WorldWideScience

Sample records for biologically relevant environment

  1. Stable organic field-effect transistors for continuous and nondestructive sensing of chemical and biologically relevant molecules in aqueous environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yun, Minseong; Sharma, Asha; Fuentes-Hernandez, Canek; Hwang, Do Kyung; Dindar, Amir; Singh, Sanjeev; Choi, Sangmoo; Kippelen, Bernard

    2014-02-12

    The use of organic field-effect transistors (OFETs) as sensors in aqueous media has gained increased attention for environmental monitoring and medical diagnostics. However, stable operation of OFETs in aqueous media is particularly challenging because of electrolytic hydrolysis of water, high ionic conduction through the analyte, and irreversible damage of organic semiconductors when exposed to water. To date, OFET sensors have shown the capability of label-free sensing of various chemical/biological species, but they could only be used once because their operational stability and lifetime while operating in aqueous environments has been poor, and their response times typically slow. Here, we report on OFETs with unprecedented water stability. These OFETs are suitable for the implementation of reusable chemical/biological sensors because they primarily respond to charged species diluted in an aqueous media by rapidly shifting their threshold voltage. These OFET sensors present stable current baselines and saturated signals which are ideal for detection of low concentration of small or large molecules that alter the pH of an aqueous environment. The overall response of these OFET sensors paves the way for the development of continuous chemical/biological nondestructive sensor applications in aqueous media.

  2. Biology relevant to space radiation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fry, R.J.M.

    1996-01-01

    The biological effects of the radiations to which mankind on earth are exposed are becoming known with an increasing degree of detail. This knowledge is the basis of the estimates of risk that, in turn, fosters a comprehensive and evolving radiation protection system. The substantial body of information has been, and is being, applied to questions about the biological effects of radiation is space and the associated risk estimates. The purpose of this paper is not to recount all the biological effect of radiation but to concentrate on those that may occur as a result from exposure to the radiations encountered in space. In general, the biological effects of radiation in space are the same as those on earth. However, the evidence that the effects on certain tissues by the heaviest-charged particles can be interpreted on the basis of our knowledge about other high-LET radiation is equivocal. This specific question will be discussed in greater detail later. It is important to point out the that there are only limited data about the effects on humans of two components of the radiations in space, namely protons and heavy ions. Thus predictions of effects on space crews are based on experimental systems exposed on earth at rates and fluences that are higher than those in space and one the effects of gamma or x rays with estimates of the equivalent doses using quality factors

  3. Biology relevant to space radiation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fry, R.J.M.

    1997-01-01

    There are only very limited data on the health effects to humans from the two major components of the radiations in space, namely protons and heavy ions. As a result, predictions of the accompanying effects must be based either on (1) data generated through studies of experimental systems exposed on earth at rates and fluences higher than those in space, or (2) extrapolations from studies of gamma and x rays. Better information is needed about the doses, dose rates, and the energy and LET spectra of the radiations at the organ level that are anticipated to be encountered during extended space missions. In particular, there is a need for better estimates of the relationship between radiation quality and biological effects. In the case of deterministic effects, it is the threshold that is important. The possibility of the occurrence of a large solar particle event (SPE) requires that such effects be considered during extended space missions. Analyses suggest, however, that it is feasible to provide sufficient shielding so as to reduce such effects to acceptable levels, particularly if the dose rates can be limited. If these analyses prove correct, the primary biological risks will be the stochastic effects (latent cancer induction). The contribution of one large SPE to the risk of stochastic effects while undesirable will not be large in comparison to the potential total dose on a mission of long duration

  4. Biology, Genetics, and Environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wall, Tamara L.; Luczak, Susan E.; Hiller-Sturmhöfel, Susanne

    2016-01-01

    Gene variants encoding several of the alcohol-metabolizing enzymes, alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) and aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH), are among the largest genetic associations with risk for alcohol dependence. Certain genetic variants (i.e., alleles)—particularly the ADH1B*2, ADH1B*3, ADH1C*1, and ALDH2*2 alleles—have been associated with lower rates of alcohol dependence. These alleles may lead to an accumulation of acetaldehyde during alcohol metabolism, which can result in heightened subjective and objective effects. The prevalence of these alleles differs among ethnic groups; ADH1B*2 is found frequently in northeast Asians and occasionally Caucasians, ADH1B*3 is found predominantly in people of African ancestry, ADH1C*1 varies substantially across populations, and ALDH2*2 is found almost exclusively in northeast Asians. Differences in the prevalence of these alleles may account at least in part for ethnic differences in alcohol consumption and alcohol use disorder (AUD). However, these alleles do not act in isolation to influence the risk of AUD. For example, the gene effects of ALDH2*2 and ADH1B*2 seem to interact. Moreover, other factors have been found to influence the extent to which these alleles affect a person’s alcohol involvement, including developmental stage, individual characteristics (e.g., ethnicity, antisocial behavior, and behavioral undercontrol), and environmental factors (e.g., culture, religion, family environment, and childhood adversity). PMID:27163368

  5. BioMe: biologically relevant metals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tus, Alan; Rakipović, Alen; Peretin, Goran; Tomić, Sanja; Šikić, Mile

    2012-01-01

    In this article, we introduce BioMe (biologically relevant metals), a web-based platform for calculation of various statistical properties of metal-binding sites. Users can obtain the following statistical properties: presence of selected ligands in metal coordination sphere, distribution of coordination numbers, percentage of metal ions coordinated by the combination of selected ligands, distribution of monodentate and bidentate metal-carboxyl, bindings for ASP and GLU, percentage of particular binuclear metal centers, distribution of coordination geometry, descriptive statistics for a metal ion–donor distance and percentage of the selected metal ions coordinated by each of the selected ligands. Statistics is presented in numerical and graphical forms. The underlying database contains information about all contacts within the range of 3 Å from a metal ion found in the asymmetric crystal unit. The stored information for each metal ion includes Protein Data Bank code, structure determination method, types of metal-binding chains [protein, ribonucleic acid (RNA), deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), water and other] and names of the bounded ligands (amino acid residue, RNA nucleotide, DNA nucleotide, water and other) and the coordination number, the coordination geometry and, if applicable, another metal(s). BioMe is on a regular weekly update schedule. It is accessible at http://metals.zesoi.fer.hr. PMID:22693222

  6. Silk-polypyrrole biocompatible actuator performance under biologically relevant conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hagler, Jo'elen; Peterson, Ben; Murphy, Amanda; Leger, Janelle

    Biocompatible actuators that are capable of controlled movement and can function under biologically relevant conditions are of significant interest in biomedical fields. Previously, we have demonstrated that a composite material of silk biopolymer and the conducting polymer polypyrrole (PPy) can be formed into a bilayer device that can bend under applied voltage. Further, these silk-PPy composites can generate forces comparable to human muscle (>0.1 MPa) making them ideal candidates for interfacing with biological tissues. Here silk-PPy composite films are tested for performance under biologically relevant conditions including exposure to a complex protein serum and biologically relevant temperatures. Free-end bending actuation performance, current response, force generation and, mass degradation were investigated . Preliminary results show that when exposed to proteins and biologically relevant temperatures, these silk-PPy composites show minimal degradation and are able to generate forces and conduct currents comparable to devices tested under standard conditions. NSF.

  7. Positron interactions and transport in biologically relevant molecules

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Makochekanwa, C; Jones, A; Caradonna, P; Slaughter, D; Sullivan, J; Buckman, S; Bankovic, A; Petrovic, Z; Malovic, G; Dujko, S; Marler, J; Nixon, K; Brunger, M

    2009-01-01

    We present new, high-resolution measurements of positron scattering from biologically relevant molecules, such as water and formic acid. The measurements include absolute determinations of total scattering and positronium formation and they have enabled us to assemble a set of cross sections for these molecules which can be used in an investigation of positron transport in these systems.

  8. Some aspects of research relevant to environment radiochemistry

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chen Shi; Ma Mingxie

    1997-01-01

    The authors suggest some research aspects relevant to environmental radiochemistry from the view point of environmental protection and radiation protection: the migration behavior of radionuclides, their interaction with environment medium and their speciation in environment. The status and prospect of these aspects and the relationship between them are discussed

  9. Electron scattering from molecules and molecular aggregates of biological relevance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gorfinkiel, Jimena D.; Ptasinska, Sylwia

    2017-09-01

    In this Topical Review we survey the current state of the art in the study of low energy electron collisions with biologically relevant molecules and molecular clusters. We briefly describe the methods and techniques used in the investigation of these processes and summarise the results obtained so far for DNA constituents and their model compounds, amino acids, peptides and other biomolecules. The applications of the data obtained is briefly described as well as future required developments.

  10. Hands-on-Entropy, Energy Balance with Biological Relevance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reeves, Mark

    2015-03-01

    Entropy changes underlie the physics that dominates biological interactions. Indeed, introductory biology courses often begin with an exploration of the qualities of water that are important to living systems. However, one idea that is not explicitly addressed in most introductory physics or biology textbooks is important contribution of the entropy in driving fundamental biological processes towards equilibrium. From diffusion to cell-membrane formation, to electrostatic binding in protein folding, to the functioning of nerve cells, entropic effects often act to counterbalance deterministic forces such as electrostatic attraction and in so doing, allow for effective molecular signaling. A small group of biology, biophysics and computer science faculty have worked together for the past five years to develop curricular modules (based on SCALEUP pedagogy). This has enabled students to create models of stochastic and deterministic processes. Our students are first-year engineering and science students in the calculus-based physics course and they are not expected to know biology beyond the high-school level. In our class, they learn to reduce complex biological processes and structures in order model them mathematically to account for both deterministic and probabilistic processes. The students test these models in simulations and in laboratory experiments that are biologically relevant such as diffusion, ionic transport, and ligand-receptor binding. Moreover, the students confront random forces and traditional forces in problems, simulations, and in laboratory exploration throughout the year-long course as they move from traditional kinematics through thermodynamics to electrostatic interactions. This talk will present a number of these exercises, with particular focus on the hands-on experiments done by the students, and will give examples of the tangible material that our students work with throughout the two-semester sequence of their course on introductory

  11. The complexity of DNA damage: relevance to biological consequences

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ward, J.F.

    1994-01-01

    Ionizing radiation causes both singly and multiply damaged sites in DNA when the range of radical migration is limited by the presence of hydroxyl radical scavengers (e.g. within cells). Multiply damaged sites are considered to be more biologically relevant because of the challenges they present to cellular repair mechanisms. These sites occur in the form of DNA double-strand breaks (dsb) but also as other multiple damages that can be converted to dsb during attempted repair. The presence of a dsb can lead to loss of base sequence information and/or can permit the two ends of a break to separate and rejoin with the wrong partner. (Multiply damaged sites may also be the biologically relevant type of damage caused by other agents, such as UVA, B and/or C light, and some antitumour antibiotics). The quantitative data available from radiation studies of DNA are shown to support the proposed mechanisms for the production of complex damage in cellular DNA, i.e. via scavengable and non-scavengable mechanisms. The yields of complex damages can in turn be used to support the conclusion that cellular mutations are a consequence of the presence of these damages within a gene. (Author)

  12. Autocatalytic, bistable, oscillatory networks of biologically relevant organic reactions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Semenov, Sergey N.; Kraft, Lewis J.; Ainla, Alar; Zhao, Mengxia; Baghbanzadeh, Mostafa; Campbell, Victoria E.; Kang, Kyungtae; Fox, Jerome M.; Whitesides, George M.

    2016-09-01

    Networks of organic chemical reactions are important in life and probably played a central part in its origin. Network dynamics regulate cell division, circadian rhythms, nerve impulses and chemotaxis, and guide the development of organisms. Although out-of-equilibrium networks of chemical reactions have the potential to display emergent network dynamics such as spontaneous pattern formation, bistability and periodic oscillations, the principles that enable networks of organic reactions to develop complex behaviours are incompletely understood. Here we describe a network of biologically relevant organic reactions (amide formation, thiolate-thioester exchange, thiolate-disulfide interchange and conjugate addition) that displays bistability and oscillations in the concentrations of organic thiols and amides. Oscillations arise from the interaction between three subcomponents of the network: an autocatalytic cycle that generates thiols and amides from thioesters and dialkyl disulfides; a trigger that controls autocatalytic growth; and inhibitory processes that remove activating thiol species that are produced during the autocatalytic cycle. In contrast to previous studies that have demonstrated oscillations and bistability using highly evolved biomolecules (enzymes and DNA) or inorganic molecules of questionable biochemical relevance (for example, those used in Belousov-Zhabotinskii-type reactions), the organic molecules we use are relevant to metabolism and similar to those that might have existed on the early Earth. By using small organic molecules to build a network of organic reactions with autocatalytic, bistable and oscillatory behaviour, we identify principles that explain the ways in which dynamic networks relevant to life could have developed. Modifications of this network will clarify the influence of molecular structure on the dynamics of reaction networks, and may enable the design of biomimetic networks and of synthetic self-regulating and evolving

  13. Biclustering methods: biological relevance and application in gene expression analysis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ali Oghabian

    Full Text Available DNA microarray technologies are used extensively to profile the expression levels of thousands of genes under various conditions, yielding extremely large data-matrices. Thus, analyzing this information and extracting biologically relevant knowledge becomes a considerable challenge. A classical approach for tackling this challenge is to use clustering (also known as one-way clustering methods where genes (or respectively samples are grouped together based on the similarity of their expression profiles across the set of all samples (or respectively genes. An alternative approach is to develop biclustering methods to identify local patterns in the data. These methods extract subgroups of genes that are co-expressed across only a subset of samples and may feature important biological or medical implications. In this study we evaluate 13 biclustering and 2 clustering (k-means and hierarchical methods. We use several approaches to compare their performance on two real gene expression data sets. For this purpose we apply four evaluation measures in our analysis: (1 we examine how well the considered (biclustering methods differentiate various sample types; (2 we evaluate how well the groups of genes discovered by the (biclustering methods are annotated with similar Gene Ontology categories; (3 we evaluate the capability of the methods to differentiate genes that are known to be specific to the particular sample types we study and (4 we compare the running time of the algorithms. In the end, we conclude that as long as the samples are well defined and annotated, the contamination of the samples is limited, and the samples are well replicated, biclustering methods such as Plaid and SAMBA are useful for discovering relevant subsets of genes and samples.

  14. SEBINI: Software Environment for BIological Network Inference.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taylor, Ronald C; Shah, Anuj; Treatman, Charles; Blevins, Meridith

    2006-11-01

    The Software Environment for BIological Network Inference (SEBINI) has been created to provide an interactive environment for the deployment and evaluation of algorithms used to reconstruct the structure of biological regulatory and interaction networks. SEBINI can be used to compare and train network inference methods on artificial networks and simulated gene expression perturbation data. It also allows the analysis within the same framework of experimental high-throughput expression data using the suite of (trained) inference methods; hence SEBINI should be useful to software developers wishing to evaluate, compare, refine or combine inference techniques, and to bioinformaticians analyzing experimental data. SEBINI provides a platform that aids in more accurate reconstruction of biological networks, with less effort, in less time. A demonstration website is located at https://www.emsl.pnl.gov/NIT/NIT.html. The Java source code and PostgreSQL database schema are available freely for non-commercial use.

  15. Arbitrary protein−protein docking targets biologically relevant interfaces

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martin Juliette

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Protein-protein recognition is of fundamental importance in the vast majority of biological processes. However, it has already been demonstrated that it is very hard to distinguish true complexes from false complexes in so-called cross-docking experiments, where binary protein complexes are separated and the isolated proteins are all docked against each other and scored. Does this result, at least in part, reflect a physical reality? False complexes could reflect possible nonspecific or weak associations. Results In this paper, we investigate the twilight zone of protein-protein interactions, building on an interesting outcome of cross-docking experiments: false complexes seem to favor residues from the true interaction site, suggesting that randomly chosen partners dock in a non-random fashion on protein surfaces. Here, we carry out arbitrary docking of a non-redundant data set of 198 proteins, with more than 300 randomly chosen "probe" proteins. We investigate the tendency of arbitrary partners to aggregate at localized regions of the protein surfaces, the shape and compositional bias of the generated interfaces, and the potential of this property to predict biologically relevant binding sites. We show that the non-random localization of arbitrary partners after protein-protein docking is a generic feature of protein structures. The interfaces generated in this way are not systematically planar or curved, but tend to be closer than average to the center of the proteins. These results can be used to predict biological interfaces with an AUC value up to 0.69 alone, and 0.72 when used in combination with evolutionary information. An appropriate choice of random partners and number of docking models make this method computationally practical. It is also noted that nonspecific interfaces can point to alternate interaction sites in the case of proteins with multiple interfaces. We illustrate the usefulness of arbitrary docking

  16. Arbitrary protein−protein docking targets biologically relevant interfaces

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Martin, Juliette; Lavery, Richard

    2012-01-01

    Protein-protein recognition is of fundamental importance in the vast majority of biological processes. However, it has already been demonstrated that it is very hard to distinguish true complexes from false complexes in so-called cross-docking experiments, where binary protein complexes are separated and the isolated proteins are all docked against each other and scored. Does this result, at least in part, reflect a physical reality? False complexes could reflect possible nonspecific or weak associations. In this paper, we investigate the twilight zone of protein-protein interactions, building on an interesting outcome of cross-docking experiments: false complexes seem to favor residues from the true interaction site, suggesting that randomly chosen partners dock in a non-random fashion on protein surfaces. Here, we carry out arbitrary docking of a non-redundant data set of 198 proteins, with more than 300 randomly chosen "probe" proteins. We investigate the tendency of arbitrary partners to aggregate at localized regions of the protein surfaces, the shape and compositional bias of the generated interfaces, and the potential of this property to predict biologically relevant binding sites. We show that the non-random localization of arbitrary partners after protein-protein docking is a generic feature of protein structures. The interfaces generated in this way are not systematically planar or curved, but tend to be closer than average to the center of the proteins. These results can be used to predict biological interfaces with an AUC value up to 0.69 alone, and 0.72 when used in combination with evolutionary information. An appropriate choice of random partners and number of docking models make this method computationally practical. It is also noted that nonspecific interfaces can point to alternate interaction sites in the case of proteins with multiple interfaces. We illustrate the usefulness of arbitrary docking using PEBP (Phosphatidylethanolamine binding

  17. Classifying transcription factor targets and discovering relevant biological features

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    DeLisi Charles

    2008-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background An important goal in post-genomic research is discovering the network of interactions between transcription factors (TFs and the genes they regulate. We have previously reported the development of a supervised-learning approach to TF target identification, and used it to predict targets of 104 transcription factors in yeast. We now include a new sequence conservation measure, expand our predictions to include 59 new TFs, introduce a web-server, and implement an improved ranking method to reveal the biological features contributing to regulation. The classifiers combine 8 genomic datasets covering a broad range of measurements including sequence conservation, sequence overrepresentation, gene expression, and DNA structural properties. Principal Findings (1 Application of the method yields an amplification of information about yeast regulators. The ratio of total targets to previously known targets is greater than 2 for 11 TFs, with several having larger gains: Ash1(4, Ino2(2.6, Yaf1(2.4, and Yap6(2.4. (2 Many predicted targets for TFs match well with the known biology of their regulators. As a case study we discuss the regulator Swi6, presenting evidence that it may be important in the DNA damage response, and that the previously uncharacterized gene YMR279C plays a role in DNA damage response and perhaps in cell-cycle progression. (3 A procedure based on recursive-feature-elimination is able to uncover from the large initial data sets those features that best distinguish targets for any TF, providing clues relevant to its biology. An analysis of Swi6 suggests a possible role in lipid metabolism, and more specifically in metabolism of ceramide, a bioactive lipid currently being investigated for anti-cancer properties. (4 An analysis of global network properties highlights the transcriptional network hubs; the factors which control the most genes and the genes which are bound by the largest set of regulators. Cell-cycle and

  18. Characterization of Nanoparticle Aggregation in Biologically Relevant Fluids

    Science.gov (United States)

    McEnnis, Kathleen; Lahann, Joerg

    Nanoparticles (NPs) are often studied as drug delivery vehicles, but little is known about their behavior in blood once injected into animal models. If the NPs aggregate in blood, they will be shunted to the liver or spleen instead of reaching the intended target. The use of animals for these experiments is costly and raises ethical questions. Typically dynamic light scattering (DLS) is used to analyze aggregation behavior, but DLS cannot be used because the components of blood also scatter light. As an alternative, a method of analyzing NPs in biologically relevant fluids such as blood plasma has been developed using nanoparticle tracking analysis (NTA) with fluorescent filters. In this work, NTA was used to analyze the aggregation behavior of fluorescent polystyrene NPs with different surface modifications in blood plasma. It was expected that different surface chemistries on the particles will change the aggregation behavior. The effect of the surface modifications was investigated by quantifying the percentage of NPs in aggregates after addition to blood plasma. The use of this characterization method will allow for better understanding of particle behavior in the body, and potential problems, specifically aggregation, can be addressed before investing in in vivo studies.

  19. Physical, chemical, and biological properties of radiocerium relevant to radiation protection guidelines

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Anon.

    1978-01-01

    Present knowledge of the relevant physical, chemical, and biological properties of radiocerium as a basis for establishing radiation protection guidelines is summarized. The first section of the report reviews the chemical and physical properties of radiocerium relative to the biological behavior of internally-deposited cerium and other lanthanides. The second section of the report gives the sources of radiocerium in the environment and the pathways to man. The third section of the report describes the metabolic fate of cerium in several mammalian species as a basis for predicting its metabolic fate in man. The fourth section of the report considers the biomedical effects of radiocerium in light of extensive animal experimentation. The last two sections of the report describe the history of radiation protection guidelines for radiocerium and summarize data required for evaluating the adequacy of current radiation protection guidelines. Each section begins with a summary of the most important findings that follow

  20. Review of biological factors relevant to import risk assessments for epizootic ulcerative syndrome (Aphanomyces invadans).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oidtmann, B

    2012-02-01

    Epizootic ulcerative syndrome (EUS) is a disease affecting both wild and farmed fish in freshwater and estuarine environments. After it was first described in Japan in 1971, the disease has spread widely across Asia and to some regions of Australia, North America and Africa. In Asia and Africa, the spread of the disease has substantially affected livelihoods of fish farmers and fishermen. No reports are yet published showing the presence of the disease in Europe or South America. Given its epizootic nature and its broad susceptible fish species range, it would appear that the disease has the potential for further spread. This study provides a review of the scientific literature on several biological factors of the pathogen, Aphanomyces invadans, associated with the disease EUS and aspects of the disease that are relevant to undertaking import risk assessments (IRA) covering (i) Life cycle and routes of transmission; (ii) Minimum infectious dose; (iii) Tissue localization and pathogen load; (iv) Predisposing factors for infection and factors influencing expression of disease; (v) Carrier state in fish; (vi) Diagnostic methods; (vii) Survival in the environment; (viii) Permissive temperature range; (ix) Stability of the agent in aquatic animal products; (x) Prevalence of infection; and (xi) Affected life stages. Much of the biological information presented is relevant to a broad range of risk questions. Areas where data are lacking were identified, and the information provided is put into context with other aspects that need to be addressed in an IRA. © 2011 Crown copyright.

  1. PubChem3D: Biologically relevant 3-D similarity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kim Sunghwan

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The use of 3-D similarity techniques in the analysis of biological data and virtual screening is pervasive, but what is a biologically meaningful 3-D similarity value? Can one find statistically significant separation between "active/active" and "active/inactive" spaces? These questions are explored using 734,486 biologically tested chemical structures, 1,389 biological assay data sets, and six different 3-D similarity types utilized by PubChem analysis tools. Results The similarity value distributions of 269.7 billion unique conformer pairs from 734,486 biologically tested compounds (all-against-all from PubChem were utilized to help work towards an answer to the question: what is a biologically meaningful 3-D similarity score? The average and standard deviation for the six similarity measures STST-opt, CTST-opt, ComboTST-opt, STCT-opt, CTCT-opt, and ComboTCT-opt were 0.54 ± 0.10, 0.07 ± 0.05, 0.62 ± 0.13, 0.41 ± 0.11, 0.18 ± 0.06, and 0.59 ± 0.14, respectively. Considering that this random distribution of biologically tested compounds was constructed using a single theoretical conformer per compound (the "default" conformer provided by PubChem, further study may be necessary using multiple diverse conformers per compound; however, given the breadth of the compound set, the single conformer per compound results may still apply to the case of multi-conformer per compound 3-D similarity value distributions. As such, this work is a critical step, covering a very wide corpus of chemical structures and biological assays, creating a statistical framework to build upon. The second part of this study explored the question of whether it was possible to realize a statistically meaningful 3-D similarity value separation between reputed biological assay "inactives" and "actives". Using the terminology of noninactive-noninactive (NN pairs and the noninactive-inactive (NI pairs to represent comparison of the "active/active" and

  2. Aluminium in Biological Environments: A Computational Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mujika, Jon I; Rezabal, Elixabete; Mercero, Jose M; Ruipérez, Fernando; Costa, Dominique; Ugalde, Jesus M; Lopez, Xabier

    2014-01-01

    The increased availability of aluminium in biological environments, due to human intervention in the last century, raises concerns on the effects that this so far “excluded from biology” metal might have on living organisms. Consequently, the bioinorganic chemistry of aluminium has emerged as a very active field of research. This review will focus on our contributions to this field, based on computational studies that can yield an understanding of the aluminum biochemistry at a molecular level. Aluminium can interact and be stabilized in biological environments by complexing with both low molecular mass chelants and high molecular mass peptides. The speciation of the metal is, nonetheless, dictated by the hydrolytic species dominant in each case and which vary according to the pH condition of the medium. In blood, citrate and serum transferrin are identified as the main low molecular mass and high molecular mass molecules interacting with aluminium. The complexation of aluminium to citrate and the subsequent changes exerted on the deprotonation pathways of its tritable groups will be discussed along with the mechanisms for the intake and release of aluminium in serum transferrin at two pH conditions, physiological neutral and endosomatic acidic. Aluminium can substitute other metals, in particular magnesium, in protein buried sites and trigger conformational disorder and alteration of the protonation states of the protein's sidechains. A detailed account of the interaction of aluminium with proteic sidechains will be given. Finally, it will be described how alumnium can exert oxidative stress by stabilizing superoxide radicals either as mononuclear aluminium or clustered in boehmite. The possibility of promotion of Fenton reaction, and production of hydroxyl radicals will also be discussed. PMID:24757505

  3. Sifting abstracts from Medline and evaluating their relevance to molecular biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grabar, Natalia; Jaulent, Marie-Christine; Chambaz, Antoine; Lefebvre, Céline; Néri, Christian

    2006-01-01

    The most important knowledge in the area of biology currently consists of raw text documents. Bibliographic databases of biomedical articles can be searched, but an efficient procedure should evaluate the relevance of documents to biology. In genetics, this challenge is even trickier, because of the lack of consistency in genes' naming tradition. We aim to define a good approach for collecting relevant abstracts for biology and for studied species and genes. Our approach relies on defining best queries, detecting and filtering best sources.

  4. Streptococcus pyogenes biofilms – formation, biology,and clinical relevance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tomas eFiedler

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Streptococcus pyogenes (group A streptococci, GAS is an exclusive human bacterial pathogen. The virulence potential of this species is tremendous. Interactions with humans range from asymptomatic carriage over mild and superficial infections of skin and mucosal membranes up to systemic purulent toxic-invasive disease manifestations. Particularly the latter are a severe threat for predisposed patients and lead to significant death tolls worldwide. This places GAS among the most important Gram-positive bacterial pathogens. Many recent reviews have highlighted the GAS repertoire of virulence factors, regulators and regulatory circuits/networks that enable GAS to colonize the host and to deal with all levels of the host immune defense. This covers in vitro and in vivo studies, including animal infection studies based on mice and more relevant, macaque monkeys. It is now appreciated that GAS, like many other bacterial species, do not necessarily exclusively live in a planktonic lifestyle. GAS is capable of microcolony and biofilm formation on host cells and tissues. We are now beginning to understand that this feature significantly contributes to GAS pathogenesis. In this review we will discuss the current knowledge on GAS biofilm formation, the biofilm-phenotype associated virulence factors, regulatory aspects of biofilm formation, the clinical relevance, and finally contemporary treatment regimens and future treatment options.

  5. Inactivation of the antibacterial and cytotoxic properties of silver ions by biologically relevant compounds.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Geraldine Mulley

    Full Text Available There has been a recent surge in the use of silver as an antimicrobial agent in a wide range of domestic and clinical products, intended to prevent or treat bacterial infections and reduce bacterial colonization of surfaces. It has been reported that the antibacterial and cytotoxic properties of silver are affected by the assay conditions, particularly the type of growth media used in vitro. The toxicity of Ag+ to bacterial cells is comparable to that of human cells. We demonstrate that biologically relevant compounds such as glutathione, cysteine and human blood components significantly reduce the toxicity of silver ions to clinically relevant pathogenic bacteria and primary human dermal fibroblasts (skin cells. Bacteria are able to grow normally in the presence of silver nitrate at >20-fold the minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC if Ag+ and thiols are added in a 1:1 ratio because the reaction of Ag+ with extracellular thiols prevents silver ions from interacting with cells. Extracellular thiols and human serum also significantly reduce the antimicrobial activity of silver wound dressings Aquacel-Ag (Convatec and Acticoat (Smith & Nephew to Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Escherichia coli in vitro. These results have important implications for the deployment of silver as an antimicrobial agent in environments exposed to biological tissue or secretions. Significant amounts of money and effort have been directed at the development of silver-coated medical devices (e.g. dressings, catheters, implants. We believe our findings are essential for the effective design and testing of antimicrobial silver coatings.

  6. Biology and relevance of human acute myeloid leukemia stem cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas, Daniel; Majeti, Ravindra

    2017-03-23

    Evidence of human acute myeloid leukemia stem cells (AML LSCs) was first reported nearly 2 decades ago through the identification of rare subpopulations of engrafting cells in xenotransplantation assays. These AML LSCs were shown to reside at the apex of a cellular hierarchy that initiates and maintains the disease, exhibiting properties of self-renewal, cell cycle quiescence, and chemoresistance. This cancer stem cell model offers an explanation for chemotherapy resistance and disease relapse and implies that approaches to treatment must eradicate LSCs for cure. More recently, a number of studies have both refined and expanded our understanding of LSCs and intrapatient heterogeneity in AML using improved xenotransplant models, genome-scale analyses, and experimental manipulation of primary patient cells. Here, we review these studies with a focus on the immunophenotype, biological properties, epigenetics, genetics, and clinical associations of human AML LSCs and discuss critical questions that need to be addressed in future research. © 2017 by The American Society of Hematology.

  7. EPR imaging of diffusional processes in biologically relevant polymers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berliner, Lawrence J.; Fujii, Hirotada

    Diffusion processes in biological tissue are important problems for noninvasive investigation. As a model study, this work addresses the diffusion of an electrolyte buffer (Krebs) solution containing a nitroxide spin probe into a cylindrical polyacrylamide gel rod. The nitroxide spin density distribution was imaged at 1.6 GHz in gel cross sections at various time intervals for both homogeneous radial diffusion and inhomogeneous diffusion. A one-dimensional radial diffusion constant was calculated for the nitroxide spin probe, TEMPOL, of 3.7 ± 0.7 × 10 -6 cm 2/s at ambient temperature. The EPR spectrometer, using low-field flat-loop surface coils (H. Nishikawa, H. Fujii, and L. J. Berliner, J. Magn. Reson.62, 79 (1985)), showed minimal dielectric or magnetic losses in sensitity for electrolyte vs nondielectric samples.

  8. 6,7-dimethoxy-coumarin as a probe of hydration dynamics in biologically relevant systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ghose, Avisek; Amaro, Mariana; Kovaricek, Petr; Hof, Martin; Sykora, Jan

    2018-04-01

    Coumarin derivatives are well known fluorescence reporters for investigating biological systems due to their strong micro-environment sensitivity. Despite having wide range of environment sensitive fluorescence probes, the potential of 6,7-dimethoxy-coumarin has not been studied extensively so far. With a perspective of its use in protein studies, namely using the unnatural amino acid technology or as a substrate for hydrolase enzymes, we study acetyloxymethyl-6,7-dimethoxycoumarin (Ac-DMC). We investigate the photophysics and hydration dynamics of this dye in aerosol-OT (AOT) reverse micelles at various water contents using the time dependent fluorescence shift (TDFS) method. The TDFS response in AOT reverse micelles from water/surfactant ratio of 0 to 20 confirms its sensitivity towards the hydration and mobility of its microenvironment. Moreover, we show that the fluorophore can be efficiently quenched by halide ions. Hence, we conclude that the 6,7-dimethoxy-methylcoumarin fluorophore is useful for studying hydration parameters in biologically relevant systems.

  9. Rethinking the central dogma: noncoding RNAs are biologically relevant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robinson, Victoria L

    2009-01-01

    Non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) are a large class of functional molecules with over 100 unique classes described to date. ncRNAs are diverse in terms of their function and size. A relatively new class of small ncRNA, called microRNAs (miRNA), have received a great deal of attention in the literature in recent years. miRNAs are endogenously encoded gene families that demonstrate striking evolutionary conservation. miRNAs serve essential and diverse physiological functions such as differentiation and development, proliferation, maintaining cell type phenotypes, and many others. The discovery and ongoing investigation of miRNAs is part of a revolution in biology that is changing the basic concepts of gene expression and RNA functionality. A single miRNA can participate in controlling the expression of up to several hundred protein-coding genes by interacting with mRNAs, generally in 3' untranslated regions. Our new and developing understanding of miRNAs, and other ncRNAs, promises to lead to significant contributions to medicine. Specifically, miRNAs are likely to serve as the basis for novel therapies and diagnostic tools.

  10. Biological relevance of human papillomaviruses in vulvar cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Halec, Gordana; Alemany, Laia; Quiros, Beatriz; Clavero, Omar; Höfler, Daniela; Alejo, Maria; Quint, Wim; Pawlita, Michael; Bosch, Francesc X; de Sanjose, Silvia

    2017-04-01

    The carcinogenic role of high-risk human papillomavirus (HR-HPV) types in the increasing subset of vulvar intraepithelial neoplasia and vulvar cancer in young women has been established. However, the actual number of vulvar cancer cases attributed to HPV is still imprecisely defined. In an attempt to provide a more precise definition of HPV-driven vulvar cancer, we performed HPV-type-specific E6*I mRNA analyses available for 20 HR-/possible HR (pHR)-HPV types, on tissue samples from 447 cases of vulvar cancer. HPV DNA genotyping was performed using SPF10-LiPA 25 assay due to its high sensitivity in formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissues. Data on p16 INK4a expression was available for comparative analysis via kappa statistics. The use of highly sensitive assays covering the detection of HPV mRNA in a broad spectrum of mucosal HPV types resulted in the detection of viral transcripts in 87% of HPV DNA+ vulvar cancers. Overall concordance between HPV mRNA+ and p16 INK4a upregulation (strong, diffuse immunostaining in >25% of tumor cells) was 92% (K=0.625, 95% confidence interval (CI)=0.531-0.719). Among these cases, 83% were concordant pairs of HPV mRNA+ and p16 INK4a + and 9% were concordant pairs of HPV mRNA- and p16 INK4a -. Our data confirm the biological role of HR-/pHR-HPV types in the great majority of HPV DNA+ vulvar cancers, resulting in an HPV-attributable fraction of at least 21% worldwide. Most HPV DNA+ vulvar cancers were associated with HPV16 (85%), but a causative role for other, less frequently occurring mucosal HPV types (HPV26, 66, 67, 68, 70 and 73) was also confirmed at the mRNA level for the first time. These findings should be taken into consideration for future screening options as HPV-associated vulvar preneoplastic lesions have increased in incidence in younger women and require different treatment than vulvar lesions that develop from rare autoimmune-related mechanisms in older women.

  11. Assessing conservation relevance of organism-environment relations using predicted changes in response variables

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gutzwiller, Kevin J.; Barrow, Wylie C.; White, Joseph D.; Johnson-Randall, Lori; Cade, Brian S.; Zygo, Lisa M.

    2010-01-01

    1. Organism–environment models are used widely in conservation. The degree to which they are useful for informing conservation decisions – the conservation relevance of these relations – is important because lack of relevance may lead to misapplication of scarce conservation resources or failure to resolve important conservation dilemmas. Even when models perform well based on model fit and predictive ability, conservation relevance of associations may not be clear without also knowing the magnitude and variability of predicted changes in response variables. 2. We introduce a method for evaluating the conservation relevance of organism–environment relations that employs confidence intervals for predicted changes in response variables. The confidence intervals are compared to a preselected magnitude of change that marks a threshold (trigger) for conservation action. To demonstrate the approach, we used a case study from the Chihuahuan Desert involving relations between avian richness and broad-scale patterns of shrubland. We considered relations for three winters and two spatial extents (1- and 2-km-radius areas) and compared predicted changes in richness to three thresholds (10%, 20% and 30% change). For each threshold, we examined 48 relations. 3. The method identified seven, four and zero conservation-relevant changes in mean richness for the 10%, 20% and 30% thresholds respectively. These changes were associated with major (20%) changes in shrubland cover, mean patch size, the coefficient of variation for patch size, or edge density but not with major changes in shrubland patch density. The relative rarity of conservation-relevant changes indicated that, overall, the relations had little practical value for informing conservation decisions about avian richness. 4. The approach we illustrate is appropriate for various response and predictor variables measured at any temporal or spatial scale. The method is broadly applicable across ecological

  12. Microbial Fossilization in Mineralizing Environments: Relevance for Mars "EXOPALEONTOLOGY"

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farmer, Jack D.; DesMarais, David J.; Morrison, David (Technical Monitor)

    1994-01-01

    The goals of post-Viking exobiology include the search for a Martian fossil record. How can we optimize future exploration efforts to search for fossils on Mars? The Precambrian fossil record indicates that key factors for the long-term preservation of microbial fossils include: 1) the rapid entombment and/or replacement of organisms and organic matter by fine-grained, stable mineral phases (e.g. silica, phosphate, and to a lesser extent, carbonate), 2) low-permeability host sediments (maintaining a closed chemical system during early diagenesis), and 3) shallow burial (maintaining post-depositional temperatures and pressures within the stability range for complex organic molecules). Modem terrestrial environments where early mineralization commonly occurs in association with microbial organisms include: subaerial thermal springs and shallow hydrothermal systems, sub-lacustrine springs and evaporites of alkaline lakes, and subsoil environments where hardpans (e.g. calcretes, silcretes) and duricrusts form. Studies of microbial fossilization in such environments provide important insights preservation patterns in Precambrian rocks, while also playing a role in the development of strategies for Mars exopaleontology. The refinement of site priorities for Mars exopaleontology is expected to benefit greatly from high resolution imaging and altimetry acquired during upcoming orbital missions, and especially infrared and gamma ray spectral data needed for determining surface composition. In anticipation of future orbital missions, constraints for identifying high priority mineral deposits on Mars are being developed through analog remote sensing studies of key mineralizing environments on Earth.

  13. Relevance of Education & Training in a Business Environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whiteman, Jo Ann M.

    Today's workplace must employ knowledgeable, flexible, efficient, and adaptable workers who are lifelong learners. Adult learners need to be updated on the latest changes in the structure of the business environment. Business programs must respond to corporate and personal development needs by designing curriculum that embraces the management…

  14. Synthetic extreme environments: overlooked sources of potential biotechnologically relevant microorganisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sibanda, Timothy; Selvarajan, Ramganesh; Tekere, Memory

    2017-05-01

    Synthetic extreme environments like carwash effluent tanks and drains are potential sources of biotechnologically important microorganisms and molecules which have, however, remained unexplored. Using culture- and molecular-based methods, a total of 17 bacterial isolates belonging to the genera Shewanella, Proteus, Paenibacillus, Enterobacter and Citrobacter, Aeromonas, Pseudomonas and Pantoea were identified. Hydrocarbon utilization and enzyme production screening assays showed that Aeromonas sp. CAC11, Paenibacillus sp. CAC12 and Paenibacillus sp. CAC13 and Citrobacter sp. PCW7 were able to degrade benzanthracene, naphthalene and diesel oil, Paenibacillus sp. CAC12 and Paenibacillus sp. CAC13 could produce cellulase enzyme, while Proteus sp. BPS2, Pseudomonas sp. SAS8 and Proteus sp. CAL3 could produce lipase. GC-MS analysis of bacterial secondary metabolites resulted in identification of 107 different compounds produced by Proteus sp. BPS2, Paenibacillus sp. CAC12, Pseudomonas sp. SAS8, Proteus sp. CAL3 and Paenibacillus sp. CAC13. Most of the compounds identified by both GC-MS and LC-MS have previously been determined to have antibacterial, antifungal and/or anticancer properties. Further, microbial metabolites which have previously been known to be produced only by plants or microorganisms found in natural extreme environments were also identified in this study. This research has revealed the immense bioresource potential of microorganisms inhabiting synthetic extreme environments. © 2017 The Authors. Microbial Biotechnology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd and Society for Applied Microbiology.

  15. Exploring Marine Environments To Unravel Tolerance Mechanisms To Relevant Compounds

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Machado, Henrique; Cavaleiro, Mafalda; Nørholm, Morten

    2015-01-01

    of interest, HPLC analyses were performed in order to distinguish between compound-degrading and tolerant bacteria. This led to the identification of seven tolerant and non-degrading isolates, the most interesting ones belonging to the genera Bacillus and Pseudomonas. These will be studied using genomic...... and transcriptomic approaches to identify the tolerance mechanisms used. Exploring new ecological niches, as contaminated marine environments allows the identification of naturally tolerant bacteria to the compounds of interest and most likely to the discovery of new mechanisms of tolerance....

  16. FISCALITY – RELEVANT FACTOR INFLUENCING THE BUSINESS ENVIRONMENT

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ionel MĂNDESCU

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available Main tool for macroeconomic management - fiscal policy consists in establishing the levels of taxation and spending in order to influence macroeconomic performance. Fiscal policy, promoted by the government authorities of any contemporary state, is directed usually to achieving microeconomic and macroeconomic goals deriving from the roles the state must fulfill in the economy, respectively the allocative role, distributive, regulatory and the stabilizer role. Governmental authorities, through the production and supply of public goods that are financed at the expense of taxes or duties, or on the public debt, affect both individuals’ utility functions and production functions of economic agents in the private sector. At the macroeconomic level, fiscal policy decisions of governmental authorities relating to either public spending or taxation can be directed towards the stimulation of development. Fiscality is a business cost in investment, where the decisions are taken by representatives of the business environment.

  17. Biological stoichiometry in tumor micro-environments.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Irina Kareva

    Full Text Available Tumors can be viewed as evolving ecological systems, in which heterogeneous populations of cancer cells compete with each other and somatic cells for space and nutrients within the ecosystem of the human body. According to the growth rate hypothesis (GRH, increased phosphorus availability in an ecosystem, such as the tumor micro-environment, may promote selection within the tumor for a more proliferative and thus potentially more malignant phenotype. The applicability of the GRH to tumor growth is evaluated using a mathematical model, which suggests that limiting phosphorus availability might promote intercellular competition within a tumor, and thereby delay disease progression. It is also shown that a tumor can respond differently to changes in its micro-environment depending on the initial distribution of clones within the tumor, regardless of its initial size. This suggests that composition of the tumor as a whole needs to be evaluated in order to maximize the efficacy of therapy.

  18. Pharmacovigilance of Biologics in a Multisource Environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sagi, Sreedhar; Cohen, Hillel P; Woollett, Gillian R

    2017-12-01

    It is important that systems are in place to ensure that appropriate and comprehensive records are kept for use of all medications. It is fundamental to an effective pharmacovigilance system that patient medical records contain sufficient information to identify which medication has been prescribed, when it was administered, and at what dose. The availability of biologics from multiple sponsors has raised questions by some health care providers about the ability of current pharmacovigilance systems to trace specific biologics. In this article, periodic safety update reports were used to assess current postapproval safety monitoring for 3 biosimilars (epoetin alfa, somatropin, and filgrastim) that collectively represented nearly 350 million patient days of treatment worldwide. The reference products have each been marketed for over 10 years, forming a strong baseline of postmarketing safety data against which the safety of biosimilars can be compared. Published data from Denmark were also reviewed as additional evidence of how current pharmacovigilance systems are able to attribute adverse events to particular medicines. Collectively, the data show that spontaneous adverse drug reactions are reported by brand name in the majority of cases and are attributable to a specific medicine. Also discussed are the informational elements critical to monitoring biologics, or indeed any medicine, to ensure the availability of complete information so medicines that a patient has received can be quickly identified should a safety event occur. We support the addition of a single data element, the batch/lot number, to enhance the value of current pharmacovigilance systems. Adoption of 2-D barcodes in the European Union (EU) and standardized numerical identifiers in the United States addresses this need, since they include batch/lot numbers. These identifiers are already being implemented in the United States and the EU to improve patient safety, reduce medication errors, facilitate

  19. Relative extents of hydrogen-deuterium exchange of nitrosamines: relevance to biological isotope effect studies

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Singer, G.M.; Lijinsky, W.

    1979-01-01

    Relative extents of base-catalyzed, hydrogen-deuterium exchange have been determined for a number of nitrosamines. Observed trends in the exchanges are discussed in terms of substitution, ring size and conformation. The relevance of the exchanges to deuterium isotope effects in carcinogenesis tests is discussed. Those compounds which give pronounced biological isotope effects undergo exchange only to a small extent. No biological isotope effect is found for compounds which undergo extensive exchange. (author)

  20. Action video game players' visual search advantage extends to biologically relevant stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chisholm, Joseph D; Kingstone, Alan

    2015-07-01

    Research investigating the effects of action video game experience on cognition has demonstrated a host of performance improvements on a variety of basic tasks. Given the prevailing evidence that these benefits result from efficient control of attentional processes, there has been growing interest in using action video games as a general tool to enhance everyday attentional control. However, to date, there is little evidence indicating that the benefits of action video game playing scale up to complex settings with socially meaningful stimuli - one of the fundamental components of our natural environment. The present experiment compared action video game player (AVGP) and non-video game player (NVGP) performance on an oculomotor capture task that presented participants with face stimuli. In addition, the expression of a distractor face was manipulated to assess if action video game experience modulated the effect of emotion. Results indicate that AVGPs experience less oculomotor capture than NVGPs; an effect that was not influenced by the emotional content depicted by distractor faces. It is noteworthy that this AVGP advantage emerged despite participants being unaware that the investigation had to do with video game playing, and participants being equivalent in their motivation and treatment of the task as a game. The results align with the notion that action video game experience is associated with superior attentional and oculomotor control, and provides evidence that these benefits can generalize to more complex and biologically relevant stimuli. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  1. The Integrin Receptor in Biologically Relevant Bilayers: Insights from Molecular Dynamics Simulations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kalli, Antreas C; Rog, Tomasz; Vattulainen, Ilpo; Campbell, Iain D; Sansom, Mark S P

    2017-08-01

    Integrins are heterodimeric (αβ) cell surface receptors that are potential therapeutic targets for a number of diseases. Despite the existence of structural data for all parts of integrins, the structure of the complete integrin receptor is still not available. We have used available structural data to construct a model of the complete integrin receptor in complex with talin F2-F3 domain. It has been shown that the interactions of integrins with their lipid environment are crucial for their function but details of the integrin/lipid interactions remain elusive. In this study an integrin/talin complex was inserted in biologically relevant bilayers that resemble the cell plasma membrane containing zwitterionic and charged phospholipids, cholesterol and sphingolipids to study the dynamics of the integrin receptor and its effect on bilayer structure and dynamics. The results of this study demonstrate the dynamic nature of the integrin receptor and suggest that the presence of the integrin receptor alters the lipid organization between the two leaflets of the bilayer. In particular, our results suggest elevated density of cholesterol and of phosphatidylserine lipids around the integrin/talin complex and a slowing down of lipids in an annulus of ~30 Å around the protein due to interactions between the lipids and the integrin/talin F2-F3 complex. This may in part regulate the interactions of integrins with other related proteins or integrin clustering thus facilitating signal transduction across cell membranes.

  2. A study of ruthenium complexes of some biologically relevant a-N ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Home; Journals; Journal of Chemical Sciences; Volume 112; Issue 3. A study of ruthenium complexes of some biologically relevant ∙ -N-heterocyclic carboxylic acids. P Sengupta S Ghosh. Volume 112 Issue 3 June 2000 pp 355-355. Fulltext. Click here to view fulltext PDF. Permanent link:

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sergio Rojas-Galeano

    2008-03-01

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

  4. A concept for biological valuation in the marine environment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eric Willem Maria Stienen

    2007-03-01

    Full Text Available In order to develop management strategies for sustainable useand conservation in the marine environment, reliable and meaningful,but integrated ecological information is needed. Biological valuationmaps that compile and summarize all available biological andecological information for a study area, and that allocate anoverall biological value to subzones, can be used as baselinemaps for future spatial planning at sea. This paper providesa concept for marine biological valuation which is based on aliterature review of existing valuation criteria and the consensusreached by a discussion group of experts.

  5. Macro-/micro-environment-sensitive chemosensing and biological imaging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Zhigang; Cao, Jianfang; He, Yanxia; Yang, Jung Ho; Kim, Taeyoung; Peng, Xiaojun; Kim, Jong Seung

    2014-07-07

    Environment-related parameters, including viscosity, polarity, temperature, hypoxia, and pH, play pivotal roles in controlling the physical or chemical behaviors of local molecules. In particular, in a biological environment, such factors predominantly determine the biological properties of the local environment or reflect corresponding status alterations. Abnormal changes in these factors would cause cellular malfunction or become a hallmark of the occurrence of severe diseases. Therefore, in recent years, they have increasingly attracted research interest from the fields of chemistry and biological chemistry. With the emergence of fluorescence sensing and imaging technology, several fluorescent chemosensors have been designed to respond to such parameters and to further map their distributions and variations in vitro/in vivo. In this work, we have reviewed a number of various environment-responsive chemosensors related to fluorescent recognition of viscosity, polarity, temperature, hypoxia, and pH that have been reported thus far.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  7. The physical environment and its relevance to customer satisfaction in boutique hotels; Hotel Haven, Helsinki

    OpenAIRE

    Jysmä, Ekaterina

    2012-01-01

    Object of this research is physical environment of the boutique hotel named Haven. As there is lack of the researches concerning physical environment role in the boutique hotels, this paper could be useful both for the studied hotel as well as for the other boutique hotels managers and owners. Moreover, it could be useful for the potential customers of Hotel Haven. Main topic of this research is the importance and relevance of the physical environment in Hotel Haven, mostly its impact o...

  8. Molecular Phenotyping Combines Molecular Information, Biological Relevance, and Patient Data to Improve Productivity of Early Drug Discovery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drawnel, Faye Marie; Zhang, Jitao David; Küng, Erich; Aoyama, Natsuyo; Benmansour, Fethallah; Araujo Del Rosario, Andrea; Jensen Zoffmann, Sannah; Delobel, Frédéric; Prummer, Michael; Weibel, Franziska; Carlson, Coby; Anson, Blake; Iacone, Roberto; Certa, Ulrich; Singer, Thomas; Ebeling, Martin; Prunotto, Marco

    2017-05-18

    Today, novel therapeutics are identified in an environment which is intrinsically different from the clinical context in which they are ultimately evaluated. Using molecular phenotyping and an in vitro model of diabetic cardiomyopathy, we show that by quantifying pathway reporter gene expression, molecular phenotyping can cluster compounds based on pathway profiles and dissect associations between pathway activities and disease phenotypes simultaneously. Molecular phenotyping was applicable to compounds with a range of binding specificities and triaged false positives derived from high-content screening assays. The technique identified a class of calcium-signaling modulators that can reverse disease-regulated pathways and phenotypes, which was validated by structurally distinct compounds of relevant classes. Our results advocate for application of molecular phenotyping in early drug discovery, promoting biological relevance as a key selection criterion early in the drug development cascade. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. Relevant uses of surface proteins – display on self‐organized biological structures

    OpenAIRE

    Jahns, Anika C.; Rehm, Bernd H. A.

    2012-01-01

    Summary Proteins are often found attached to surfaces of self‐assembling biological units such as whole microbial cells or subcellular structures, e.g. intracellular inclusions. In the last two decades surface proteins were identified that could serve as anchors for the display of foreign protein functions. Extensive protein engineering based on structure–function data enabled efficient display of technically and/or medically relevant protein functions. Small size, diversity of the anchor pro...

  10. Applying systems biology methods to the study of human physiology in extreme environments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edwards, Lindsay M; Thiele, Ines

    2013-03-22

    Systems biology is defined in this review as 'an iterative process of computational model building and experimental model revision with the aim of understanding or simulating complex biological systems'. We propose that, in practice, systems biology rests on three pillars: computation, the omics disciplines and repeated experimental perturbation of the system of interest. The number of ethical and physiologically relevant perturbations that can be used in experiments on healthy humans is extremely limited and principally comprises exercise, nutrition, infusions (e.g. Intralipid), some drugs and altered environment. Thus, we argue that systems biology and environmental physiology are natural symbionts for those interested in a system-level understanding of human biology. However, despite excellent progress in high-altitude genetics and several proteomics studies, systems biology research into human adaptation to extreme environments is in its infancy. A brief description and overview of systems biology in its current guise is given, followed by a mini review of computational methods used for modelling biological systems. Special attention is given to high-altitude research, metabolic network reconstruction and constraint-based modelling.

  11. Applying systems biology methods to the study of human physiology in extreme environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-01

    Systems biology is defined in this review as ‘an iterative process of computational model building and experimental model revision with the aim of understanding or simulating complex biological systems’. We propose that, in practice, systems biology rests on three pillars: computation, the omics disciplines and repeated experimental perturbation of the system of interest. The number of ethical and physiologically relevant perturbations that can be used in experiments on healthy humans is extremely limited and principally comprises exercise, nutrition, infusions (e.g. Intralipid), some drugs and altered environment. Thus, we argue that systems biology and environmental physiology are natural symbionts for those interested in a system-level understanding of human biology. However, despite excellent progress in high-altitude genetics and several proteomics studies, systems biology research into human adaptation to extreme environments is in its infancy. A brief description and overview of systems biology in its current guise is given, followed by a mini review of computational methods used for modelling biological systems. Special attention is given to high-altitude research, metabolic network reconstruction and constraint-based modelling. PMID:23849719

  12. Incorporating Relevance and Rigor in a Game Environment: Barracuda Cove Investment Game

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hall, Susan E.

    2014-01-01

    Achieving student learning outcomes in a "gamelike" environment allows students to connect real-world activities to marketing and business concepts presented in a relevant and authentic manner. The innovative game, Barracuda Cove Investment Game, can be incorporated into any marketing-related course that would require a marketing or…

  13. Unaffected features of BSA stabilized Ag nanoparticles after storage and reconstitution in biological relevant media.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valenti, Laura E; Giacomelli, Carla E

    2015-08-01

    Silver-coated orthopedic implants and silver composite materials have been proposed to produce local biocidal activity at low dose to reduce post-surgery infection that remains one of the major contributions to the patient morbidity. This work presents the synthesis combined with the characterization, colloidal stability in biological relevant media, antimicrobial activity and handling properties of silver nanoparticles (Ag-NP) before and after freeze dry and storage. The nanomaterial was synthesized in aqueous solution with simple, reproducible and low-cost strategies using bovine serum albumin (BSA) as the stabilizing agent. Ag-NP were characterized by means of the size distribution and morphology (UV-vis spectra, dynamic light scattering measurements and TEM images), charge as a function of the pH (zeta potential measurements) and colloidal stability in biological relevant media (UV-vis spectra and dynamic light scattering measurements). Further, the interactions between the protein and Ag-NP were evaluated by surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) and the antimicrobial activity was tested with two bacteria strains (namely Staphylococcus aureus and Staphylococcus epidermidis) mainly present in the infections caused by implants and prosthesis in orthopedic surgery. Finally, the Ag-NP dispersed in aqueous solution were dried and stored as long-lasting powders that were easily reconstituted without losing their stability and antimicrobial properties. The proposed methods to stabilize Ag-NP not only produce stable dispersions in media of biological relevance but also long-lasting powders with optimal antimicrobial activity in the nanomolar range. This level is much lower than the cytotoxicity determined in vitro on osteoblasts, osteoclasts and osteoarthritic chondrocytes. The synthesized Ag-NP can be incorporated as additive of biomaterials or pharmaceutical products to confer antimicrobial activity in a powdered form in different formulations, dispersed in

  14. Modelling low energy electron and positron tracks in biologically relevant media

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Blanco, F.; Munoz, A.; Almeida, D.; Ferreira da Silva, F.; Limao-Vieira, P.; Fuss, M.C.; Sanz, A.G.; Garcia, G.

    2013-01-01

    This colloquium describes an approach to incorporate into radiation damage models the effect of low and intermediate energy (0-100 eV) electrons and positrons, slowing down in biologically relevant materials (water and representative biomolecules). The core of the modelling procedure is a C++ computing programme named 'Low Energy Particle Track Simulation (LEPTS)', which is compatible with available general purpose Monte Carlo packages. Input parameters are carefully selected from theoretical and experimental cross section data and energy loss distribution functions. Data sources used for this purpose are reviewed showing examples of electron and positron cross section and energy loss data for interactions with different media of increasing complexity: atoms, molecules, clusters and condense matter. Finally, we show how such a model can be used to develop an effective dosimetric tool at the molecular level (i.e. nanodosimetry). Recent experimental developments to study the fragmentation induced in biologically material by charge transfer from neutrals and negative ions are also included. (authors)

  15. The Virtual Cell: a software environment for computational cell biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loew, L M; Schaff, J C

    2001-10-01

    The newly emerging field of computational cell biology requires software tools that address the needs of a broad community of scientists. Cell biological processes are controlled by an interacting set of biochemical and electrophysiological events that are distributed within complex cellular structures. Computational modeling is familiar to researchers in fields such as molecular structure, neurobiology and metabolic pathway engineering, and is rapidly emerging in the area of gene expression. Although some of these established modeling approaches can be adapted to address problems of interest to cell biologists, relatively few software development efforts have been directed at the field as a whole. The Virtual Cell is a computational environment designed for cell biologists as well as for mathematical biologists and bioengineers. It serves to aid the construction of cell biological models and the generation of simulations from them. The system enables the formulation of both compartmental and spatial models, the latter with either idealized or experimentally derived geometries of one, two or three dimensions.

  16. Review of Antimicrobial Resistance in the Environment and its Relevance to Environmental Regulators

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew C Singer

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available The environment is increasingly being recognised for the role it might play in the global spread of clinically-relevant antibiotic resistance. Environmental regulators monitor and control many of the pathways responsible for the release of resistance-driving chemicals into the environment (e.g., antimicrobials, metals, biocides. Hence, environmental regulators should be contributing significantly to the development of global and national antimicrobial resistance (AMR action plans. It is argued that the lack of environment-facing mitigation actions included in existing AMR action plans is likely a function of our poor fundamental understanding of many of the key issues. Here, we aim to present the problem with AMR in the environment through the lens of an environmental regulator, using the Environment Agency (England’s regulator as an example from which parallels can be drawn globally. The issues that are pertinent to environmental regulators are drawn out to answer: What are the drivers and pathways of AMR? How do these relate to the normal work, powers and duties of environmental regulators? What are the knowledge gaps that hinder the delivery of environmental protection from AMR? We offer several thought experiments for how different mitigation strategies might proceed. We conclude that: 1 AMR Action Plans do not tackle all the potentially relevant pathways and drivers of AMR in the environment; and 2 AMR Action Plans are deficient, in part, because the science to inform policy is lacking and this needs to be addressed.

  17. Interacting domain-specific languages with biological problem solving environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cickovski, Trevor M.

    Iteratively developing a biological model and verifying results with lab observations has become standard practice in computational biology. This process is currently facilitated by biological Problem Solving Environments (PSEs), multi-tiered and modular software frameworks which traditionally consist of two layers: a computational layer written in a high level language using design patterns, and a user interface layer which hides its details. Although PSEs have proven effective, they still enforce some communication overhead between biologists refining their models through repeated comparison with experimental observations in vitro or in vivo, and programmers actually implementing model extensions and modifications within the computational layer. I illustrate the use of biological Domain-Specific Languages (DSLs) as a middle-level PSE tier to ameliorate this problem by providing experimentalists with the ability to iteratively test and develop their models using a higher degree of expressive power compared to a graphical interface, while saving the requirement of general purpose programming knowledge. I develop two radically different biological DSLs: XML-based BIOLOGO will model biological morphogenesis using a cell-centered stochastic cellular automaton and translate into C++ modules for an object-oriented PSE C OMPUCELL3D, and MDLab will provide a set of high-level Python libraries for running molecular dynamics simulations, using wrapped functionality from the C++ PSE PROTOMOL. I describe each language in detail, including its its roles within the larger PSE and its expressibility in terms of representable phenomena, and a discussion of observations from users of the languages. Moreover I will use these studies to draw general conclusions about biological DSL development, including dependencies upon the goals of the corresponding PSE, strategies, and tradeoffs.

  18. Sporothrix schenckii complex biology: environment and fungal pathogenicity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Téllez, M D; Batista-Duharte, A; Portuondo, D; Quinello, C; Bonne-Hernández, R; Carlos, I Z

    2014-11-01

    Sporothrix schenckii is a complex of various species of fungus found in soils, plants, decaying vegetables and other outdoor environments. It is the aetiological agent of sporotrichosis in humans and several animals. Humans and animals can acquire the disease through traumatic inoculation of the fungus into subcutaneous tissue. Despite the importance of sporotrichosis, it being currently regarded as an emergent disease in several countries, the factors driving its increasing medical importance are still largely unknown. There have only been a few studies addressing the influence of the environment on the virulence of these pathogens. However, recent studies have demonstrated that adverse conditions in its natural habitats can trigger the expression of different virulence factors that confer survival advantages both in animal hosts and in the environment. In this review, we provide updates on the important advances in the understanding of the biology of Spor. schenckii and the modification of its virulence linked to demonstrated or putative environmental factors. © 2014 The Authors.

  19. Comparison of the perceived relevance of oral biology reported by students and interns of a Pakistani dental college.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farooq, I; Ali, S

    2014-11-01

    The purpose of this study was to analyse and compare the perceived relevance of oral biology with dentistry as reported by dental students and interns and to investigate the most popular teaching approach and learning resource. A questionnaire aiming to ask about the relevance of oral biology to dentistry, most popular teaching method and learning resource was utilised in this study. Study groups encompassed second-year dental students who had completed their course and dental interns. The data were obtained and analysed statistically. The overall response rate for both groups was 60%. Both groups reported high relevance of oral biology to dentistry. Perception of dental interns regarding the relevance of oral biology to dentistry was higher than that of students. Both groups identified student presentations as the most important teaching method. Amongst the most important learning resources, textbooks were considered most imperative by interns, whereas lecture handouts received the highest importance score by students. Dental students and interns considered oral biology to be relevant to dentistry, although greater relevance was reported by interns. Year-wise advancement in dental education and training improves the perception of the students about the relevance of oral biology to dentistry. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  20. Inorganic concepts relevant to metal binding, activity, and toxicity in a biological system

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hoeschele, J.D. (Warner-Lambert Co., Ann Arbor, MI (USA). Parke-Davis Pharmaceutical Research Div.); Turner, J.E.; England, M.W. (Oak Ridge National Lab., TN (USA))

    1990-01-01

    The purpose of this paper is to review selected physical and inorganic concepts and factors which might be important in assessing and/or understanding the fact and disposition of a metal system in a biological environment. Hopefully, such inquiries will ultimately permit us to understand, rationalize, and predict differences and trends in biological effects as a function of the basic nature of a metal system and, in optimal cases, serve as input to a system of guidelines for the notion of Chemical Dosimetry.'' The plan of this paper is to first review, in general terms, the basic principles of the Crystal Field Theory (CFT), a unifying theory of bonding in metal complexes. This will provide the necessary theoretical background for the subsequent discussion of selected concepts and factors. 21 refs., 7 figs., 6 tabs.

  1. On the Relevance of Using OpenWireless Sensor Networks in Environment Monitoring

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Antoine B. Bagula

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available This paper revisits the problem of the readiness for field deployments of wireless- sensor networks by assessing the relevance of using Open Hardware and Software motes for environment monitoring. We propose a new prototype wireless sensor network that finetunes SquidBee motes to improve the life-time and sensing performance of an environment monitoring system that measures temperature, humidity and luminosity. Building upon two outdoor sensing scenarios, we evaluate the performance of the newly proposed energy-aware prototype solution in terms of link quality when expressed by the Received Signal Strength, Packet Loss and the battery lifetime. The experimental results reveal the relevance of using the Open Hardware and Software motes when setting up outdoor wireless sensor networks.

  2. Biological soil crusts as an integral component of desert environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belnap, Jayne; Weber, Bettina

    2013-01-01

    The biology and ecology of biological soil crusts, a soil surface community of mosses, lichens, cyanobacteria, green algae, fungi, and bacteria, have only recently been a topic of research. Most efforts began in the western U.S. (Cameron, Harper, Rushforth, and St. Clair), Australia (Rogers), and Israel (Friedmann, Evenari, and Lange) in the late 1960s and 1970s (e.g., Friedmann et al. 1967; Evenari 1985reviewed in Harper and Marble 1988). However, these groups worked independently of each other and, in fact, were often not aware of each other’s work. In addition, biological soil crust communities were seen as more a novelty than a critical component of dryland ecosystems. Since then, researchers have investigated many different aspects of these communities and have shown that although small to microscopic, biological soil crusts are critical in many ecological processes of deserts. They often cover most of desert soil surfaces and substantially mediate inputs and outputs from desert soils (Belnap et al. 2003). They can be a large source of biodiversity for deserts, as they can contain more species than the surrounding vascular plant community (Rosentreter 1986). These communities are important in reducing soil erosion and increasing soil fertility through the capture of dust and the fixation of atmospheric nitrogen and carbon into forms available to other life forms (Elbert et al. 2012). Because of their many effects on soil characteristics, such as external and internal morphological characteristics, aggregate stability, soil moisture, and permeability, they also affect seed germination and establishment and local hydrological cycles. Covering up to 70% of the surface area in many arid and semi-arid regions around the world (Belnap and Lange 2003), biological soil crusts are a key component within desert environments.

  3. Biologically relevant photoacoustic imaging phantoms with tunable optical and acoustic properties

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vogt, William C.; Jia, Congxian; Wear, Keith A.; Garra, Brian S.; Joshua Pfefer, T.

    2016-10-01

    Established medical imaging technologies such as magnetic resonance imaging and computed tomography rely on well-validated tissue-simulating phantoms for standardized testing of device image quality. The availability of high-quality phantoms for optical-acoustic diagnostics such as photoacoustic tomography (PAT) will facilitate standardization and clinical translation of these emerging approaches. Materials used in prior PAT phantoms do not provide a suitable combination of long-term stability and realistic acoustic and optical properties. Therefore, we have investigated the use of custom polyvinyl chloride plastisol (PVCP) formulations for imaging phantoms and identified a dual-plasticizer approach that provides biologically relevant ranges of relevant properties. Speed of sound and acoustic attenuation were determined over a frequency range of 4 to 9 MHz and optical absorption and scattering over a wavelength range of 400 to 1100 nm. We present characterization of several PVCP formulations, including one designed to mimic breast tissue. This material is used to construct a phantom comprised of an array of cylindrical, hemoglobin-filled inclusions for evaluation of penetration depth. Measurements with a custom near-infrared PAT imager provide quantitative and qualitative comparisons of phantom and tissue images. Results indicate that our PVCP material is uniquely suitable for PAT system image quality evaluation and may provide a practical tool for device validation and intercomparison.

  4. Genomics and systems biology--how relevant are the developments to veterinary pharmacology, toxicology and therapeutics?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Witkamp, R F

    2005-06-01

    This review discusses some of the recent developments in genomics and its current and future relevance for veterinary pharmacology and toxicology. With the rapid progress made in this field several new approaches in pharmacological and toxicological research have developed and drug discovery and drug development strategies have changed dramatically. In this review, the term genomics is used to encompass the three sub-disciplines transcriptomics, proteomics and metabolomics (or metabonomics) to describe the formation and fate of mRNA, proteins and metabolites, respectively. The current status and methods of the technology and some applications are briefly described. Although the DNA sequencing programmes are receiving considerable attention, the real value of genomics for pharmacology and toxicology is brought by the parallel developments in bio-informatics, bio-statistics and the integration of biology with mathematics and information technology. The ultimate level of integration is now mostly called systems biology, where mRNA, proteins and metabolites are being analysed in parallel, using a complete arsenal of analytical techniques (DNA-array, LC-MS/MS, GC-MS/MS, NMR, etc.). The information thus collected is analysed, integrated, linked to database information and translated to pathways and systems. This approach offers an enormous potential to study disease mechanisms and find new drug targets. Thus far, genomics and systems biology have not been introduced significantly in typical veterinary pharmacological and toxicological research programmes. The high costs and complexity connected to these large projects often form major obstacles for research groups with limited budgets. In other veterinary areas and disciplines, including infectious diseases, animal production and food-safety more examples of application are available. Genomics and bio-informatics provide outstanding opportunities to study pharmacology and toxicology in a more holistic way, taking into

  5. A biologically relevant method for considering patterns of oceanic retention in the Southern Ocean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mori, Mao; Corney, Stuart P.; Melbourne-Thomas, Jessica; Klocker, Andreas; Sumner, Michael; Constable, Andrew

    2017-12-01

    Many marine species have planktonic forms - either during a larval stage or throughout their lifecycle - that move passively or are strongly influenced by ocean currents. Understanding these patterns of movement is important for informing marine ecosystem management and for understanding ecological processes generally. Retention of biological particles in a particular area due to ocean currents has received less attention than transport pathways, particularly for the Southern Ocean. We present a method for modelling retention time, based on the half-life for particles in a particular region, that is relevant for biological processes. This method uses geostrophic velocities at the ocean surface, derived from 23 years of satellite altimetry data (1993-2016), to simulate the advection of passive particles during the Southern Hemisphere summer season (from December to March). We assess spatial patterns in the retention time of passive particles and evaluate the processes affecting these patterns for the Indian sector of the Southern Ocean. Our results indicate that the distribution of retention time is related to bathymetric features and the resulting ocean dynamics. Our analysis also reveals a moderate level of consistency between spatial patterns of retention time and observations of Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba) distribution.

  6. Molecular crowding has no effect on the dilution thermodynamics of the biologically relevant cation mixtures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Głogocka, Daria; Przybyło, Magdalena; Langner, Marek

    2017-04-01

    The ionic composition of intracellular space is rigorously maintained in the expense of high-energy expenditure. It has been recently postulated that the cytoplasmic ionic composition is optimized so the energy cost of the fluctuations of calcium ion concentration is minimized. Specifically, thermodynamic arguments have been produced to show that the presence of potassium ions at concentrations higher than 100 mM reduce extend of the energy dissipation required for the dilution of calcium cations. No such effect has been measured when sodium ions were present in the solution or when the other divalent cation magnesium was diluted. The experimental observation has been interpreted as the indication of the formation of ionic clusters composed of calcium, chloride and potassium. In order to test the possibility that such clusters may be preserved in biological space, the thermodynamics of ionic mixtures dilution in solutions containing albumins and model lipid bilayers have been measured. Obtained thermograms clearly demonstrate that the energetics of calcium/potassium mixture is qualitatively different from calcium/sodium mixture indicating that the presence of the biologically relevant quantities of proteins and membrane hydrophilic surfaces do not interfere with the properties of the intracellular aqueous phase.

  7. The ChEBI reference database and ontology for biologically relevant chemistry: enhancements for 2013

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hastings, Janna; de Matos, Paula; Dekker, Adriano; Ennis, Marcus; Harsha, Bhavana; Kale, Namrata; Muthukrishnan, Venkatesh; Owen, Gareth; Turner, Steve; Williams, Mark; Steinbeck, Christoph

    2013-01-01

    ChEBI (http://www.ebi.ac.uk/chebi) is a database and ontology of chemical entities of biological interest. Over the past few years, ChEBI has continued to grow steadily in content, and has added several new features. In addition to incorporating all user-requested compounds, our annotation efforts have emphasized immunology, natural products and metabolites in many species. All database entries are now ‘is_a’ classified within the ontology, meaning that all of the chemicals are available to semantic reasoning tools that harness the classification hierarchy. We have completely aligned the ontology with the Open Biomedical Ontologies (OBO) Foundry-recommended upper level Basic Formal Ontology. Furthermore, we have aligned our chemical classification with the classification of chemical-involving processes in the Gene Ontology (GO), and as a result of this effort, the majority of chemical-involving processes in GO are now defined in terms of the ChEBI entities that participate in them. This effort necessitated incorporating many additional biologically relevant compounds. We have incorporated additional data types including reference citations, and the species and component for metabolites. Finally, our website and web services have had several enhancements, most notably the provision of a dynamic new interactive graph-based ontology visualization. PMID:23180789

  8. The clinical implications and biologic relevance of neurofilament expression in gastroenteropancreatic neuroendocrine neoplasms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schimmack, Simon; Lawrence, Ben; Svejda, Bernhard; Alaimo, Daniele; Schmitz-Winnenthal, Hubertus; Fischer, Lars; Büchler, Markus W; Kidd, Mark; Modlin, Irvin

    2012-05-15

    Although gastroenteropancreatic neuroendocrine neoplasms (GEP-NENs) exhibit widely divergent behavior, limited biologic information (apart from Ki-67) is available to characterize malignancy. Therefore, the identification of alternative biomarkers is a key unmet need. Given the role of internexin alpha (INA) in neuronal development, the authors assessed its function in neuroendocrine cell systems and the clinical implications of its expression as a GEP-NEN biomarker. Functional assays were undertaken to investigate the mechanistic role of INA in the pancreatic BON cell line. Expression levels of INA were investigated in 50 pancreatic NENs (43 primaries, 7 metastases), 43 small intestinal NENs (25 primaries, 18 metastases), normal pancreas (n = 10), small intestinal mucosa (n = 16), normal enterochromaffin (EC) cells (n = 9), mouse xenografts (n = 4) and NEN cell lines (n = 6) using quantitative polymerase chain reaction, Western blot, and immunostaining analyses. In BON cells, decreased levels of INA messenger RNA and protein were associated with the inhibition of both proliferation and mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling. INA was not expressed in normal neuroendocrine cells but was overexpressed (from 2-fold to 42-fold) in NEN cell lines and murine xenografts. In pancreatic NENs, INA was overexpressed compared with pancreatic adenocarcinomas and normal pancreas (27-fold [P = .0001], and 9-fold [P = .02], respectively). INA transcripts were correlated positively with Ki-67 (correlation coefficient [r] = 0.5; P biologic information relevant to delineation of both pancreatic NEN tumor phenotypes and clinical behavior. Copyright © 2011 American Cancer Society.

  9. The effect of the chemical, biological, and physical environment on quorum sensing in structured microbial communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horswill, Alexander R.; Stoodley, Paul; Stewart, Philip S.

    2006-01-01

    As researchers attempt to study quorum sensing in relevant clinical or environmental settings, it is apparent that many factors have the potential to affect signaling. These factors span a range of physical, chemical, and biological variables that can impact signal production, stability and distribution. Optimizing experimental systems to natural or clinical environments may be crucial for defining when and where quorum sensing occurs. These points are illustrated in our case study of S. aureus signaling in biofilms, where signal stability may be affected by the host environment. The basic signaling schemes have been worked out at the molecular level for a few of the major quorum-sensing systems. As these studies continue to refine our understanding of these mechanisms, an emerging challenge is to identify if and when the local environment can affect signaling. PMID:17047948

  10. Contextual Hub Analysis Tool (CHAT): A Cytoscape app for identifying contextually relevant hubs in biological networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muetze, Tanja; Goenawan, Ivan H; Wiencko, Heather L; Bernal-Llinares, Manuel; Bryan, Kenneth; Lynn, David J

    2016-01-01

    Highly connected nodes (hubs) in biological networks are topologically important to the structure of the network and have also been shown to be preferentially associated with a range of phenotypes of interest. The relative importance of a hub node, however, can change depending on the biological context. Here, we report a Cytoscape app, the Contextual Hub Analysis Tool (CHAT), which enables users to easily construct and visualize a network of interactions from a gene or protein list of interest, integrate contextual information, such as gene expression or mass spectrometry data, and identify hub nodes that are more highly connected to contextual nodes (e.g. genes or proteins that are differentially expressed) than expected by chance. In a case study, we use CHAT to construct a network of genes that are differentially expressed in Dengue fever, a viral infection. CHAT was used to identify and compare contextual and degree-based hubs in this network. The top 20 degree-based hubs were enriched in pathways related to the cell cycle and cancer, which is likely due to the fact that proteins involved in these processes tend to be highly connected in general. In comparison, the top 20 contextual hubs were enriched in pathways commonly observed in a viral infection including pathways related to the immune response to viral infection. This analysis shows that such contextual hubs are considerably more biologically relevant than degree-based hubs and that analyses which rely on the identification of hubs solely based on their connectivity may be biased towards nodes that are highly connected in general rather than in the specific context of interest. CHAT is available for Cytoscape 3.0+ and can be installed via the Cytoscape App Store ( http://apps.cytoscape.org/apps/chat).

  11. Robotic Visual Tracking of Relevant Cues in Underwater Environments with Poor Visibility Conditions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alejandro Maldonado-Ramírez

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Using visual sensors for detecting regions of interest in underwater environments is fundamental for many robotic applications. Particularly, for an autonomous exploration task, an underwater vehicle must be guided towards features that are of interest. If the relevant features can be seen from the distance, then smooth control movements of the vehicle are feasible in order to position itself close enough with the final goal of gathering visual quality images. However, it is a challenging task for a robotic system to achieve stable tracking of the same regions since marine environments are unstructured and highly dynamic and usually have poor visibility. In this paper, a framework that robustly detects and tracks regions of interest in real time is presented. We use the chromatic channels of a perceptual uniform color space to detect relevant regions and adapt a visual attention scheme to underwater scenes. For the tracking, we associate with each relevant point superpixel descriptors which are invariant to changes in illumination and shape. The field experiment results have demonstrated that our approach is robust when tested on different visibility conditions and depths in underwater explorations.

  12. Is it biologically relevant to measure the structures of small peptides in the gas-phase?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barran, Perdita E.; Polfer, Nick C.; Campopiano, Dominic J.; Clarke, David J.; Langridge-Smith, Patrick R. R.; Langley, Ross J.; Govan, John R. W.; Maxwell, Alison; Dorin, Julia R.; Millar, Robert P.; Bowers, Michael T.

    2005-02-01

    Recent developments in sample introduction of biologically relevant molecules have heralded a new era for gas-phase methods of structural determination. One of the biggest challenges is to relate gas-phase structures, often measured in the absence of water and counter ions, with in vivo biologically active structures. An advantage of gas-phase based techniques is that a given peptide can be analysed in a variety of different forms, for example, as a function of charge state, or with additional water molecules. Molecular modelling can provide insight into experimental findings and help elucidate the differences between structural forms. Combining experiment and theory provides a thorough interrogation of candidate conformations. Here two important naturally occurring peptide systems have been examined in detail and results are assessed in terms of their biological significance. The first of these is gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH), a decapeptide which is the central regulator of the reproductive system in vertebrates. We have examined several naturally occurring variants of this peptide using Ion Mobility Mass Spectrometry and Electron Capture Dissociation (ECD) in conjunction with Fourier Transform Ion Cyclotron Mass Spectrometry (FT-ICR-MS). Candidate conformations are modelled using the AMBER force field. Single amino acid changes, for example Gly6 --> Ala6, or Ala6 --> D-Ala6, have observable effects on the gas phase structure of GnRH. It has been shown that evolutionary primary sequence variations are key to the biological activity of GnRH, and it is thought that this is due to different binding affinities at target receptors. This work provides strong evidence that this activity is structurally based. The second system examined is the relationship between the quaternary structure and activity of two novel [beta]-defensins. FT-ICR mass spectrometry has been employed to characterize di-sulphide bridging and dissociation based experiments utilised to

  13. Built environment instruments for walkability, bikeability, and recreation: disability and universal design relevant?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gray, Jennifer A; Zimmerman, Jennifer L; Rimmer, James H

    2012-04-01

    Despite a plethora of instruments that measure the built environment with respect to its effect on potential physical activity, little is known about how relevant these instruments are for people with disabilities (PWDs). This review comprises an in-depth review of instruments related to the built environment and physical activity, as well as an examination of such instruments to determine their applicability for PWDs. In this paper, the term "built environment" refers to human-made structures (e.g., urban and rural design characteristics, recreational structures) that may facilitate or impede an individual's ability to be physically active. A content analysis was conducted on 95 instruments measuring walkability, bikeability, and recreation with respect to disability and universal design (UD) relevance. Instruments were also cataloged according to other dimensions, including psychometric properties, data collection modalities, and impact or use. Roughly one third of all instruments include some disability-specific items, and only a few UD principles are consistently demonstrated across all instruments. Psychometric information is available for approximately one half of the instruments. Most instruments use objective/audit methods of data collection, with less using subjective/perceived and Geographic Information System (GIS) methods. With respect to instrument impact/use, just over one half of the instruments have articles cited in the peer-reviewed literature. Recommendations for new and revised built environment instruments include more focus on specific disability populations, incorporation of all UD principles, as well as attention to psychometric quality and measurement specificity. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Stability of silver nanoparticles: agglomeration and oxidation in biological relevant conditions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Valenti, Laura E.; Giacomelli, Carla E., E-mail: giacomel@fcq.unc.edu.ar [Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, Ciudad Universitaria, Instituto de Investigaciones en Físico Química de Córdoba (INFIQC) CONICET-UNC, Departamento de Fisicoquímica, Facultad de Ciencias Químicas (Argentina)

    2017-05-15

    Silver nanoparticles (Ag-NP) are the most used nanomaterial in consumer products due to the intrinsic antimicrobial capacity of silver. However, Ag-NP may be also harmful to algae, aquatic species, mammalian cells, and higher plants because both Ag{sup +} and nanoparticles are responsible of cell damages. The oxidative dissolution of Ag-NP would proceed to completion under oxic conditions, but the rate and extent of the dissolution depend on several factors. This work correlates the effect of the capping agent (albumin and citrate) with the stability of Ag-NP towards agglomeration in simulated body fluid (SBF) and oxidation in the presence of ROS species (H{sub 2}O{sub 2}). Capping provides colloidal stability only through electrostatic means, whereas albumin acts as bulky ligands giving steric and electrostatic repulsion, inhibiting the agglomeration in SBF. However, citrate capping protects Ag-NP from dissolution to a major extent than albumin does because of its reducing power. Moreover, citrate in solution minimizes the oxidation of albumin-coated Ag-NP even after long incubation times. H{sub 2}O{sub 2}-induced dissolution proceeds to completion with Ag-NP incubated in SBF, while incubation in citrate leads to an incomplete oxidation. In short, albumin is an excellent capping agent to minimize Ag-NP agglomeration whereas citrate provides a mild-reductive medium that prevents dissolution in biological relevant media as well as in the presence of ROS species. These results provide insight into how the surface properties and media composition affect the release of Ag{sup +} from Ag-NP, related to the cell toxicity and relevant to the storage and lifetime of silver-containing nanomaterials.

  15. Stability of silver nanoparticles: agglomeration and oxidation in biological relevant conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valenti, Laura E.; Giacomelli, Carla E.

    2017-05-01

    Silver nanoparticles (Ag-NP) are the most used nanomaterial in consumer products due to the intrinsic antimicrobial capacity of silver. However, Ag-NP may be also harmful to algae, aquatic species, mammalian cells, and higher plants because both Ag+ and nanoparticles are responsible of cell damages. The oxidative dissolution of Ag-NP would proceed to completion under oxic conditions, but the rate and extent of the dissolution depend on several factors. This work correlates the effect of the capping agent (albumin and citrate) with the stability of Ag-NP towards agglomeration in simulated body fluid (SBF) and oxidation in the presence of ROS species (H2O2). Capping provides colloidal stability only through electrostatic means, whereas albumin acts as bulky ligands giving steric and electrostatic repulsion, inhibiting the agglomeration in SBF. However, citrate capping protects Ag-NP from dissolution to a major extent than albumin does because of its reducing power. Moreover, citrate in solution minimizes the oxidation of albumin-coated Ag-NP even after long incubation times. H2O2-induced dissolution proceeds to completion with Ag-NP incubated in SBF, while incubation in citrate leads to an incomplete oxidation. In short, albumin is an excellent capping agent to minimize Ag-NP agglomeration whereas citrate provides a mild-reductive medium that prevents dissolution in biological relevant media as well as in the presence of ROS species. These results provide insight into how the surface properties and media composition affect the release of Ag+ from Ag-NP, related to the cell toxicity and relevant to the storage and lifetime of silver-containing nanomaterials.

  16. Arsenic in the aquatic environment - speciation and biological effects

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Landner, L. [Swedish Environmental Research Group (MFG)

    1998-03-01

    The present report is a contribution to EC Commission`s undertaking to review existing EC provisions on the substances for which Sweden has been granted transitional provisions. The provisions imply that Sweden may maintain more stringent regulations on four substances until the end of 1998. The present report deals with speciation and biological effects of arsenic in three types of aquatic environments - marine water, estuarine or brackish water and freshwater. The similarity between arsenate and phosphate and the interference in phosphorylation reactions is discussed. It is clear that in Scandinavian inland waters the concentration of phosphorous is on average lower than in most inland waters in continental Europe. However, in most inland waters phosphorus is the limiting factor for phytoplankton development and eutrophication, which means that there is a clear risk for detrimental effects in the great majority of inland waters, also eutrophic waters 167 refs, 27 figs, 12 tabs. Exemption Substances Project (Directive 89/677/EEC)

  17. PRESERVATION OF ARCHAEOLOGICAL MATERIALS IN ARID ENVIRONMENTS RELEVANT TO YUCCA MOUNTAIN

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    N. Chapman, A. Dansie, C. McCombie

    2006-02-24

    The objective of this study was to evaluate archaeological materials from underground openings or shallow burial in arid environments relevant to Yucca Mountain and to draw conclusions about how their state and their environment of preservation could be of relevance to design and operational aspects of the high-level waste repository. The study has evaluated materials from cultures in the arid regions of the ancient Middle East and compared them with the preservation of ancient materials in dry cave sites in the Great Basin desert area of Nevada. The emphasis has been on materials found in undisturbed underground openings such as caves and un-backfilled tombs. Long-term preservation of such materials in underground openings and the stability of the openings themselves provide useful analogue information that serves as a reference point for considering the operation and evolution of the Yucca Mountain repository. Being able to shed light, by close physical and environmental analogy, on what happens in underground openings over many thousands of years provides valuable underpinning to illustrations of expected system performance and offers pointers towards optimizing repository system and operational design.

  18. Adsorption of biometals to monosodium titanate in biological environments

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    HOBBS, D.T.; MESSER, R. L. W.; LEWIS, J. B.; CLICK, D. R. LOCKWOOD, P. E.; WATAHA, J. C.

    2005-06-06

    Monosodium titanate (MST) is an inorganic sorbent/ion exchanger developed for the removal of radionuclides from nuclear wastes. We investigated the ability of MST to bind Cd(II), Hg(II), or Au(III) to establish the utility of MST for applications in environmental decontamination or medical therapy (drug delivery). Adsorption isotherms for MST were determined at pH 7-7.5 in water or phosphate-buffered saline. The extent of metal binding was determined spectroscopically by measuring the concentrations of the metals in solution before and after contact with the MST. Cytotoxic responses to MST were assessed using THP1 monocytes and succinate dehydrogenase activity. Monocytic activation by MST was assessed by TNF{alpha} secretion (ELISA) with or without lipopolysaccharide (LPS) activation. MST sorbed Cd(II), Hg(II), and Au(III) under conditions similar to that in physiological systems. MST exhibited the highest affinity for Cd(II) followed by Hg(II) and Au (III). MST (up to 100 mg/L) exhibited only minor (< 25% suppression of succinate dehydrogenase) cytotoxicity and did not trigger TNF{alpha} secretion nor modulate LPS-induced TNF{alpha} secretion from monocytes. MST exhibits high affinity for biometals with no significant biological liabilities in these introductory studies. MST deserves further scrutiny as a substance with the capacity to decontaminate biological environments or deliver metals in a controlled fashion.

  19. Genetic associations at 53 loci highlight cell types and biological pathways relevant for kidney function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pattaro, Cristian; Teumer, Alexander; Gorski, Mathias; Chu, Audrey Y; Li, Man; Mijatovic, Vladan; Garnaas, Maija; Tin, Adrienne; Sorice, Rossella; Li, Yong; Taliun, Daniel; Olden, Matthias; Foster, Meredith; Yang, Qiong; Chen, Ming-Huei; Pers, Tune H; Johnson, Andrew D; Ko, Yi-An; Fuchsberger, Christian; Tayo, Bamidele; Nalls, Michael; Feitosa, Mary F; Isaacs, Aaron; Dehghan, Abbas; d'Adamo, Pio; Adeyemo, Adebowale; Dieffenbach, Aida Karina; Zonderman, Alan B; Nolte, Ilja M; van der Most, Peter J; Wright, Alan F; Shuldiner, Alan R; Morrison, Alanna C; Hofman, Albert; Smith, Albert V; Dreisbach, Albert W; Franke, Andre; Uitterlinden, Andre G; Metspalu, Andres; Tonjes, Anke; Lupo, Antonio; Robino, Antonietta; Johansson, Åsa; Demirkan, Ayse; Kollerits, Barbara; Freedman, Barry I; Ponte, Belen; Oostra, Ben A; Paulweber, Bernhard; Krämer, Bernhard K; Mitchell, Braxton D; Buckley, Brendan M; Peralta, Carmen A; Hayward, Caroline; Helmer, Catherine; Rotimi, Charles N; Shaffer, Christian M; Müller, Christian; Sala, Cinzia; van Duijn, Cornelia M; Saint-Pierre, Aude; Ackermann, Daniel; Shriner, Daniel; Ruggiero, Daniela; Toniolo, Daniela; Lu, Yingchang; Cusi, Daniele; Czamara, Darina; Ellinghaus, David; Siscovick, David S; Ruderfer, Douglas; Gieger, Christian; Grallert, Harald; Rochtchina, Elena; Atkinson, Elizabeth J; Holliday, Elizabeth G; Boerwinkle, Eric; Salvi, Erika; Bottinger, Erwin P; Murgia, Federico; Rivadeneira, Fernando; Ernst, Florian; Kronenberg, Florian; Hu, Frank B; Navis, Gerjan J; Curhan, Gary C; Ehret, George B; Homuth, Georg; Coassin, Stefan; Thun, Gian-Andri; Pistis, Giorgio; Gambaro, Giovanni; Malerba, Giovanni; Montgomery, Grant W; Eiriksdottir, Gudny; Jacobs, Gunnar; Li, Guo; Wichmann, H-Erich; Campbell, Harry; Schmidt, Helena; Wallaschofski, Henri; Völzke, Henry; Brenner, Hermann; Kroemer, Heyo K; Kramer, Holly; Lin, Honghuang; Leach, I Mateo; Ford, Ian; Guessous, Idris; Rudan, Igor; Prokopenko, Inga; Borecki, Ingrid; Heid, Iris M; Kolcic, Ivana; Persico, Ivana; Jukema, J Wouter; Wilson, James F; Felix, Janine F; Divers, Jasmin; Lambert, Jean-Charles; Stafford, Jeanette M; Gaspoz, Jean-Michel; Smith, Jennifer A; Faul, Jessica D; Wang, Jie Jin; Ding, Jingzhong; Hirschhorn, Joel N; Attia, John; Whitfield, John B; Chalmers, John; Viikari, Jorma; Coresh, Josef; Denny, Joshua C; Karjalainen, Juha; Fernandes, Jyotika K; Endlich, Karlhans; Butterbach, Katja; Keene, Keith L; Lohman, Kurt; Portas, Laura; Launer, Lenore J; Lyytikäinen, Leo-Pekka; Yengo, Loic; Franke, Lude; Ferrucci, Luigi; Rose, Lynda M; Kedenko, Lyudmyla; Rao, Madhumathi; Struchalin, Maksim; Kleber, Marcus E; Cavalieri, Margherita; Haun, Margot; Cornelis, Marilyn C; Ciullo, Marina; Pirastu, Mario; de Andrade, Mariza; McEvoy, Mark A; Woodward, Mark; Adam, Martin; Cocca, Massimiliano; Nauck, Matthias; Imboden, Medea; Waldenberger, Melanie; Pruijm, Menno; Metzger, Marie; Stumvoll, Michael; Evans, Michele K; Sale, Michele M; Kähönen, Mika; Boban, Mladen; Bochud, Murielle; Rheinberger, Myriam; Verweij, Niek; Bouatia-Naji, Nabila; Martin, Nicholas G; Hastie, Nick; Probst-Hensch, Nicole; Soranzo, Nicole; Devuyst, Olivier; Raitakari, Olli; Gottesman, Omri; Franco, Oscar H; Polasek, Ozren; Gasparini, Paolo; Munroe, Patricia B; Ridker, Paul M; Mitchell, Paul; Muntner, Paul; Meisinger, Christa; Smit, Johannes H; Kovacs, Peter; Wild, Philipp S; Froguel, Philippe; Rettig, Rainer; Mägi, Reedik; Biffar, Reiner; Schmidt, Reinhold; Middelberg, Rita P S; Carroll, Robert J; Penninx, Brenda W; Scott, Rodney J; Katz, Ronit; Sedaghat, Sanaz; Wild, Sarah H; Kardia, Sharon L R; Ulivi, Sheila; Hwang, Shih-Jen; Enroth, Stefan; Kloiber, Stefan; Trompet, Stella; Stengel, Benedicte; Hancock, Stephen J; Turner, Stephen T; Rosas, Sylvia E; Stracke, Sylvia; Harris, Tamara B; Zeller, Tanja; Zemunik, Tatijana; Lehtimäki, Terho; Illig, Thomas; Aspelund, Thor; Nikopensius, Tiit; Esko, Tonu; Tanaka, Toshiko; Gyllensten, Ulf; Völker, Uwe; Emilsson, Valur; Vitart, Veronique; Aalto, Ville; Gudnason, Vilmundur; Chouraki, Vincent; Chen, Wei-Min; Igl, Wilmar; März, Winfried; Koenig, Wolfgang; Lieb, Wolfgang; Loos, Ruth J F; Liu, Yongmei; Snieder, Harold; Pramstaller, Peter P; Parsa, Afshin; O'Connell, Jeffrey R; Susztak, Katalin; Hamet, Pavel; Tremblay, Johanne; de Boer, Ian H; Böger, Carsten A; Goessling, Wolfram; Chasman, Daniel I; Köttgen, Anna; Kao, W H Linda; Fox, Caroline S

    2016-01-21

    Reduced glomerular filtration rate defines chronic kidney disease and is associated with cardiovascular and all-cause mortality. We conducted a meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies for estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR), combining data across 133,413 individuals with replication in up to 42,166 individuals. We identify 24 new and confirm 29 previously identified loci. Of these 53 loci, 19 associate with eGFR among individuals with diabetes. Using bioinformatics, we show that identified genes at eGFR loci are enriched for expression in kidney tissues and in pathways relevant for kidney development and transmembrane transporter activity, kidney structure, and regulation of glucose metabolism. Chromatin state mapping and DNase I hypersensitivity analyses across adult tissues demonstrate preferential mapping of associated variants to regulatory regions in kidney but not extra-renal tissues. These findings suggest that genetic determinants of eGFR are mediated largely through direct effects within the kidney and highlight important cell types and biological pathways.

  20. Extracellular membrane vesicles in blood products-biology and clinical relevance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emilija Krstova Krajnc

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Extracellular membrane vesicles are fragments shed from plasma membranes off all cell types that are undergoing apoptosis or are being subjected to various types of stimulation or stress.  Even in the process of programmed cell death (apoptosis, cell fall apart of varying size vesicles. They expose phosphatidylserine (PS on the outer leaflet of their membrane, and bear surface membrane antigens reflecting their cellular origin. Extracellular membrane vesicles have been isolated from many types of biological fluids, including serum, cerebrospinal fluid, urine, saliva, tears and conditioned culture medium. Flow cytometry is one of the many different methodological approaches that have been used to analyze EMVs. The method attempts to characterize the EMVs cellular origin, size, population, number, and structure. EMVs are present and accumulate in blood products (erythrocytes, platelets as well as in fresh frozen plasma during storage. The aim of this review is to highlight the importance of extracellular vesicles as a cell-to-cell communication system and the role in the pathogenesis of different diseases. Special emphasis will be given to the implication of extracellular membrane vesicles in blood products and their clinical relevance. Although our understanding of the role of  EMVs in disease is far from comprehensive, they display promise as biomarkers for different diseases in the future and also as a marker of quality and safety in the quality control of blood products.

  1. Messina: a novel analysis tool to identify biologically relevant molecules in disease.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mark Pinese

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Morphologically similar cancers display heterogeneous patterns of molecular aberrations and follow substantially different clinical courses. This diversity has become the basis for the definition of molecular phenotypes, with significant implications for therapy. Microarray or proteomic expression profiling is conventionally employed to identify disease-associated genes, however, traditional approaches for the analysis of profiling experiments may miss molecular aberrations which define biologically relevant subtypes. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Here we present Messina, a method that can identify those genes that only sometimes show aberrant expression in cancer. We demonstrate with simulated data that Messina is highly sensitive and specific when used to identify genes which are aberrantly expressed in only a proportion of cancers, and compare Messina to contemporary analysis techniques. We illustrate Messina by using it to detect the aberrant expression of a gene that may play an important role in pancreatic cancer. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Messina allows the detection of genes with profiles typical of markers of molecular subtype, and complements existing methods to assist the identification of such markers. Messina is applicable to any global expression profiling data, and to allow its easy application has been packaged into a freely-available stand-alone software package.

  2. Effects of personal relevance and simulated darkness on the affective appraisal of a virtual environment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexander Toet

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available This study investigated whether personal relevance influences the affective appraisal of a desktop virtual environment (VE in simulated darkness. In the real world, darkness often evokes thoughts of vulnerability, threat, and danger, and may automatically precipitate emotional responses consonant with those thoughts (fear of darkness. This influences the affective appraisal of a given environment after dark and the way humans behave in that environment in conditions of low lighting. Desktop VEs are increasingly deployed to study the effects of environmental qualities and (architectural or lighting interventions on human behaviour and feelings of safety. Their (ecological validity for these purposes depends critically on their ability to correctly address the user’s cognitive and affective experience. Previous studies with desktop (i.e., non-immersive VEs found that simulated darkness only slightly affects the user’s behavioral and emotional responses to the represented environment, in contrast to the responses observed for immersive VEs. We hypothesize that the desktop VE scenarios used in previous studies less effectively induced emotional and behavioral responses because they lacked personal relevance. In addition, factors like signs of social presence and relatively high levels of ambient lighting may also have limited these responses. In this study, young female volunteers explored either a daytime or a night-time (low ambient light level version of a desktop VE representing a deserted (no social presence prototypical Dutch polder landscape. To enhance the personal relevance of the simulation, a fraction of the participants were led to believe that the virtual exploration tour would prepare them for a follow-up tour through the real world counterpart of the VE. The affective appraisal of the VE and the emotional response of the participants were measured through self-report. The results show that the VE was appraised as slightly less

  3. Effects of personal relevance and simulated darkness on the affective appraisal of a virtual environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toet, Alexander; Houtkamp, Joske M; Vreugdenhil, Paul E

    2016-01-01

    This study investigated whether personal relevance influences the affective appraisal of a desktop virtual environment (VE) in simulated darkness. In the real world, darkness often evokes thoughts of vulnerability, threat, and danger, and may automatically precipitate emotional responses consonant with those thoughts (fear of darkness). This influences the affective appraisal of a given environment after dark and the way humans behave in that environment in conditions of low lighting. Desktop VEs are increasingly deployed to study the effects of environmental qualities and (architectural or lighting) interventions on human behaviour and feelings of safety. Their (ecological) validity for these purposes depends critically on their ability to correctly address the user's cognitive and affective experience. Previous studies with desktop (i.e., non-immersive) VEs found that simulated darkness only slightly affects the user's behavioral and emotional responses to the represented environment, in contrast to the responses observed for immersive VEs. We hypothesize that the desktop VE scenarios used in previous studies less effectively induced emotional and behavioral responses because they lacked personal relevance. In addition, factors like signs of social presence and relatively high levels of ambient lighting may also have limited these responses. In this study, young female volunteers explored either a daytime or a night-time (low ambient light level) version of a desktop VE representing a deserted (no social presence) prototypical Dutch polder landscape. To enhance the personal relevance of the simulation, a fraction of the participants were led to believe that the virtual exploration tour would prepare them for a follow-up tour through the real world counterpart of the VE. The affective appraisal of the VE and the emotional response of the participants were measured through self-report. The results show that the VE was appraised as slightly less pleasant and more

  4. The Relationship between Grade 11 Palestinian Attitudes toward Biology and Their Perceptions of the Biology Learning Environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zeidan, Afif

    2010-01-01

    The aims of the study were to investigate (a) the relationship between the attitudes toward biology and perceptions of the biology learning environment among grade 11 students in Tulkarm District, Palestine and (b) the effect of gender and residence of these students on their attitudes toward biology and on their perceptions of the biology…

  5. Genes, environment and sport performance: why the nature-nurture dualism is no longer relevant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davids, Keith; Baker, Joseph

    2007-01-01

    The historical debate on the relative influences of genes (i.e. nature) and environment (i.e. nurture) on human behaviour has been characterised by extreme positions leading to reductionist and polemic conclusions. Our analysis of research on sport and exercise behaviours shows that currently there is little support for either biologically or environmentally deterministic perspectives on elite athletic performance. In sports medicine, recent molecular biological advances in genomic studies have been over-interpreted, leading to a questionable 'single-gene-as-magic-bullet' philosophy adopted by some practitioners. Similarly, although extensive involvement in training and practice is needed at elite levels, it has become apparent that the acquisition of expertise is not merely about amassing a requisite number of practice hours. Although an interactionist perspective has been mooted over the years, a powerful explanatory framework has been lacking. In this article, we propose how the complementary nature of degenerate neurobiological systems might provide the theoretical basis for explaining the interactive influence of genetic and environmental constraints on elite athletic performance. We argue that, due to inherent human degeneracy, there are many different trajectories to achieving elite athletic performance. While the greatest training responses may be theoretically associated with the most favourable genotypes being exposed to highly specialised training environments, this is a rare and complex outcome. The concept of degeneracy provides us with a basis for understanding why each of the major interacting constraints might act in a compensatory manner on the acquisition of elite athletic performance.

  6. SysBioCube: A Data Warehouse and Integrative Data Analysis Platform Facilitating Systems Biology Studies of Disorders of Military Relevance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chowbina, Sudhir; Hammamieh, Rasha; Kumar, Raina; Chakraborty, Nabarun; Yang, Ruoting; Mudunuri, Uma; Jett, Marti; Palma, Joseph M; Stephens, Robert

    2013-01-01

    SysBioCube is an integrated data warehouse and analysis platform for experimental data relating to diseases of military relevance developed for the US Army Medical Research and Materiel Command Systems Biology Enterprise (SBE). It brings together, under a single database environment, pathophysio-, psychological, molecular and biochemical data from mouse models of post-traumatic stress disorder and (pre-) clinical data from human PTSD patients.. SysBioCube will organize, centralize and normalize this data and provide an access portal for subsequent analysis to the SBE. It provides new or expanded browsing, querying and visualization to provide better understanding of the systems biology of PTSD, all brought about through the integrated environment. We employ Oracle database technology to store the data using an integrated hierarchical database schema design. The web interface provides researchers with systematic information and option to interrogate the profiles of pan-omics component across different data types, experimental designs and other covariates.

  7. Biology-environment interaction and evocative biology-environment correlation: contributions of harsh discipline and parental psychopathology to problem adolescent behaviors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riggins-Caspers, Kristin M; Cadoret, Remi J; Knutson, John F; Langbehn, Douglas

    2003-05-01

    Using an adoption paradigm, the Bioecological Model of development proposed by Bronfenbrenner and Ceci in 1994 was tested by concurrently modeling for biology-environment interaction and evocative biology-environment correlation. A sample of 150 adult adoptees (ages, 18-45 years) provided retrospective reports of harsh adoptive parent discipline, which served as the environmental independent variables. Birth parent psychopathology served as the biological predictor. The dependent variables were retrospective adoptee and adoptive parent reports on adolescent aggressive and conduct-disordered behaviors. Finally, adoptees were classified as experiencing contextual environmental risk using the presence of two or more adverse factors in the adoptive home (e.g., adoptive parent psychopathology) as the cutoff. The contextual environment was found to moderate the biological process of evocative biology-environment correlation, providing empirical support for the Bronfenbrenner and Ceci (1994) Bioecological Model.

  8. STSE: Spatio-Temporal Simulation Environment Dedicated to Biology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gerber Susanne

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Recently, the availability of high-resolution microscopy together with the advancements in the development of biomarkers as reporters of biomolecular interactions increased the importance of imaging methods in molecular cell biology. These techniques enable the investigation of cellular characteristics like volume, size and geometry as well as volume and geometry of intracellular compartments, and the amount of existing proteins in a spatially resolved manner. Such detailed investigations opened up many new areas of research in the study of spatial, complex and dynamic cellular systems. One of the crucial challenges for the study of such systems is the design of a well stuctured and optimized workflow to provide a systematic and efficient hypothesis verification. Computer Science can efficiently address this task by providing software that facilitates handling, analysis, and evaluation of biological data to the benefit of experimenters and modelers. Results The Spatio-Temporal Simulation Environment (STSE is a set of open-source tools provided to conduct spatio-temporal simulations in discrete structures based on microscopy images. The framework contains modules to digitize, represent, analyze, and mathematically model spatial distributions of biochemical species. Graphical user interface (GUI tools provided with the software enable meshing of the simulation space based on the Voronoi concept. In addition, it supports to automatically acquire spatial information to the mesh from the images based on pixel luminosity (e.g. corresponding to molecular levels from microscopy images. STSE is freely available either as a stand-alone version or included in the linux live distribution Systems Biology Operational Software (SB.OS and can be downloaded from http://www.stse-software.org/. The Python source code as well as a comprehensive user manual and video tutorials are also offered to the research community. We discuss main concepts

  9. STSE: Spatio-Temporal Simulation Environment Dedicated to Biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stoma, Szymon; Fröhlich, Martina; Gerber, Susanne; Klipp, Edda

    2011-04-28

    Recently, the availability of high-resolution microscopy together with the advancements in the development of biomarkers as reporters of biomolecular interactions increased the importance of imaging methods in molecular cell biology. These techniques enable the investigation of cellular characteristics like volume, size and geometry as well as volume and geometry of intracellular compartments, and the amount of existing proteins in a spatially resolved manner. Such detailed investigations opened up many new areas of research in the study of spatial, complex and dynamic cellular systems. One of the crucial challenges for the study of such systems is the design of a well stuctured and optimized workflow to provide a systematic and efficient hypothesis verification. Computer Science can efficiently address this task by providing software that facilitates handling, analysis, and evaluation of biological data to the benefit of experimenters and modelers. The Spatio-Temporal Simulation Environment (STSE) is a set of open-source tools provided to conduct spatio-temporal simulations in discrete structures based on microscopy images. The framework contains modules to digitize, represent, analyze, and mathematically model spatial distributions of biochemical species. Graphical user interface (GUI) tools provided with the software enable meshing of the simulation space based on the Voronoi concept. In addition, it supports to automatically acquire spatial information to the mesh from the images based on pixel luminosity (e.g. corresponding to molecular levels from microscopy images). STSE is freely available either as a stand-alone version or included in the linux live distribution Systems Biology Operational Software (SB.OS) and can be downloaded from http://www.stse-software.org/. The Python source code as well as a comprehensive user manual and video tutorials are also offered to the research community. We discuss main concepts of the STSE design and workflow. We

  10. The drought environment: physical, biological and agricultural perspectives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Passioura, John

    2007-01-01

    'Drought' has many meanings in relation to crop production. These range from: statistical (say, the lowest decile of annual rainfall) to a meteorologist; through yield being limited by too little water to an agronomist; to sudden severe water deficits to many molecular biologists. To a farmer, the corresponding management issues, respectively, are risk management (how best to manage a meteorologically drought-prone farm over several years), how best to match cultivar and agronomic operations to the developing growing season, and how best to minimize possible major damage to (say) floral fertility induced by severe water deficits during flowering. All these definitions and the issues they imply are relevant to improving crop production when water is limiting. How can scientists best help? The answers depend on the scales (temporal and spatial) being addressed. Agronomists and breeders, interacting, can help improve components of seasonal water balance in the field, for example, minimizing evaporative losses from the soil surface by better matching the development of a crop to its environment. Physiologists, biochemists, and molecular biologists can help by identifying ways of improving the competence of particular organs. A promising target is floral infertility resulting from water deficits, which results from lesions in tissue, and cellular and molecular processes. Choosing problems whose solutions will have implications in the field and be attractive to farmers requires knowledge of what is important in the field.

  11. Study about the relevance and the disclosure of biological assets of listed companies in BM&FBOVESPA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luciana Holtz

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available The main objective this article is to verify that the information content of biological assets disclosed in the financial statements are relevant and, the secondary objective perform content analysis of the notes verifying the compliance of information supplied by entities with CPC 29. The study sample was composed of publicly traded stock companies listed on the BM & FBOVESPA with data for the year 2010 and 2011. The empirical tests were conducted applying relevance models, using observations of 347 active companies characterizing a study model pooled ordinary least squares – POLS, including companies that have reported biological assets into account specific .The companies that had values of biological assets posted have had analyzed explanatory notes referring to this account. The results provide empirical evidence that the information content of biological assets disclosed by companies is not relevant to the sample. In relation the content analysis of the notes was checked a partial compliance of the standard, there is a disparity in the information disclosure practices by the companies analyzed, as well as an omission of items required by the standard. Can be inferred that loss of the relevance has occurred, in part, by the poor quality of the notes, which may make it difficult for outside users in interpreting the information disclosed.

  12. Use of graphene as protection film in biological environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Weixia; Lee, Sudarat; McNear, Kelly L.; Chung, Ting Fung; Lee, Seunghyun; Lee, Kyunghoon; Crist, Scott A.; Ratliff, Timothy L.; Zhong, Zhaohui; Chen, Yong P.; Yang, Chen

    2014-02-01

    Corrosion of metal in biomedical devices could cause serious health problems to patients. Currently ceramics coating materials used in metal implants can reduce corrosion to some extent with limitations. Here we proposed graphene as a biocompatible protective film for metal potentially for biomedical application. We confirmed graphene effectively inhibits Cu surface from corrosion in different biological aqueous environments. Results from cell viability tests suggested that graphene greatly eliminates the toxicity of Cu by inhibiting corrosion and reducing the concentration of Cu2+ ions produced. We demonstrated that additional thiol derivatives assembled on graphene coated Cu surface can prominently enhance durability of sole graphene protection limited by the defects in graphene film. We also demonstrated that graphene coating reduced the immune response to metal in a clinical setting for the first time through the lymphocyte transformation test. Finally, an animal experiment showed the effective protection of graphene to Cu under in vivo condition. Our results open up the potential for using graphene coating to protect metal surface in biomedical application.

  13. Self-Relevance Constructions of Biology Concepts: Meaning-Making and Identity-Formation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davidson, Yonaton Sahar

    2018-01-01

    Recent research supports the benefit of students' construction of relevance through writing about the connection of content to their life. However, most such research defines relevance narrowly as utility value--perceived instrumentality of the content to the student's career goals. Furthermore, the scope of phenomenological and conceptual…

  14. Basics and principles of particle image velocimetry (PIV) for mapping biogenic and biologically relevant flows

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stamhuis, Eize J.

    2006-01-01

    Particle image velocimetry (PIV) has proven to be a very useful technique in mapping animal-generated flows or flow patterns relevant to biota. Here, theoretical background is provided and experimental details of 2-dimensional digital PIV are explained for mapping flow produced by or relevant to

  15. "Evo in the News:" Understanding Evolution and Students' Attitudes toward the Relevance of Evolutionary Biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Infanti, Lynn M.; Wiles, Jason R.

    2014-01-01

    This investigation evaluated the effects of exposure to the "Evo in the News" section of the "Understanding Evolution" website on students' attitudes toward biological evolution in undergraduates in a mixed-majors introductory biology course at Syracuse University. Students' attitudes toward evolution and changes therein were…

  16. A generalized Born formalism for heterogeneous dielectric environments: application to the implicit modeling of biological membranes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tanizaki, Seiichiro; Feig, Michael

    2005-03-22

    Reliable computer simulations of complex biological environments such as integral membrane proteins with explicit water and lipid molecules remain a challenging task. We propose a modification of the standard generalized Born theory of homogeneous solvent for modeling the heterogeneous dielectric environments such as lipid/water interfaces. Our model allows the representation of biological membranes in the form of multiple layered dielectric regions with dielectric constants that are different from the solute cavity. The proposed new formalism is shown to predict the electrostatic component of solvation free energy with a relative error of 0.17% compared to exact finite-difference solutions of the Poisson equation for a transmembrane helix test system. Molecular dynamics simulations of melittin and bacteriorhodopsin are carried out and performed over 10 ns and 7 ns of simulation time, respectively. The center of melittin along the membrane normal in these stable simulations is in excellent agreement with the relevant experimental data. Simulations of bacteriorhodopsin started from the experimental structure remained stable and in close agreement with experiment. We also examined the free energy profiles of water and amino acid side chain analogs upon membrane insertion. The results with our implicit membrane model agree well with the experimental transfer free energy data from cyclohexane to water as well as explicit solvent simulations of water and selected side chain analogs.

  17. Synthesis and Demonstration of the Biological Relevance of sp3-rich Scaffolds Distantly Related to Natural Product Frameworks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foley, Daniel J; Craven, Philip G E; Collins, Patrick M; Doveston, Richard G; Aimon, Anthony; Talon, Romain; Churcher, Ian; von Delft, Frank; Marsden, Stephen P; Nelson, Adam

    2017-10-26

    The productive exploration of chemical space is an enduring challenge in chemical biology and medicinal chemistry. Natural products are biologically relevant, and their frameworks have facilitated chemical tool and drug discovery. A "top-down" synthetic approach is described that enabled a range of complex bridged intermediates to be converted with high step efficiency into 26 diverse sp 3 -rich scaffolds. The scaffolds have local natural product-like features, but are only distantly related to specific natural product frameworks. To assess biological relevance, a set of 52 fragments was prepared, and screened by high-throughput crystallography against three targets from two protein families (ATAD2, BRD1 and JMJD2D). In each case, 3D fragment hits were identified that would serve as distinctive starting points for ligand discovery. This demonstrates that frameworks that are distantly related to natural products can facilitate discovery of new biologically relevant regions within chemical space. © 2017 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  18. Germination of Spores of Astrobiologically Relevant Bacillus Species in High-Salinity Environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagler, Katja; Julius, Christina; Moeller, Ralf

    2016-07-01

    In times of increasing space exploration and search for extraterrestrial life, new questions and challenges for planetary protection, aiming to avoid forward contamination of different planets or moons with terrestrial life, are emerging. Spore-forming bacteria such as Bacillus species have a high contamination potential due to their spores' extreme resistance, enabling them to withstand space conditions. Spores require liquid water for their conversion into a growing cell (i.e., spore germination and subsequent growth). If present, water on extraterrestrial planets or moons is likely to be closely associated with salts (e.g., in salty oceans or brines), thus constituting high-salinity environments. Spores of Bacillus subtilis can germinate despite very high salt concentrations, although salt stress does exert negative effects on this process. In this study, germination and metabolic reactivation ("outgrowth") of spores of five astrobiologically relevant Bacillus species (B. megaterium, B. pumilus SAFR-032, B. nealsonii, B. mojavensis, and B. vallismortis) in high salinity (≤3.6 M NaCl) were investigated. Spores of different species exhibited different germination and outgrowth capabilities in high salinity, which strongly depended on germination conditions, especially the exact composition of the medium. In this context, a new "universal" germination trigger for Bacillus spores, named KAGE (KCl, L-alanine, D-glucose, ectoine), was identified, which will be very useful for future comparative germination and outgrowth studies on different Bacillus species. Overall, this study yielded interesting new insights on salt stress effects on spore germination and points out the difficulty of predicting the potential of spores to contaminate salty environments on extraterrestrial celestial bodies.

  19. The Fortymile caribou herd: novel proposed management and relevant biology, 1992-1997

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rodney D. Boertje

    2000-04-01

    Full Text Available A diverse, international Fortymile Planning Team wrote a novel Fortymile caribou herd {Rangifer tarandus granti Management Plan in 1995 (Boertje & Gardner, 1996: 56-77. The primary goal of this plan is to begin restoring the Fortymile herd to its former range; >70% of the herd's former range was abandoned as herd size declined. Specific objectives call for increasing the Fortymile herd by at least 5-10% annually from 1998-2002. We describe demographics of the herd, factors limiting the herd, and condition of the herd and range during 1992-1997. These data were useful in proposing management actions for the herd and should be instrumental in future evaluations of the plan's actions. The following points summarize herd biology relevant to management proposed by the Fortymile Planning Team: 1. Herd numbers remained relatively stable during 1990-1995 (about 22 000-23 000 caribou. On 21 June 1996 we counted about 900 additional caribou in the herd, probably a result of increased pregnancy rates in 1996. On 26 June 1997 we counted about 2500 additional caribou in the herd, probably a result of recruitment of the abundant 1996 calves and excellent early survival of the 1997 calves. The Team deemed that implementing management actions during a period of natural growth would be opportune. 2. Wolf (Canis lupus and grizzly bear (Ursus arctos predation were the most important sources of mortality, despite over a decade of the most liberal regulations in the state for harvesting of wolves and grizzly bears. Wolves were the most important predator. Wolves killed between 2000 and 3000 caribou calves annually during this study and between 1000 and 2300 older caribou; 1200-1900 calves were killed from May through September. No significant differences in annual wolf predation rates on calves or adults were observed between 1994 and early winter 1997. Reducing wolf predation was judged by the Team to be the most manageable way to help hasten or stimulate

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shearer, Jeffrey C.

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

  1. Teleology then and now: the question of Kant's relevance for contemporary controversies over function in biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zammito, John

    2006-12-01

    'Naturalism' is the aspiration of contemporary philosophy of biology, and Kant simply cannot be refashioned into a naturalist. Instead, epistemological 'deflation' was the decisive feature of Kant's treatment of the 'biomedical' science in his day, so it is not surprising that this might attract some philosophers of science to him today. A certain sense of impasse in the contemporary 'function talk' seems to motivate renewed interest in Kant. Kant--drawing on his eighteenth-century predecessors-provided a discerning and powerful characterization of what biologists had to explain in organic form. His difference from the rest is that he opined that it was impossible to explain it. Its 'inscrutability' was intrinsic. The third Critique essentially proposed the reduction of biology to a kind of pre-scientific descriptivism, doomed never to attain authentic scientificity, to have its 'Newton of the blade of grass'. By contrast, for Locke, and a fortiori for Buffon and his followers, 'intrinsic purposiveness' was a fact of the matter about concrete biological phenomena; the features of internal self-regulation were hypotheses arising out of actual research practice. The difference comes most vividly to light once we recognize Kant's distinction of the concept of organism from the concept of life. If biology must conceptualize self-organization as actual in the world, Kant's regulative/constitutive distinction is pointless in practice and the (naturalist) philosophy of biology has urgent work to undertake for which Kant turns out not to be very helpful.

  2. Membrane Domains and Their Relevance to the Organization of Biological Membranes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bagatolli, Luis

    2012-01-01

    approaches. Thus, a section containing a historical perspective of lipid domains has been added as an introduction, recapitulating how lipid domains came into view and discussing how this phenomenon influenced different models of biological membranes. General but important aspects of the physical basis...... approaches. This includes a section on experimental results showing correlations between simple lipid mixtures and some specialized natural membranous systems. The chapter ends by discussing the pros and cons of current biological membrane models considering membrane domains, and tackles new challenges...... and future perspectives on membrane-related studies. This last section includes a critical discussion about the appropriateness of connecting phenomena observed in model membrane systems with their natural counterpart – that is, biological membranes....

  3. Genomics and systems biology - How relevant are the developments to veterinary pharmacology, toxicology and therapeutics?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Witkamp, R.F.

    2005-01-01

    This review discusses some of the recent developments in genomics and its current and future relevance for veterinary pharmacology and toxicology. With the rapid progress made in this field several new approaches in pharmacological and toxicological research have developed and drug discovery and

  4. Is 'class effect' relevant when assessing the benefit/risk profile of a biologic agent?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sterry, W.; Kerkhof, P.C.M. van de

    2012-01-01

    Psoriasis is a chronic, genetically predisposed skin disorder, characterised by thickened scaly plaques. Although no therapy is recognised as curative, therapies aimed at symptom control include biologic agents that are generally designed to block molecular activation of cellular pathways of a

  5. Demographic history and biologically relevant genetic variation of Native Mexicans inferred from whole-genome sequencing

    OpenAIRE

    Romero-Hidalgo, Sandra; Ochoa-Leyva, Adrián; Garcíarrubio, Alejandro; Acuña-Alonzo, Victor; Antúnez-Argüelles, Erika; Balcazar-Quintero, Martha; Barquera-Lozano, Rodrigo; Carnevale, Alessandra; Cornejo-Granados, Fernanda; Fernández-López, Juan Carlos; García-Herrera, Rodrigo; García-Ortíz, Humberto; Granados-Silvestre, Ángeles; Granados, Julio; Guerrero-Romero, Fernando

    2017-01-01

    Understanding the genetic structure of Native American populations is important to clarify their diversity, demographic history, and to identify genetic factors relevant for biomedical traits. Here, we show a demographic history reconstruction from 12 Native American whole genomes belonging to six distinct ethnic groups representing the three main described genetic clusters of Mexico (Northern, Southern, and Maya). Effective population size estimates of all Native American groups remained bel...

  6. CLINICAL AND BIOLOGICAL RELEVANCE OF EZH2 IN TRIPLE NEGATIVE BREAST CANCER

    OpenAIRE

    Hussein, Yaser R.; Sood, Anil K.; Bandyopadhyay, Sudeshna; Albashiti, Bassam; Semaan, Assaad; Nahleh, Zeina; Roh, Juwon; Han, Hee Dong; Lopez-Berestein, Gabriel; Ali-Fehmi, Rouba

    2012-01-01

    The polycomb group protein, enhancer of zeste homolog 2 (EZH2), is a transcriptional repressor involved in cell cycle regulation and has been linked to aggressive breast cancer. We examined the clinical and biological significance of EZH2 expression in triple-negative breast cancers. Tissue microarrays were constructed with invasive breast cancer cases and stained with EZH2, cytokeratin 5/6, epidermal growth factor receptor 1(EGFR) and p53. The expression of these markers was correlated with ...

  7. Behavioral and Biological Effects of Housing Conditions and Stress in Male Rats - Relevance to Heart Disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    2006-08-01

    statistically significant effects for enrichment on various biological measures (e.g., Body weight , adrenal gland weights , fat adipose tissue). Studies of...anxiety-like behaviors as a consequence of neonatal maternal separation in Long-Evans rats. Pharmacology Biochemistry & Behavior, 73(1), 131-140...stress field. Journal of Human Stress, 15, 22-36. McIntosh, J., Anisman, H., & Merali, Z. (1999). Short and long-periods of neonatal maternal

  8. Applying systems biology methods to the study of human physiology in extreme environments

    OpenAIRE

    Edwards, Lindsay M; Thiele, Ines

    2013-01-01

    Systems biology is defined in this review as ‘an iterative process of computational model building and experimental model revision with the aim of understanding or simulating complex biological systems’. We propose that, in practice, systems biology rests on three pillars: computation, the omics disciplines and repeated experimental perturbation of the system of interest. The number of ethical and physiologically relevant perturbations that can be used in experiments on healthy humans is e...

  9. Evaluating Biology Achievement Scores in an ICT Integrated PBL Environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Osman, Kamisah; Kaur, Simranjeet Judge

    2014-01-01

    Students' achievement in Biology is often looked up as a benchmark to evaluate the mode of teaching and learning in higher education. Problem-based learning (PBL) is an approach that focuses on students' solving a problem through collaborative groups. There were eighty samples involved in this study. The samples were divided into three groups: ICT…

  10. Formation of biologically relevant compounds of interest in chemical evolution from the radiolysis of succinonitrile solutions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Albarran, G.; Juarez, C.; Negron-Mendoza, A.

    1991-01-01

    Low molecular weight compounds such as H 2 , CO 2 , NH 3 were identified among the radiolytic products. Irradiated samples exhibit positive biuret test. IR spectra of the dry residue confirm the presence of amide groups. These results suggest the presence of peptidic type material, which increased with the radiation dose. Other compounds identified were several di and tricarboxylic acids. The initial yield of formation of a variety of products was calculated from the concentration vs dose plots. Some of the radiolytic compounds are of biological importance and their formation is significant to chemical evolution studies. (author) 7 refs

  11. Advanced imaging in biology and medicine. Technology, software environments, applications

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sensen, Christoph W.; Hallgrimsson, Benedikt

    2009-01-01

    Since the invention of X-Ray technology by Konrad Roentgen in 1895, non-invasive imaging technologies are part of the medical and biological tool kit. Today, quite a number of non-invasive imaging technologies exist, from 4-dimensional Ultrasound to Computer Tomography. Almost every individual is subjected to one or more of these technologies during their lifetime. Destructive imaging approaches such as light- and electron microscopy have benefitted from the development of computing algorithms and digital imaging, making them more and more valuable for the study of biological and medical phenomena. Not only is the number of imaging technologies increasing rapidly, at the same time the strategies and algorithms for image analysis are becoming more and more sophisticated. This book attempts for the first time to provide an overview of the major approaches to biological and medical imaging, the strategies for image analysis and the creation of models, which are based on the results of image analysis. This sets the book aside from the usual monographs, which introduce the reader only to a single technology. Given the broad range of topics covered, this book provides an overview of the field, which is useful for a wide audience, from physicians and biologists to readers who would like to know more about the technology, which is used to derive diagnoses of diseases today. (orig.)

  12. Screens as light biological variable in microgravitational space environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schlacht, S.; Masali, M.

    Foreword The ability of the biological organisms to orient themselves and to synchronize on the variations of the solar rhythms is a fundamental aspect in the planning of the human habitat above all when habitat is confined in the Space the planetary and in satellite outer space settlements In order to simulate the experience of the astronauts in long duration missions one of the dominant characteristics of the Space confined habitats is the absence of the earthlings solar cycles references The Sun is the main references and guidelines of the biological compass and timepiece The organism functions are influenced from the variation of the light in the round of the 24 hours the human circadian rhythms In these habitats it is therefore necessary to reproduce the color and intensity of the solar light variations along the arc of the day according to defined scientific programs assuring a better performance of the human organism subsubsection Multilayer Foldable Screens as biological environmental variable In the project Multilayer Foldable Screens are the monitors posed in the ceiling of an Outer Space habitat and are made of liquid crystals and covered with Kevlar they stand for a modulate and flexible structure for different arrangements and different visions Screens work sout s on all the solar light frequencies and display the images that the subject needs They are characterized from the emission of an environmental light that restores the earthly solar cycle for intensity and color temperature to irradiate

  13. A novel ion pairing LC/MS metabolomics protocol for study of a variety of biologically relevant polar metabolites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knee, Jose M; Rzezniczak, Teresa Z; Barsch, Aiko; Guo, Kevin Z; Merritt, Thomas J S

    2013-10-01

    We report a method of ion-pairing liquid chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry (IP-LC-MS) that we have developed for the sensitive detection and quantification of a variety of biologically relevant polar molecules. We use the ion-pairing agent diamyl ammonium to improve chromatographic resolution of polar compounds, such as nucleotide cofactors, sugar phosphates, and organic acids, that are generally poorly retained by conventional reverse phase chromatographic methods. This method showed good linearity (average R value of 0.996) and reproducibility (generally RSD values <10%). We demonstrate the utility of this method by investigating the metabolomic signature of three distinct biological systems: the metabolic response to lack of superoxide dismutase activity and to paraquat induced oxidative stress, and the metabolic profiles of four different Drosophila species. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. Carboxylate-Assisted Iridium-Catalyzed C-H Amination of Arenes with Biologically Relevant Alkyl Azides.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Tao; Hu, Xuejiao; Wang, Zhen; Yang, Tiantian; Sun, Hao; Li, Guigen; Lu, Hongjian

    2016-02-24

    An iridium-catalyzed C-H amination of arenes with a wide substrate scope is reported. Benzamides with electron-donating and -withdrawing groups and linear, branched, and cyclic alkyl azides are all applicable. Cesium carboxylate is crucial for both reactivity and regioselectivity of the reactions. Many biologically relevant molecules, such as amino acid, peptide, steroid, sugar, and thymidine derivatives can be introduced to arenes with high yields and 100 % chiral retention. © 2016 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  15. Concise Review: Quiescence in Adult Stem Cells: Biological Significance and Relevance to Tissue Regeneration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rumman, Mohammad; Dhawan, Jyotsna; Kassem, Moustapha

    2015-10-01

    Adult stem cells (ASCs) are tissue resident stem cells responsible for tissue homeostasis and regeneration following injury. In uninjured tissues, ASCs exist in a nonproliferating, reversibly cell cycle-arrested state known as quiescence or G0. A key function of the quiescent state is to preserve stemness in ASCs by preventing precocious differentiation, and thus maintaining a pool of undifferentiated ASCs. Recent evidences suggest that quiescence is an actively maintained state and that excessive or defective quiescence may lead to compromised tissue regeneration or tumorigenesis. The aim of this review is to provide an update regarding the biological mechanisms of ASC quiescence and their role in tissue regeneration. © 2015 AlphaMed Press.

  16. Elements determination of clinical relevance in biological tissues Dmdmdx/J dystrophic mice strains investigated by NAA

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Metairon, Sabrina

    2012-01-01

    In this work the determination of chemistry elements in biological tissues (whole blood, bones and organs) of dystrophic mice, used as animal model of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD), was performed using analytical nuclear technique. The aim of this work was to determine reference values of elements of clinical (Ca, Cl, K, Mg, Na) and nutritional (Br and S) relevance in whole blood, tibia, quadriceps and hearts from Dmdmdx/J (10 males and 10 females) dystrophic mice and C57BL/6J (10 males) control group mice, using Neutron Activation Analysis technique (NAA). To show in more details the alterations that this disease may cause in these biological tissues, correlations matrixes of the DMD mdx /J mouse strain were generated and compared with C57BL/6J control group. For this study 119 samples of biological tissue were irradiated in the IEA-R1 nuclear reactor at IPEN (Sao Paulo, Brazil). The concentrations of these elements in biological tissues of Dmd mdx /J and C57B/6J mice are the first indicative interval for reference values. Moreover, the alteration in some correlation coefficients data among the elements in the health status and in the diseased status indicates a connection between these elements in whole blood, tibia, quadriceps and heart. These results may help the researchers to evaluate the efficiency of new treatments and to compare the advantages of different treatment approaches before performing tests in patients with muscular dystrophy. (author)

  17. A rapid Q-PCR titration protocol for adenovirus and helper-dependent adenovirus vectors that produces biologically relevant results

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gallaher, Sean D.; Berk, Arnold J.

    2013-01-01

    Adenoviruses are employed in the study of cellular processes and as expression vectors used in gene therapy. The success and reproducibility of these studies is dependent in part on having accurate and meaningful titers of replication competent and helper-dependent adenovirus stocks, which is problematic due to the use of varied and divergent titration protocols. Physical titration methods, which quantify the total number of viral particles, are used by many, but are poor at estimating activity. Biological titration methods, such as plaque assays, are more biologically relevant, but are time consuming and not applicable to helper-dependent gene therapy vectors. To address this, a protocol was developed called “infectious genome titration” in which viral DNA is isolated from the nuclei of cells ~3 h post-infection, and then quantified by Q-PCR. This approach ensures that only biologically active virions are counted as part of the titer determination. This approach is rapid, robust, sensitive, reproducible, and applicable to all forms of adenovirus. Unlike other Q-PCR-based methods, titers determined by this protocol are well correlated with biological activity. PMID:23624118

  18. Diverse, Biologically Relevant, and Targetable Gene Rearrangements in Triple-Negative Breast Cancer and Other Malignancies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shaver, Timothy M; Lehmann, Brian D; Beeler, J Scott; Li, Chung-I; Li, Zhu; Jin, Hailing; Stricker, Thomas P; Shyr, Yu; Pietenpol, Jennifer A

    2016-08-15

    Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) and other molecularly heterogeneous malignancies present a significant clinical challenge due to a lack of high-frequency "driver" alterations amenable to therapeutic intervention. These cancers often exhibit genomic instability, resulting in chromosomal rearrangements that affect the structure and expression of protein-coding genes. However, identification of these rearrangements remains technically challenging. Using a newly developed approach that quantitatively predicts gene rearrangements in tumor-derived genetic material, we identified and characterized a novel oncogenic fusion involving the MER proto-oncogene tyrosine kinase (MERTK) and discovered a clinical occurrence and cell line model of the targetable FGFR3-TACC3 fusion in TNBC. Expanding our analysis to other malignancies, we identified a diverse array of novel and known hybrid transcripts, including rearrangements between noncoding regions and clinically relevant genes such as ALK, CSF1R, and CD274/PD-L1 The over 1,000 genetic alterations we identified highlight the importance of considering noncoding gene rearrangement partners, and the targetable gene fusions identified in TNBC demonstrate the need to advance gene fusion detection for molecularly heterogeneous cancers. Cancer Res; 76(16); 4850-60. ©2016 AACR. ©2016 American Association for Cancer Research.

  19. Biological Production of a Hydrocarbon Fuel Intermediate Polyhydroxybutyrate (Phb) from a Process Relevant Lignocellulosic Derived Sugar

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wang, Wei; Mohagheghi, Ali; Mittal, Ashutosh; Pilath, Heidi; Johnson, David K.

    2015-03-22

    PHAs are synthesized by many microorganisms to serve as intracellular carbon storage molecules. In some bacterial strains, PHB can account for up to 80% of cell mass. In addition to its application in the packaging sector, PHB also has great potential as an intermediate in the production of hydrocarbon fuels. PHB can be thermally depolymerized and decarboxylated to propene which can be upgraded to hydrocarbon fuels via commercial oligomerization technologies. In recent years a great effort has been made in bacterial production of PHB, yet the production cost of the polymer is still much higher than conventional petrochemical plastics. The high cost of PHB is because the cost of the substrates can account for as much as half of the total product cost in large scale fermentation. Thus searching for cheaper and better substrates is very necessary for PHB production. In this study, we demonstrate production of PHB by Cupriavidus necator from a process relevant lignocellulosic derived sugar stream, i.e., saccharified hydrolysate slurry from pretreated corn stover. Good cell growth was observed on slurry saccharified with advanced enzymes and 40~60% of PHB was accumulated in the cells. The mechanism of inhibition in the toxic hydrolysate generated by pretreatment and saccharification of biomass, will be discussed.

  20. Altitude training causes haematological fluctuations with relevance for the Athlete Biological Passport.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonne, Thomas Christian; Lundby, Carsten; Lundby, Anne Kristine; Sander, Mikael; Bejder, Jacob; Nordsborg, Nikolai Baastrup

    2015-08-01

    The impact of altitude training on haematological parameters and the Athlete Biological Passport (ABP) was evaluated in international-level elite athletes. One group of swimmers lived high and trained high (LHTH, n = 10) for three to four weeks at 2130 m or higher whereas a control group (n = 10) completed a three-week training camp at sea-level. Haematological parameters were determined weekly three times before and four times after the training camps. ABP thresholds for haemoglobin concentration ([Hb]), reticulocyte percentage (RET%), OFF score and the abnormal blood profile score (ABPS) were calculated using the Bayesian model. After altitude training, six swimmers exceeded the 99% ABP thresholds: two swimmers exceeded the OFF score thresholds at day +7; one swimmer exceeded the OFF score threshold at day +28; one swimmer exceeded the threshold for RET% at day +14; and one swimmer surpassed the ABPS threshold at day +14. In the control group, no values exceeded the individual ABP reference range. In conclusion, LHTH induces haematological changes in Olympic-level elite athletes which can exceed the individually generated references in the ABP. Training at altitude should be considered a confounding factor for ABP interpretation for up to four weeks after altitude exposure but does not consistently cause abnormal values in the ABP. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  1. Testosterone and progesterone concentrations in blow samples are biologically relevant in belugas (Delphinapterus leucas).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richard, Justin T; Robeck, Todd R; Osborn, Steven D; Naples, Lisa; McDermott, Alexa; LaForge, Robert; Romano, Tracy A; Sartini, Becky L

    2017-05-15

    Steroid hormone analysis in blow (respiratory vapor) may provide a minimally invasive way to assess the reproductive status of wild cetaceans. Biological validation of the method is needed to allow for the interpretation of hormone measurements in blow samples. Utilizing samples collected from trained belugas (Delphinapterus leucas, n=20), enzyme immunoassays for testosterone and progesterone were validated for use with beluga blow samples. Testosterone concentrations in 40 matched blood and blow samples collected from 4 male belugas demonstrated a positive correlation (R 2 =0.52, pTestosterone concentrations (mean±SD) in blow samples collected from adult males (119.3±14.2pg/ml) were higher (ptestosterone concentrations in blow demonstrated a seasonal pattern of secretion, with peak secretion occurring during the breeding season (February-April, 136.95±33.8pg/ml). Progesterone concentrations in blow varied by reproductive status; pregnant females (410.6±87.8pg/ml) and females in the luteal phase of the estrous cycle (339.5±51.0pg/ml) had higher (ptestosterone or progesterone in belugas. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. Regulatory T Cells in Colorectal Cancer: From Biology to Prognostic Relevance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dimitrios Mougiakakos

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available Regulatory T cells (Tregs were initially described as "suppressive" lymphocytes in the 1980s. However, it took almost 20 years until the concept of Treg-mediated immune control in its present form was finally established. Tregs are obligatory for self-tolerance and defects within their population lead to severe autoimmune disorders. On the other hand Tregs may promote tolerance for tumor antigens and even hamper efforts to overcome it. Intratumoral and systemic accumulation of Tregs has been observed in various types of cancer and is often linked to worse disease course and outcome. Increase of circulating Tregs, as well as their presence in mesenteric lymph nodes and tumor tissue of patients with colorectal cancer de facto suggests a strong involvement of Tregs in the antitumor control. This review will focus on the Treg biology in view of colorectal cancer, means of Treg accumulation and the controversies regarding their prognostic significance. In addition, a concise overview will be given on how Tregs and their function can be targeted in cancer patients in order to bolster an inherent immune response and/or increase the efficacy of immunotherapeutic approaches.

  3. TaBoo SeArch Algorithm with a Modified Inverse Histogram for Reproducing Biologically Relevant Rare Events of Proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harada, Ryuhei; Takano, Yu; Shigeta, Yasuteru

    2016-05-10

    The TaBoo SeArch (TBSA) algorithm [ Harada et al. J. Comput. Chem. 2015 , 36 , 763 - 772 and Harada et al. Chem. Phys. Lett. 2015 , 630 , 68 - 75 ] was recently proposed as an enhanced conformational sampling method for reproducing biologically relevant rare events of a given protein. In TBSA, an inverse histogram of the original distribution, mapped onto a set of reaction coordinates, is constructed from trajectories obtained by multiple short-time molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. Rarely occurring states of a given protein are statistically selected as new initial states based on the inverse histogram, and resampling is performed by restarting the MD simulations from the new initial states to promote the conformational transition. In this process, the definition of the inverse histogram, which characterizes the rarely occurring states, is crucial for the efficiency of TBSA. In this study, we propose a simple modification of the inverse histogram to further accelerate the convergence of TBSA. As demonstrations of the modified TBSA, we applied it to (a) hydrogen bonding rearrangements of Met-enkephalin, (b) large-amplitude domain motions of Glutamine-Binding Protein, and (c) folding processes of the B domain of Staphylococcus aureus Protein A. All demonstrations numerically proved that the modified TBSA reproduced these biologically relevant rare events with nanosecond-order simulation times, although a set of microsecond-order, canonical MD simulations failed to reproduce the rare events, indicating the high efficiency of the modified TBSA.

  4. Copper isotope fractionation between aqueous compounds relevant to low temperature geochemistry and biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fujii, Toshiyuki; Moynier, Frédéric; Abe, Minori; Nemoto, Keisuke; Albarède, Francis

    2013-06-01

    Isotope fractionation between the common Cu species present in solution (Cu+, Cu2+, hydroxide, chloride, sulfide, carbonate, oxalate, and ascorbate) has been investigated using both ab initio methods and experimental solvent extraction techniques. In order to establish unambiguously the existence of equilibrium isotope fractionation (as opposed to kinetic isotope fractionation), we first performed laboratory-scale liquid-liquid distribution experiments. Upon exchange between HCl medium and a macrocyclic complex, the 65Cu/63Cu ratio fractionated by -1.06‰ to -0.39‰. The acidity dependence of the fractionation was appropriately explained by ligand exchange reactions between hydrated H2O and Cl- via intramolecular vibrations. The magnitude of the Cu isotope fractionation among important Cu ligands was also estimated by ab initio methods. The magnitude of the nuclear field shift effect to the Cu isotope fractionation represents only ˜3% of the mass-dependent fractionation. The theoretical estimation was expanded to chlorides, hydroxides, sulfides, sulfates, and carbonates under different conditions of pH. Copper isotope fractionation of up to 2‰ is expected for different forms of Cu present in seawater and for different sediments (carbonates, hydroxides, and sulfides). We found that Cu in dissolved carbonates and sulfates is isotopically much heavier (+0.6‰) than free Cu. Isotope fractionation of Cu in hydroxide is minimal. The relevance of these new results to the understanding of metabolic processes was also discussed. Copper is an essential element used by a large number of proteins for electron transfer. Further theoretical estimates of δ65Cu in hydrated Cu(I) and Cu(II) ions, Cu(II) ascorbates, and Cu(II) oxalate predict Cu isotope fractionation during the breakdown of ascorbate into oxalate and account for the isotopically heavy Cu found in animal kidneys.

  5. A machine learning heuristic to identify biologically relevant and minimal biomarker panels from omics data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swan, Anna L; Stekel, Dov J; Hodgman, Charlie; Allaway, David; Alqahtani, Mohammed H; Mobasheri, Ali; Bacardit, Jaume

    2015-01-01

    Investigations into novel biomarkers using omics techniques generate large amounts of data. Due to their size and numbers of attributes, these data are suitable for analysis with machine learning methods. A key component of typical machine learning pipelines for omics data is feature selection, which is used to reduce the raw high-dimensional data into a tractable number of features. Feature selection needs to balance the objective of using as few features as possible, while maintaining high predictive power. This balance is crucial when the goal of data analysis is the identification of highly accurate but small panels of biomarkers with potential clinical utility. In this paper we propose a heuristic for the selection of very small feature subsets, via an iterative feature elimination process that is guided by rule-based machine learning, called RGIFE (Rule-guided Iterative Feature Elimination). We use this heuristic to identify putative biomarkers of osteoarthritis (OA), articular cartilage degradation and synovial inflammation, using both proteomic and transcriptomic datasets. Our RGIFE heuristic increased the classification accuracies achieved for all datasets when no feature selection is used, and performed well in a comparison with other feature selection methods. Using this method the datasets were reduced to a smaller number of genes or proteins, including those known to be relevant to OA, cartilage degradation and joint inflammation. The results have shown the RGIFE feature reduction method to be suitable for analysing both proteomic and transcriptomics data. Methods that generate large 'omics' datasets are increasingly being used in the area of rheumatology. Feature reduction methods are advantageous for the analysis of omics data in the field of rheumatology, as the applications of such techniques are likely to result in improvements in diagnosis, treatment and drug discovery.

  6. [Biological characteristics of cleft palate relevant gene thyroid transcription factor-2 transgenic mice].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Lei; Shi, Bing; Qian, Zheng; Meng, Tian; Wang, Yan

    2014-08-01

    The aim of this study is to establish a transgenic mouse model for cleft palate relevant gene thyroid transcription factor-2 (TTF-2), which can be used to study palatal shelf development when the expression pattern and regular activation of TTF-2 is altered. The C57BL/6J mouse TTF-2 gene was cloned through polymerase chain reaction (PCR) from the mouse genomic DNA. The TTF-2 gene was inserted into the expression vector pBROAD3-mcs to construct the recombinant expression vector pBROAD3-TTF-2. This expression vector was then microinjected into the male pronuclei of the fertilized mouse ovum. Thus, the TTF-2 transgenic mice model was established. The genotype of the transgenic mice was identified by PCR and Southern blot analysis. Immunohistochemistry identified the consistent expression of TTF-2 gene during its palatal shelf development. TTF-2 genes were microinjected into 982 fertilized ova. A total of 580 two-cell-stage embryos cultured and transplanted into the oviducts of 48 pseudopregnant female mice. Overall, 68 embryos were obtained for analysis. The genotype of the mice was determined through PCR and Southern blot analysis using genomic DNA extracted from tail biopsies of the transgenic fetus. A total of 13 TTF-2 transgenic mice were detected. The expression of TTF-2 gene during the palatal shelf development of the transgenic mice was consistently detected by immunohistochemistry. The recombinant expression vector pBROAD3-TTF-2 was integrated into mouse genome through microinjection. The transgenic mouse in the palatal shelf that consistently expressed TTF-2 was successfully established and displayed a cleft palate phenotype.

  7. Food Polyphenols Fail to Cause a Biologically Relevant Reduction of COX-2 Activity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ina Willenberg

    Full Text Available Epidemiologic studies show a correlation between the dietary intake of food polyphenols and beneficial health effects. Several in vitro studies indicate that the anti-inflammatory potential of polyphenols is, at least in part, mediated by a modulation of the enzymes of the arachidonic acid cascade, such as the prostaglandin forming cyclooxygenases (COXs. Evidence that this mode of action can be transferred to the situation in vivo is scarce. This study characterized effects of a subset of polyphenols on COX-2 expression and activity in vitro and compared the potency with known drugs. Next, the in vivo relevance of the observed in vitro effects was tested. Enzyme assays and incubations of polyphenols with the cancer cell line HCA-7 and lipopolysaccharide (LPS stimulated primary monocytes support the hypothesis that polyphenols can effect COX-2 expression and activity in vitro. The effects were most pronounced in the monocyte assay for wogonin, apigenin, resveratrol and genistein with IC50 values of 1.5 μM, 2.6 μM, 2.8 μM and 7.4 μM. However, these values are 100- to 1000-fold higher in comparison to those of the known pharmaceuticals celecoxib, indomethacin and dexamethasone. In an animal model of LPS induced sepsis, pretreatment with polyphenols (i. p. 100 mg/kg bw did not result in decreased plasma or tissue prostaglandin levels, whereas the positive control celecoxib effectively attenuated LPS induced prostaglandin formation. These data suggest that despite the moderate potency in vitro, an effect of polyphenols on COX-2 during acute inflammation is unlikely, even if a high dose of polyphenols is ingested.

  8. Prognostic value and in vitro biological relevance of Neuropilin 1 and Neuropilin 2 in osteosarcoma.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boro, Aleksandar; Arlt, Matthias Je; Lengnick, Harald; Robl, Bernhard; Husmann, Maren; Bertz, Josefine; Born, Walter; Fuchs, Bruno

    2015-01-01

    Neoadjuvant chemotherapy in osteosarcoma increased the long-term survival of patients with localized disease considerably but metastasizing osteosarcoma remained largely treatment resistant. Neuropilins, transmembrane glycoproteins, are important receptors for VEGF dependent hyper-vascularization in tumor angiogenesis and their aberrant expression promotes tumorigenesis and metastasis in many solid tumors. Our analysis of Neuropilin-1 (NRP1) and Neuropilin-2 (NRP2) immunostaining in a tissue microarray of 66 osteosarcoma patients identified NRP2 as an indicator of poor overall, metastasis-free and progression free survival while NRP1 had no predictive value. Patients with tumors that expressed NRP2 in the absence of NRP1 had a significantly worse prognosis than NRP1(-)/NRP2(-), NRP1(+) or NRP1(+)/NRP2(+) tumors. Moreover, patients with overt metastases and with NRP2-positive primary tumors had a significantly shorter survival rate than patients with metastases but NRP2-negative tumors. Furthermore, the expression of both NRP1 and NRP2 in osteosarcoma cell lines correlated to a variable degree with the metastatic potential of the respective cell line. To address the functional relevance of Neuropilins for VEGF signaling we used shRNA mediated down-regulation and blocking antibodies of NRP1 and NRP2 in the metastatic 143B and HuO9-M132 cell lines. In 143B cells, VEGFA signaling monitored by AKT phosphorylation was more inhibited by blocking of NRP1, whereas in HuO9-M132 cells NRP2 blocking was more effective indicating that NRP1 and NRP2 can substitute each other in the functional interaction with VEGFR1. Altogether, these data point to NRP2 as a powerful prognostic marker in osteosarcoma and together with NRP1 as a novel target for tumor-suppressive therapy.

  9. CLINICAL AND BIOLOGICAL RELEVANCE OF EZH2 IN TRIPLE NEGATIVE BREAST CANCER

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hussein, Yaser R.; Sood, Anil K.; Bandyopadhyay, Sudeshna; Albashiti, Bassam; Semaan, Assaad; Nahleh, Zeina; Roh, Juwon; Han, Hee Dong; Lopez-Berestein, Gabriel; Ali-Fehmi, Rouba

    2014-01-01

    The polycomb group protein, enhancer of zeste homolog 2 (EZH2), is a transcriptional repressor involved in cell cycle regulation and has been linked to aggressive breast cancer. We examined the clinical and biological significance of EZH2 expression in triple-negative breast cancers. Tissue microarrays were constructed with invasive breast cancer cases and stained with EZH2, cytokeratin 5/6, epidermal growth factor receptor 1(EGFR) and p53. The expression of these markers was correlated with clinicopathologic variables and patients’ outcome. Furthermore, in vivo EZH2 gene silencing was achieved using siRNA incorporated into chitosan nanoparticles. Out of 261 cases of invasive breast cancer, high expression of EZH2 was detected in 87 (33%) cases, and it was strongly associated with a triple-negative breast cancer phenotype (P<.001) compared to all other non-triple negative breast cancers. Furthermore, high EZH2 was significantly associated with high histologic grade (P=.01), estrogen receptor negativity (P<.001), progesterone receptor negativity (P<.001), EGFR positivity (P=.04), and high p53 expression (P<.001). Survival analysis demonstrated that patients with high EZH2 had a poorer overall survival, compared to those with low EZH2 (P=.03), and it retained its significance as an independent prognostic factor (P=.02). In addition, EZH2 gene silencing resulted in significant reduction in tumor growth (P<.01) in the orthotopic MB-231 mouse model of breast carcinoma. Our results show that high EZH2 expression is significantly associated with triple-negative breast cancer and decreased survival. EZH2 may represent a potential therapeutic target for this aggressive disease, which warrants further investigation. PMID:22436627

  10. Student Perceptions of the Cell Biology Laboratory Learning Environment in Four Undergraduate Science Courses in Spain

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Juan, Joaquin; Pérez-Cañaveras, Rosa M.; Segovia, Yolanda; Girela, Jose Luis; Martínez-Ruiz, Noemi; Romero-Rameta, Alejandro; Gómez-Torres, Maria José; Vizcaya-Moreno, M. Flores

    2016-01-01

    Cell biology is an academic discipline that organises and coordinates the learning of the structure, function and molecular composition of cells in some undergraduate biomedical programs. Besides course content and teaching methodologies, the laboratory environment is considered a key element in the teaching of and learning of cell biology. The…

  11. Communicating the relevance of paleo research in the current societal environment

    OpenAIRE

    Plumpton, Heather; Dearing Crampton-Flood, E.; Gowan, Evan J.; Dassié, E.P.

    2017-01-01

    It is not an easy task for paleoscientists to communicate the relevance of their research to policy makers and funders. However, an increase in catastrophic environmental calamities related to climate change (e.g. landslide, droughts, flooding) demands a response both in terms of policy-making and future governmental decisions. Often, climate change in the recent past was linked to major shifts in human behavior, which masks the relative contribution of humans and nature. For example, the 4.2...

  12. Isolation of clinically relevant fungal species from solid waste and environment of dental health services.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vieira, C D; de Carvalho, M A R; de Resende, M A; de Menezes Cussiol, N A; Alvarez-Leite, M E; dos Santos, S G; de Oliveira, M B; de Magalhães, T F F; Silva, M X; Nicoli, J R; de Macêdo Farias, L

    2010-10-01

    This study was undertaken to detect, identify and determine antifungal susceptibility of yeast strains isolated from dental solid waste and to evaluate airborne fungi in the Brazilian dental health care environment and in the waste storage room. A group of 17 yeast strains were identified by macroscopic and microscopic characteristics, API 20C Aux system and Multiplex PCR. All 104 airborne fungal colonies were identified by macroscopic and microscopic morphology. The CLSI broth microdilution method was utilized as the susceptibility test. Candida parapsilosis was the prevailing yeast species recovered from waste, followed by Rhodotorula glutinis. Three strains of Candida guilliermondii presented minimal inhibitory concentration values considered to be susceptible dose dependent (2 μg ml(-1)) to voriconazole. Of all airborne fungal species, 69% were recovered from the waste storage room and 31% were recovered from the clinical/surgical environment. Most of them were identified as Cladosporium spp. These findings reinforce the potential risk of waste handling and point out the need for safe management to minimize the spread of these agents to the environment. Filamentous fungi isolation in almost all sampled environments indicates that a periodic monitoring of airborne microbiota in the dental health care service environment is required. The survival of yeast strains for 48 h suggests that dental waste should be carefully controlled and monitored. © 2010 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2010 The Society for Applied Microbiology.

  13. The scaling law of climate change and its relevance to assessing (palaeo)biological responses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kiessling, Wolfgang; Eichenseer, Kilian

    2014-05-01

    interglacials, are not monotonic, but punctuated by short-term cooling intervals. The fossil record tells us that biodiversity responded dramatically to ancient intervals of climate warming. We can now see that the apparently slower rates of change in some mass extinctions (Permian-Triassic, Triassic-Jurassic) were greater than today when the scaling law is considered. This reassures us that studying deep time patterns of organismic response to climate change is a worthwhile endeavor that is relevant for predicting the future. References Burrows, M. T., Schoeman, D. S., Buckley, L. B., Moore, P., Poloczanska, E. S., Brander, K. M., Brown, C., Bruno, J. F., Duarte, C. M., Halpern, B. S., Holding, J., Kappel, C. V., Kiessling, W., O'Connor, M. I., Pandolfi, J. M., Parmesan, C., Schwing, F. B., Sydeman, W. J., and Richardson, A. J.: The pace of shifting climate in marine and terrestrial ecosystems, Science, 334, 652-655, 2011. Gingerich, P. D.: Quantification and comparison of evolutionary rates, American Journal of Science, 293A, 453-478, 1993. Sadler, P. M.: Sediment accumulation rates and the completeness of stratigraphic sections, Journal of Geology, 89, 569-584, 1981. Sun, Y., Joachimski, M. M., Wignall, P. B., Yan, C., Chen, Y., Jiang, H., Wang, L., and Lai, X.: Lethally hot temperatures during the Early Triassic greenhouse, Science, 338, 366-370, 2012.

  14. Biology of teeth and implants: The external environment, biology of structures, and clinical aspects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eggert, F-Michael; Levin, Liran

    2018-01-01

    For the past several thousand years, until development of the titanium dental implant, only a few missing teeth were replaced successfully in a very small number of individuals. Nowadays, placement of dental implants has become sufficiently commonplace that there is a need to interchange information between what we know about periodontal health and disease and what we know about health and disease involving dental implants. This review discusses the similarities and differences between teeth and dental implants with regards to anatomy, biology, physiology, and pathologic processes. The concept of biologic width is discussed in the context of interaction of periodontal and peri-implant tissues with microbial products produced by periodontal biofilms. The periodontal microbiome is discussed as networks of organisms interacting not only with periodontal and peri-implant tissues, but also with each other as networks of competing organisms. Overall, the transfer of biologic knowledge from what we know about peri-implantitis and what we know about periodontitis should help to develop new directions for biologic understanding about both health and disease of teeth and dental implants.

  15. Perspectives on the relevance of the circadian time structure to workplace threshold limit values and employee biological monitoring.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smolensky, Michael H; Reinberg, Alain E; Sackett-Lundeen, Linda

    2017-01-01

    The circadian time structure (CTS) and its disruption by rotating and nightshift schedules relative to work performance, accident risk, and health/wellbeing have long been areas of occupational medicine research. Yet, there has been little exploration of the relevance of the CTS to setting short-term, time-weighted, and ceiling threshold limit values (TLVs); conducting employee biological monitoring (BM); and establishing normative reference biological exposure indices (BEIs). Numerous publications during the past six decades document the CTS substantially affects the disposition - absorption, distribution, metabolism, and elimination - and effects of medications. Additionally, laboratory animal and human studies verify the tolerance to chemical, biological (contagious), and physical agents can differ extensively according to the circadian time of exposure. Because of slow and usually incomplete CTS adjustment by rotating and permanent nightshift workers, occupational chemical and other contaminant encounters occur during a different circadian stage than for dayshift workers. Thus, the intended protection of some TLVs when working the nightshift compared to dayshift might be insufficient, especially in high-risk settings. The CTS is germane to employee BM in that large-amplitude predictable-in-time 24h variation can occur in the concentration of urine, blood, and saliva of monitored chemical contaminants and their metabolites plus biomarkers indicative of adverse xenobiotic exposure. The concept of biological time-qualified (for rhythms) reference values, currently of interest to clinical laboratory pathology practice, is seemingly applicable to industrial medicine as circadian time and workshift-specific BEIs to improve surveillance of night workers, in particular. Furthermore, BM as serial assessments performed frequently both during and off work, exemplified by employee self-measurement of lung function using a small portable peak expiratory flow meter, can

  16. Biology, Genetics, and Environment: Underlying Factors Influencing Alcohol Metabolism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wall, Tamara L; Luczak, Susan E; Hiller-Sturmhöfel, Susanne

    2016-01-01

    Gene variants encoding several of the alcohol-metabolizing enzymes, alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) and aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH), are among the largest genetic associations with risk for alcohol dependence. Certain genetic variants (i.e., alleles)--particularly the ADH1B*2, ADH1B*3, ADH1C*1, and ALDH2*2 alleles--have been associated with lower rates of alcohol dependence. These alleles may lead to an accumulation of acetaldehyde during alcohol metabolism, which can result in heightened subjective and objective effects. The prevalence of these alleles differs among ethnic groups; ADH1B*2 is found frequently in northeast Asians and occasionally Caucasians, ADH1B*3 is found predominantly in people of African ancestry, ADH1C*1 varies substantially across populations, and ALDH2*2 is found almost exclusively in northeast Asians. Differences in the prevalence of these alleles may account at least in part for ethnic differences in alcohol consumption and alcohol use disorder (AUD). However, these alleles do not act in isolation to influence the risk of AUD. For example, the gene effects of ALDH2*2 and ADH1B*2 seem to interact. Moreover, other factors have been found to influence the extent to which these alleles affect a person's alcohol involvement, including developmental stage, individual characteristics (e.g., ethnicity, antisocial behavior, and behavioral undercontrol), and environmental factors (e.g., culture, religion, family environment, and childhood adversity).

  17. Environment

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Valentini, Chiara

    2017-01-01

    The term environment refers to the internal and external context in which organizations operate. For some scholars, environment is defined as an arrangement of political, economic, social and cultural factors existing in a given context that have an impact on organizational processes and structures....... For others, environment is a generic term describing a large variety of stakeholders and how these interact and act upon organizations. Organizations and their environment are mutually interdependent and organizational communications are highly affected by the environment. This entry examines the origin...... and development of organization-environment interdependence, the nature of the concept of environment and its relevance for communication scholarships and activities....

  18. Ozone treatment of textile wastewater relevant to toxic effect elimination in marine environment

    OpenAIRE

    Guendy, H.R.

    2007-01-01

    Ozone is a powerful oxidizing agent. The reaction of ozone with organic compounds in aqueous media has achieved a variety of treatment goals. The advantage of ozonation over the other oxidants is that the degradable products of ozonation are generally non-toxic, its final products are CO2 and H2O, and also the residual O3 in the system changes in few minutes to O2 .Convential treatment of textile wastewater includes various combinations of biological (activated sludge), physical and chemical ...

  19. The Army Reserve: Optimally Seeking Relevance and Readiness in a Fiscally Constrained Environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-05-23

    Sea. This indirect and ingenious solution of enclosing the maximum area is what theorists commonly referred to as the Dido or isoperimetric problem...Reserve must look to ingenious solutions and identify cascading affects in a fiscally constrained environment. Thereby, avoiding the “perfect storm...between supply depots and the heavy brigade but also brings in all available external variables. Weather, road conditions, vehicle levels of

  20. Uraninite alteration in an oxidizing environment and its relevance to the disposal of spent nuclear fuel

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Finch, R.; Ewing, R.

    1990-12-01

    Uraninite is a natural analogue for spent nuclear fuel because of similarities in structure and chemistry. Effective assessment of the long-term behavior of spent fuel in a geologic repository requires a knowledge of the corrosion products produced in that environment. Several important natural analogue sites are reviewed, illustrating a wide variety of environments from oxidizing to reducing, including, among others: Cigar Lake, Canada, a uraninite-bearing ore body at depth within a strictly reducing environment; the ore body has 'seen' extensive groundwater interaction with virtually no significant oxidation or mobilization of U apperent. Koongara, Australia is a highly altered uraninite-bearing ore body partially exposed to meteoric water; alteration at depth has resulted from interaction with groundwater having a somewhat reduced Eh compared to the surface. Uraninite, Pb-uranyl oxide hydrates and uranyl silicates control U solubility at depth; uranyl phosphates and U adsorption onto clays and FeMn-oxides control U solubility near the surface. Pocos de Caldas, Brazil displays a redox from moving through uraninite-bearing rocks near the surface and shows local remobilization of U. Oklo, Gabon, a uraninite- and coffinite-bearing ore body, locally affected by intense hydrothermal alteration during fission reactions, demonstrates restricted radionuclide and fission product transport within a reducing environment. A current study being conducted by the authors at Shinkolbwe, Zaire, a uraninite-bearing ore body exposed to highly oxidizing conditions at the surface, provides over 50 species of uranyl phases for detailed study, and illustrates a complex uranyl phase paragenesis over several million years, from earliest-formed uranyl oxide hydrates and uranyl silicates to later-formed uranyl phosphate. (au) (268 refs.)

  1. Modelling of an industrial environment, part 2.: External dose calculation with relevant countermeasures

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Eged, K.; Kis, Z.; Alvarez-Farizo, B.; Gil, J.; Voigt, G.

    2002-01-01

    The calculation of the collective dose and averted collective dose after applying countermeasures in an industrial environment has been divided in two parts. In the first part (Kis et al. 2002) separate Monte Carlo simulations of photon transport resulted in the air kermas per photon per unit area due to the industrial surfaces contaminated by 1 37C s at specific points using the so-called local approach. In the local approach the air kerma rates due to specific intervention elements at the evaluation locations in the whole environment are determined (Gutierrez et al. 2000). In this way the collective and averted collective dose due to the radiation from a particular intervention element (e.g. the roof of a building) can be obtained. It can, therefore, provide a ranking of the specific intervention elements based on their contribution to collective dose as well. The deposition pattern and the long-term behaviour of deposited radionuclides vary widely in natural circumstances; therefore the number of the photons emitted from the various surfaces per unit area and time can differ significantly. This means the results of the Monte Carlo simulations have to be weighted according to the number of emitted photons so that the actual radiation field can be set up. For this purpose, a dose calculation code has been developed in the framework of the TEMAS project (Gutierrez et al. 2000) which allows to calculate collective doses for different environments. This code has been applied in the present work

  2. Brain processing of biologically relevant odors in the awake rat, as revealed by manganese-enhanced MRI.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Benoist Lehallier

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: So far, an overall view of olfactory structures activated by natural biologically relevant odors in the awake rat is not available. Manganese-enhanced MRI (MEMRI is appropriate for this purpose. While MEMRI has been used for anatomical labeling of olfactory pathways, functional imaging analyses have not yet been performed beyond the olfactory bulb. Here, we have used MEMRI for functional imaging of rat central olfactory structures and for comparing activation maps obtained with odors conveying different biological messages. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Odors of male fox feces and of chocolate flavored cereals were used to stimulate conscious rats previously treated by intranasal instillation of manganese (Mn. MEMRI activation maps showed Mn enhancement all along the primary olfactory cortex. Mn enhancement elicited by male fox feces odor and to a lesser extent that elicited by chocolate odor, differed from that elicited by deodorized air. This result was partly confirmed by c-Fos immunohistochemistry in the piriform cortex. CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE: By providing an overall image of brain structures activated in awake rats by odorous stimulation, and by showing that Mn enhancement is differently sensitive to different stimulating odors, the present results demonstrate the interest of MEMRI for functional studies of olfaction in the primary olfactory cortex of laboratory small animals, under conditions close to natural perception. Finally, the factors that may cause the variability of the MEMRI signal in response to different odor are discussed.

  3. Brain processing of biologically relevant odors in the awake rat, as revealed by manganese-enhanced MRI.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lehallier, Benoist; Rampin, Olivier; Saint-Albin, Audrey; Jérôme, Nathalie; Ouali, Christian; Maurin, Yves; Bonny, Jean-Marie

    2012-01-01

    So far, an overall view of olfactory structures activated by natural biologically relevant odors in the awake rat is not available. Manganese-enhanced MRI (MEMRI) is appropriate for this purpose. While MEMRI has been used for anatomical labeling of olfactory pathways, functional imaging analyses have not yet been performed beyond the olfactory bulb. Here, we have used MEMRI for functional imaging of rat central olfactory structures and for comparing activation maps obtained with odors conveying different biological messages. Odors of male fox feces and of chocolate flavored cereals were used to stimulate conscious rats previously treated by intranasal instillation of manganese (Mn). MEMRI activation maps showed Mn enhancement all along the primary olfactory cortex. Mn enhancement elicited by male fox feces odor and to a lesser extent that elicited by chocolate odor, differed from that elicited by deodorized air. This result was partly confirmed by c-Fos immunohistochemistry in the piriform cortex. By providing an overall image of brain structures activated in awake rats by odorous stimulation, and by showing that Mn enhancement is differently sensitive to different stimulating odors, the present results demonstrate the interest of MEMRI for functional studies of olfaction in the primary olfactory cortex of laboratory small animals, under conditions close to natural perception. Finally, the factors that may cause the variability of the MEMRI signal in response to different odor are discussed.

  4. The practicalities and pitfalls of establishing a policy-relevant and cost-effective soil biological monitoring scheme.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Faber, Jack H; Creamer, Rachel E; Mulder, Christian; Römbke, Jörg; Rutgers, Michiel; Sousa, J Paulo; Stone, Dorothy; Griffiths, Bryan S

    2013-04-01

    A large number of biological indicators have been proposed over the years for assessing soil quality. Although many of those have been applied in monitoring schemes across Europe, no consensus exists on the extent to which these indicators might perform best and how monitoring schemes can be further optimized in terms of scientific and policy relevance. Over the past decade, developments in environmental monitoring and risk assessment converged toward the use of indicators and endpoints that are related to soil functioning and ecosystem services. In view of the proposed European Union (EU) Soil Framework Directive, there is an urgent need to identify and evaluate indicators for soil biodiversity and ecosystem services. The recently started integrated project, Ecological Function and Biodiversity Indicators in European Soils (EcoFINDERS), aims to address this specific issue within the EU Framework Program FP7. Here, we 1) discuss how to use the concept of ecosystem services in soil monitoring, 2) review former and ongoing monitoring schemes, and 3) present an analysis of metadata on biological indicators in some EU member states. Finally, we discuss our experiences in establishing a logical sieve approach to devise a monitoring scheme for a standardized and harmonized application at European scale. Copyright © 2013 SETAC.

  5. On making nursing undergraduate human reproductive physiology content meaningful and relevant: discussion of human pleasure in its biological context.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McClusky, Leon Mendel

    2012-01-01

    The traditional presentation of the Reproductive Physiology component in an Anatomy and Physiology course to nursing undergraduates focuses on the broad aspects of hormonal regulation of reproduction and gonadal anatomy, with the role of the higher centres of the brain omitted. An introductory discussion is proposed which could precede the lectures on the reproductive organs. The discussion gives an overview of the biological significance of human pleasure, the involvement of the neurotransmitter dopamine, and the role of pleasure in the survival of the individual and even species. Pleasure stimuli (positive and negative) and the biological significance of naturally-induced pleasurable experiences are briefly discussed in the context of reproduction and the preservation of genetic material with an aim to foster relevancy between subject material and human behaviour in any type of society. The tenderness of this aspect of the human existence is well-understood because of its invariable association with soul-revealing human expressions such as love, infatuation, sexual flirtations, all of which are underpinned by arousal, desire and/or pleasure. Assuming that increased knowledge correlates with increased confidence, the proposed approach may provide the nurse with an adequate knowledge base to overcome well-known barriers in communicating with their patients about matters of sexual health and intimacy. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Sex differences in panic-relevant responding to a 10% carbon dioxide-enriched air biological challenge.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nillni, Yael I; Berenz, Erin C; Rohan, Kelly J; Zvolensky, Michael J

    2012-01-01

    The current study examined sex differences in psychological (i.e., self-reported anxiety, panic symptoms, and avoidance) and physiological (i.e., heart rate and skin conductance level) response to, and recovery from, a laboratory biological challenge. Participants were a community-recruited sample of 128 adults (63.3% women; M(age)=23.2 years, SD=8.9) who underwent a 4-min 10% CO(2)-enriched air biological challenge. As predicted, women reported more severe physical panic symptoms and avoidance (i.e., less willingness to participate in another challenge) and demonstrated increased heart rate as compared to men above and beyond the variance accounted for by other theoretically relevant variables (recent panic attack history, neuroticism, and anxiety sensitivity). Additionally, women demonstrated a faster rate of recovery with respect to heart rate compared to men. These results are in line with literature documenting sex-specific differences in panic psychopathology, and results are discussed in the context of possible mechanisms underlying sex differences in panic vulnerability. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Culturally relevant inquiry-based laboratory module implementations in upper-division genetics and cell biology teaching laboratories.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siritunga, Dimuth; Montero-Rojas, María; Carrero, Katherine; Toro, Gladys; Vélez, Ana; Carrero-Martínez, Franklin A

    2011-01-01

    Today, more minority students are entering undergraduate programs than ever before, but they earn only 6% of all science or engineering PhDs awarded in the United States. Many studies suggest that hands-on research activities enhance students' interest in pursuing a research career. In this paper, we present a model for the implementation of laboratory research in the undergraduate teaching laboratory using a culturally relevant approach to engage students. Laboratory modules were implemented in upper-division genetics and cell biology courses using cassava as the central theme. Students were asked to bring cassava samples from their respective towns, which allowed them to compare their field-collected samples against known lineages from agricultural stations at the end of the implementation. Assessment of content and learning perceptions revealed that our novel approach allowed students to learn while engaged in characterizing Puerto Rican cassava. In two semesters, based on the percentage of students who answered correctly in the premodule assessment for content knowledge, there was an overall improvement of 66% and 55% at the end in the genetics course and 24% and 15% in the cell biology course. Our proposed pedagogical model enhances students' professional competitiveness by providing students with valuable research skills as they work on a problem to which they can relate.

  8. Experimental Characterization of a Composite Morphing Radiator Prototype in a Relevant Thermal Environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bertagne, Christopher L.; Chong, Jorge B.; Whitcomb, John D.; Hartl, Darren J.; Erickson, Lisa R.

    2017-01-01

    For future long duration space missions, crewed vehicles will require advanced thermal control systems to maintain a desired internal environment temperature in spite of a large range of internal and external heat loads. Current radiators are only able to achieve turndown ratios (i.e. the ratio between the radiator's maximum and minimum heat rejection rates) of approximately 3:1. Upcoming missions will require radiators capable of 12:1 turndown ratios. A radiator with the ability to alter shape could significantly increase turndown capacity. Shape memory alloys (SMAs) offer promising qualities for this endeavor, namely their temperature-dependent phase change and capacity for work. In 2015, the first ever morphing radiator prototype was constructed in which SMA actuators passively altered the radiator shape in response to a thermal load. This work describes a follow-on endeavor to demonstrate a similar concept using highly thermally conductive composite materials. Numerous versions of this new concept were tested in a thermal vacuum environment and successfully demonstrated morphing behavior and variable heat rejection, achieving a turndown ratio of 4.84:1. A summary of these thermal experiments and their results are provided herein.

  9. Time-Domain Simulations of Transient Species in Experimentally Relevant Environments

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ueltschi, Tyler W.; Fischer, Sean A.; Apra, Edoardo; Tarnovsky, Alexander N.; Govind, Niranjan; El-Khoury, Patrick Z.; Hess, Wayne P.

    2016-02-04

    Simulating the spectroscopic properties of short-lived thermal and photochemical reaction intermediates and products is a challenging task, as these species often feature atypical molecular and electronic structures. The complex environments in which such species typically reside in practice add further complexity to the problem. Herein, we tackle this problem in silico using ab initio molecular dynamics (AIMD) simulations, employing iso-CHBr3, namely H(Br)C-Br-Br, as a prototypical system. This species was chosen because it features both a non-conventional C-Br-Br bonding pattern, as well as a strong dependence of its spectral features on the local environment in which it resides, as illustrated in recent experimental reports. The spectroscopic properties of iso-CHBr3 were measured by several groups that captured this transient intermediate in the photochemistry of CHBr3 in the gas phase, in rare gas matrices at 5K, and in solution under ambient laboratory conditions. We simulate the UV-Vis and IR spectra of iso-CHBr3 in all three media, including a Ne cluster (64 atoms) and a methylcyclohexane cage (14 solvent molecules) representative of the matrix isolated and solvated species. We exclusively perform fully quantum mechanical static and dynamic simulations. By comparing our condensed phase simulations to their experimental analogues, we stress the importance of (i) conformational sampling, even at cryogenic temperatures, and (ii) using a fully quantum mechanical description of both solute and bath to properly account for the experimental observables.

  10. Constraints on the Early Terrestrial Surface UV Environment Relevant to Prebiotic Chemistry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ranjan, Sukrit; Sasselov, Dimitar D

    2017-03-01

    The UV environment is a key boundary condition to abiogenesis. However, considerable uncertainty exists as to planetary conditions and hence surface UV at abiogenesis. Here, we present two-stream multilayer clear-sky calculations of the UV surface radiance on Earth at 3.9 Ga to constrain the UV surface fluence as a function of albedo, solar zenith angle (SZA), and atmospheric composition. Variation in albedo and latitude (through SZA) can affect maximum photoreaction rates by a factor of >10.4; for the same atmosphere, photoreactions can proceed an order of magnitude faster at the equator of a snowball Earth than at the poles of a warmer world. Hence, surface conditions are important considerations when computing prebiotic UV fluences. For climatically reasonable levels of CO 2 , fluence shortward of 189 nm is screened out, meaning that prebiotic chemistry is robustly shielded from variations in UV fluence due to solar flares or variability. Strong shielding from CO 2 also means that the UV surface fluence is insensitive to plausible levels of CH 4 , O 2 , and O 3 . At scattering wavelengths, UV fluence drops off comparatively slowly with increasing CO 2 levels. However, if SO 2 and/or H 2 S can build up to the ≥1-100 ppm level as hypothesized by some workers, then they can dramatically suppress surface fluence and hence prebiotic photoprocesses. H 2 O is a robust UV shield for λ levels of other atmospheric gases, fluence ≲198 nm is only available for cold, dry atmospheres, meaning sources with emission ≲198 (e.g., ArF excimer lasers) can only be used in simulations of cold environments with low abundance of volcanogenic gases. On the other hand, fluence at 254 nm is unshielded by H 2 O and is available across a broad range of [Formula: see text], meaning that mercury lamps are suitable for initial studies regardless of the uncertainty in primordial H 2 O and CO 2 levels. Key Words: Radiative transfer-Origin of life-Planetary environments

  11. Dynamically analyzing cell interactions in biological environments using multiagent social learning framework.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Chengwei; Li, Xiaohong; Li, Shuxin; Feng, Zhiyong

    2017-09-20

    Biological environment is uncertain and its dynamic is similar to the multiagent environment, thus the research results of the multiagent system area can provide valuable insights to the understanding of biology and are of great significance for the study of biology. Learning in a multiagent environment is highly dynamic since the environment is not stationary anymore and each agent's behavior changes adaptively in response to other coexisting learners, and vice versa. The dynamics becomes more unpredictable when we move from fixed-agent interaction environments to multiagent social learning framework. Analytical understanding of the underlying dynamics is important and challenging. In this work, we present a social learning framework with homogeneous learners (e.g., Policy Hill Climbing (PHC) learners), and model the behavior of players in the social learning framework as a hybrid dynamical system. By analyzing the dynamical system, we obtain some conditions about convergence or non-convergence. We experimentally verify the predictive power of our model using a number of representative games. Experimental results confirm the theoretical analysis. Under multiagent social learning framework, we modeled the behavior of agent in biologic environment, and theoretically analyzed the dynamics of the model. We present some sufficient conditions about convergence or non-convergence and prove them theoretically. It can be used to predict the convergence of the system.

  12. Near-field environment research at PNL relevant to brine migration phenomena

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pederson, L.R.; Gray, W.J.; Hodges, F.N.

    1987-01-01

    Heat and radiation resulting from emplacement of a high level nuclear waste package in a repository in salt will cause physical and chemical changes in the host rock and any brines present. These changes may alter the performance of waste package materials. Gamma radiolysis decomposes water into hydrogen and oxygen, hydrogen peroxide, and various other free radical and ionic species. Gamma ray irradiation of rock salt decomposes that salt to sodium metal colloids and neutral chlorine (unknown form), changing both its physical and chemical properties. Sodium metal will react, if contacted by water, to form sodium hydroxide plus hydrogen gas, while chlorine will react to form hydrochloric plus hypochlorous acids. If irradiated salts are completely dissolved, little impact on the chemical environment is expected because the acids and bases formed will neutralize each other. Heat from the waste package can alter the chemistry of the host rock. Changes in temperature can also alter the chemistry of brines by precipitation of phases with retrograde solubility, addition of more soluble salt components to the brine, and by reaction with clays and other impurities in the salt. Some of these reactions could be accompanied by significant shifts in the pH. In experiments to date, no important changes in chemistry have been observed when typical Permian Basin intrusion or inclusion brines were heated up to 150 0 C with no excess site-specific salt present. When excess salt was included, acidic shifts were noted, increasing with brine-salt interaction time and temperature

  13. Degradation of TBC Systems in Environments Relevant to Advanced Gas Turbines for IGCC Systems

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gleeson, Brian [Univ. of Pittsburgh, PA (United States)

    2014-09-30

    Air plasma sprayed (APS) thermal barrier coatings (TBCs) are used to provide thermal insulation for the hottest components in gas turbines. Zirconia stabilized with 7wt% yttria (7YSZ) is the most common ceramic top coat used for turbine blades. The 7YSZ coating can be degraded from the buildup of fly-ash deposits created in the power-generation process. Fly ash from an integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) system can result from coal-based syngas. TBCs are also exposed to harsh gas environments containing CO2, SO2, and steam. Degradation from the combined effects of fly ash and harsh gas atmospheres has the potential to severely limit TBC lifetimes. The main objective of this study was to use lab-scale testing to systematically elucidate the interplay between prototypical deposit chemistries (i.e., ash and its constituents, K2SO4, and FeS) and environmental oxidants (i.e., O2, H2O and CO2) on the degradation behavior of advanced TBC systems. Several mechanisms of early TBC failure were identified, as were the specific fly-ash constituents responsible for degradation. The reactivity of MCrAlY bondcoats used in TBC systems was also investigated. The specific roles of oxide and sulfate components were assessed, together with the complex interplay between gas composition, deposit chemistry and alloy reactivity. Bondcoat composition design strategies to mitigate corrosion were established, particularly with regard to controlling phase constitution and the amount of reactive elements the bondcoat contains in order to achieve optimal corrosion resistance.

  14. Alkali Metal Ion Complexes with Phosphates, Nucleotides, Amino Acids, and Related Ligands of Biological Relevance. Their Properties in Solution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crea, Francesco; De Stefano, Concetta; Foti, Claudia; Lando, Gabriele; Milea, Demetrio; Sammartano, Silvio

    2016-01-01

    Alkali metal ions play very important roles in all biological systems, some of them are essential for life. Their concentration depends on several physiological factors and is very variable. For example, sodium concentrations in human fluids vary from quite low (e.g., 8.2 mmol dm(-3) in mature maternal milk) to high values (0.14 mol dm(-3) in blood plasma). While many data on the concentration of Na(+) and K(+) in various fluids are available, the information on other alkali metal cations is scarce. Since many vital functions depend on the network of interactions occurring in various biofluids, this chapter reviews their complex formation with phosphates, nucleotides, amino acids, and related ligands of biological relevance. Literature data on this topic are quite rare if compared to other cations. Generally, the stability of alkali metal ion complexes of organic and inorganic ligands is rather low (usually log K  Na(+) > K(+) > Rb(+) > Cs(+). For example, for citrate it is: log K ML = 0.88, 0.80, 0.48, 0.38, and 0.13 at 25 °C and infinite dilution. Some considerations are made on the main aspects related to the difficulties in the determination of weak complexes. The importance of the alkali metal ion complexes was also studied in the light of modelling natural fluids and in the use of these cations as probes for different processes. Some empirical relationships are proposed for the dependence of the stability constants of Na(+) complexes on the ligand charge, as well as for correlations among log K values of NaL, KL or LiL species (L = generic ligand).

  15. Degradation of TBC Systems in Environments Relevant to Advanced Gas Turbines for IGCC Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bohna, Nathaniel Allan

    Plasma sprayed (PS) thermal barrier coatings (TBCs) are used to provide thermal insulation for the hottest components in gas turbines. Zirconia stabilized with 7wt% yttria (7YSZ) is the most common ceramic top coat used for turbine blades. The 7YSZ coating can be degraded by the buildup of fly-ash deposits which can arise from the fuel source (coal/biomass) used in the combustion process in gas turbines. Fly-ash from the integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) process can result from coal-based syngas and also from ambient air which passes through the system. TBCs are also exposed to harsh gas environments containing CO2, SO2, and steam. As presented in this thesis, degradation from the combined effects of fly-ash and harsh gas atmosphere can severely limit TBC lifetimes. It is well established that degradation at very high temperatures (≥1250°C) from deposits consisting of the oxides CaO-MgO-Al2O3-SiO 2 results from extensive liquid silicate infiltration into the porous top coat of the YSZ. This infiltration causes early failure resulting from chemical and/or mechanical damage to the ceramic layer. Damage resulting from liquid infiltration, however, is not typically considered at relatively lower temperatures around 1100°C because liquid silicates would not be expected to form from the oxides in the deposit. A key focus of this study is to assess the mode and extent of TBC degradation at 1100°C in cases when some amount of liquid forms owing to the presence of K2SO4 as a minor ash constituent. Two types of liquid infiltrations are observed depending on the principal oxide (i.e., CaO or SiO2) in the deposit. The degradation is primarily the result of mechanical damage, which results from infiltration caused by the interaction of liquid K2SO4 with either the CaO or SiO2. The TBCs used in this work are representative of commonly used coatings used in the hottest sections of land-based gas turbines. The specimens consist of 7YSZ top coats deposited on

  16. Modelling fate and effects of toxicologically relevant hydrocarbon fractions following hypothetical oil spills in a marine environment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    St-Amand, A.; Mazzocco, P.; Stephenson, M.

    2009-01-01

    Numerical oil spill models have generally focused on the transport and fate of oil following a spill through processes such as advection, evaporation, spreading dissolution, dispersion, emulsification, biodegradation and sedimentation. These models provide information regarding the trajectory, location and size of the oil slick, as well as the location where the slick will touch shorelines. The models normally treat the spilled hydrocarbon as a single product or group of representative compounds which is not very useful in evaluating toxicological risks to aquatic biota. For that reason, Stantec developed a model that simultaneously evaluates the likely fate and co-toxicity of toxicologically relevant hydrocarbon compounds and fractions in water following an oil spill in a marine environment. Compounds currently considered in the model include polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, volatile organic compounds, BTEX compounds, (benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, xylenes) and the Canada-Wide Standard hydrocarbon fractions. The fate of these hydrocarbons in the marine environment was simulated using a mass-balance compartment approach in which specific states of the oil and relevant environmental media were considered. At each time step following the hydrocarbon release, the model updated physical properties such as the density and viscosity of the spilled mixtures. When predicting the fate of the mixture, environmental conditions such as wind speed and wave height were taken into account to determine whether droplets of the spilled product remained entrained in the water column or if they resurfaced and possibly emulsified. Two hypothetical spill scenarios were investigated based on assumed spill volumes, assumed product compositions representing a distilled product and crude oil, and assumed environmental and meteorological conditions. The key outputs of the model were the dissolved concentrations of toxicologically relevant hydrocarbon compounds and fractions in the water

  17. Depletion of adult neurogenesis using the chemotherapy drug temozolomide in mice induces behavioural and biological changes relevant to depression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Egeland, M; Guinaudie, C; Du Preez, A; Musaelyan, K; Zunszain, P A; Fernandes, C; Pariante, C M; Thuret, S

    2017-04-25

    Numerous studies have examined links between postnatal neurogenesis and depression using a range of experimental methods to deplete neurogenesis. The antimitotic drug temozolomide (TMZ) has previously been used successfully as an experimental tool in animals to deplete adult neurogenesis and is used regularly on human patients as a standard chemotherapy for brain cancer. In this study, we wanted to evaluate whether TMZ as a model for chemotherapy treatment could affect parameters related to depression in an animal model. Prevalence rates of depression in patients is thought to be highly underdiagnosed, with some studies reporting rates as high as 90%. Results from this study in mice, treated with a regimen of TMZ similar to humans, exhibited behavioural and biochemical changes that have relevance to the development of depression. In particular, behavioural results demonstrated robust deficits in processing novelty and a significant increase in the corticosterone response. Quantification of neurogenesis using a novel sectioning method, which clearly evaluates dorsal and ventral neurogenesis separately, showed a significant correlation between the level of ventral neurogenesis and the corticosterone response. Depression is a complex disorder with discoveries regarding its neurobiology and how it relates to behaviour being only in their infancy. The findings presented in this study demonstrate that chemotherapy-induced decreases in neurogenesis results in previously unreported behavioural and biochemical consequences. These results, we argue, are indicative of a biological mechanism, which may contribute to the development of depression in patients being treated with chemotherapy and is separate from the mental distress resulting from a cancer diagnosis.

  18. Three-Dimensional Biologically Relevant Spectrum (BRS-3D: Shape Similarity Profile Based on PDB Ligands as Molecular Descriptors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ben Hu

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available The crystallized ligands in the Protein Data Bank (PDB can be treated as the inverse shapes of the active sites of corresponding proteins. Therefore, the shape similarity between a molecule and PDB ligands indicated the possibility of the molecule to bind with the targets. In this paper, we proposed a shape similarity profile that can be used as a molecular descriptor for ligand-based virtual screening. First, through three-dimensional (3D structural clustering, 300 diverse ligands were extracted from the druggable protein–ligand database, sc-PDB. Then, each of the molecules under scrutiny was flexibly superimposed onto the 300 ligands. Superimpositions were scored by shape overlap and property similarity, producing a 300 dimensional similarity array termed the “Three-Dimensional Biologically Relevant Spectrum (BRS-3D”. Finally, quantitative or discriminant models were developed with the 300 dimensional descriptor using machine learning methods (support vector machine. The effectiveness of this approach was evaluated using 42 benchmark data sets from the G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR ligand library and the GPCR decoy database (GLL/GDD. We compared the performance of BRS-3D with other 2D and 3D state-of-the-art molecular descriptors. The results showed that models built with BRS-3D performed best for most GLL/GDD data sets. We also applied BRS-3D in histone deacetylase 1 inhibitors screening and GPCR subtype selectivity prediction. The advantages and disadvantages of this approach are discussed.

  19. NATO Advanced Research Workshop, 19-22 May 1997: Rapid Method for Monitoring the Environment for Biological Hazards

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    1997-01-01

    The NATO Advanced Research Workshop met for the purpose of bringing to light rapid methods for monitoring the environment for biological hazards such as biological warfare agents, naturally occurring...

  20. Mercury speciation and distribution in a glacierized mountain environment and their relevance to environmental risks in the inland Tibetan Plateau.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Xuejun; Zhang, Qianggong; Kang, Shichang; Guo, Junming; Li, Xiaofei; Yu, Zhengliang; Zhang, Guoshuai; Qu, Dongmei; Huang, Jie; Cong, Zhiyuan; Wu, Guangjian

    2018-08-01

    Glacierized mountain environments can preserve and release mercury (Hg) and play an important role in regional Hg biogeochemical cycling. However, the behavior of Hg in glacierized mountain environments and its environmental risks remain poorly constrained. In this research, glacier meltwater, runoff and wetland water were sampled in Zhadang-Qugaqie basin (ZQB), a typical glacierized mountain environment in the inland Tibetan Plateau, to investigate Hg distribution and its relevance to environmental risks. The total mercury (THg) concentrations ranged from 0.82 to 6.98ng·L -1 , and non-parametric pairwise multiple comparisons of the THg concentrations among the three different water samples showed that the THg concentrations were comparable. The total methylmercury (TMeHg) concentrations ranged from 0.041 to 0.115ng·L -1 , and non-parametric pairwise multiple comparisons of the TMeHg concentrations showed a significant difference. Both the THg and MeHg concentrations of water samples from the ZQB were comparable to those of other remote areas, indicating that Hg concentrations in the ZQB watershed are equivalent to the global background level. Particulate Hg was the predominant form of Hg in all runoff samples, and was significantly correlated with the total suspended particle (TSP) and not correlated with the dissolved organic carbon (DOC) concentration. The distribution of mercury in the wetland water differed from that of the other water samples. THg exhibited a significant correlation with DOC as well as TMeHg, whereas neither THg nor TMeHg was associated with TSP. Based on the above findings and the results from previous work, we propose a conceptual model illustrating the four Hg distribution zones in glacierized environments. We highlight that wetlands may enhance the potential hazards of Hg released from melting glaciers, making them a vital zone for investigating the environmental effects of Hg in glacierized environments and beyond. Copyright © 2018

  1. Effectiveness of Blended Cooperative Learning Environment in Biology Teaching: Classroom Community Sense, Academic Achievement and Satisfaction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yapici, I. Ümit

    2016-01-01

    The aim of this study was to examine the effect of Blended Cooperative Learning Environment (BCLE) in biology teaching on students' classroom community sense, their academic achievement and on their levels of satisfaction. In the study, quantitative and qualitative research methods were used together. The study was carried out with 30 students in…

  2. Biological responses of two marine organisms of ecological relevance to on-going ocean acidification and global warming.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gomiero, A; Bellerby, R G J; Manca Zeichen, M; Babbini, L; Viarengo, A

    2018-05-01

    Recently, there has been a growing concern that climate change may rapidly and extensively alter global ecosystems with unknown consequences for terrestrial and aquatic life. While considerable emphasis has been placed on terrestrial ecology consequences, aquatic environments have received relatively little attention. Limited knowledge is available on the biological effects of increments of seawater temperature and pH decrements on key ecological species, i.e., primary producers and/or organisms representative of the basis of the trophic web. In the present study, we addressed the biological effects of global warming and ocean acidification on two model organisms, the microbenthic marine ciliate Euplotes crassus and the green alga Dunaliella tertiocleta using a suite of high level ecological endpoint tests and sub-lethal stress measures. Organisms were exposed to combinations of pH and temperature (TR1: 7.9 [pH], 25.5 °C and TR2: 7.8 [pH], 27,0 °C) simulating two possible environmental scenarios predicted to occur in the habitats of the selected species before the end of this century. The outcomes of the present study showed that the tested scenarios did not induce a significant increment of mortality on protozoa. Under the most severe exposure conditions, sub-lethal stress indices show that pH homeostatic mechanisms have energetic costs that divert energy from essential cellular processes and functions. The marine protozoan exhibited significant impairment of the lysosomal compartment and early signs of oxidative stress under these conditions. Similarly, significant impairment of photosynthetic efficiency and an increment in lipid peroxidation were observed in the autotroph model organism held under the most extreme exposure condition tested. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Marketing the use of the space environment for the processing of biological and pharmaceutical materials

    Science.gov (United States)

    1984-01-01

    The perceptions of U.S. biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies concerning the potential use of the space environment for the processing of biological substances was examined. Physical phenomena that may be important in space-base processing of biological materials are identified and discussed in the context of past and current experiment programs. The capabilities of NASA to support future research and development, and to engage in cooperative risk sharing programs with industry are discussed. Meetings were held with several biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies to provide data for an analysis of the attitudes and perceptions of these industries toward the use of the space environment. Recommendations are made for actions that might be taken by NASA to facilitate the marketing of the use of the space environment, and in particular the Space Shuttle, to the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries.

  4. Clinicopathological variables of sporadic schwannomas of peripheral nerve in 291 patients and expression of biologically relevant markers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Young, Eric D; Ingram, Davis; Metcalf-Doetsch, William; Khan, Dilshad; Al Sannaa, Ghadah; Le Loarer, Francois; Lazar, Alexander J F; Slopis, John; Torres, Keila E; Lev, Dina; Pollock, Raphael E; McCutcheon, Ian E

    2017-09-08

    OBJECTIVE While sporadic peripheral schwannomas (SPSs) are generally well treated with surgery, their biology is not well understood. Consequently, treatment options are limited. The aim of this study was to provide a comprehensive description of SPS. The authors describe clinicopathological features and treatment outcomes of patients harboring these tumors, and they assess expression of biomarkers using a clinically annotated tissue microarray. Together, these data give new insight into the biology and management of SPS. METHODS Patients presenting with a primary SPS between 1993 and 2011 (n = 291) were selected from an institutional registry to construct a clinical database. All patients underwent follow-up, and short- and long-term outcomes were assessed. Expression of relevant biomarkers was assessed using a new tissue microarray (n = 121). RESULTS SPSs were generally large (mean 5.5 cm) and frequently painful at presentation (55%). Most patients were treated with surgery (80%), the majority of whom experienced complete resolution (52%) or improvement (18%) of their symptoms. Tumors that were completely resected (85%) did not recur. Some patients experienced short-term (16%) and long-term (4%) complications postoperatively. Schwannomas expressed higher levels of platelet-derived growth factor receptor-β (2.1) than malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors (MPNSTs) (1.5, p = 0.004) and neurofibromas (1.33, p = 0.007). Expression of human epidermal growth factor receptor-2 was greater in SPSs (0.91) than in MPNSTs (0.33, p = 0.002) and neurofibromas (0.33, p = 0.026). Epidermal growth factor receptor was expressed in far fewer SPS cells (10%) than in MPNSTs (58%, p SPSs more frequently expressed cytoplasmic survivin (66% of tumor cells) than normal nerve (46% of cells), but SPS expressed nuclear survivin in fewer tumor cells than in MPNSTs (24% and 50%, respectively; p = 0.018). CONCLUSIONS Complete resection is curative for SPS. Left untreated, however, these

  5. Self-assembled structures and pKa value of oleic acid in systems of biological relevance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salentinig, Stefan; Sagalowicz, Laurent; Glatter, Otto

    2010-07-20

    In the human digestion process, triglycerides are hydrolyzed by lipases to monoglycerides and the corresponding fatty acids. Here we report the self-assembly of structures in biologically relevant, emulsified oleic acid-monoolein mixtures at various pH values and oleic acid concentrations. Small-angle X-ray scattering, cryogenic transmission electron microscopy, and dynamic light scattering were used to investigate the structures formed, and to follow their transitions while these factors were varied. The addition of oleic acid to monoolein-based cubosomes was found to increase the critical packing parameter in the system. Structural transitions from bicontinuous cubosomes through hexosomes and micellar cubosomes (Fd3m symmetry) to emulsified microemulsions occur with increasing oleic acid concentration. At sufficiently high oleic acid concentration, the internal particle structure was also found to strongly depend on the pH of the aqueous phase: transformations from emulsified microemulsion through micellar cubosomes, hexosomes, and bicontinuous cubosomes to vesicles can be observed as a function of increasing pH. The reversible transition from liquid crystals to vesicles occurs at intestinal pH values (between pH 7 and 8). The hydrodynamic radius of the particles decreases from around 120 nm for internally structured particles to around 60 nm for vesicles. All transitions with pH are reversible. Finally, the apparent pK(a) for oleic acid in monoolein could be determined from the change of structure with pH. This value is within the physiological pH range of the intestine and depends somewhat on composition.

  6. Research in radiation biology, in the environment, and in radiation protection at CRNL

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Marko, A.M.; Myers, D.K.; Ophel, I.L.; Cowper, G.; Newcombe, H.B.

    1978-01-01

    Research in radiation biology at CRNL is concerned with: evaluation of the effects of low doses of radiation upon humans and other living organisms; the development of new methods for detecting the effects of radiation exposure in large populations; the continued development of improved methods by which radiation levels can be measured accurately and reliably; and evaluation of the effects of nuclear power use upon the environment. The present report summarizes our background knowledge of radiation hazards and describes current research activities in Biology and Health Physics Division at CRNL. (author)

  7. Distribution and relevance of iodinated X-ray contrast media and iodinated trihalomethanes in an aquatic environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Zhifa; Li, Xia; Hu, Xialin; Yin, Daqiang

    2017-10-01

    Distribution and relevance of iodinated X-ray contrast media (ICM) and iodinated disinfection byproducts (I-DBPs) in a real aquatic environment have been rarely documented. In this paper, some ICM were proven to be strongly correlated with I-DBPs through investigation of five ICM and five iodinated trihalomethanes (I-THMs) in surface water and two drinking water treatment plants (DWTPs) of the Yangtze River Delta, China. The total ICM concentrations in Taihu Lake and the Huangpu River ranged from 88.7 to 131 ng L -1 and 102-252 ng L -1 , respectively. While the total I-THM concentrations ranged from 128 to 967 ng L -1 in Taihu Lake and 267-680 ng L -1 in the Huangpu River. Iohexol, the dominant ICM, showed significant positive correlation (p < 0.01) with CHClI 2 in Taihu Lake. Iopamidol and iomeprol correlated positively (p < 0.01) with some I-THMs in the Huangpu River. The observed pronounced correlations between ICM and I-THMs indicated that ICM play an important role in the formation of I-THMs in a real aquatic environment. Characteristics of the I-THM species distributions indicated that I-THMs may be transformed by natural conditions. Both DWTPs showed negligible removal efficiencies for total ICM (<20%). Strikingly high concentrations of total I-THMs were observed in the finished water (2848 ng L -1 in conventional DWTP and 356 ng L -1 in advanced DWTP). Obvious transformation of ICM to I-THMs was observed during the chlorination and ozonization processes in DWTPs. We suggest that ICM is an important source for I-DBP formation in the real aquatic environment. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Design, Development, and Psychometric Analysis of a General, Organic, and Biological Chemistry Topic Inventory Based on the Identified Main Chemistry Topics Relevant to Nursing Clinical Practice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Corina E.

    2013-01-01

    This two-stage study focused on the undergraduate nursing course that covers topics in general, organic, and biological (GOB) chemistry. In the first stage, the central objective was to identify the main concepts of GOB chemistry relevant to the clinical practice of nursing. The collection of data was based on open-ended interviews of both nursing…

  9. Hyperspectral-Enhanced Dark Field Microscopy for Single and Collective Nanoparticle Characterization in Biological Environments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paula Zamora-Perez

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available We review how the hyperspectral dark field analysis gives us quantitative insights into the manner that different nanoscale materials interact with their environment and how this relationship is directly expressed in an optical readout. We engage classification tools to identify dominant spectral signatures within a scene or to qualitatively characterize nanoparticles individually or in populations based on their composition and morphology. Moreover, we follow up the morphological evolution of nanoparticles over time and in different biological environments to better understand and establish a link between the observed nanoparticles’ changes and cellular behaviors.

  10. Molecular Biology for the Environment: an EC-US hands-on Course in Environmental Biotechnology

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Victor de Lorenzo; Juan Luis Ramos; Jerome Kukor; Gerben J. Zylstra

    2004-02-15

    One of the central goals of this activity is to bring together young scientists (at the late Ph.D. or early postdoctoral stages of their careers) in a forum that should result in future collaborations. The course is designed to give scientists hands-on experience in modern, up-to-date biotechnological methods at the interface between molecular biology and environmental biotechnology for the analysis of microorganisms and their activities with regard to the remediation of pollutants in the environment.

  11. Influence of Web-Aided Cooperative Learning Environment on Motivation and on Self-Efficacy Belief in Biology Teaching

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hevedanli, Murat

    2015-01-01

    The purpose of this study is to investigate the influence of the web-aided cooperative learning environment on biology preservice teachers' motivation and on their self-efficacy beliefs in biology teaching. The study was carried out with 30 biology preservice teachers attending a state university in Turkey. In the study, the pretest-posttest…

  12. Magnetic nanoparticles in different biological environments analyzed by magnetic particle spectroscopy

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Löwa, Norbert, E-mail: norbert.loewa@ptb.de; Seidel, Maria; Radon, Patricia; Wiekhorst, Frank

    2017-04-01

    Quantification of magnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (MNP) in biological systems like cells, tissue, or organs is of vital importance for development of novel biomedical applications, e.g. magnetofection, drug targeting or hyperthermia. Among others, the recently developed magnetic measurement technique magnetic particle spectroscopy (MPS) provides signals that are specific for MNP. MPS is based on the non–linear magnetic response of MNP exposed to a strong sinusoidal excitation field of up to 25 mT amplitude and 25 kHz frequency. So far, it has been proven a powerful tool for quantification of MNP in biological systems. In this study we investigated in detail the influence of typical biological media on the magnetic behavior of different MNP systems by MPS. The results reveal that amplitude and shape (ratio of harmonics) of the MPS spectra allow for perceptively monitoring changes in MNP magnetism caused by different physiological media. Additionally, the observed linear correlation between MPS amplitude and shape alterations can be used to reduce the quantification uncertainty for MNP suspended in a biological environment. - Highlights: • MPS signal amplitude: allows for MNP quantification in physiological environment. • MPS signal shape: specifically detects changes due to MNP interaction. • Correlation between changes in MPS amplitude and shape were found. • MPS signal (shape/amplitude) correlation allow for a quantification correction. • Reliable quantification result if the dynamic magnetic behavior of MNP do not change.

  13. The Martian and extraterrestrial UV radiation environment--1. Biological and closed-loop ecosystem considerations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cockell, C S; Andrady, A L

    1999-01-01

    The Martian surface is exposed to both UVC radiation (life support systems that use ambient sunlight, must address this problem. Here we examine the UV radiation environment of Mars with respect to biological systems. Action spectra and UV surface fluxes are used to estimate the UV stress that both DNA and chloroplasts would experience. From this vantage point it is possible to consider appropriate measures to address the problem of the Martian UV environment for future long term human exploration and settlement strategies. Some prospects for improving the UV tolerance of organisms are also discussed. Existing artificial ecosystems such as Biosphere 2 can provide some insights into design strategies pertinent to high UV environments. Some prospects for improving the UV tolerance of organisms are also discussed. The data also have implications for the establishment of closed-loop ecosystems using natural sunlight on the lunar surface and elsewhere in the Solar System.

  14. Cellularizing hydrogel-based scaffolds to repair bone tissue: How to create a physiologically relevant micro-environment?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maisani, Mathieu; Pezzoli, Daniele; Chassande, Olivier; Mantovani, Diego

    2017-01-01

    Tissue engineering is a promising alternative to autografts or allografts for the regeneration of large bone defects. Cell-free biomaterials with different degrees of sophistication can be used for several therapeutic indications, to stimulate bone repair by the host tissue. However, when osteoprogenitors are not available in the damaged tissue, exogenous cells with an osteoblast differentiation potential must be provided. These cells should have the capacity to colonize the defect and to participate in the building of new bone tissue. To achieve this goal, cells must survive, remain in the defect site, eventually proliferate, and differentiate into mature osteoblasts. A critical issue for these engrafted cells is to be fed by oxygen and nutrients: the transient absence of a vascular network upon implantation is a major challenge for cells to survive in the site of implantation, and different strategies can be followed to promote cell survival under poor oxygen and nutrient supply and to promote rapid vascularization of the defect area. These strategies involve the use of scaffolds designed to create the appropriate micro-environment for cells to survive, proliferate, and differentiate in vitro and in vivo. Hydrogels are an eclectic class of materials that can be easily cellularized and provide effective, minimally invasive approaches to fill bone defects and favor bone tissue regeneration. Furthermore, by playing on their composition and processing, it is possible to obtain biocompatible systems with adequate chemical, biological, and mechanical properties. However, only a good combination of scaffold and cells, possibly with the aid of incorporated growth factors, can lead to successful results in bone regeneration. This review presents the strategies used to design cellularized hydrogel-based systems for bone regeneration, identifying the key parameters of the many different micro-environments created within hydrogels.

  15. From 'omics' to complex disease: a systems biology approach to gene-environment interactions in cancer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Knox Sarah S

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Cancer is a complex disease that involves a sequence of gene-environment interactions in a progressive process that cannot occur without dysfunction in multiple systems, including DNA repair, apoptotic and immune functions. Epigenetic mechanisms, responding to numerous internal and external cues in a dynamic ongoing exchange, play a key role in mediating environmental influences on gene expression and tumor development. Hypothesis The hypothesis put forth in this paper addresses the limited success of treatment outcomes in clinical oncology. It states that improvement in treatment efficacy requires a new paradigm that focuses on reversing systemic dysfunction and tailoring treatments to specific stages in the process. It requires moving from a reductionist framework of seeking to destroy aberrant cells and pathways to a transdisciplinary systems biology approach aimed at reversing multiple levels of dysfunction. Conclusion Because there are many biological pathways and multiple epigenetic influences working simultaneously in the expression of cancer phenotypes, studying individual components in isolation does not allow an adequate understanding of phenotypic expression. A systems biology approach using new modeling techniques and nonlinear mathematics is needed to investigate gene-environment interactions and improve treatment efficacy. A broader array of study designs will also be required, including prospective molecular epidemiology, immune competent animal models and in vitro/in vivo translational research that more accurately reflects the complex process of tumor initiation and progression.

  16. Environment Biological and Health Care Efforts Influenced of Lymfatic Filariasis Incidence, Sarmi Distric

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mina Sipayung

    2014-05-01

    District Sarmi is the most endemic area of filariasis in Papua which has rate of microfilaria (mf (47.06% up to the year 2012. In the Province Papua filarial worm is Wuchereria bancrofti and is transmitted through the bite of a mosquito vectors. Lymphatic filariasis does not cause death, but in chronic cases it causes disability, psychosocial problems, stigma, and decreased productivity. This study was aimed to analyze environment biological and health care efforts that influence the incidence of lymphatic filariasis. This study used case-control method. Samples comprised 32 case samples (mf + and 32 control samples (mf-. Primary data were collected through interviews and observation. Data were analyzed using Chi-Square and continued with multivariate Logistic Regression. Statistical analysis obtained indicated two variables on the incidence of lymphatic filariasis limfatik in District Sarmi (health care efforts pvalue = 0.002, OR: 7.779, as well as the biological environment pvalue= 0.008, OR: 5.841. Significant variables were health services with sub-variables promotion, prevention and the environmental biology. Suggestion: Mosquito bites should be avoided, the vector should be controlled through mutual cooperation and health promotion should be implemented. Keywords: Wuchereria bancrofti, lymphatic filariasis, vector, health care,                         Sarmi Distric

  17. Sensor Fusion and Autonomy as a Powerful Combination for Biological Assessment in the Marine Environment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mark A. Moline

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available The ocean environment and the physical and biological processes that govern dynamics are complex. Sampling the ocean to better understand these processes is difficult given the temporal and spatial domains and sampling tools available. Biological systems are especially difficult as organisms possess behavior, operate at horizontal scales smaller than traditional shipboard sampling allows, and are often disturbed by the sampling platforms themselves. Sensors that measure biological processes have also generally not kept pace with the development of physical counterparts as their requirements are as complex as the target organisms. Here, we attempt to address this challenge by advocating the need for sensor-platform combinations to integrate and process data in real-time and develop data products that are useful in increasing sampling efficiencies. Too often, the data of interest is only garnered after post-processing after a sampling effort and the opportunity to use that information to guide sampling is lost. Here we demonstrate a new autonomous platform, where data are collected, analyzed, and data products are output in real-time to inform autonomous decision-making. This integrated capability allows for enhanced and informed sampling towards improving our understanding of the marine environment.

  18. The Biology of Cancer Health Disparities

    Science.gov (United States)

    These examples show how biology contributes to health disparities (differences in disease incidence and outcomes among distinct racial and ethnic groups, ), and how biological factors interact with other relevant factors, such as diet and the environment.

  19. The comparative immunogenicity of biologic therapy and its clinical relevance in psoriatic arthritis: a systematic review of the literature.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balsa, Alejandro; Lula, Sadiq; Marshall, Lisa; Szczypa, Piotr; Aikman, Laraine

    2018-03-20

    Biologic agents have demonstrated efficacy in treating patients with psoriatic arthritis (PsA). Biologic agents also have an intrinsic capacity to induce an immune response in patients that could result in unwanted adverse events and/or treatment failure. Areas covered: In this systematic literature review, the authors document the incidence of immune responses, primarily anti-drug antibodies (ADA), to the biologic therapeutic agents currently in clinical practice for the treatment of PsA. The authors discuss the importance of these responses with respect to clinical practice. Expert opinion: Our evaluation of the published literature shows that the immune responses to the various biologic therapeutic agents currently being used to treat PsA are similar to those observed for these agents in other rheumatic diseases. Moreover, similar to observations in other rheumatic diseases, the incidence of ADA formation to biologic agents in patients with PsA is often decreased when patients are given concomitant treatment with disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs. These data strongly suggest that the immune response is a characteristic of the biologic agent. Using therapeutic drug monitoring may be an approach to assess the immune response to the agent and to mitigate the potential impact on efficacy and safety, and consequently optimize treatment.

  20. Magnetic nanoparticles in different biological environments analyzed by magnetic particle spectroscopy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Löwa, Norbert; Seidel, Maria; Radon, Patricia; Wiekhorst, Frank

    2017-04-01

    Quantification of magnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (MNP) in biological systems like cells, tissue, or organs is of vital importance for development of novel biomedical applications, e.g. magnetofection, drug targeting or hyperthermia. Among others, the recently developed magnetic measurement technique magnetic particle spectroscopy (MPS) provides signals that are specific for MNP. MPS is based on the non-linear magnetic response of MNP exposed to a strong sinusoidal excitation field of up to 25 mT amplitude and 25 kHz frequency. So far, it has been proven a powerful tool for quantification of MNP in biological systems. In this study we investigated in detail the influence of typical biological media on the magnetic behavior of different MNP systems by MPS. The results reveal that amplitude and shape (ratio of harmonics) of the MPS spectra allow for perceptively monitoring changes in MNP magnetism caused by different physiological media. Additionally, the observed linear correlation between MPS amplitude and shape alterations can be used to reduce the quantification uncertainty for MNP suspended in a biological environment.

  1. Presence of pesticide residues in water, sediment and biological samples taken from aquatic environments in Honduras

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Meyer, D.E.

    1999-01-01

    The objective of this study was to detect the presence of persistent pesticides in water, sediment and biological samples taken from aquatic environments in Honduras during the period 1995-98. Additionally, the LC 50 for 2 fungicides and 2 insecticides on post-larval Penaeus vannamei was determined in static water bioassays. A total of 80 water samples, 16 sediment samples and 7 biological samples (fish muscle tissue) were analyzed for detection of organochlorine and organophosphate pesticide residues. The results of sample analyses indicate a widespread contamination of Honduran continental and coastal waters with organochlorine pesticides. Most detections were of low ( 50 values and were therefore found to be much more toxic to the post-larval shrimp than the fungicides tridemorph and propiconazole. (author)

  2. Environment and biology of the Kara Sea: a general view for contamination studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miquel, J C

    2001-01-01

    The recent revelation that over the past 30 years there has been a history of dumping waste including high-level radioactive wastes in the shallow Kara Sea has caused wide-spread concern. The potential impact of these contaminants and other non-nuclear pollutants in the Arctic ecosystem and on human health need to be assessed and, thus, a better insight gained on radioecological processes in cold waters. The present paper proposes a general view on the biology and the environment of the Kara Sea, as a basic tool for the experimental and modelling assessments of the impact of these contaminants.

  3. Cu Isotopic Composition in Surface Environments and in Biological Systems: A Critical Review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Zhuhong; Chen, Jiubin; Zhang, Ting

    2017-05-18

    Copper (Cu) is a transition metal and an essential micronutrient for organisms, but also one of the most widespread toxic inorganic contaminants at very high content. The research on Cu isotopes has grown rapidly in the last decade. Hitherto, a large number of studies have been published on the theoretical fractionation mechanisms, experimental data and natural variations of Cu isotopes in variable environments and ecosystems. These studies reported a large variation of δ 65 Cu (-16.49 to +20.04‰) in terrestrial samples and showed that Cu isotopes could be fractionated by various biogeochemical processes to different extent. Several papers have previously reviewed the coupling of Cu and Zn isotope systematics, and we give here a tentative review of the recent publications only on Cu isotopesin variable surface repositories, animals and human beings, with a goal to attract much attention to research on Cu (and other metals) behaviors in the environment and biological systems.

  4. The Development of Environment based Textbook in Biology Course at Tribhuwana Tunggadewi University

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nugroho Aji Prasetiyo

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Environmental issues are rooted in human behavior is often found in everyday life, one contributing factor was not maximal the environment learning outcomes in the education. The purpose of this study is to develop environment based textbook in Biology course suited to the needs and character of college students. The development model used in this research and development are modified Thiagarajan et al model consists of three stages: define, design, and develop. The technique of collecting data using questionnaires validation for experts, and small-scale trials. The result of the development of textbooks showing the average results of the validation and testing is in the category with a good fit for use in accordance with the table eligibility criteria and product revision level.

  5. Cu Isotopic Composition in Surface Environments and in Biological Systems: A Critical Review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhuhong Wang

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Copper (Cu is a transition metal and an essential micronutrient for organisms, but also one of the most widespread toxic inorganic contaminants at very high content. The research on Cu isotopes has grown rapidly in the last decade. Hitherto, a large number of studies have been published on the theoretical fractionation mechanisms, experimental data and natural variations of Cu isotopes in variable environments and ecosystems. These studies reported a large variation of δ65Cu (−16.49 to +20.04‰ in terrestrial samples and showed that Cu isotopes could be fractionated by various biogeochemical processes to different extent. Several papers have previously reviewed the coupling of Cu and Zn isotope systematics, and we give here a tentative review of the recent publications only on Cu isotopesin variable surface repositories, animals and human beings, with a goal to attract much attention to research on Cu (and other metals behaviors in the environment and biological systems.

  6. Avoiding Panic and Keeping the Ports Open in a Chemical and Biological Threat Environment. A Literature Review

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Korpi, Tanja M; Hemmer, Christopher

    2005-01-01

    ... and biological threat environment. As a starting point for such a program, this study examines the extant literature on the psychology of risk assessment, warnings, sociological studies of reactions to disasters...

  7. Technical progress report of biological research on the volcanic island, Surtsey, and environment for the year 1975

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fridriksson, S.

    1975-01-01

    The study involves terrestrial biological research on the volcanic island, Surtsey, off the coast of Iceland and the neighboring islands and environs of the Westman Islands, which are situated on the mid-Atlantic Ridge.

  8. The practicalities and pitfalls of establishing a policy-relevant and cost-effective soil biological monitoring scheme

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Faber, J.H.; Creamer, R.E.; Mulder, C.; Römbke, J.; Rutgers, M.; Sousa, J.P.; Stone, D.; Griffiths, B.S.

    2013-01-01

    A large number of biological indicators have been proposed over the years for assessing soil quality. Although many of those have been applied in monitoring schemes across Europe, no consensus exists on the extent to which these indicators might perform best and how monitoring schemes can be further

  9. A Novel CPU/GPU Simulation Environment for Large-Scale Biologically-Realistic Neural Modeling

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roger V Hoang

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available Computational Neuroscience is an emerging field that provides unique opportunities to studycomplex brain structures through realistic neural simulations. However, as biological details are added tomodels, the execution time for the simulation becomes longer. Graphics Processing Units (GPUs are now being utilized to accelerate simulations due to their ability to perform computations in parallel. As such, they haveshown significant improvement in execution time compared to Central Processing Units (CPUs. Most neural simulators utilize either multiple CPUs or a single GPU for better performance, but still show limitations in execution time when biological details are not sacrificed. Therefore, we present a novel CPU/GPU simulation environment for large-scale biological networks,the NeoCortical Simulator version 6 (NCS6. NCS6 is a free, open-source, parallelizable, and scalable simula-tor, designed to run on clusters of multiple machines, potentially with high performance computing devicesin each of them. It has built-in leaky-integrate-and-fire (LIF and Izhikevich (IZH neuron models, but usersalso have the capability to design their own plug-in interface for different neuron types as desired. NCS6is currently able to simulate one million cells and 100 million synapses in quasi real time by distributing dataacross these heterogeneous clusters of CPUs and GPUs.

  10. Taurolidine antiadhesive properties on interaction with E. coli; its transformation in biological environment and interaction with bacteria cell wall.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caruso, Francesco; Darnowski, James W; Opazo, Cristian; Goldberg, Alexander; Kishore, Nina; Agoston, Elin S; Rossi, Miriam

    2010-01-28

    The taurine amino-acid derivative, taurolidine, bis-(1,1-dioxoperhydro-1,2,4-thiabiazinyl-4)methane, shows broad antibacterial action against gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria, mycobacteria and some clinically relevant fungi. It inhibits, in vitro, the adherence of Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus to human epithelial and fibroblast cells. Taurolidine is unstable in aqueous solution and breaks down into derivatives which are thought to be responsible for the biological activity. To understand the taurolidine antibacterial mechanism of action, we provide the experimental single crystal X-ray diffraction results together with theoretical methods to characterize the hydrolysis/decomposition reactions of taurolidine. The crystal structure features two independent molecules linked through intermolecular H-bonds with one of them somewhat positively charged. Taurolidine in a biological environment exists in equilibrium with taurultam derivatives and this is described theoretically as a 2-step process without an energy barrier: formation of cationic taurolidine followed by a nucleophilic attack of O(hydroxyl) on the exocyclic C(methylene). A concerted mechanism describes the further hydrolysis of the taurolidine derivative methylol-taurultam. The interaction of methylol-taurultam with the diaminopimelic NH(2) group in the E. coli bacteria cell wall (peptidoglycan) has a negative DeltaG value (-38.2 kcal/mol) but a high energy barrier (45.8 kcal/mol) suggesting no reactivity. On the contrary, taurolidine docking into E. coli fimbriae protein, responsible for bacteria adhesion to the bladder epithelium, shows it has higher affinity than mannose (the natural substrate), whereas methylol-taurultam and taurultam are less tightly bound. Since taurolidine is readily available because it is administered in high doses after peritonitis surgery, it may successfully compete with mannose explaining its effectiveness against bacterial infections at laparoscopic lesions.

  11. Taurolidine antiadhesive properties on interaction with E. coli; its transformation in biological environment and interaction with bacteria cell wall.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francesco Caruso

    Full Text Available The taurine amino-acid derivative, taurolidine, bis-(1,1-dioxoperhydro-1,2,4-thiabiazinyl-4methane, shows broad antibacterial action against gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria, mycobacteria and some clinically relevant fungi. It inhibits, in vitro, the adherence of Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus to human epithelial and fibroblast cells. Taurolidine is unstable in aqueous solution and breaks down into derivatives which are thought to be responsible for the biological activity. To understand the taurolidine antibacterial mechanism of action, we provide the experimental single crystal X-ray diffraction results together with theoretical methods to characterize the hydrolysis/decomposition reactions of taurolidine. The crystal structure features two independent molecules linked through intermolecular H-bonds with one of them somewhat positively charged. Taurolidine in a biological environment exists in equilibrium with taurultam derivatives and this is described theoretically as a 2-step process without an energy barrier: formation of cationic taurolidine followed by a nucleophilic attack of O(hydroxyl on the exocyclic C(methylene. A concerted mechanism describes the further hydrolysis of the taurolidine derivative methylol-taurultam. The interaction of methylol-taurultam with the diaminopimelic NH(2 group in the E. coli bacteria cell wall (peptidoglycan has a negative DeltaG value (-38.2 kcal/mol but a high energy barrier (45.8 kcal/mol suggesting no reactivity. On the contrary, taurolidine docking into E. coli fimbriae protein, responsible for bacteria adhesion to the bladder epithelium, shows it has higher affinity than mannose (the natural substrate, whereas methylol-taurultam and taurultam are less tightly bound. Since taurolidine is readily available because it is administered in high doses after peritonitis surgery, it may successfully compete with mannose explaining its effectiveness against bacterial infections at

  12. Study the Effectiveness of Technology-Enhanced Interactive Teaching Environment on Student Learning of Junior High School Biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Kai-Ti; Wang, Tzu-Hua; Chiu, Mei-Hung

    2015-01-01

    This research investigates the effectiveness of integrating Interactive Whiteboard (IWB) into the junior high school biology teaching. This research adopts a quasi-experimental design and divides the participating students into the conventional ICT-integrated learning environment and IWB-integrated learning environment. Before teaching, students…

  13. Effects of Web Based Inquiry Science Environment on Cognitive Outcomes in Biological Science in Correlation to Emotional Intelligence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manoj, T. I.; Devanathan, S.

    2010-01-01

    This research study is the report of an experiment conducted to find out the effects of web based inquiry science environment on cognitive outcomes in Biological science in correlation to Emotional intelligence. Web based inquiry science environment (WISE) provides a platform for creating inquiry-based science projects for students to work…

  14. Effect of Co-Existing Biologically Relevant Molecules and Ions on DNA Photocleavage Caused by Pyrene and its Derivatives

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hongtao Yu

    2005-04-01

    Full Text Available Inorganic ions, coenzymes, amino acids, and saccharides could co-exist with toxic environmental chemicals, such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs, in the cell. The presence of these co-existing chemicals can modulate the toxicity of the PAHs. One of the genotoxic effects by PAHs is light-induced cleavage, or photocleavage, of DNA. The effect of inorganic ions I-, Na+, Ca2+, Mg2+, Fe3+, Mn2+, Cu2+, and Zn2+ and biological molecules riboflavin, histidine, mannitol, nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD, glutathione, and glutamic acid on the DNA photocleavage by pyrene, 1-hydroxypyrene (1-HP, and 1-aminopyrene (1-AP, is studied. The non-transition metal ions Na+, Ca2+, and Mg2+, usually have very little inhibitory effects, while the transition metal ions Fe3+, Cu2+, and Zn2+ enhance, Mn2+ inhibits the DNA photocleavage. The effect by biological molecules is complex, depending on the photochemical reaction mechanisms of the compounds tested (1-AP, 1-HP and pyrene and on the chemical nature of the added biological molecules. Riboflavin, histidine, and mannitol enhance DNA photocleavage by all three compounds, except that mannitol has no effect on the photocleavage of DNA by pyrene. Glutathione inhibits the DNA photocleavage by 1-AP and 1-HP, but has no effect on that by pyrene. NAD enhances the DNA photocleavage by 1-AP, but has no effect on that by 1-HP and pyrene. Glutamic acid enhances the DNA photocleavage by 1-AP and pyrene, but inhibits that by 1-HP. These results show that the co-existing chemicals may have a profound effect on the toxicity of PAHs, or possibly on the toxicity of many other chemicals. Therefore, if one studies the toxic effects of PAHs or other toxic chemicals, the effect of the co-existing chemicals or ions needs to be considered.

  15. A systems biology approach to identify intelligence quotient score-related genomic regions, and pathways relevant to potential therapeutic treatments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Min; Kong, Lei; Qu, Hong

    2014-01-01

    Although the intelligence quotient (IQ) is the most popular intelligence test in the world, little is known about the underlying biological mechanisms that lead to the differences in human. To improve our understanding of cognitive processes and identify potential biomarkers, we conducted a comprehensive investigation of 158 IQ-related genes selected from the literature. A genomic distribution analysis demonstrated that IQ-related genes were enriched in seven regions of chromosome 7 and the X chromosome. In addition, these genes were enriched in target lists of seven transcription factors and sixteen microRNAs. Using a network-based approach, we further reconstructed an IQ-related pathway from known human pathway interaction data. Based on this reconstructed pathway, we incorporated enriched drugs and described the importance of dopamine and norepinephrine systems in IQ-related biological process. These findings not only reveal several testable genes and processes related to IQ scores, but also have potential therapeutic implications for IQ-related mental disorders. PMID:24566931

  16. Biological airfilter for air quality control of life support systems in closed environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    van der Waarde, J. J.; Team

    Environmental quality assurance and recycling of raw materials are essential elements in manned space craft missions. Indoor air quality plays an important role, since the limited amount of air in the space craft is continuously recycled. Both astronaut activities and materials and equipment onboard the space craft are sources of air contamination. A wide range of volatile organic contaminants has been observed in these closed environments, including aliphatic hydrocarbons, alcohols, aldehydes, aromatic hydrocarbons and chlorinated aliphatic components. Most of these components are biodegradable but the concentrations are usually low (mg/m^3). A biological system to remove these components needs to meet several criteria: active at low concentrations; combined removal of a wide range of organic contaminants; removal to levels below the space maximum allowable concentration (SMAC); stable activity over long periods (months); small volume and low weight; no contact between bacteria and astronauts.

  17. Spatial landscape model to characterize biological diversity using R statistical computing environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, Hariom; Garg, R D; Karnatak, Harish C; Roy, Arijit

    2018-01-15

    Due to urbanization and population growth, the degradation of natural forests and associated biodiversity are now widely recognized as a global environmental concern. Hence, there is an urgent need for rapid assessment and monitoring of biodiversity on priority using state-of-art tools and technologies. The main purpose of this research article is to develop and implement a new methodological approach to characterize biological diversity using spatial model developed during the study viz. Spatial Biodiversity Model (SBM). The developed model is scale, resolution and location independent solution for spatial biodiversity richness modelling. The platform-independent computation model is based on parallel computation. The biodiversity model based on open-source software has been implemented on R statistical computing platform. It provides information on high disturbance and high biological richness areas through different landscape indices and site specific information (e.g. forest fragmentation (FR), disturbance index (DI) etc.). The model has been developed based on the case study of Indian landscape; however it can be implemented in any part of the world. As a case study, SBM has been tested for Uttarakhand state in India. Inputs for landscape ecology are derived through multi-criteria decision making (MCDM) techniques in an interactive command line environment. MCDM with sensitivity analysis in spatial domain has been carried out to illustrate the model stability and robustness. Furthermore, spatial regression analysis has been made for the validation of the output. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Evaluation of some procedures relevant to the determination of trace elemental components in biological materials by destructive neutron activation analysis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Berry, D.L.

    1979-01-01

    The development of a simplified procedure for the analysis of biological materials by destructive neutron activation analysis (DNAA) is described. The sample manipulations preceding gamma ray assay were investigated as five specific stages of processing: (1) pre-irradiation treatment; (2) sample irradiation; (3) removal of the organic matrix; (4) removal of interfering radioactivities; and (5) concentration and separation of analyte activities. Each stage was evaluated with respect to susceptibility to sample contamination, loss of trace elemental components, and compatibility with other operations in the overall DNAA procedures. A complete DNAA procedure was proposed and evaluated for the analysis of standard bovine liver and blood samples. The DNAA system was effective for the determination of As, Cu, Fe, Hg, Mo, Rb, Sb, Se, and Zn without yield determinations and with a minimum turn-around time of approximately 3 days

  19. Evaluation of some procedures relevant to the determination of trace elemental components in biological materials by destructive neutron activation analysis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Berry, D.L.

    1979-01-01

    The development of a simplified procedure for the analysis of biological materials by destructive neutron activation analysis (DNAA) is described. The sample manipulations preceding gamma ray assay were investigated as five specific stages of processing: (1) pre-irradiation treatment; (2) sample irradiation; (3) removal of the organic matrix; (4) removal of interfering radioactivities; and (5) concentration and separation of analyte activities. Each stage was evaluated with respect to susceptibility to sample contamination, loss of trace elemental components, and compatibility with other operations in the overall DNAA procedures. A complete DNAA procedure was proposed and evaluated for the analysis of standard bovine liver and blood samples. The DNAA system was effective for the determination of As, Cu, Fe, Hg, Mo, Rb, Sb, Se, and Zn without yield determinations and with a minimum turn-around time of approximately 3 days.

  20. Convergence of regenerative medicine and synthetic biology to develop standardized and validated models of human diseases with clinical relevance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hutmacher, Dietmar Werner; Holzapfel, Boris Michael; De-Juan-Pardo, Elena Maria; Pereira, Brooke Anne; Ellem, Stuart John; Loessner, Daniela; Risbridger, Gail Petuna

    2015-12-01

    In order to progress beyond currently available medical devices and implants, the concept of tissue engineering has moved into the centre of biomedical research worldwide. The aim of this approach is not to replace damaged tissue with an implant or device but rather to prompt the patient's own tissue to enact a regenerative response by using a tissue-engineered construct to assemble new functional and healthy tissue. More recently, it has been suggested that the combination of Synthetic Biology and translational tissue-engineering techniques could enhance the field of personalized medicine, not only from a regenerative medicine perspective, but also to provide frontier technologies for building and transforming the research landscape in the field of in vitro and in vivo disease models. Crown Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Interaction of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs with membranes: in vitro assessment and relevance for their biological actions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pereira-Leite, Catarina; Nunes, Cláudia; Reis, Salette

    2013-10-01

    Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are among the most commonly used drugs in the world due to their anti-inflammatory, analgesic and antipyretic properties. Nevertheless, the consumption of these drugs is still associated with the occurrence of a wide spectrum of adverse effects. Regarding the major role of membranes in cellular events, the hypothesis that the biological actions of NSAIDs may be related to their effect at the membrane level has triggered the in vitro assessment of NSAIDs-membrane interactions. The use of membrane mimetic models, cell cultures, a wide range of experimental techniques and molecular dynamics simulations has been providing significant information about drugs partition and location within membranes and also about their effect on diverse membrane properties. These studies have indeed been providing evidences that the effect of NSAIDs at membrane level may be an additional mechanism of action and toxicity of NSAIDs. In fact, the pharmacokinetic properties of NSAIDs are closely related to the ability of these drugs to interact and overcome biological membranes. Moreover, the therapeutic actions of NSAIDs may also result from the indirect inhibition of cyclooxygenase due to the disturbing effect of NSAIDs on membrane properties. Furthermore, increasing evidences suggest that the disordering effects of these drugs on membranes may be in the basis of the NSAIDs-induced toxicity in diverse organ systems. Overall, the study of NSAIDs-membrane interactions has proved to be not only important for the better understanding of their pharmacological actions, but also for the rational development of new approaches to overcome NSAIDs adverse effects. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Time-driven activity-based costing in an outpatient clinic environment: development, relevance and managerial impact.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Demeere, Nathalie; Stouthuysen, Kristof; Roodhooft, Filip

    2009-10-01

    Healthcare managers are continuously urged to provide better patient services at a lower cost. To cope with these cost pressures, healthcare management needs to improve its understanding of the relevant cost drivers. Through a case study, we show how to perform a time-driven activity-based costing of five outpatient clinic's departments and provide evidence of the benefits of such an analysis.

  3. The influence of alternative pedagogical methods in postsecondary biology education: How do students experience a multimedia case-study environment?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolter, Bjorn Hugo Karl

    The purpose of this study was to better understand how an online, multimedia case study method influenced students' motivation, performance, and perceptions of science in collegiate level biology classes. It utilized a mix-methods design including data from pre- and post-test, student surveys, and focus group interviews to answer one primary question, did participation in the affect student performance? Two sub-questions were: (a) did participation affect persistence? and (b) did students believe it to be a good learning experience? One hundred and eight students in 5 classes from 4 campuses in the United States and Puerto Rico participated in this study during spring semester 2009. After receiving instruction on HIV, students took a 6 questions pre-test to measure their initial knowledge of both HIV and lab procedures. Participants then engaged in the Case It! learning environment, where they watched case-studies on HIV, used virtual lab tools, created an online poster of their findings, and role-played as both family members and physicians about their case. A post-test identical to the pre-test was given to students upon completion. Both were then scored using rubrics and analyzed via paired t-Tests and ANOVA. The researcher visited all 4 study sites to conduct both the focus group interviews and student surveys. Student surveys were quantified and descriptive statistics generated. Focus group interviews were video recorded, transcribed, and inductively and deductively coded. Student knowledge increased because of participation, and the majority of students said they found the Case It! project to be both a good learning experience (95%) and one that would help with future classes or careers (87%). Based on student interviews, the Case It! project did have a beneficial impact on students' intentions to persist as science majors. Many students noted that the learning environment created an overall context in which they could apply knowledge from multiple classes

  4. Reactivity of inorganic nanoparticles in biological environments: insights into nanotoxicity mechanisms

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Casals, E; Gonzalez, E; Puntes, V F

    2012-01-01

    A deeper understanding of the behaviour of inorganic nanoparticles in biological media is needed not only to fully control and develop the potential of these materials but also to increase knowledge of the physical chemistry of inorganic materials when their morphology approaches that of molecular entities. Although this knowledge and control is not yet entirely acquired, industry and society are already using nanomaterials in greater quantities and in consumer products. As normally happens when something new arrives in society, the interest in the broader implications of this emerging technology has grown together with unfounded ‘nanoeuphoria’ and ‘nanoscares’. In this context, only by understanding the mechanisms of the nano-bio interaction will it be possible to safely develop nanotechnology. In this review, we discuss on how nanoparticles behave once they are naturally or intentionally produced and are exposed to humans and the environment. The response of nanoparticles inside organisms or released to the environment is complex and diverse, and depends on a variety of parameters involved. Mainly, they may (i) be aggregated into microscopic particles or embedded in exposed materials; (ii) the surfaces of the nanoparticles, which determine their bioactivity, experience constant modifications; and (iii) nanoparticles may corrode and dissolve or they can suffer morphological modifications.

  5. Biological soil crusts from arctic environments: characterization of the prokaryotic community and exopolysaccharidic matrix analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mugnai, Gianmarco; Ventura, Stefano; Mascalchi, Cristina; Rossi, Federico; Adessi, Alessandra; De Philippis, Roberto

    2015-04-01

    Biological soil crusts (BSCs) are highly specialized topsoil microbial communities widespread in many ecosystems, from deserts to polar regions. BSCs play an active role in promoting soil fertility and plant growth. In Arctic environments BSCs are involved in promoting primary succession after deglaciation, increasing moisture availability and nutrient immission at the topsoil. The organisms residing on BSCs produce extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) in response to the environmental characteristics, thus contributing to the increase of constraint tolerance. The aim of this study was to investigate the taxonomic diversity of microbial communities, together with the analysis of the chemical features of EPS, from BSC samples collected in several sites near Ny-Ǻlesund, Norway. The phylogenetic composition of the prokaryotic community was assessed through a metagenomic approach. Exopolysaccharidic fractions were quantified using ion-exchange chromatography to determine the monosaccharidic composition. Size exclusion chromatography was used to determine the distribution of the EPS fractions. Abundance of phototrophic microorganisms, which are known to contribute to EPS excretion, was also evaluated. Results underlined the complexity of the microbial communities, showing a high level of diversity within the BSC sampled analyzed. The analysis of the polysaccharide composition displayed a high number of constituent sugars; the matrix was found to be constituted by two main fractions, a higher molecular weight (2 10 exp(6) Da) and a lower molecular weight fraction (< 100 10 exp(3) Da). This study presents novel data concerning EPS of BSCs matrix in relationship with the microbial communities in cold environments.

  6. Reactivity of inorganic nanoparticles in biological environments: insights into nanotoxicity mechanisms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Casals, E.; Gonzalez, E.; Puntes, V. F.

    2012-11-01

    A deeper understanding of the behaviour of inorganic nanoparticles in biological media is needed not only to fully control and develop the potential of these materials but also to increase knowledge of the physical chemistry of inorganic materials when their morphology approaches that of molecular entities. Although this knowledge and control is not yet entirely acquired, industry and society are already using nanomaterials in greater quantities and in consumer products. As normally happens when something new arrives in society, the interest in the broader implications of this emerging technology has grown together with unfounded ‘nanoeuphoria’ and ‘nanoscares’. In this context, only by understanding the mechanisms of the nano-bio interaction will it be possible to safely develop nanotechnology. In this review, we discuss on how nanoparticles behave once they are naturally or intentionally produced and are exposed to humans and the environment. The response of nanoparticles inside organisms or released to the environment is complex and diverse, and depends on a variety of parameters involved. Mainly, they may (i) be aggregated into microscopic particles or embedded in exposed materials; (ii) the surfaces of the nanoparticles, which determine their bioactivity, experience constant modifications; and (iii) nanoparticles may corrode and dissolve or they can suffer morphological modifications.

  7. Biological Production of a Hydrocarbon Fuel Intermediate Polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB) from a Process Relevant Lignocellulosic Derived Sugar (Poster)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wang, W.; Mittal, A.; Mohagheghi, A.; Johnson, D. K.

    2014-04-01

    PHAs are synthesized by many microorganisms to serve as intracellular carbon storage molecules. In some bacterial strains, PHB can account for up to 80% of cell mass. In addition to its application in the packaging sector, PHB also has great potential as an intermediate in the production of hydrocarbon fuels. PHB can be thermally depolymerized and decarboxylated to propene which can be upgraded to hydrocarbon fuels via commercial oligomerization technologies. Cupriavidus necator is the microorganism that has been most extensively studied and used for PHB production on an industrial scale; However the substrates used for producing PHB are mainly fructose, glucose, sucrose, fatty acids, glycerol, etc., which are expensive. In this study, we demonstrate production of PHB from a process relevant lignocellulosic derived sugar stream, i.e., saccharified slurry from pretreated corn stover. The strain was first investigated in shake flasks for its ability to utilize glucose, xylose and acetate. In addition, the strain was also grown on pretreated lignocellulose hydrolyzate slurry and evaluated in terms of cell growth, sugar utilization, PHB accumulation, etc. The mechanism of inhibition in the toxic hydrolysate generated by the pretreatment and saccharification process of biomass, was also studied.

  8. Pharmacological, Physiochemical, and Drug-Relevant Biological Properties of Short Chain Fatty Acid Hexosamine Analogues Used in Metabolic Glycoengineering.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saeui, Christopher T; Liu, Lingshu; Urias, Esteban; Morrissette-McAlmon, Justin; Bhattacharya, Rahul; Yarema, Kevin J

    2018-03-05

    In this study, we catalog structure activity relationships (SAR) of several short chain fatty acid (SCFA)-modified hexosamine analogues used in metabolic glycoengineering (MGE) by comparing in silico and experimental measurements of physiochemical properties important in drug design. We then describe the impact of these compounds on selected biological parameters that influence the pharmacological properties and safety of drug candidates by monitoring P-glycoprotein (Pgp) efflux, inhibition of cytochrome P450 3A4 (CYP3A4), hERG channel inhibition, and cardiomyocyte cytotoxicity. These parameters are influenced by length of the SCFAs (e.g., acetate vs n-butyrate), which are added to MGE analogues to increase the efficiency of cellular uptake, the regioisomeric arrangement of the SCFAs on the core sugar, the structure of the core sugar itself, and by the type of N-acyl modification (e.g., N-acetyl vs N-azido). By cataloging the influence of these SAR on pharmacological properties of MGE analogues, this study outlines design considerations for tuning the pharmacological, physiochemical, and the toxicological parameters of this emerging class of small molecule drug candidates.

  9. The nonconservative property of dissolved molybdenum in the western Taiwan Strait: Relevance of submarine groundwater discharges and biological utilization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Deli; Xia, Weiwei; Lu, Shuimiao; Wang, Guizhi; Liu, Qian; Moore, Willard S.; Arthur Chen, Chen-Tung

    2016-01-01

    This study examined dissolved Mo and sedimentary Mo along with hydrochemical parameters in the western Taiwan Strait (WTS) in May and August 2012. The results demonstrate that dissolved Mo could be depleted of as high as 10-20 nM during our May sampling period when the nutrient-enriched Min-Zhe coastal current ceased and spring blooms developed. The negative correlation between Chl-a and dissolved Mo suggests the possible involvement of high algal productivity in removing dissolved Mo out of the water column. Specific oceanographic settings (little currents) permitted a high sedimentary enrichment of Mo (>6 µg/g Mo) within the highly productive waters outside the Jiulong River mouth. Possibly, the high algal productivities and consequent organic matter sinks provide a pathway of Mo burial from water columns into sediments. Dissolved Mo was relatively high in groundwater samples, but we observed that submarine groundwater discharges (SGDs) only contributed to a relatively small percentage of the total dissolved Mo pool in WTS. It is probably attributable to the immediate removal of SGD-released Mo ions via adsorption onto newly formed Mn oxides once exposed to oxygenated seawater, followed by an elevated sedimentary Mo accumulation near the SGDs (˜5 µg/g). In addition to metal oxide particle scavenging and sulfide precipitation, we estimated that biological uptake along with Mo adsorption onto organic matter carriers could finally provide more than 10% of the annual sedimentary Mo accumulation in WTS.

  10. The interaction of nicotine withdrawal and panic disorder in the prediction of panic-relevant responding to a biological challenge.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leyro, Teresa M; Zvolensky, Michael J

    2013-03-01

    The current investigation evaluated nicotine withdrawal symptoms elicited by 12 hours of smoking deprivation on anxious and fearful responding to bodily sensations among daily smokers with and without panic disorder (PD). It was hypothesized that smokers with PD who were experiencing greater levels of nicotine withdrawal would experience the greatest levels of fearful responding to, and delayed recovery from, a 10% carbon dioxide-enriched air (CO₂) biological challenge procedure. Participants were 58 adults who reported smoking 19.72 cigarettes daily (SD = 7.99). Results indicated that nicotine withdrawal and PD status interacted to predict greater postchallenge panic attack symptoms. Also, individuals with PD initially evidenced a quicker decrease in subjective anxiety following the challenge, but their rate of recovery decelerated over time as compared to those without PD. There was, however, no significant interaction for change in subjective anxiety pre- to postchallenge. Results are discussed in relation to the role of nicotine withdrawal in anxious and fearful responding for smokers with PD. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved).

  11. Fractal structures of single-walled carbon nanotubes in biologically relevant conditions: role of chirality vs. media conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khan, Iftheker A; Aich, Nirupam; Afrooz, A R M Nabiul; Flora, Joseph R V; Schierz, P Ariette; Ferguson, P Lee; Sabo-Attwood, Tara; Saleh, Navid B

    2013-11-01

    Aggregate structure of covalently functionalized chiral specific semiconducting single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) was systematically studied employing static light scattering (SLS). Fractal dimensions (Df) of two specific chirality SWNTs-SG65 and SG76 with (6, 5) and (7, 6) chiral enrichments-were measured under four biological exposure media conditions, namely: Dulbecco's Modified Eagle Medium (DMEM), Minimum Essential Medium (MEM), Roswell Park Memorial Institute (RPMI) 1640 medium, and 0.9% saline solution. The SWNTs exhibited chiral dependence on Df with SG65 showing more fractal or loosely bound aggregate structures, i.e., lower Df values (range of 2.24±0.03 to 2.64±0.05), compared to the SG76 sample (range of 2.58±0.13 to 2.90±0.08). All the Df values reported are highly reproducible, measured from multiple SLS runs and estimated with 'random block-effects' statistical analysis that yielded all p values to be fractal aggregates. Moreover, presence of fetal bovine serum (FBS) and bovine serum albumin (BSA), used to mimic the in vitro cell culture condition, reduced the Df values, i.e., created more fractal structures. Steric hindrance to aggregation was identified as the key mechanism for creating the fractal structures. Also, increase in FBS concentration from 1% to 10% resulted in increasingly lower Df values. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  12. Identification of Genes Relevant to Pesticides and Biology from Global Transcriptome Data of Monochamus alternatus Hope (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae) Larvae

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shao, Ensi; Rebeca, Carballar-Lejarazú; Guo, Yajie; Xiong, Yueting; Mou, Yani; Xu, Runxue; Hu, Xia; Liang, Guanghong; Zou, Shuangquan; Guan, Xiong; Zhang, Feiping

    2016-01-01

    Monochamus alternatus Hope is the main vector in China of the Pine Wilt Disease caused by the pine wood nematode Bursaphelenchus xylophilus. Although chemical control is traditionally used to prevent pine wilt disease, new strategies based in biological control are promising ways for the management of the disease. However, there is no deep sequence analysis of Monochamus alternatus Hope that describes the transcriptome and no information is available about gene function of this insect vector. We used next generation sequencing technology to sequence the whole fourth instar larva transcriptome of Monochamus alternatus Hope and successfully built a Monochamus alternatus Hope transcriptome database. In total, 105,612 unigenes were assigned for Gene Ontology (GO) terms, information for 16,730 classified unigenes was obtained in the Clusters of Orthologous Groups (COGs) database, and 13,024 unigenes matched with 224 predicted pathways in the Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genome (KEGG). In addition, genes related to putative insecticide resistance-related genes, RNAi, the Bt receptor, intestinal digestive enzymes, possible future insect control targets and immune-related molecules are described. This study provides valuable basic information that can be used as a gateway to develop new molecular tools for Monochamus alternatus Hope control strategies. PMID:26815657

  13. The Development of Biology Teaching Material Based on the Local Wisdom of Timorese to Improve Students Knowledge and Attitude of Environment in Caring the Preservation of Environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ardan, Andam S.

    2016-01-01

    The purposes of this study were (1) to describe the biology learning such as lesson plans, teaching materials, media and worksheets for the tenth grade of High School on the topic of Biodiversity and Basic Classification, Ecosystems and Environment Issues based on local wisdom of Timorese; (2) to analyze the improvement of the environmental…

  14. Time-resolved and steady-state studies of biologically and chemically relevant systems using laser, absorption, and fluorescence spectroscopy

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Barnes, Charles Ashley [Iowa State Univ., Ames, IA (United States)

    2014-12-20

    In Chapter 2 several experimental and data analysis methods used in this thesis are described. In Chapter 3 steady-state fluorescence spectroscopy was used to determine the concentration of the efflux pump inhibitors (EPIs), pheophorbide a and pyropheophorbide a, in the feces of animals and it was found that their levels far exceed those reported to be inhibitory to efflux pumps. In Chapter 4 the solvation dynamics of 6-Propionyl-2-(N,Ndimethyl) aminonaphthalene (PRODAN) was studied in reverse micelles. The two fluorescent states of PRODAN solvate on different time scales and as such care must be exercised in solvation dynamic studies involving it and its analogs. In Chapter 5 we studied the experimental and theoretical solvation dynamics of coumarin 153 (C153) in wild-type (WT) and modified myoglobins. Based on the nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy and time-resolved fluorescence studies, we have concluded that it is important to thoroughly characterize the structure of a protein and probe system before comparing the theoretical and experimental results. In Chapter 6 the photophysical and spectral properties of a derivative of the medically relevant compound curcumin called cyclocurcumin was studied. Based on NMR, fluorescence, and absorption studies, the ground- and excited-states of cyclocurcumin are complicated by the existence of multiple structural isomers. In Chapter 7 the hydrolysis of cellulose by a pure form of cellulase in an ionic liquid, HEMA, and its aqueous mixtures at various temperatures were studied with the goal of increasing the cellulose to glucose conversion for biofuel production. It was found that HEMA imparts an additional stability to cellulase and can allow for faster conversion of cellulose to glucose using a pre-treatment step in comparison to only buffer.

  15. Seven-day human biological rhythms: An expedition in search of their origin, synchronization, functional advantage, adaptive value and clinical relevance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reinberg, Alain E; Dejardin, Laurence; Smolensky, Michael H; Touitou, Yvan

    2017-01-01

    This fact-finding expedition explores the perspectives and knowledge of the origin and functional relevance of the 7 d domain of the biological time structure, with special reference to human beings. These biological rhythms are displayed at various levels of organization in diverse species - from the unicellular sea algae of Acetabularia and Goniaulax to plants, insects, fish, birds and mammals, including man - under natural as well as artificial, i.e. constant, environmental conditions. Nonetheless, very little is known about their derivation, functional advantage, adaptive value, synchronization and potential clinical relevance. About 7 d cosmic cycles are seemingly too weak, and the 6 d work/1 d rest week commanded from G-d through the Laws of Mosses to the Hebrews is too recent an event to be the origin in humans. Moreover, human and insect studies conducted under controlled constant conditions devoid of environmental, social and other time cues report the persistence of 7 d rhythms, but with a slightly different (free-running) period (τ), indicating their source is endogenous. Yet, a series of human and laboratory rodent studies reveal certain mainly non-cyclic exogenous events can trigger 7 d rhythm-like phenomena. However, it is unknown whether such triggers unmask, amplify and/or synchronize previous non-overtly expressed oscillations. Circadian (~24 h), circa-monthly (~30 d) and circannual (~1 y) rhythms are viewed as genetically based features of life forms that during evolution conferred significant functional advantage to individual organisms and survival value to species. No such advantages are apparent for endogenous 7 d rhythms, raising several questions: What is the significance of the 7 d activity/rest cycle, i.e. week, storied in the Book of Genesis and adopted by the Hebrews and thereafter the residents of nearby Mediterranean countries and ultimately the world? Why do humans require 1 d off per 7 d span? Do 7 d rhythms bestow functional

  16. Biologically inspired crack delocalization in a high strain-rate environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knipprath, Christian; Bond, Ian P; Trask, Richard S

    2012-04-07

    Biological materials possess unique and desirable energy-absorbing mechanisms and structural characteristics worthy of consideration by engineers. For example, high levels of energy dissipation at low strain rates via triggering of crack delocalization combined with interfacial hardening by platelet interlocking are observed in brittle materials such as nacre, the iridescent material in seashells. Such behaviours find no analogy in current engineering materials. The potential to mimic such toughening mechanisms on different length scales now exists, but the question concerning their suitability under dynamic loading conditions and whether these mechanisms retain their energy-absorbing potential is unclear. This paper investigates the kinematic behaviour of an 'engineered' nacre-like structure within a high strain-rate environment. A finite-element (FE) model was developed which incorporates the pertinent biological design features. A parametric study was carried out focusing on (i) the use of an overlapping discontinuous tile arrangement for crack delocalization and (ii) application of tile waviness (interfacial hardening) for improved post-damage behaviour. With respect to the material properties, the model allows the permutation and combination of a variety of different material datasets. The advantage of such a discontinuous material shows notable improvements in sustaining high strain-rate deformation relative to an equivalent continuous morphology. In the case of the continuous material, the shockwaves propagating through the material lead to localized failure while complex shockwave patterns are observed in the discontinuous flat tile arrangement, arising from platelet interlocking. The influence of the matrix properties on impact performance is investigated by varying the dominant material parameters. The results indicate a deceleration of the impactor velocity, thus delaying back face nodal displacement. A final series of FE models considered the

  17. The Stress Relaxation Process in Sutures Tied with a Surgeon's Knot in a Simulated Biological Environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liber-Kneć, Aneta; Łagan, Sylwia

    2016-01-01

    The exact characteristics of sutures are not only the basis for selecting from among different types of suture, but also provide the necessary information for the design of new surgical sutures. Apart from information relating to the breaking load of a suture reported in pharmacopoeias, the viscoelastic properties of sutures can be an additional selection criterium - one that influences stitching quality, especially when there is a risk of wound dehiscence. The aim of the study was to assess the stress relaxation process for 3 polymeric sutures in an environment simulating the conditions in a living organism and (for comparison) in room conditions. Stress relaxation testing was carried out on 3 polymeric sutures: polypropylene (PP), polydioxanone (PDS) and polyglycolic acid (PGA). To identify the mechanical properties of the sutures, uniaxial tensile tests were conducted according to the Polish Pharmacopoeia. The relaxation test was carried out in room conditions and in the bath simulating a biological environment. The sutures being tested were tied with a surgeon's knot. The PP suture exhibited the greatest stress relaxation (18% of the initial stress in room conditions and 21% of the initial stress in the bath). The PGA suture exhibited the least stress relaxation (approximately 60% of the initial stress in room conditions and 59% of the initial stress in the bath). The PDS suture was tested at a lower strain level and showed stress relaxation similar to the PGA suture (approximately 63% of the initial stress in room conditions and 55% in the bath). Multifilament braided absorbable (PGA) sutures and monofilament absorbable (PDS) sutures had a higher stress relaxation ratio over time than monofilament non-absorbable (PP) sutures. These findings may indicate higher stress maintained over time in PDS and PGA sutures, and thus higher tension at wound edges, sufficient to resist wound dehiscence.

  18. Comparative analyses of built environment exposures relevant to health of greenhouse gas emissions reduction strategies in Serbia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stefanović Sandra P.

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Paper presents comparative analysis of residential indoor air pollutant concentration change over future specified time horizon, implementing building physical and thermal retrofit measures, thus creating pollution mitigation scenarios for existing Belgrade and Nis housing stock followed by greenhouse gas emission reduction scenarios up to 2050. Regarding specified mitigation scenarios, the set of typical housing unit models has been generated which define existing housing stock of Belgrade and Nis. Extensive monitoring of physical and thermal parameters as well as detailed socio-technical survey of selected households was performed and used as an initial modeling input. Relationship between environment pollution and building performances was investigated, with respect to indooroutdoor sources of pollution, thermal and physical properties of the stock samples and occupant’s behavior. As a final output, indoor pollutant concentrations for each of the modelled cases was obtained and validated against the available data. This housing modelling framework has been created in order to develop an assessment of present and future exposure and health impact quantity regarding single/multiple scenario interventions introduced to the housing stock. This paper provides each strategy guidelines for taking measures towards achieving the healthier indoor environments. [FP7-ENV-2010: PURGE-Public health impacts in urban environments of greenhouse gas emissions reduction strategies, Project number: 265325, financed by the European Commission

  19. Toward systems biology in brown algae to explore acclimation and adaptation to the shore environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tonon, Thierry; Eveillard, Damien; Prigent, Sylvain; Bourdon, Jérémie; Potin, Philippe; Boyen, Catherine; Siegel, Anne

    2011-12-01

    Brown algae belong to a phylogenetic lineage distantly related to land plants and animals. They are almost exclusively found in the intertidal zone, a harsh and frequently changing environment where organisms are submitted to marine and terrestrial constraints. In relation with their unique evolutionary history and their habitat, they feature several peculiarities, including at the level of their primary and secondary metabolism. The establishment of Ectocarpus siliculosus as a model organism for brown algae has represented a framework in which several omics techniques have been developed, in particular, to study the response of these organisms to abiotic stresses. With the recent publication of medium to high throughput profiling data, it is now possible to envision integrating observations at the cellular scale to apply systems biology approaches. As a first step, we propose a protocol focusing on integrating heterogeneous knowledge gained on brown algal metabolism. The resulting abstraction of the system will then help understanding how brown algae cope with changes in abiotic parameters within their unique habitat, and to decipher some of the mechanisms underlying their (1) acclimation and (2) adaptation, respectively consequences of (1) the behavior or (2) the topology of the system resulting from the integrative approach.

  20. Understanding the Role of Biology in the Global Environment: NASA'S Mission to Planet Earth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Townsend, William F.

    1996-01-01

    NASA has long used the unique perspective of space as a means of expanding our understanding of how the Earth's environment functions. In particular, the linkages between land, air, water, and life-the elements of the Earth system-are a focus for NASA's Mission to Planet Earth. This approach, called Earth system science, blends together fields like meteorology, biology, oceanography, and atmospheric science. Mission to Planet Earth uses observations from satellites, aircraft, balloons, and ground researchers as the basis for analysis of the elements of the Earth system, the interactions between those elements, and possible changes over the coming years and decades. This information is helping scientists improve our understanding of how natural processes affect us and how we might be affecting them. Such studies will yield improved weather forecasts, tools for managing agriculture and forests, information for fishermen and local planners, and, eventually, an enhanced ability to predict how the climate will change in the future. NASA has designed Mission to Planet Earth to focus on five primary themes: Land Cover and Land Use Change; Seasonal to Interannual Climate Prediction; Natural Hazards; Long-Term Climate Variability; and Atmosphere Ozone.

  1. Detection and Tracking of a Novel Genetically Tagged Biological Simulant in the Environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Emanuel, Peter A.; Buckley, Patricia E.; Sutton, Tiffany A.; Edmonds, Jason M.; Bailey, Andrew M.; Rivers, Bryan A.; Kim, Michael H.; Ginley, William J.; Keiser, Christopher C.; Doherty, Robert W.; Kragl, F. Joseph; Narayanan, Fiona E.; Katoski, Sarah E.; Paikoff, Sari; Leppert, Samuel P.; Strawbridge, John B.; VanReenen, Daniel R.; Biberos, Sally S.; Moore, Douglas; Phillips, Douglas W.; Mingioni, Lisa R.; Melles, Ogba; Ondercin, Daniel G.; Hirsh, Beth; Bieschke, Kendall M.; Harris, Crystal L.; Omberg, Kristin M.; Rastogi, Vipin K.; Van Cuyk, Sheila

    2012-01-01

    A variant of Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. kurstaki containing a single, stable copy of a uniquely amplifiable DNA oligomer integrated into the genome for tracking the fate of biological agents in the environment was developed. The use of genetically tagged spores overcomes the ambiguity of discerning the test material from pre-existing environmental microflora or from previously released background material. In this study, we demonstrate the utility of the genetically “barcoded” simulant in a controlled indoor setting and in an outdoor release. In an ambient breeze tunnel test, spores deposited on tiles were reaerosolized and detected by real-time PCR at distances of 30 m from the point of deposition. Real-time PCR signals were inversely correlated with distance from the seeded tiles. An outdoor release of powdered spore simulant at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Edgewood, MD, was monitored from a distance by a light detection and ranging (LIDAR) laser. Over a 2-week period, an array of air sampling units collected samples were analyzed for the presence of viable spores and using barcode-specific real-time PCR assays. Barcoded B. thuringiensis subsp. kurstaki spores were unambiguously identified on the day of the release, and viable material was recovered in a pattern consistent with the cloud track predicted by prevailing winds and by data tracks provided by the LIDAR system. Finally, the real-time PCR assays successfully differentiated barcoded B. thuringiensis subsp. kurstaki spores from wild-type spores under field conditions. PMID:23001670

  2. Corrosion of magnesium and magnesium–calcium alloy in biologically-simulated environment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Richard Harrison

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available A study of biocompatibility and corrosion of both metallic magnesium (Mg and a magnesium alloy containing 1% calcium (Mg–Ca were investigated in in vitro culture conditions with and without the presence of bone marrow derived human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs. Chemical analysis of the degraded samples was performed using XRD and FEGSEM. The results from the XRD analysis strongly suggested that crystalline phase of magnesium carbonate was present on the surface of both the Mg and Mg–Ca samples. Flame absorption spectrometry was used to analyse the release of magnesium and calcium ions into the cell culture medium. Magnesium concentration was kept consistently at a level ranging from 40 to 80 mM for both Mg and Mg–Ca samples. No cell growth was observed when in direct contact with the metals apart from a few cells observed at the bottom of culture plate containing Mg–Ca alloy. In general, in vitro study of corrosion of Mg–Ca in a biologically-simulated environment using cell culture medium with the presence of hMSCs demonstrated close resemblances to in vivo corrosion. Although in vitro corrosion of Mg–Ca revealed slow corrosion rate and no immediate cytotoxicity effects to hMSCs, its corrosion rate was still too high to achieve normal stem cell growth when cells and alloys were cultured in vitro in direct contact.

  3. Factory-discharged pharmaceuticals could be a relevant source of aquatic environment contamination: review of evidence and need for knowledge.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cardoso, Olivier; Porcher, Jean-Marc; Sanchez, Wilfried

    2014-11-01

    Human and veterinary active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) are involved in contamination of surface water, ground water, effluents, sediments and biota. Effluents of waste water treatment plants and hospitals are considered as major sources of such contamination. However, recent evidences reveal high concentrations of a large number of APIs in effluents from pharmaceutical factories and in receiving aquatic ecosystems. Moreover, laboratory exposures to these effluents and field experiments reveal various physiological disturbances in exposed aquatic organisms. Also, it seems to be relevant to increase knowledge on this route of contamination but also to develop specific approaches for further environmental monitoring campaigns. The present study summarizes available data related to the impact of pharmaceutical factory discharges on aquatic ecosystem contaminations and presents associated challenges for scientists and environmental managers. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Effect of chicken meat environment on gene expression of Campylobacter jejuni and its relevance to survival in food.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ligowska, Małgorzata; Cohn, Marianne Thorup; Stabler, Richard A; Wren, Brendan W; Brøndsted, Lone

    2011-03-01

    Poultry meat is the major food source responsible for gastrointestinal infections caused by the human pathogen Campylobacter jejuni. Even though C. jejuni does not grow below 30 °C, the bacterium survives on raw meat surfaces at refrigerated temperatures and thus poses a risk to the consumer. Previously, we have shown that chicken meat juice prolongs survival of C. jejuni at 5 °C compared to laboratory medium, suggesting that compounds present in meat juice influence adaptation to low temperatures. In the present study we have used chicken meat juice to identify C. jejuni genes that are differentially expressed in a typical chicken meat environment encountered by consumers. The analysis showed that chicken meat juice increased expression of luxS involved in quorum sensing, as well as a gene involved in O-linked flagellin glycosylation in C. jejuni, while expression of haemin uptake and the peroxide stress response genes were reduced. Furthermore, we propose that LuxS may play a key role in adaptation to the chicken meat juice environment, as lack of the luxS gene reduces the ability of C. jejuni to survive in chicken meat juice at low temperature. Finally, our data suggest that part of an ABC transport system is induced and we speculate that uptake of cryoprotectants may be important for C. jejuni to adapt to low temperature. In summary, we found that C. jejuni has a specific but limited transcriptional response to chicken meat juice and that luxS has an impact on the prolonged survival of C. jejuni in this important environment in the food chain. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  5. The determination of B and Sr isotopes of quaternary biologic fossils in Yanghuzhuang Yanqing basin and their living environment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Xiao Yingkai; Xiao Jun; Zhao Zhiqi; He Maoyong; Li Shizhen

    2007-01-01

    The B and Sr isotopic compositions of early Quaternary biologic fossils in Yanghuzhuang and living bivalves in Weishui river were measured. Comparing with the data of marine foraminifer, the results show a non-marine living environment for these foraminifers lived in early Quaternary in Yanghuzhuang, Yanqing; Basin. (authors)

  6. Application of Raman microscopy for simultaneous and quantitative evaluation of multiple intracellular polymers dynamics functionally relevant to enhanced biological phosphorus removal processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Majed, Nehreen; Gu, April Z

    2010-11-15

    Polyphosphate (poly-P), polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs), and glycogen are the key functionally relevant intracellular polymers involved in the enhanced biological phosphorus removal (EBPR) process. Further understanding of the mechanisms of EBPR has been hampered by the lack of cellular level quantification tools to accurately measure the dynamics of these polymers during the EBPR process. In this study, we developed a novel Raman microscopy method for simultaneous identification and quantification of poly-P, PHB, and glycogen abundance in each individual cell and their distribution among the populations in EBPR. Validation of the method was demonstrated via a batch phosphorus uptake and release test, in which the total intracellular polymers abundance determined via Raman approach correlated well with those measured via conventional bulk chemical analysis (correlation coefficient r = 0.8 for poly-P, r = 0.94 for PHB, and r = 0.7 for glycogen). Raman results, for the first time, clearly showed the distributions of microbial cells containing different abundance levels of the three intracellular polymers under the same environmental conditions (at a given time point), indicating population heterogeneity exists. The results revealed the intracellular distribution and dynamics of the functionally relevant polymers in different metabolic stages of the EBPR process and elucidated the association of cellular metabolic state with the fate of these polymers during various substrates availability conditions.

  7. Chemometric analysis of correlations between electronic absorption characteristics and structural and/or physicochemical parameters for ampholytic substances of biological and pharmaceutical relevance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Judycka-Proma, U.; Bober, L.; Gajewicz, A.; Puzyn, T.; Błażejowski, J.

    2015-03-01

    Forty ampholytic compounds of biological and pharmaceutical relevance were subjected to chemometric analysis based on unsupervised and supervised learning algorithms. This enabled relations to be found between empirical spectral characteristics derived from electronic absorption data and structural and physicochemical parameters predicted by quantum chemistry methods or phenomenological relationships based on additivity rules. It was found that the energies of long wavelength absorption bands are correlated through multiparametric linear relationships with parameters reflecting the bulkiness features of the absorbing molecules as well as their nucleophilicity and electrophilicity. These dependences enable the quantitative analysis of spectral features of the compounds, as well as a comparison of their similarities and certain pharmaceutical and biological features. Three QSPR models to predict the energies of long-wavelength absorption in buffers with pH = 2.5 and pH = 7.0, as well as in methanol, were developed and validated in this study. These models can be further used to predict the long-wavelength absorption energies of untested substances (if they are structurally similar to the training compounds).

  8. Biological transfer of radionuclides in marine environments - Identifying and filling knowledge gaps for environmental impact assessments

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Brown, J.E.; Borretzen, P.; Hosseini, A.; Iosjpe, M.

    2004-01-01

    A review on concentration factors (CF) for the marine environment was conducted in order to consider the relevance of existing data from the perspective of environmental protection and to identify areas of data paucity. Data have been organised in a format compatible with a reference organism approach, for selected radionuclides, and efforts have been taken to identify the factors that may be of importance in the context of dosimetric and dose-effects analyses. These reference organism categories had been previously selected by identifying organism groups that were likely to experience the highest levels of radiation exposure, owing to high uptake levels or residence in a particular habitat, for defined scenarios. Significant data gaps in the CF database have been identified, notably for marine mammals and birds. Most empirical information pertains to a limit suite of radionuclides, particularly 137 Cs, 210 Po and 99 Tc. A methodology has been developed to help bridge this information deficit. This has been based on simple dynamic, biokinetic models that mainly use parameters derived from laboratory-based study and field observation. In some cases, allometric relationships have been employed to allow further model parameterization. Initial testing of the model by comparing model output with empirical data sets suggest that the models provide sensible equilibrium CFs. Furthermore, analyses of modelling results suggest that for some radionuclides, in particularly those with long effective half-lives, the time to equilibrium can be far greater than the life-time of an organism. This clearly emphasises the limitations of applying a universal equilibrium approach. The methodology, therefore, has an added advantage that non-equilibrium scenarios can be considered in a more rigorous manner. Further refinements to the modelling approach might be attained by exploring the importance of various model parameters, through sensitivity analyses, and by identifying those

  9. Selected physicochemical aspects of poly- and perfluoroalkylated substances relevant to performance, environment and sustainability-part one.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krafft, Marie Pierre; Riess, Jean G

    2015-06-01

    The elemental characteristics of the fluorine atom tell us that replacing an alkyl chain by a perfluoroalkyl or polyfluorinated chain in a molecule or polymer is consequential. A brief reminder about perfluoroalkyl chains, fluorocarbons and fluorosurfactants is provided. The outstanding, otherwise unattainable physicochemical properties and combinations thereof of poly and perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) are outlined, including extreme hydrophobic and lipophobic character; thermal and chemical stability in extreme conditions; remarkable aptitude to self-assemble into sturdy thin repellent protecting films; unique spreading, dispersing, emulsifying, anti-adhesive and levelling, dielectric, piezoelectric and optical properties, leading to numerous industrial and technical uses and consumer products. It was eventually discovered, however, that PFASs with seven or more carbon-long perfluoroalkyl chains had disseminated in air, water, soil and biota worldwide, are persistent in the environment and bioaccumulative in animals and humans, raising serious health and environmental concerns. Further use of long-chain PFASs is environmentally not sustainable. Most leading manufacturers have turned to shorter four to six carbon perfluoroalkyl chain products that are not considered bioaccumulative. However, many of the key performances of PFASs decrease sharply when fluorinated chains become shorter. Fluorosurfactants become less effective and less efficient, provide lesser barrier film stability, etc. On the other hand, they remain as persistent in the environment as their longer chain homologues. Surprisingly little data (with considerable discrepancies) is accessible on the physicochemical properties of the PFASs under examination, a situation that requires consideration and rectification. Such data are needed for understanding the environmental and in vivo behaviour of PFASs. They should help determine which, for which uses, and to what extent, PFASs are environmentally

  10. Identification and characteristics of biological agents in work environment of medical emergency services in selected ambulances.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bielawska-Drózd, Agata; Cieślik, Piotr; Wlizło-Skowronek, Bożena; Winnicka, Izabela; Kubiak, Leszek; Jaroszuk-Ściseł, Jolanta; Depczyńska, Daria; Bohacz, Justyna; Korniłłowicz-Kowalska, Teresa; Skopińska-Różewska, Ewa; Kocik, Janusz

    2017-06-19

    Assessment of microbial air quality and surface contamination in ambulances and administration offices as a control place without occupational exposure to biological agents; based on quantitative and qualitative analysis of bacteria, yeasts and filamentous fungi found in collected samples. The sampling was done by wet cyclone technology using the Coriolis recon apparatus, imprint and swab methods, respectively. In total, 280 samples from 28 ambulances and 10 offices in Warszawa were tested. Data was analyzed using Shapiro-Wilk normality test, Kruskal-Wallis test with α = 0.05. P value ≤ 0.05 was considered as significant. The levels of air contamination were from 0 to 2.3×101 colony-forming unit (CFU)/m3 for bacteria and for yeast and filamentous fungi were from 0 to 1.8×101 CFU/m3. The assessment of office space air samples has shown the following numbers of microorganisms: bacteria from 3.0×101 to 4.2×101 CFU/m3 and yeast and filamentous fungi from 0 to 1.9×101 CFU/m3. For surface contamination the mean bacterial count in ambulances has been between 1.0×101 and 1.3×102 CFU/25 cm2 and in offices - between 1.1×101 and 8.5×101 CFU/25 cm2. Mean fungal count has reached the level from 2.8×100 to 4.2×101 CFU/25 cm2 in ambulances and 1.3×101 to 5.8×101 CFU/25 cm2 in offices. The qualitative analysis has revealed the presence of Acinetobacter spp. (surfaces), coagulase - negative Staphylococci (air and surfaces), Aspergillus and Penicillium genera (air and surfaces). The study has revealed a satisfactory microbiological quantity of analyzed air and surface samples in both study and control environments. However, the presence of potentially pathogenic microorganisms in the air and on surfaces in ambulances may endanger the medical emergency staff and patients with infection. Disinfection and cleaning techniques therefore should be constantly developed and implemented. Int J Occup Med Environ Health 2017;30(4):617-627. This work is available in Open Access

  11. Identification and characteristics of biological agents in work environment of medical emergency services in selected ambulances

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Agata Bielawska-Drózd

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Objectives: Assessment of microbial air quality and surface contamination in ambulances and administration offices as a control place without occupational exposure to biological agents; based on quantitative and qualitative analysis of bacteria, yeasts and filamentous fungi found in collected samples. Material and Methods: The sampling was done by wet cyclone technology using the Coriolis recon apparatus, imprint and swab methods, respectively. In total, 280 samples from 28 ambulances and 10 offices in Warszawa were tested. Data was analyzed using Shapiro-Wilk normality test, Kruskal-Wallis test with α = 0.05. P value ≤ 0.05 was considered as significant. Results: The levels of air contamination were from 0 to 2.3×101 colony-forming unit (CFU/m3 for bacteria and for yeast and filamentous fungi were from 0 to 1.8×101 CFU/m3. The assessment of office space air samples has shown the following numbers of microorganisms: bacteria from 3.0×101 to 4.2×101 CFU/m3 and yeast and filamentous fungi from 0 to 1.9×101 CFU/m3. For surface contamination the mean bacterial count in ambulances has been between 1.0×101 and 1.3×102 CFU/25 cm2 and in offices – between 1.1×101 and 8.5×101 CFU/25 cm2. Mean fungal count has reached the level from 2.8×100 to 4.2×101 CFU/25 cm2 in ambulances and 1.3×101 to 5.8×101 CFU/25 cm2 in offices. The qualitative analysis has revealed the presence of Acinetobacter spp. (surfaces, coagulase – negative Staphylococci (air and surfaces, Aspergillus and Penicillium genera (air and surfaces. Conclusions: The study has revealed a satisfactory microbiological quantity of analyzed air and surface samples in both study and control environments. However, the presence of potentially pathogenic microorganisms in the air and on surfaces in ambulances may endanger the medical emergency staff and patients with infection. Disinfection and cleaning techniques therefore should be constantly developed and implemented. Int J Occup

  12. Contextual Hub Analysis Tool (CHAT: A Cytoscape app for identifying contextually relevant hubs in biological networks [version 2; referees: 2 approved

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tanja Muetze

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Highly connected nodes (hubs in biological networks are topologically important to the structure of the network and have also been shown to be preferentially associated with a range of phenotypes of interest. The relative importance of a hub node, however, can change depending on the biological context. Here, we report a Cytoscape app, the Contextual Hub Analysis Tool (CHAT, which enables users to easily construct and visualize a network of interactions from a gene or protein list of interest, integrate contextual information, such as gene expression or mass spectrometry data, and identify hub nodes that are more highly connected to contextual nodes (e.g. genes or proteins that are differentially expressed than expected by chance. In a case study, we use CHAT to construct a network of genes that are differentially expressed in Dengue fever, a viral infection. CHAT was used to identify and compare contextual and degree-based hubs in this network. The top 20 degree-based hubs were enriched in pathways related to the cell cycle and cancer, which is likely due to the fact that proteins involved in these processes tend to be highly connected in general. In comparison, the top 20 contextual hubs were enriched in pathways commonly observed in a viral infection including pathways related to the immune response to viral infection. This analysis shows that such contextual hubs are considerably more biologically relevant than degree-based hubs and that analyses which rely on the identification of hubs solely based on their connectivity may be biased towards nodes that are highly connected in general rather than in the specific context of interest.   Availability: CHAT is available for Cytoscape 3.0+ and can be installed via the Cytoscape App Store (http://apps.cytoscape.org/apps/chat.

  13. Modeling and analysis of the survival of a biological species in a polluted environment: Effect of environmental tax

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shyam Sundar

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available In this paper, a nonlinear dynamical model is proposed and analyzed to study the survival of biological species in a polluted environment considering the effect of environmental tax which can be used further to improve environmental quality. The environmental tax is imposed to control the emission of pollutants/toxicants only when the equilibrium concentration of pollutants go beyond its threshold level causing harm to the biological species and its ecosystem under consideration. Local and nonlinear stability conditions are obtained by considering suitable Liapunov function. Numerical simulation of the dynamical system is performed in order to illustrate the analytical findings. It is shown that the density of biological species decreases as the concentration of pollutants increases and may even become extinct if the concentration is very high. It has also been shown that the environmental tax plays an important role to control the concentration of pollutants in the atmosphere and maintaining the density of biological species at a desired level.

  14. Influence of copper ions on the viability and cytotoxicity of Pseudomonas aeruginosa under conditions relevant to drinking water environments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dwidjosiswojo, Zenyta; Richard, Jessica; Moritz, Miriam M; Dopp, Elke; Flemming, Hans-Curt; Wingender, Jost

    2011-11-01

    Copper plumbing materials can be the source of copper ions in drinking water supplies. The aim of the current study was to investigate the influence of copper ions on the viability and cytotoxicity of the potential pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa that presents a health hazard when occurring in building plumbing systems. In batch experiments, exposure of P. aeruginosa (10(6)cells/mL) for 24h at 20°C to copper-containing drinking water from domestic plumbing systems resulted in a loss of culturability, while total cell numbers determined microscopically did not decrease. Addition of the chelator diethyldithiocarbamate (DDTC) to copper-containing water prevented the loss of culturability. When suspended in deionized water with added copper sulfate (10 μM), the culturability of P. aeruginosa decreased by more than 6 log units, while total cell counts, the concentration of cells with intact cytoplasmic membranes, determined with the LIVE/DEAD BacLight kit, and the number of cells with intact 16S ribosomal RNA, determined by fluorescent in situ hybridization, remained unchanged. When the chelator DDTC was added to copper-stressed bacteria, complete restoration of culturability was observed to occur within 14 d. Copper-stressed bacteria were not cytotoxic towards Chinese hamster ovary (CHO-9) cells, while untreated and resuscitated bacteria caused an almost complete decrease of the concentration of viable CHO-9 cells within 24 h. Thus, copper ions in concentrations relevant to drinking water in plumbing systems seem to induce a viable but non-culturable (VBNC) state in P. aeruginosa accompanied by a loss of culturability and cytotoxicity, and VBNC cells can regain both culturability and cytotoxicity, when copper stress is abolished. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  15. Biology

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

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

  16. The Right Amount of Glue: Technologies and Standards Relevant to a Future Solar-Terrestrial Data Environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gurman, J. B.; Dimitoglou, G.; Bogart, R.; Tian, K. Q.; Hill, F.; Wampler, S.; Martens, P. C.; Davey, A. R.

    2002-01-01

    In order to meet the challenge of developing a new system science, we will need to employ technology that enables researchers to access data from fields with which they are at least initially unfamiliar as well as from sources they use more regularly. At the same time, the quantity of data to be obtained by missions such as the Solar Dynamics Observatory demands ease and simplicity of data access. These competing demands must in turn fit within severely constrained funding for data analysis in such projects. Based on experience in only a single discipline but with a diversity of data types and sources, we will give examples of technology that have made a significant difference in the way people do science. Similarly, we will show how adoption of a well-documented data format has made it easier for one community to search, reduce, and analyze data. We will also describe a community-supported data reduction and analysis software tree with useful features. We will attempt to generalize the lessons learned in these instances to features the broader, solar-terrestrial community might find compelling, while avoiding overdesign of a common data environment.

  17. Precision Viticulture : is it relevant to manage the vineyard according to the within field spatial variability of the environment ?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tisseyre, Bruno

    2015-04-01

    For more than 15 years, research projects are conducted in the precision viticulture (PV) area around the world. These research projects have provided new insights into the within-field variability in viticulture. Indeed, access to high spatial resolution data (remote sensing, embedded sensors, etc.) changes the knowledge we have of the fields in viticulture. In particular, the field which was until now considered as a homogeneous management unit, presents actually a high spatial variability in terms of yield, vigour an quality. This knowledge will lead (and is already causing) changes on how to manage the vineyard and the quality of the harvest at the within field scale. From the experimental results obtained in various countries of the world, the goal of the presentation is to provide figures on: - the spatial variability of the main parameters (yield, vigor, quality), and how this variability is organized spatially, - the temporal stability of the observed spatial variability and the potential link with environmental parameters like soil, topography, soil water availability, etc. - information sources available at a high spatial resolution conventionally used in precision agriculture likely to highlight this spatial variability (multi-spectral images, soil electrical conductivity, etc.) and the limitations that these information sources are likely to present in viticulture. Several strategies are currently being developed to take into account the within field variability in viticulture. They are based on the development of specific equipments, sensors, actuators and site specific strategies with the aim of adapting the vineyard operations at the within-field level. These strategies will be presented briefly in two ways : - Site specific operations (fertilization, pruning, thinning, irrigation, etc.) in order to counteract the effects of the environment and to obtain a final product with a controlled and consistent wine quality, - Differential harvesting with the

  18. Biological nitrogen fixation in mung bean under stress environment (acid soils)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rosales, C.M.; Grafia, A.O.; Rivera, F.G.

    1996-01-01

    Our previous studies in biological nitrogen fixation by different mung bean varieties showed the 15 N isotope dilution technique proved to be useful and reliable im measuring the amount of N 2 fixed. These studies were done in nearly neutral soil pH. But since acid soils in the Philippines are widely distributed which comprises about 56 percent of the total land area of the country, this prompted us to conduct studies in this kind of soil to help the farmers in the hilly lands and marginal lands. A preliminary pot experiment was first conducted to determine what are limiting factors/elements in mung bean production in an acid soil. Field experiment followed to verify and implement our results. It was conducted at the National Research Center, Bureau of Soils and Water Management (BSWM), Cuyambay, Tanay, Rizal, 73 kms. northeast of Manila to determine the N 2 fixation and yield performance of 3 mung bean varieties grown under stress environment (acid soils) using isotope dilution technique. PAEC (Philippine Atomic Energy Agency) 3 mung bean variety responded better to phosphorous (P) application compared with neither NIAB 92 or M79-25-106. From a mean seed yield of only 50 kg/ha without lime and P, PAEC 3 further increased its yield to 523 kg/ha with the application of both P and lime. The dry matter yields of three mung bean varieties responded well with P application than lime. Without lime or P, the dry matter yield was only 287 kg/ha. The addition increased the dry matter yield to 533 kg/ha. Both P and lime added dry matter yield further increased to 1359 kg/ha. N 2 fixation increased slightly with the application of lime. With both lime and phosphorous, N 2 fixation increased further. M79-25-106 fixed the highest amount of nitrogen (23.56 kg/ha) while PAEC 3 and NIAB 92 fixed only about 18.8 and 18.67 kg/ha respectively. (author)

  19. Not quite PIB-positive, not quite PIB-negative: slight PIB elevations in elderly normal control subjects are biologically relevant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mormino, Elizabeth C; Brandel, Michael G; Madison, Cindee M; Rabinovici, Gil D; Marks, Shawn; Baker, Suzanne L; Jagust, William J

    2012-01-16

    Researchers employing Pittsburgh Compound B positron emission tomography (PIB-PET) imaging have consistently indentified old normal control (oNC) subjects with elevated tracer uptake, suggesting the presence of beta-amyloid deposition in these individuals. However, a consensus regarding the level at which PIB reveals a biologically meaningful signal does not exist (ie. an appropriate cutoff value for PIB positivity remains unclear). In this exploratory study, we sought to investigate the range of PIB distribution volume ratio (DVR) values present in our oNC cohort (N=75, age range=58-97). oNC subjects were classified based on global PIB index values (average DVR across prefrontal, parietal, lateral temporal and cingulate cortices) by employing two approaches: (1) an iterative outlier approach that revealed a cutoff value of 1.16 (IO-cutoff) and (2) an approach using data from a sample of young normal control subjects (N=11, age range=20-30) that yielded a cutoff value of 1.08 (yNC-cutoff). oNC subjects falling above the IO-cutoff had values similar to AD subjects ("PIB+", 15%). Subjects falling between the 2 cutoffs were considered to have ambiguous PIB status ("Ambig", 20%) and the remaining oNC were considered "PIB-" (65%). Additional measures capturing focal DVR magnitude and extent of elevated DVR values were consistent with the classification scheme using PIB index values, and revealed evidence for elevated DVR values in a subset of PIB- oNC subjects. Furthermore, there were a greater proportion of ambiguously elevated values compared to low values, and these elevated values were present in regions known to show amyloid deposition. The analyses presented in this study, in conjunction with recently published pathological data, suggest a biological relevance of slight PIB elevations in aging. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. Activity on Trypanosoma cruzi, erythrocytes lysis and biologically relevant physicochemical properties of Pd(II) and Pt(II) complexes of thiosemicarbazones derived from 1-indanones.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santos, Diego; Parajón-Costa, Beatriz; Rossi, Miriam; Caruso, Francesco; Benítez, Diego; Varela, Javier; Cerecetto, Hugo; González, Mercedes; Gómez, Natalia; Caputto, María E; Moglioni, Albertina G; Moltrasio, Graciela Y; Finkielsztein, Liliana M; Gambino, Dinorah

    2012-12-01

    American trypanosomiasis or Chagas disease, caused by the protist parasite Trypanosoma cruzi (T. cruzi), is a major health concern in Latin America. In the search for new bioactive compounds, eight Pd(II) and Pt(II) complexes of thiosemicarbazones derived from 1-indanones (HL) were evaluated as potential anti-T. cruzi compounds. Their unspecific cytotoxicity was determined on human erythrocytes. Two physicochemical features, lipophilicity and redox behavior, that could be potentially relevant for the biological activity of these complexes, were determined. Crystal structure of [Pd(HL1)(L1)]Cl·CH(3)OH, where HL1=1-indanone thiosemicarbazone, was solved by X-ray diffraction methods. Five of the eight metal complexes showed activity against T. cruzi with IC(50) values in the low micromolar range and showed significantly higher activity than the corresponding free ligands. Four of them resulted more active against the parasite than the reference antitrypanosomal drug Nifurtimox. Anti-T. cruzi activity and selectivity towards the parasite were both higher for the Pd(II) compounds than for the Pt(II) analogues, showing the effect of the metal center selection on the biological behavior. Among both physicochemical features tested for this series of compounds, lipophilicity and redox behavior, only the former seemed to show correlation with the antiproliferative effects observed. Metal coordination improved bioactivity but lead to an increase of mammalian cytotoxicity. Nevertheless, some of the metal complexes tested in this work still show suitable selectivity indexes and deserve further developments. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. Identification of functionally relevant populations in enhanced biological phosphorus removal processes based on intracellular polymers profiles and insights into the metabolic diversity and heterogeneity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Majed, Nehreen; Chernenko, Tatyana; Diem, Max; Gu, April Z

    2012-05-01

    This study proposed and demonstrated the application of a new Raman microscopy-based method for metabolic state-based identification and quantification of functionally relevant populations, namely polyphosphate accumulating organisms (PAOs) and glycogen accumulating organisms (GAOs), in enhanced biological phosphorus removal (EBPR) system via simultaneous detection of multiple intracellular polymers including polyphosphate (polyP), glycogen, and polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB). The unique Raman spectrum of different combinations of intracellular polymers within a cell at a given stage of the EBPR cycle allowed for its identification as PAO, GAO, or neither. The abundance of total PAOs and GAOs determined by Raman method were consistent with those obtained with polyP staining and fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH). Different combinations and quantities of intracellular polymer inclusions observed in single cells revealed the distribution of different sub-PAOs groups among the total PAO populations, which exhibit phenotypic and metabolic heterogeneity and diversity. These results also provided evidence for the hypothesis that different PAOs may employ different extents of combination of glycolysis and TCA cycle pathways for anaerobic reducing power and energy generation and it is possible that some PAOs may rely on TCA cycle solely without glycolysis. Sum of cellular level quantification of the internal polymers associated with different population groups showed differentiated and distributed trends of glycogen and PHB level between PAOs and GAOs, which could not be elucidated before with conventional bulk measurements of EBPR mixed cultures. © 2012 American Chemical Society

  2. Correlation between γ-ray-induced DNA double-strand breakage and cell killing after biologically relevant doses: analysis by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Murray, D.

    1994-01-01

    We examined the degree of correlation between γ-ray-induced lethality and DNA double-strand breaks (dsbs) after biologically relevant doses of radiation. Radiation lethality was modified by treating 14 C-labelled Chinese hamster ovary cells with either of two aminothiols (WR-1065 or WR-255591) and the associated effect on dsb induction was determined by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). The use of phosphorimaging to analyse the distribution of 14 C-activity in the gel greatly improved the low-dose resolution of the PFGE assay. Both WR-1065 and WR-255591 protected against dsb induction and lethality to a similar extent after low doses of radiation. although this correlation broke down when supralethal doses were used to induce dsbs. Thus, the level of dsbs induced in these cells as measured by PFGE after survival-curve doses of γ-radiation is consistently predictive of the degree of lethality obtained, implying a cause-effect relationship between these two parameters and confirming previous results obtained using the neutral filter elution assay for dsbs. (author)

  3. World, environment, umwelt, and inner-world : A biological perspective on visual awareness

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Koenderink, J.J.

    2013-01-01

    The world is all physical reality (Higgs bosons, and so forth), the environment is a geographical locality (your city, . . . ), the "Umwelt" is the totality of possible actions of the environment on the sensitive body surface of an agent (you, your dog, . . . ) and the possible actions of the agent

  4. The drivers of corporate environment inputs: Based on neo-institution theory evidence from Chinese listed biological and other companies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, Rui; Tao, Lan; Yan, Liang; Chen, Lianfang; Wang, Haijun

    2014-09-01

    From corporate internal governance structure and external institutional environment, this study uses a legitimacy perspective of intuitional theory to analyze the main influence factors on corporate environmental protection inputs and propose some hypotheses. With the establishment of empirical models, it analyzes the data of 2004-2009 listed biological and other companies in China to test the hypotheses. The findings are concluded that in internal institutional environment, the nature of the controlling shareholder, the proportion of the first shareholder in the ownership structure, the combination of chairman and general manager in board efficiency and the intensity of environmental laws and regulations of the industry in external institutional environment have an significant impact on the behaviors of corporate environmental protection inputs.

  5. Gaze Behavior in a Natural Environment with a Task-Relevant Distractor: How the Presence of a Goalkeeper Distracts the Penalty Taker

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Johannes Kurz

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Gaze behavior in natural scenes has been shown to be influenced not only by top–down factors such as task demands and action goals but also by bottom–up factors such as stimulus salience and scene context. Whereas gaze behavior in the context of static pictures emphasizes spatial accuracy, gazing in natural scenes seems to rely more on where to direct the gaze involving both anticipative components and an evaluation of ongoing actions. Not much is known about gaze behavior in far-aiming tasks in which multiple task-relevant targets and distractors compete for the allocation of visual attention via gaze. In the present study, we examined gaze behavior in the far-aiming task of taking a soccer penalty. This task contains a proximal target, the ball; a distal target, an empty location within the goal; and a salient distractor, the goalkeeper. Our aim was to investigate where participants direct their gaze in a natural environment with multiple potential fixation targets that differ in task relevance and salience. Results showed that the early phase of the run-up seems to be driven by both the salience of the stimulus setting and the need to perform a spatial calibration of the environment. The late run-up, in contrast, seems to be controlled by attentional demands of the task with penalty takers having habitualized a visual routine that is not disrupted by external influences (e.g., the goalkeeper. In addition, when trying to shoot a ball as accurately as possible, penalty takers directed their gaze toward the ball in order to achieve optimal foot-ball contact. These results indicate that whether gaze is driven by salience of the stimulus setting or by attentional demands depends on the phase of the actual task.

  6. Identifying novel genes and biological processes relevant to the development of cancer therapy-induced mucositis: An informative gene network analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reyes-Gibby, Cielito C; Melkonian, Stephanie C; Wang, Jian; Yu, Robert K; Shelburne, Samuel A; Lu, Charles; Gunn, Gary Brandon; Chambers, Mark S; Hanna, Ehab Y; Yeung, Sai-Ching J; Shete, Sanjay

    2017-01-01

    Mucositis is a complex, dose-limiting toxicity of chemotherapy or radiotherapy that leads to painful mouth ulcers, difficulty eating or swallowing, gastrointestinal distress, and reduced quality of life for patients with cancer. Mucositis is most common for those undergoing high-dose chemotherapy and hematopoietic stem cell transplantation and for those being treated for malignancies of the head and neck. Treatment and management of mucositis remain challenging. It is expected that multiple genes are involved in the formation, severity, and persistence of mucositis. We used Ingenuity Pathway Analysis (IPA), a novel network-based approach that integrates complex intracellular and intercellular interactions involved in diseases, to systematically explore the molecular complexity of mucositis. As a first step, we searched the literature to identify genes that harbor or are close to the genetic variants significantly associated with mucositis. Our literature review identified 27 candidate genes, of which ERCC1, XRCC1, and MTHFR were the most frequently studied for mucositis. On the basis of this 27-gene list, we used IPA to generate gene networks for mucositis. The most biologically significant novel molecules identified through IPA analyses included TP53, CTNNB1, MYC, RB1, P38 MAPK, and EP300. Additionally, uracil degradation II (reductive) and thymine degradation pathways (p = 1.06-08) were most significant. Finally, utilizing 66 SNPs within the 8 most connected IPA-derived candidate molecules, we conducted a genetic association study for oral mucositis in the head and neck cancer patients who were treated using chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy (186 head and neck cancer patients with oral mucositis vs. 699 head and neck cancer patients without oral mucositis). The top ranked gene identified through this association analysis was RB1 (rs2227311, p-value = 0.034, odds ratio = 0.67). In conclusion, gene network analysis identified novel molecules and biological

  7. From molecules to management: adopting DNA-based methods for monitoring biological invasions in aquatic environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Recent technological advances have driven rapid development of DNA-based methods designed to facilitate detection and monitoring of invasive species in aquatic environments. These tools promise to significantly alleviate difficulties associated with traditional monitoring approac...

  8. Study of the movement of metallic pollutants in the physical environment and biological chains

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bittel, R.; Magnaval, R.

    1976-01-01

    The authors describe, giving examples, the use of nuclear and non-nuclear techniques in studying the movement of metallic elements capable of contaminating the environment, man and various other organisms. A brief account is given of the methods employed. Emphasis is placed on obtaining data which can be used in predicting the harm which may result in the long term for man and the environment from increases in the concentrations of metallic pollutants. (author)

  9. Surface coating affects behavior of metallic nanoparticles in a biological environment

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Domazet Jurašin, D.; Ćurlin, M.; Capjak, I.; Crnković, T.; Lovrić, M.; Babič, Michal; Horák, Daniel; Vinković Vrček, I.; Gajović, S.

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 7, 15 Feb (2016), s. 246-262 ISSN 2190-4286 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GC16-01128J EU Projects: European Commission(XE) 316120 - GLOWBRAIN Institutional support: RVO:61389013 Keywords : biological fluids * colloidal stability * maghemite Subject RIV: CD - Macromolecular Chemistry Impact factor: 3.127, year: 2016

  10. Monitoring of biological odour filtration in closed environments with olfactometry and an electronic nose

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Willers, H.C.; Gijsel, de P.; Ogink, N.W.M.; Amico, D' A.; Martinelli, E.; Natale, Di C.; Ras, van N.; Waarde, van der J.

    2004-01-01

    Air treatment with a compact biological membrane filter, and air quality monitoring with an electronic nose were tested in the laboratory on air from a cage containing six mice. Additional analyses of air to and from the filter were performed using olfactometry and ammonia and hydrogen sulphide gas

  11. Number size distribution measurements of biological aerosols under contrasting environments and seasons from southern tropical India

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valsan, Aswathy; Cv, Biju; Krishna, Ravi; Huffman, Alex; Poschl, Ulrich; Gunthe, Sachin

    2016-04-01

    Biological aerosols constitute a wide range of dead and alive biological materials and structures that are suspended in the atmosphere. They play an important role in the atmospheric physical, chemical and biological processes and health of living being by spread of diseases among humans, plants, and, animals. The atmospheric abundance, sources, physical properties of PBAPs as compared to non-biological aerosols, however, is poorly characterized. Though omnipresent, their concentration and composition exhibit large spatial and temporal variations depending up on their sources, land-use, and local meteorology. The Indian tropical region, which constitutes approximately 18% of the world's total population exhibits vast geographical extend and experiences a distinctive meteorological phenomenon by means of Indian Summer Monsoon (IMS). Thus, the sources, properties and characteristics of biological aerosols are also expected to have significant variations over the Indian subcontinent depending upon the location and seasons. Here we present the number concentration and size distribution of Fluorescent Biological Aerosol Particles (FBAP) from two contrasting locations in Southern tropical India measured during contrasting seasons using Ultra Violet Aerodynamic Particle Sizer (UV-APS). Measurements were carried out at a pristine high altitude continental site, Munnar (10.09 N, 77.06 E; 1605 m asl) during two contrasting seasons, South-West Monsoon (June-August, 2014) and winter (Jan - Feb, 2015) and in Chennai, a coastal urban area, during July - November 2015. FBAP concentrations at both the locations showed large variability with higher concentrations occurring at Chennai. Apart from regional variations, the FBAP concentrations also exhibited variations over two different seasons under the same environmental condition. In Munnar the FBAP concentration increased by a factor of four from South-West Monsoon to winter season. The average size distribution of FBAP at both

  12. Spatial distribution of osteopontin, CD44v6 and podoplanin in the lining epithelium of odontogenic keratocyst, and their biological relevance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kechik, Khamisah Awang; Siar, Chong Huat

    2018-02-01

    The odontogenic keratocyst (OKC) remains the most challenging jaw cyst to treat because of its locally-aggressive behaviour and high recurrence potential. Emerging evidence suggests that osteopontin, its receptors CD44v6 and integrin α v , and podoplanin, have a role in the local invasiveness of this cyst. However the spatial distribution characteristics of these pro-invasive markers in the lining epithelium of OKC, and their association with the clinicopathologic parameters of OKC are largely unexplored. This study sought to address these issues in comparison with dentigerous cysts (DCs) and radicular cysts (RCs) and to evaluate their biological relevance. A sample consisting of 20 OKC cases, 10 DCs and 10 RCs was subjected to immunohistochemical staining for osteopontin, CD44v6 and integrin α v , and podoplanin, and semiquantitative analysis was performed. All factors (except integrin α v ) were detected heterogeneously in the constitutive layers of the lining epithelium in all three cyst types. Key observations were significant upregulation of CD44v6 and podoplanin in OKC compared to DCs and RCs, suggesting that these protein molecules may play crucial roles in promoting local invasiveness in OKC (P<0.05). Osteopontin underexpression and distribution patterns were indistinctive among all three cysts indicating its limited role as pro-invasive factor. Clinical parameters showed no significant correlations with all protein factors investigated. Present findings suggest that an osteopontin low CD44v6 high and podoplanin high immunoprofile most probably represent epithelial signatures of OKC and are markers of local invasiveness in this cyst. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Salt-stimulation of caesium accumulation in the euryhaline green microalga Chlorella salina: potential relevance to the development of a biological Cs-removal process

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Avery, S.V.; Codd, G.A.; Gadd, G.M.

    1993-01-01

    Accumulation of Cs + by Chlorella salina was 28-fold greater in cells incubated in the presence than in the absence of 0.5 M-NaCl. An approximate 70% removal of external Cs + resulted after 15 h incubation of cells with 50 μ;M-CsCl and 0.5 M-NaCl. LiCl also had a stimulatory effect on Cs + uptake, although mannitol did not. Cs + influx increased with increasing external NaCl concentration and was maximal between 25-500 mM-NaCl at approximately 4 nmol Cs + h−1 (10 6 cells) −1 . Little effect on Cs + uptake resulted from the presence of Mg 2+ or Ca 2+ or from varying the external pH, and Cs + was relatively non-toxic towards C. salina. At increasing cell densities (from 4 × 10 5 to 1 × 10 7 cells ml +1 ), decreasing amounts of Cs + were accumulated per cell although the rate of Cs + removal from the external medium was still greatest at the higher cell densities examined. Freely suspended C. salina and cell-loaded alginate microbeads accumulated similar levels of Cs + , however, 46% of total Cs + uptake was attributable to the calcium-alginate matrix in the latter case. When Cs + -loaded cells were subjected to hypoosmotic shock, loss of cellular Cs + occurred allowing easy Cs + recovery. This loss exceeded 90% of cellular Cs + when cells were washed with solutions containing ≤ 50 mM-NaCl between consecutive Cs + uptake periods; these cells subsequently lost their ability to accumulate large amounts of Cs + . Maximal Cs + uptake (approximately 85.1% removal after three 15 h incubations) occurred when cells were washed with a solution containing 500 mM-NaCl and 200 mM-KCl between incubations. The relevance of these results to the possible use of C. salina in a salt-dependent biological Cs-removal process is discussed. (author)

  14. Occurrence of cyclophosphamide and ifosfamide in aqueous environment and their removal by biological and abiotic wastewater treatment processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Česen, Marjeta; Kosjek, Tina; Laimou-Geraniou, Maria; Kompare, Boris; Širok, Brane; Lambropolou, Dimitra; Heath, Ester

    2015-09-15

    Cytostatic drug residues in the aqueous environment are of concern due to their possible adverse effects on non-target organisms. Here we report the occurrence and removal efficiency of cyclophosphamide (CP) and ifosfamide (IF) by biological and abiotic treatments including advanced oxidation processes (AOPs). Cyclophosphamide was detected in hospital wastewaters (14-22,000 ng L(-1)), wastewater treatment plant influents (19-27 ng L(-1)) and effluent (17 ng L(-1)), whereas IF was detected only in hospital wastewaters (48-6800 ng L(-1)). The highest removal efficiency during biological treatment (attached growth biomass in a flow through bioreactor) was 59 ± 15% and 35 ± 9.3% for CP and IF, respectively. Also reported are the removal efficiencies of both compounds from wastewater using hydrodynamic cavitation (HC), ozonation (O3) and/or UV, either individually or in combination with hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). Hydrodynamic cavitation did not remove CP and IF to any significant degree. The highest removal efficiencies: 99 ± 0.71% for CP and 94 ± 2.4% for IF, were achieved using UV/O3/H2O2 at 5 g L(-1) for 120 min. When combined with biological treatment, removal efficiencies were >99% for both compounds. This is the first report of combined biological and AOP treatment of CP and IF from wastewater with a removal efficiency >99%. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  15. A program in global biology. [biota-environment interaction important to life

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mooneyhan, D. W.

    1983-01-01

    NASA's Global Biology Research Program and its goals for greater understanding of planetary biological processes are discussed. Consideration is given to assessing major pathways and rates of exchange of elements such as carbon and nitrogen, extrapolating local rates of anaerobic activities, determining exchange rates of ocean nutrients, and developing models for the global cycles of carbon, nitrogen, sulfur, and phosphorus. Satellites and sensors operating today are covered: the Nimbus, NOAA, and Landsat series. Block diagrams of the software and hardware for a typical ground data processing and analysis system are provided. Samples of the surface cover data achieved with the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer, the Multispectral Scanner, and the Thematic Mapper are presented, as well as a productive capacity model for coastal wetlands. Finally, attention is given to future goals, their engineering requirements, and the necessary data analysis system.

  16. The next green movement: Plant biology for the environment and sustainability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jez, Joseph M; Lee, Soon Goo; Sherp, Ashley M

    2016-09-16

    From domestication and breeding to the genetic engineering of crops, plants provide food, fuel, fibers, and feedstocks for our civilization. New research and discoveries aim to reduce the inputs needed to grow crops and to develop plants for environmental and sustainability applications. Faced with population growth and changing climate, the next wave of innovation in plant biology integrates technologies and approaches that span from molecular to ecosystem scales. Recent efforts to engineer plants for better nitrogen and phosphorus use, enhanced carbon fixation, and environmental remediation and to understand plant-microbiome interactions showcase exciting future directions for translational plant biology. These advances promise new strategies for the reduction of inputs to limit environmental impacts and improve agricultural sustainability. Copyright © 2016, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  17. Assessment of uranium and selenium speciation in human and bacterial biological models to probe changes in their structural environment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Avoscan, L.; Milgram, S.; Untereiner, G.; Collins, R.; Khodja, H.; Carriere, M.; Gouget, B. [Lab. Pierre Sue, CEA-CNRS UMR 9956, CEA/Saclay, Gif-sur-Yvette (France); Coves, J. [Inst. de Biologie Structurale - J.-P. Ebel, Lab. des Proteines Membranaires, Grenoble (France); Hazemann, J.L. [Lab. de Geophysique Interne et Tectonopbysique, UMR CNRS/Univ. Joseph Fourier, Saint-Martin-D' Heres (France)

    2009-07-01

    This study illustrates the potential of physicochemical techniques to speciate uranium (U) and selenium (Se) in biological samples. Speciation, defined he0re as the study of structural environment, of both toxic elements, was characterized at several levels in biological media and directly in human cells or bacteria once the metal(loid)s were internalized. External speciation that is extracellular speciation in culture media was predicted by thermodynamic equilibrium computer modelling using the JChess software and validated by spectroscopic measurements (XANES and EXAFS). Internal speciation that is intracellular speciation in eukaryotic and prokaryotic cells was studied in vitro with a soil bacterium Cupriavidus metallidurans CH34 and ROS 17/2.8 osteoblasts, human cells responsible for bone formation. XANES, EXAFS, HPLC-ICP-MS and SDS-PAGE coupled to particle induced X-ray emission (PIXE) permitted the identification and quantification of complexes formed with organic or inorganic molecules and/or larger proteins. (orig.)

  18. World, environment, Umwelt, and innerworld: a biological perspective on visual awareness

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koenderink, Jan J.

    2013-03-01

    The world is all physical reality (Higgs bosons, and so forth), the "environment" is a geographical locality (your city, …), the "Umwelt" is the totality of possible actions of the environment on the sensitive body surface of an agent (you, your dog, …) and the possible actions of the agent on the environment (mechanical, chemical, …), whereas the "innerworld" is what it is for the agent to be, that is awareness. Awareness is pre-personal, proto-conscious, and (perhaps) proto-rational. The various "worlds" described above are on distinct ontological levels. The world, and the environment are studied in the exact sciences, the Umwelt is studied by physiology and ethology. Ethology is like behavioristic psychology, with the difference that it applies to all animals. It skips the innerworld, e.g., it considers speech to be a movement of air molecules.The innerworld can only be known through first person reports, thus is intrinsically subjective. It can only be approached through "experimental phenomenology", which is based on intersubjectivity among humans. In this setting speech may mean something in addition to the movements of molecules. These views lead to a model of vision as an "optical user interface". It has consequences for many applications.

  19. Use of marine algae as biological indicator of heavy metal pollution in Turkish marine environment

    OpenAIRE

    Topcuoğlu, Sayhan; Kılıç, Önder; Belivermiş, Murat; Kalaycı, Halim Aytekin Ergül and Gülşah; Kalaycı, Gülşah

    2015-01-01

    Abstract The heavy metal concentrations were reviewed in marine algae species collected from Turkish marine environment and the new data also given in the marine algae samples at some stations at the Turkish coast of the Mediterranean Sea. Some data also reviewed at the neighbors countries of the Black Sea, Aegean Sea and Mediterranean Sea.

  20. Use of marine algae as biological indicator of heavy metal pollution in Turkish marine environment

    OpenAIRE

    Topcuoğlu, Sayhan; Kılıç, Önder; Belivermiş, Murat; Kalaycı, Halim Aytekin Ergül and Gülşah

    2010-01-01

    Abstract The heavy metal concentrations were reviewed in marine algae species collected from Turkish marine environment and the new data also given in the marine algae samples at some stations at the Turkish coast of the Mediterranean Sea. Some data also reviewed at the neighbors countries of the Black Sea, Aegean Sea and Mediterranean Sea.

  1. Microbiological and molecular biological methods for monitoring microbial inoculants and their effects in the soil environment

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Elsas, van J.D.; Duarte, G.F.; Rosado, A.S.; Smalla, K.

    1998-01-01

    As the use of biotechnology products, such as genetically modified microorganisms (GMMs), in the environment might bring about undesirable ecological effects, it is important that the environmental fate of inoculant organisms, as well as any effects of their release, are assessed. Ideally, pilot

  2. Turkish secondary education students' perceptions of their classroom learning environment and their attitude towards Biology

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Telli, S.; Cakiroglu, J.; den Brok, P.

    2006-01-01

    The domain of learning environments research has produced many promising findings, leading to an enhancement of the teaching and learning process in many countries. However, there have been a limited number of studies in this field in Turkey. For that reason, the purpose of the present study was to

  3. Biological assessments of a mixture of endocrine disruptors at environmentally relevant concentrations in water following UV/H{sub 2}O{sub 2} oxidation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chen, P.-J. [Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Duke University (United States); Integrated Toxicology Program, Nicolas School of Environment and Earth Science, Duke University (United States); Rosenfeldt, Erik J. [Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Duke University (United States); Kullman, Seth W. [Integrated Toxicology Program, Nicolas School of Environment and Earth Science, Duke University (United States); Hinton, David E. [Integrated Toxicology Program, Nicolas School of Environment and Earth Science, Duke University (United States); Linden, Karl G. [Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Duke University (United States)]. E-mail: kglinden@duke.edu

    2007-04-15

    Numerous studies have investigated degradation of individual endocrine disrupting compounds (EDCs) in lab or natural waters. However, natural variations in water matrices and mixtures of EDCs in the environment may confound analysis of the treatment efficiency. Because chemical based analytical methods cannot represent the combined or synergistic activities between water quality parameters and/or the EDC mixtures at environmentally relevant concentrations ({mu}g L{sup -1}-ng L{sup -1}), bioanalytical assessments of residual estrogenic activity in treated water were used to evaluate the performance of the UV based advanced oxidation process for estrogenic contaminants in water. Four EDCs including estradiol (E{sub 2}), ethinyl estradiol (EE{sub 2}), bisphenol-A (BPA) and nonylphenol (NP) were spiked individually or as a mixture at {mu}g L{sup -1}-ng L{sup -1} in laboratory or natural river water. The removal rates of estrogenic activity were quantitatively evaluated by in vitro yeast estrogen screen (YES) and in vivo Vitellogenin (VTG) assays with Japanese medaka fish (Oryzias latipes). UV in combination with 10 ppm H{sub 2}O{sub 2} as an oxidation process was capable of decreasing in vitro and in vivo estrogenic activity, however, in vivo estrogenic activity of the EDC mixture in natural water was not completely removed at UV fluence up to 2000 mJ cm{sup -2}. The removal rates of in vitro estrogenic activity of the EDC mixtures were lower than those observed for single compounds, and slower in natural waters, likely due to lower steady-state concentrations of hydroxyl radicals ({center_dot}OH) in the presence of {center_dot}OH scavengers from the water matrix and EDC mixture.

  4. Flexible imaging payload for real-time fluorescent biological imaging in parabolic, suborbital and space analog environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bamsey, Matthew T.; Paul, Anna-Lisa; Graham, Thomas; Ferl, Robert J.

    2014-10-01

    Fluorescent imaging offers the ability to monitor biological functions, in this case biological responses to space-related environments. For plants, fluorescent imaging can include general health indicators such as chlorophyll fluorescence as well as specific metabolic indicators such as engineered fluorescent reporters. This paper describes the Flex Imager a fluorescent imaging payload designed for Middeck Locker deployment and now tested on multiple flight and flight-related platforms. The Flex Imager and associated payload elements have been developed with a focus on 'flexibility' allowing for multiple imaging modalities and change-out of individual imaging or control components in the field. The imaging platform is contained within the standard Middeck Locker spaceflight form factor, with components affixed to a baseplate that permits easy rearrangement and fine adjustment of components. The Flex Imager utilizes standard software packages to simplify operation, operator training, and evaluation by flight provider flight test engineers, or by researchers processing the raw data. Images are obtained using a commercial cooled CCD image sensor, with light-emitting diodes for excitation and a suite of filters that allow biological samples to be imaged over wavelength bands of interest. Although baselined for the monitoring of green fluorescent protein and chlorophyll fluorescence from Arabidopsis samples, the Flex Imager payload permits imaging of any biological sample contained within a standard 10 cm by 10 cm square Petri plate. A sample holder was developed to secure sample plates under different flight profiles while permitting sample change-out should crewed operations be possible. In addition to crew-directed imaging, autonomous or telemetric operation of the payload is also a viable operational mode. An infrared camera has also been integrated into the Flex Imager payload to allow concurrent fluorescent and thermal imaging of samples. The Flex Imager has been

  5. Evaluation of biological properties and fate in the environment of a new class of biosurfactants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liwarska-Bizukojc, Ewa; Olejnik, Dorota; Delbeke, Elisabeth I P; Van Geem, Kevin M; Stevens, Christian V

    2018-06-01

    Selected sophorolipid quaternary ammonium salts (SQAS), being a new class of modified biosurfactants, were studied in this work for the first time with regard to their biodegradability and fate in the environment. It was made to find whether environment-friendly bioproducts like biosurfactants are still safe to the environment after their chemical modification. The susceptibility of these SQAS for biodegradation was estimated together with the evaluation of their influence on activated sludge microorganisms. Additionally, the mechanisms of removal of the SQAS from wastewater and from the aquatic environment, were analysed. The evaluated SQAS were potentially biodegradable, although none of them could be classified as readily biodegradable. The biodegradation degrees after 28 days ranged from 4 to 42%, dependent on the SQAS tested, i.e. below the required OECD 301D Closed Bottle Test level of 60%. Simultaneously, the analysis of the mass spectra revealed the presence of the breakdown products of each SQAS studied. Biodegradation was preceded by sorption of the SQAS on sludge particles, which occurred to be a main mechanism of the removal of these newly synthesized biosurfactants from wastewater. The mean degree of sorption calculated on the basis of SQAS determination was from 75 to 96%, dependent on the studied SQAS. The presence of SQAS in wastewater did not deteriorate the operation of the activated sludge system, although the products of the SQAS biodegradation remained in the liquid phase and might contribute to the increase of COD of the effluent to be introduced to the environment. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Atmospheric versus biological sources of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in a tropical rain forest environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krauss, Martin; Wilcke, Wolfgang; Martius, Christopher; Bandeira, Adelmar G; Garcia, Marcos V B; Amelung, Wulf

    2005-05-01

    To distinguish between pyrogenic and biological sources of PAHs in a tropical rain forest near Manaus, Brazil, we determined the concentrations of 21 PAHs in leaves, bark, twigs, and stem wood of forest trees, dead wood, mineral topsoil, litter layer, air, and Nasutitermes termite nest compartments. Naphthalene (NAPH) was the most abundant PAH with concentrations of 35 ng m(-3) in air (>85% of the sum of 21PAHs concentration), up to 1000 microg kg(-1) in plants (>90%), 477 microg kg(-1) in litter (>90%), 32 microg kg(-1) in topsoil (>90%), and 160 microg kg(-1) (>55%) in termite nests. In plants, the concentrations of PAHs in general decreased in the order leaves > bark > twigs > stem wood. The concentrations of most low-molecular weight PAHs in leaves and bark were near equilibrium with air, but those of NAPH were up to 50 times higher. Thus, the atmosphere seemed to be the major source of all PAHs in plants except for NAPH. Additionally, phenanthrene (PHEN) had elevated concentrations in bark and twigs of Vismia cayennensis trees (12-60 microg kg(-1)), which might have produced PHEN. In the mineral soil, perylene (PERY) was more abundant than in the litter layer, probably because of in situ biological production. Nasutitermes nests had the highest concentrations of most PAHs in exterior compartments (on average 8 and 15 microg kg(-1) compared to atmosphere controls the concentrations of most PAHs. However, the occurrence of NAPH, PHEN, and PERY in plants, termite nests, and soils at elevated concentrations supports the assumption of their biological origin.

  7. Atmospheric versus biological sources of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in a tropical rain forest environment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Krauss, Martin; Wilcke, Wolfgang; Martius, Christopher; Bandeira, Adelmar G.; Garcia, Marcos V.B.; Amelung, Wulf

    2005-01-01

    To distinguish between pyrogenic and biological sources of PAHs in a tropical rain forest near Manaus, Brazil, we determined the concentrations of 21 PAHs in leaves, bark, twigs, and stem wood of forest trees, dead wood, mineral topsoil, litter layer, air, and Nasutitermes termite nest compartments. Naphthalene (NAPH) was the most abundant PAH with concentrations of 35 ng m -3 in air (>85% of the Σ21PAHs concentration), up to 1000 μg kg -1 in plants (>90%), 477 μg kg -1 in litter (>90%), 32 μg kg -1 in topsoil (>90%), and 160 μg kg -1 (>55%) in termite nests. In plants, the concentrations of PAHs in general decreased in the order leaves > bark > twigs > stem wood. The concentrations of most low-molecular weight PAHs in leaves and bark were near equilibrium with air, but those of NAPH were up to 50 times higher. Thus, the atmosphere seemed to be the major source of all PAHs in plants except for NAPH. Additionally, phenanthrene (PHEN) had elevated concentrations in bark and twigs of Vismia cayennensis trees (12-60 μg kg -1 ), which might have produced PHEN. In the mineral soil, perylene (PERY) was more abundant than in the litter layer, probably because of in situ biological production. Nasutitermes nests had the highest concentrations of most PAHs in exterior compartments (on average 8 and 15 μg kg -1 compared to -1 in interior parts) and high PERY concentrations in all compartments (12-86 μg kg -1 ), indicating an in situ production of PERY in the nests. Our results demonstrate that the deposition of pyrolytic PAHs from the atmosphere controls the concentrations of most PAHs. However, the occurrence of NAPH, PHEN, and PERY in plants, termite nests, and soils at elevated concentrations supports the assumption of their biological origin. - Evidence of non-pyrolytic, biogenic production of PAHs is provided

  8. Microbial load in indoor sport environments: new quality issues by molecular biology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vincenzo Romano Spica

    2004-12-01

    Full Text Available

    The quality of hygiene found in sporting environments represents an emergent requirement in societies of industrialised countries.

    Besides safety issues, the microbial load of indoor air, water and surfaces affects comfort and performance. Recent studies have identified fungi as the quantitatively most important component, of unhealthy indoor air.

    Few studies have been carried out regarding indoor sport, recreational and rehabilitative facilities, such as swimming pools, saunas and spas. The aim of our study is to determine the extent of fungal and microbial contamination in indoor swimming pool environments, by means of both morphological and molecular typing of isolated species.

    Establishment of appropriate standardised monitoring procedures prevents infections and improves quality.

  9. A review of the biological and geochemical behaviour of technetium in the marine environment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Beasley, T.M.; Lorz, H.V.

    1986-01-01

    Present understanding of the behavior of Tc in the marine environment is summarised. The prevalent valence state of Tc in oxygenated seawater is +7, arguing that pertechnetate ion, TcO - 4 , represents the most likely form of this radioelement in seawater. Laboratory experiments using radio-labeled pertechnetate ion have shown that binding of this anion to different classes of marine sediments is slight. Concentration factors for the majority of marine organisms studied to date are small; notable exceptions are seen in certain species of brown algae, polychaetes and macrocrustaceans. Uptake and loss kinetics are generally rapid with the majority of the Tc being associated with shell, exoskeleton and gut. There are, as yet, no data supporting the contention that stable element analogs such as iodate can be used to predict the long-term behavior of 99 Tc (as pertechnetate) in the marine environment. (author)

  10. Microbial load in indoor sport environments: new quality issues by molecular biology

    OpenAIRE

    Vincenzo Romano Spica; Maurizio Sisti; Giuditta Schiavano; Mauro De Santi; Massimiliano Orsini; Erika Montuori; Andrea Paparini; Giorgio Brandi

    2004-01-01

    The quality of hygiene found in sporting environments represents an emergent requirement in societies of industrialised countries.

    Besides safety issues, the microbial load of indoor air, water and surfaces affects comfort and performance. Recent studies have identified fungi as the quantitatively most important component, of unhealthy indoor air.

    Few studies have been carried out regarding indoor sport, recreational and rehabilitative facilities, ...

  11. Occupational exposure to potentially infectious biological material in a dental teaching environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Machado-Carvalhais, Helenaura P; Ramos-Jorge, Maria L; Auad, Sheyla M; Martins, Laura H P M; Paiva, Saul M; Pordeus, Isabela A

    2008-10-01

    The aims of this cross-sectional study were to determine the prevalence of occupational accidents with exposure to biological material among undergraduate students of dentistry and to estimate potential risk factors associated with exposure to blood. Data were collected through a self-administered questionnaire (86.4 percent return rate), which was completed by a sample of 286 undergraduate dental students (mean age 22.4 +/-2.4 years). The students were enrolled in the clinical component of the curriculum, which corresponds to the final six semesters of study. Descriptive, bivariate, simple logistic regression and multiple logistic regression (Forward Stepwise Procedure) analyses were performed. The level of statistical significance was set at 5 percent. Percutaneous and mucous exposures to potentially infectious biological material were reported by 102 individuals (35.6 percent); 26.8 percent reported the occurrence of multiple episodes of exposure. The logistic regression analyses revealed that the incomplete use of individual protection equipment (OR=3.7; 95 percent CI 1.5-9.3), disciplines where surgical procedures are carried out (OR=16.3; 95 percent CI 7.1-37.2), and handling sharp instruments (OR=4.4; 95 percent CI 2.1-9.1), more specifically, hollow-bore needles (OR=6.8; 95 percent CI 2.1-19.0), were independently associated with exposure to blood. Policies of reviewing the procedures during clinical practice are recommended in order to reduce occupational exposure.

  12. Biology, not environment, drives major patterns in maximum tetrapod body size through time

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sookias, Roland B.; Benson, Roger B. J.; Butler, Richard J.

    2012-01-01

    Abiotic and biological factors have been hypothesized as controlling maximum body size of tetrapods and other animals through geological time. We analyse the effects of three abiotic factors—oxygen, temperature and land area—on maximum size of Permian–Jurassic archosauromorphs and therapsids, and Cenozoic mammals, using time series generalized least-squares regression models. We also examine maximum size growth curves for the Permian–Jurassic data by comparing fits of Gompertz and logistic models. When serial correlation is removed, we find no robust correlations, indicating that these environmental factors did not consistently control tetrapod maximum size. Gompertz models—i.e. exponentially decreasing rate of size increase at larger sizes—fit maximum size curves far better than logistic models. This suggests that biological limits such as reduced fecundity and niche space availability become increasingly limiting as larger sizes are reached. Environmental factors analysed may still have imposed an upper limit on tetrapod body size, but any environmentally imposed limit did not vary substantially during the intervals examined despite variation in these environmental factors. PMID:22513278

  13. Are biological effects of space radiation really altered under the microgravity environment?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yatagai, Fumio; Ishioka, Noriaki

    2014-10-01

    Two major factors of space environment are space radiation and microgravity. It is generally considered that a high level of ionizing radiation (IR) in space has an influence on living organisms including humans; therefore, the possible alteration of space-radiation influences by the microgravity environment is of great concern. In fact, examination of such a possibility has been extensively conducted since the early days of space experiments, suggesting a possible synergistic effect of radiation and microgravity in some experiments but a negative observation in others. Because these complicated results remain not well understood, we propose a solution to this problem. Gene expression analysis is one of the solutions to the problem. In fact, gene expression may be changed by microgravity, and further modification may be possible through IR. This result could reveal an interactive effect of both factors on the cellular responses, which could in turn reveal whether the human-health abnormalities expected under the microgravity environment can be altered by space radiation. We believe that this is a new aspect in the study of the interactive effect of radiation and microgravity. However, further improvements in space experimental technologies are required for future studies.

  14. Indoor environment and children's health: recent developments in chemical, biological, physical and social aspects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Le Cann, Pierre; Bonvallot, Nathalie; Glorennec, Philippe; Deguen, Séverine; Goeury, Christophe; Le Bot, Barbara

    2011-12-01

    Much research is being carried out into indoor exposure to harmful agents. This review focused on the impact on children's health, taking a broad approach to the indoor environment and including chemical, microbial, physical and social aspects. Papers published from 2006 onwards were reviewed, with regards to scientific context. Most of publications dealt with chemical exposure. Apart from the ongoing issue of combustion by-products, most of these papers concerned semi volatile organic compounds (such as phthalates). These may be associated with neurotoxic, reprotoxic or respiratory effects and may, therefore, be of particular interest so far as children are concerned. In a lesser extent, volatile organic compounds (such as aldehydes) that have mainly respiratory effects are still studied. Assessing exposure to metals is still of concern, with increasing interest in bioaccessibility. Most of the papers on microbial exposure focused on respiratory tract infections, especially asthma linked to allergens and bio-aerosols. Physical exposure includes noise and electromagnetic fields, and articles dealt with the auditory and non auditory effects of noise. Articles on radiofrequency electromagnetic fields mainly concerned questions about non-thermal effects and papers on extremely low-frequency magnetic fields focused on the characterization of exposure. The impact of the indoor environment on children's health cannot be assessed merely by considering the effect of these different types of exposure: this review highlights new findings and also discusses the interactions between agents in indoor environments and also with social aspects. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  15. Insights from the metagenome of an acid salt lake: the role of biology in an extreme depositional environment.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sarah Stewart Johnson

    Full Text Available The extremely acidic brine lakes of the Yilgarn Craton of Western Australia are home to some of the most biologically challenging waters on Earth. In this study, we employed metagenomic shotgun sequencing to generate a microbial profile of the depositional environment associated with the sulfur-rich sediments of one such lake. Of the 1.5 M high-quality reads generated, 0.25 M were mapped to protein features, which in turn provide new insights into the metabolic function of this community. In particular, 45 diverse genes associated with sulfur metabolism were identified, the majority of which were linked to either the conversion of sulfate to adenylylsulfate and the subsequent production of sulfide from sulfite or the oxidation of sulfide, elemental sulfur, and thiosulfate via the sulfur oxidation (Sox system. This is the first metagenomic study of an acidic, hypersaline depositional environment, and we present evidence for a surprisingly high level of microbial diversity. Our findings also illuminate the possibility that we may be meaningfully underestimating the effects of biology on the chemistry of these sulfur-rich sediments, thereby influencing our understanding of past geobiological conditions that may have been present on Earth as well as early Mars.

  16. Corrosion resistance and biological activity of TiO2implant coatings produced in oxygen-rich environments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Rui; Wan, Yi; Ai, Xing; Liu, Zhanqiang; Zhang, Dong

    2017-01-01

    The physical and chemical properties of bio-titanium alloy implant surfaces play an important role in their corrosion resistance and biological activity. New turning and turning-rolling processes are presented, employing an oxygen-rich environment in order to obtain titanium dioxide layers that can both protect implants from corrosion and also promote cell adhesion. The surface topographies, surface roughnesses and chemical compositions of the sample surfaces were obtained using scanning electron microscopy, a white light interferometer, and the Auger electron spectroscopy, respectively. The corrosion resistance of the samples in a simulated body fluid was determined using electrochemical testing. Biological activity on the samples was also analyzed, using a vitro cell culture system. The results show that compared with titanium oxide layers formed using a turning process in air, the thickness of the titanium oxide layers formed using turning and turning-rolling processes in an oxygen-rich environment increased by 4.6 and 7.3 times, respectively. Using an oxygen-rich atmosphere in the rolling process greatly improves the corrosion resistance of the resulting samples in a simulated body fluid. On samples produced using the turning-rolling process, cells spread quickly and exhibited the best adhesion characteristics.

  17. Life on the Edge-the Biology of Organisms Inhabiting Extreme Environments: An Introduction to the Symposium.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindgren, Annie R; Buckley, Bradley A; Eppley, Sarah M; Reysenbach, Anna-Louise; Stedman, Kenneth M; Wagner, Josiah T

    2016-10-01

    Life persists, even under extremely harsh conditions. While the existence of extremophiles is well known, the mechanisms by which these organisms evolve, perform basic metabolic functions, reproduce, and survive under extreme physical stress are often entirely unknown. Recent technological advances in terms of both sampling and studying extremophiles have yielded new insight into their evolution, physiology and behavior, from microbes and viruses to plants to eukaryotes. The goal of the "Life on the Edge-the Biology of Organisms Inhabiting Extreme Environments" symposium was to unite researchers from taxonomically and methodologically diverse backgrounds to highlight new advances in extremophile biology. Common themes and new insight that emerged from the symposium included the important role of symbiotic associations, the continued challenges associated with sampling and studying extremophiles and the important role these organisms play in terms of studying climate change. As we continue to explore our planet, especially in difficult to reach areas from the poles to the deep sea, we expect to continue to discover new and extreme circumstances under which life can persist. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology. All rights reserved. For permissions please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  18. Evaluation of Different Single-Walled Carbon Nanotube Surface Coatings for Single-Particle Tracking Applications in Biological Environments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gao, Zhenghong; Danné, Noémie; Godin, Antoine Guillaume; Lounis, Brahim; Cognet, Laurent

    2017-11-16

    Fluorescence imaging of biological systems down to the single-molecule level has generated many advances in cellular biology. For applications within intact tissue, single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) are emerging as distinctive single-molecule nanoprobes, due to their near-infrared photoluminescence properties. For this, SWCNT surfaces must be coated using adequate molecular moieties. Yet, the choice of the suspension agent is critical since it influences both the chemical and emission properties of the SWCNTs within their environment. Here, we compare the most commonly used surface coatings for encapsulating photoluminescent SWCNTs in the context of bio-imaging applications. To be applied as single-molecule nanoprobes, encapsulated nanotubes should display low cytotoxicity, and minimal unspecific interactions with cells while still being highly luminescent so as to be imaged and tracked down to the single nanotube level for long periods of time. We tested the cell proliferation and cellular viability of each surface coating and evaluated the impact of the biocompatible surface coatings on nanotube photoluminescence brightness. Our study establishes that phospholipid-polyethylene glycol-coated carbon nanotube is the best current choice for single nanotube tracking experiments in live biological samples.

  19. The EDRN knowledge environment: an open source, scalable informatics platform for biological sciences research

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crichton, Daniel; Mahabal, Ashish; Anton, Kristen; Cinquini, Luca; Colbert, Maureen; Djorgovski, S. George; Kincaid, Heather; Kelly, Sean; Liu, David

    2017-05-01

    We describe here the Early Detection Research Network (EDRN) for Cancer's knowledge environment. It is an open source platform built by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory with contributions from the California Institute of Technology, and Giesel School of Medicine at Dartmouth. It uses tools like Apache OODT, Plone, and Solr, and borrows heavily from JPL's Planetary Data System's ontological infrastructure. It has accumulated data on hundreds of thousands of biospecemens and serves over 1300 registered users across the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The scalable computing infrastructure is built such that we are being able to reach out to other agencies, provide homogeneous access, and provide seamless analytics support and bioinformatics tools through community engagement.

  20. Environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    2005-01-01

    biodiversity. Consequently, the major environmental challenges facing us in the 21st century include: global climate change , energy, population and food...technological prowess, and security interests. Challenges Global Climate Change – Evidence shows that our environment and the global climate ... urbanization will continue to pressure the regional environment . Although most countries have environmental protection ministries or agencies, a lack of

  1. ELECTRONIC EQUIPMENT TO MONITORIZE SOME BIOLOGICAL PROCESS OF ECONOMIC IMPORTANCE IN HONEYBEE COLONY AND ITS ENVIRONMENT

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. SICEANU

    2007-10-01

    Full Text Available The electronic hive is the result of the scientific researches carried out between2003-2006 by a research project funded by MEdC through the National ProgramRELANSIN, being accomplished by Institute for Beekeeping Research andDevelopment –Bucharest in cooperation with the Polytechnics University fromBucharest –The Center for Electronic Technology and Interconnection Techniquesand the Radio Consult CompanyTo achieve the great complexity of the electronic model adapted to the hive –the“smart” hive, it was necessary to establish the all electronic details which to makepossible to monitorize some very important information from the bee colony andits environment with the help of the honeybees and which to eliminate the errorsthat may occur in the information collection process.Thus, the project aimed to conceive the electronic system in order to collectinformation from inside the hive and from environment too, to storage andtransmit it to a data basis by GSM network in order to be analyzed and processedby users.By this complex electronic system, composed by electronic equipment and thehoney bee colony, which is dynamic and strong related with natural evolution ofvegetation correlated with the climate factors, is possible to identify instantaneousor periodically a large palette of aggression factors as well naturals (acids rains,extreme temperatures, calamities as anthropic factors –accidental chemical orbiologic pollution. The obtained data, electronically quantified and taken out intothe data basis, could offer accurate information about the moisturized areas atdifferent time intervals.

  2. Understanding the fate and biological effects of Ag- and TiO{sub 2}-nanoparticles in the environment: The quest for advanced analytics and interdisciplinary concepts

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schaumann, Gabriele E., E-mail: schaumann@uni-landau.de [Universität Koblenz-Landau, Institute for Environmental Sciences, Group of Environmental and Soil Chemistry, Fortstr. 7, D-76829 Landau (Germany); Philippe, Allan, E-mail: philippe@uni-landau.de [Universität Koblenz-Landau, Institute for Environmental Sciences, Group of Environmental and Soil Chemistry, Fortstr. 7, D-76829 Landau (Germany); Bundschuh, Mirco, E-mail: mirco.bundschuh@slu.se [Universität Koblenz-Landau, Institute for Environmental Sciences, Group of Ecotoxicology and Environment, Fortstr. 7, D-76829 Landau (Germany); Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Aquatic Sciences and Assessment, Lennart Hjelms väg 9, SE-75007 Uppsala (Sweden); Metreveli, George, E-mail: metreveli@uni-landau.de [Universität Koblenz-Landau, Institute for Environmental Sciences, Group of Environmental and Soil Chemistry, Fortstr. 7, D-76829 Landau (Germany); Klitzke, Sondra, E-mail: sondra.klitzke@tu-berlin.de [Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg, Institute of Forest Sciences, Chair of Soil Ecology, 79085 Freiburg i.Br. (Germany); Berlin University of Technology, Institute of Ecology, Department of Soil Science, Ernst-Reuter-Platz 1, D-10587 Berlin (Germany); Rakcheev, Denis, E-mail: rakcheev@uni-landau.de [Universität Koblenz-Landau, Institute for Environmental Sciences, Group of Environmental and Soil Chemistry, Fortstr. 7, D-76829 Landau (Germany); Grün, Alexandra, E-mail: alexg@uni-koblenz.de [Universität Koblenz-Landau, Institute for Integrated Natural Sciences, Dept. of Biology, Universitätsstr. 1, D-56070 Koblenz (Germany); and others

    2015-12-01

    Engineered inorganic nanoparticles (EINP) from consumers' products and industrial applications, especially silver and titanium dioxide nanoparticles (NP), are emitted into the aquatic and terrestrial environments in increasing amounts. However, the current knowledge on their environmental fate and biological effects is diverse and renders reliable predictions complicated. This review critically evaluates existing knowledge on colloidal aging mechanisms, biological functioning and transport of Ag NP and TiO{sub 2} NP in water and soil and it discusses challenges for concepts, experimental approaches and analytical methods in order to obtain a comprehensive understanding of the processes linking NP fate and effects. Ag NP undergo dissolution and oxidation with Ag{sub 2}S as a thermodynamically determined endpoint. Nonetheless, Ag NP also undergo colloidal transformations in the nanoparticulate state and may act as carriers for other substances. Ag NP and TiO{sub 2} NP can have adverse biological effects on organisms. Whereas Ag NP reveal higher colloidal stability and mobility, the efficiency of NOM as a stabilizing agent is greater towards TiO{sub 2} NP than towards Ag NP, and multivalent cations can dominate the colloidal behavior over NOM. Many of the past analytical obstacles have been overcome just recently. Single particle ICP-MS based methods in combination with field flow fractionation techniques and hydrodynamic chromatography have the potential to fill the gaps currently hampering a comprehensive understanding of fate and effects also at a low field relevant concentrations. These analytical developments will allow for mechanistically orientated research and transfer to a larger set of EINP. This includes separating processes driven by NP specific properties and bulk chemical properties, categorization of effect-triggering pathways directing the EINP effects towards specific recipients, and identification of dominant environmental parameters triggering

  3. Molecular-biological sensing in aquatic environments: recent developments and emerging capabilities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McQuillan, Jonathan S; Robidart, Julie C

    2017-06-01

    Aquatic microbial communities are central to biogeochemical processes that maintain Earth's habitability. However, there is a significant paucity of data collected from these species in their natural environment. To address this, a suite of ocean-deployable sampling and sensing instrumentation has been developed to retrieve, archive and analyse water samples and their microbial fraction using state of the art genetic assays. Recent deployments have shed new light onto the role microbes play in essential ocean processes and highlight the risks they may pose to coastal populations. Although current designs are generally too large, complex and expensive for widespread use, a host of emerging bio-analytical technologies have the potential to revolutionise this field and open new possibilities in aquatic microbial metrology. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Avoiding artefacts during electron microscopy of silver nanomaterials exposed to biological environments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, S; Goode, A E; Skepper, J N; Thorley, A J; Seiffert, J M; Chung, K F; Tetley, T D; Shaffer, M S P; Ryan, M P; Porter, A E

    2016-02-01

    Electron microscopy has been applied widely to study the interaction of nanomaterials with proteins, cells and tissues at nanometre scale. Biological material is most commonly embedded in thermoset resins to make it compatible with the high vacuum in the electron microscope. Room temperature sample preparation protocols developed over decades provide contrast by staining cell organelles, and aim to preserve the native cell structure. However, the effect of these complex protocols on the nanomaterials in the system is seldom considered. Any artefacts generated during sample preparation may ultimately interfere with the accurate prediction of the stability and reactivity of the nanomaterials. As a case study, we review steps in the room temperature preparation of cells exposed to silver nanomaterials (AgNMs) for transmission electron microscopy imaging and analysis. In particular, embedding and staining protocols, which can alter the physicochemical properties of AgNMs and introduce artefacts thereby leading to a misinterpretation of silver bioreactivity, are scrutinized. Recommendations are given for the application of cryogenic sample preparation protocols, which simultaneously fix both particles and diffusible ions. By being aware of the advantages and limitations of different sample preparation methods, compromises or selection of different correlative techniques can be made to draw more accurate conclusions about the data. © 2015 The Authors Journal of Microscopy © 2015 Royal Microscopical Society.

  5. THE EFFECT OF LEARNING ENVIRONMENT FACTORS ON BIOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENT OF FIRST YEAR STUDENTS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert Podstawski

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available The purpose of the study conducted among students of UWM in Olsztyn was to diagnose the level of biological development of first year students aged 19-20 years, depending on the location and type of secondary school attended. The research on the level of physical and motor development was carried out in 2012 during the compulsory physical education classes of 361 full-time students randomly selected with the use of statistical tables out of 250 student groups. In order to determine the level of physical development, basic anthropometric parameters of the subjects were measured such as body weight and height, and 13 motor tests were used to determine the motor level. The results showed that factors such as the location and type of secondary school attended did not differentiate significantly the level of physical and motor development of first-year students, and the occurring differences were rather incidental and accidental. The weak interaction of factors used was probably the result of blurring the differences and barriers between schools operating in rural areas and in urban areas, a similar curriculum, and an 8-month stay of the subjects at university.

  6. Biological Composition of Sewage Sludge in the Aspect of Threats to the Natural Environment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bień January

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available One of the prerequisites for sustainable development is integrated waste management, including sewage sludge. Besides its good fertilization properties, sewage sludge, which is an inevitable by-product of sewage treatment, accumulates toxic chemical substances and dangerous pathogenic and toxicogenic organisms. Uncontrolled introduction of sewage sludge into soil might pose a serious threat to food chain and natural soil microflora. This in effect might disturb the ecological balance in a particular ecosystem. This study presents author’s own investigations of the sanitary conditions of sewage sludge and the conditions after the processes of aerobic and anaerobic stabilization. The investigated sewage sludge originated from a municipal wastewater treatment plant. The sewage sludge samples were transferred onto proliferation and diagnostic media. The results of the analysis obtained in this study confirmed that sewage sludge is a material which is rich in microorganisms, including pathogenic bacterial species such as: Escherichia coli and Salmonella typhimurium. Mycological tests demonstrated that sewage sludge is a material which is conducive to proliferation of yeast-like and mould-like fungi, among which both pathogenic and toxinogenic species can be present. Quantitative analysis of the investigated sewage sludge demonstrated that the processes of stabilization reduce the content of microorganisms but they do not guarantee product safety in sanitary terms. A huge variability and variety of biological composition points to the need for further research in the field of sanitary characteristics of sewage sludge and survival rate in microorganisms from different types of sewage sludge.

  7. Study of the interaction of multiply charged ions and complex systems of biological interest: effects of the molecular environment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Capron, Michael

    2011-01-01

    This PhD thesis describes the experimental study of the interaction between slow multiply charged ions (tens of keV) and molecular systems of biological interest (amino acids and nucleobases). It is the aim to identify and to better understand the effect of a molecular environment on different collision induced phenomena. To do so, the time of flight spectra of cationic products emerging from collisions with isolated molecules as well as clusters are compared. It is shown that the molecular environment protects the molecule as it allows to distribute the transferred energies and charges over the whole system (global decrease of the fragmentation and quenching of some fragmentation channels). Furthermore, in the case of adenine clusters, the molecular environment weakens some intramolecular bonds. Moreover, products of chemical reactions are observed concerning proton transfer processes in hydrated cluster of adenine and the formation of peptides bonds between beta-alanine molecules in a cluster. The latter finding is studied as a function of the cluster size and type of the projectile. Some criteria for peptide bond formation, such as flexibility and geometry of the molecule, are investigated for different amino acids. (author)

  8. Automated microbeam observation environment for biological analysis-Custom portable environmental control applied to a vertical microbeam system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    England, Matthew J; Bigelow, Alan W; Merchant, Michael J; Velliou, Eirini; Welch, David; Brenner, David J; Kirkby, Karen J

    2017-02-01

    Vertical Microbeams (VMB) are used to irradiate individual cells with low MeV energy ions. The irradiation of cells using VMBs requires cells to be removed from an incubator; this can cause physiological changes to cells because of the lower CO 2 concentration, temperature and relative humidity outside of the incubator. Consequently, for experiments where cells require irradiation and observation for extended time periods, it is important to provide a controlled environment. The highly customised nature of the microscopes used on VMB systems means that there are no commercially available environmentally controlled microscope systems for VMB systems. The Automated Microbeam Observation Environment for Biological Analysis (AMOEBA) is a highly flexible modular environmental control system used to create incubator conditions on the end of a VMB. The AMOEBA takes advantage of the recent "maker" movement to create an open source control system that can be easily configured by the user to fit their control needs even beyond VMB applications. When applied to the task of controlling cell medium temperature, CO 2 concentration and relative humidity on VMBs it creates a stable environment that allows cells to multiply on the end of a VMB over a period of 36 h, providing a low-cost (costing less than $2700 to build), customisable alternative to commercial time-lapse microscopy systems. AMOEBA adds the potential of VMBs to explore the long-term effects of radiation on single cells opening up new research areas for VMBs.

  9. Mechanical stress analysis of microfluidic environments designed for isolated biological cell investigations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kohles, Sean S; Nève, Nathalie; Zimmerman, Jeremiah D; Tretheway, Derek C

    2009-12-01

    Advancements in technologies for assessing biomechanics at the cellular level have led to discoveries in mechanotransduction and the investigation of cell mechanics as a biomarker for disease. With the recent development of an integrated optical tweezer with micron resolution particle image velocimetry, the opportunity to apply controlled multiaxial stresses to suspended single cells is available (Neve, N., Lingwood, J. K., Zimmerman, J., Kohles, S. S., and Tretheway, D. C., 2008, "The muPIVOT: An Integrated Particle Image Velocimetry and Optical Tweezers Instrument for Microenvironment Investigations," Meas. Sci. Technol., 19(9), pp. 095403). A stress analysis was applied to experimental and theoretical flow velocity gradients of suspended cell-sized polystyrene microspheres demonstrating the relevant geometry of nonadhered spherical cells, as observed for osteoblasts, chondrocytes, and fibroblasts. Three flow conditions were assessed: a uniform flow field generated by moving the fluid sample with an automated translation stage, a gravity driven flow through a straight microchannel, and a gravity driven flow through a microchannel cross junction. The analysis showed that fluid-induced stresses on suspended cells (hydrodynamic shear, normal, and principal stresses in the range of 0.02-0.04 Pa) are generally at least an order of magnitude lower than adhered single cell studies for uniform and straight microchannel flows (0.5-1.0 Pa). In addition, hydrostatic pressures dominate (1-100 Pa) over hydrodynamic stresses. However, in a cross junction configuration, orders of magnitude larger hydrodynamic stresses are possible without the influence of physical contact and with minimal laser trapping power.

  10. Silica- and silylated europium-based luminescent hybrids: new analysis tools for biological environments

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pereira Duarte, Adriana

    2012-01-01

    The association of the very interesting luminescence properties of the lanthanide chelates with the physicochemical properties of inorganic matrix such as silica is a promising way to obtain new probes or luminescent markers for biology analyses. In this idea, this work focuses on the preparation of new hybrid materials based on the grafting of new europium(III) complexes on silica nanoparticles. These europium complexes were developed in our group using bifunctional ligands containing both complexing and grafting sites. Intrinsic characteristic of the ligands gives us the ability to make a covalent bond between the material surface and the complex. Two different methodologies were used; the first one is the direct grafting reaction involving the complex and silica nanoparticles (i.e. dense or meso-porous particles). The second one is the Stoeber reaction, where the SiO 2 nanoparticles were prepared in presence of the europium complex. The last methodology has an additional difficult, because of the presence of silylated europium complex, it needs a closer control of the physicochemical conditions. The new organic-inorganic hybrid materials, obtained in this work, present an interesting luminescence behavior and this one is depending on the localization of the europium complex, i.e. on the surface or within the nanoparticles. In addition, the obtained hybrids present the nano-metric dimension and the complex is not leachable. Analyses were realized to describe the luminescence properties, beyond surface and structural characteristics. Initial results show that the new hybrids are promising candidates for luminescent bio-markers, particularly for the time-resolved analysis. (author) [fr

  11. Polyfunctional T-cell responses are disrupted by the ovarian cancer ascites environment and only partially restored by clinically relevant cytokines.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tran, Eric; Nielsen, Julie S; Wick, Darin A; Ng, Alvin V; Johnson, Lisa D S; Nesslinger, Nancy J; McMurtrie, Elissa; Webb, John R; Nelson, Brad H

    2010-12-22

    Host T-cell responses are associated with favorable outcomes in epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC), but it remains unclear how best to promote these responses in patients. Toward this goal, we evaluated a panel of clinically relevant cytokines for the ability to enhance multiple T-cell effector functions (polyfunctionality) in the native tumor environment. Experiments were performed with resident CD8+ and CD4+ T cells in bulk ascites cell preparations from high-grade serous EOC patients. T cells were stimulated with α-CD3 in the presence of 100% autologous ascites fluid with or without exogenous IL-2, IL-12, IL-18 or IL-21, alone or in combination. T-cell proliferation (Ki-67) and function (IFN-γ, TNF-α, IL-2, CCL4, and CD107a expression) were assessed by multi-parameter flow cytometry. In parallel, 27 cytokines were measured in culture supernatants. While ascites fluid had variable effects on CD8+ and CD4+ T-cell proliferation, it inhibited T-cell function in most patient samples, with CD107a, IFN-γ, and CCL4 showing the greatest inhibition. This was accompanied by reduced levels of IL-1β, IL-1ra, IL-9, IL-17, G-CSF, GM-CSF, Mip-1α, PDGF-bb, and bFGF in culture supernatants. T-cell proliferation was enhanced by exogenous IL-2, but other T-cell functions were largely unaffected by single cytokines. The combination of IL-2 with cytokines engaging complementary signaling pathways, in particular IL-12 and IL-18, enhanced expression of IFN-γ, TNF-α, and CCL4 in all patient samples by promoting polyfunctional T-cell responses. Despite this, other functional parameters generally remained inhibited. The EOC ascites environment disrupts multiple T-cell functions, and exogenous cytokines engaging diverse signaling pathways only partially reverse these effects. Our results may explain the limited efficacy of cytokine therapies for EOC to date. Full restoration of T-cell function will require activation of signaling pathways beyond those engaged by IL-2, IL-12, IL-18

  12. Polyfunctional T-cell responses are disrupted by the ovarian cancer ascites environment and only partially restored by clinically relevant cytokines.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eric Tran

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Host T-cell responses are associated with favorable outcomes in epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC, but it remains unclear how best to promote these responses in patients. Toward this goal, we evaluated a panel of clinically relevant cytokines for the ability to enhance multiple T-cell effector functions (polyfunctionality in the native tumor environment. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Experiments were performed with resident CD8+ and CD4+ T cells in bulk ascites cell preparations from high-grade serous EOC patients. T cells were stimulated with α-CD3 in the presence of 100% autologous ascites fluid with or without exogenous IL-2, IL-12, IL-18 or IL-21, alone or in combination. T-cell proliferation (Ki-67 and function (IFN-γ, TNF-α, IL-2, CCL4, and CD107a expression were assessed by multi-parameter flow cytometry. In parallel, 27 cytokines were measured in culture supernatants. While ascites fluid had variable effects on CD8+ and CD4+ T-cell proliferation, it inhibited T-cell function in most patient samples, with CD107a, IFN-γ, and CCL4 showing the greatest inhibition. This was accompanied by reduced levels of IL-1β, IL-1ra, IL-9, IL-17, G-CSF, GM-CSF, Mip-1α, PDGF-bb, and bFGF in culture supernatants. T-cell proliferation was enhanced by exogenous IL-2, but other T-cell functions were largely unaffected by single cytokines. The combination of IL-2 with cytokines engaging complementary signaling pathways, in particular IL-12 and IL-18, enhanced expression of IFN-γ, TNF-α, and CCL4 in all patient samples by promoting polyfunctional T-cell responses. Despite this, other functional parameters generally remained inhibited. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The EOC ascites environment disrupts multiple T-cell functions, and exogenous cytokines engaging diverse signaling pathways only partially reverse these effects. Our results may explain the limited efficacy of cytokine therapies for EOC to date. Full restoration of T-cell function will

  13. Biological pathways and chemical behavior of plutonium and other actinides in the environment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dahlman, R.C.; Bondietti, E.A.; Eyman, L.D.

    1976-01-01

    The principal long-lived actinide elements that may enter the environment from either U or Pu fuel cycles are Pu, Am, Cm, and Np. Approximately 25% of the alpha activity estimated to be released to the atmosphere from the LMFBR fuel cycle will be contributed by 241 Am, 242 Cm, and 244 Cm. The balance of the alpha activity will come from Pu isotopes. Activities of 242 Cm, 244 Cm, 241 Am, 243 Am, and 237 Np in waste may exceed concentrations of Pu isotopes in waste after various periods of decay. Thorium and uranium isotopes may also be released by operations of the thorium fuel cycle. Environmental actinides are discussed under the following headings: sources of man-made actinide elements; pathways of exposure; environmental chemistry of actinides; uptake of actinides by plants; distribution of actinides in components of White Oak Lake; entry of actinides into terrestrial food chains; relationship between chemical behavior and uptake of actinides by organisms; and behavior of Pu in freshwater and marine food chains

  14. Applications of 14C-AMS on archaeology, climate, environment, geology, oceanography and biology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gomes, P.R.S.; Anjos, R.M.; Macario, K.D.; Santos, G.M.

    2005-01-01

    The first experiment discusses the chronology of prehistoric settlements of the central-south Brazilian coast. In the southern Brazilian coast there is a high density of these shellmounds, dated in general between 6,000 and 2,000 BP. A charcoal sample from a coastal shellmound of Rio de Janeiro State was dated by 14 C-AMS to 7,860±80 years BP. This is an unexpected result that pulls back by some two thousand years the antiquity consensually accepted for the settlement of that region. We performed an experiment concerning the isotopic signature of the local waters of an important Brazilian coastal upwelling, located in Arraial do Cabo, R.J., with applications in the fields of Oceanography and Marine Ecology. We assess the contribution of the wind-driven coastal upwelling of Arraial do Cabo to the local biological production. The variation of the carbon isotopic compositions was investigated in a population of a seaweed. Upwelling events were simulated in the laboratory, in order to study three regimes: total upwelling (SACW), partial upwelling (mixed water) and no-upwelling (TW). Water samples were collected at 70 m depth (SACW) and at 10 m (TW). The seaweed was cultivated during seven days, in controlled conditions, into the three mentioned types of water. The results of 14 C-AMS measurements in the seaweed tissue show a clear indication of difference in the isotopic signature of the water sources, allowing to infer the differences of the water sources. We believe that the present results contribute to opening new perspectives for the use of 14 C as a tracer of the biological production in upwelling areas all over the world. The next reported experiment is on climate at the Amazon region. An increase in the Hg flux is a strong indicator of disturbance in a forest ecosystem related to abrupt changes in the water balance, and its changes reflect changes in the ocean and average regional temperatures. In regions where the geological background of mercury is

  15. A biologically inspired model of bat echolocation in a cluttered environment with inputs designed from field Recordings

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loncich, Kristen Teczar

    Bat echolocation strategies and neural processing of acoustic information, with a focus on cluttered environments, is investigated in this study. How a bat processes the dense field of echoes received while navigating and foraging in the dark is not well understood. While several models have been developed to describe the mechanisms behind bat echolocation, most are based in mathematics rather than biology, and focus on either peripheral or neural processing---not exploring how these two levels of processing are vitally connected. Current echolocation models also do not use habitat specific acoustic input, or account for field observations of echolocation strategies. Here, a new approach to echolocation modeling is described capturing the full picture of echolocation from signal generation to a neural picture of the acoustic scene. A biologically inspired echolocation model is developed using field research measurements of the interpulse interval timing used by a frequency modulating (FM) bat in the wild, with a whole method approach to modeling echolocation including habitat specific acoustic inputs, a biologically accurate peripheral model of sound processing by the outer, middle, and inner ear, and finally a neural model incorporating established auditory pathways and neuron types with echolocation adaptations. Field recordings analyzed underscore bat sonar design differences observed in the laboratory and wild, and suggest a correlation between interpulse interval groupings and increased clutter. The scenario model provides habitat and behavior specific echoes and is a useful tool for both modeling and behavioral studies, and the peripheral and neural model show that spike-time information and echolocation specific neuron types can produce target localization in the midbrain.

  16. Role of quantity of additional food to predators as a control in predator-prey systems with relevance to pest management and biological conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Srinivasu, P D N; Prasad, B S R V

    2011-10-01

    Necessity to understand the role of additional food as a tool in biological control programs is being increasingly felt, particularly due to its eco-friendly nature. A thorough mathematical analysis in this direction revealed the vital role of quality and quantity of the additional food in the controllability of the predator-prey systems. In this article controllability of the additional food--provided predator-prey system is studied from perspectives of pest eradication and biological conservation. Time optimal paths have been constructed to drive the state of the system to a desired terminal state by choosing quantity of the additional food as control variable. The theory developed in this article has been illustrated by solving problems related to pest eradication and biological conservation.

  17. Immunolocalisation of members of the polypeptide N-acetylgalactosaminyl transferase (ppGalNAc-T) family is consistent with biologically relevant altered cell surface glycosylation in breast cancer

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Brooks, Susan A; Carter, Tracey M; Bennett, Eric P

    2007-01-01

    understood, may mediate the synthesis of varied glycoforms of cellular proteins with different biological activities. Disruptions in glycosylation are a common feature of cancer and may have functional significance. Immunocytochemistry with confocal scanning laser microscopy was employed to detect members...... of the ppGalNAc-T family, ppGalNAc-T1, -T2, -T3, -T4 and -T6 in a range of breast cell lines. The cells were chosen to represent a range of phenotypes from 'normal'/benign (HMT 3,522), primary, non-metastatic breast cancer (BT 474), to aggressive, metastatic breast cancer (ZR75-1, T47D, MCF-7, DU 4...... tightly restricted ppGalNAc-T's may result in initiation of O-linked glycosylation at normally unoccupied potential glycosylation sites leading to altered glycoforms of proteins with changed biological activity which may contribute to the pathogenesis of cancer....

  18. Anticipation of Personal Genomics Data Enhances Interest and Learning Environment in Genomics and Molecular Biology Undergraduate Courses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weber, K Scott; Jensen, Jamie L; Johnson, Steven M

    2015-01-01

    An important discussion at colleges is centered on determining more effective models for teaching undergraduates. As personalized genomics has become more common, we hypothesized it could be a valuable tool to make science education more hands on, personal, and engaging for college undergraduates. We hypothesized that providing students with personal genome testing kits would enhance the learning experience of students in two undergraduate courses at Brigham Young University: Advanced Molecular Biology and Genomics. These courses have an emphasis on personal genomics the last two weeks of the semester. Students taking these courses were given the option to receive personal genomics kits in 2014, whereas in 2015 they were not. Students sent their personal genomics samples in on their own and received the data after the course ended. We surveyed students in these courses before and after the two-week emphasis on personal genomics to collect data on whether anticipation of obtaining their own personal genomic data impacted undergraduate student learning. We also tested to see if specific personal genomic assignments improved the learning experience by analyzing the data from the undergraduate students who completed both the pre- and post-course surveys. Anticipation of personal genomic data significantly enhanced student interest and the learning environment based on the time students spent researching personal genomic material and their self-reported attitudes compared to those who did not anticipate getting their own data. Personal genomics homework assignments significantly enhanced the undergraduate student interest and learning based on the same criteria and a personal genomics quiz. We found that for the undergraduate students in both molecular biology and genomics courses, incorporation of personal genomic testing can be an effective educational tool in undergraduate science education.

  19. Evaluating legacy contaminants and emerging chemicals in marine environments using adverse outcome pathways and biological effects-directed analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hutchinson, Thomas H; Lyons, Brett P; Thain, John E; Law, Robin J

    2013-09-30

    Natural and synthetic chemicals are essential to our daily lives, food supplies, health care, industries and safe sanitation. At the same time protecting marine ecosystems and seafood resources from the adverse effects of chemical contaminants remains an important issue. Since the 1970s, monitoring of persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic (PBT) chemicals using analytical chemistry has provided important spatial and temporal trend data in three important contexts; relating to human health protection from seafood contamination, addressing threats to marine top predators and finally providing essential evidence to better protect the biodiversity of commercial and non-commercial marine species. A number of regional conventions have led to controls on certain PBT chemicals over several years (termed 'legacy contaminants'; e.g. cadmium, lindane, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons [PAHs] and polychlorinated biphenyls [PCBs]). Analytical chemistry plays a key role in evaluating to what extent such regulatory steps have been effective in leading to reduced emissions of these legacy contaminants into marine environments. In parallel, the application of biomarkers (e.g. DNA adducts, CYP1A-EROD, vitellogenin) and bioassays integrated with analytical chemistry has strengthened the evidence base to support an ecosystem approach to manage marine pollution problems. In recent years, however,the increased sensitivity of analytical chemistry, toxicity alerts and wider environmental awareness has led to a focus on emerging chemical contaminants (defined as chemicals that have been detected in the environment, but which are currently not included in regulatory monitoring programmes and whose fate and biological impacts are poorly understood). It is also known that natural chemicals (e.g. algal biotoxins) may also pose a threat to marine species and seafood quality. Hence complex mixtures of legacy contaminants, emerging chemicals and natural biotoxins in marine ecosystems represent

  20. Environment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    McIntyre, A.D.; Turnbull, R.G.H.

    1992-01-01

    The development of the hydrocarbon resources of the North Sea has resulted in both offshore and onshore environmental repercussions, involving the existing physical attributes of the sea and seabed, the coastline and adjoining land. The social and economic repercussions of the industry were equally widespread. The dramatic and speedy impact of the exploration and exploitation of the northern North Sea resources in the early 1970s, on the physical resources of Scotland was quickly realised together with the concern that any environmental and social damage to the physical and social fabric should be kept to a minimum. To this end, a wide range of research and other activities by central and local government, and other interested agencies was undertaken to extend existing knowledge on the marine and terrestrial environments that might be affected by the oil and gas industry. The outcome of these activities is summarized in this paper. The topics covered include a survey of the marine ecosystems of the North Sea, the fishing industry, the impact of oil pollution on seabirds and fish stocks, the ecology of the Scottish coastline and the impact of the petroleum industry on a selection of particular sites. (author)

  1. Discussion groups with parents of children with cerebral palsy in Europe designed to assist development of a relevant measure of environment

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    McManus, V; Michelsen, S I; Parkinson, K

    2006-01-01

    BACKGROUND: An instrument to measure environmental factors relevant to physically impaired children is being developed in a European context. Preliminary work in England had identified some potentially important themes. Further inquiry was needed to identify issues important in other European...... has been developed based on these findings. The environmental questionnaire is in use in a study in nine European centres....

  2. Elements determination of clinical relevance in biological tissues Dmd{sup mdx}/J dystrophic mice strains investigated by NAA; Determinacao de elementos de relevancia clinica em tecidos biologicos de camundongos distroficos Dmd{sup mdx}/J por AAN

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Metairon, Sabrina

    2012-07-01

    In this work the determination of chemistry elements in biological tissues (whole blood, bones and organs) of dystrophic mice, used as animal model of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD), was performed using analytical nuclear technique. The aim of this work was to determine reference values of elements of clinical (Ca, Cl, K, Mg, Na) and nutritional (Br and S) relevance in whole blood, tibia, quadriceps and hearts from Dmdmdx/J (10 males and 10 females) dystrophic mice and C57BL/6J (10 males) control group mice, using Neutron Activation Analysis technique (NAA). To show in more details the alterations that this disease may cause in these biological tissues, correlations matrixes of the DMD{sup mdx}/J mouse strain were generated and compared with C57BL/6J control group. For this study 119 samples of biological tissue were irradiated in the IEA-R1 nuclear reactor at IPEN (Sao Paulo, Brazil). The concentrations of these elements in biological tissues of Dmd{sup mdx}/J and C57B/6J mice are the first indicative interval for reference values. Moreover, the alteration in some correlation coefficients data among the elements in the health status and in the diseased status indicates a connection between these elements in whole blood, tibia, quadriceps and heart. These results may help the researchers to evaluate the efficiency of new treatments and to compare the advantages of different treatment approaches before performing tests in patients with muscular dystrophy. (author)

  3. Darwin's legacy II: why biology is not physics, or why it has taken a century to see the dependence of genes on the environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, Rama S

    2015-01-01

    Genes and environment make the organism. Darwin stood firm in his denial of any direct role of environment in the modification of heredity. His theory of evolution heralded two debates: one about the importance and adequacy of natural selection as the main mechanism of evolution, and the other about the role of genes versus environment in the modification of phenotype and evolution. Here, I provide an overview of the second debate and show that the reasons for the gene versus environment battle were twofold: first, there was confusion about the role of environment in modifying the inheritance of a trait versus the evolution of that trait, and second, there was misunderstanding about the meaning of environment and its interaction with genes in the production of phenotypes. It took nearly a century to see that environment does not directly affect the inheritance of a phenotype (i.e., its heredity), but it is nevertheless the primary mover of phenotypic evolution. Effects of genes and environment are not separate but interdependent. One cannot separate the effect of genes from that of environment, or nature from nurture. To answer the question posed in the title, it is partly because the 20th century has been a century of unending progress in genetics. But also because unlike physics, biology is not colorblind; progress in biology has often been delayed beyond the Kuhnian paradigm change due to built-in interest in negating the influence of environment. Those who are against evolution, of course, cannot be expected to understand the role of environment in evolution. Those for it, many biologists included, believing in the supremacy of genes empowers them by giving adaptation a solely gene-directed (self-driven) "teleological" interpretation.

  4. An investigation into adult nursing students' experience of the relevance and application of behavioural sciences (biology, psychology and sociology) across two different curricula.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mowforth, Gillian; Harrison, Judy; Morris, Marianne

    2005-01-01

    Curriculum development for nurse education is constantly changing to reflect the sociopolitical context and medical advancement. Throughout this process the contribution of the behavioural sciences to each curriculum has been widely debated. Nurse educators encourage students to acquire and develop academic knowledge to underpin their practical skills and professional competencies. However with new political agendas science content within the new curricula is being marginalised, [United Kingdom Central Council for Nursing Midwifery and Health Visiting, 1999. Fitness for Practice. London, UKCC]. This qualitative study investigated adult branch nursing students' experiences of the behavioural sciences while studying two different curricula: one a new integrated delivery of the sciences, the other involving discrete science modules. The study utilised focus group interviews at two distinct phases of their courses: 12-18 and 24-30 months. Each interview was tape recorded, transcribed verbatim and inductive thematic analysis [Hayes, N., 1997. Doing Qualitative Analysis in Psychology. Psychology Press Erlbaum Taylor & Francis Ltd.] was applied. This article reports the findings and discusses the relevance of the sciences to students and their patient care, and how the sciences underpin their view of health and illness.

  5. Solar ultraviolet radiation induces biological alterations in human skin in vitro: relevance of a well-balanced UVA/UVB protection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bernerd, Francoise; Marionnet, Claire; Duval, Christine

    2012-06-01

    Cutaneous damages such as sunburn, pigmentation, and photoaging are known to be induced by acute as well as repetitive sun exposure. Not only for basic research, but also for the design of the most efficient photoprotection, it is crucial to understand and identify the early biological events occurring after ultraviolet (UV) exposure. Reconstructed human skin models provide excellent and reliable in vitro tools to study the UV-induced alterations of the different skin cell types, keratinocytes, fibroblasts, and melanocytes in a dose- and time-dependent manner. Using different in vitro human skin models, the effects of UV light (UVB and UVA) were investigated. UVB-induced damages are essentially epidermal, with the typical sunburn cells and DNA lesions, whereas UVA radiation-induced damages are mostly located within the dermal compartment. Pigmentation can also be obtained after solar simulated radiation exposure of pigmented reconstructed skin model. Those models are also highly adequate to assess the potential of sunscreens to protect the skin from UV-associated damage, sunburn reaction, photoaging, and pigmentation. The results showed that an effective photoprotection is provided by broad-spectrum sunscreens with a potent absorption in both UVB and UVA ranges.

  6. Solar ultraviolet radiation induces biological alterations in human skin in vitro: Relevance of a well-balanced UVA/UVB protection

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Françoise Bernerd

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Cutaneous damages such as sunburn, pigmentation, and photoaging are known to be induced by acute as well as repetitive sun exposure. Not only for basic research, but also for the design of the most efficient photoprotection, it is crucial to understand and identify the early biological events occurring after ultraviolet (UV exposure. Reconstructed human skin models provide excellent and reliable in vitro tools to study the UV-induced alterations of the different skin cell types, keratinocytes, fibroblasts, and melanocytes in a dose- and time-dependent manner. Using different in vitro human skin models, the effects of UV light (UVB and UVA were investigated. UVB-induced damages are essentially epidermal, with the typical sunburn cells and DNA lesions, whereas UVA radiation-induced damages are mostly located within the dermal compartment. Pigmentation can also be obtained after solar simulated radiation exposure of pigmented reconstructed skin model. Those models are also highly adequate to assess the potential of sunscreens to protect the skin from UV-associated damage, sunburn reaction, photoaging, and pigmentation. The results showed that an effective photoprotection is provided by broad-spectrum sunscreens with a potent absorption in both UVB and UVA ranges.

  7. Using Vitek MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry to identify species belonging to the Acinetobacter calcoaceticus-Acinetobacter baumannii complex: a relevant alternative to molecular biology?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pailhoriès, Hélène; Daure, Sophie; Eveillard, Matthieu; Joly-Guillou, Marie-Laure; Kempf, Marie

    2015-10-01

    Acinetobacter baumannii belongs to the Acinetobacter calcoaceticus-baumannii complex (Acb) containing 2 other pathogenic species: Acinetobacter pittii and Acinetobacter nosocomialis. Identification of these bacteria remains problematic despite the use of matrix-assisted laser ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS). Here, we enriched the SARAMIS™ database of the Vitek MS® plus mass spectrometer to improve the identification of species of the Acb complex. For each species, we incremented reference spectra. Then, a SuperSpectrum was created based on the selection of 40 specific masses. In a second step, we validated reference spectra and SuperSpectra with 100 isolates identified by rpoB gene sequencing. All the isolates were correctly identified by MALDI-TOF MS with the database we created as compared to the identifications obtained by rpoB sequencing. Our database enabled rapid and reliable identification of the pathogen species belonging to the Acb complex. Identification by MALDI-TOF MS with our database is a good alternative to molecular biology. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. A predictive model of iron oxide nanoparticles flocculation tuning Z-potential in aqueous environment for biological application

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Baldassarre, Francesca; Cacciola, Matteo; Ciccarella, Giuseppe

    2015-01-01

    Iron oxide nanoparticles are the most used magnetic nanoparticles in biomedical and biotechnological field because of their nontoxicity respect to the other metals. The investigation of iron oxide nanoparticles behaviour in aqueous environment is important for the biological applications in terms of polydispersity, mobility, cellular uptake and response to the external magnetic field. Iron oxide nanoparticles tend to agglomerate in aqueous solutions; thus, the stabilisation and aggregation could be modified tuning the colloids physical proprieties. Surfactants or polymers are often used to avoid agglomeration and increase nanoparticles stability. We have modelled and synthesised iron oxide nanoparticles through a co-precipitation method, in order to study the influence of surfactants and coatings on the aggregation state. Thus, we compared experimental results to simulation model data. The change of Z-potential and the clusters size were determined by Dynamic Light Scattering. We developed a suitable numerical model to predict the flocculation. The effects of Volume Mean Diameter and fractal dimension were explored in the model. We obtained the trend of these parameters tuning the Z-potential. These curves matched with the experimental results and confirmed the goodness of the model. Subsequently, we exploited the model to study the influence of nanoparticles aggregation and stability by Z-potential and external magnetic field. The highest Z-potential is reached up with a small external magnetic influence, a small aggregation and then a high suspension stability. Thus, we obtained a predictive model of Iron oxide nanoparticles flocculation that will be exploited for the nanoparticles engineering and experimental setup of bioassays

  9. Investigation of the effect of sugar stereochemistry on biologically relevant lyotropic phases from branched-chain synthetic glycolipids by small-angle X-ray scattering.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zahid, N Idayu; Conn, Charlotte E; Brooks, Nicholas J; Ahmad, Noraini; Seddon, John M; Hashim, Rauzah

    2013-12-23

    Synthetic branched-chain glycolipids are suitable as model systems in understanding biological cell membranes, particularly because certain natural lipids possess chain branching. Herein, four branched-chain glycopyranosides, namely, 2-hexyl-decyl-α-D-glucopyranoside (α-Glc-OC10C6), 2-hexyl-decyl-β-D-glucopyranoside (β-Glc-OC10C6), 2-hexyl-decyl-α-D-galactopyranoside (α-Gal-OC10C6), and 2-hexyl-decyl-β-D-galactopyranoside (β-Gal-OC10C6), with a total alkyl chain length of 16 carbon atoms have been synthesized, and their phase behavior has been studied. The partial binary phase diagrams of these nonionic surfactants in water were investigated by optical polarizing microscopy (OPM) and small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS). The introduction of chain branching in the hydrocarbon chain region is shown to result in the formation of inverse structures such as inverse hexagonal and inverse bicontinuous cubic phases. A comparison of the four compounds showed that they exhibited different polymorphism, especially in the thermotropic state, as a result of contributions from anomeric and epimeric effects according to their stereochemistry. The neat α-Glc-OC10C6 compound exhibited a lamellar (Lα) phase whereas dry α-Gal-OC10C6 formed an inverse bicontinuous cubic Ia3d (QII(G)) phase. Both β-anomers of glucoside and galactoside adopted the inverse hexagonal phase (HII) in the dry state. Generally, in the presence of water, all four glycolipids formed inverse bicontinuous cubic Ia3d (QII(G)) and Pn3m (QII(D)) phases over wide temperature and concentration ranges. The formation of inverse nonlamellar phases by these Guerbet branched-chain glycosides confirms their potential as materials for novel biotechnological applications such as drug delivery and crystallization of membrane proteins.

  10. Computational biology

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  11. Measurement of biological relevant UV exposure. Investigations in a dental practice; Messung der biologisch relevanten UV-Strahlenbelastung. Untersuchungen in einer Zahnarztpraxis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Braches, J.M.H.

    2001-07-01

    Light sources used in a dental treatment room were examined in order to determine their spectral output in the UV region. Using an UVX-radiometer, the polymerization curing unit and the dental operating light were identified as the sole UV sources and thus they were examined spectroradiometrically. The curing unit exhibits a moderate fraction of UV-A radiation in the wavelength region of 350-400 nm, the operating light emitted UV-A as well as UV-B radiation (280-400 nm). Both light sources were used to determine the biological effective radiation employing the DLR biofilm technology. Results show an effect on the biofilm for the polymerization curing unit only at a distance of 0.2 cm and an unrealistic long exposure period (up to 30 min), pointing to underlying mechanisms of thermal nature. Using the operating light, a dose-dependent inactivation of the DLR biofilm could be documented. A reduction of the effect could be obtained using different shielding materials (mylar foil, medical gloves). From these experiments, the mean UV radiation exposure was calculated to be 3.163 Jm{sup -2} Biofilm/h (0.045 MED/h) for the patient's oral mucosa region and 0.145 Jm{sup -2} Biofilm/h (0.002 MED/h) for the dentist's wrist region. The results point out that there is an only marginal UV radiation risk for the dentist and the patient from the light sources of a dental practice. (orig.) [German] Die in einem Behandlungsraum einer Zahnarztpraxis vorhandenen Lichtquellen wurden in Hinblick auf deren Strahlungsabgabe im UV-Bereich des elektromagnetischen Spektrums untersucht. Mittels eines UVX-Radiometers wurden zunaechst die Polymerisationsleuchte und die Behandlungsleuchte als alleinige UV-Strahlenquellen identifiziert und daraufhin spektroradiometrisch untersucht. Die Polymerisationsleuchte zeigte dabei einen moderaten Anteil an UV-A-Strahlung im Wellenlaengenbereich von 350-400 nm, die Behandlungsleuchte emittierte UV-Strahlung sowohl im UV-A- als auch im UV

  12. Cluster and field elliptical galaxies at z 1.3. The marginal role of the environment and the relevance of the galaxy central regions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saracco, P.; Gargiulo, A.; Ciocca, F.; Marchesini, D.

    2017-01-01

    Aims: The aim of this work is twofold: first, to assess whether the population of elliptical galaxies in cluster at z 1.3 differs from the population in the field and whether their intrinsic structure depends on the environment where they belong; second, to constrain their properties 9 Gyr back in time through the study of their scaling relations. Methods: We compared a sample of 56 cluster elliptical galaxies selected from three clusters at 1.2 morphology. We compared physical and structural parameters of galaxies in the two environments and we derived the relationships between effective radius, surface brightness, stellar mass, and stellar mass density ΣRe within the effective radius and central mass density Σ1 kpc, within 1 kpc radius. Results: We find that the structure and the properties of cluster elliptical galaxies do not differ from those in the field: they are characterized by the same structural parameters at fixed mass and they follow the same scaling relations. On the other hand, the population of field elliptical galaxies at z 1.3 shows a significant lack of massive (ℳ∗> 2 × 1011M⊙) and large (Re> 4-5 kpc) elliptical galaxies with respect to the cluster. Nonetheless, at ℳ∗mt) defining a transition mass density Σ1 kpc ≃ 2-3 × 103M⊙ pc-2. The effective stellar mass density ΣRe does not correlate with mass; dense/compact galaxies can be assembled over a wide mass regime, independently of the environment. The central stellar mass density, Σ1 kpc, besides being correlated with the mass, is correlated to the age of the stellar population: the higher the central stellar mass density, the higher the mass, the older the age of the stellar population. Conclusions: While we found some evidence of environmental effects on the elliptical galaxies as a population, we did not find differences between the intrinsic properties of cluster and field elliptical galaxies at comparable redshift. The structure and the shaping of elliptical galaxies at z

  13. Review of biological monitoring programs at nuclear facilities

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Quintana, L.R.; Oakes, T.W.; Shank, K.E.

    Biological monitoring programs, as well as relevant radioecological research studies, are reviewed at specific Department of Energy facilities; the program at Oak Ridge National Laboratory is discussed in detail. The biological measurements that are being used for interpreting the impact of a facility on its surrounding environment and nearby population are given. Suggestions which could facilitate interlaboratory comparison studies are presented

  14. Applications of cell-free protein synthesis in synthetic biology: Interfacing bio-machinery with synthetic environments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Kyung-Ho; Kim, Dong-Myung

    2013-11-01

    Synthetic biology is built on the synthesis, engineering, and assembly of biological parts. Proteins are the first components considered for the construction of systems with designed biological functions because proteins carry out most of the biological functions and chemical reactions inside cells. Protein synthesis is considered to comprise the most basic levels of the hierarchical structure of synthetic biology. Cell-free protein synthesis has emerged as a powerful technology that can potentially transform the concept of bioprocesses. With the ability to harness the synthetic power of biology without many of the constraints of cell-based systems, cell-free protein synthesis enables the rapid creation of protein molecules from diverse sources of genetic information. Cell-free protein synthesis is virtually free from the intrinsic constraints of cell-based methods and offers greater flexibility in system design and manipulability of biological synthetic machinery. Among its potential applications, cell-free protein synthesis can be combined with various man-made devices for rapid functional analysis of genomic sequences. This review covers recent efforts to integrate cell-free protein synthesis with various reaction devices and analytical platforms. Copyright © 2013 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  15. Aspectos docentes sobre medio ambiente urbano y sustentabilidad: su importancia actual. /Educational aspects of the urban environment and sustainability: its relevance today.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fadda,Giulietta

    1999-12-01

    Full Text Available Se refiere por qué Chile no se puede incluir entre los países con mayor tradición ambientalista y cómo el modelo económico que le ha valido prestigiosas consideraciones internacionales ha representado un alto costo ambiental y ha provocado daños irreparables al medio ambiente./ It argues the need for a training course at university level in the field of environment and sustainability, and attempts a definition of the components of the course.

  16. Concentrations of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) in central air-conditioner filter dust and relevance of non-dietary exposure in occupational indoor environments in Greece.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Besis, Athanasios; Katsoyiannis, Athanasios; Botsaropoulou, Elisavet; Samara, Constantini

    2014-05-01

    Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers (PBDEs) are ubiquitous in the indoor environment owing to their use in consumer products and various studies around the world have found higher concentrations indoors than outdoors. Central air conditioner (A/C) systems have been widely used in many workplaces, therefore, studying of PBDEs in central A/C filter dust is useful to better understand the occurrences and health implications of PBDEs in indoor environments. The present study examined the occurrence of PBDEs in central A/C filter dust collected from various workplaces (n = 20) in Thessaloniki, Greece. The sum concentrations of 21 target congeners (∑21PBDE) in A/C dust ranged between 84 and 4062 ng g(-1) with a median value of 1092 ng g(-1), while BDE-209 was found to be the most abundant BDE congener. The daily intake via dust ingestion of PBDEs estimated for the employees of the occupational settings ranged from 3 to 45 ng day(-1) (median 12 ng day(-1)). Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Nabarlek evaporation and storage ponds: possible role of biological activity in the escape of toxic substances to the general environment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Martinick, W.

    1982-01-01

    An investigation was undertaken to determine whether or not game birds might become contaminated with radionuclides while visiting the evaporating ponds at the Nabarlek uranium mine. The level of biological community development in the ponds and water bird activity were low. It is concluded that at present escape of radionuclides or toxic elements from the ponds as a result of biological activity is not a problem

  18. Applied research and development of neutron activation analysis - The study on human health and environment by neutron activation analysis of biological samples

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cho, Seung Yeon; Yoo, Jong Ik; Lee, Jae Kwang; Lee, Sung Jun; Lee, Sang Sun; Jeon, Ki Hong; Na, Kyung Won; Kang, Sang Hun [Yonsei University, Seoul (Korea)

    2000-04-01

    With the development of the precise quantitative analytical method for the analysis of trace elements in the various biological samples such as hair and food, evaluation in view of health and environment to the trace elements in various sources which can be introduced inside human body was done. The trace elemental distribution in Korean total diet and representative food stuff was identified first. With the project the elemental distributions in supplemental healthy food and Korean and Chinese origin oriental medicine were identified. The amount of trace elements ingested with the hair analysis of oriental medicine takers were also estimated. The amounts of trace elements inhaled with the analysis of foundry air, blood and hair of foundry workers were also estimated. The basic estimation method in view of health and environment with the neutron activation analysis of biological samples such as foods and hair was established with the result. Nationwide usage system of the NAA facility in Hanaro in many different and important areas of biological area can be initiated with the results. The output of the project can support public heath, environment, and medical research area. The results can be applied for the process of micronutrients enhanced health food production and for the health safety and health status enhancement with the additional necessary data expansion and the development of various evaluation technique. 19 refs., 7 figs., 23 tabs. (Author)

  19. Molecular phenology in plants: in natura systems biology for the comprehensive understanding of seasonal responses under natural environments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kudoh, Hiroshi

    2016-04-01

    Phenology refers to the study of seasonal schedules of organisms. Molecular phenology is defined here as the study of the seasonal patterns of organisms captured by molecular biology techniques. The history of molecular phenology is reviewed briefly in relation to advances in the quantification technology of gene expression. High-resolution molecular phenology (HMP) data have enabled us to study phenology with an approach of in natura systems biology. I review recent analyses of FLOWERING LOCUS C (FLC), a temperature-responsive repressor of flowering, along the six steps in the typical flow of in natura systems biology. The extensive studies of the regulation of FLC have made this example a successful case in which a comprehensive understanding of gene functions has been progressing. The FLC-mediated long-term memory of past temperatures creates time lags with other seasonal signals, such as photoperiod and short-term temperature. Major signals that control flowering time have a phase lag between them under natural conditions, and hypothetical phase lag calendars are proposed as mechanisms of season detection in plants. Transcriptomic HMP brings a novel strategy to the study of molecular phenology, because it provides a comprehensive representation of plant functions. I discuss future perspectives of molecular phenology from the standpoints of molecular biology, evolutionary biology and ecology. © 2015 The Author. New Phytologist © 2015 New Phytologist Trust.

  20. Biologically relevant heterodinuclear iron-manganese complexes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carboni, Michaël; Clémancey, Martin; Molton, Florian; Pécaut, Jacques; Lebrun, Colette; Dubois, Lionel; Blondin, Geneviève; Latour, J-M

    2012-10-01

    The heterodinuclear complexes [Fe(III)Mn(II)(L-Bn)(μ-OAc)(2)](ClO(4))(2) (1) and [Fe(II)Mn(II)(L-Bn)(μ-OAc)(2)](ClO(4)) (2) with the unsymmetrical dinucleating ligand HL-Bn {[2-bis[(2-pyridylmethyl)aminomethyl

  1. Gregory Bateson's relevance to current molecular biology

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bruni, Luis Emilio

    2008-01-01

    Among other things, Gregory Bateson is considered a pioneer in the study of communication in living systems and evolution. His contribution to cybernetics was very special because for him communication was a characteristic property of the living world. But his formulation of information...... as differences sensed by living systems did not hinder him from using the rest of the conceptual tool-box from cybernetics like, e.g., the notions of feedback, digital and analogical codes, and even information as improbability or restraints, which in his view emphasised the importance of the context...... to the fruitfulness of his abductive approach, being as he was concerned with advancing the search for fundamental principles in communication processes in living systems at different hierarchical levels. In this paper I point out some passages to illustrate Bateson’s coherent approach to context...

  2. CRISPR-Cas: biology, mechanisms and relevance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hille, Frank

    2016-01-01

    Prokaryotes have evolved several defence mechanisms to protect themselves from viral predators. Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) and their associated proteins (Cas) display a prokaryotic adaptive immune system that memorizes previous infections by integrating short sequences of invading genomes—termed spacers—into the CRISPR locus. The spacers interspaced with repeats are expressed as small guide CRISPR RNAs (crRNAs) that are employed by Cas proteins to target invaders sequence-specifically upon a reoccurring infection. The ability of the minimal CRISPR-Cas9 system to target DNA sequences using programmable RNAs has opened new avenues in genome editing in a broad range of cells and organisms with high potential in therapeutical applications. While numerous scientific studies have shed light on the biochemical processes behind CRISPR-Cas systems, several aspects of the immunity steps, however, still lack sufficient understanding. This review summarizes major discoveries in the CRISPR-Cas field, discusses the role of CRISPR-Cas in prokaryotic immunity and other physiological properties, and describes applications of the system as a DNA editing technology and antimicrobial agent. This article is part of the themed issue ‘The new bacteriology’. PMID:27672148

  3. Chlorosulfolipids: Structure, synthesis, and biological relevance

    OpenAIRE

    Bedke, D. Karl; Vanderwal, Christopher D.

    2010-01-01

    Chlorosulfolipids have been isolated from freshwater algae and from toxic mussels. They appear to have a structural role in algal membranes and have been implicated in Diarrhetic Shellfish Poisoning. Further fascinating aspects of these compounds include their stereochemically complex polychlorinated structures and the resulting strong conformational biases, and their poorly understood (yet surely compelling) biosynthesis. Discussions of each of these topics and of efforts in structural and s...

  4. Reaction of tetracycline with biologically relevant chloramines

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benavides, J.; Barrias, P.; Piro, N.; Arenas, A.; Orrego, A.; Pino, E.; Villegas, L.; Dorta, E.; Aspée, A.; López-Alarcón, C.

    2017-05-01

    Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection triggers inflammatory processes with the consequent production of hypochlorous acid (HOCl), monochloramine (NH2Cl), and protein-derived chloramines. As the therapy for eradicating H. pylori is partially based on the use of tetracycline, we studied the kinetic of its consumption elicited by HOCl, NH2Cl, N-chloro-n-butylamine (NHCl-But, used as a lysine-derived chloramine model), and lysozyme-derived chloramines. In the micromolar concentration range, tetracycline reacted rapidly with HOCl, generating in the first few seconds intermediates of short half-life. In contrast, a slow tetracycline consumption was observed in the presence of high NH2Cl and NHCl-But concentrations (millimolar range). Similar chlorinated products of tetracycline were identified by mass spectrometry, in the presence of HOCl and NH2Cl. These results evidenced that tautomers of tetracycline are pivotal intermediates in all reactions. In spite of the low reactivity of chloramines towards tetracycline, it is evident that, in the concentration range where they are produced in a H. pylori infection (millimolar range), the reactions lead to oxidation and/or chlorination of tetracycline. This kind of reactions, which were also observed triggered by lysozyme-derived chloramines, could limit the efficiency of the tetracycline-based therapy.

  5. Li depletion effects on Li2TiO3 reaction with H2 in thermo-chemical environment relevant to breeding blanket for fusion power plants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Alvani, Carlo; Casadio, Sergio; Contini, Vittoria; Giorgi, Rossella; Mancini, Maria Rita; Tsuchiya, Kunihiko; Kawamura, Hiroshi

    2005-07-01

    This is a report of the Working Group in the Subtask on Solid Breeder Blankets under the Implementing Agreement on a Co-operative Programme on Nuclear Technology of Fusion Reactors (International Energy Agency (IEA)). This Working Group (Task F and WG-F) was performed from 2000 to 2004 by a collaboration of European Union (EU) and Japan (JA). In this report, lithium depletion effects on the reaction of lithium titanate (Li 2 TiO 3 ) with hydrogen (H 2 ) in thermo-chemical environment were discussed. The reaction of Li 2 TiO 3 ceramics with H 2 was studied in a thermo-chemical environment simulating (excepting irradiation) that of the hottest pebble-bed zone of breeding-blanket actually designed for fusion power plants. This 'reduction' as performed at 900degC in Ar+0.1%H, purge gas (He+0.1%H 2 being the designed reference') was found to be enhanced by TiO 2 doping of the specimens of simulate 6 Li-burn-up expected to reach 20% at their end-of-life. The reaction rates, however, were so slow to be not significantly extrapolated to the breeder material service time (years). In Ar+3%H 2 , faster reaction rates allowed a better identification of the process evolution (kinetics) by Temperature-Programmed Reduction' (TPR) and 'Oxidation' (TPO), and combined TG-DTA thermal analysis. The reduction of pure Li 4/5 TiO 12/5 spinel phase to Li 4/5 TiO 12/5-y was found to reach in one day the steady state at the O-vacancy concentration y=0.2. Complimentary microscopy (SEM) and spectroscopy (XRD, XPS) techniques were used to characterize the reaction products among which the presence of the orthorhombic Li v TiO 2 (0 ≤ v ≤ 1/2) and Li 2 TiO 3 could be diagnosed. So that the complete spinel reduction to Li 1/2 TiO 2 was obtained according to a scheme involving the Li 1/2 TiO 2 -Li 4/5 TiO 12/5 spinel phase solid solution for which y=3v/(10-5v). The reduction rate of pure meta-titanate to Li 2 TiO 3-x was found much lower (x approx. = 0.01) and even possibly due to the presence

  6. Electron Cryo-Tomography of Vitreous Cryo-Sections : Towards Imaging Biological Nanomachines in their Cellular Environment

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pierson, J.

    2011-01-01

    The field of biological electron microcopy (EM) has evolved into a reliable imaging technique for examining the ultrastructure of cells and their constituents at molecular, and, in some cases, atomic1, 2 resolution. Conventional EM techniques are being overshadowed by cryo-techniques, which ensure a

  7. A review of biological studies sponsored by the Department of the Environment to assist feasibility studies of the disposal of heat generating radioactive waste in the deep ocean

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Allen, J.A.; Gale, G.

    1985-04-01

    The report review recent biological studies on the organisms of the deep sea and takes into account the physical and chemical parameters that influence them. Particular attention is devoted to studies funded by the Department of the Environment to determine the technical feasibility of disposing of high level radioactive wastes in the deep sea. Such quantitative information that exists concerning the input and output of organic material into the abyss is given. This information is related to the diversity, growth, size, and reproductive biology of the abyssal infauna and epifauna and to the organisms within the water column above. Life processes, under the influence of high pressure are discussed and related to the uptake by and release from organisms of radiochemicals. Gaps in our present knowledge of the total ecosystem are identified and recommendations for future studies made. (author)

  8. Protecting America's economy, environment, health, and security against invasive species requires a strong federal program in systematic biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hilda Diaz-Soltero; Amy Y. Rossman

    2011-01-01

    Systematics is the science that identifies and groups organisms by understanding their origins, relationships, and distributions. It is fundamental to understanding life on earth, our crops, wildlife, and diseases, and it provides the scientific foundation to recognize and manage invasive species. Protecting America's economy, environment, health, and security...

  9. To What Extent Do Biology Textbooks Contribute to Scientific Literacy? Criteria for Analysing Science-Technology-Society-Environment Issues

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calado, Florbela M.; Scharfenberg, Franz-Josef; Bogner, Franz X.

    2015-01-01

    Our article proposes a set of six criteria for analysing science-technology-society-environment (STSE) issues in regular textbooks as to how they are expected to contribute to students' scientific literacy. We chose genetics and gene technology as fields prolific in STSE issues. We derived our criteria (including 26 sub-criteria) from a literature…

  10. Mass exchange in an experimental new-generation life support system model based on biological regeneration of environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tikhomirov, A. A.; Ushakova, S. A.; Manukovsky, N. S.; Lisovsky, G. M.; Kudenko, Yu. A.; Kovalev, V. S.; Gubanov, V. G.; Barkhatov, Yu. V.; Gribovskaya, I. V.; Zolotukhin, I. G.; Gros, J. B.; Lasseur, Ch.

    An experimental model of a biological life support system was used to evaluate qualitative and quantitative parameters of the internal mass exchange. The photosynthesizing unit included the higher plant component (wheat and radish), and the heterotrophic unit consisted of a soil-like substrate, California warms, mushrooms and microbial microflora. The gas mass exchange involved evolution of oxygen by the photosynthesizing component and its uptake by the heterotroph component along with the formation and maintaining of the SLS structure, growth of mushrooms and California worms, human respiration, and some other processes. Human presence in the system in the form of "virtual human" that at regular intervals took part in the respirative gas exchange during the experiment. Experimental data demonstrated good oxygen/carbon dioxide balance, and the closure of the cycles of these gases was almost complete. The water cycle was nearly 100% closed. The main components in the water mass exchange were transpiration water and the watering solution with mineral elements. Human consumption of the edible plant biomass (grains and roots) was simulated by processing these products by a unique physicochemical method of oxidizing them to inorganic mineral compounds, which were then returned into the system and fully assimilated by the plants. The oxidation was achieved by "wet combustion" of organic biomass, using hydrogen peroxide following a special procedure, which does not require high temperature and pressure. Hydrogen peroxide is produced from the water inside the system. The closure of the cycle was estimated for individual elements and compounds. Stoichiometric proportions are given for the main components included in the experimental model of the system. Approaches to the mathematical modeling of the cycling processes are discussed, using the data of the experimental model. Nitrogen, as a representative of biogmic elements, shows an almost 100% closure of the cycle inside

  11. Silica diatom shells tailored with Au nanoparticles enable sensitive analysis of molecules for biological, safety and environment applications

    KAUST Repository

    Onesto, V.

    2018-04-19

    Diatom shells are a natural, theoretically unlimited material composed of silicon dioxide, with regular patterns of pores penetrating through their surface. For their characteristics, diatom shells show promise to be used as low cost, highly efficient drug carriers, sensor devices or other micro-devices. Here, we demonstrate diatom shells functionalized with gold nanoparticles for the harvesting and detection of biological analytes (bovine serum albumin—BSA) and chemical pollutants (mineral oil) in low abundance ranges, for applications in bioengineering, medicine, safety, and pollution monitoring.

  12. Why relevance theory is relevant for lexicography

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bothma, Theo; Tarp, Sven

    2014-01-01

    This article starts by providing a brief summary of relevance theory in information science in relation to the function theory of lexicography, explaining the different types of relevance, viz. objective system relevance and the subjective types of relevance, i.e. topical, cognitive, situational...... dictionary project, identifying new tasks and responsibilities of the modern lexicographer. The article furthermore discusses how relevance theory impacts on teaching dictionary culture and reference skills. By integrating insights from lexicography and information science, the article contributes to new...

  13. Genetic characterization of interleukins (IL-1α, IL-1β, IL-2, IL-4, IL-8, IL-10, IL-12A, IL-12B, IL-15 and IL-18) with relevant biological roles in lagomorphs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neves, Fabiana; Abrantes, Joana; Almeida, Tereza; de Matos, Ana Lemos; Costa, Paulo P; Esteves, Pedro J

    2015-11-01

    ILs, as essential innate immune modulators, are involved in an array of biological processes. In the European rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) IL-1α, IL-1β, IL-2, IL-4, IL-8, IL-10, IL-12A, IL-12B, IL-15 and IL-18 have been implicated in inflammatory processes and in the immune response against rabbit hemorrhagic disease virus and myxoma virus infections. In this study we characterized these ILs in six Lagomorpha species (European rabbit, pygmy rabbit, two cottontail rabbit species, European brown hare and American pika). Overall, these ILs are conserved between lagomorphs, including in their exon/intron structure. Most differences were observed between leporids and American pika. Indeed, when comparing both, some relevant differences were observed in American pika, such as the location of the stop codon in IL-1α and IL-2, the existence of a different transcript in IL8 and the number of cysteine residues in IL-1β. Changes at N-glycosylation motifs were also detected in IL-1, IL-10, IL-12B and IL-15. IL-1α is the protein that presents the highest evolutionary distances, which is in contrast to IL-12A where the distances between lagomorphs are the lowest. For all these ILs, sequences of human and European rabbit are more closely related than between human and mouse or European rabbit and mouse. © The Author(s) 2015.

  14. Adolescent Learning in the Zoo: Embedding a Non-Formal Learning Environment to Teach Formal Aspects of Vertebrate Biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Randler, Christoph; Kummer, Barbara; Wilhelm, Christian

    2012-06-01

    The aim of this study was to assess the outcome of a zoo visit in terms of learning and retention of knowledge concerning the adaptations and behavior of vertebrate species. Basis of the work was the concept of implementing zoo visits as an out-of-school setting for formal, curriculum based learning. Our theoretical framework centers on the self-determination theory, therefore, we used a group-based, hands-on learning environment. To address this questions, we used a treatment—control design (BACI) with different treatments and a control group. Pre-, post- and retention tests were applied. All treatments led to a substantial increase of learning and retention knowledge compared to the control group. Immediately after the zoo visit, the zoo-guide tour provided the highest scores, while after a delay of 6 weeks, the learner-centered environment combined with a teacher-guided summarizing scored best. We suggest incorporating the zoo as an out-of-school environment into formal school learning, and we propose different methods to improve learning in zoo settings.

  15. Biological noise abatement: coordinating the responses of autonomous bacteria in a synthetic biofilm to a fluctuating environment using a stochastic bistable switch.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nelson, Edward M; Kurz, Volker; Perry, Nicolas; Kyrouac, Douglas; Timp, Gregory

    2014-05-16

    Noise is inherent to single cell behavior. Its origins can be traced to the stochasticity associated with a few copies of genes and low concentrations of protein and ligands. We have studied the mechanisms by which the response of noisy elements can be entrained for biological signal processing. To elicit predictable biological function, we have engineered a gene environment that incorporates a gene regulatory network with the stringently controlled microenvironment found in a synthetic biofilm. The regulatory network leverages the positive feedback found in quorum-sensing regulatory components of the lux operon, which is used to coordinate cellular responses to environmental fluctuations. Accumulation of the Lux receptor in cells, resulting from autoregulation, confers a rapid response and enhanced sensitivity to the quorum-sensing molecule that is retained after cell division as epigenetic memory. The memory of the system channels stochastic noise into a coordinated response among quorum-sensing signal receivers in a synthetic biofilm in which the noise diminishes with repeated exposure to noisy transmitters on the input of a signaling cascade integrated into the same biofilm. Thus, gene expression in the receivers, which are autonomous and do not communicate with each other, is synchronized to fluctuations in the environment.

  16. A Novel Robot System Integrating Biological and Mechanical Intelligence Based on Dissociated Neural Network-Controlled Closed-Loop Environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Yongcheng; Sun, Rong; Wang, Yuechao; Li, Hongyi; Zheng, Xiongfei

    2016-01-01

    We propose the architecture of a novel robot system merging biological and artificial intelligence based on a neural controller connected to an external agent. We initially built a framework that connected the dissociated neural network to a mobile robot system to implement a realistic vehicle. The mobile robot system characterized by a camera and two-wheeled robot was designed to execute the target-searching task. We modified a software architecture and developed a home-made stimulation generator to build a bi-directional connection between the biological and the artificial components via simple binomial coding/decoding schemes. In this paper, we utilized a specific hierarchical dissociated neural network for the first time as the neural controller. Based on our work, neural cultures were successfully employed to control an artificial agent resulting in high performance. Surprisingly, under the tetanus stimulus training, the robot performed better and better with the increasement of training cycle because of the short-term plasticity of neural network (a kind of reinforced learning). Comparing to the work previously reported, we adopted an effective experimental proposal (i.e. increasing the training cycle) to make sure of the occurrence of the short-term plasticity, and preliminarily demonstrated that the improvement of the robot's performance could be caused independently by the plasticity development of dissociated neural network. This new framework may provide some possible solutions for the learning abilities of intelligent robots by the engineering application of the plasticity processing of neural networks, also for the development of theoretical inspiration for the next generation neuro-prostheses on the basis of the bi-directional exchange of information within the hierarchical neural networks.

  17. A Novel Robot System Integrating Biological and Mechanical Intelligence Based on Dissociated Neural Network-Controlled Closed-Loop Environment.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yongcheng Li

    Full Text Available We propose the architecture of a novel robot system merging biological and artificial intelligence based on a neural controller connected to an external agent. We initially built a framework that connected the dissociated neural network to a mobile robot system to implement a realistic vehicle. The mobile robot system characterized by a camera and two-wheeled robot was designed to execute the target-searching task. We modified a software architecture and developed a home-made stimulation generator to build a bi-directional connection between the biological and the artificial components via simple binomial coding/decoding schemes. In this paper, we utilized a specific hierarchical dissociated neural network for the first time as the neural controller. Based on our work, neural cultures were successfully employed to control an artificial agent resulting in high performance. Surprisingly, under the tetanus stimulus training, the robot performed better and better with the increasement of training cycle because of the short-term plasticity of neural network (a kind of reinforced learning. Comparing to the work previously reported, we adopted an effective experimental proposal (i.e. increasing the training cycle to make sure of the occurrence of the short-term plasticity, and preliminarily demonstrated that the improvement of the robot's performance could be caused independently by the plasticity development of dissociated neural network. This new framework may provide some possible solutions for the learning abilities of intelligent robots by the engineering application of the plasticity processing of neural networks, also for the development of theoretical inspiration for the next generation neuro-prostheses on the basis of the bi-directional exchange of information within the hierarchical neural networks.

  18. Benthic macroalgae as biological indicators of heavy metal pollution in the marine environments: a biomonitoring approach for pollution assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chakraborty, Sukalyan; Bhattacharya, Tanushree; Singh, Gurmeet; Maity, Jyoti Prakash

    2014-02-01

    Metal pollution in the marine coastline environment is an important topical issue in the context of ecological disturbance and climate change. Heavy metal contaminations (Cd, Cr, Cu, Mn, Ni, Pb and Zn) in seawater and surficial sediments, as well as macroalgal diversity, were determined in six different locations along the coast of the Gulf of Kutch in India. The marine coastline environment was found to be enriched with Cd and Zn in comparison to other metals. Significant (p ≤ 0.05) inter-elemental positive-correlations were observed between Fe-Mn, Fe-Cu, Fe-Cr, Fe-Zn, Cr-Cu, Cu-Mn, and Cd-Zn, as well as negative-correlations between Cd-Pb, Ni-Pb, and Zn-Pb. Though genus specific macroalgal responses to heavy metal accumulation were significant, species specific response was insignificant (p ≤ 0.05). The relative abundance of metals in macroalgae followed the order of Fe>Zn>Mn>Cu>Cd>Cr>Ni>Pb. The high uptake of metals in green algae (Ulva lactuca and Enteromorpha intestinalis) and brown algae (Padina gymnospora and Dictyota bartayresiana) suggested that these algae may be used as potential biomonitors for heavy metal pollution. Three pollution indicators, Contamination Factor (CF), Enrichment Factor (EF) and Geochemical Index (Igeo) were calculated to determine the degree of metal pollution in the marine coastline and the contribution of anthropogenic influence. © 2013 Published by Elsevier Inc.

  19. Student Scientific Conference, 2008. Collection of contributions. Vol. 2 - Sections of geography, geology, environment, chemistry and didactics

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2008-04-01

    The conference included the following sections: (i) Biology (114 contributions); (ii) Geography (37 contributions); (iii) Geology (24 contributions); (iv) Environment (16 contributions); (v) Chemistry (11 contributions); (vi) Didactics (8 contributions). Contributions relevant to INIS interest have been inputted to INIS.

  20. Towards a system level understanding of non-model organisms sampled from the environment: a network biology approach.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tim D Williams

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available The acquisition and analysis of datasets including multi-level omics and physiology from non-model species, sampled from field populations, is a formidable challenge, which so far has prevented the application of systems biology approaches. If successful, these could contribute enormously to improving our understanding of how populations of living organisms adapt to environmental stressors relating to, for example, pollution and climate. Here we describe the first application of a network inference approach integrating transcriptional, metabolic and phenotypic information representative of wild populations of the European flounder fish, sampled at seven estuarine locations in northern Europe with different degrees and profiles of chemical contaminants. We identified network modules, whose activity was predictive of environmental exposure and represented a link between molecular and morphometric indices. These sub-networks represented both known and candidate novel adverse outcome pathways representative of several aspects of human liver pathophysiology such as liver hyperplasia, fibrosis, and hepatocellular carcinoma. At the molecular level these pathways were linked to TNF alpha, TGF beta, PDGF, AGT and VEGF signalling. More generally, this pioneering study has important implications as it can be applied to model molecular mechanisms of compensatory adaptation to a wide range of scenarios in wild populations.

  1. In vitro and in vivo measurements of the dissolution parameters of uranium and plutonium mixed oxides in biological environment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Matton, S.

    1999-01-01

    During the mixed-oxide fuel fabrication process, inhalation is potentially the main route of internal contamination. The International Commission on Radiological Protection recommends experimental measurement of parameters such as size and dissolution rate for specific industrial compounds. First, we validated the use of PERALS (Photon Electron Rejecting Alpha Liquid Scintillation) for alpha measurement in biological samples which, in some cases, could improve detection limit. We characterised physical chemical properties in terms of size, specific area and activity of 3 different powders: MOX made according to either the MIMAS process, which showed heterogeneous chemical composition, or the SOLGEL, which showed homogeneous chemical composition and industrial PuO 2 . Their dissolution parameters, f r and s s , as defined in the simplest model proposed by ICRP 66 were measured in vivo, after inhalation in the rat, and in vitro. The statistical variation of these values were expressed as standard deviation. Moreover, in vitro studies demonstrated variation of the s s value depending on the duration of the incubation. We also developed methods to characterise interactions between UO 2 particles and phosphate ions which could be involved in the actinide toxicity. (author) [fr

  2. The evolution of relevance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scott-Phillips, Thomas C

    2010-05-01

    With human language, the same utterance can have different meanings in different contexts. Nevertheless, listeners almost invariably converge upon the correct intended meaning. The classic Gricean explanation of how this is achieved posits the existence of four maxims of conversation, which speakers are assumed to follow. Armed with this knowledge, listeners are able to interpret utterances in a contextually sensible way. This account enjoys wide acceptance, but it has not gone unchallenged. Specifically, Relevance Theory offers an explicitly cognitive account of utterance interpretation that presents a radical challenge to the neo-Gricean paradigm. Evolutionary considerations are one way in which we can choose between competing theories. A simple game-theoretic model of the evolution of communication is presented, and it is used to derive a number of basic qualities that will be satisfied by all evolved communication systems. These qualities are observed to precisely predict the foundational principles of Relevance Theory. The model thus provides biological support for that enterprise in general, and for the plausibility of the cognitive mechanisms that it describes in particular. Copyright © 2010 Cognitive Science Society, Inc.

  3. Evaluation of bag-valve-mask ventilation by paramedics in simulated chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear environments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schumacher, Jan; Weidelt, Lena; Gray, Stuart A; Brinker, Andrea

    2009-01-01

    Bag-valve-mask ventilation is a key component of life support, but only one handheld resuscitator is designed to operate in contaminated or toxic atmospheres. After Institutional Review Board approval, the efficacy of this device was evaluated. The distal trachea of a Laerdal Airway Management Trainer was connected to a mechanical Draeger Volumeter 3000, to enable determination of the minute volume delivered by BVM ventilation. Nineteen paramedics wearing chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear (CBRN) protective equipment were asked to ventilate this modified airway trainer, either with or without a CBRN filter attached to the inlet filtration system of the AMBU Mark III Resuscitator. The maximum levels of minute ventilation achieved were compared. Values are given as mean +/-SD. A paired t-test was used to detect any differences between the two groups, p-values of CBRN training. The maximum minute volume achieved without the filter was 9.5 +/-2.7 l/min. Use of the inlet CBRN filtration system reduced the maximum minute volume to 6.3 +/-2.0 l/min, reduction: 23%. The achieved maximum minute volumes ranged from 15 to 4.9 l/min in the controls and from 9.8 to 1.4 l/min in the CBRN group. Four paramedics were unable to achieve a minute volume >5 l/min in the CBRN group, one participant failed to achieve that value in the control group. The inherent breathing resistance of the CBRN filter appears to reduce the inflow of air into the self-inflatable bag. This delay in refilling may have resulted in a reduced achievable minute volume. The range of maximum minute volumes observed in both groups highlights the need for continuous BVM ventilator training.

  4. Hyperspectral remote sensing of the responses of vegetation ecosystems to physical and biological changes of the environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krezhova, Dora; Krezhov, Kiril; Maneva, Svetla; Moskova, Irina; Petrov, Nikolay

    2016-07-01

    Hyperspectral remote sensing technique, based on reflectance measurements acquired in a high number of contiguous spectral bands in the visible and near infrared spectral ranges, was used to detect the influence of some environmental changes to vegetation ecosystems. Adverse physical and biological conditions give rise to morphological, physiological, and biochemical changes in the plants that affect the manner in which they interact with the light. All green vegetation species have unique spectral features, mainly because of the chlorophyll and carotenoid, and other pigments, and water content. Because spectral reflectance is a function of the illumination conditions, tissue optical properties and biochemical content of the plants it may be used to collect information on several important biophysical parameters such as color and the spectral signature of features, vegetation chlorophyll absorption characteristics, vegetation moisture content, etc. Remotely sensed data collected by means of a portable fiber-optics spectrometer in the spectral range 350-1100 nm were used to extract information on the influence of some environmental changes. Stress factors such as enhanced UV-radiation, salinity, viral infections, were applied to some young plants species (potato, tomato, plums). The test data were subjected to different digital image processing techniques. This included statistical (Student's t-criterion), first derivative and cluster analyses and some vegetation indices. Statistical analyses were carried out in four most informative for the investigated species regions: green (520-580 nm), red (640-680 nm), red edge (680-720 nm) and near infrared (720-780 nm). The strong relationship, which was found between the results from the remote sensing technique and some biochemical and serological analyses (stress markers, DAS-ELISA), indicates the importance of hyperspectral reflectance data for conducting, easily and without damage, rapid assessments of plant biophysical

  5. Marine protected area restricts demographic connectivity: Dissimilarity in a marine environment can function as a biological barrier.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sato, Masaaki; Honda, Kentaro; Uy, Wilfredo H; Baslot, Darwin I; Genovia, Tom G; Nakamura, Yohei; Bernardo, Lawrence Patrick C; Kurokochi, Hiroyuki; Pantallano, Allyn Duvin S; Lian, Chunlan; Nadaoka, Kazuo; Nakaoka, Masahiro

    2017-10-01

    The establishment of marine protected areas (MPAs) can often lead to environmental differences between MPAs and fishing zones. To determine the effects on marine dispersal of environmental dissimilarity between an MPA and fishing zone, we examined the abundance and recruitment patterns of two anemonefishes ( Amphiprion frenatus and A. perideraion ) that inhabit sea anemones in different management zones (i.e., an MPA and two fishing zones) by performing a field survey and a genetic parentage analysis. We found lower levels of abundance per anemone in the MPA compared to the fishing zones for both species ( n  = 1,525 anemones, p  = .032). The parentage analysis also showed that lower numbers of fishes were recruited from the fishing zones and outside of the study area into each anemone in the MPA than into each anemone in the fishing zones ( n  = 1,525 anemones, p  fishing zones ( n  = 384 females, p  = .516). Because the ocean currents around the study site were unlikely to cause a lower settlement intensity of larvae in the MPA, the ocean circulation was not considered crucial to the observed abundance and recruitment patterns. Instead, stronger top-down control and/or a lower density of host anemones in the MPA were potential factors for such patterns. Our results highlight the importance of dissimilarity in a marine environment as a factor that affects connectivity.

  6. Using the Moon as a high-fidelity analogue environment to study biological and behavioral effects of long-duration space exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goswami, Nandu; Roma, Peter G.; De Boever, Patrick; Clément, Gilles; Hargens, Alan R.; Loeppky, Jack A.; Evans, Joyce M.; Peter Stein, T.; Blaber, Andrew P.; Van Loon, Jack J. W. A.; Mano, Tadaaki; Iwase, Satoshi; Reitz, Guenther; Hinghofer-Szalkay, Helmut G.

    2012-12-01

    Due to its proximity to Earth, the Moon is a promising candidate for the location of an extra-terrestrial human colony. In addition to being a high-fidelity platform for research on reduced gravity, radiation risk, and circadian disruption, the Moon qualifies as an isolated, confined, and extreme (ICE) environment suitable as an analog for studying the psychosocial effects of long-duration human space exploration missions and understanding these processes. In contrast, the various Antarctic research outposts such as Concordia and McMurdo serve as valuable platforms for studying biobehavioral adaptations to ICE environments, but are still Earth-bound, and thus lack the low-gravity and radiation risks of space. The International Space Station (ISS), itself now considered an analog environment for long-duration missions, better approximates the habitable infrastructure limitations of a lunar colony than most Antarctic settlements in an altered gravity setting. However, the ISS is still protected against cosmic radiation by the Earth magnetic field, which prevents high exposures due to solar particle events and reduces exposures to galactic cosmic radiation. On Moon the ICE environments are strengthened, radiations of all energies are present capable of inducing performance degradation, as well as reduced gravity and lunar dust. The interaction of reduced gravity, radiation exposure, and ICE conditions may affect biology and behavior - and ultimately mission success - in ways the scientific and operational communities have yet to appreciate, therefore a long-term or permanent human presence on the Moon would ultimately provide invaluable high-fidelity opportunities for integrated multidisciplinary research and for preparations of a manned mission to Mars.

  7. A biological model for construction of meaning to serve as an interface between an intelligent system and its environments

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Freeman, W.J. [Univ of California, Berkeley, CA (United States)

    1996-12-31

    There are two main levels of neural function to be modeled with appropriate state variables and operations. Microscopic activity is seen in the fraction of the variance of single neuron pulse trains (>99.9%) that is largely random and uncorrelated with pulse trains of other neurons in the neuropil. Macroscopic activity is revealed in the >0.1% of the total variance of each neuron that is covariant with all other neurons in neuropil comprising a population. It is observed in dendritic potentials recorded as surface EEGs. The {open_quotes}spontaneous{close_quotes} background activity of neuropil at both levels arises from mutual excitation within a population of excitatory neurons. Its governing point attractor is set by the macroscopic state, which acts as an order parameter to regulate the contributing neurons. The point attractor manifests a homogeneous field of white noise, which can be modeled by a continuous time state variable for pulse density. Neuropil comprises both excitatory and inhibitory neurons Their interactions at the macroscopic level give oscillations, manifesting a limit cycle attractor. Multiple areas of neuropil comprising a sensory system interact. Due to their incommensurate characteristic frequencies and the long axonal delays between them, the system maintains a global chaotic attractor having multiple wings, one for each discriminable class of stimuli. Access to each wing is by stimulus- induced state transitions, causing construction of macroscopic chaotic patterns, that are carried to targets of cortical transmission by axon tracts. AM patterns of the carrier are extracted by the targets by spatiotemporal integration, thereby retrieving the covariance comprising the chaotic signal. In digital models, noise serves to stabilize the chaotic attractors. An example will be given of the model operating as an interface between the environment and a pattern classifier, which learns to form its own feature detectors.

  8. Cancer and non-cancer risk at low doses of radiation: biological basis of radiation-environment interplay

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sasaki, Masao S.

    2013-01-01

    Cancer and non-cancer risk at low doses of ionizing radiation remains poorly defined due to ambiguity at low doses caused by limitations in statistical power and information available on interplay with environment. To deal with these problems, a novel non-parametric statistics was developed based on artificial neural networks theorem and applied to cancer and non-cancer risk in A-bomb survivors. The analysis revealed several unique features at low doses that could not be accounted for by nominal radiation dose alone. They include (1) threshold that varies with organ, gender and age, including cardiovascular diseases, (2) prevalence of infectious diseases, and (3) suppression of pathogenesis of HTLV1. The threshold is unique as it is manifested as negative excess relative risk, a reduction of spontaneous rate at low doses. The response is consistent with currently emerging laboratory data on DNA double-strand break (DSB) repair pathway choice and its sustainability as epigenetic memory in accordance with histone code theory. In response to DSB, of radiation or DNA replication arrest origin, distinct and competitively operating repair pathways are instigated. Activation by low doses of restitution-directed canonical non-homologous end-joining (C-NHEJ) suppresses both error-prone alternative end-joining (Alt-NHEJ) and homologous recombination (HR). The latter two present major pathways to mutagenesis at stalled replication folk associated with endogenous and exogenous genotoxin such as tobacco smoke metabolites and AID-associated somatic hypermutation and class switch recombination in Ig gene. Suppression of these error-prone pathways by low doses of low LET radiation is consistent with the reduction of cancer occurrence by environmental genotoxin, immunodiversity and stable integration of retrovirus DNA, providing a significant modulator of dose linearity at low doses. Whole picture may bring about a new landscape of cancer and non-cancer molecular epidemiology which

  9. Technical progress report of biological research on the Volcanic Island Surtsey and environment for the year 1976. [Recovery of terrestrial ecosystem on volcanic island following volcano eruption

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fridriksson, S.

    1976-01-01

    The study involves the terrestrial biological research on the volcanic island, Surtsey, off the coast of Iceland and the neighbouring islands and environs of the Westman Islands, which are situated on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. An eruption of the volcano in 1973 is studied. The topographical changes on Surtsey were studied in August 1976. It is evident that the southwestern side is constantly being eroded and that the island decreases in area of some 7.5 hectares per year. Results are reported from studies of microorganisms, algae, lichens, moss, vascular plants, insects, birds, and soil, and the nitrogen cycle. Emphasis was placed on revegetation and recolonization of plants, insects, and sea birds.

  10. Interactions among genes, tumor biology and the environment in cancer health disparities: examining the evidence on a national and global scale

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wallace, Tiffany A.; Martin, Damali N.; Ambs, Stefan

    2011-01-01

    Cancer incidence and mortality rates show great variations across nations and between population groups. These variations are largely explained by differences in age distribution, diet and lifestyle, access to health care, cultural barriers and exposure to carcinogens and pathogens. Cancers caused by infections are significantly more common in developing than developed countries, and they overproportionally affect immigrant populations in the USA and other countries. The global pattern of cancer is not stagnant. Instead, it is dynamic because of fluctuations in the age distribution of populations, improvements in cancer prevention and early detection in affluent countries and rapid changes in diet and lifestyle in parts of the world. For example, increased smoking rates have caused tobacco-induced cancers to rise in various Asian countries, whereas reduced smoking rates have caused these cancers to plateau or even begin to decline in Western Europe and North America. Some population groups experience a disproportionally high cancer burden. In the USA and the Caribbean, cancer incidence and mortality rates are excessively high in populations of African ancestry when compared with other population groups. The causes of this disparity are multifaceted and may include tumor biological and genetic factors and their interaction with the environment. In this review, we will discuss the magnitude and causes of global cancer health disparities and will, with a focus on African-Americans and selected cancer sites, evaluate the evidence that genetic and tumor biological factors contribute to existing cancer incidence and outcome differences among population groups in the USA. PMID:21464040

  11. Bioinformatics resource manager v2.3: an integrated software environment for systems biology with microRNA and cross-species analysis tools

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-01-01

    Background MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are noncoding RNAs that direct post-transcriptional regulation of protein coding genes. Recent studies have shown miRNAs are important for controlling many biological processes, including nervous system development, and are highly conserved across species. Given their importance, computational tools are necessary for analysis, interpretation and integration of high-throughput (HTP) miRNA data in an increasing number of model species. The Bioinformatics Resource Manager (BRM) v2.3 is a software environment for data management, mining, integration and functional annotation of HTP biological data. In this study, we report recent updates to BRM for miRNA data analysis and cross-species comparisons across datasets. Results BRM v2.3 has the capability to query predicted miRNA targets from multiple databases, retrieve potential regulatory miRNAs for known genes, integrate experimentally derived miRNA and mRNA datasets, perform ortholog mapping across species, and retrieve annotation and cross-reference identifiers for an expanded number of species. Here we use BRM to show that developmental exposure of zebrafish to 30 uM nicotine from 6–48 hours post fertilization (hpf) results in behavioral hyperactivity in larval zebrafish and alteration of putative miRNA gene targets in whole embryos at developmental stages that encompass early neurogenesis. We show typical workflows for using BRM to integrate experimental zebrafish miRNA and mRNA microarray datasets with example retrievals for zebrafish, including pathway annotation and mapping to human ortholog. Functional analysis of differentially regulated (p<0.05) gene targets in BRM indicates that nicotine exposure disrupts genes involved in neurogenesis, possibly through misregulation of nicotine-sensitive miRNAs. Conclusions BRM provides the ability to mine complex data for identification of candidate miRNAs or pathways that drive phenotypic outcome and, therefore, is a useful hypothesis

  12. Bioinformatics resource manager v2.3: an integrated software environment for systems biology with microRNA and cross-species analysis tools

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tilton Susan C

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background MicroRNAs (miRNAs are noncoding RNAs that direct post-transcriptional regulation of protein coding genes. Recent studies have shown miRNAs are important for controlling many biological processes, including nervous system development, and are highly conserved across species. Given their importance, computational tools are necessary for analysis, interpretation and integration of high-throughput (HTP miRNA data in an increasing number of model species. The Bioinformatics Resource Manager (BRM v2.3 is a software environment for data management, mining, integration and functional annotation of HTP biological data. In this study, we report recent updates to BRM for miRNA data analysis and cross-species comparisons across datasets. Results BRM v2.3 has the capability to query predicted miRNA targets from multiple databases, retrieve potential regulatory miRNAs for known genes, integrate experimentally derived miRNA and mRNA datasets, perform ortholog mapping across species, and retrieve annotation and cross-reference identifiers for an expanded number of species. Here we use BRM to show that developmental exposure of zebrafish to 30 uM nicotine from 6–48 hours post fertilization (hpf results in behavioral hyperactivity in larval zebrafish and alteration of putative miRNA gene targets in whole embryos at developmental stages that encompass early neurogenesis. We show typical workflows for using BRM to integrate experimental zebrafish miRNA and mRNA microarray datasets with example retrievals for zebrafish, including pathway annotation and mapping to human ortholog. Functional analysis of differentially regulated (p Conclusions BRM provides the ability to mine complex data for identification of candidate miRNAs or pathways that drive phenotypic outcome and, therefore, is a useful hypothesis generation tool for systems biology. The miRNA workflow in BRM allows for efficient processing of multiple miRNA and mRNA datasets in a single

  13. Synthetic Biology and Personalized Medicine

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jain, K.K.

    2013-01-01

    Synthetic biology, application of synthetic chemistry to biology, is a broad term that covers the engineering of biological systems with structures and functions not found in nature to process information, manipulate chemicals, produce energy, maintain cell environment and enhance human health. Synthetic biology devices contribute not only to improve our understanding of disease mechanisms, but also provide novel diagnostic tools. Methods based on synthetic biology enable the design of novel strategies for the treatment of cancer, immune diseases metabolic disorders and infectious diseases as well as the production of cheap drugs. The potential of synthetic genome, using an expanded genetic code that is designed for specific drug synthesis as well as delivery and activation of the drug in vivo by a pathological signal, was already pointed out during a lecture delivered at Kuwait University in 2005. Of two approaches to synthetic biology, top-down and bottom-up, the latter is more relevant to the development of personalized medicines as it provides more flexibility in constructing a partially synthetic cell from basic building blocks for a desired task. PMID:22907209

  14. Geospatial characteristics of Florida's coastal and offshore environments: Distribution of important habitats for coastal and offshore biological resources and offshore sand resources

    Science.gov (United States)

    Demopoulos, Amanda W.J.; Foster, Ann M.; Jones, Michal L.; Gualtieri, Daniel J.

    2011-01-01

    The Geospatial Characteristics GeoPDF of Florida's Coastal and Offshore Environments is a comprehensive collection of geospatial data describing the political boundaries and natural resources of Florida. This interactive map provides spatial information on bathymetry, sand resources, and locations of important habitats (for example, Essential Fish Habitats (EFH), nesting areas, strandings) for marine invertebrates, fish, reptiles, birds, and marine mammals. The map should be useful to coastal resource managers and others interested in marine habitats and submerged obstructions of Florida's coastal region. In particular, as oil and gas explorations continue to expand, the map can be used to explore information regarding sensitive areas and resources in the State of Florida. Users of this geospatial database will have access to synthesized information in a variety of scientific disciplines concerning Florida's coastal zone. This powerful tool provides a one-stop assembly of data that can be tailored to fit the needs of many natural resource managers. The map was originally developed to assist the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation, and Enforcement (BOEMRE) and coastal resources managers with planning beach restoration projects. The BOEMRE uses a systematic approach in planning the development of submerged lands of the Continental Shelf seaward of Florida's territorial waters. Such development could affect the environment. BOEMRE is required to ascertain the existing physical, biological, and socioeconomic conditions of the submerged lands and estimate the impact of developing these lands. Data sources included the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, BOEMRE, Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Florida Geographic Data Library, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Florida Natural Areas Inventory, and the State of Florida, Bureau of Archeological Research. Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) compliant metadata are

  15. Coordination modes between copper(II) and N-acetylneuraminic (sialic) acid from a 2D-simulation analysis of EPR spectra. Implications for copper mediation of sialoglycoconjugate chemistry relevant to human biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fainerman-Melnikova, Marina; Szabó-Plánka, Terézia; Rockenbauer, Antal; Codd, Rachel

    2005-04-04

    mononuclear Cu(II) center. This work shows that Cu(II) could potentially mediate the chemistry of sialoglycoconjugate-containing proteins in human biology, such as the sialylated amyloid precursor protein of relevance to Alzheimer's disease.

  16. A review of biological processes within oceanic water columns relevant to the assessment of the safety of disposal of waste, notably radioactive isotopes on or within the sea bed

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Angel, M.V.

    1985-01-01

    Pelagic biological processes and their connotations in the assessment of possible dispersal mechanisms of contaminants released on the deep oceanic seabed are reviewed. Biological gradients tend to be from the surface down so the search is for processes which run counter to these general gradients. Observed profiles of standing crop of both plankton and micronekton show that below 2000 m biological activity would have to be exceptionally dynamic to have an influence that will even approach within an order of magnitude of the dispersive effect of physical mixing. Examination of all forms of known migration mechanisms fails to reveal such dynamic activity. Nor have any critical pathways been identified within the present or foreseeable pattern of exploitation of the oceans. However, a major gap in knowledge is whether the pattern of these biological processes changes substantially in the region of continental slopes. (author)

  17. Analytical ultracentrifugation with fluorescence detection system reveals differences in complex formation between recombinant human TNF and different biological TNF antagonists in various environments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krayukhina, Elena; Noda, Masanori; Ishii, Kentaro; Maruno, Takahiro; Wakabayashi, Hirotsugu; Tada, Minoru; Suzuki, Takuo; Ishii-Watabe, Akiko; Kato, Masahiko; Uchiyama, Susumu

    A number of studies have attempted to elucidate the binding mechanism between tumor necrosis factor (TNF) and clinically relevant antagonists. None of these studies, however, have been conducted as close as possible to physiologic conditions, and so the relationship between the size distribution of TNF-antagonist complexes and the antagonists' biological activity or adverse effects remains elusive. Here, we characterized the binding stoichiometry and sizes of soluble TNF-antagonist complexes for adalimumab, infliximab, and etanercept that were formed in human serum and in phosphate-buffered saline (PBS). Fluorescence-detected sedimentation velocity analytical ultracentrifugation analyses revealed that adalimumab and infliximab formed a range of complexes with TNF, with the major complexes consisting of 3 molcules of the respective antagonist and one or 2 molcules of TNF. Considerably greater amounts of high-molecular-weight complexes were detected for infliximab in human serum. The emergence of peaks with higher sedimentation coefficients than the adalimumab monomer as a function of added human serum albumin (HSA) concentration in PBS suggested weak reversible interactions between HSA and immunoglobulins. Etanerept exclusively formed 1:1 complexes with TNF in PBS, and a small amount of complexes with higher stoichiometry was detected in human serum. Consistent with these biophysical characterizations, a reporter assay showed that adalimumab and infliximab, but not etanercept, exerted FcγRIIa- and FcγRIIIa-mediated cell signaling in the presence of TNF and that infliximab exhibited higher potency than adalimumab. This study shows that assessing distribution profiles in serum will contribute to a more comprehensive understanding of the in vivo behavior of therapeutic proteins.

  18. Deep learning relevance

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lioma, Christina; Larsen, Birger; Petersen, Casper

    2016-01-01

    train a Recurrent Neural Network (RNN) on existing relevant information to that query. We then use the RNN to "deep learn" a single, synthetic, and we assume, relevant document for that query. We design a crowdsourcing experiment to assess how relevant the "deep learned" document is, compared...

  19. Environment sensitive fluorescent analogue of biologically active oxazoles differentially recognizes human serum albumin and bovine serum albumin: Photophysical and molecular modeling studies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maiti, Jyotirmay; Biswas, Suman; Chaudhuri, Ankur; Chakraborty, Sandipan; Chakraborty, Sibani; Das, Ranjan

    2017-03-01

    An environment sensitive fluorophore, 4-(5-(4-(dimethylamino)phenyl)oxazol-2-yl)benzoic acid (DMOBA), that closely mimics biologically active 2,5-disubstituited oxazoles has been designed to probe two homologous serum proteins, human serum albumin (HSA) and bovine serum albumin (BSA) by means of photophysical and molecular modeling studies. This fluorescent analogue exhibits solvent polarity sensitive fluorescence due to an intramolecular charge transfer in the excited state. In comparison to water, the steady state emission spectra of DMOBA in BSA is characterized by a greater blue shift ( 10 nm) and smaller Stokes' shift ( 5980 cm- 1) in BSA than HSA (Stokes'shift 6600 cm- 1), indicating less polar and more hydrophobic environment of the dye in the former than the latter. The dye-protein binding interactions are remarkably stronger for BSA than HSA which is evident from higher value of the association constant for the DMOBA-BSA complex (Ka 5.2 × 106 M- 1) than the DMOBA-HSA complex (Ka 1.0 × 106 M- 1). Fӧrster resonance energy transfer studies revealed remarkably less efficient energy transfer (8%) between the donor tryptophans in BSA and the acceptor DMOBA dye than that (30%) between the single tryptophan moiety in HSA and the dye, which is consistent with a much larger distance between the donor (tryptophan)-acceptor (dye) pair in BSA (34.5 Å) than HSA (25.4 Å). Site specific competitive binding assays have confirmed on the location of the dye in Sudlow's site II of BSA and in Sudlow's site I of HSA, respectively. Molecular modeling studies have shown that the fluorescent analogue is tightly packed in the binding site of BSA due to strong steric complementarity, where, binding of DMOBA to BSA is primarily dictated by the van der Waals and hydrogen bonding interactions. In contrast, in HSA the steric complementarity is less significant and binding is primarily guided by polar interactions and van der Waals interactions appear to be less significant in the

  20. Lutte biologique pour l’agriculture et l’environnement américains Biological Control for American Agriculture and the Environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    The European Biological Control Laboratory (EBCL), located on the Agropolis Campus, is operated by the United States Department of Agriculture to conduct research on biological control of invasive arthropods and plants. Many of the target species originated in Europe, Asia or Africa, so we explore ...

  1. Ecological principles relevant to nuclear war

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hutchinson, T.C.; Cropper, W.P. Jr.; Grover, H.D.

    1985-01-01

    The ecological principles outlined are very basic ones; the authors anticipate a readership trained in a broad range of disciplines, including those unfamiliar with the academic discipline of ecology. The authors include substantial discussion on ecophysiology (i.e., the responses of organisms to their environment) because this is relevant to the new understanding of the potential climatic consequences of nuclear war. In particular, the physiological sensitivity of organisms to reduced levels of light and temperature are a key part of the analysis of the potential ecological effects and agricultural effects of nuclear war. Much of the ecological analysis has been organized around major biological units called biomes. The authors describe the biome concept and discuss some of the environmental-climatic factors that are believed to control biome distribution. Emphasis is given to plants because of their controlling influence on ecosystem functions through their role as primary producers. Future reports are needed to address more fully the potential effects on animals. Much more research needs to be done on both plant and animal responses to the types of perturbations possible for the aftermath of a nuclear war. Another important element for analysis of the potential ecological consequences of nuclear war concerns recovery processes. As the post-nuclear war environmental extremes ameliorate, ecological communities in devastated regions would begin to reorganize. It is not possible to predict the course of such a succession precisely, but some principles concerning post-perturbation replacement (such as seed banks and germination), relevant successional patterns, and organism strategies are discussed

  2. Scaffolded biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Minelli, Alessandro

    2016-09-01

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

  3. Investigating the Relationship between Instructors' Use of Active-Learning Strategies and Students' Conceptual Understanding and Affective Changes in Introductory Biology: A Comparison of Two Active-Learning Environments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cleveland, Lacy M; Olimpo, Jeffrey T; DeChenne-Peters, Sue Ellen

    2017-01-01

    In response to calls for reform in undergraduate biology education, we conducted research examining how varying active-learning strategies impacted students' conceptual understanding, attitudes, and motivation in two sections of a large-lecture introductory cell and molecular biology course. Using a quasi-experimental design, we collected quantitative data to compare participants' conceptual understanding, attitudes, and motivation in the biological sciences across two contexts that employed different active-learning strategies and that were facilitated by unique instructors. Students participated in either graphic organizer/worksheet activities or clicker-based case studies. After controlling for demographic and presemester affective differences, we found that students in both active-learning environments displayed similar and significant learning gains. In terms of attitudinal and motivational data, significant differences were observed for two attitudinal measures. Specifically, those students who had participated in graphic organizer/worksheet activities demonstrated more expert-like attitudes related to their enjoyment of biology and ability to make real-world connections. However, all motivational and most attitudinal data were not significantly different between the students in the two learning environments. These data reinforce the notion that active learning is associated with conceptual change and suggests that more research is needed to examine the differential effects of varying active-learning strategies on students' attitudes and motivation in the domain. © 2017 L. M. Cleveland et al. CBE—Life Sciences Education © 2017 The American Society for Cell Biology. This article is distributed by The American Society for Cell Biology under license from the author(s). It is available to the public under an Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike 3.0 Unported Creative Commons License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0).

  4. Screening-relevant age threshold of 70 years and older is a stronger determinant for the choice of adjuvant treatment in breast cancer patients than tumor biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Inwald, E C; Ortmann, O; Koller, M; Zeman, F; Hofstädter, F; Evert, M; Brockhoff, G; Klinkhammer-Schalke, M

    2017-05-01

    The 70-year threshold determines whether patients are eligible or not for the breast cancer screening program in Germany. It is not known whether this age threshold also influences the choice of adjuvant treatment and ultimate outcome. 3463 patients were analyzed from the clinical cancer registry Regensburg (Germany) with primary, non-metastatic invasive breast cancer diagnosed between 2000 and 2012. The distribution of tumor biological subtypes was evaluated in breast cancer patients both in those eligible for screening (ESG, 50-69 years) and those not eligible for screening (NESG, ≥70 years). Local and systemic therapies in different subtypes as well as overall survival (OS) were analyzed. 2171 patients (62.7%) pertained to the ESG and 1292 patients (37.3%) referred to the NESG. The distribution of the common subtypes Luminal A, Luminal B, HER2-like, and Basal-like was comparable in both groups. Treatment varied considerably with less systemic therapies in all subtypes in patients in the NESG. Regarding local therapies, patients in the NESG also received less surgery and less radiotherapy. As to Luminal A patients, best OS was seen in patients receiving endocrine therapy (ET) (7-year OS of 95.6%) and CHT plus ET (7-year OS of 93.1%) in the ESG. In the NESG, best OS was seen in patients receiving CHT plus ET (7-year OS of 95.2%), whereas patients receiving only ET had a 7-year OS of 73.9%. Despite similar tumor biology, elderly patients are undertreated regarding both systemic and local therapies compared to younger patients, leading to reduced OS.

  5. Culturally Relevant Cyberbullying Prevention

    OpenAIRE

    Phillips, Gregory John

    2017-01-01

    In this action research study, I, along with a student intervention committee of 14 members, developed a cyberbullying intervention for a large urban high school on the west coast. This high school contained a predominantly African American student population. I aimed to discover culturally relevant cyberbullying prevention strategies for African American students. The intervention committee selected video safety messages featuring African American actors as the most culturally relevant cyber...

  6. Use of Nuclear Techniques in Biological Control: Managing Pests, Facilitating Trade and Protecting the Environment. Report of a Consultants Group Meeting. Working Material

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1999-01-01

    High-priority opportunities are proposed for use of nuclear techniques to effect improved production and shipping of augmentative biological control agents. Proposed subprojects include use of ionizing radiation to improve the production of insect natural enemies on natural hosts/prey or on artificial diets. Other subprojects pertain to improving the ability to move beneficial organisms in international trade, and in using them in the field. Additional high priority activities were identified proposing use of nuclear techniques to produce sterile and/or substerile F-1 weed biological control agents to help evaluate potential impact on non-target species in the pre-release phase, integration of augmentative releases and F-1 sterility in IPM and area-wide pest management programmes, and utilization of by-products from SIT mass-rearing facilities in augmentative biological control programmes. (author)

  7. Core bioactive components promoting blood circulation in the traditional Chinese medicine compound xueshuantong capsule (CXC based on the relevance analysis between chemical HPLC fingerprint and in vivo biological effects.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hong Liu

    Full Text Available Compound xueshuantong capsule (CXC is an oral traditional Chinese herbal formula (CHF comprised of Panax notoginseng (PN, Radix astragali (RA, Salvia miltiorrhizae (SM, and Radix scrophulariaceae (RS. The present investigation was designed to explore the core bioactive components promoting blood circulation in CXC using high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC and animal studies. CXC samples were prepared with different proportions of the 4 herbs according to a four-factor, nine-level uniform design. CXC samples were assessed with HPLC, which identified 21 components. For the animal experiments, rats were soaked in ice water during the time interval between two adrenaline hydrochloride injections to reduce blood circulation. We assessed whole-blood viscosity (WBV, erythrocyte aggregation and red corpuscle electrophoresis indices (EAI and RCEI, respectively, plasma viscosity (PV, maximum platelet aggregation rate (MPAR, activated partial thromboplastin time (APTT, and prothrombin time (PT. Based on the hypothesis that CXC sample effects varied with differences in components, we performed grey relational analysis (GRA, principal component analysis (PCA, ridge regression (RR, and radial basis function (RBF to evaluate the contribution of each identified component. Our results indicate that panaxytriol, ginsenoside Rb1, angoroside C, protocatechualdehyde, ginsenoside Rd, and calycosin-7-O-β-D-glucoside are the core bioactive components, and that they might play different roles in the alleviation of circulation dysfunction. Panaxytriol and ginsenoside Rb1 had close relevance to red blood cell (RBC aggregation, angoroside C was related to platelet aggregation, protocatechualdehyde was involved in intrinsic clotting activity, ginsenoside Rd affected RBC deformability and plasma proteins, and calycosin-7-O-β-D-glucoside influenced extrinsic clotting activity. This study indicates that angoroside C, calycosin-7-O-β-D-glucoside, panaxytriol, and

  8. Development of marine flyash concrete and evaluation of its performance with respect to physico-chemical and biological factors in marine environment

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Jayakumar, S.; VijayKumar, V.; Kundaikar, T.J.; Venugopal, C.; Sawant, S.S.

    The aim of the research was to develop flyash concrete and assess various factors controlling its durability in the marine environment. Hence the research was planned with the following objectives in mind: (1) Development of flyash concrete...

  9. Relevance of genetics and genomics for prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease: a scientific statement from the American Heart Association Council on Epidemiology and Prevention, the Stroke Council, and the Functional Genomics and Translational Biology Interdisciplinary Working Group.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arnett, Donna K; Baird, Alison E; Barkley, Ruth A; Basson, Craig T; Boerwinkle, Eric; Ganesh, Santhi K; Herrington, David M; Hong, Yuling; Jaquish, Cashell; McDermott, Deborah A; O'Donnell, Christopher J

    2007-06-05

    Atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a major health problem in the United States and around the world. Evidence accumulated over decades convincingly demonstrates that family history in a parent or a sibling is associated with atherosclerotic CVD, manifested as coronary heart disease, stroke, and/or peripheral arterial disease. Although there are several mendelian disorders that contribute to CVD, most common forms of CVD are believed to be multifactorial and to result from many genes, each with a relatively small effect working alone or in combination with modifier genes and/or environmental factors. The identification and the characterization of these genes and their modifiers would enhance prediction of CVD risk and improve prevention, treatment, and quality of care. This scientific statement describes the approaches researchers are using to advance understanding of the genetic basis of CVD and details the current state of knowledge regarding the genetics of myocardial infarction, atherosclerotic CVD, hypercholesterolemia, and hypertension. Current areas of interest and investigation--including gene-environment interaction, pharmacogenetics, and genetic counseling--are also discussed. The statement concludes with a list of specific recommendations intended to help incorporate usable knowledge into current clinical and public health practice, foster and guide future research, and prepare both researchers and practitioners for the changes likely to occur as molecular genetics moves from the laboratory to clinic.

  10. Neutrophil programming dynamics and its disease relevance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ran, Taojing; Geng, Shuo; Li, Liwu

    2017-11-01

    Neutrophils are traditionally considered as first responders to infection and provide antimicrobial host defense. However, recent advances indicate that neutrophils are also critically involved in the modulation of host immune environments by dynamically adopting distinct functional states. Functionally diverse neutrophil subsets are increasingly recognized as critical components mediating host pathophysiology. Despite its emerging significance, molecular mechanisms as well as functional relevance of dynamically programmed neutrophils remain to be better defined. The increasing complexity of neutrophil functions may require integrative studies that address programming dynamics of neutrophils and their pathophysiological relevance. This review aims to provide an update on the emerging topics of neutrophil programming dynamics as well as their functional relevance in diseases.

  11. Control-Relevant Upscaling

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vakili Ghahani, S.A.

    2010-01-01

    An ‘upscaling/order-reduction’ solution transfers the relevant features of a geological model to a flow simulation model such that cost-efficient simulation, prediction and control of the fluid flow in an oil reservoir become feasible. In addition to the computational issues, in most reservoir

  12. Is Information Still Relevant?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ma, Lia

    2013-01-01

    Introduction: The term "information" in information science does not share the characteristics of those of a nomenclature: it does not bear a generally accepted definition and it does not serve as the bases and assumptions for research studies. As the data deluge has arrived, is the concept of information still relevant for information…

  13. Relevance and Definition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watson, Rita

    1995-01-01

    Examined whether the use of superordinate terms in 206 children's definitions is predictable by relevance theory. Children (ages 5-10) gave definitions for 16 basic-level words and 4 superordinate words from natural kind and artifact semantic domains. Superordinate terms were used more frequently when they supported more inferences. Findings…

  14. The CLEM model: Path analysis of the mediating effects of attitudes and motivational beliefs on the relationship between perceived learning environment and course performance in an undergraduate nonmajor biology course

    Science.gov (United States)

    Partin, Matthew L.

    The problem addressed in this study stems from three crises currently faced by post-secondary science educators in the United States: relatively low scientific literacy among students entering college, the need for more students to pursue science related careers, and poor attitudes among students toward studying science. In this dissertation the following questions are addressed: Is there a relationship between students' perceptions of their learning environment and course performance, and what roles do motivation and attitudes play in mediating that relationship? This study also examines the effects of gender and ethnicity on motivation, attitudes, and course performance. The purpose of this study is to test a path model describing the mediating effects of motivation and attitudes on constructivist learning environments and course performance. The following study considers contemporary understanding of teaching and learning as well as motivation and attitudes to suggest a direction for future reform efforts and to guide post-secondary science education instructors and leaders in the design of constructivist learning environments for undergraduate nonmajor biology courses. This study concludes that, although the classroom learning environment has a small direct effect on course performance, there is a moderate total effect on self-efficacy and intrinsic goal orientation. The classroom learning environment also had a moderate indirect effect on attitudes toward biology. Furthermore, attitudes have a moderate direct effect on course performance and self-efficacy has a strong direct effect on both course performance and attitudes toward biology. Self-efficacy seems to be particularly important; however, each of these constructs is important in its own right and instructors in higher education should strive to enhance each of them among their students. If students are to learn using constructivist methods they need the proper motivation and positive attitudes to

  15. Global biological diversity, forests and ecosystem approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Corona P

    2010-07-01

    Full Text Available Recent international reports and a paper published on Science stresses the lack of evidence about the reduction in the rate of biodiversity decline as expected as a consequence of political agreements on global environment. This decline is of particular concern not only with respect to the intrinsic value of the nature as such but also because it involves the reduction or loss of ecosystem services. This issue is distinctively relevant for forest ecosystems. The Ecosystem Approach proposed by the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity might be a strategy to reverse the negative trend, promoting a fair conservation and sustainable use of natural resources on an operational level.

  16. Korrek, volledig, relevant

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bergenholtz, Henning; Gouws, Rufus

    2007-01-01

    In explanatory dictionaries, both general language dictionaries and dictionaries dealing with languages for special purposes, the lexicographic definition is an important item to present the meaning of a given lemma. Due to a strong linguistic bias, resulting from an approach prevalent in the early...... phases of the development of theoretical lexicography, a distinction is often made between encyclopaedic information and semantic information in dictionary definitions, and dictionaries had often been criticized when their definitions were dominated by an encyclopaedic approach. This used to be seen...... as detrimental to the status of a dictionary as a container of linguistic knowledge. This paper shows that, from a lexicographic perspective, such a distinction is not relevant. What is important is that definitions should contain information that is relevant to and needed by the target users of that specific...

  17. Relevance and definition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watson, R

    1995-02-01

    The study examined whether the use of superordinate terms in children's definitions was predicted by relevance theory. Two hundred and six children aged five to ten years gave definitions for 16 basic-level words and four superordinate words from natural kind and artefact semantic domains. Superordinate terms were used more frequently when they supported more inferences. This was evidenced by their more frequent use in natural kind than in artefact domains, and more frequent use when the superordinate was itself defined by a semantically complex expression. When used, superordinates also usually occurred at the beginning of the definitional expression. It is argued that these findings reflect the speaker's intention to achieve optimal relevance, that is, to achieve maximum contextual effects with the least processing effort.

  18. Information Needs/Relevance

    OpenAIRE

    Wildemuth, Barbara M.

    2009-01-01

    A user's interaction with a DL is often initiated as the result of the user experiencing an information need of some kind. Aspects of that experience and how it might affect the user's interactions with the DL are discussed in this module. In addition, users continuously make decisions about and evaluations of the materials retrieved from a DL, relative to their information needs. Relevance judgments, and their relationship to the user's information needs, are discussed in this module. Draft

  19. Search for the evidence of endocrine disruption in the aquatic environment: Lessons to be learned from joint biological and chemical monitoring in the European Project COMPREHEND

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Eggen, R.I.L.; Bengtsson, B.E.; Bowmer, C.T.; Gerritsen, A.A.M.; Gibert, M.; Hylland, K.; Johnson, A.C.; Leonards, P.E.G.; Nakari, T.; Norrgren, L.; Sumpter, J.P.; Suter, M.J.F.; Svenson, A.; Pickering, A.D.

    2003-01-01

    Between January 1999 and December 2001, the European Community project COMPREHEND was performed. The overall aim of COMPREHEND was to assess endocrine disruption in the aquatic environment in Europe, consequent to effluent discharge, with emphasis on estrogenic activity. COMPREHEND demonstrated the

  20. Molecular Biology Database List.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burks, C

    1999-01-01

    Molecular Biology Database List (MBDL) includes brief descriptions and pointers to Web sites for the various databases described in this issue as well as other Web sites presenting data sets relevant to molecular biology. This information is compiled into a list (http://www.oup.co.uk/nar/Volume_27/Issue_01/summary/ gkc105_gml.html) which includes links both to source Web sites and to on-line versions of articles describing the databases. PMID:9847130

  1. undesirability , wit h relevance

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    banzi

    disciplined environment; they were housed, fed, clothed and gainfully employed. The dissolution of the English monasteries in the late 15th century resulted in the vagrancy problem. This early example of kleptocracy had major social repercussions and led to parliament passing the Poor Laws (vide infra). The feudal system.

  2. Pathogenesis and biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winkler, Frank

    2018-01-01

    Metastasis to the brain is an increasing complication of solid cancers. Fortunately, our understanding of its pathogenesis has greatly increased in the last decade, with crucial insights into the molecular and cellular determinants of successful brain colonization; some aspects remain less well understood. The latter include the exact features of brain metastasis-initiating cancer cells, and a potential premetastatic niche. It is clear that a brain-arrested cancer cell has to master a sequence of steps to eventually grow to a clinically relevant brain metastasis. Various brain-specific cell types and molecular niches promote or hinder brain colonization in a dynamic and reciprocal manner. After mandatory extravasation and colonization of a brain-specific perivascular niche, the cancer cell can stay dormant, or further grow by dynamic interactions with cerebral blood vessels. In addition, the activation of certain molecular pathways on site of the cancer cell which are related to growth, motility, survival, and adaptation to the brain environment appears also important, given their characteristic modification in brain metastases of patients. A deeper understanding of the most vulnerable steps of the brain metastatic cascade may foster the development of novel preventive approaches, and that of core biologic mechanisms for macrometastatic growth and persistence will help to develop better therapeutics. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. The genomic scrapheap challenge; extracting relevant data from unmapped whole genome sequencing reads, including strain specific genomic segments, in rats

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Van Der Weide, Robin H.; Simonis, Marieke; Hermsen, Roel; Toonen, Pim; Cuppen, Edwin; de Ligt, Joep

    2016-01-01

    Unmapped next-generation sequencing reads are typically ignored while they contain biologically relevant information. We systematically analyzed unmapped reads from whole genome sequencing of 33 inbred rat strains. High quality reads were selected and enriched for biologically relevant sequences;

  4. Evaluation of parameters of a plankton community's biological rhythms under the natural environment of the Black Sea using the Fourier transform method.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mel'nikova, Ye B

    2017-05-01

    Night-time changes in bioluminescence intensity in the coastal area of the Black Sea were recorded. It was noted that the biomass of luminous organisms is closely correlated with the biomass of plankton and other pelagic organisms, including commercial pelagic fish. The parameters of plankton communities' basic biological rhythms were determined using the discrete Fourier transform method. These rhythms were manifest as spatial and temporal changes in the bioluminescence intensity. It was shown that changes in the bioluminescence intensity over a 14.0-h period were due to the duration of the light/dark cycles. By contrast, changes in bioluminescence intensity with periods of 4.7 and 2.8 h were due to the endogenous rhythms of the plankton community (feeding and cell division). An original method for evaluating of errors in the calculated periods of the biological rhythms was proposed. A strong correlation (r = 0.906) was observed between the measured and calculated values for the bioluminescence intensity, which provided support for the assumptions made. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  5. Effect of human serum on the electrical detection of amyloid-β fibrils in biological environments using azo-dye immobilized field effect transistor (FET biosensor

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sho Hideshima

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available As amyloid-β peptide 1–42 (Aβ42 was found to be an emerging and important biomarker for Alzheimer's disease, the detection of this peptide in biological samples such as human serum (HS has become very important for evaluating the potential disease state and determining the appropriate treatment. In this study, we developed an electrical analysis strategy based on a field effect transistor (FET biosensor as a simple and reliable technique for confirming the presence of Aβ42 aggregates (fibrils in biological samples. By utilizing Congo red immobilized on the FET gate surface as a biorecognition element, we observed remarkable sensitivity and specificity for detecting Aβ42 fibrils. Furthermore, we optimized the procedure to minimize the interference of abundant human serum albumin for the detection system using HS samples. The optimized system of Congo red-immobilized FET enables measurement of Aβ42 fibrils in the 100-pM level in HS samples, which is lower than its clinical concentration. The FET device can be applied as a biosensing system for mass and routine screening of peptide biomarkers related to Alzheimer's disease.

  6. [Relevant public health enteropathogens].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riveros, Maribel; Ochoa, Theresa J

    2015-01-01

    Diarrhea remains the third leading cause of death in children under five years, despite recent advances in the management and prevention of this disease. It is caused by multiple pathogens, however, the prevalence of each varies by age group, geographical area and the scenario where cases (community vs hospital) are recorded. The most relevant pathogens in public health are those associated with the highest burden of disease, severity, complications and mortality. In our country, norovirus, Campylobacter and diarrheagenic E. coli are the most prevalent pathogens at the community level in children. In this paper we review the local epidemiology and potential areas of development in five selected pathogens: rotavirus, norovirus, Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC), Shigella and Salmonella. Of these, rotavirus is the most important in the pediatric population and the main agent responsible for child mortality from diarrhea. The introduction of rotavirus vaccination in Peru will have a significant impact on disease burden and mortality from diarrhea. However, surveillance studies are needed to determine the impact of vaccination and changes in the epidemiology of diarrhea in Peru following the introduction of new vaccines, as well as antibiotic resistance surveillance of clinical relevant bacteria.

  7. Caenorhabditis elegans - A model system for space biology studies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Thomas E.; Nelson, Gregory A.

    1991-01-01

    The utility of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans in studies spanning aspects of development, aging, and radiobiology is reviewed. These topics are interrelated via cellular and DNA repair processes especially in the context of oxidative stress and free-radical metabolism. The relevance of these research topics to problems in space biology is discussed and properties of the space environment are outlined. Exposure to the space-flight environment can induce rapid changes in living systems that are similar to changes occurring during aging; manipulation of these environmental parameters may represent an experimental strategy for studies of development and senescence. The current and future opportunities for such space-flight experimentation are presented.

  8. Single Molecule Fluorescence: from Physical Fascination to Biological Relevance

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Segers-Nolten, Gezina M.J.

    2003-01-01

    Confocal fluorescence microscopy is particularly well-known from the beautiful images that have been obtained with this technique from cells. Several cellular components could be nicely visualized simultaneously by staining them with different fluorophores. Not only for ensemble applications but

  9. Colloidal stability of silver nanoparticles in biologically relevant conditions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    MacCuspie, Robert I.

    2011-01-01

    Understanding the colloidal stability of nanoparticles (NPs) plays a key role in phenomenological interpretation of toxicological experiments, particularly if single NPs or their aggregates or agglomerates determine the dominant experimental result. This report examines a variety of instrumental techniques for surveying the colloidal stability of aqueous suspensions of silver nanoparticles (AgNPs), including atomic force microscopy, dynamic light scattering, and colorimetry. It was found that colorimetry can adequately determine the concentration of single AgNPs that remained in solution if morphological information about agglomerates is not required. The colloidal stability of AgNPs with various surface capping agents and in various solvents ranging from cell culture media to different electrolytes of several concentrations, and in different pH conditions was determined. It was found that biocompatible bulky capping agents, such as bovine serum albumin or starch, that provided steric colloidal stabilization, as opposed to purely electrostatic stabilization such as with citrate AgNPs, provided better retention of single AgNPs in solution over a variety of conditions for up to 64 h of observation.

  10. Towards a barrier height benchmark set for biologically relevant systems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jimmy C. Kromann

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available We have collected computed barrier heights and reaction energies (and associated model structures for five enzymes from studies published by Himo and co-workers. Using this data, obtained at the B3LYP/6- 311+G(2d,2p[LANL2DZ]//B3LYP/6-31G(d,p level of theory, we then benchmark PM6, PM7, PM7-TS, and DFTB3 and discuss the influence of system size, bulk solvation, and geometry re-optimization on the error. The mean absolute differences (MADs observed for these five enzyme model systems are similar to those observed for PM6 and PM7 for smaller systems (10–15 kcal/mol, while DFTB results in a MAD that is significantly lower (6 kcal/mol. The MADs for PMx and DFTB3 are each dominated by large errors for a single system and if the system is disregarded the MADs fall to 4–5 kcal/mol. Overall, results for the condensed phase are neither more or less accurate relative to B3LYP than those in the gas phase. With the exception of PM7-TS, the MAD for small and large structural models are very similar, with a maximum deviation of 3 kcal/mol for PM6. Geometry optimization with PM6 shows that for one system this method predicts a different mechanism compared to B3LYP/6-31G(d,p. For the remaining systems, geometry optimization of the large structural model increases the MAD relative to single points, by 2.5 and 1.8 kcal/mol for barriers and reaction energies. For the small structural model, the corresponding MADs decrease by 0.4 and 1.2 kcal/mol, respectively. However, despite these small changes, significant changes in the structures are observed for some systems, such as proton transfer and hydrogen bonding rearrangements. The paper represents the first step in the process of creating a benchmark set of barriers computed for systems that are relatively large and representative of enzymatic reactions, a considerable challenge for any one research group but possible through a concerted effort by the community. We end by outlining steps needed to expand and improve the data set and how other researchers can contribute to the process.

  11. Tailor-Made Fluorescent Trilobolide To Study Its Biological Relevance

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Jurášek, M.; Rimpelová, S.; Kmoníčková, Eva; Drašar, P.; Ruml, T.

    2014-01-01

    Roč. 57, č. 19 (2014), s. 7947-7954 ISSN 0022-2623 Grant - others:GA ČR(CZ) GA14-28334S; GA MŠMT(CZ) 20/2014 Program:GA Institutional support: RVO:68378041 Keywords : trilobolide * nitric oxide * endoplasmic reticulum Subject RIV: FR - Pharmacology ; Medidal Chemistry Impact factor: 5.447, year: 2014

  12. Biologically Relevant Exposure Science for 21st Century Toxicity Testing

    Science.gov (United States)

    High visibility efforts in toxicity testing and computational toxicology including the recent NRC report, Toxicity Testing in the 21st Century: a Vision and Strategy (NRC, 2007), raise important research questions and opportunities for the field of exposure science. The authors ...

  13. The importance of biologically relevant microclimates in habitat suitability assessments.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Johanna Varner

    Full Text Available Predicting habitat suitability under climate change is vital to conserving biodiversity. However, current species distribution models rely on coarse scale climate data, whereas fine scale microclimate data may be necessary to assess habitat suitability and generate predictive models. Here, we evaluate disparities between temperature data at the coarse scale from weather stations versus fine-scale data measured in microhabitats required for a climate-sensitive mammal, the American pika (Ochotona princeps. We collected two years of temperature data in occupied talus habitats predicted to be suitable (high elevation and unsuitable (low elevation by the bioclimatic envelope approach. At low elevations, talus surface and interstitial microclimates drastically differed from ambient temperatures measured on-site and at a nearby weather station. Interstitial talus temperatures were frequently decoupled from high ambient temperatures, resulting in instantaneous disparities of over 30 °C between these two measurements. Microhabitat temperatures were also highly heterogeneous, such that temperature measurements within the same patch of talus were not more correlated than measurements at distant patches. An experimental manipulation revealed that vegetation cover may cool the talus surface by up to 10 °C during the summer, which may contribute to this spatial heterogeneity. Finally, low elevation microclimates were milder and less variable than typical alpine habitat, suggesting that, counter to species distribution model predictions, these seemingly unsuitable habitats may actually be better refugia for this species under climate change. These results highlight the importance of fine-scale microhabitat data in habitat assessments and underscore the notion that some critical refugia may be counterintuitive.

  14. The importance of biologically relevant microclimates in habitat suitability assessments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Varner, Johanna; Dearing, M Denise

    2014-01-01

    Predicting habitat suitability under climate change is vital to conserving biodiversity. However, current species distribution models rely on coarse scale climate data, whereas fine scale microclimate data may be necessary to assess habitat suitability and generate predictive models. Here, we evaluate disparities between temperature data at the coarse scale from weather stations versus fine-scale data measured in microhabitats required for a climate-sensitive mammal, the American pika (Ochotona princeps). We collected two years of temperature data in occupied talus habitats predicted to be suitable (high elevation) and unsuitable (low elevation) by the bioclimatic envelope approach. At low elevations, talus surface and interstitial microclimates drastically differed from ambient temperatures measured on-site and at a nearby weather station. Interstitial talus temperatures were frequently decoupled from high ambient temperatures, resulting in instantaneous disparities of over 30 °C between these two measurements. Microhabitat temperatures were also highly heterogeneous, such that temperature measurements within the same patch of talus were not more correlated than measurements at distant patches. An experimental manipulation revealed that vegetation cover may cool the talus surface by up to 10 °C during the summer, which may contribute to this spatial heterogeneity. Finally, low elevation microclimates were milder and less variable than typical alpine habitat, suggesting that, counter to species distribution model predictions, these seemingly unsuitable habitats may actually be better refugia for this species under climate change. These results highlight the importance of fine-scale microhabitat data in habitat assessments and underscore the notion that some critical refugia may be counterintuitive.

  15. Nanodiamonds as platforms for biology and medicine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Man, Han B; Ho, Dean

    2013-02-01

    Nanoparticles possess a wide range of exceptional properties applicable to biology and medicine. In particular, nanodiamonds (NDs) are being studied extensively because they possess unique characteristics that make them suitable as platforms for diagnostics and therapeutics. This carbon-based material (2-8 nm) is medically relevant because it unites several key properties necessary for clinical applications, such as stability and compatibility in biological environments, and scalability in production. Research by the Ho group and others has yielded ND particles with a variety of capabilities ranging from delivery of chemotherapeutic drugs to targeted labeling and uptake studies. In addition, encouraging new findings have demonstrated the ability for NDs to effectively treat chemoresistant tumors in vivo. In this review, we highlight the progress made toward bringing nanodiamonds from the bench to the bedside.

  16. [How to be prudent with synthetic biology. Synthetic Biology and the precautionary principle].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodríguez López, Blanca

    2014-01-01

    Synthetic biology is a new discipline that is twofold: firstly it offers the promise to pay benefits that can alleviate some of the ills that plague mankind; On the other hand, like all technologies, holds risks. Given these, the most critical and concerned about the risks, invoke the application of the precautionary principle, common in cases where an activity or new technology creates risks to the environment and/or human health, but far from universally accepted happens to be currently one of the most controversial principles. In this paper the question of the risks and benefits of synthetic biology and the relevance of applying the precautionary principle are analyzed. To do this we proceed as follows. The first part focuses on synthetic biology. At first, this discipline is characterized, with special attention to what is novel compared to the known as "genetic engineering". In the second stage both the benefits and the risks associated with it are discussed. The first part concludes with a review of the efforts currently being made to control or minimize the risks. The second part aims to analyze the precautionary principle and its possible relevance to the case of Synthetic Biology. At first, the different versions and interpretations of the principle and the various criticisms of which has been the subject are reviewed. Finally, after discarding the Precautionary Principle as an useful tool, it is seen as more appropriate some recent proposals to treat technologies that take into account not only risks but also their benefits.

  17. Vygotsky's Crisis: Argument, context, relevance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hyman, Ludmila

    2012-06-01

    Vygotsky's The Historical Significance of the Crisis in Psychology (1926-1927) is an important text in the history and philosophy of psychology that has only become available to scholars in 1982 in Russian, and in 1997 in English. The goal of this paper is to introduce Vygotsky's conception of psychology to a wider audience. I argue that Vygotsky's argument about the "crisis" in psychology and its resolution can be fully understood only in the context of his social and political thinking. Vygotsky shared the enthusiasm, widespread among Russian leftist intelligentsia in the 1920s, that Soviet society had launched an unprecedented social experiment: The socialist revolution opened the way for establishing social conditions that would let the individual flourish. For Vygotsky, this meant that "a new man" of the future would become "the first and only species in biology that would create itself." He envisioned psychology as a science that would serve this humanist teleology. I propose that The Crisis is relevant today insofar as it helps us define a fundamental problem: How can we systematically account for the development of knowledge in psychology? I evaluate how Vygotsky addresses this problem as a historian of the crisis. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Neonicotinoids in the Canadian aquatic environment: a literature review on current use products with a focus on fate, exposure, and biological effects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, J C; Dubetz, C; Palace, V P

    2015-02-01

    Developed to replace organophosphate and carbamate insecticides, neonicotinoids are structurally similar to nicotine. The three main neonicotinoid insecticides, imidacloprid, clothianidin, and thiamethoxam, are being re-evaluated by Health Canada's Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA). An important aspect of the re-evaluation is the potential for effects in non-target organisms, including aquatic organisms. Leaching into surface waters is one of the major concerns surrounding extensive use of neonicotinoids, especially in close proximity to water bodies. The PMRA has classified IMI as 'persistent' with a 'high' leaching potential. Globally, neonicotinoids have been detected in a variety of water bodies, typically at concentrations in the low μg/L range. While IMI has been included in some monitoring exercises, there are currently very few published data for the presence of CLO and THM in Canadian water bodies. The majority of neonicotinoid toxicity studies have been conducted with IMI due to its longer presence on the market and high prevalence of use. Aquatic insects are particularly vulnerable to neonicotinoids and chronic toxicity has been observed at concentrations of IMI below 1 μg/L. Acute toxicity has been reported at concentrations below 20 μg/L for the most sensitive species, including Hyalella azteca, ostracods, and Chironomus riparius. Fish, algae, amphibians, and molluscs are relatively insensitive to IMI. However, the biological effects of THM and CLO have not been as well explored. The Canadian interim water quality guideline for IMI is 0.23 μg/L, but there is currently insufficient use, fate, and toxicological information available to establish guidelines for CLO and THM. Based on concentrations of neonicotinoids reported in surface waters in Canada and globally, there is potential for aquatic invertebrates to be negatively impacted by neonicotinoids. Therefore, it is necessary to address knowledge gaps to inform decisions around guidelines

  19. Keeping climate research relevant

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rubin, E.S.; Lave, L.B.; Morgan, M.G.

    1992-01-01

    Recent post-mortems of the National Acid Precipitation Assessment Program (NAPAP) confirmed what Congress and other key parties to the acid rain debate already knew: that the 10-year, half-billion-dollar interagency program to guide US policy on acid rain control proved largely irrelevant to the effort to forge the new Clean Air Act last fall. Although NAPAP won praise for its scientific accomplishments, the program failed in its primary mission - to provide policy-relevant information in a timely manner. Now, government attempts to deal with the more difficult and far-reaching environmental issues associated with global warming appear to be headed down the same ill-fated path. Global climate change has become the most important environmental issue on the world agenda. The potentially enormous human and ecological implications of global warming - rising sea levels, altered precipitation patterns, and damage to natural ecosystems - have generated concern. But the equally large uncertainties about the timing and magnitude of possible effects, coupled with questions about the costs and impacts of possible abatement measures, have thus far kept policymakers from agreeing on what to do

  20. Systems Biology

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    IAS Admin

    Systems biology seeks to study biological systems as a whole, contrary to the reductionist approach that has dominated biology. Such a view of biological systems emanating from strong foundations of molecular level understanding of the individual components in terms of their form, function and interactions is promising to ...

  1. Biological, environmental, and social influences on childhood obesity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campbell, M Karen

    2016-01-01

    The prevalence of childhood obesity has increased globally over the past three decades, with evidence of recent leveling off in developed countries. Reduction in the, currently high, prevalence of obesity will require a full understanding of the biological and social pathways to obesity in order to develop appropriately targeted prevention strategies in early life. Determinants of childhood obesity include individual level factors, including biological, social, and behavioral risks, acting within the influence of the child's family environment, which is, in turn, imbedded in the context of the community environment. These influences act across childhood, with suggestions of early critical periods of biological and behavioral plasticity. There is evidence of sex and gender differences in the responses of boys and girls to their environments. The evidence that determinants of childhood obesity act at many levels and at different stages of childhood is of policy relevance to those planning early health promotion and primary prevention programs as it suggests the need to address the individual, the family, the physical environment, the social environment, and social policy. The purpose of this narrative review is to summarize current, and emerging, literature in a multilevel, life course framework.

  2. 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

  3. Classification of Clinically Relevant Microorganisms in Non-Medical Environments

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Bowers, Daniel

    2004-01-01

    .... The first antibiotic-resistant strains of S. aureus were isolated only several years after penicillin was introduced commercially, and the subsequent history of antibiotics has been driven by the evolving...

  4. Classification of Clinically Relevant Microorganisms in Non-Medical Environments

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Bowers, Daniel

    2004-01-01

    .... He named them Staphylococcus aureus because of their golden color. S. aureus remains one of the most important pathogens in clinical settings largely due to the rapidity of its evolutionary response to treatment...

  5. Convivência e aprendizagem em ambientes virtuais: uma reflexão a partir da biologia do conhecer Coexistence and learning in virtual environments: a reflection from the biology of cognition's point of view

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eliana Maria do Sacramento Soares

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Pensar a dimensão complexa e sistêmica do processo educativo é um dos desafios da contemporaneidade. Para tanto, partimos do pressuposto de que ambientes virtuais de aprendizagem podem se constituir em domínios de ações que levem à autorregulação e a transformações estruturais. Para verificar essa pressuposição, este artigo apresenta resultados de um estudo empírico que busca compreender, a partir da Biologia do Conhecer, como um ambiente virtual pode se constituir num domínio de convivência capaz de propiciar a aprendizagem. Os resultados indicam possibilidades de gestão e de intervenção pedagógica nos ambientes de aprendizagem, que possibilitem a emergência de fluxos de interações que contribuam para que se estabeleça a convivência, nos moldes estudados.Thinking the complex and systemic dimension of the educative process is one of the nowadays' challenges. To this end, we start from the assumption that virtual learning environments can be constituded in action domains that lead to selfregulation and structural transformations. To verify this assumption, this paper presents results of an empirical study that seeks to understand, from the Biology of cognition, how a virtual environment can constitute a coexistence domain, able to propitiate learning. The results suggest possibilities of management and pedagogical intervention in the learning environments that make possible the emergence of interaction flows and contribute to establishing the coexistence, along the lines studied.

  6. Biological radiolesions and repair

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Laskowski, W.

    1981-01-01

    In 7 chapters, the book answers the following questions: 1) What reactions are induced in biological matter by absorption of radiation energy. 2) In what parts of the cell do the radiation-induced reactions with detectable biological effects occur. 3) In which way are these cell components changed by different qualities of radiation. 4) What are the cell mechanisms by which radiation-induced changes can be repaired. 5) What is the importance of these repair processes for man, his life and evolution. At the end of each chapter, there is a bibliography of relevant publications in this field. (orig./MG) [de

  7. Invited Review Article: Advanced light microscopy for biological space research

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    De Vos, Winnok H., E-mail: winnok.devos@uantwerpen.be [Laboratory of Cell Biology and Histology, Department of Veterinary Sciences, University of Antwerp, Antwerp (Belgium); Cell Systems and Imaging Research Group, Department of Molecular Biotechnology, Ghent University, Ghent (Belgium); Beghuin, Didier [Lambda-X, Nivelles (Belgium); Schwarz, Christian J. [European Space Agency (ESA), ESTEC, TEC-MMG, Noordwijk (Netherlands); Jones, David B. [Institute for Experimental Orthopaedics and Biomechanics, Philipps University, Marburg (Germany); Loon, Jack J. W. A. van [Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery/Oral Pathology, VU University Medical Center and Department of Oral Cell Biology, Academic Centre for Dentistry Amsterdam, Amsterdam (Netherlands); Bereiter-Hahn, Juergen; Stelzer, Ernst H. K. [Physical Biology, BMLS (FB15, IZN), Goethe University, Frankfurt am Main (Germany)

    2014-10-15

    As commercial space flights have become feasible and long-term extraterrestrial missions are planned, it is imperative that the impact of space travel and the space environment on human physiology be thoroughly characterized. Scrutinizing the effects of potentially detrimental factors such as ionizing radiation and microgravity at the cellular and tissue level demands adequate visualization technology. Advanced light microscopy (ALM) is the leading tool for non-destructive structural and functional investigation of static as well as dynamic biological systems. In recent years, technological developments and advances in photochemistry and genetic engineering have boosted all aspects of resolution, readout and throughput, rendering ALM ideally suited for biological space research. While various microscopy-based studies have addressed cellular response to space-related environmental stressors, biological endpoints have typically been determined only after the mission, leaving an experimental gap that is prone to bias results. An on-board, real-time microscopical monitoring device can bridge this gap. Breadboards and even fully operational microscope setups have been conceived, but they need to be rendered more compact and versatile. Most importantly, they must allow addressing the impact of gravity, or the lack thereof, on physiologically relevant biological systems in space and in ground-based simulations. In order to delineate the essential functionalities for such a system, we have reviewed the pending questions in space science, the relevant biological model systems, and the state-of-the art in ALM. Based on a rigorous trade-off, in which we recognize the relevance of multi-cellular systems and the cellular microenvironment, we propose a compact, but flexible concept for space-related cell biological research that is based on light sheet microscopy.

  8. Invited Review Article: Advanced light microscopy for biological space research

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Vos, Winnok H.; Beghuin, Didier; Schwarz, Christian J.; Jones, David B.; van Loon, Jack J. W. A.; Bereiter-Hahn, Juergen; Stelzer, Ernst H. K.

    2014-10-01

    As commercial space flights have become feasible and long-term extraterrestrial missions are planned, it is imperative that the impact of space travel and the space environment on human physiology be thoroughly characterized. Scrutinizing the effects of potentially detrimental factors such as ionizing radiation and microgravity at the cellular and tissue level demands adequate visualization technology. Advanced light microscopy (ALM) is the leading tool for non-destructive structural and functional investigation of static as well as dynamic biological systems. In recent years, technological developments and advances in photochemistry and genetic engineering have boosted all aspects of resolution, readout and throughput, rendering ALM ideally suited for biological space research. While various microscopy-based studies have addressed cellular response to space-related environmental stressors, biological endpoints have typically been determined only after the mission, leaving an experimental gap that is prone to bias results. An on-board, real-time microscopical monitoring device can bridge this gap. Breadboards and even fully operational microscope setups have been conceived, but they need to be rendered more compact and versatile. Most importantly, they must allow addressing the impact of gravity, or the lack thereof, on physiologically relevant biological systems in space and in ground-based simulations. In order to delineate the essential functionalities for such a system, we have reviewed the pending questions in space science, the relevant biological model systems, and the state-of-the art in ALM. Based on a rigorous trade-off, in which we recognize the relevance of multi-cellular systems and the cellular microenvironment, we propose a compact, but flexible concept for space-related cell biological research that is based on light sheet microscopy.

  9. Invited Review Article: Advanced light microscopy for biological space research

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    De Vos, Winnok H.; Beghuin, Didier; Schwarz, Christian J.; Jones, David B.; Loon, Jack J. W. A. van; Bereiter-Hahn, Juergen; Stelzer, Ernst H. K.

    2014-01-01

    As commercial space flights have become feasible and long-term extraterrestrial missions are planned, it is imperative that the impact of space travel and the space environment on human physiology be thoroughly characterized. Scrutinizing the effects of potentially detrimental factors such as ionizing radiation and microgravity at the cellular and tissue level demands adequate visualization technology. Advanced light microscopy (ALM) is the leading tool for non-destructive structural and functional investigation of static as well as dynamic biological systems. In recent years, technological developments and advances in photochemistry and genetic engineering have boosted all aspects of resolution, readout and throughput, rendering ALM ideally suited for biological space research. While various microscopy-based studies have addressed cellular response to space-related environmental stressors, biological endpoints have typically been determined only after the mission, leaving an experimental gap that is prone to bias results. An on-board, real-time microscopical monitoring device can bridge this gap. Breadboards and even fully operational microscope setups have been conceived, but they need to be rendered more compact and versatile. Most importantly, they must allow addressing the impact of gravity, or the lack thereof, on physiologically relevant biological systems in space and in ground-based simulations. In order to delineate the essential functionalities for such a system, we have reviewed the pending questions in space science, the relevant biological model systems, and the state-of-the art in ALM. Based on a rigorous trade-off, in which we recognize the relevance of multi-cellular systems and the cellular microenvironment, we propose a compact, but flexible concept for space-related cell biological research that is based on light sheet microscopy

  10. Invited review article: Advanced light microscopy for biological space research.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Vos, Winnok H; Beghuin, Didier; Schwarz, Christian J; Jones, David B; van Loon, Jack J W A; Bereiter-Hahn, Juergen; Stelzer, Ernst H K

    2014-10-01

    As commercial space flights have become feasible and long-term extraterrestrial missions are planned, it is imperative that the impact of space travel and the space environment on human physiology be thoroughly characterized. Scrutinizing the effects of potentially detrimental factors such as ionizing radiation and microgravity at the cellular and tissue level demands adequate visualization technology. Advanced light microscopy (ALM) is the leading tool for non-destructive structural and functional investigation of static as well as dynamic biological systems. In recent years, technological developments and advances in photochemistry and genetic engineering have boosted all aspects of resolution, readout and throughput, rendering ALM ideally suited for biological space research. While various microscopy-based studies have addressed cellular response to space-related environmental stressors, biological endpoints have typically been determined only after the mission, leaving an experimental gap that is prone to bias results. An on-board, real-time microscopical monitoring device can bridge this gap. Breadboards and even fully operational microscope setups have been conceived, but they need to be rendered more compact and versatile. Most importantly, they must allow addressing the impact of gravity, or the lack thereof, on physiologically relevant biological systems in space and in ground-based simulations. In order to delineate the essential functionalities for such a system, we have reviewed the pending questions in space science, the relevant biological model systems, and the state-of-the art in ALM. Based on a rigorous trade-off, in which we recognize the relevance of multi-cellular systems and the cellular microenvironment, we propose a compact, but flexible concept for space-related cell biological research that is based on light sheet microscopy.

  11. User perspectives on relevance criteria

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Maglaughlin, Kelly L.; Sonnenwald, Diane H.

    2002-01-01

    , partially relevant, or not relevant to their information need; and explained their decisions in an interview. Analysis revealed 29 criteria, discussed positively and negatively, that were used by the participants when selecting passages that contributed or detracted from a document's relevance...... implications for relevance feedback in information retrieval systems, suggesting that systems accept and utilize multiple positive and negative relevance criteria from users. Systems designers may want to focus on supporting content criteria followed by full text criteria as these may provide the greatest cost....... These criteria can be grouped into six categories: abstract (e.g., citability, informativeness), author (e.g., novelty, discipline, affiliation, perceived status), content (e.g., accuracy/validity, background, novelty, contrast, depth/scope, domain, citations, links, relevant to other interests, rarity, subject...

  12. Integrated Biological Control

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    JOHNSON, A.R.

    2002-01-01

    Biological control is any activity taken to prevent, limit, clean up, or remediate potential environmental, health and safety, or workplace quality impacts from plants, animals, or microorganisms. At Hanford the principal emphasis of biological control is to prevent the transport of radioactive contamination by biological vectors (plants, animals, or microorganisms), and where necessary, control and clean up resulting contamination. Other aspects of biological control at Hanford include industrial weed control (e.g.; tumbleweeds), noxious weed control (invasive, non-native plant species), and pest control (undesirable animals such as rodents and stinging insects; and microorganisms such as molds that adversely affect the quality of the workplace environment). Biological control activities may be either preventive (apriori) or in response to existing contamination spread (aposteriori). Surveillance activities, including ground, vegetation, flying insect, and other surveys, and apriori control actions, such as herbicide spraying and placing biological barriers, are important in preventing radioactive contamination spread. If surveillance discovers that biological vectors have spread radioactive contamination, aposteriori control measures, such as fixing contamination, followed by cleanup and removal of the contamination to an approved disposal location are typical response functions. In some cases remediation following the contamination cleanup and removal is necessary. Biological control activities for industrial weeds, noxious weeds and pests have similar modes of prevention and response

  13. Relevance in the science classroom: A multidimensional analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hartwell, Matthew F.

    While perceived relevance is considered a fundamental component of adaptive learning, the experience of relevance and its conceptual definition have not been well described. The mixed-methods research presented in this dissertation aimed to clarify the conceptual meaning of relevance by focusing on its phenomenological experience from the students' perspective. Following a critical literature review, I propose an identity-based model of perceived relevance that includes three components: a contextual target, an identity target, and a connection type, or lens. An empirical investigation of this model that consisted of two general phases was implemented in four 9th grade-biology classrooms. Participants in Phase 1 (N = 118) completed a series of four open-ended writing activities focused on eliciting perceived personal connections to academic content. Exploratory qualitative content analysis of a 25% random sample of the student responses was used to identify the main meaning-units of the proposed model as well as different dimensions of student relevance perceptions. These meaning-units and dimensions provided the basis for the construction of a conceptual mapping sentence capturing students' perceived relevance, which was then applied in a confirmatory analysis to all other student responses. Participants in Phase 2 (N = 139) completed a closed survey designed based on the mapping sentence to assess their perceived relevance of a biology unit. The survey also included scales assessing other domain-level motivational processes. Exploratory factor analysis and non-metric multidimensional scaling indicated a coherent conceptual structure, which included a primary interpretive relevance dimension. Comparison of the conceptual structure across various groups (randomly-split sample, gender, academic level, domain-general motivational profiles) provided support for its ubiquity and insight into variation in the experience of perceived relevance among students of different

  14. Sensory processing sensitivity: a review in the light of the evolution of biological responsivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aron, Elaine N; Aron, Arthur; Jagiellowicz, Jadzia

    2012-08-01

    This article reviews the literature on sensory processing sensitivity (SPS) in light of growing evidence from evolutionary biology that many personality differences in nonhuman species involve being more or less responsive, reactive, flexible, or sensitive to the environment. After briefly defining SPS, it first discusses how biologists studying animal personality have conceptualized this general environmental sensitivity. Second, it reviews relevant previous human personality/temperament work, focusing on crossover interactions (where a trait generates positive or negative outcomes depending on the environment), and traits relevant to specific hypothesized aspects of SPS: inhibition of behavior, sensitivity to stimuli, depth of processing, and emotional/physiological reactivity. Third, it reviews support for the overall SPS model, focusing on development of the Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) Scale as a measure of SPS then on neuroimaging and genetic studies using the scale, all of which bears on the extent to which SPS in humans corresponds to biological responsivity.

  15. A protocol for classifying ecologically relevant marine zones, a statistical approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Verfaillie, Els; Degraer, Steven; Schelfaut, Kristien; Willems, Wouter; Van Lancker, Vera

    2009-06-01

    Mapping ecologically relevant zones in the marine environment has become increasingly important. Biological data are however often scarce and alternatives are being sought in optimal classifications of abiotic variables. The concept of 'marine landscapes' is based on a hierarchical classification of geological, hydrographic and other physical data. This approach is however subject to many assumptions and subjective decisions. An objective protocol for zonation is being proposed here where abiotic variables are subjected to a statistical approach, using principal components analysis (PCA) and a cluster analysis. The optimal number of clusters (or zones) is being defined using the Calinski-Harabasz criterion. The methodology has been applied on datasets of the Belgian part of the North Sea (BPNS), a shallow sandy shelf environment with a sandbank-swale topography. The BPNS was classified into 8 zones that represent well the natural variability of the seafloor. The internal cluster consistency was validated with a split-run procedure, with more than 99% correspondence between the validation and the original dataset. The ecological relevance of 6 out of the 8 zones was demonstrated, using indicator species analysis. The proposed protocol, as exemplified for the BPNS, can easily be applied to other areas and provides a strong knowledge basis for environmental protection and management of the marine environment. A SWOT-analysis, showing the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of the protocol was performed.

  16. Phytoremediation: biological cleaning of a polluted environment

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Macek, Tomáš; Frančová, Kateřina; Kochánková, L.; Lovecká, P.; Ryšlava, E.; Rezek, Jan; Surá, Martina; Tříska, Jan; Demnerová, K.; Macková, M.

    2004-01-01

    Roč. 19, č. 1 (2004), s. 63-82 ISSN 0048-7554 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA526/01/1292; GA ČR GA526/02/0293; GA MŠk ME 498 Grant - others:5FW EU(XE) QLK 3-CT-2001-00101 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z4055905 Keywords : phytoremediation * rhizoremediation Subject RIV: CE - Biochemistry

  17. Ecology, Ecosystem Management and Biology Teaching. Biology and Human Welfare.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spellerberg, Ian F.; Pritchard, Alan J.

    This six-chapter document (part of a series on biology and human welfare) focuses on ecology, ecosystem management, and biology teaching. Chapter 1 discusses the basic elements of ecology (considering organisms and their environment, populations, and communities and ecosystems). Chapter 2 describes several aspects of human ecology and resources…

  18. Systems Biology

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wiley, H S.

    2006-06-01

    The biology revolution over the last 50 years has been driven by the ascendancy of molecular biology. This was enthusiastically embraced by most biologists because it took us into increasingly familiar territory. It took mysterious processes, such as the replication of genetic material and assigned them parts that could be readily understood by the human mind. When we think of ''molecular machines'' as being the underlying basis of life, we are using a paradigm derived from everyday experience. However, the price that we paid was a relentless drive towards reductionism and the attendant balkanization of biology. Now along comes ''systems biology'' that promises us a solution to the problem of ''knowing more and more about less and less''. Unlike molecular biology, systems biology appears to be taking us into unfamiliar intellectual territory, such as statistics, mathematics and computer modeling. Not surprisingly, systems biology has met with widespread skepticism and resistance. Why do we need systems biology anyway and how does this new area of research promise to change the face of biology in the next couple of decades?

  19. Biological therapeutics

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Greenstein, Ben; Brook, Daniel A

    2011-01-01

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

  20. Gene x environment interactions as dynamical systems: clinical implications

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sarah S. Knox

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available The etiology and progression of the chronic diseases that account for the highest rates of mortality in the US, namely, cardiovascular diseases and cancers, involve complex gene x environment interactions. Yet despite the general agreement in the medical community given to this concept, there is a widespread lack of clarity as to what the term ‘interaction’ actually means. The consequence is the use of linear statistical methods to describe processes that are biologically nonlinear, resulting in clinical applications that are often not optimal. Gene x environment interactions are characterized by dynamic, nonlinear molecular networks that change and evolve over time; and by emergent properties that cannot be deduced from the characteristics of their individual subcomponents. Given the nature of these systemic properties, reductionist methods are insufficient for fully providing the information relevant to improving therapeutic outcomes. The purpose of this article is to provide an overview of these concepts and their relevance to prevention and interventions.

  1. Investigations on a global environment improving technology utilizing biological functions. 2. Structuring a ligno-bioprocess; Seibutsu kino wo riyoshita chikyu kankyo kaizen gijutsu ni kansuru chosa. 2. Riguno bio process no kochiku

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1996-03-01

    Discussions were given to reserve global environments on reducing dependence on fossil resources and more effectively utilizing wood resources. Economically utilizable amount of wastes from lumbering factories reaches about five million tons annually. Discussions were made on a ligno-bioprocess that uses these wastes. The current quantitative production efficiency of cellulase by means of bacterial breeding is very high. A problem is production of ligninolytic enzymes, to which application of the recombinant DNA method is indispensable. Combination of steam explosion with biological decomposition or the organosolv process is an effective method for lignin decomposition. Decomposition of cellulose by using the ultra critical water method is worth noticing. With respect to hemicellulose utilization, production of cellulose derivatives, biodegradable polymers and oligosaccharides would be conceivable by means of esterification and etherification. Vanillinic acid, adhesives, resins and lignin-based polymer materials could be manufactured from lignin. Material cost for these products accounts for about 35% of the product price, thus making the lignochemicals promising commercial products. 301 refs., 71 figs., 39 tabs.

  2. Noise in biological circuits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simpson, Michael L; Cox, Chris D; Allen, Michael S; McCollum, James M; Dar, Roy D; Karig, David K; Cooke, John F

    2009-01-01

    Noise biology focuses on the sources, processing, and biological consequences of the inherent stochastic fluctuations in molecular transitions or interactions that control cellular behavior. These fluctuations are especially pronounced in small systems where the magnitudes of the fluctuations approach or exceed the mean value of the molecular population. Noise biology is an essential component of nanomedicine where the communication of information is across a boundary that separates small synthetic and biological systems that are bound by their size to reside in environments of large fluctuations. Here we review the fundamentals of the computational, analytical, and experimental approaches to noise biology. We review results that show that the competition between the benefits of low noise and those of low population has resulted in the evolution of genetic system architectures that produce an uneven distribution of stochasticity across the molecular components of cells and, in some cases, use noise to drive biological function. We review the exact and approximate approaches to gene circuit noise analysis and simulation, and review many of the key experimental results obtained using flow cytometry and time-lapse fluorescent microscopy. In addition, we consider the probative value of noise with a discussion of using measured noise properties to elucidate the structure and function of the underlying gene circuit. We conclude with a discussion of the frontiers of and significant future challenges for noise biology. (c) 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

  3. 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.

  4. A relevance theory of induction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Medin, Douglas L; Coley, John D; Storms, Gert; Hayes, Brett K

    2003-09-01

    A framework theory, organized around the principle of relevance, is proposed for category-based reasoning. According to the relevance principle, people assume that premises are informative with respect to conclusions. This idea leads to the prediction that people will use causal scenarios and property reinforcement strategies in inductive reasoning. These predictions are contrasted with both existing models and normative logic. Judgments of argument strength were gathered in three different countries, and the results showed the importance of both causal scenarios and property reinforcement in category-based inferences. The relation between the relevance framework and existing models of category-based inductive reasoning is discussed in the light of these findings.

  5. Profiles of Dialogue for Relevance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Douglas Walton

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available This paper uses argument diagrams, argumentation schemes, and some tools from formal argumentation systems developed in artificial intelligence to build a graph-theoretic model of relevance shown to be applicable (with some extensions as a practical method for helping a third party judge issues of relevance or irrelevance of an argument in real examples. Examples used to illustrate how the method works are drawn from disputes about relevance in natural language discourse, including a criminal trial and a parliamentary debate.

  6. Mesoscopic biology

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Abstract. 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. ... National Center for Biological Sciences, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, UAS-GKVK Campus, Bangalore 560 065, India ...

  7. Mesoscopic biology

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

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

  8. Relevance theory and pragmatic impairment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leinonen, E; Kerbel, D

    1999-01-01

    This paper summarizes aspects of relevance theory that are useful for exploring impairment of pragmatic comprehension in children. It explores data from three children with pragmatic language difficulties within this framework. Relevance theory is seen to provide a means of explaining why, in a given context, a particular utterance is problematic. It thus enables one to move on from mere description of problematic behaviours towards their explanation. The theory provides a clearer delineation between the explicit and the implicit, and hence between semantics and pragmatics. This enables one to place certain difficulties more firmly within semantics and others within pragmatics. Relevance, and its maximization in communication, are squarely placed within human cognition, which suggests a close connection between pragmatic and cognitive (dis)functioning. Relevance theory thus emerges as a powerful tool in the exploration and understanding of pragmatic language difficulties in children and offers therapeutically valuable insight into the nature of interactions involving individuals with such impairments.

  9. Relevance theory: pragmatics and cognition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wearing, Catherine J

    2015-01-01

    Relevance Theory is a cognitively oriented theory of pragmatics, i.e., a theory of language use. It builds on the seminal work of H.P. Grice(1) to develop a pragmatic theory which is at once philosophically sensitive and empirically plausible (in both psychological and evolutionary terms). This entry reviews the central commitments and chief contributions of Relevance Theory, including its Gricean commitment to the centrality of intention-reading and inference in communication; the cognitively grounded notion of relevance which provides the mechanism for explaining pragmatic interpretation as an intention-driven, inferential process; and several key applications of the theory (lexical pragmatics, metaphor and irony, procedural meaning). Relevance Theory is an important contribution to our understanding of the pragmatics of communication. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  10. Clinical relevance in anesthesia journals

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lauritsen, Jakob; Møller, Ann M

    2006-01-01

    The purpose of this review is to present the latest knowledge and research on the definition and distribution of clinically relevant articles in anesthesia journals. It will also discuss the importance of the chosen methodology and outcome of articles....

  11. Clinical relevance in anesthesia journals

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lauritsen, Jakob; Møller, Ann M

    2006-01-01

    The purpose of this review is to present the latest knowledge and research on the definition and distribution of clinically relevant articles in anesthesia journals. It will also discuss the importance of the chosen methodology and outcome of articles.......The purpose of this review is to present the latest knowledge and research on the definition and distribution of clinically relevant articles in anesthesia journals. It will also discuss the importance of the chosen methodology and outcome of articles....

  12. The aesthetics of chemical biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parsons, Glenn

    2012-12-01

    Scientists and philosophers have long reflected on the place of aesthetics in science. In this essay, I review these discussions, identifying work of relevance to chemistry and, in particular, to the field of chemical biology. Topics discussed include the role of aesthetics in scientific theory choice, the aesthetics of molecular images, the beauty-making features of molecules, and the relation between the aesthetics of chemical biology and the aesthetics of industrial design. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. 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.

  14. Biological Oceanography

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dyhrman, Sonya

    2004-10-01

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

  15. Mechano-biological Coupling of Cellular Responses to Microgravity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Long, Mian; Wang, Yuren; Zheng, Huiqiong; Shang, Peng; Duan, Enkui; Lü, Dongyuan

    2015-11-01

    Cellular response to microgravity is a basic issue in space biological sciences as well as space physiology and medicine. It is crucial to elucidate the mechano-biological coupling mechanisms of various biological organisms, since, from the principle of adaptability, all species evolved on the earth must possess the structure and function that adapts their living environment. As a basic element of an organism, a cell usually undergoes mechanical and chemical remodeling to sense, transmit, transduce, and respond to the alteration of gravitational signals. In the past decades, new computational platforms and experimental methods/techniques/devices are developed to mimic the biological effects of microgravity environment from the viewpoint of biomechanical approaches. Mechanobiology of plant gravisensing in the responses of statolith movements along the gravity vector and the relevant signal transduction and molecular regulatory mechanisms are investigated at gene, transcription, and protein levels. Mechanotransduction of bone or immune cell responses and stem cell development and tissue histogenesis are elucidated under microgravity. In this review, several important issues are briefly discussed. Future issues on gravisensing and mechanotransducing mechanisms are also proposed for ground-based studies as well as space missions.

  16. Stress and adaptation : Toward ecologically relevant animal models

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Koolhaas, Jaap M.; Boer, Sietse F. de; Buwalda, Bauke

    Animal models have contributed considerably to the current understanding of mechanisms underlying the role of stress in health and disease. Despite the progress made already, much more can be made by more carefully exploiting animals' and humans' shared biology, using ecologically relevant models.

  17. Biological Pathways

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skip to main content Biological Pathways Fact Sheet Enter Search Term(s): Español Research Funding An Overview Bioinformatics Current Grants Education and Training Funding Extramural Research News Features ...

  18. Mesoscopic models of biological membranes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Venturoli, M.; Sperotto, Maria Maddalena; Kranenburg, M.

    2006-01-01

    Phospholipids are the main components of biological membranes and dissolved in water these molecules self-assemble into closed structures, of which bilayers are the most relevant from a biological point of view. Lipid bilayers are often used, both in experimental and by theoretical investigations...... to coarse grain a biological membrane. The conclusion of this comparison is that there can be many valid different strategies, but that the results obtained by the various mesoscopic models are surprisingly consistent. A second objective of this review is to illustrate how mesoscopic models can be used...

  19. The renaissance of developmental biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    St Johnston, Daniel

    2015-05-01

    Since its heyday in the 1980s and 90s, the field of developmental biology has gone into decline; in part because it has been eclipsed by the rise of genomics and stem cell biology, and in part because it has seemed less pertinent in an era with so much focus on translational impact. In this essay, I argue that recent progress in genome-wide analyses and stem cell research, coupled with technological advances in imaging and genome editing, have created the conditions for the renaissance of a new wave of developmental biology with greater translational relevance.

  20. Managing biological diversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Samson, Fred B.; Knopf, Fritz L.

    1993-01-01

    Biological diversity is the variety of life and accompanying ecological processes (Off. Technol. Assess. 1987, Wilcove and Samson 1987, Keystone 1991). Conservation of biological diversity is a major environmental issue (Wilson 1988, Counc. Environ. Quality 1991). The health and future of the earth's ecological systems (Lubchenco et al. 1991), global climate change (Botkin 1990), and an ever-increasing rate in loss of species, communities, and ecological systems (Myers 1990) are among issues drawing biological diversity to the mainstream of conservation worldwide (Int. Union Conserv. Nat. and Nat. Resour. [IUCN] et al. 1991). The legal mandate for conserving biological diversity is now in place (Carlson 1988, Doremus 1991). More than 19 federal laws govern the use of biological resources in the United States (Rein 1991). The proposed National Biological Diversity Conservation and Environmental Research Act (H.R. 585 and S.58) notes the need for a national biological diversity policy, would create a national center for biological diversity research, and recommends a federal interagency strategy for ecosystem conservation. There are, however, hard choices ahead for the conservation of biological diversity, and biologists are grappling with how to set priorities in research and management (Roberts 1988). We sense disillusion among field biologists and managers relative to how to operationally approach the seemingly overwhelming charge of conserving biological diversity. Biologists also need to respond to critics like Hunt (1991) who suggest a tree farm has more biological diversity than an equal area of old-growth forest. At present, science has played only a minor role in the conservation of biological diversity (Weston 1992) with no unified approach available to evaluate strategies and programs that address the quality and quantity of biological diversity (Murphy 1990, Erwin 1992). Although actions to conserve biological diversity need to be clearly defined by

  1. Acrolein: sources, metabolism, and biomolecular interactions relevant to human health and disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stevens, Jan F; Maier, Claudia S

    2008-01-01

    Acrolein (2-propenal) is ubiquitously present in (cooked) foods and in the environment. It is formed from carbohydrates, vegetable oils and animal fats, amino acids during heating of foods, and by combustion of petroleum fuels and biodiesel. Chemical reactions responsible for release of acrolein include heat-induced dehydration of glycerol, retro-aldol cleavage of dehydrated carbohydrates, lipid peroxidation of polyunsaturated fatty acids, and Strecker degradation of methionine and threonine. Smoking of tobacco products equals or exceeds the total human exposure to acrolein from all other sources. The main endogenous sources of acrolein are myeloperoxidase-mediated degradation of threonine and amine oxidase-mediated degradation of spermine and spermidine, which may constitute a significant source of acrolein in situations of oxidative stress and inflammation. Acrolein is metabolized by conjugation with glutathione and excreted in the urine as mercapturic acid metabolites. Acrolein forms Michael adducts with ascorbic acid in vitro, but the biological relevance of this reaction is not clear. The biological effects of acrolein are a consequence of its reactivity towards biological nucleophiles such as guanine in DNA and cysteine, lysine, histidine, and arginine residues in critical regions of nuclear factors, proteases, and other proteins. Acrolein adduction disrupts the function of these biomacromolecules which may result in mutations, altered gene transcription, and modulation of apoptosis.

  2. EURASIP journal on bioinformatics & systems biology

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    2006-01-01

    "The overall aim of "EURASIP Journal on Bioinformatics and Systems Biology" is to publish research results related to signal processing and bioinformatics theories and techniques relevant to a wide...

  3. Geomicrobiology and its relevance to nuclear waste disposal - a further annotated bibliography

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    West, J.M.; Arme, S.C.

    1984-07-01

    Scientific investigations into the disposal of high/intermediate level radioactive waste into deep geological formations includes work in the field of geomicrobiology. It has been shown that microbes exist in deep and shallow geological formations and that they could alter the geochemical environment of a waste repository and influence radionuclide migration. A preliminary literature survey indicated a lack of annotated material and an initial report (West, McKinley and Christofi, 1982) provided the first bibliography. This report is an updated annotated bibliography of relevant geomicrobiological research published since 1982 and should be used in conjunction with the previous report. Those without specific biological experience may find the glossary of common terms in the initial report of use. A major area of work which has not been referenced widely here is near surface disposal of both radioactive and conventional industrial waste. This vast topic can be accessed via some of the general reviews in this report. (author)

  4. Flavonoids as Important Molecules of Plant Interactions with the Environment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Justyna Mierziak

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Flavonoids are small molecular secondary metabolites synthesized by plants with various biological activities. Due to their physical and biochemical properties, they are capable of participating in plants’ interactions with other organisms (microorganisms, animals and other plants and their reactions to environmental stresses. The majority of their functions result from their strong antioxidative properties. Although an increasing number of studies focus on the application of flavonoids in medicine or the food industry, their relevance for the plants themselves also deserves extensive investigations. This review summarizes the current knowledge on the functions of flavonoids in the physiology of plants and their relations with the environment.

  5. Regularization in Matrix Relevance Learning

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schneider, Petra; Bunte, Kerstin; Stiekema, Han; Hammer, Barbara; Villmann, Thomas; Biehl, Michael

    A In this paper, we present a regularization technique to extend recently proposed matrix learning schemes in learning vector quantization (LVQ). These learning algorithms extend the concept of adaptive distance measures in LVQ to the use of relevance matrices. In general, metric learning can

  6. Chapter 5:Biological Properties of Wood

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rebecca E. Ibach

    2013-01-01

    There are numerous biological degradations that wood is exposed to in various environments. Biological damage occurs when a log, sawn product, or final product is not stored, handled, or designed properly. Biological organisms such as bacteria, mold, stain, decay fungi, insects, and marine borers depend heavily on temperature and moisture conditions to grow. Figure 5.1...

  7. Changing the Malaria Environment

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    tega

    This sometimes involves the saturation of the environment with chemical pesticides such as carbamates, DDT, organophosphates, and pyrethroids. But resistance is growing among mosquito populations and the use of chemical pesticides carry risks of toxicity to people and the ecosystem. Biological control, for example the ...

  8. Quantum Effects in Biological Systems

    CERN Document Server

    2016-01-01

    Since the last decade the study of quantum mechanical phenomena in biological systems has become a vibrant field of research. Initially sparked by evidence of quantum effects in energy transport that is instrumental for photosynthesis, quantum biology asks the question of how methods and models from quantum theory can help us to understand fundamental mechanisms in living organisms. This approach entails a paradigm change challenging the related disciplines: The successful framework of quantum theory is taken out of its low-temperature, microscopic regimes and applied to hot and dense macroscopic environments, thereby extending the toolbox of biology and biochemistry at the same time. The Quantum Effects in Biological Systems conference is a platform for researchers from biology, chemistry and physics to present and discuss the latest developments in the field of quantum biology. After meetings in Lisbon (2009), Harvard (2010), Ulm (2011), Berkeley (2012), Vienna (2013), Singapore (2014) and Florence (2015),...

  9. The biological inorganic chemistry of zinc ions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krężel, Artur; Maret, Wolfgang

    2016-12-01

    The solution and complexation chemistry of zinc ions is the basis for zinc biology. In living organisms, zinc is redox-inert and has only one valence state: Zn(II). Its coordination environment in proteins is limited by oxygen, nitrogen, and sulfur donors from the side chains of a few amino acids. In an estimated 10% of all human proteins, zinc has a catalytic or structural function and remains bound during the lifetime of the protein. However, in other proteins zinc ions bind reversibly with dissociation and association rates commensurate with the requirements in regulation, transport, transfer, sensing, signalling, and storage. In contrast to the extensive knowledge about zinc proteins, the coordination chemistry of the "mobile" zinc ions in these processes, i.e. when not bound to proteins, is virtually unexplored and the mechanisms of ligand exchange are poorly understood. Knowledge of the biological inorganic chemistry of zinc ions is essential for understanding its cellular biology and for designing complexes that deliver zinc to proteins and chelating agents that remove zinc from proteins, for detecting zinc ion species by qualitative and quantitative analysis, and for proper planning and execution of experiments involving zinc ions and nanoparticles such as zinc oxide (ZnO). In most investigations, reference is made to zinc or Zn 2+ without full appreciation of how biological zinc ions are buffered and how the d-block cation Zn 2+ differs from s-block cations such as Ca 2+ with regard to significantly higher affinity for ligands, preference for the donor atoms of ligands, and coordination dynamics. Zinc needs to be tightly controlled. The interaction with low molecular weight ligands such as water and inorganic and organic anions is highly relevant to its biology but in contrast to its coordination in proteins has not been discussed in the biochemical literature. From the discussion in this article, it is becoming evident that zinc ion speciation is

  10. Biological preconcentrator

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-09-09

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

  11. Investigating the Relationship between Instructors' Use of Active-Learning Strategies and Students' Conceptual Understanding and Affective Changes in Introductory Biology: A Comparison of Two Active-Learning Environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cleveland, Lacy M.; Olimpo, Jeffrey T.; DeChenne-Peters, Sue Ellen

    2017-01-01

    In response to calls for reform in undergraduate biology education, we conducted research examining how varying active-learning strategies impacted students' conceptual understanding, attitudes, and motivation in two sections of a large-lecture introductory cell and molecular biology course. Using a quasi-experimental design, we collected…

  12. Biological rhythms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Halberg, F.

    1975-01-01

    An overview is given of basic features of biological rhythms. The classification of periodic behavior of physical and psychological characteristics as circadian, circannual, diurnal, and ultradian is discussed, and the notion of relativistic time as it applies in biology is examined. Special attention is given to circadian rhythms which are dependent on the adrenocortical cycle. The need for adequate understanding of circadian variations in the basic physiological indicators of an individual (heart rate, body temperature, systolic and diastolic blood pressure, etc.) to ensure the effectiveness of prophylactic and therapeutic measures is stressed.

  13. Context dependence of students' views about the role of equations in understanding biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watkins, Jessica; Elby, Andrew

    2013-06-01

    Students' epistemological views about biology--their ideas about what "counts" as learning and understanding biology--play a role in how they approach their courses and respond to reforms. As introductory biology courses incorporate more physics and quantitative reasoning, student attitudes about the role of equations in biology become especially relevant. However, as documented in research in physics education, students' epistemologies are not always stable and fixed entities; they can be dynamic and context-dependent. In this paper, we examine an interview with an introductory student in which she discusses the use of equations in her reformed biology course. In one part of the interview, she expresses what sounds like an entrenched negative stance toward the role equations can play in understanding biology. However, later in the interview, when discussing a different biology topic, she takes a more positive stance toward the value of equations. These results highlight how a given student can have diverse ways of thinking about the value of bringing physics and math into biology. By highlighting how attitudes can shift in response to different tasks, instructional environments, and contextual cues, we emphasize the need to attend to these factors, rather than treating students' beliefs as fixed and stable.

  14. Bayes in biological anthropology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Konigsberg, Lyle W; Frankenberg, Susan R

    2013-12-01

    In this article, we both contend and illustrate that biological anthropologists, particularly in the Americas, often think like Bayesians but act like frequentists when it comes to analyzing a wide variety of data. In other words, while our research goals and perspectives are rooted in probabilistic thinking and rest on prior knowledge, we often proceed to use statistical hypothesis tests and confidence interval methods unrelated (or tenuously related) to the research questions of interest. We advocate for applying Bayesian analyses to a number of different bioanthropological questions, especially since many of the programming and computational challenges to doing so have been overcome in the past two decades. To facilitate such applications, this article explains Bayesian principles and concepts, and provides concrete examples of Bayesian computer simulations and statistics that address questions relevant to biological anthropology, focusing particularly on bioarchaeology and forensic anthropology. It also simultaneously reviews the use of Bayesian methods and inference within the discipline to date. This article is intended to act as primer to Bayesian methods and inference in biological anthropology, explaining the relationships of various methods to likelihoods or probabilities and to classical statistical models. Our contention is not that traditional frequentist statistics should be rejected outright, but that there are many situations where biological anthropology is better served by taking a Bayesian approach. To this end it is hoped that the examples provided in this article will assist researchers in choosing from among the broad array of statistical methods currently available. Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  15. Biology and ecology of the ``Pompeii worm'' (Alvinella pompejana Desbruyères and Laubier), a normal dweller of an extreme deep-sea environment: A synthesis of current knowledge and recent developments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Desbruyères, D.; Chevaldonné, P.; Alayse, A.-M.; Jollivet, D.; Lallier, F. H.; Jouin-Toulmond, C.; Zal, F.; Sarradin, P.-M.; Cosson, R.; Caprais, J.-C.; Arndt, C.; O'Brien, J.; Guezennec, J.; Hourdez, S.; Riso, R.; Gaill, F.; Laubier, L.; Toulmond, A.

    1998-01-01

    Alvinella pompejana, the "Pompeii worm" lives on active hydrothermal edifices at deep-sea vents of the East Pacific Rise. The physical and chemical patterns of its microhabitat were determined from temperature probe measurements, temperature time series, and on-board and shore-based chemical analyses based on discrete sampling (pH, H 2S, CO 2, CH 4, S 2O 2-3, Ca, Mg, Cu, Cd, Zn). The microhabitat is characterised by high temporal and microscale spatial variability, with temperature values in the range of 20°-45°C at the immediate periphery of tubes but reaching higher, still undetermined, values inside the tubes. The difference observed between in vitro temperature limits for the stability of biomolecules and metabolic rates, and suggested in situ conditions seems to indicate a significant protective role of biological interfaces (tubes and cuticle). Temporal instability possibly also plays an important role in the ability for these worms to colonise such an extreme habitat. The functional role of dominant epibiotic bacteria is discussed in the light of recent biochemical and molecular data: the tube-worm-bacteria system can be considered as a symbiotic entity where carbon is probably metabolised and recycled. Sulphide detoxification occurs by oxidation at the gill level and possibly at the intracellular haemoglobin level. Heavy metals, ingested or absorbed, are trapped in spherocrystals and bound to metallothionein-like proteins. Anatomical, physiological and molecular adaptations to hypoxia allow the worm to successfully colonise the chimneys. A. pompejana lives in an ephemeral environment and must reproduce and disperse accordingly. It is a gonochoric species that displays a pseucopulatory behaviour allowing transfer of sperm to female spermathecae, thus avoiding dispersion of the gametes. The size of the oocytes suggests a lecithotrophic or benthic development. The population size structure is polymodal, indicating discontinuous recruitment. Population

  16. A Walk in Our Shoes: A Discussion of Relevance and Communication in Teacher Prep

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goldman, Karen L.; Cardell, Melanie

    2013-01-01

    Relevance is discussed in light of 21st c. communication skills and relevance. How do these areas impact both the face-to-face and online candidates in the MAT and MAED programs to positively impact P-12 students? Relevance theory and communication in 21st c. is clarified for working in both face-to-face and online learning environments leading…

  17. The relevance of "non-relevant metabolites" from plant protection products (PPPs) for drinking water: the German view.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dieter, Hermann H

    2010-03-01

    "Non-relevant metabolites" are those degradation products of plant protection products (PPPs), which are devoid of the targeted toxicities of the PPP and devoid of genotoxicity. Most often, "non-relevant metabolites" have a high affinity to the aquatic environment, are very mobile within this environment, and, usually, are also persistent. Therefore, from the point of drinking water hygiene, they must be characterized as "relevant for drinking water" like many other hydrophilic/polar environmental contaminants of different origins. "Non-relevant metabolites" may therefore penetrate to water sources used for abstraction of drinking water and may thus ultimately be present in drinking water. The presence of "non-relevant metabolites" and similar trace compounds in the water cycle may endanger drinking water quality on a long-term scale. During oxidative drinking water treatment, "non-relevant metabolites" may also serve as the starting material for toxicologically relevant transformation products similar to processes observed by drinking water disinfection with chlorine. This hypothesis was recently confirmed by the detection of the formation of N-nitroso-dimethylamine from ozone and dimethylsulfamide, a "non-relevant metabolite" of the fungicide tolylfluanide. In order to keep drinking water preferably free of "non-relevant metabolites", the German drinking water advisory board of the Federal Ministry of Health supports limiting their penetration into raw and drinking water to the functionally (agriculturally) unavoidable extent. On this background, the German Federal Environment Agency (UBA) recently has recommended two health related indication values (HRIV) to assess "non-relevant metabolites" from the view of drinking water hygiene. Considering the sometimes incomplete toxicological data base for some "non-relevant metabolites", HRIV also have the role of health related precautionary values. Depending on the completeness and quality of the toxicological

  18. Marine Biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dewees, Christopher M.; Hooper, Jon K.

    1976-01-01

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

  19. Mesoscopic biology

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Abstract. 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 ...

  20. Biological digestion

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rosevear, A.

    1988-01-01

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

  1. 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)

  2. Generalized relevance learning vector quantization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hammer, Barbara; Villmann, Thomas

    2002-01-01

    We propose a new scheme for enlarging generalized learning vector quantization (GLVQ) with weighting factors for the input dimensions. The factors allow an appropriate scaling of the input dimensions according to their relevance. They are adapted automatically during training according to the specific classification task whereby training can be interpreted as stochastic gradient descent on an appropriate error function. This method leads to a more powerful classifier and to an adaptive metric with little extra cost compared to standard GLVQ. Moreover, the size of the weighting factors indicates the relevance of the input dimensions. This proposes a scheme for automatically pruning irrelevant input dimensions. The algorithm is verified on artificial data sets and the iris data from the UCI repository. Afterwards, the method is compared to several well known algorithms which determine the intrinsic data dimension on real world satellite image data.

  3. Culture, Urbanism and Changing Human Biology

    OpenAIRE

    Schell, L.M.

    2014-01-01

    Anthropologists have long known that human activity driven by culture changes the environment. This is apparent in the archaeological record and through the study of the modern environment. Perhaps the largest change since the paleolithic era is the organization of human populations in cities. New environments can reshape human biology through evolution as shown by the evolution of the hominid lineage. Evolution is not the only process capable of reshaping our biology. Some changes in our hum...

  4. Mathematical Properties Relevant to Geomagnetic Field Modeling

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sabaka, Terence J.; Hulot, Gauthier; Olsen, Nils

    2010-01-01

    Geomagnetic field modeling consists in converting large numbers of magnetic observations into a linear combination of elementary mathematical functions that best describes those observations.The set of numerical coefficients defining this linear combination is then what one refers.......The relevant elementary mathematical functions are introduced, their properties are reviewed, and how they can be used to describe the magnetic field in a source-free (such as the Earth’s neutral atmosphere) or source-dense (such as the ionosphere) environment is explained. Completeness and uniqueness...... be directly measured. In this chapter, the mathematical foundation of global (as opposed to regional) geomagnetic field modeling is reviewed, and the spatial modeling of the field in spherical coordinates is focussed. Time can be dealt with as an independent variable and is not explicitly considered...

  5. Crossing Boundaries in Undergraduate Biology Education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vanderklein, Dirk; Munakata, Mika; McManus, Jason

    2016-01-01

    In an effort to make mathematics relevant to biology students, the authors developed two modules that sought to integrate mathematics and ecology instruction to differing degrees. The modules were developed by a team of biology and mathematics educators and were implemented in an ecology course using three different instructional methods for three…

  6. Commentary India's Biological Diversity Act 2002

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Unknown

    result of new developments in technology, in particular, biotechnology and information technology, and, secondly, the ongoing ... may render the act toothless. For example, any biological resource ... been arrived at as to how to put into effect the relevant provisions of the Convention on Biological. Diversity. Even if such an ...

  7. Stochastic modelling of dynamical systems in biology

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pellin, Danilo

    2017-01-01

    In this thesis two relevant biological problems will be addressed from a statistical modelling perspective. The first regards the study of hematopoiesis, a still not well understood biological process rarely observable in humans due to technical and ethical reasons. Hematopoiesis is responsible for

  8. Spatial priming in ecologically relevant reference frames.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tower-Richardi, Sarah M; Leber, Andrew B; Golomb, Julie D

    2016-01-01

    In recent years, researchers have observed many phenomena demonstrating how the visual system exploits spatial regularities in the environment in order to benefit behavior. In this paper, we question whether spatial priming can be considered one such phenomenon. Spatial priming is defined as a response time facilitation to a visual search target when its spatial position has been repeated in recent trials (Maljkovic & Nakayama, 1996, Perception & Psychophysics, 58, 977-991). Does this priming serve a behaviorally adaptive role or is it merely a byproduct of ongoing visual processing? Critically, an adaptive priming mechanism must actively transform visual inputs from native retinotopic (eye-centered) coordinates into ecologically relevant coordinates, e.g., spatiotopic (world-centered) and/or object-centered. In Experiment 1, we tested this hypothesis by having participants move their eyes between trials, which dissociated retinotopic and spatiotopic frames of reference. Results showed only weak retinotopic priming, but robust spatiotopic priming. The second experiment again had participants move their eyes between trials but also manipulated the placement of a grouped array of display objects from trial to trial. This allowed us to measure not just retinotopic and spatiotopic priming, but object-centered priming as well. Results from this experiment did not yield retinotopic priming but showed robust spatiotopic and object-centered priming. These findings demonstrate that spatial priming operates within ecologically relevant coordinate systems, and the findings support the notion that spatial priming serves an adaptive role in human behavior.

  9. Relevance of rhodopsin studies for GPCR activation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deupi, Xavier

    2014-05-01

    GPCRs, or the most detailed analysis of cellular GPCR signal transduction networks using a systems biology approach, have been carried out in rhodopsin. Finally, due again to its unique properties among GPCRs, rhodopsin will likely play an important role in the application of X-ray free electron laser crystallography to time-resolved structural biology in membrane proteins. Rhodopsin, thus, still remains relevant as a model system to study the molecular mechanisms of GPCR activation. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Retinal Proteins-You can teach an old dog new tricks. © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  10. Using Rigor, Relevance, and Relationships to Reach Twice Exceptional Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Franklin-Rohr, Cheryl

    2006-01-01

    Secondary schools are not meeting the needs of students, and the call has gone out for reform. The application of rigor, relevance, and relationships is a current model of instruction. One teacher can make a difference to a twice exceptional student who is struggling. They must create classroom environments that welcome diversity, not just in…

  11. Identifying relevant feature-action associations for grasping unmodelled objects

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Thomsen, Mikkel Tang; Kraft, Dirk; Krüger, Norbert

    2015-01-01

    content. The method is provided with a large and structured set of visual features, motivated by the visual hierarchy in primates and finds relevant feature action associations automatically. We apply our method in a simulated environment on three different object sets for the case of grasp affordance...

  12. Doppler Bubble Grades After Diving and Relevance of Body Fat

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schellart, Nico A. M.; Vellinga, Tjeerd P. van Rees; Van Dijk, Frank J.; Sterk, Wouter

    2012-01-01

    SCHELLART NAM, VAN REES VELLINGA TP, VAN DIJK FJ, STERK W. Doppler bubble grades after diving and relevance of body fat. Aviat Space Environ Med 2012; 83:951-7. Background: From the literature on venous gas embolism (VGE) and decompression sickness (DCS), it remains unclear whether body fat is a

  13. Providing Educationally Relevant Occupational and Physical Therapy Services

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laverdure, Patricia A.; Rose, Deborah S.

    2012-01-01

    As defined in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act, occupational and physical therapists provide services to support students to access, participate, and progress in their educational program within the least restrictive educational environment. Educationally relevant occupational and physical therapy services in school…

  14. JournalMap: Geo-semantic searching for relevant knowledge

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ecologists struggling to understand rapidly changing environments and evolving ecosystem threats need quick access to relevant research and documentation of natural systems. The advent of semantic and aggregation searching (e.g., Google Scholar, Web of Science) has made it easier to find useful lite...

  15. Market study: Biological isolation garment

    Science.gov (United States)

    1975-01-01

    The biological isolation garment was originally designed for Apollo astronauts to wear upon their return to earth from the moon to avoid the possibility of their contaminating the environment. The concept has been adapted for medical use to protect certain patients from environmental contamination and the risk of infection. The nature and size of the anticipated market are examined with certain findings and conclusions relative to clinical acceptability and potential commercial viability of the biological isolation garment.

  16. Lexicography and the Relevance Criterion | Bothma | Lexikos

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Keywords:Lexicography, Function Theory, Cognitive Situations, Communicative Situations, Operative Situations, Interpretive Situations, Pre-Lexicographical Phase, Intra-Lexicographical Phase, Post-Lexicographical Phase, Information Science, Relevance Theory, Topical Relevance, Cognitive Relevance, Situational ...

  17. Assessing Relevance of External Cognitive Measures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cairó, Osvaldo

    2017-01-01

    The arrival of modern brain imaging technologies has provided new opportunities for examining the biological essence of human intelligence as well as the relationship between brain size and cognition. Thanks to these advances, we can now state that the relationship between brain size and intelligence has never been well understood. This view is supported by findings showing that cognition is correlated more with brain tissues than sheer brain size. The complexity of cellular and molecular organization of neural connections actually determines the computational capacity of the brain. In this review article, we determine that while genotypes are responsible for defining the theoretical limits of intelligence, what is primarily responsible for determining whether those limits are reached or exceeded is experience (environmental influence). Therefore, we contend that the gene-environment interplay defines the intelligent quotient of an individual.

  18. Biologic Scaffolds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Costa, Alessandra; Naranjo, Juan Diego; Londono, Ricardo; Badylak, Stephen F

    2017-09-01

    Biologic scaffold materials composed of allogeneic or xenogeneic extracellular matrix are commonly used for the repair and functional reconstruction of injured and missing tissues. These naturally occurring bioscaffolds are manufactured by the removal of the cellular content from source tissues while preserving the structural and functional molecular units of the remaining extracellular matrix (ECM). The mechanisms by which these bioscaffolds facilitate constructive remodeling and favorable clinical outcomes include release or creation of effector molecules that recruit endogenous stem/progenitor cells to the site of scaffold placement and modulation of the innate immune response, specifically the activation of an anti-inflammatory macrophage phenotype. The methods by which ECM biologic scaffolds are prepared, the current understanding of in vivo scaffold remodeling, and the associated clinical outcomes are discussed in this article. Copyright © 2017 Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press; all rights reserved.

  19. Biological trade and markets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hammerstein, Peter; Noë, Ronald

    2016-02-05

    Cooperation between organisms can often be understood, like trade between merchants, as a mutually beneficial exchange of services, resources or other 'commodities'. Mutual benefits alone, however, are not sufficient to explain the evolution of trade-based cooperation. First, organisms may reject a particular trade if another partner offers a better deal. Second, while human trade often entails binding contracts, non-human trade requires unwritten 'terms of contract' that 'self-stabilize' trade and prevent cheating even if all traders strive to maximize fitness. Whenever trading partners can be chosen, market-like situations arise in nature that biologists studying cooperation need to account for. The mere possibility of exerting partner choice stabilizes many forms of otherwise cheatable trade, induces competition, facilitates the evolution of specialization and often leads to intricate forms of cooperation. We discuss selected examples to illustrate these general points and review basic conceptual approaches that are important in the theory of biological trade and markets. Comparing these approaches with theory in economics, it turns out that conventional models-often called 'Walrasian' markets-are of limited relevance to biology. In contrast, early approaches to trade and markets, as found in the works of Ricardo and Cournot, contain elements of thought that have inspired useful models in biology. For example, the concept of comparative advantage has biological applications in trade, signalling and ecological competition. We also see convergence between post-Walrasian economics and biological markets. For example, both economists and biologists are studying 'principal-agent' problems with principals offering jobs to agents without being sure that the agents will do a proper job. Finally, we show that mating markets have many peculiarities not shared with conventional economic markets. Ideas from economics are useful for biologists studying cooperation but need

  20. PathText: a text mining integrator for biological pathway visualizations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kemper, Brian; Matsuzaki, Takuya; Matsuoka, Yukiko; Tsuruoka, Yoshimasa; Kitano, Hiroaki; Ananiadou, Sophia; Tsujii, Jun'ichi

    2010-01-01

    Motivation: Metabolic and signaling pathways are an increasingly important part of organizing knowledge in systems biology. They serve to integrate collective interpretations of facts scattered throughout literature. Biologists construct a pathway by reading a large number of articles and interpreting them as a consistent network, but most of the models constructed currently lack direct links to those articles. Biologists who want to check the original articles have to spend substantial amounts of time to collect relevant articles and identify the sections relevant to the pathway. Furthermore, with the scientific literature expanding by several thousand papers per week, keeping a model relevant requires a continuous curation effort. In this article, we present a system designed to integrate a pathway visualizer, text mining systems and annotation tools into a seamless environment. This will enable biologists to freely move between parts of a pathway and relevant sections of articles, as well as identify relevant papers from large text bases. The system, PathText, is developed by Systems Biology Institute, Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology, National Centre for Text Mining (University of Manchester) and the University of Tokyo, and is being used by groups of biologists from these locations. Contact: brian@monrovian.com. PMID:20529930

  1. Biological radioprotector

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2002-01-01

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

  2. 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.

  3. Marine biology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1984-01-01

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

  4. Dramatic lives and relevant becomings

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Henriksen, Ann-Karina; Miller, Jody

    2012-01-01

    The article explores how violence works to produce young women’s precarious positions in social milieus characterized by multiple marginalization. By paying attention to the micropolitics of violent engagements we argue that violent conflicts can be viewed as strategies for escaping positions...... of marginality into positions of relevance. The analysis builds on empirical data from Copenhagen, Denmark, gained through ethnographic fieldwork with the participation of 20 female informants aged 13–22. The theoretical contribution proposes viewing conflicts as multi-linear, multi-causal and non...

  5. Text mining for systems biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fluck, Juliane; Hofmann-Apitius, Martin

    2014-02-01

    Scientific communication in biomedicine is, by and large, still text based. Text mining technologies for the automated extraction of useful biomedical information from unstructured text that can be directly used for systems biology modelling have been substantially improved over the past few years. In this review, we underline the importance of named entity recognition and relationship extraction as fundamental approaches that are relevant to systems biology. Furthermore, we emphasize the role of publicly organized scientific benchmarking challenges that reflect the current status of text-mining technology and are important in moving the entire field forward. Given further interdisciplinary development of systems biology-orientated ontologies and training corpora, we expect a steadily increasing impact of text-mining technology on systems biology in the future. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Synthetic biology: engineering molecular computers

    CERN Document Server

    CERN. Geneva

    2018-01-01

    Complicated systems cannot survive the rigors of a chaotic environment, without balancing mechanisms that sense, decide upon and counteract the exerted disturbances. Especially so with living organisms, forced by competition to incredible complexities, escalating also their self-controlling plight. Therefore, they compute. Can we harness biological mechanisms to create artificial computing systems? Biology offers several levels of design abstraction: molecular machines, cells, organisms... ranging from the more easily-defined to the more inherently complex. At the bottom of this stack we find the nucleic acids, RNA and DNA, with their digital structure and relatively precise interactions. They are central enablers of designing artificial biological systems, in the confluence of engineering and biology, that we call Synthetic biology. In the first part, let us follow their trail towards an overview of building computing machines with molecules -- and in the second part, take the case study of iGEM Greece 201...

  7. Infectious Disease risks associated with exposure to stressful environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meehan, Ichard T.; Smith, Morey; Sams, Clarence

    1993-01-01

    Multiple environmental factors asociated with space flight can increase the risk of infectious illness among crewmembers thereby adversely affecting crew health and mission success. Host defences can be impaired by multiple physiological and psychological stressors including: sleep deprivation, disrupted circadian rhythms, separation from family, perceived danger, radiation exposure, and possibly also by the direct and indirect effects of microgravity. Relevant human immunological data from isolated or stressful environments including spaceflight will be reviewed. Long-duration missions should include reliable hardware which supports sophisticated immunodiagnostic capabilities. Future advances in immunology and molecular biology will continue to provide therapeutic agents and biologic response modifiers which should effectively and selectively restore immune function which has been depressed by exposure to environmental stressors.

  8. General review of literature relevant to coastal water discharges

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pentreath, R.J.

    1985-01-01

    This review on the behaviour of radionuclides released into coastal water from the radioactive discharges, prepared on the basis of existing publications and documents, is divided into parts on pathways of exposure, behaviour of radionuclides in coastal environments, biological avialability of radionuclides, habit surveys and critical groups, assessment of dose to man and the effects of radiation on aquatic organisms

  9. Critical components required to improve deployable laboratory biological hazards identification

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niemeyer, Debra M.

    2004-08-01

    An ever-expanding global military mission necessitates quick and accurate identification of biological hazards, whether naturally occurring or man-made. Coupled with an ever-present threat of biological attack, an expanded U.S. presence in worn-torn locations like Southwest Asia presents unique public health challenges. We must heed modern day "lessons learned" from Operation Desert Shield and the Soviet Afghanistan Campaign and guard against rapid incapacitation of troop strength from endemic disease and biological attack. To minimize readiness impacts, field hygiene is enforced, and research on better medical countermeasures such as antibiotics and vaccines continues. However, there are no preventions or remedies for all military-relevant infectious diseases or biological agents. A deployable, streamlined, self-contained diagnostic and public health surveillance laboratory capability with a reach-back communication is critical to meeting global readiness challenges. Current deployable laboratory packages comprise primarily diagnostic or environmental sample testing capabilities. Discussion will focus on critical components needed to improve existing laboratory assets, and to facilitate deployment of small, specialized packages far forward. The ideal laboratory model described will become an essential tool for the Combatant or Incident Commander to maintain force projection in the expeditionary environment.

  10. Environmental Biology

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    and their impacts on the environment and the biota. Parts 4 and 5 explain the system dynamics. Parts 6 and 7 deal with the different habitats, the communities they support and the environmental- setting. Parts 8 and 9 highlight the environmental problems and strategies to deal with them. A glossary enhances its value.

  11. Learning to soar in turbulent environments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reddy, Gautam; Celani, Antonio; Sejnowski, Terrence J; Vergassola, Massimo

    2016-08-16

    Birds and gliders exploit warm, rising atmospheric currents (thermals) to reach heights comparable to low-lying clouds with a reduced expenditure of energy. This strategy of flight (thermal soaring) is frequently used by migratory birds. Soaring provides a remarkable instance of complex decision making in biology and requires a long-term strategy to effectively use the ascending thermals. Furthermore, the problem is technologically relevant to extend the flying range of autonomous gliders. Thermal soaring is commonly observed in the atmospheric convective boundary layer on warm, sunny days. The formation of thermals unavoidably generates strong turbulent fluctuations, which constitute an essential element of soaring. Here, we approach soaring flight as a problem of learning to navigate complex, highly fluctuating turbulent environments. We simulate the atmospheric boundary layer by numerical models of turbulent convective flow and combine them with model-free, experience-based, reinforcement learning algorithms to train the gliders. For the learned policies in the regimes of moderate and strong turbulence levels, the glider adopts an increasingly conservative policy as turbulence levels increase, quantifying the degree of risk affordable in turbulent environments. Reinforcement learning uncovers those sensorimotor cues that permit effective control over soaring in turbulent environments.

  12. Biological Threats Detection Technologies

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bartoszcze, M.

    2007-01-01

    Among many decisive factors, which can have the influence on the possibility of decreases the results of use biological agents should be mentioned obligatory: rapid detection and identification of biological factor used, the proper preventive treatment and the medical management. The aims of identification: to identify the factor used, to estimate the area of contamination, to evaluate the possible countermeasure efforts (antibiotics, disinfectants) and to assess the effectiveness of the decontamination efforts (decontamination of the persons, equipment, buildings, environment etc.). The objects of identification are: bacteria and bacteria's spores, viruses, toxins and genetically modified factors. The present technologies are divided into: based on PCR techniques (ABI PRISM, APSIS, BIOVERIS, RAPID), immuno (BADD, RAMP, SMART) PCR and immuno techniques (APDS, LUMINEX) and others (BDS2, LUNASCAN, MALDI). The selected technologies assigned to field conditions, mobile and stationary laboratories will be presented.(author)

  13. Why ritual plant use has ethnopharmacological relevance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quiroz, Diana; Sosef, Marc; van Andel, Tinde

    2016-07-21

    Although ritual plant use is now recognised both for its socio-cultural importance and for its contribution to nature conservation, its potential pharmacological effects remain overlooked. Our objective was to see whether ritual plant use could have ethnopharmacological relevance through practices that involve direct physical contact with the human body. We hypothesise that ritual practices reflect traditional knowledge on biological activities of plant species, even if plants are used in a symbolic way. Data were collected in collaboration with traditional healers and ritual plant vendors and harvesters in Benin (West Africa) and Gabon (Central Africa). Both ritual and medicinal uses of plants were recorded. Voucher specimens were collected and identified. We documented different administration routes of ritual plants and selected those whose uses involved direct contact with the human body. Based on our quantitative market surveys and field inventories, we identified 24 commercially or otherwise culturally important species and compared their ritual uses with proven biological activity from the literature. We recorded 573 plant species with 667 ritual uses, of which ca. 75% (442 species and 499 uses) implied direct contact with the human body. The most common route of administration for ritual treatments was baths, followed by oral ingestion and skin rubbing. One third (186 species) of all ritual plants doubled as medicine for physical ailments. In contrast to previous research that explained the effectiveness of ritual plant use to be a matter of belief, our results hint at the potential medicinal properties of these plants. Ritual treatment of madness caused by evil spirits by the consumption of Rauvolfia vomitoria roots, for example, may be based on the species' proven anticonvulsant properties. We discuss some of the possible implications of ritual plant use for public health and conclude by suggesting that ritual plant uses that do not involve contact with

  14. Literature relevant to remote sensing of water quality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Middleton, E. M.; Marcell, R. F.

    1983-01-01

    References relevant to remote sensing of water quality were compiled, organized, and cross-referenced. The following general categories were included: (1) optical properties and measurement of water characteristics; (2) interpretation of water characteristics by remote sensing, including color, transparency, suspended or dissolved inorganic matter, biological materials, and temperature; (3) application of remote sensing for water quality monitoring; (4) application of remote sensing according to water body type; and (5) manipulation, processing and interpretation of remote sensing digital water data.

  15. Radioecology of the aquatic environment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Amiard-Triquet, C.; Amiard, J.C.

    1980-01-01

    This book is divided into nine parts as follows: origin of radionuclides in the aquatic environment; assessment of radioactive contamination of the aquatic environment; evolution of radionuclides in waters; behaviour of radionuclides in sediments; quantitative data on accumulation, distribution and biological release of radioactive pollutants; mechanisms of the biological accumulation; influence of ecological factors on radioactive contamination of ecosystems; effects of irradiation on aquatic organisms. The last part is devoted to general conclusions on sanitary and ecological consequences of radioactive pollution of the aquatic environment [fr

  16. Socially Relevant Knowledge Based Telemedicine

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    socia lizing [4, 5], edu cational or working environments [6, 7]. CVEs are able to convey th e social dynamics like turn taking, cooperation...trainee etc. Current CVEs also support diff erent media required for communication (t ext, audio, video), which are very important for group...after the talk than prior to it. Losh [15] lists several research work done by the Interactive Media L aboratory at Dartmouth Medical School

  17. Students' Personal Connection with Science: Investigating the Multidimensional Phenomenological Structure of Self-Relevance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hartwell, Matthew; Kaplan, Avi

    2018-01-01

    This paper presents findings from a two-phase mixed methods study investigating the phenomenological structure of self-relevance among ninth-grade junior high school biology students (Phase 1: N = 118; Phase 2: N = 139). We begin with a phenomenological multidimensional definition of self-relevance as comprising three dimensions: the academic…

  18. Programme Biology - Health protection

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1975-01-01

    The scientific results for 1975, of the five-year Biology-Health Protection programme adopted in 1971, are presented in two volumes. In volume one, Research in Radiation Protection are developed exclusively, including the following topics: measurement and interpretation of radiation (dosimetry); transfer of radioactive nuclides in the constituents of the environment; hereditary effects of radiation; short-term effects (acute irradiation syndrome and its treatment); long-term effects and toxicology of radioactive elements. In volume, two Research on applications in Agriculture and Medicine are developed. It includes: mutagenesis; soil-plant relations; radiation analysis; food conservation; cell culture; radioentomology. Research on applications in Medicine include: Nuclear Medicine and Neutron Dosimetry

  19. Environment and development

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1992-01-01

    As part of its contribution to the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, held in Rio de Janeiro in June 1992, the IAEA produced a booklet entitled ''Nuclear Power, Nuclear Techniques and Sustainable Development''. The second half of this dealt with the relevance of the IAEA's work to ''Agenda 21'', an agenda of environmental conservation and sustainable development for the twenty-first century. This article briefly summarizes the text

  20. Industrial relevance of thermophilic Archaea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Egorova, Ksenia; Antranikian, Garabed

    2005-12-01

    The dramatic increase of newly isolated extremophilic microorganisms, analysis of their genomes and investigations of their enzymes by academic and industrial laboratories demonstrate the great potential of extremophiles in industrial (white) biotechnology. Enzymes derived from extremophiles (extremozymes) are superior to the traditional catalysts because they can perform industrial processes even under harsh conditions, under which conventional proteins are completely denatured. In particular, enzymes from thermophilic and hyperthermophilic Archaea have industrial relevance. Despite intensive investigations, our knowledge of the structure-function relationships of their enzymes is still limited. Information concerning the molecular properties of their enzymes and genes has to be obtained to be able to understand the mechanisms that are responsible for catalytic activity and stability at the boiling point of water.