicology approach on five selected pesticides to get an overview of their modes...

  3. 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…

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Effects of high-dilutions in behavioural models: a commentary on critical issues, from reproducibility to plausibility

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elisabetta Zanolin

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available As part of a rigorous investigation into the effects of Gelsemium sempervirens on laboratory mice, we performed two complete series of experiments and published three scientific papers. A recent commentary has, however, called into question the reproducibility and validity of these findings. In this article we discuss the major issues raised by this critique within the framework of methodological aspects and the interpretation of results of high-dilution and homeopathic research. The charge of non-reproducibility is shown to be unfounded, because a same homeopathic medicine displayed the same direction of effects in two well-validated models (light-dark and open-field, albeit with nonlinear patterns. The double-blind protocols and statistics by means of ANOVA were performed appropriately and the difference between dilutions of Gelsemium (5cH, 7cH, 9cH and 30cH with variations according to model and placebo was statistically highly significant. Our investigations brought to light some problems related with the lack of activity of buspirone and diazepam (conventional anxiolytic drugs used as control on some behavioural parameters, suggesting that Gelsemium may have broader action, and raising doubts as to the reliability of benzodiazepines as positive controls for homeopathic treatments. Concerning the plausibility of experiments in this field, disputed on the grounds of alleged lack of dose-response effect, we note that the latter is not at all uncommon, and can be accounted for by a host of possible reasons. In conclusion, our research line showed reproducible and consistent effects of Gelsemium in laboratory mice.

  8. 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. PMID:27559295

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Rational design of transcranial current stimulation (TCS) through mechanistic insights into cortical network dynamics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fröhlich, Flavio; Schmidt, Stephen L

    2013-01-01

    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 (EFs) 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 illustrate 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 dynamic 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. PMID:24324427

  12. Ultrashort cationic lipopeptides and lipopeptoids: Evaluation and mechanistic insights against epithelial cancer cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Domalaon, Ronald; Findlay, Brandon; Ogunsina, Makanjuola; Arthur, Gilbert; Schweizer, Frank

    2016-10-01

    Peptides present an attractive scaffold for the development of new anticancer lead agents due to their accessibility and ease of modification. Synthetic ultrashort cationic lipopeptides, with four amino acids or less conjugated to a fatty acid, were developed to retain the biological activity of longer peptides in a smaller molecular size. Herein, we report the activity of amphiphilic lipotripeptides, lipotripeptoids and lipotetrapeptides against breast (MDA-MB-231, JIMT-1), prostate (DU145) and pancreas (MiaPaCa2) epithelial cancer cell lines. The lipotripeptide C16-KKK-NH2 and lipotetrapeptide C16-PCatPHexPHexPCat-NH2 were identified to possess anticancer activity. The latter lipotetrapeptide possess a short polyproline scaffold consisting of only two L-4R-aminoproline (PCat) and two L-4R-hexyloxyproline (PHex). However, all the prepared lipotripeptoids lack anticancer activity. The amphiphilic C16-PCatPHexPHexPCat-NH2 exhibited similar anticancer potency to the surfactant benzethonium chloride while superior activity was observed in comparison to myristylamine. Mechanistic studies revealed that the peptides do not lyse ovine erythrocytes nor epithelial cancer cells, thus ruling out necrosis as the mechanism of cell death. Surprisingly, the two lipopeptides exhibit different mechanisms of action that result in cancer cell death. The lipotripeptide C16-KKK-NH2 was found to induce caspase-mediated apoptosis while C16-PCatPHexPHexPCat-NH2 kills tumor cells independent of caspases. PMID:27486068

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  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. 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.

  18. MESMO 2: a mechanistic marine silica cycle and coupling to a simple terrestrial scheme

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K. Matsumoto

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Here we describe the second version of Minnesota Earth System Model for Ocean biogeochemistry (MESMO 2, an earth system model of intermediate complexity, which consists of a dynamical ocean, dynamic-thermodynamic sea ice, and energy moisture balanced atmosphere. The new version has more realistic land ice masks and is driven by seasonal winds. A major aim in version 2 is representing the marine silica cycle mechanistically in order to investigate climate-carbon feedbacks involving diatoms, a critically important class of phytoplankton in terms of carbon export production. This is achieved in part by including iron, on which phytoplankton uptake of silicic acid depends. Also, MESMO 2 is coupled to an existing terrestrial model, which allows for the exchange of carbon, water, and energy between land and the atmosphere. The coupled model, called MESMO 2E, is appropriate for more complete earth system simulations. The new version was calibrated with the goal of preserving reasonable interior ocean ventilation and various biological production rates in the ocean and land, while simulating key features of the marine silica cycle.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2010-01-01

    of variables required for measurement, control and process design. In the near future, mechanistic models with a higher degree of detail will play key roles in the development of efficient next-generation fermentation and biocatalytic processes. Moreover, mechanistic models will be used increasingly...

  1. Mechanistic investigations of unsaturated glucuronyl hydrolase from Clostridium perfringens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jongkees, Seino A K; Yoo, Hayoung; Withers, Stephen G

    2014-04-18

    Experiments were carried out to probe the details of the hydration-initiated hydrolysis catalyzed by the Clostridium perfringens unsaturated glucuronyl hydrolase of glycoside hydrolase family 88 in the CAZy classification system. Direct (1)H NMR monitoring of the enzymatic reaction detected no accumulated reaction intermediates in solution, suggesting that rearrangement of the initial hydration product occurs on-enzyme. An attempt at mechanism-based trapping of on-enzyme intermediates using a 1,1-difluoro-substrate was unsuccessful because the probe was too deactivated to be turned over by the enzyme. Kinetic isotope effects arising from deuterium-for-hydrogen substitution at carbons 1 and 4 provide evidence for separate first-irreversible and overall rate-determining steps in the hydration reaction, with two potential mechanisms proposed to explain these results. Based on the positioning of catalytic residues in the enzyme active site, the lack of efficient turnover of a 2-deoxy-2-fluoro-substrate, and several unsuccessful attempts at confirmation of a simpler mechanism involving a covalent glycosyl-enzyme intermediate, the most plausible mechanism is one involving an intermediate bearing an epoxide on carbons 1 and 2. PMID:24573682

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. Mechanistic approaches to the study of evolution: the functional synthesis

    OpenAIRE

    Dean, Antony M; Joseph W Thornton

    2007-01-01

    An emerging synthesis of evolutionary biology and experimental molecular biology is providing much stronger and deeper inferences about the dynamics and mechanisms of evolution than were possible in the past. The new approach combines statistical analyses of gene sequences with manipulative molecular experiments to reveal how ancient mutations altered biochemical processes and produced novel phenotypes. This functional synthesis has set the stage for major advances in our understanding of fun...

  6. 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

    2014-12-01

    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. PMID:25404324

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. Biology Notes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    School Science Review, 1982

    1982-01-01

    Presents procedures, exercises, demonstrations, and information on a variety of biology topics including labeling systems, biological indicators of stream pollution, growth of lichens, reproductive capacity of bulbous buttercups, a straw balance to measure transpiration, interaction of fungi, osmosis, and nitrogen fixation and crop production. (DC)

  10. Ultrasound enhanced ethanol production from Parthenium hysterophorus: A mechanistic investigation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, Shuchi; Sarma, Shyamali; Agarwal, Mayank; Goyal, Arun; Moholkar, Vijayanand S

    2015-01-01

    This study presents mechanistic investigations in ultrasound-assisted bioethanol fermentation using Parthenium hysterophorus biomass. Ultrasound (35 kHz, 10% duty cycle) has been used for sonication. Experimental results were fitted to mathematical model; the kinetic and physiological parameters in the model were obtained using Genetic Algorithm (GA) based optimization. In control experiments (mechanical shaking), maximum ethanol titer of 10.93 g/L and cell mass concentration of 5.26 g/L was obtained after 18 h. In test experiments (mechanical shaking and intermittent sonication), ethanol titer of 12.14 g/L and cell mass concentration of 5.7 g/L was obtained in 10h. This indicated ∼ 2 × enhanced productivity of ethanol and cell mass with sonication. Trends in model parameters obtained after fitting of model to experimental data essentially revealed that beneficial influence of ultrasound on fermentation is a manifestation of enhanced trans-membrane transportation and dilution of toxic substances due to strong micro-convection induced by ultrasound. PMID:25555927

  11. Anti-fibro-hepatocarcinogenic Chinese herbal medicines: A mechanistic overview.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boye, Alex; Yang, Yan; Asenso, James; Wei, Wei

    2016-01-01

    Chinese herbal medicine (CHM) is an integral component of complementary/alternative medicine and it is increasingly becoming the preferred therapeutic modality for the treatment of liver fibrosis and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) worldwide. Accordingly, the World Health Organization (WHO) has attested to the popularity and efficacy of indigenous herbal therapies including CHM as a first line of treatment for some diseases including liver disorders. However, the WHO and drug discovery experts have always recommended that use of indigenous herbal remedies must go hand-in-hand with the requisite mechanistic elucidation so as to constitute a system of verification of efficacy within the ethnobotanical context of use. Although many CHM experts have advanced knowledge on CHM, nonetheless, more enlightenment is needed, particularly mechanisms of action of CHMs on fibro-hepato-carcinogenesis. We, herein, provide in-depth mechanisms of the action of CHMs which have demonstrated anti-fibro-hepatocarcinogenic effects, in pre-clinical and clinical studies as published in PubMed and other major scientific databases. Specifically, the review brings out the important signaling pathways, and their downstream targets which are modulated at multi-level by various anti-fibro-hepatocarcinogenic CHMs. PMID:27366355

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:27456660

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thurber, Greg M; Dane Wittrup, K

    2012-12-01

    Antibodies are under development to treat a variety of cancers, such as lymphomas, colon, and breast cancer. A major limitation to greater efficacy for this class of drugs is poor distribution in vivo. Localization of antibodies occurs slowly, often in insufficient therapeutic amounts, and distributes heterogeneously throughout the tumor. While the microdistribution around individual vessels is important for many therapies, the total amount of antibody localized in the tumor is paramount for many applications such as imaging, determining the therapeutic index with antibody drug conjugates, and dosing in radioimmunotherapy. With imaging and pretargeted therapeutic strategies, the time course of uptake is critical in determining when to take an image or deliver a secondary reagent. We present here a simple mechanistic model of antibody uptake and retention that captures the major rates that determine the time course of antibody concentration within a tumor including dose, affinity, plasma clearance, target expression, internalization, permeability, and vascularization. Since many of the parameters are known or can be estimated in vitro, this model can approximate the time course of antibody concentration in tumors to aid in experimental design, data interpretation, and strategies to improve localization. PMID:22974563

  16. Mechanistic modeling of destratification in cryogenic storage tanks using ultrasonics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jagannathan, T K; Mohanan, Srijith; Nagarajan, R

    2014-01-01

    Stratification is one of the main causes for vaporization of cryogens and increase of tank pressure during cryogenic storage. This leads subsequent problems such as cavitation in cryo-pumps, reduced length of storage time. Hence, it is vital to prevent stratification to improve the cost efficiency of storage systems. If stratified layers exist inside the tank, they have to be removed by suitable methods without venting the vapor. Sonication is one such method capable of keeping fluid layers mixed. In the present work, a mechanistic model for ultrasonic destratification is proposed and validated with destratification experiments done in water. Then, the same model is used to predict the destratification characteristics of cryogenic liquids such as liquid nitrogen (LN₂), liquid hydrogen (LH₂) and liquid ammonia (LNH₃). The destratification parameters are analysed for different frequencies of ultrasound and storage pressures by considering continuous and pulsed modes of ultrasonic operation. From the results, it is determined that use of high frequency ultrasound (low-power/continuous; high-power/pulsing) or low frequency ultrasound (continuous operation with moderate power) can both be effective in removing stratification. PMID:23810463

  17. 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.

  18. Mechanistic understanding of monosaccharide-air flow battery electrochemistry

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

  19. Anti-fibro-hepatocarcinogenic Chinese herbal medicines: A mechanistic overview

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boye, Alex; Yang, Yan; Asenso, James; Wei, Wei

    2016-01-01

    Chinese herbal medicine (CHM) is an integral component of complementary/alternative medicine and it is increasingly becoming the preferred therapeutic modality for the treatment of liver fibrosis and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) worldwide. Accordingly, the World Health Organization (WHO) has attested to the popularity and efficacy of indigenous herbal therapies including CHM as a first line of treatment for some diseases including liver disorders. However, the WHO and drug discovery experts have always recommended that use of indigenous herbal remedies must go hand-in-hand with the requisite mechanistic elucidation so as to constitute a system of verification of efficacy within the ethnobotanical context of use. Although many CHM experts have advanced knowledge on CHM, nonetheless, more enlightenment is needed, particularly mechanisms of action of CHMs on fibro-hepato-carcinogenesis. We, herein, provide in-depth mechanisms of the action of CHMs which have demonstrated anti-fibro-hepatocarcinogenic effects, in pre-clinical and clinical studies as published in PubMed and other major scientific databases. Specifically, the review brings out the important signaling pathways, and their downstream targets which are modulated at multi-level by various anti-fibro-hepatocarcinogenic CHMs. PMID:27366355

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. A global scale mechanistic model of the photosynthetic capacity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. A. Ali

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Although plant photosynthetic capacity as determined by the maximum carboxylation rate (i.e., Vc, max25 and the maximum electron transport rate (i.e., Jmax25 at a reference temperature (generally 25 °C is known to vary substantially in space and time in response to environmental conditions, it is typically parameterized in Earth system models (ESMs with tabulated values associated to plant functional types. In this study, we developed a mechanistic model of leaf utilization of nitrogen for assimilation (LUNA V1.0 to predict the photosynthetic capacity at the global scale under different environmental conditions, based on the optimization of nitrogen allocated among light capture, electron transport, carboxylation, and respiration. The LUNA model was able to reasonably well capture the observed patterns of photosynthetic capacity in view that it explained approximately 55 % of the variation in observed Vc, max25 and 65 % of the variation in observed Jmax25 across the globe. Our model simulations under current and future climate conditions indicated that Vc, max25 could be most affected in high-latitude regions under a warming climate and that ESMs using a fixed Vc, max25 or Jmax25 by plant functional types were likely to substantially overestimate future global photosynthesis.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomson, Daniel; Turner, Alyna; Lauder, Sue; Gigler, Margaret E.; Berk, Lesley; Singh, Ajeet B.; Pasco, Julie A.; Berk, Michael; Sylvia, Louisa

    2015-01-01

    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 randomized 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. PMID:25788889

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. The mechanistic bases of the power-time relationship

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2016-01-01

    hypothesis 1. Eleven men performed 3-min all-out tests and donated muscle biopsies to test hypothesis 2. Below CP, muscle [PCr] (42.6 ± 7.1 vs 49.4 ± 6.9 mmol/kgDW), [La(-) ] (34.8 ± 12.6 vs 35.5 ± 13.2 mmol/kgDW) and pH (7.11 ± 0.08 vs 7.10 ± 0.11) remained stable between ∼12 and 24 min (P>0.05 for all.......025) and inversely correlated with muscle type IIx fibre proportion (r = -0.76, P = 0.01). There was no relationship between W' (19.4 ± 6.3 kJ) and muscle fibre type. These data indicate a mechanistic link between the bioenergetic characteristics of different muscle fibre types and the power-duration relationship....... The CP reflects the bioenergetic characteristics of highly oxidative type I muscle fibres, such that a muscle metabolic steady-state is attainable below, but not above CP. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved....

  7. 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.

  8. A global scale mechanistic model of the photosynthetic capacity

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

    Although plant photosynthetic capacity as determined by the maximum carboxylation rate (i.e., Vc,max25) and the maximum electron transport rate (i.e., Jmax25) at a reference temperature (generally 25oC) is known to vary substantially in space and time in response to environmental conditions, it is typically parameterized in Earth system models (ESMs) with tabulated values associated to plant functional types. In this study, we developed a mechanistic model of leaf utilization of nitrogen for assimilation (LUNA V1.0) to predict the photosynthetic capacity at the global scale under different environmental conditions, based on the optimization of nitrogen allocated among light capture, electron transport, carboxylation, and respiration. The LUNA model was able to reasonably well capture the observed patterns of photosynthetic capacity in view that it explained approximately 55% of the variation in observed Vc,max25 and 65% of the variation in observed Jmax25 across the globe. Our model simulations under current and future climate conditions indicated that Vc,max25 could be most affected in high-latitude regions under a warming climate and that ESMs using a fixed Vc,max25 or Jmax25 by plant functional types were likely to substantially overestimate future global photosynthesis.

  9. Equation-free mechanistic ecosystem forecasting using empirical dynamic modeling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ye, Hao; Beamish, Richard J; Glaser, Sarah M; Grant, Sue C H; Hsieh, Chih-Hao; Richards, Laura J; Schnute, Jon T; Sugihara, George

    2015-03-31

    It is well known that current equilibrium-based models fall short as predictive descriptions of natural ecosystems, and particularly of fisheries systems that exhibit nonlinear dynamics. For example, model parameters assumed to be fixed constants may actually vary in time, models may fit well to existing data but lack out-of-sample predictive skill, and key driving variables may be misidentified due to transient (mirage) correlations that are common in nonlinear systems. With these frailties, it is somewhat surprising that static equilibrium models continue to be widely used. Here, we examine empirical dynamic modeling (EDM) as an alternative to imposed model equations and that accommodates both nonequilibrium dynamics and nonlinearity. Using time series from nine stocks of sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka) from the Fraser River system in British Columbia, Canada, we perform, for the the first time to our knowledge, real-data comparison of contemporary fisheries models with equivalent EDM formulations that explicitly use spawning stock and environmental variables to forecast recruitment. We find that EDM models produce more accurate and precise forecasts, and unlike extensions of the classic Ricker spawner-recruit equation, they show significant improvements when environmental factors are included. Our analysis demonstrates the strategic utility of EDM for incorporating environmental influences into fisheries forecasts and, more generally, for providing insight into how environmental factors can operate in forecast models, thus paving the way for equation-free mechanistic forecasting to be applied in management contexts. PMID:25733874

  10. Quantum Biology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alessandro Sergi

    2009-06-01

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

  11. Trimethylamine-N-oxide switches from stabilizing nature: A mechanistic outlook through experimental techniques and molecular dynamics simulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rani, Anjeeta; Jayaraj, Abhilash; Jayaram, B; Pannuru, Venkatesu

    2016-01-01

    In adaptation biology of the discovery of the intracellular osmolytes, the osmolytes are found to play a central role in cellular homeostasis and stress response. A number of models using these molecules are now poised to address a wide range of problems in biology. Here, a combination of biophysical measurements and molecular dynamics (MD) simulation method is used to examine the effect of trimethylamine-N-oxide (TMAO) on stem bromelain (BM) structure, stability and function. From the analysis of our results, we found that TMAO destabilizes BM hydrophobic pockets and active site as a result of concerted polar and non-polar interactions which is strongly evidenced by MD simulation carried out for 250 ns. This destabilization is enthalpically favourable at higher concentrations of TMAO while entropically unfavourable. However, to the best of our knowledge, the results constitute first detailed unambiguous proof of destabilizing effect of most commonly addressed TMAO on the interactions governing stability of BM and present plausible mechanism of protein unfolding by TMAO. PMID:27025561

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. Quantum Biology

    CERN Document Server

    Sergi, Alessandro

    2009-01-01

    A critical assessment of the recent developments of molecular biology is presented. The thesis that they do not lead to a conceptual understanding of life and biological systems is defended. Maturana and Varela's concept of autopoiesis is briefly sketched and its logical circularity avoided by postulating the existence of underlying {\\it 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 interpretation of quantum dispersion forces (van der Waals, hydrogen bonding, and so on) as quantum coherence effects hints at the necessity of including long-ranged forces (or mechanisms for them) in condensed matter theories of biological processes. Some quantum effects in biology are reviewed and quantum mechanics is acknowledge...

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. A mechanistic view of mitochondrial death decision pores

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J.E. Belizário

    2007-08-01

    Full Text Available Mitochondria increase their outer and inner membrane permeability to solutes, protons and metabolites in response to a variety of extrinsic and intrinsic signaling events. The maintenance of cellular and intraorganelle ionic homeostasis, particularly for Ca2+, can determine cell survival or death. Mitochondrial death decision is centered on two processes: inner membrane permeabilization, such as that promoted by the mitochondrial permeability transition pore, formed across inner membranes when Ca2+ reaches a critical threshold, and mitochondrial outer membrane permeabilization, in which the pro-apoptotic proteins BID, BAX, and BAK play active roles. Membrane permeabilization leads to the release of apoptogenic proteins: cytochrome c, apoptosis-inducing factor, Smac/Diablo, HtrA2/Omi, and endonuclease G. Cytochrome c initiates the proteolytic activation of caspases, which in turn cleave hundreds of proteins to produce the morphological and biochemical changes of apoptosis. Voltage-dependent anion channel, cyclophilin D, adenine nucleotide translocase, and the pro-apoptotic proteins BID, BAX, and BAK may be part of the molecular composition of membrane pores leading to mitochondrial permeabilization, but this remains a central question to be resolved. Other transporting pores and channels, including the ceramide channel, the mitochondrial apoptosis-induced channel, as well as a non-specific outer membrane rupture may also be potential release pathways for these apoptogenic factors. In this review, we discuss the mechanistic models by which reactive oxygen species and caspases, via structural and conformational changes of membrane lipids and proteins, promote conditions for inner/outer membrane permeabilization, which may be followed by either opening of pores or a rupture of the outer mitochondrial membrane.

  20. Two Mechanistic Pathways for Thienopyridine-Associated Thrombotic Thrombocytopenic Purpura

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bennett, Charles L.; Kim, Benjamin; Zakarija, Anaadriana; Bandarenko, Nicholas; Pandey, Dilip K.; Buffie, Charlie G.; McKoy, June M.; Tevar, Amul D.; Cursio, John F.; Yarnold, Paul R.; Kwaan, Hau C.; De Masi, Davide; Sarode, Ravindra; Raife, Thomas J.; Kiss, Joseph E.; Raisch, Dennis W.; Davidson, Charles; Sadler, J. Evan; Ortel, Thomas L.; Zheng, X. Long; Kato, Seiji; Matsumoto, Masanori; Uemura, Masahito; Fujimura, Yoshihiro

    2011-01-01

    Objectives We sought to describe clinical and laboratory findings for a large cohort of patients with thienopyridine-associated thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP). Background The thienopyridine derivatives, ticlopidine and clopidogrel, are the 2 most common drugs associated with TTP in databases maintained by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Methods Clinical reports of TTP associated with clopidogrel and ticlopidine were identified from medical records, published case reports, and FDA case reports (n = 128). Duration of thienopyridine exposure, clinical and laboratory findings, and survival were recorded. ADAMTS13 activity (n = 39) and inhibitor (n = 30) were measured for a subset of individuals. Results Compared with clopidogrel-associated TTP cases (n = 35), ticlopidine-associated TTP cases (n = 93) were more likely to have received more than 2 weeks of drug (90% vs. 26%), to be severely thrombocytopenic (84% vs. 60%), and to have normal renal function (72% vs. 45%) (p 15% (n = 13), TTP patients with severely deficient ADAMTS13 activity (n = 26) were more likely to have received ticlopidine (92.3% vs. 46.2%, p 2 weeks after thienopyridine, therapeutic plasma exchange (TPE) increased likelihood of survival (84% vs. 38%, p < 0.05). Among patients who developed TTP within 2 weeks of starting thienopyridines, survival was 77% with TPE and 78% without. Conclusions Thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura is a rare complication of thienopyridine treatment. This drug toxicity appears to occur by 2 different mechanistic pathways, characterized primarily by time of onset before versus after 2 weeks of thienopyridine administration. If TTP occurs after 2 weeks of ticlopidine or clopidogrel therapy, therapeutic plasma exchange must be promptly instituted to enhance likelihood of survival. PMID:17868804

  1. 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.

  2. A partial mechanistic understanding of the North American monsoon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Erfani, Ehsan; Mitchell, David

    2014-12-01

    An understanding of the major governing processes of North American monsoon (NAM) is necessary to guide improvement in global and regional climate modeling of the NAM, as well as NAM's impacts on the summer circulation, precipitation, and drought over North America. A mechanistic understanding of the NAM is suggested by incorporating local- and synoptic-scale processes. The local-scale mechanism describes the effect of the temperature inversion over the Gulf of California (GC) on controlling low-level moisture during the 2004 NAM. The strong low-level inversion inhibits the exchange between the moist air in the marine boundary layer (MBL) and the overlying dry air. This inversion weakens with increasing sea surface temperatures (SSTs) in GC and generally disappears once SSTs exceed 29.5°C, allowing the moist air, trapped in the MBL, to mix with free tropospheric air. This leads to a deep, moist layer that can be transported by across-gulf (along-gulf) flow toward the NAM core region (southwestern U.S.) to form thunderstorms. On the synoptic scale, climatologies from 1983 to 2010 exhibit a temporal correspondence between coastal warm tropical surface water, NAM deep convection, NAM anticyclone center, and NAM-induced strong descent. A hypothesis is proposed to explain this correspondence, based on limited soundings at the GC entrance (suggesting this local mechanism may also be active in that region), the climatologies, and the relevant literature. The warmest SSTs moving up the coast may initiate NAM convection and atmospheric heating, advancing the position of the anticyclone and the region of descent northward.

  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, 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

  5. Mechanistic modelling of the vertical soil organic matter profile

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Braakhekke, M.C.

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

    Medical risks of radiation exaggerated; psychological risks underestimated. The discussion about atomic energy has become topical again following the nuclear accident in Fukushima. There is some argument about the gravity of medical and biological consequences of prolonged exposure to radiation. The risk of cancer following a low dose of radiation is usually estimated by linear extrapolation of the incidence of cancer among survivors of the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. The radiobiological linear-quadratic model (LQ-model) gives a more accurate description of observed data, is radiobiologically more plausible and is better supported by experimental and clinical data. On the basis of this model there is less risk of cancer being induced following radiation exposure. The gravest consequence of Chernobyl and Fukushima is not the medical and biological damage, but the psychological and economical impact on rescue workers and former inhabitants. PMID:22607840

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  8. 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

  9. Improvements in AF ablation outcome will be based more on technological advancement versus mechanistic understanding

    OpenAIRE

    Chen-yang Jiang, MD; Ru-hong Jiang, MS

    2014-01-01

    Atrial fibrillation(AF) is one of the most common cardiac arrhythmias. Catheter ablation has been proven with more effectiveness than antiarrhythmic drug in preventing clinical recurrences of AF, but the long-term outcome is still unsatisfactory. Ablation strategies have evolved based on progress in mechanistic understanding, and the technologies were advanced continuously. This article will review current mechanistic concepts and technological advancement in AF treatment, and summarize their...

  10. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stein, David

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

  12. Biological Oceanography

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abbott, M. R.

    1984-01-01

    Within the framework of global biogeochemical cycles and ocean productivity, there are two areas that will be of particular interest to biological oceanography in the 1990s. The first is the mapping in space time of the biomass and productivity of phytoplankton in the world ocean. The second area is the coupling of biological and physical processes as it affects the distribution and growth rate of phytoplankton biomass. Certainly other areas will be of interest to biological oceanographers, but these two areas are amenable to observations from satellites. Temporal and spatial variability is a regular feature of marine ecosystems. The temporal and spatial variability of phytoplankton biomass and productivity which is ubiquitous at all time and space scales in the ocean must be characterized. Remote sensing from satellites addresses these problems with global observations of mesocale (2 to 20 days, 10 to 200 km) features over a long period of time.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

  14. 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)

  15. 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)

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

  17. Ferritin Diversity: Mechanistic Studies, Disease Implications, and Materials Chemistry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hilton, Robert J.

    2011-07-01

    The study of ferritin includes a rich history of discoveries and scientific progress. Initially, the composition of ferritin was determined. Soon, it was shown that ferritin is a spherical, hollow protein. Eventually, over several decades of research, the structure and some function of this interesting protein was elucidated. However, the ferritin field was not completely satisfied. Today, for example, researchers are interested in refining the details of ferritin function, in discovering the role of ferritin in a variety of diseases, and in using ferritin for materials chemistry applications. The work presented in this dissertation highlights the progress that we have made in each of these three areas: (1) Mechanistic studies: The buffer used during horse spleen ferritin iron loading significantly influences the mineralization process and the quantity of iron deposited in ferritin. The ferrihydrite core of ferritin is crystalline and ordered when iron is loaded into ferritin in the presence of imidazole buffer. On the other hand, when iron is loaded into ferritin in the presence of MOPS buffer, the ferrihydrite core is less crystalline and less ordered, and a smaller amount of total iron is loaded in ferritin. We also show that iron can be released from the ferritin core in a non-reductive manner. The rate of Fe3+ release from horse spleen ferritin was measured using the Fe3+-specific chelator desferoxamine. We show that iron release occurs by three kinetic events. (2) Disease studies: In order to better understand iron disruption during disease states, we performed in vitro assays that mimicked chronic kidney disease. We tested the hypothesis that elevated levels of serum phosphate interrupted normal iron binding by transferrin and ferritin. Results show that phosphate competes for iron, forming an iron(III)-phosphate complex that is inaccessible to either transferrin or ferritin. Ferritin samples separated from the iron(III)-phosphate complex shows that as the

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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. PMID:26373570

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Crusts: biological

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belnap, Jayne; Elias, Scott A.

    2013-01-01

    Biological soil crusts, a community of cyanobacteria, lichens, mosses, and fungi, are an essential part of dryland ecosystems. They are critical in the stabilization of soils, protecting them from wind and water erosion. Similarly, these soil surface communities also stabilized soils on early Earth, allowing vascular plants to establish. They contribute nitrogen and carbon to otherwise relatively infertile dryland soils, and have a strong influence on hydrologic cycles. Their presence can also influence vascular plant establishment and nutrition.

  4. Biological programming

    OpenAIRE

    Ramsden, Jeremy J.; Bándi, Gergely

    2010-01-01

    Biology offers a tremendous set of concepts that are potentially very powerfully usable for the software engineer, but they have been barely exploited hitherto. In this position paper we propose a fresh attempt to create the building blocks of a programming technology that could be as successful as life. A key guiding principle is to develop and make use of unambiguous definitions of the essential features of life.

  5. THYROID FOLLICULAR CELL CARCINOGENESIS: MECHANISTIC AND SCIENCE POLICY CONSIDERATIONS (SAB REVIEW DRAFT)

    Science.gov (United States)

    A Technical Panel of EPA's Risk Assessment Forum investigated the potential mechanisms of action of agents that cause thyroid follicular tumors in animals and potentially in humans in an effort to develop a scientifically plausible approach for assessing risk due to exposure to t...

  6. Marine biology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. Antioxidant Activity of Marine Algal Polyphenolic Compounds: A Mechanistic Approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernando, I P Shanura; Kim, Misook; Son, Kwang-Tae; Jeong, Yoonhwa; Jeon, You-Jin

    2016-07-01

    Polyphenolic compounds isolated from marine algae exhibit a broad spectrum of beneficial biological properties, including antioxidant, anticancer, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and antidiabetic activities, along with several other bioactivities centered on their antioxidant properties. Consequently, polyphenolic compounds are increasingly being investigated for their potential use in food, cosmetic, and pharmaceutical applications. The antioxidant activities of these compounds have been explored widely through experimental studies. Nonetheless, a theoretical understanding of the structural and electronic properties could broaden research perspectives, leading to the identification and synthesis of efficient structural analogs with prophylactic uses. This review briefly summarizes the current state of knowledge regarding antioxidant polyphenolic compounds in marine algae with an attempt to describe the structure-activity relationship. PMID:27332715

  10. Biological knowledge in the National Curriculum of High School: an historical and philosophical analysis from the statutes of biology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Antônio Fernandes Nascimento Júnior

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available We analyzed the National Curriculum for Secondary Schools with respect to the ontological, epistemological, historical, social and conceptual biology. This study aims to bring information and thinking about the inclusion of history and philosophy of biology for secondary education and for teacher training. We performed an analysis of PCNEM, PCNEM+ and Curriculum Guidelines as a whole from established categories. The results indicate a predominance of the ontological view of mechanistic biology. Epistemologically, although acknowledged, the question of scientific method is rarely discussed. The historical approach and social scientific activity and scientific knowledge are recognized by the documents, but an instrumental view prevails. The conceptual aspects are comprehensive and take into account the theories of structural biology. A philosophical discussion on the biology is missing in the parameters, indicating the need for the inclusion of issues related to ideas of determinism, chance and teleology.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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...

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Management of Inflammation by Natural Polyphenols: A Comprehensive Mechanistic Update.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sarkar, Souvik; Mazumder, Somnath; Saha, Shubhra J; Bandyopadhyay, Uday

    2016-05-27

    Inflammation generates a systemic response against injury or infection from bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens. The welfare of host is the primary target of this process. However, uncontrolled or inadequate regulation of the inflammatory response produces detrimental effects leading to the generation of various chronic disorders including atherosclerosis, type-2 diabetes, neurodegenerative disease, cancer and Alzheimer's disease with severe tissue damage. The exact identity of the inflammatory stimuli is still elusive as they function in multiple pathways; therefore targeting a particular pathway does not resolve the problem. Existing therapeutics targeting the inflammatory responses include steroidal antiinflammatory drugs (SAIDs) and nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). In spite of their numerous beneficial effects, both SAIDs as well as NSAIDs have their independent, unavoidable side effects, which discourage their prolonged therapeutic applications. Since the management of uncontrolled inflammation is critical for the general wellbeing, therefore an alternative source of multi-targeted non-toxic therapeutic intervention is mandatory. Plant-derived phenols constitute such a group of molecules that can be utilised to manage inflammation. They synergistically modulate several important components involved in multiple signalling pathways that regulate uncontrolled inflammation to exhibit their beneficial health effects. This review discusses the recent advances in structure-function activity of some antiinflammatory polyphenols, their bioavailability enhancement, clinical/ preclinical findings with a view to provide knowledge for developing novel antiinflammatory drugs by following system biology of proinflammatory responses with minimal side effects. PMID:27087243

  18. Glycosphingolipid Modification: Structural Diversity, Functional and Mechanistic Integration of Diabetes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tadashi Yamashita

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available Glycosphingolipids (GSLs are present in all mammalian cell plasma membranes and intracellular membrane structures. They are especially concentrated in plasma membrane lipid domains that are specialized for cell signaling. Plasma membranes have typical structures called rafts and caveola domain structures, with large amounts of sphingolipids, cholesterol, and sphingomyelin. GSLs are usually observed in many organs ubiquitously. However, GSLs, including over 400 derivatives, participate in diverse cellular functions. Several studies indicate that GSLs might have an effect on signal transduction related to insulin receptors and epidermal growth factor receptors. GSLs may modulate immune responses by transmitting signals from the exterior to the interior of the cell. Guillain-Barré syndrome is one of the autoimmune disorders characterized by symmetrical weakness in the muscles of the legs. The targets of the immune response are thought to be gangliosides, which are one group of GSLs. Other GSLs may serve as second messengers in several signaling pathways that are important to cell survival or programmed cell death. In the search for clear evidence that GSLs may play critical roles in various biological functions, many researchers have made genetically engineered mice. Before the era of gene manipulation, spontaneous animal models or chemical-induced disease models were used.

  19. Inhibition of insulin fibrillation by osmolytes: Mechanistic insights.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:26616401

  20. Mechanistic model for cuttings removal from solid bed in inclined channels

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ramadan, A.; Skalle, P. [Department of Petroleum Engineering and Applied Geophysics, NTNU, S.P. Andersens vei 15 A, N-7491 Trondheim (Norway); Johansen, S.T. [SINTEF Material Technology, Trondheim (Norway); Svein, J. [SINTEF Industrial Management, Trondheim (Norway); Saasen, A. [Statoil Drilling and Well Fluids, N-4035 Stavanger (Norway)

    2001-09-01

    This paper presents the results and analysis of a set of erosion rate experiments, designed to investigate the removal rate of stationary sand bed particles in an inclined channel. The erosion rate tests of three beds with different bed particle-size ranges show that beds with intermediate average particle size have the maximum erosion rate. The theoretical analysis using a mechanistic model supports this observation. The instantaneous acceleration of bed particles at the beginning of transportation is correlated with particle removal rate. It is shown that the mechanistic model can predict optimum operating parameters to improve the efficiency of hole cleaning.

  1. Enantioselective and Regiodivergent Functionalization of N-Allylcarbamates by Mechanistically Divergent Multicatalysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richmond, Edward; Khan, Ismat Ullah; Moran, Joseph

    2016-08-22

    A pair of mechanistically divergent multicatalytic reaction sequences has been developed consisting of nickel-catalyzed isomerization of N-allylcarbamates and subsequent phosphoric-acid-catalyzed enantioselective functionalization of the resulting intermediates. By appropriate selection of reaction partners, in situ generated imines and ene-carbamates are mechanistically partitioned to yield opposing functionalized products. Formal α-functionalization to give protected α-arylamines is achieved upon enantioselective Friedel-Crafts reaction with arene nucleophiles, whereas formal β-functionalization is achieved upon reaction with diarylimine electrophiles in an enantioselective Povarov-[4+2] cycloaddition. PMID:27461524

  2. A mechanistic model for droplet deposition heat transfer in dispersed flow film boiling

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    A mechanistic droplet deposition model has been developed to quantify the direct contact heat transfer present in dispersed flow film boiling. Lagrangian subscale trajectory calculations utilizing realistic velocity and temperature distributions in the momentum boundary layer are used to determine the number of dispersed droplets able to achieve contact with the heated wall. Coupling the droplet deposition model with a physical direct contact heat transfer coefficient model allows the total direct contact heat transfer to be determined based upon the local vapor mass flux, wall superheat, and vapor superheat. Comparisons to the existing models highlight the more mechanistic nature of the proposed model. (author)

  3. Mechanistic Considerations in the Synthesis of 2-Aryl-Indole Analogues under Bischler-Mohlau Conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacDonough, Matthew T.; Shi, Zhe; Pinney, Kevin G.

    2015-01-01

    Mechanistic insight into the pathway of the Bischler-Mohlau indole formation reaction is provided by isotopic labeling utilizing judicious incorporation of a 13C atom within the α-bromoacetophenone analogue reactant. The resulting rearranged 2-aryl indole, isolated as the major product, located the 13C isotope label at the methine carbon of the fused five-membered heterocyclic ring, which suggested that the mechanistic pathway of cyclization, in this specific example, required two equivalents of the aniline analogue reactant partner and proceeded through an imine intermediate rather than by direct formation of the corresponding 3-aryl indole accompanied by a concomitant 1,2-aryl shift rearrangement. PMID:26973358

  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. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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 < .001), nonmelanoma skin cancer, colorectal cancer, and breast cancer. The results suggest a plausible association between pesticide exposure and cancer occurrence. PMID:25942634

  11. 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.

  12. Treating an artificial catchment as ungauged: Increasing the plausibility of an uncalibrated, process-based SVAT scheme by using additional soft and hard data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bormann, H.

    The 1-D process-based model SIMULAT was applied to the 6 ha large artificial catchment “Chicken Creek” in Lausatia, Germany. Within the framework of a model intercomparison study, data availability was improved step by step, starting from sparse data conditions. Initially, the model was parameterised based on transfer functions (e.g., soil hydraulic properties were estimated from pedotransfer functions) and literature (e.g., plant parameters, boundary conditions), only. Then parameterisation was revised based on field inspection and additional quantitative data (e.g., from point measurements). Finally, soil moisture data were used for validation and calibration purposes. During this parameterisation process, model results became increasingly plausible although calibration and validation against observed discharge were not feasible because discharge data were not available to the modellers. Simulated discharge dynamics changed from an initially base flow-dominated and continuous flow regime to a system in which different flow components contribute similarly to the event-based total discharge, better conforming to the hydrological process understanding with respect to the development of a gully network. Qualitative information (=soft data) gained from a field visit particularly contributed to this improvement in process understanding towards a flow regime dominated by surface runoff, while additional quantitative information on system characteristics rather served the purpose of verifying (or revising) of model parameterisation and defining appropriate initial conditions. An evaluation of simulated surface runoff rates based on event-based discharge information for a subcatchment revealed that the model overestimated the surface runoff generation for all advanced modelling steps. A final validation of model results is not yet feasible as continuous discharge data at the catchment outlet are not available so far. However, the model application indicated that

  13. Creating biological nanomaterials using synthetic biology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Synthetic biology is a new discipline that combines science and engineering approaches to precisely control biological networks. These signaling networks are especially important in fields such as biomedicine and biochemical engineering. Additionally, biological networks can also be critical to the production of naturally occurring biological nanomaterials, and as a result, synthetic biology holds tremendous potential in creating new materials. This review introduces the field of synthetic biology, discusses how biological systems naturally produce materials, and then presents examples and strategies for incorporating synthetic biology approaches in the development of new materials. In particular, strategies for using synthetic biology to produce both organic and inorganic nanomaterials are discussed. Ultimately, synthetic biology holds the potential to dramatically impact biological materials science with significant potential applications in medical systems. (review)

  14. Creating biological nanomaterials using synthetic biology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    MaryJoe K Rice

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Synthetic biology is a new discipline that combines science and engineering approaches to precisely control biological networks. These signaling networks are especially important in fields such as biomedicine and biochemical engineering. Additionally, biological networks can also be critical to the production of naturally occurring biological nanomaterials, and as a result, synthetic biology holds tremendous potential in creating new materials. This review introduces the field of synthetic biology, discusses how biological systems naturally produce materials, and then presents examples and strategies for incorporating synthetic biology approaches in the development of new materials. In particular, strategies for using synthetic biology to produce both organic and inorganic nanomaterials are discussed. Ultimately, synthetic biology holds the potential to dramatically impact biological materials science with significant potential applications in medical systems.

  15. 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.

  16. Hydroxyl and one-electron oxidation mediated reactions of the purine bases of DNA and model compounds: Mechanistic aspects

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cadet, J.; Berger, M.; Buchko, G.W.; Joshi, P.C.; Morin, B.; Raoul, S.; Ravanat, J.L. [CEA/DRFMC/SESAM/LAN, Grenoble (France)

    1995-12-31

    A large body of information is now available on the early events involved in the radiation-induced decomposition of DNA and related compounds in both aqueous solutions and in the solid state. However, despite many efforts devoted to the identification of radiation-induced DNA modifications in the past two decades there is still a paucity of data on the final decomposition products which arise form the fate of initially generated DNA purine radicals, at least, in aqueous aerated solutions. One major exception deals with the characterization of 7,8-dihydro-8-oxo-2{prime}-deoxyguanosine (8-oxodG) within isolated and nuclear DNA upon exposure to ionizing radiation. It should be noted that the biological significance of 8-oxodG 6 as inferred from comprehensive DNA repair and mutagenic studies has been recently assessed. The present survey focuses on recent mechanistic aspects of the decomposition of the guanine moiety of DNA and model compounds as the result of hydroxyl radical and one-electron oxidation reactions in aerated aqueous solutions. In addition, a model system aimed at explaining the radiation-induced formation of DNA-protein crosslinks in aerated aqueous solution is presented.

  17. Assessing Metal Levels in Children from the Mechanistic Indicators of Childhood Asthma(MICA) study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toxic and essential metals levels can be used as health indicators. Here, we quantitatively compare and contrast toxic and essential metals levels in vacuum dust, urine, and fingernail samples of 109 children in Detroit, Michigan as part of The Mechanistic Indicators of Childhood...

  18. 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.

  19. 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…

  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. 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

  2. New Simulation Methods to Facilitate Achieving a Mechanistic Understanding of Basic Pharmacology Principles in the Classroom

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grover, Anita; Lam, Tai Ning; Hunt, C. Anthony

    2008-01-01

    We present a simulation tool to aid the study of basic pharmacology principles. By taking advantage of the properties of agent-based modeling, the tool facilitates taking a mechanistic approach to learning basic concepts, in contrast to the traditional empirical methods. Pharmacodynamics is a particular aspect of pharmacology that can benefit from…

  3. 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…

  4. Estimating enteric methane emissions from Chilean beef fattening systems using a mechanistic model

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Arias, R.A.; Catrileo, A.; Larraín, R.; Vera, R.; Velásquez, A.; Toneatti, M.; France, J.; Dijkstra, J.; Kebreab, E.

    2015-01-01

    A mechanistic model (COWPOLL) was used to estimate enteric methane (CH4) emissions from beef production systems in Chile. The results expressed as a proportion of gross energy intake (GEI) were compared with enteric fermentation data reported in the last Chilean greenhouse gases inventory, which uti

  5. Reactions of functionalized alkenes with sulfur trioxide; mechanistic and synthetic aspects. Doctoral thesis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schonk, R.M.

    1993-01-07

    In the thesis mechanistic studies on the sulfonation of mono-functionalized alkenes, viz. phenylalkenes, naphthylalkenes, alkenoic acids, alkadienes and cycloalkylidenes, mainly with sulfur trioxide are described. The main objective of the studies is to determine the effect of the substituents at the alkene moiety on the formation of the beta-sultones and carbyl sulfates and on their chemistry.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. Mechanistic modelling of fluidized bed drying processes of wet porous granules

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2011-01-01

    Fluidized bed dryers are frequently used in industrial applications and also in the pharmaceutical industry. The general incentives to develop mechanistic models for pharmaceutical processes are listed, and our vision on how this can particularly be done for fluidized bed drying processes of wet ...

  9. 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 ...

  10. 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

  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. Biological Literacy in a College Biology Classroom.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Demastes, Sherry; Wandersee, James H.

    1992-01-01

    Examines the proposed definition of biological literacy as the understanding of a small number of pervasive biological principles appropriate to making informed personal and societal decisions. Utilizes the content of a major daily newspaper to adjust biology instruction to focus on this notion of biological literacy. Discusses benefits and…

  13. 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.

  14. Creating biological nanomaterials using synthetic biology

    OpenAIRE

    MaryJoe K Rice; Ruder, Warren C.

    2014-01-01

    Synthetic biology is a new discipline that combines science and engineering approaches to precisely control biological networks. These signaling networks are especially important in fields such as biomedicine and biochemical engineering. Additionally, biological networks can also be critical to the production of naturally occurring biological nanomaterials, and as a result, synthetic biology holds tremendous potential in creating new materials. This review introduces the field of synthetic bi...

  15. Toward synthesizing executable models in biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fisher, Jasmin; Piterman, Nir; Bodik, Rastislav

    2014-01-01

    Over the last decade, executable models of biological behaviors have repeatedly provided new scientific discoveries, uncovered novel insights, and directed new experimental avenues. These models are computer programs whose execution mechanistically simulates aspects of the cell's behaviors. If the observed behavior of the program agrees with the observed biological behavior, then the program explains the phenomena. This approach has proven beneficial for gaining new biological insights and directing new experimental avenues. One advantage of this approach is that techniques for analysis of computer programs can be applied to the analysis of executable models. For example, one can confirm that a model agrees with experiments for all possible executions of the model (corresponding to all environmental conditions), even if there are a huge number of executions. Various formal methods have been adapted for this context, for example, model checking or symbolic analysis of state spaces. To avoid manual construction of executable models, one can apply synthesis, a method to produce programs automatically from high-level specifications. In the context of biological modeling, synthesis would correspond to extracting executable models from experimental data. We survey recent results about the usage of the techniques underlying synthesis of computer programs for the inference of biological models from experimental data. We describe synthesis of biological models from curated mutation experiment data, inferring network connectivity models from phosphoproteomic data, and synthesis of Boolean networks from gene expression data. While much work has been done on automated analysis of similar datasets using machine learning and artificial intelligence, using synthesis techniques provides new opportunities such as efficient computation of disambiguating experiments, as well as the ability to produce different kinds of models automatically from biological data. PMID:25566538

  16. Towards Synthesizing Executable Models in Biology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jasmin eFisher

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Over the last decade, executable models of biological behaviors have repeatedly provided new scientific discoveries, uncovered novel insights, and directed new experimental avenues. These models are computer programs whose execution mechanistically simulates aspects of the cell’s behaviors. If the observed behavior of the program agrees with the observed biological behavior, then the program explains the phenomena. This approach has proven beneficial for gaining new biological insights and directing new experimental avenues. One advantage of this approach is that techniques for analysis of computer programs can be applied to the analysis of executable models. For example, one can confirm that a model agrees with experiments for all possible executions of the model (corresponding to all environmental conditions, even if there are a huge number of executions. Various formal methods have been adapted for this context, for example, model checking or symbolic analysis of state spaces. To avoid manual construction of executable models, one can apply synthesis, a method to produce programs automatically from high-level specifications. In the context of biological modelling, synthesis would correspond to extracting executable models from experimental data. We survey recent results about the usage of the techniques underlying synthesis of computer programs for the inference of biological models from experimental data. We describe synthesis of biological models from curated mutation experiment data, inferring network connectivity models from phosphoproteomic data, and synthesis of Boolean networks from gene expression data. While much work has been done on automated analysis of similar datasets using machine learning and artificial intelligence, using synthesis techniques provides new opportunities such as efficient computation of disambiguating experiments, as well as the ability to produce different kinds of models automatically from biological data.

  17. More on Grandmother Cells and the Biological Implausibility of PDP Models of Cognition: A Reply to Plaut and McClelland (2010) and Quian Quiroga and Kreiman (2010)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bowers, Jeffrey S.

    2010-01-01

    Plaut and McClelland (2010) and Quian Quiroga and Kreiman both challenged my characterization of localist and distributed representations. They also challenged the biological plausibility of grandmother cells on conceptual and empirical grounds. This reply addresses these issues in turn. The premise of my argument is that grandmother cells in…

  18. 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.

  19. Building phenomenological models of complex biological processes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daniels, Bryan; Nemenman, Ilya

    2009-11-01

    A central goal of any modeling effort is to make predictions regarding experimental conditions that have not yet been observed. Overly simple models will not be able to fit the original data well, but overly complex models are likely to overfit the data and thus produce bad predictions. Modern quantitative biology modeling efforts often err on the complexity side of this balance, using myriads of microscopic biochemical reaction processes with a priori unknown kinetic parameters to model relatively simple biological phenomena. In this work, we show how Bayesian model selection (which is mathematically similar to low temperature expansion in statistical physics) can be used to build coarse-grained, phenomenological models of complex dynamical biological processes, which have better predictive powers than microscopically correct, but poorely constrained mechanistic molecular models. We illustrate this on the example of a multiply-modifiable protein molecule, which is a simplified description of multiple biological systems, such as an immune receptors and an RNA polymerase complex. Our approach is similar in spirit to the phenomenological Landau expansion for the free energy in the theory of critical phenomena.

  20. 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...

  1. A Central Theory of Biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Torday, John S.

    2015-01-01

    The history of physiologic cellular–molecular interrelationships can be traced all the way back to the unicellular state by following the pathway formed by lipids ubiquitously accommodating calcium homeostasis, and its consequent adaptive effects on oxygen uptake by cells, tissues and organs. As a result, a cohesive, mechanistically integrated view of physiology can be formulated by recognizing the continuum comprising conception, development, physiologic homeostasis and death mediated by soluble growth factor signaling. Seeing such seemingly disparate processes as embryogenesis, chronic disease and dying as the gain and subsequent loss of cell–cell signaling provides a novel perspective for physiology and medicine. It is emblematic of the self-organizing, self-referential nature of life, starting from its origins. Such organizing principles obviate the pitfalls of teleologic evolution, conversely providing a way of resolving such seeming dichotomies as holism and reductionism, genotype and phenotype, emergence and contingence, proximate and ultimate causation in evolution, cells and organisms. The proposed approach is scale-free and predictive, offering a Central Theory of Biology. PMID:25911556

  2. Cellular and molecular mechanistic insight into the DNA-damaging potential of few-layer graphene in human primary endothelial cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sasidharan, Abhilash; Swaroop, Siddharth; Chandran, Parwathy; Nair, Shantikumar; Koyakutty, Manzoor

    2016-07-01

    Despite graphene being proposed for a multitude of biomedical applications, there is a dearth in the fundamental cellular and molecular level understanding of how few-layer graphene (FLG) interacts with human primary cells. Herein, using human primary umbilical vein endothelial cells as model of vascular transport, we investigated the basic mechanism underlying the biological behavior of graphene. Mechanistic toxicity studies using a battery of cell based assays revealed an organized oxidative stress paradigm involving cytosolic reactive oxygen stress, mitochondrial superoxide generation, lipid peroxidation, glutathione oxidation, mitochondrial membrane depolarization, enhanced calcium efflux, all leading to cell death by apoptosis/necrosis. We further investigated the effect of graphene interactions using cDNA microarray analysis and identified potential adverse effects by down regulating key genes involved in DNA damage response and repair mechanisms. Single cell gel electrophoresis assay/Comet assay confirmed the DNA damaging potential of graphene towards human primary cells. PMID:26970024

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silva, Pedro J; Rodrigues, Viviana

    2015-01-01

    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 Hg(2+) 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(SCH3)2 may be removed only after

  6. 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.

  7. Mechanistic exploration of a bi-directional PDT-based combination in pancreatic cancer (Conference Presentation)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Huang-Chiao; Mallidi, Srivalleesha; Liu, Joyce; Chiang, Chun-Te; Mai, Zhiming; Goldschmidt, Ruth; Rizvi, Imran; Ebrahim-Zadeh, Neema; Hasan, Tayyaba

    2016-03-01

    It is increasingly evident that the most effective cancer treatments will involve interactive regimens that target multiple non-overlapping pathways, preferably such that each component enhances the others to improve outcomes while minimizing systemic toxicities. Toward this goal, we developed a combination of photodynamic therapy and irinotecan, which mechanistically cooperate with each other, beyond their individual tumor destruction pathways, to cause synergistic reduction in orthotopic pancreatic tumor burden. A three-way mechanistic basis of the observed the synergism will be discussed: (i) PDT downregulates drug efflux transporters to increase intracellular irinotecan levels. (ii) Irinotecan reduces the expression of hypoxia-induced marker, which is upregulated by PDT. (iii) PDT downregulates irinotecan-induced survivin expression to amplify the apoptotic and anti-proliferative effects. The clinical translation potential of the combination will also be highlighted.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  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. 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)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sreeja, V.; Devasia, C. V.; Ravindran, Sudha; Pant, Tarun Kumar

    2009-11-01

    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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

    2016-09-01

    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.

  15. 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

    2015-01-01

    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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. The most plausible explanation of the cyclical period changes in close binaries: the case of the RS CVn-type binary WW Dra

    CERN Document Server

    Liao, W -P

    2010-01-01

    We searched the orbital period changes in 182 EA-type (including the 101 Algol systems used by \\cite{hal89}), 43 EB-type and 53 EW-type binaries with known both the mass ratio and the spectral type of their secondary components. We reproduced and improved the same diagram as Hall's (1989) according to the new collected data. Our plots do not support the conclusion derived by \\cite{hal89} that all cases of cyclical period changes are restricted to binaries having the secondary component with spectral types later than F5. The presence of period changes also among stars with secondary component of early type indicates that the magnetic activity is one cause, but not the only one, for the period variation. It is discovered that cyclic period changes, likely due to the presence of a third body are more frequent in EW-type binaries among close binaries. Therefore, the most plausible explanation of the cyclical period changes is the LTTE via the presence of a third body. By using the century-long historical record o...

  19. Biological effects of radiation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This fourth chapter presents: cell structure and metabolism; radiation interaction with biological tissues; steps of the production of biological effect of radiation; radiosensitivity of tissues; classification of biological effects; reversibility, transmissivity and influence factors; pre-natal biological effects; biological effects in therapy and syndrome of acute irradiation

  20. Radiation physics, biophysics, and radiation biology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Research at the Radiological Research Laboratory is a blend of physics, chemistry, and biology, involving research at the basic level with the admixture of a small proportion of pragmatic or applied research in support of radiation protection and/or radiotherapy. Current research topics include: oncogenic transformation assays, mutation studies involving interactions between radiation and environmental contaminants, isolation, characterization and sequencing of a human repair gene, characterization of a dominant transforming gene found in C3H 10T1/2 cells, characterize ab initio the interaction of DNA and radiation, refine estimates of the radiation quality factor Q, a new mechanistic model of oncogenesis showing the role of long-term low dose medium LET radiation, and time dependent modeling of radiation induced chromosome damage and subsequent repair or misrepair

  1. Epithelial apoptosis in mechanistically distinct methods of injury in the murine small intestine

    OpenAIRE

    Vyas, D.; Robertson, C M; Stromberg, P.E.; J. R. Martin; Dunne, W. M.; Houchen, C.W.; Barrett, T A; Ayala, A; Perl, M.; Buchman, T G; Coopersmith, C.M.

    2007-01-01

    Gut epithelial apoptosis is involved in the pathophysiology of multiple diseases. This study characterized intestinal apoptosis in three mechanistically distinct injuries with different kinetics of cell death. FVB/N mice were subjected to gamma radiation, Pseudomonas aeruginosa pneumonia or injection of monoclonal anti-CD3 antibody and sacrificed 4, 12, or 24 hours post-injury (n=10/time point). Apoptosis was quantified in the jejunum by hematoxylin and eosin (H&E), active caspase-3, terminal...

  2. Mechanistic insights on immunosenescence and chronic immune activation in HIV-tuberculosis co-infection

    OpenAIRE

    Esaki M Shankar; Velu, Vijayakumar; Kamarulzaman, Adeeba; Larsson, Marie

    2015-01-01

    Immunosenescence is marked by accelerated degradation of host immune responses leading to the onset of opportunistic infections, where senescent T cells show remarkably higher ontogenic defects as compared to healthy T cells. The mechanistic association between T-cell immunosenescence and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) disease progression, and functional T-cell responses in HIV-tuberculosis (HIV-TB) co-infection remains to be elaborately discussed. Here, we discussed the association of im...

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

    OpenAIRE

    Wanren Chen; Xiang Gui; Hua Li

    2015-01-01

    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 obtai...

  4. Telomere extension by telomerase and ALT generates variant repeats by mechanistically distinct processes

    OpenAIRE

    Lee, Michael; Hills, Mark; Conomos, Dimitri; Stutz, Michael D.; Dagg, Rebecca A.; Lau, Loretta M. S.; Reddel, Roger R; Hilda A Pickett

    2013-01-01

    Telomeres are terminal repetitive DNA sequences on chromosomes, and are considered to comprise almost exclusively hexameric TTAGGG repeats. We have evaluated telomere sequence content in human cells using whole-genome sequencing followed by telomere read extraction in a panel of mortal cell strains and immortal cell lines. We identified a wide range of telomere variant repeats in human cells, and found evidence that variant repeats are generated by mechanistically distinct processes during te...

  5. Mars mechanistic film-splitting and dryout model in annulus geometry

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Annular flow in annulus geometry is characterized as two liquid films flowing along the inner heated rod and outer unheated walls. Critical heat flux (CHF) occurs when the liquid film on the inner heated wall dries out, while there still exists the liquid film on the outer cold wall. In the MARS code, film dryout is calculated by a mechanistic model or CHF table look-up method. The mechanistic film dryout is modeled using a complex function of film flow rate, applied heat flux and entrainment/deposition rate, etc. and is determined by the hydrodynamic solution. The table look-up method interpolates the AECL-UO CHF table. However, both models were not able to distinguish the liquid films on the cold and hot surfaces in a calculation cell, that is, the cold wall effect. This resulted in over-estimation of the calculated CHF in the single-channel modeling of annulus geometry, which necessitated a new model that could consider the cold wall effect mechanistically in the single-channel modeling. In order to consider the cold wall effect, a mechanistic film splitting model has been developed for MARS implementation, in which the inner and outer liquid film fractions are solved analytically by introducing a maximum velocity plane concept in the vapor core. In addition, the droplet entrainment and deposition models and the transition criterion for the annular flow regime are improved in order to enhance code accuracy. The new MARS version has been assessed using the KAERI annulus CHF tests and the results shows enhanced agreement with the experimental data

  6. A mechanistic description of the formation and evolution of vegetation patterns

    OpenAIRE

    R. Foti; Ramírez, J. A.

    2013-01-01

    Vegetation patterns are a common and well-defined characteristic of many landscapes. In this paper we explore some of the physical mechanisms responsible for the establishment of self-organized, non-random vegetation patterns that arise at the hillslope scale in many areas of the world, especially in arid and semi-arid regions. In doing so, we provide a fundamental mechanistic understanding of the dynamics of vegetation pattern formation and development. Reciprocal effects of vegetation on th...

  7. Asphalt Materials Characterization in Support of Implementation of the Proposed Mechanistic-Empirical Pavement Design Guide

    OpenAIRE

    Flintsch, Gerardo W.; Loulizi, Amara; Stacey D. Diefenderfer; Khaled A. Galal; Diefenderfer, Brian K.

    2007-01-01

    The proposed Mechanistic-Empirical Pavement Design Guide (MEPDG) procedure is an improved methodology for pavement design and evaluation of paving materials. Since this new procedure depends heavily on the characterization of the fundamental engineering properties of paving materials, a thorough material characterization of mixes used in Virginia is needed to use the MEPDG to design new and rehabilitated flexible pavements. The primary objective of this project was to perform a full hot-mix a...

  8. Estimating enteric methane emissions from Chilean beef fattening systems using a mechanistic model

    OpenAIRE

    Arias, RA; Catrileo, A; Larraín, R; Vera, R; Velásquez, A.; Toneatti, M; France, J; Dijkstra, J.; Kebreab, E.

    2015-01-01

    Copyright © 2014 Cambridge University Press. A mechanistic model (COWPOLL) was used to estimate enteric methane (CH4) emissions from beef production systems in Chile. The results expressed as a proportion of gross energy intake (GEI) were compared with enteric fermentation data reported in the last Chilean greenhouse gases inventory, which utilized an earlier the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Tier 2 approach. The simulation analysis was based on information from feedstuffs, dry ma...

  9. Mechanistic Modeling Reveals the Critical Knowledge Gaps in Bile Acid–Mediated DILI

    OpenAIRE

    Woodhead, J L; Yang, K.; Brouwer, K L R; Siler, S. Q.; Stahl, S H; Ambroso, J L; Baker, D; Watkins, P B; Howell, B A

    2014-01-01

    Bile salt export pump (BSEP) inhibition has been proposed to be an important mechanism for drug-induced liver injury (DILI). Modeling can prioritize knowledge gaps concerning bile acid (BA) homeostasis and thus help guide experimentation. A submodel of BA homeostasis in rats and humans was constructed within DILIsym, a mechanistic model of DILI. In vivo experiments in rats with glibenclamide were conducted, and data from these experiments were used to validate the model. The behavior of DILIs...

  10. 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.

  11. 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. PMID:16224691

  12. 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.

  13. Mechanistic insight into gramicidin-based detection of protein-ligand interactions via sensitized photoinactivation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rokitskaya, Tatyana I; Kotova, Elena A; Antonenko, Yuri N [Belozersky Institute of Physico-Chemical Biology, Moscow State University, Moscow 119991 (Russian Federation); Macrae, Michael X; Blake, Steven; Yang, Jerry [Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of California, San Diego, 9500 Gilman Drive, MC 0358, La Jolla, CA 92093-0358 (United States); Egorova, Natalya S, E-mail: jerryyang@ucsd.ed, E-mail: antonen@genebee.msu.s [Shemyakin-Ovchinnikov Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry, Russian Academy of Sciences, 117871 Moscow (Russian Federation)

    2010-11-17

    Among the many challenges for the development of ion channel-based sensors is the poor understanding of how to engineer modified transmembrane pores with tailored functionality that can respond to external stimuli. Here, we use the method of sensitized photoinactivation of gramicidin A (gA) channels in planar bilayer lipid membranes to help elucidate the underlying mechanistic details for changes in macroscopic transmembrane ionic current observed upon interaction of C-terminally attached gA ligands with specific proteins in solution. Three different systems were studied: (i) carbonic anhydrase (CA) and gA-sulfonamide, (ii) PSD-95 protein (belonging to the 'PDZ domain-containing protein') and a gA analog carrying the KGGHRRSARYLESSV peptide sequence at the C-terminus, and (iii) an anti-biotin antibody and gA-biotin. The results challenge a previously proposed mechanistic hypothesis suggesting that protein-induced current suppression is due to steric blockage of the ion passage through gA channels, while they reveal new insight for consideration in alternative mechanistic models. Additionally, we demonstrate that the length of a linker between the ligand and the gA channel may be less important for gramicidin-based detection of monovalent compared to multivalent protein-ligand interactions. These studies collectively shed new light on the mechanism of protein-induced current alterations in bilayer recordings of gA derivatives, which may be important in the design of new gramicidin-based sensors.

  14. Mechanistic insight into gramicidin-based detection of protein-ligand interactions via sensitized photoinactivation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rokitskaya, Tatyana I.; Macrae, Michael X.; Blake, Steven; Egorova, Natalya S.; Kotova, Elena A.; Yang, Jerry; Antonenko, Yuri N.

    2010-11-01

    Among the many challenges for the development of ion channel-based sensors is the poor understanding of how to engineer modified transmembrane pores with tailored functionality that can respond to external stimuli. Here, we use the method of sensitized photoinactivation of gramicidin A (gA) channels in planar bilayer lipid membranes to help elucidate the underlying mechanistic details for changes in macroscopic transmembrane ionic current observed upon interaction of C-terminally attached gA ligands with specific proteins in solution. Three different systems were studied: (i) carbonic anhydrase (CA) and gA-sulfonamide, (ii) PSD-95 protein (belonging to the 'PDZ domain-containing protein') and a gA analog carrying the KGGHRRSARYLESSV peptide sequence at the C-terminus, and (iii) an anti-biotin antibody and gA-biotin. The results challenge a previously proposed mechanistic hypothesis suggesting that protein-induced current suppression is due to steric blockage of the ion passage through gA channels, while they reveal new insight for consideration in alternative mechanistic models. Additionally, we demonstrate that the length of a linker between the ligand and the gA channel may be less important for gramicidin-based detection of monovalent compared to multivalent protein-ligand interactions. These studies collectively shed new light on the mechanism of protein-induced current alterations in bilayer recordings of gA derivatives, which may be important in the design of new gramicidin-based sensors.

  15. The role of biological fertility in predicting family size

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Joffe, M; Key, J; Best, N;

    2009-01-01

    BACKGROUND: It is plausible that a couple's ability to achieve the desired number of children is limited by biological fertility, especially if childbearing is postponed. Family size has declined and semen quality may have deteriorated in much of Europe, although studies have found an increase...... rather than a decrease in couple fertility. METHODS: Using four high-quality European datasets, we took the reported time to pregnancy (TTP) as the predictor variable; births reported as following contraceptive failure were an additional category. The outcome variable was final or near-final family size...... for the first child. CONCLUSIONS: Within the limits of the available data quality, family size appears to be predicted by biological fertility, even after adjustment for maternal age, if the woman was at least 20 years old when the couple's first attempt at conception started. The contribution of behavioural...

  16. 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.

  17. Can biological complexity be reverse engineered?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Green, Sara

    2015-10-01

    Concerns with the use of engineering approaches in biology have recently been raised. I examine two related challenges to biological research that I call the synchronic and diachronic underdetermination problem. The former refers to challenges associated with the inference of design principles underlying system capacities when the synchronic relations between lower-level processes and higher-level systems capacities are degenerate (many-to-many). The diachronic underdetermination problem regards the problem of reverse engineering a system where the non-linear relations between system capacities and lower-level mechanisms are changing over time. Braun and Marom argue that recent insights to biological complexity leave the aim of reverse engineering hopeless - in principle as well as in practice. While I support their call for systemic approaches to capture the dynamic nature of living systems, I take issue with the conflation of reverse engineering with naïve reductionism. I clarify how the notion of design principles can be more broadly conceived and argue that reverse engineering is compatible with a dynamic view of organisms. It may even help to facilitate an integrated account that bridges the gap between mechanistic and systems approaches.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. Complexity, Post-genomic Biology and Gene Expression Programs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Rohan B. H.; Luo, Oscar Junhong

    Gene expression represents the fundamental phenomenon by which information encoded in a genome is utilised for the overall biological objectives of the organism. Understanding this level of information transfer is therefore essential for dissecting the mechanistic basis of form and function of organisms. We survey recent developments in the methodology of the life sciences that is relevant for understanding the organisation and function of the genome and review our current understanding of the regulation of gene expression, and finally, outline some new approaches that may be useful in understanding the organisation of gene regulatory systems.

  1. 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.

  2. Impact of Overweight Traffic on Pavement Life Using Weigh-In-Motion Data and Mechanistic-Empirical Pavement Analysis

    OpenAIRE

    Wang, Hao; Zhao, Jingnan; Wang, Zilong

    2015-01-01

    The objective of this study is to evaluate the impact of overweight traffic on pavement life using mechanistic-empirical analysis approach. The state-of-practice mechanistic-empirical pavement design and analysis software (Pavement-ME) was used to predict pavement life under different traffic loading scenarios. Field performance data at the sites where the WIM data were collected were analyzed to estimate the pavement service life at field condition. The pavement structures considered in the ...

  3. Follicular-fluid anti-Mullerian hormone (FF AMH is a plausible biochemical indicator of functional viability of oocyte in conventional in vitro fertilization (IVF cycles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bindu N Mehta

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Context: Oocyte quality may be a governing factor in influencing in vitro fertilization (IVF outcomes. However, morphological evaluation of oocyte quality is difficult in conventional IVF cycles. Follicular-fluid (FF, the site for oocyte growth and development, has not yet been sufficiently explored to obtain a marker indicative of oocyte quality. Anti-Mullerian hormone (AMH is produced by granulosa cells of preantral and early-antral follicles and is released in FF. Aim: To investigate AMH as a biochemical indicator of functional viability/quality of oocyte produced in the FF micro-environmental milieu. Settings and Design: Prospective study involving 132 cycles of conventional IVF-embryo transfer (ET in infertile women. Subjects and Methods: AMH concentration was estimated in pooled FF on day of oocyte pickup. Cycles were sorted into low and high groups according to median (50 th centile values of measurement. Main outcome measure was oocyte viability, which included morphological assessment of oocyte quality, fertilization rate, clinical pregnancy, and implantation rates. Statistical Analysis: Graph-pad Prism 5 statistical package. Results: Low FF AMH group shows significantly higher percentage of top-quality oocytes (65.08 ± 24.88 vs. 50.18 ± 25.01%, P =0.0126, fertilization (83.65 ± 18.38 vs. 75.78 ± 21.02%, P =0.0171, clinical pregnancy (57.57 vs. 16.67%, P <0.0001, and embryo implantation rates (29.79 vs. 7.69%, P <0.0001 compared to high FF AMH group. FF AMH shares an inverse correlation with FF E2 (Pearson r = −0.43, r 2 = 0.18 and clinical pregnancy (Pearson r = −0.46, r 2 = 0.21. Threshold value of FF AMH for pregnancy is <1.750 ng/mg protein. Conclusion: FF AMH is a plausible biochemical indicator of functional viability of oocyte in conventional IVF cycles.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. Pictures of Synthetic Biology

    OpenAIRE

    Cserer, Amelie; Seiringer, Alexandra

    2009-01-01

    This article is concerned with the representation of Synthetic Biology in the media and by biotechnology experts. An analysis was made of German-language media articles published between 2004 and 2008, and interviews with biotechnology-experts at the Synthetic Biology conference SB 3.0 in Zurich 2007. The results have been reflected in terms of the definition of Synthetic Biology, applications of Synthetic Biology and the perspectives of opportunities and risks. In the media, Synthetic Biolog...

  9. Computational Systems Chemical Biology

    OpenAIRE

    Oprea, Tudor I.; May, Elebeoba E.; Leitão, Andrei; Tropsha, Alexander

    2011-01-01

    There is a critical need for improving the level of chemistry awareness in systems biology. The data and information related to modulation of genes and proteins by small molecules continue to accumulate at the same time as simulation tools in systems biology and whole body physiologically-based pharmacokinetics (PBPK) continue to evolve. We called this emerging area at the interface between chemical biology and systems biology systems chemical biology, SCB (Oprea et al., 2007).

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

    OpenAIRE

    Maiwald Thomas; Bellomo Domenico; Menolascina Filippo; Bevilacqua Vitoantonio; Ciminelli Caterina; Paradiso Angelo; Tommasi Stefania

    2009-01-01

    Abstract Background Mechanistic models are becoming more and more popular in Systems Biology; identification and control of models underlying biochemical pathways of interest in oncology is a primary goal in this field. Unfortunately the scarce availability of data still limits our understanding of the intrinsic characteristics of complex pathologies like cancer: acquiring information for a system understanding of complex reaction networks is time consuming and expensive. Stimulus response ex...

  11. Radiation physics, biophysics and radiation biology. Progress report, October 1, 1982-November 1983

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    A wide range of research is carried out at the Radiological Research Laboratory, from computer simulation of particle tracks to the determination of oncogenic transformation in mammalian cells. Mechanistic studies remain the central mission in an attempt to understand the biological action of ionizing radiations. Collaborative research is carried out on the use of radiosensitizers on chemosensitizers on the effect of hormones on oncogenic transformation and on cataractogenesis

  12. Calibrating mechanistic-empirical pavement performance models with an expert matrix

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tighe, S.; AlAssar, R.; Haas, R. [Waterloo Univ., ON (Canada). Dept. of Civil Engineering; Zhiwei, H. [Stantec Consulting Ltd., Cambridge, ON (Canada)

    2001-07-01

    Proper management of pavement infrastructure requires pavement performance modelling. For the past 20 years, the Ontario Ministry of Transportation has used the Ontario Pavement Analysis of Costs (OPAC) system for pavement design. Pavement needs, however, have changed substantially during that time. To address this need, a new research contract is underway to enhance the model and verify the predictions, particularly at extreme points such as low and high traffic volume pavement design. This initiative included a complete evaluation of the existing OPAC pavement design method, the construction of a new set of pavement performance prediction models, and the development of the flexible pavement design procedure that incorporates reliability analysis. The design was also expanded to include rigid pavement designs and modification of the existing life cycle cost analysis procedure which includes both the agency cost and road user cost. Performance prediction and life-cycle costs were developed based on several factors, including material properties, traffic loads and climate. Construction and maintenance schedules were also considered. The methodology for the calibration and validation of a mechanistic-empirical flexible pavement performance model was described. Mechanistic-empirical design methods combine theory based design such as calculated stresses, strains or deflections with empirical methods, where a measured response is associated with thickness and pavement performance. Elastic layer analysis was used to determine pavement response to determine the most effective design using cumulative Equivalent Single Axle Loads (ESALs), below grade type and layer thickness.The new mechanistic-empirical model separates the environment and traffic effects on performance. This makes it possible to quantify regional differences between Southern and Northern Ontario. In addition, roughness can be calculated in terms of the International Roughness Index or Riding comfort Index

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. Advancements in the mechanistic understanding of the copper-catalyzed azide–alkyne cycloaddition

    OpenAIRE

    Regina Berg; Straub, Bernd F.

    2013-01-01

    The copper-catalyzed azide–alkyne cycloaddition (CuAAC) is one of the most broadly applicable and easy-to-handle reactions in the arsenal of organic chemistry. However, the mechanistic understanding of this reaction has lagged behind the plethora of its applications for a long time. As reagent mixtures of copper salts and additives are commonly used in CuAAC reactions, the structure of the catalytically active species itself has remained subject to speculation, which can be attributed to the ...

  16. Determining the enantioselectivity of chiral catalysts - mass spectrometry as a mechanistic and screening tool

    OpenAIRE

    Bächle, Florian

    2014-01-01

    This thesis is focused on the application of ESI-MS as a screening method and mechanistic tool for organocatalyzed reactions. In previous studies cationic metal complexes or iminium ions were the key intermediates to be detected by ESI-MS analysis. Due to the high sensitivity of ESI-MS for ionic species these intermediates were easily detected even at the very low concentrations (10-5-10-2 M) commonly present in a catalytic cycle. However, processes with neutral intermediates are of course ve...

  17. 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

  18. Mechanistic modeling of thermal-mechanical deformation of CANDU pressure tube under localized high temperature condition

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Thermal strain deformation is a pressure tube failure mechanism. The main objective of this paper is to develop mechanistic models to evaluate local thermal-mechanical deformation of a pressure tube in CANDU reactor and to investigate fuel channel integrity under localized contact between fuel elements and pressure tube. The consequence of concern is potential creep strain failure of a pressure tube and calandria tube. The initial focus will be on the case where a fuel rod contacts the pressure tube at full power with highly cooling condition

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

    OpenAIRE

    Smith, Gregory R.; Birtwistle, Marc R.

    2016-01-01

    A main application for mRNA sequencing (mRNAseq) is determining lists of differentially-expressed genes (DEGs) between two or more conditions. Several software packages exist to produce DEGs from mRNAseq data, but they typically yield different DEGs, sometimes markedly so. The underlying probability model used to describe mRNAseq data is central to deriving DEGs, and not surprisingly most softwares use different models and assumptions to analyze mRNAseq data. Here, we propose a mechanistic ju...

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Combined experimental and theoretical mechanistic investigation of the Barbier allylation in aqueous media

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dam, Johan Hygum; Fristrup, Peter; Madsen, Robert

    2008-01-01

    -determining step. For Zn, In, Sn, Sb, and Bi, an inverse secondary kinetic isotope effect was found (k(H)/k(D) = 0.75-0.95), which was compatible with the formation of a discrete organometallic species prior to allylation via a closed six-membered transition state. With Mg, a significantly larger build...... with the effect of solvent described by a polarized continuum model. The calculated secondary deuterium isotope effects based on this mechanism were found to be in good agreement with experimental values, thus adding further support to this mechanistic scenario....

  4. 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.

  5. Synthetic and Mechanistic Studies of Strained Heterocycle Opening Reactions Mediated by Zirconium(IV) Imido Complexes

    OpenAIRE

    Blum, Suzanne A.; Rivera, Vicki A.; Ruck, Rebecca T.; Michael, Forrest E.; Bergman, Robert G.

    2005-01-01

    The reactions of the bis(cyclopentadienyl)(tert-butylimido)zirconium complex (Cp2Zr=N-t-Bu)(THF) (1) with epoxides, aziridines, and episulfides were investigated. Heterocycles without accessible β-hydrogens undergo insertion/protonation of the C–X bond to produce 1,2-amino alcohols (X = O) and 1,2-diamines (X = NR), whereas heterocycles with accessible β-hydrogens undergo elimination/protonation to produce allylic alcohols (X = O) and allylic sulfides (X = S). Mechanistic investigations suppo...

  6. 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)

  7. Exploring BSEP Inhibition-Mediated Toxicity with a Mechanistic Model of Drug-Induced Liver Injury

    OpenAIRE

    Woodhead, Jeffrey L; Kyunghee eYang; Siler, Scott Q.; Paul Brent Watkins; Brouwer, Kim L.R.; Barton, Hugh A.; Howell, Brett A.

    2014-01-01

    Inhibition of the bile salt export pump (BSEP) has been linked to incidence of drug-induced liver injury (DILI), presumably by the accumulation of toxic bile acids in the liver. We have previously constructed and validated a model of bile acid disposition within DILIsym®, a mechanistic model of DILI. In this paper, we use DILIsym® to simulate the DILI response of the hepatotoxic BSEP inhibitors bosentan and CP-724,714 and the non-hepatotoxic BSEP inhibitor telmisartan in humans in order to ex...

  8. Exploring BSEP inhibition-mediated toxicity with a mechanistic model of drug-induced liver injury

    OpenAIRE

    Woodhead, Jeffrey L; Yang, Kyunghee; Siler, Scott Q.; Watkins, Paul B.; Brouwer, Kim L.R.; Barton, Hugh A.; Howell, Brett A.

    2014-01-01

    Inhibition of the bile salt export pump (BSEP) has been linked to incidence of drug-induced liver injury (DILI), presumably by the accumulation of toxic bile acids in the liver. We have previously constructed and validated a model of bile acid disposition within DILIsym®, a mechanistic model of DILI. In this paper, we use DILIsym® to simulate the DILI response of the hepatotoxic BSEP inhibitors bosentan and CP-724,714 and the non-hepatotoxic BSEP inhibitor telmisartan in humans in order to ex...

  9. GLUT, SGLT, and SWEET: Structural and mechanistic investigations of the glucose transporters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deng, Dong; Yan, Nieng

    2016-03-01

    Glucose is the primary fuel to life on earth. Cellular uptake of glucose is a fundamental process for metabolism, growth, and homeostasis. Three families of secondary glucose transporters have been identified in human, including the major facilitator superfamily glucose facilitators GLUTs, the sodium-driven glucose symporters SGLTs, and the recently identified SWEETs. Structures of representative members or their prokaryotic homologs of all three families were obtained. This review focuses on the recent advances in the structural elucidation of the glucose transporters and the mechanistic insights derived from these structures, including the molecular basis for substrate recognition, alternating access, and stoichiometric coupling of co-transport. PMID:26650681

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Comparison of Two-Phase Pipe Flow in OpenFOAM with a Mechanistic Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shuard, Adrian M.; Mahmud, Hisham B.; King, Andrew J.

    2016-03-01

    Two-phase pipe flow is a common occurrence in many industrial applications such as power generation and oil and gas transportation. Accurate prediction of liquid holdup and pressure drop is of vast importance to ensure effective design and operation of fluid transport systems. In this paper, a Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) study of a two-phase flow of air and water is performed using OpenFOAM. The two-phase solver, interFoam is used to identify flow patterns and generate values of liquid holdup and pressure drop, which are compared to results obtained from a two-phase mechanistic model developed by Petalas and Aziz (2002). A total of 60 simulations have been performed at three separate pipe inclinations of 0°, +10° and -10° respectively. A three dimensional, 0.052m diameter pipe of 4m length is used with the Shear Stress Transport (SST) k - ɷ turbulence model to solve the turbulent mixtures of air and water. Results show that the flow pattern behaviour and numerical values of liquid holdup and pressure drop compare reasonably well to the mechanistic model.

  14. A mechanistic description of the formation and evolution of vegetation patterns

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. Foti

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available Vegetation patterns are a common and well-defined characteristic of many landscapes. In this paper we explore some of the physical mechanisms responsible for the establishment of self-organized, non-random vegetation patterns that arise at the hillslope scale in many areas of the world, especially in arid and semi-arid regions. In doing so, we provide a fundamental mechanistic understanding of the dynamics of vegetation pattern formation and development. Reciprocal effects of vegetation on the hillslope thermodynamics, runoff production and run-on infiltration, root density, surface albedo and soil moisture content are analyzed. In particular, we: (1 present a physically based mechanistic description of processes leading to vegetation pattern formation; (2 quantify the relative impact of each process on pattern formation; and (3 describe the relationships between vegetation patterns and the climatic, hydraulic and topographic characteristics of the system. We validate the model by comparing simulations with observed natural patterns in the areas of Niger near Niamey and Somalia near Garoowe. Our analyses suggest that the phenomenon of pattern formation is primarily driven by run-on infiltration and mechanisms of facilitation/inhibition among adjacent vegetation groups mediated by vegetation effects on soil properties and controls on soil moisture and albedo. Nonetheless, even in presence of those mechanisms, patterns arise only when the climatic conditions, particularly annual precipitation and net radiation, are favorable.

  15. A mechanistic description of the formation and evolution of vegetation patterns

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. Foti

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Vegetation patterns are a common and well-defined characteristic of many landscapes. In this paper we explore some of the physical mechanisms responsible for the establishment of self-organized, non-random vegetation patterns that arise at the hillslope scale in many areas of the world, especially in arid and semi-arid regions. In doing so, we provide a fundamental mechanistic understanding of the dynamics of vegetation pattern formation and development. Reciprocal effects of vegetation on the hillslope thermodynamics, runoff production and run-on infiltration, root density, surface albedo and soil moisture content are analyzed. In particular, we: (1 present a physically based mechanistic description of processes leading to vegetation pattern formation; (2 quantify the relative impact of each process on pattern formation; and (3 describe the relationships between vegetation patterns and the climatic, hydraulic and topographic characteristics of the system. We validate the model by comparing simulations with observed natural patterns in the areas of Niger near Niamey and Somalia near Garoowe. Our analyses suggest that the phenomenon of pattern formation is primarily driven by run-on infiltration and mechanisms of facilitation/inhibition among adjacent vegetation groups, mediated by vegetation effects on soil properties and controls on soil moisture and albedo. Nonetheless, even in presence of those mechanisms, patterns arise only when the climatic conditions, particularly annual precipitation and net radiation, are favorable.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Coupling of terminal alkynes and isonitriles by organo-actinide complexes: Scope and mechanistic insights

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The coupling reaction of terminal alkynes with several isonitriles, catalyzed by the neutral organo-actinide complexes Cp*2AnMe2 (Cp* = C5Me5, An = Th, U) or the cationic complex [(Et2N)3U][BPh4], yielded substituted α, β-acetylenic aldimines, in good to excellent yields. The reaction proceeded via a 1,1-insertion of the isonitrile carbon into a metal-acetylide bond, followed by a protonolysis by the acidic proton of the terminal alkyne. Additional insertion products were obtained by altering the catalyst and the reactant ratios. A plausible mechanism for the catalytic reaction is also presented, based on kinetics measurements and thermodynamic studies of the coupling reaction with Cp*2ThMe2 or [(Et2N)3U][BPh4] as catalysts. The reaction is first-order in catalyst and isonitrile and zero-order in alkyne. (authors)

  20. Diverse evolutionary roots and mechanistic variations of the CRISPR-Cas systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mohanraju, Prarthana; Makarova, Kira S; Zetsche, Bernd; Zhang, Feng; Koonin, Eugene V; van der Oost, John

    2016-08-01

    Adaptive immunity had been long thought of as an exclusive feature of animals. However, the discovery of the CRISPR-Cas defense system, present in almost half of prokaryotic genomes, proves otherwise. Because of the everlasting parasite-host arms race, CRISPR-Cas has rapidly evolved through horizontal transfer of complete loci or individual modules, resulting in extreme structural and functional diversity. CRISPR-Cas systems are divided into two distinct classes that each consist of three types and multiple subtypes. We discuss recent advances in CRISPR-Cas research that reveal elaborate molecular mechanisms and provide for a plausible scenario of CRISPR-Cas evolution. We also briefly describe the latest developments of a wide range of CRISPR-based applications. PMID:27493190