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Sample records for biology identifies alteration

  1. Advances in the translational genomics of neuroblastoma: From improving risk stratification and revealing novel biology to identifying actionable genomic alterations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bosse, Kristopher R; Maris, John M

    2016-01-01

    Neuroblastoma is an embryonal malignancy that commonly affects young children and is remarkably heterogenous in its malignant potential. Recently, the genetic basis of neuroblastoma has come into focus and not only has catalyzed a more comprehensive understanding of neuroblastoma tumorigenesis but also has revealed novel oncogenic vulnerabilities that are being therapeutically leveraged. Neuroblastoma is a model pediatric solid tumor in its use of recurrent genomic alterations, such as high-level MYCN (v-myc avian myelocytomatosis viral oncogene neuroblastoma-derived homolog) amplification, for risk stratification. Given the relative paucity of recurrent, activating, somatic point mutations or gene fusions in primary neuroblastoma tumors studied at initial diagnosis, innovative treatment approaches beyond small molecules targeting mutated or dysregulated kinases will be required moving forward to achieve noticeable improvements in overall patient survival. However, the clonally acquired, oncogenic aberrations in relapsed neuroblastomas are currently being defined and may offer an opportunity to improve patient outcomes with molecularly targeted therapy directed toward aberrantly regulated pathways in relapsed disease. This review summarizes the current state of knowledge about neuroblastoma genetics and genomics, highlighting the improved prognostication and potential therapeutic opportunities that have arisen from recent advances in understanding germline predisposition, recurrent segmental chromosomal alterations, somatic point mutations and translocations, and clonal evolution in relapsed neuroblastoma.

  2. Identifying associations between genomic alterations in tumors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    George, Joshy; Gorringe, Kylie L; Smyth, Gordon K; Bowtell, David D L

    2013-01-01

    Single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) mapping arrays are a reliable method for identifying somatic copy number alterations in cancer samples. Though this is immensely useful to identify potential driver genes, it is not sufficient to identify genes acting in a concerted manner. In cancer cells, co-amplified genes have been shown to provide synergistic effects, and genomic alterations targeting a pathway have been shown to occur in a mutually exclusive manner. We therefore developed a bioinformatic method for detecting such gene pairs using an integrated analysis of genomic copy number and gene expression data. This approach allowed us to identify a gene pair that is co-amplified and co-expressed in high-grade serous ovarian cancer. This finding provided information about the interaction of specific genetic events that contribute to the development and progression of this disease.

  3. Identifying communities from multiplex biological networks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gilles Didier

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Various biological networks can be constructed, each featuring gene/protein relationships of different meanings (e.g., protein interactions or gene co-expression. However, this diversity is classically not considered and the different interaction categories are usually aggregated in a single network. The multiplex framework, where biological relationships are represented by different network layers reflecting the various nature of interactions, is expected to retain more information. Here we assessed aggregation, consensus and multiplex-modularity approaches to detect communities from multiple network sources. By simulating random networks, we demonstrated that the multiplex-modularity method outperforms the aggregation and consensus approaches when network layers are incomplete or heterogeneous in density. Application to a multiplex biological network containing 4 layers of physical or functional interactions allowed recovering communities more accurately annotated than their aggregated counterparts. Overall, taking into account the multiplexity of biological networks leads to better-defined functional modules. A user-friendly graphical software to detect communities from multiplex networks, and corresponding C source codes, are available at GitHub (https://github.com/gilles-didier/MolTi.

  4. Wham: Identifying Structural Variants of Biological Consequence.

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    Zev N Kronenberg

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Existing methods for identifying structural variants (SVs from short read datasets are inaccurate. This complicates disease-gene identification and efforts to understand the consequences of genetic variation. In response, we have created Wham (Whole-genome Alignment Metrics to provide a single, integrated framework for both structural variant calling and association testing, thereby bypassing many of the difficulties that currently frustrate attempts to employ SVs in association testing. Here we describe Wham, benchmark it against three other widely used SV identification tools-Lumpy, Delly and SoftSearch-and demonstrate Wham's ability to identify and associate SVs with phenotypes using data from humans, domestic pigeons, and vaccinia virus. Wham and all associated software are covered under the MIT License and can be freely downloaded from github (https://github.com/zeeev/wham, with documentation on a wiki (http://zeeev.github.io/wham/. For community support please post questions to https://www.biostars.org/.

  5. Wham: Identifying Structural Variants of Biological Consequence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kronenberg, Zev N; Osborne, Edward J; Cone, Kelsey R; Kennedy, Brett J; Domyan, Eric T; Shapiro, Michael D; Elde, Nels C; Yandell, Mark

    2015-12-01

    Existing methods for identifying structural variants (SVs) from short read datasets are inaccurate. This complicates disease-gene identification and efforts to understand the consequences of genetic variation. In response, we have created Wham (Whole-genome Alignment Metrics) to provide a single, integrated framework for both structural variant calling and association testing, thereby bypassing many of the difficulties that currently frustrate attempts to employ SVs in association testing. Here we describe Wham, benchmark it against three other widely used SV identification tools-Lumpy, Delly and SoftSearch-and demonstrate Wham's ability to identify and associate SVs with phenotypes using data from humans, domestic pigeons, and vaccinia virus. Wham and all associated software are covered under the MIT License and can be freely downloaded from github (https://github.com/zeeev/wham), with documentation on a wiki (http://zeeev.github.io/wham/). For community support please post questions to https://www.biostars.org/.

  6. Global sensitivity and identifiability implications in systems biology

    OpenAIRE

    Dobre, Simona; Bastogne, Thierry; Richard, Alain

    2010-01-01

    International audience; In systems biology, a common approach to model biological processes is to use large systems of differential equations.The associated parameter estimation problem requires to prior handle identifiability and sensitivity issues in a practical biological framework. The lack of method to assess global practical identifiability has leaded us to analyze and establish bridges between global sensitivity and identifiability measures. Specifically, we are interested in deriving ...

  7. How Menthol Alters Tobacco-Smoking Behavior: A Biological Perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wickham, R J

    2015-09-01

    Mentholated cigarettes gained popularity in the 1950s and were often marketed as "healthy" cigarettes, attributable to their pleasurable mint flavor and cooling sensation in the mouth, lungs, and throat. While it is clear that nicotine is the primary psychoactive component in tobacco cigarettes, recent work has suggested that menthol may also play a role in exacerbating smoking behavior, despite original health claims. Recent evidence highlights four distinct biological mechanisms that can alter smoking behavior: 1) menthol acts to reduce the initially aversive experiences associated with tobacco smoking; 2) menthol can serve as a highly reinforcing sensory cue when associated with nicotine and promote smoking behavior; 3) menthol's actions on nicotinic acetylcholine receptors may change the reinforcing value of nicotine; and 4) menthol can alter nicotine metabolism, thus increasing nicotine bioavailability. The purpose of this review is to highlight and evaluate potential biological mechanisms by which menthol can alter smoking behavior.

  8. Hypertension is associated with marked alterations in sphingolipid biology

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Spijkers, Léon J A; van den Akker, Rob F P; Janssen, Ben J A

    2011-01-01

    SHR (42±4%; n = 7), but not in WKY (-12±10%; n = 6). Lipidomics analysis by mass spectrometry, revealed elevated levels of ceramide in arterial tissue of SHR compared to WKY (691±42 vs. 419±27 pmol, n = 3-5 respectively, pbiology are also....... n = 19 hypertensive patients, pbiology such as elevated ceramide levels and signaling, that contribute to increased vascular tone.......BACKGROUND: Hypertension is, amongst others, characterized by endothelial dysfunction and vascular remodeling. As sphingolipids have been implicated in both the regulation of vascular contractility and growth, we investigated whether sphingolipid biology is altered in hypertension and whether...

  9. TAGCNA: a method to identify significant consensus events of copy number alterations in cancer.

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    Xiguo Yuan

    Full Text Available Somatic copy number alteration (CNA is a common phenomenon in cancer genome. Distinguishing significant consensus events (SCEs from random background CNAs in a set of subjects has been proven to be a valuable tool to study cancer. In order to identify SCEs with an acceptable type I error rate, better computational approaches should be developed based on reasonable statistics and null distributions. In this article, we propose a new approach named TAGCNA for identifying SCEs in somatic CNAs that may encompass cancer driver genes. TAGCNA employs a peel-off permutation scheme to generate a reasonable null distribution based on a prior step of selecting tag CNA markers from the genome being considered. We demonstrate the statistical power of TAGCNA on simulated ground truth data, and validate its applicability using two publicly available cancer datasets: lung and prostate adenocarcinoma. TAGCNA identifies SCEs that are known to be involved with proto-oncogenes (e.g. EGFR, CDK4 and tumor suppressor genes (e.g. CDKN2A, CDKN2B, and provides many additional SCEs with potential biological relevance in these data. TAGCNA can be used to analyze the significance of CNAs in various cancers. It is implemented in R and is freely available at http://tagcna.sourceforge.net/.

  10. On linear models and parameter identifiability in experimental biological systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lamberton, Timothy O; Condon, Nicholas D; Stow, Jennifer L; Hamilton, Nicholas A

    2014-10-07

    A key problem in the biological sciences is to be able to reliably estimate model parameters from experimental data. This is the well-known problem of parameter identifiability. Here, methods are developed for biologists and other modelers to design optimal experiments to ensure parameter identifiability at a structural level. The main results of the paper are to provide a general methodology for extracting parameters of linear models from an experimentally measured scalar function - the transfer function - and a framework for the identifiability analysis of complex model structures using linked models. Linked models are composed by letting the output of one model become the input to another model which is then experimentally measured. The linked model framework is shown to be applicable to designing experiments to identify the measured sub-model and recover the input from the unmeasured sub-model, even in cases that the unmeasured sub-model is not identifiable. Applications for a set of common model features are demonstrated, and the results combined in an example application to a real-world experimental system. These applications emphasize the insight into answering "where to measure" and "which experimental scheme" questions provided by both the parameter extraction methodology and the linked model framework. The aim is to demonstrate the tools' usefulness in guiding experimental design to maximize parameter information obtained, based on the model structure.

  11. [Alteration of biological rhythms causes metabolic diseases and obesity].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saderi, Nadia; Escobar, Carolina; Salgado-Delgado, Roberto

    2013-07-16

    The incidence of obesity worldwide has become a serious, constantly growing public health issue that reaches alarming proportions in some countries. To date none of the strategies developed to combat obesity have proved to be decisive, and hence there is an urgent need to address the problem with new approaches. Today, studies in the field of chronobiology have shown that our physiology continually adapts itself to the cyclical changes in the environment, regard-less of whether they are daily or seasonal. This is possible thanks to the existence of a biological clock in our hypothalamus which regulates the expression and/or activity of enzymes and hormones involved in regulating our metabolism, as well as all the homeostatic functions. It has been observed that this clock can be upset as a result of today's modern lifestyle, which involves a drop in physical activity during the day and the abundant ingestion of food during the night, among other factors, which together promote metabolic syndrome and obesity. Hence, the aim of this review is to summarise the recent findings that show the effect that altering the circadian rhythms has on the metabolism and how this can play a part in the development of metabolic diseases.

  12. Identifying features in biological sequences: Sixth workshop report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Burks, C. [Los Alamos National Lab., NM (United States); Myers, E. [Univ. of Arizona (United States); Pearson, W.R. [Univ. of Virginia (United States)

    1995-12-31

    This report covers the sixth of an annual series of workshops held at the Aspen Center for Physics concentrating particularly on the identification of features in DNA sequence, and more broadly on related topics in computational molecular biology. The workshop series originally focused primarily on discussion of current needs and future strategies for identifying and predicting the presence of complex functional units on sequenced, but otherwise uncharacterized, genomic DNA. We addressed the need for computationally-based, automatic tools for synthesizing available data about individual consensus sequences and local compositional patterns into the composite objects (e.g., genes) that are -- as composite entities -- the true object of interest when scanning DNA sequences. The workshop was structured to promote sustained informal contact and exchange of expertise between molecular biologists, computer scientists, and mathematicians.

  13. Six Siderophore-Producing Microorganisms Identified in Biological Soil Crusts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noonan, K.; Anbar, A. D.; Garcia-Pichel, F.; Poret-peterson, A. T.; Hartnett, H. E.

    2011-12-01

    Biological soil crusts (BSCs) are diverse microbial communities that colonize soils in arid and semi-arid environments. Cyanobacteria in BSCs are pioneer organisms that increase ecosystem habitability by providing fixed carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) as well as by reducing water run-off and increasing infiltration. Photosynthesis and N fixation, in particular, require a variety of metals in large quantities, and yet, metals are predominantly insoluble in the environments where BSCs thrive. Therefore, BSC organisms must have efficient strategies for extracting metals from soil minerals. We hypothesized that BSC microbes, particularly the cyanobacteria, produce siderophores to serve their metal-acquisition needs. Siderophores are small organic compounds that bind Fe with high affinity and are produced by a variety of microorganisms, including cyanobacteria. Most siderophores bind Fe, primarily; however, some can also bind Mo, V, and Cu. Soil siderophores are released by microbes to increase the solubility of metals from minerals and to facilitate microbial uptake. Thus, siderophores serve as chemical weathering agents and provide a direct link between soil microbes and minerals. Studying siderophore production in BSCs provides insight into how BSCs tackle the challenge of acquiring insoluble metals, and may help conservationists determine useful fertilizers for BSC growth by facilitating metal acquisition. Biological soil crusts were collected near Moab, UT. Soil slurries were prepared in deionized water and transferred to modified BG-11 agar plates. The O-CAS agar plate assay was used to screen organisms for siderophore production. Siderophore producing microbes were isolated and identified by16S rRNA gene sequencing. Cultures were then grown in 3 L batch cultures under metal limitation, and siderophore presence was monitored using the traditional liquid CAS assay. After siderophore detection, cells were removed by centrifugation, organic compounds were separated using

  14. Integrative biology identifies shared transcriptional networks in CKD.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martini, Sebastian; Nair, Viji; Keller, Benjamin J; Eichinger, Felix; Hawkins, Jennifer J; Randolph, Ann; Böger, Carsten A; Gadegbeku, Crystal A; Fox, Caroline S; Cohen, Clemens D; Kretzler, Matthias

    2014-11-01

    A previous meta-analysis of genome-wide association data by the Cohorts for Heart and Aging Research in Genomic Epidemiology and CKDGen consortia identified 16 loci associated with eGFR. To define how each of these single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) could affect renal function, we integrated GFR-associated loci with regulatory pathways, producing a molecular map of CKD. In kidney biopsy specimens from 157 European subjects representing nine different CKDs, renal transcript levels for 18 genes in proximity to the SNPs significantly correlated with GFR. These 18 genes were mapped into their biologic context by testing coregulated transcripts for enriched pathways. A network of 97 pathways linked by shared genes was constructed and characterized. Of these pathways, 56 pathways were reported previously to be associated with CKD; 41 pathways without prior association with CKD were ranked on the basis of the number of candidate genes connected to the respective pathways. All pathways aggregated into a network of two main clusters comprising inflammation- and metabolism-related pathways, with the NRF2-mediated oxidative stress response pathway serving as the hub between the two clusters. In all, 78 pathways and 95% of the connections among those pathways were verified in an independent North American biopsy cohort. Disease-specific analyses showed that most pathways are shared between sets of three diseases, with closest interconnection between lupus nephritis, IgA nephritis, and diabetic nephropathy. Taken together, the network integrates candidate genes from genome-wide association studies into their functional context, revealing interactions and defining established and novel biologic mechanisms of renal impairment in renal diseases.

  15. Identifying biological themes within lists of genes with EASE.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hosack, Douglas A; Dennis, Glynn; Sherman, Brad T; Lane, H Clifford; Lempicki, Richard A

    2003-01-01

    EASE is a customizable software application for rapid biological interpretation of gene lists that result from the analysis of microarray, proteomics, SAGE and other high-throughput genomic data. The biological themes returned by EASE recapitulate manually determined themes in previously published gene lists and are robust to varying methods of normalization, intensity calculation and statistical selection of genes. EASE is a powerful tool for rapidly converting the results of functional genomics studies from 'genes' to 'themes'.

  16. Identifying and visualizing macromolecular flexibility in structural biology

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    Martina Palamini

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Structural biology comprises a variety of tools to obtain atomic resolution data for the investigation of macromolecules. Conventional structural methodologies including crystallography, NMR and electron microscopy often do not provide sufficient details concerning flexibility and dynamics, even though these aspects are critical for the physiological functions of the systems under investigation. However, the increasing complexity of the molecules studied by structural biology (including large macromolecular assemblies, integral membrane proteins, intrinsically disordered systems, and folding intermediates continuously demands in-depth analyses of the roles of flexibility and conformational specificity involved in interactions with ligands and inhibitors. The intrinsic difficulties in capturing often subtle but critical molecular motions in biological systems have restrained the investigation of flexible molecules into a small niche of structural biology. Introduction of massive technological developments over the recent years, which include time-resolved studies, solution X-ray scattering, and new detectors for cryo-electron microscopy, have pushed the limits of structural investigation of flexible systems far beyond traditional approaches of NMR analysis. By integrating these modern methods with powerful biophysical and computational approaches such as generation of ensembles of molecular models and selective particle picking in electron microscopy, more feasible investigations of dynamic systems are now possible. Using some prominent examples from recent literature, we review how current structural biology methods can contribute useful data to accurately visualize flexibility in macromolecular structures and understand its important roles in regulation of biological processes.

  17. Alterations in immune function with biologic therapies for autoimmune disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Her, Minyoung; Kavanaugh, Arthur

    2016-01-01

    Autoimmune disorders, including rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, psoriasis, and others, are characterized by dysregulation of various aspects of normal immunity and inflammation. Biologic agents targeting key components of the dysregulated immune response have dramatically improved patient outcomes and transformed treatment paradigms for a number of systemic inflammatory autoimmune diseases. Despite their excellent efficacy, because they do affect normal immune responsiveness, biologic agents can potentially be associated with a variety of adverse effects. Important potential adverse effects related to the use of biologic agents include immunosuppression, which might result in outcomes such as infection, and autoimmunity, that could result in paradoxical inflammation or even autoimmune disease. In this article the current clinical evidence and immunologic mechanisms of the adverse effects related to biologic agents are discussed.

  18. Alteration of biological samples in speciation analysis of metalloproteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolf, Christian; Wenda, Nadine; Richter, Andrea; Kyriakopoulos, Antonios

    2007-10-01

    For investigations of metalloproteins by speciation analysis, the integrity of the protein-metal complexes before and during separation is crucial. Knowledge about potential alterations of the samples is thus essential to avoid misinterpretations of the analytical results. Chromatographic element profiles of different cytosolic samples from animal tissues were measured repeatedly to estimate the sample stability. The dependence of the signals on the dwell time of the sample in an autosampling device at 4 degrees C for a period of 10 h was observed. Alterations in the element content of different metal-containing fractions were quantified by means of recovery values. Some metalloprotein fractions (e.g. approximately 27-kDa arsenic, approximately 27-kDa iron and different zinc fractions) were stable or only minor alterations were observed and for their investigation an autosampling device is therefore suitable. However, most of the other metalloprotein fractions, especially nickel-containing proteins, showed major alterations: these samples should therefore be analysed immediately after preparation or directly after thawing.

  19. Topics in space gerontology: Effects of altered gravity and the problem of biological age

    Science.gov (United States)

    Economos, A. C.

    1982-01-01

    The use of altered gravity experimentation as a gerontological research tool is examined and a rationale for a systems approach to the adaptation to spaceflight is presented. The dependence of adaptation capacity on biological age is also discussed.

  20. Comprehensive genomic analysis of malignant pleural mesothelioma identifies recurrent mutations, gene fusions and splicing alterations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bueno, Raphael; Stawiski, Eric W; Goldstein, Leonard D; Durinck, Steffen; De Rienzo, Assunta; Modrusan, Zora; Gnad, Florian; Nguyen, Thong T; Jaiswal, Bijay S; Chirieac, Lucian R; Sciaranghella, Daniele; Dao, Nhien; Gustafson, Corinne E; Munir, Kiara J; Hackney, Jason A; Chaudhuri, Amitabha; Gupta, Ravi; Guillory, Joseph; Toy, Karen; Ha, Connie; Chen, Ying-Jiun; Stinson, Jeremy; Chaudhuri, Subhra; Zhang, Na; Wu, Thomas D; Sugarbaker, David J; de Sauvage, Frederic J; Richards, William G; Seshagiri, Somasekar

    2016-04-01

    We analyzed transcriptomes (n = 211), whole exomes (n = 99) and targeted exomes (n = 103) from 216 malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) tumors. Using RNA-seq data, we identified four distinct molecular subtypes: sarcomatoid, epithelioid, biphasic-epithelioid (biphasic-E) and biphasic-sarcomatoid (biphasic-S). Through exome analysis, we found BAP1, NF2, TP53, SETD2, DDX3X, ULK2, RYR2, CFAP45, SETDB1 and DDX51 to be significantly mutated (q-score ≥ 0.8) in MPMs. We identified recurrent mutations in several genes, including SF3B1 (∼2%; 4/216) and TRAF7 (∼2%; 5/216). SF3B1-mutant samples showed a splicing profile distinct from that of wild-type tumors. TRAF7 alterations occurred primarily in the WD40 domain and were, except in one case, mutually exclusive with NF2 alterations. We found recurrent gene fusions and splice alterations to be frequent mechanisms for inactivation of NF2, BAP1 and SETD2. Through integrated analyses, we identified alterations in Hippo, mTOR, histone methylation, RNA helicase and p53 signaling pathways in MPMs.

  1. Gene Expression Profiling of Biological Pathway Alterations by Radiation Exposure

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kuei-Fang Lee

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Though damage caused by radiation has been the focus of rigorous research, the mechanisms through which radiation exerts harmful effects on cells are complex and not well-understood. In particular, the influence of low dose radiation exposure on the regulation of genes and pathways remains unclear. In an attempt to investigate the molecular alterations induced by varying doses of radiation, a genome-wide expression analysis was conducted. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells were collected from five participants and each sample was subjected to 0.5 Gy, 1 Gy, 2.5 Gy, and 5 Gy of cobalt 60 radiation, followed by array-based expression profiling. Gene set enrichment analysis indicated that the immune system and cancer development pathways appeared to be the major affected targets by radiation exposure. Therefore, 1 Gy radioactive exposure seemed to be a critical threshold dosage. In fact, after 1 Gy radiation exposure, expression levels of several genes including FADD, TNFRSF10B, TNFRSF8, TNFRSF10A, TNFSF10, TNFSF8, CASP1, and CASP4 that are associated with carcinogenesis and metabolic disorders showed significant alterations. Our results suggest that exposure to low-dose radiation may elicit changes in metabolic and immune pathways, potentially increasing the risk of immune dysfunctions and metabolic disorders.

  2. Method for photo-altering a biological system to improve biological effect

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hill, Richard A.; Doiron, Daniel R.; Crean, David H.

    2000-08-01

    Photodynamic therapy is a new adjunctive therapy for filtration surgery that does not use chemotherapy agents or radiation, but uses pharmacologically-active sensitizing compounds to produce a titratable, localized, transient, post operative avascular conjunctiva. A photosensitizing agent in a biological system is selectively activated by delivering the photosensitive agent to the biological system and laser activating only a spatially selected portion of the delivered photosensitive agent. The activated portion of the photosensitive agent reacts with the biological system to obtain a predetermined biological effect. As a result, an improved spatial disposition and effectuation of the biological effect by the photosensitive agent in the biological system is achieved.

  3. Identifying and relating biological concepts in the Catalogue of Life

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    Jones Andrew C

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background In this paper we describe our experience of adding globally unique identifiers to the Species 2000 and ITIS Catalogue of Life, an on-line index of organisms which is intended, ultimately, to cover all the world's known species. The scientific species names held in the Catalogue are names that already play an extensive role as terms in the organisation of information about living organisms in bioinformatics and other domains, but the effectiveness of their use is hindered by variation in individuals' opinions and understanding of these terms; indeed, in some cases more than one name will have been used to refer to the same organism. This means that it is desirable to be able to give unique labels to each of these differing concepts within the catalogue and to be able to determine which concepts are being used in other systems, in order that they can be associated with the concepts in the catalogue. Not only is this needed, but it is also necessary to know the relationships between alternative concepts that scientists might have employed, as these determine what can be inferred when data associated with related concepts is being processed. A further complication is that the catalogue itself is evolving as scientific opinion changes due to an increasing understanding of life. Results We describe how we are using Life Science Identifiers (LSIDs as globally unique identifiers in the Catalogue of Life, explaining how the mapping to species concepts is performed, how concepts are associated with specific editions of the catalogue, and how the Taxon Concept Schema has been adopted in order to express information about concepts and their relationships. We explore the implications of using globally unique identifiers in order to refer to abstract concepts such as species, which incorporate at least a measure of subjectivity in their definition, in contrast with the more traditional use of such identifiers to refer to more tangible

  4. Altered retinoic acid metabolism in diabetic mouse kidney identified by O isotopic labeling and 2D mass spectrometry.

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    Jonathan M Starkey

    Full Text Available Numerous metabolic pathways have been implicated in diabetes-induced renal injury, yet few studies have utilized unbiased systems biology approaches for mapping the interconnectivity of diabetes-dysregulated proteins that are involved. We utilized a global, quantitative, differential proteomic approach to identify a novel retinoic acid hub in renal cortical protein networks dysregulated by type 2 diabetes.Total proteins were extracted from renal cortex of control and db/db mice at 20 weeks of age (after 12 weeks of hyperglycemia in the diabetic mice. Following trypsinization, (18O- and (16O-labeled control and diabetic peptides, respectively, were pooled and separated by two dimensional liquid chromatography (strong cation exchange creating 60 fractions further separated by nano-HPLC, followed by peptide identification and quantification using mass spectrometry. Proteomic analysis identified 53 proteins with fold change >or=1.5 and pidentified, including alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH and retinaldehyde dehydrogenase (RALDH1/ALDH1A1. Ingenuity Pathway Analysis identified altered retinoic acid as a key signaling hub that was altered in the diabetic renal cortical proteome. Western blotting and real-time PCR confirmed diabetes-induced upregulation of RALDH1, which was localized by immunofluorescence predominantly to the proximal tubule in the diabetic renal cortex, while PCR confirmed the downregulation of ADH identified with mass spectrometry. Despite increased renal cortical tissue levels of retinol and RALDH1 in db/db versus control mice, all-trans-retinoic acid was significantly decreased in association with a significant decrease in PPARbeta/delta mRNA.Our results indicate that retinoic acid metabolism is significantly dysregulated in diabetic kidneys, and suggest that a shift in all-trans-retinoic acid metabolism is a novel feature in type 2 diabetic renal disease. Our

  5. Biomarkers for visceral hypersensitivity identified by classification of electroencephalographic frequency alterations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graversen, Carina; Brock, Christina; Mohr Drewes, Asbjørn; Farina, Dario

    2011-10-01

    Abdominal pain is frequently related to visceral hypersensitivity. This is associated with increased neuronal excitability in the central nervous system (CNS), which can be manifested as discrete electroencephalographic (EEG) alterations. In the current placebo-controlled study, visceral hypersensitivity was evoked by chemical irritation of the esophagus with acid and capsaicin perfusion. The resulting hyperexcitability of the CNS was evaluated by evoked brain potentials following painful electrical stimulations of a remote organ—the rectosigmoid colon. Alterations in individual EEG power distributions between baseline and after perfusion were quantified by extracting features from the evoked brain potentials using an optimized discrete wavelet transform. Visceral hypersensitivity was identified as increased EEG power in the delta, theta and alpha frequency bands. By applying a support vector machine in regression mode, the individual baseline corrected alterations after sensitization were discriminated from alterations caused by placebo perfusions. An accuracy of 91.7% was obtained (P classification of EEG can be used to detect biomarkers reflecting central neuronal changes. In the future, this may be used in studies of pain physiology and pharmacological interventions.

  6. Identifying biological pathway interrupting toxins using multi-tree ensembles

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    Gergo Barta

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available The pharmaceutical industry constantly seeks new ways to improve current methods that scientists use to evaluate environmental chemicals and develop new medicines. Various automated steps are involved in the process as testing hundreds of thousands of chemicals manually would be infeasible. Our research effort and the Toxicology in the 21st Century Data Challenge focused on cost-effective automation of toxicological testing, a chemical substance screening process looking for possible toxic effects caused by interrupting biological pathways. The computational models we propose in this paper successfully combine various publicly available substance fingerprinting tools with advanced machine learning techniques. In our paper, we explore the significance and utility of assorted feature selection methods as the structural analyzers generate a plethora of features for each substance. Machine learning models were carefully selected and evaluated based on their capability to cope with the high-dimensional high-variety data with multi-tree ensemble methods coming out on top. Techniques like Random forests and Extra trees combine numerous simple tree models and proved to produce reliable predictions on toxic activity while being nearly non-parametric and insensitive to dimensionality extremes. The Tox21 Data Challenge contest offered a great platform to compare a wide range of solutions in a controlled and orderly manner. The results clearly demonstrate that the generic approach presented in this paper is comparable to advanced deep learning and domain-specific solutions. Even surpassing the competition in some nuclear receptor signaling and stress pathway assays and achieving an accuracy of up to 94 percent.

  7. Genome wide association mapping in Arabidopsis thaliana identifies novel genes involved in linking allyl glucosinolate to altered biomass and defense

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    Marta Francisco

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available A key limitation in modern biology is the ability to rapidly identify genes underlying newly identified complex phenotypes. Genome wide association studies (GWAS have become an increasingly important approach for dissecting natural variation by associating phenotypes with genotypes at a genome wide level. Recent work is showing that the Arabidopsis thaliana defense metabolite, allyl glucosinolate (GSL, may provide direct feedback regulation, linking defense metabolism outputs to the growth and defense responses of the plant. However, there is still a need to identify genes that underlie this process. To start developing a deeper understanding of the mechanism(s that modulate the ability of exogenous allyl GSL to alter growth and defense, we measured changes in plant biomass and defense metabolites in a collection of natural 96 A. thaliana accessions fed with 50 µM of allyl GSL. Exogenous allyl GSL was introduced exclusively to the roots and the compound transported to the leaf leading to a wide range of heritable effects upon plant biomass and endogenous GSL accumulation. Using natural variation we conducted GWAS to identify a number of new genes which potentially control allyl responses in various plant processes. This is one of the first instances in which this approach has been successfully utilized to begin dissecting a novel phenotype to the underlying molecular/polygenic basis.

  8. Whole-exome sequencing of endometriosis identifies frequent alterations in genes involved in cell adhesion and chromatin-remodeling complexes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Xiaolei; Zhang, Yan; Zhao, Luyang; Wang, Lingxiong; Wu, Zhiqiang; Mei, Qian; Nie, Jing; Li, Xiang; Li, Yali; Fu, Xiaobing; Wang, Xiaoning; Meng, Yuanguang; Han, Weidong

    2014-11-15

    Endometriosis is a complex and enigmatic disease that arises from the interplay among multiple genetic and environmental factors. The defining feature of endometriosis is the deposition and growth of endometrial tissues at sites outside of the uterine cavity. Studies to date have established that endometriosis is heritable but have not addressed the causal genetic variants for this disease. Here, we conducted whole-exome sequencing to comprehensively search for somatic mutations in both eutopic and ectopic endometrium from 16 endometriosis patients and five normal control patients using laser capture microdissection. We compared the mutational landscape of ectopic endometrium with the corresponding eutopic sample from endometriosis patients compared with endometrium from normal women and identified previously unreported mutated genes and pathway alternations. Statistical analysis of exome data identified that most genes were specifically mutated in both eutopic and ectopic endometrium cells. In particular, genes that are involved in biological adhesion, cell-cell junctions, and chromatin-remodeling complex(es) were identified, which partially supports the retrograde menstruation theory that proposes that endometrial cells are refluxed through the fallopian tubes during menstruation and implanted onto the peritoneum or pelvic organs. Conspicuously, when we compared exomic mutation data for paired eutopic and ectopic endometrium, we identified a mutational signature in both endometrial types for which no overlap in somatic single nucleotide variants were observed. These mutations occurred in a mutually exclusive manner, likely because of the discrepancy in endometriosis pathology and physiology, as eutopic endometrium rapidly regrows, and ectopic endometrial growth is inert. Our findings provide, to our knowledge, an unbiased view of the landscape of genetic alterations in endometriosis and vital information for indicating that genetic alterations in cytoskeletal and

  9. Genome wide transcriptome analysis of dendritic cells identifies genes with altered expression in psoriasis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kata Filkor

    Full Text Available Activation of dendritic cells by different pathogens induces the secretion of proinflammatory mediators resulting in local inflammation. Importantly, innate immunity must be properly controlled, as its continuous activation leads to the development of chronic inflammatory diseases such as psoriasis. Lipopolysaccharide (LPS or peptidoglycan (PGN induced tolerance, a phenomenon of transient unresponsiveness of cells to repeated or prolonged stimulation, proved valuable model for the study of chronic inflammation. Thus, the aim of this study was the identification of the transcriptional diversity of primary human immature dendritic cells (iDCs upon PGN induced tolerance. Using SAGE-Seq approach, a tag-based transcriptome sequencing method, we investigated gene expression changes of primary human iDCs upon stimulation or restimulation with Staphylococcus aureus derived PGN, a widely used TLR2 ligand. Based on the expression pattern of the altered genes, we identified non-tolerizeable and tolerizeable genes. Gene Ontology (GO and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (Kegg analysis showed marked enrichment of immune-, cell cycle- and apoptosis related genes. In parallel to the marked induction of proinflammatory mediators, negative feedback regulators of innate immunity, such as TNFAIP3, TNFAIP8, Tyro3 and Mer are markedly downregulated in tolerant cells. We also demonstrate, that the expression pattern of TNFAIP3 and TNFAIP8 is altered in both lesional, and non-lesional skin of psoriatic patients. Finally, we show that pretreatment of immature dendritic cells with anti-TNF-α inhibits the expression of IL-6 and CCL1 in tolerant iDCs and partially releases the suppression of TNFAIP8. Our findings suggest that after PGN stimulation/restimulation the host cell utilizes different mechanisms in order to maintain critical balance between inflammation and tolerance. Importantly, the transcriptome sequencing of stimulated/restimulated iDCs identified

  10. Novel Somatic Copy Number Alteration Identified for Cervical Cancer in the Mexican American Population

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    Alireza Torabi

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Cervical cancer affects millions of Americans, but the rate for cervical cancer in the Mexican American is approximately twice that for non-Mexican Americans. The etiologies of cervical cancer are still not fully understood. A number of somatic mutations, including several copy number alterations (CNAs, have been identified in the pathogenesis of cervical carcinomas in non-Mexican Americans. Thus, the purpose of this study was to investigate CNAs in association with cervical cancer in the Mexican American population. We conducted a pilot study of genome-wide CNA analysis using 2.5 million markers in four diagnostic groups: reference (n = 125, low grade dysplasia (cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN-I, n = 4, high grade dysplasia (CIN-II and -III, n = 5 and invasive carcinoma (squamous cell carcinoma (SCC, n = 5 followed by data analyses using Partek. We observed a statistically-significant difference of CNA burden between case and reference groups of different sizes (>100 kb, 10–100 kb and 1–10 kb of CNAs that included deletions and amplifications, e.g., a statistically-significant difference of >100 kb deletions was observed between the reference (6.6% and pre-cancer and cancer (91.3% groups. Recurrent aberrations of 98 CNA regions were also identified in cases only. However, none of the CNAs have an impact on cancer progression. A total of 32 CNA regions identified contained tumor suppressor genes and oncogenes. Moreover, the pathway analysis revealed endometrial cancer and estrogen signaling pathways associated with this cancer (p < 0.05 using Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG. This is the first report of CNAs identified for cervical cancer in the U.S. Latino population using high density markers. We are aware of the small sample size in the study. Thus, additional studies with a larger sample are needed to confirm the current findings.

  11. Comparative analysis of methods for identifying recurrent copy number alterations in cancer.

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    Xiguo Yuan

    Full Text Available Recurrent copy number alterations (CNAs play an important role in cancer genesis. While a number of computational methods have been proposed for identifying such CNAs, their relative merits remain largely unknown in practice since very few efforts have been focused on comparative analysis of the methods. To facilitate studies of recurrent CNA identification in cancer genome, it is imperative to conduct a comprehensive comparison of performance and limitations among existing methods. In this paper, six representative methods proposed in the latest six years are compared. These include one-stage and two-stage approaches, working with raw intensity ratio data and discretized data respectively. They are based on various techniques such as kernel regression, correlation matrix diagonal segmentation, semi-parametric permutation and cyclic permutation schemes. We explore multiple criteria including type I error rate, detection power, Receiver Operating Characteristics (ROC curve and the area under curve (AUC, and computational complexity, to evaluate performance of the methods under multiple simulation scenarios. We also characterize their abilities on applications to two real datasets obtained from cancers with lung adenocarcinoma and glioblastoma. This comparison study reveals general characteristics of the existing methods for identifying recurrent CNAs, and further provides new insights into their strengths and weaknesses. It is believed helpful to accelerate the development of novel and improved methods.

  12. Mapping genetic alterations causing chemoresistance in cancer: identifying the roads by tracking the drivers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lønning, P E; Knappskog, S

    2013-11-14

    Although new agents are implemented to cancer therapy, we lack fundamental understandings of the mechanisms of chemoresistance, the main obstacle to cure in cancer. Here we review clinical evidence linking molecular defects to drug resistance across different tumour forms and discuss contemporary experimental evidence exploring these mechanisms. Although evidence, in general, is sparse and fragmentary, merging knowledge links drug resistance, and also sensitivity, to defects in functional pathways having a key role in cell growth arrest or death and DNA repair. As these pathways may act in concert, there is a need to explore multiple mechanisms in parallel. Taking advantage of massive parallel sequencing and other novel high-throughput technologies and base research on biological hypotheses, we now have the possibility to characterize functional defects related to these key pathways and to design a new generation of studies identifying the mechanisms controlling resistance to different treatment regimens in different tumour forms.

  13. Identifying common components across biological network graphs using a bipartite data model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baker, Ej; Culpepper, C; Philips, C; Bubier, J; Langston, M; Chesler, Ej

    2014-01-01

    The GeneWeaver bipartite data model provides an efficient means to evaluate shared molecular components from sets derived across diverse species, disease states and biological processes. In order to adapt this model for examining related molecular components and biological networks, such as pathway or gene network data, we have developed a means to leverage the bipartite data structure to extract and analyze shared edges. Using the Pathway Commons database we demonstrate the ability to rapidly identify shared connected components among a diverse set of pathways. In addition, we illustrate how results from maximal bipartite discovery can be decomposed into hierarchical relationships, allowing shared pathway components to be mapped through various parent-child relationships to help visualization and discovery of emergent kernel driven relationships. Interrogating common relationships among biological networks and conventional GeneWeaver gene lists will increase functional specificity and reliability of the shared biological components. This approach enables self-organization of biological processes through shared biological networks.

  14. Targeted alteration of real and imaginary refractive index of biological cells by histological staining

    OpenAIRE

    Cherkezyan, Lusik; Subramanian, Hariharan; Stoyneva, Valentina; Rogers, Jeremy D.; Yang, Seungmoo; Damania, Dhwanil; Taflove, Allen; Backman, Vadim

    2012-01-01

    Various staining techniques are commonly used in biomedical research to investigate cellular morphology. By inducing absorption of light, staining dyes change the intracellular refractive index due to the Kramers-Kronig relationship. We present a method for creating 2-D maps of real and imaginary refractive indices of stained biological cells using their thickness and absorptance. We validate our technique on dyed polystyrene microspheres and quantify the alteration in refractive index of sta...

  15. Altered endoribonuclease activity of apurinic/apyrimidinic endonuclease 1 variants identified in the human population.

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    Wan Cheol Kim

    Full Text Available Apurinic/apyrimidinic endonuclease 1 (APE1 is the major mammalian enzyme in the DNA base excision repair pathway and cleaves the DNA phosphodiester backbone immediately 5' to abasic sites. APE1 also has 3'-5' DNA exonuclease and 3' DNA phosphodiesterase activities, and regulates transcription factor DNA binding through its redox regulatory function. The human APE1 has recently been shown to endonucleolytically cleave single-stranded regions of RNA. Towards understanding the biological significance of the endoribonuclease activity of APE1, we examined eight different amino acid substitution variants of APE1 previously identified in the human population. Our study shows that six APE1 variants, D148E, Q51H, I64V, G241R, R237A, and G306A, exhibit a 76-85% reduction in endoribonuclease activity against a specific coding region of the c-myc RNA, yet fully retain the ability to cleave apurinic/apyrimidinic DNA. We found that two APE1 variants, L104R and E126D, exhibit a unique RNase inhibitor-resistant endoribonuclease activity, where the proteins cleave c-myc RNA 3' of specific single-stranded guanosine residues. Expression of L104R and E126D APE1 variants in bacterial Origami cells leads to a 60-80% reduction in colony formation and a 1.5-fold increase in cell doubling time, whereas the other variants, which exhibit diminished endoribonuclease activity, had no effect. These data indicate that two human APE1 variants exhibit a unique endoribonuclease activity, which correlates with their ability to induce cytotoxicity or slow down growth in bacterial cells and supports the notion of their biological functionality.

  16. Altered endoribonuclease activity of apurinic/apyrimidinic endonuclease 1 variants identified in the human population.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Wan Cheol; Ma, Conan; Li, Wai-Ming; Chohan, Manbir; Wilson, David M; Lee, Chow H

    2014-01-01

    Apurinic/apyrimidinic endonuclease 1 (APE1) is the major mammalian enzyme in the DNA base excision repair pathway and cleaves the DNA phosphodiester backbone immediately 5' to abasic sites. APE1 also has 3'-5' DNA exonuclease and 3' DNA phosphodiesterase activities, and regulates transcription factor DNA binding through its redox regulatory function. The human APE1 has recently been shown to endonucleolytically cleave single-stranded regions of RNA. Towards understanding the biological significance of the endoribonuclease activity of APE1, we examined eight different amino acid substitution variants of APE1 previously identified in the human population. Our study shows that six APE1 variants, D148E, Q51H, I64V, G241R, R237A, and G306A, exhibit a 76-85% reduction in endoribonuclease activity against a specific coding region of the c-myc RNA, yet fully retain the ability to cleave apurinic/apyrimidinic DNA. We found that two APE1 variants, L104R and E126D, exhibit a unique RNase inhibitor-resistant endoribonuclease activity, where the proteins cleave c-myc RNA 3' of specific single-stranded guanosine residues. Expression of L104R and E126D APE1 variants in bacterial Origami cells leads to a 60-80% reduction in colony formation and a 1.5-fold increase in cell doubling time, whereas the other variants, which exhibit diminished endoribonuclease activity, had no effect. These data indicate that two human APE1 variants exhibit a unique endoribonuclease activity, which correlates with their ability to induce cytotoxicity or slow down growth in bacterial cells and supports the notion of their biological functionality.

  17. Convergence of mutation and epigenetic alterations identifies common genes in cancer that predict for poor prognosis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Timothy A Chan

    2008-05-01

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The identification and characterization of tumor suppressor genes has enhanced our understanding of the biology of cancer and enabled the development of new diagnostic and therapeutic modalities. Whereas in past decades, a handful of tumor suppressors have been slowly identified using techniques such as linkage analysis, large-scale sequencing of the cancer genome has enabled the rapid identification of a large number of genes that are mutated in cancer. However, determining which of these many genes play key roles in cancer development has proven challenging. Specifically, recent sequencing of human breast and colon cancers has revealed a large number of somatic gene mutations, but virtually all are heterozygous, occur at low frequency, and are tumor-type specific. We hypothesize that key tumor suppressor genes in cancer may be subject to mutation or hypermethylation. METHODS AND FINDINGS: Here, we show that combined genetic and epigenetic analysis of these genes reveals many with a higher putative tumor suppressor status than would otherwise be appreciated. At least 36 of the 189 genes newly recognized to be mutated are targets of promoter CpG island hypermethylation, often in both colon and breast cancer cell lines. Analyses of primary tumors show that 18 of these genes are hypermethylated strictly in primary cancers and often with an incidence that is much higher than for the mutations and which is not restricted to a single tumor-type. In the identical breast cancer cell lines in which the mutations were identified, hypermethylation is usually, but not always, mutually exclusive from genetic changes for a given tumor, and there is a high incidence of concomitant loss of expression. Sixteen out of 18 (89% of these genes map to loci deleted in human cancers. Lastly, and most importantly, the reduced expression of a subset of these genes strongly correlates with poor clinical outcome. CONCLUSIONS: Using an unbiased genome

  18. A theoretical framework for biological control of soil-borne plant pathogens: Identifying effective strategies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cunniffe, Nik J; Gilligan, Christopher A

    2011-06-07

    We develop and analyse a flexible compartmental model of the interaction between a plant host, a soil-borne pathogen and a microbial antagonist, for use in optimising biological control. By extracting invasion and persistence thresholds of host, pathogen and biological control agent, performing an equilibrium analysis, and numerical investigation of sensitivity to parameters and initial conditions, we determine criteria for successful biological control. We identify conditions for biological control (i) to prevent a pathogen entering a system, (ii) to eradicate a pathogen that is already present and, if that is not possible, (iii) to reduce the density of the pathogen. Control depends upon the epidemiology of the pathogen and how efficiently the antagonist can colonise particular habitats (i.e. healthy tissue, infected tissue and/or soil-borne inoculum). A sharp transition between totally effective control (i.e. eradication of the pathogen) and totally ineffective control can follow slight changes in biologically interpretable parameters or to the initial amounts of pathogen and biological control agent present. Effective biological control requires careful matching of antagonists to pathosystems. For preventative/eradicative control, antagonists must colonise susceptible hosts. However, for reduction in disease prevalence, the range of habitat is less important than the antagonist's bulking-up efficiency.

  19. Systems Biology in Animal Breeding: Identifying relationships among markers, genes, and phenotypes

    Science.gov (United States)

    The Breeding and Genetics Symposium titled “Systems Biology in Animal Breeding: Identifying relationships among markers, genes, and phenotypes” was held at the Joint Annual Meeting of the American Dairy Science Association and the American Society of Animal Science in Phoenix, AZ, July 15 to 19, 201...

  20. Systems and synthetic biology approaches to alter plant cell walls and reduce biomass recalcitrance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kalluri, Udaya C; Yin, Hengfu; Yang, Xiaohan; Davison, Brian H

    2014-12-01

    Fine-tuning plant cell wall properties to render plant biomass more amenable to biofuel conversion is a colossal challenge. A deep knowledge of the biosynthesis and regulation of plant cell wall and a high-precision genome engineering toolset are the two essential pillars of efforts to alter plant cell walls and reduce biomass recalcitrance. The past decade has seen a meteoric rise in use of transcriptomics and high-resolution imaging methods resulting in fresh insights into composition, structure, formation and deconstruction of plant cell walls. Subsequent gene manipulation approaches, however, commonly include ubiquitous mis-expression of a single candidate gene in a host that carries an intact copy of the native gene. The challenges posed by pleiotropic and unintended changes resulting from such an approach are moving the field towards synthetic biology approaches. Synthetic biology builds on a systems biology knowledge base and leverages high-precision tools for high-throughput assembly of multigene constructs and pathways, precision genome editing and site-specific gene stacking, silencing and/or removal. Here, we summarize the recent breakthroughs in biosynthesis and remodelling of major secondary cell wall components, assess the impediments in obtaining a systems-level understanding and explore the potential opportunities in leveraging synthetic biology approaches to reduce biomass recalcitrance.

  1. Model Order and Identifiability of Non-Linear Biological Systems in Stable Oscillation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wigren, Torbjörn

    2015-01-01

    The paper presents a theoretical result that clarifies when it is at all possible to determine the nonlinear dynamic equations of a biological system in stable oscillation, from measured data. As it turns out the minimal order needed for this is dependent on the minimal dimension in which the stable orbit of the system does not intersect itself. This is illustrated with a simulated fourth order Hodgkin-Huxley spiking neuron model, which is identified using a non-linear second order differential equation model. The simulated result illustrates that the underlying higher order model of the spiking neuron cannot be uniquely determined given only the periodic measured data. The result of the paper is of general validity when the dynamics of biological systems in stable oscillation is identified, and illustrates the need to carefully address non-linear identifiability aspects when validating models based on periodic data.

  2. Upper airway alterations/abnormalities in a case series of obstructive sleep apnea patients identified with cone-beam CT

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Shigeta, Y.; Shintaku, W.H.; Clark, G.T. [Orofacial Pain/Oral Medicine Center, Div. of Diagnostic Sciences, School of Dentistry, Univ. of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA (United States); Enciso, R. [Div. of Craniofacial Sciences and Therapeutics, School of Dentistry, Univ. of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA (United States); Ogawa, T. [Dept. of Fixed Prosthodontic Dentistry, Tsurumi Univ., School of Dental Medicine, Tsurumi (Japan)

    2007-06-15

    There are many factors that influence the configuration of the upper airway and may contribute to the development of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). This paper presents a series of 12 consecutive OSA cases where various upper airway alteration/abnormalities were identified using 3D anatomic reconstructions generated from cone-beam CT (CBCT) images. Some cases exhibited more than one type of abnormality and below we describe each of the six types identified with CBCT in this case series. (orig.)

  3. Simple Empirical Model for Identifying Rheological Properties of Soft Biological Tissues

    CERN Document Server

    Kobayashi, Yo; Miyashita, Tomoyuki; Fujie, Masakatsu G

    2015-01-01

    Understanding the rheological properties of soft biological tissue is a key issue for mechanical systems used in the healthcare field. We propose a simple empirical model using Fractional Dynamics and Exponential Nonlinearity (FDEN) to identify the rheological properties of soft biological tissue. The model is derived from detailed material measurements using samples isolated from porcine liver. We conducted dynamic viscoelastic and creep tests on liver samples using a rheometer. The experimental results indicated that biological tissue has specific properties: i) power law increases in storage elastic modulus and loss elastic modulus with the same slope; ii) power law gain decrease and constant phase delay in the frequency domain over two decades; iii) log-log scale linearity between time and strain relationships under constant force; and iv) linear and log scale linearity between strain and stress relationships. Our simple FDEN model uses only three dependent parameters and represents the specific propertie...

  4. Examples of testing global identifiability of biological and biomedical models with the DAISY software.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saccomani, Maria Pia; Audoly, Stefania; Bellu, Giuseppina; D'Angiò, Leontina

    2010-04-01

    DAISY (Differential Algebra for Identifiability of SYstems) is a recently developed computer algebra software tool which can be used to automatically check global identifiability of (linear and) nonlinear dynamic models described by differential equations involving polynomial or rational functions. Global identifiability is a fundamental prerequisite for model identification which is important not only for biological or medical systems but also for many physical and engineering systems derived from first principles. Lack of identifiability implies that the parameter estimation techniques may not fail but any obtained numerical estimates will be meaningless. The software does not require understanding of the underlying mathematical principles and can be used by researchers in applied fields with a minimum of mathematical background. We illustrate the DAISY software by checking the a priori global identifiability of two benchmark nonlinear models taken from the literature. The analysis of these two examples includes comparison with other methods and demonstrates how identifiability analysis is simplified by this tool. Thus we illustrate the identifiability analysis of other two examples, by including discussion of some specific aspects related to the role of observability and knowledge of initial conditions in testing identifiability and to the computational complexity of the software. The main focus of this paper is not on the description of the mathematical background of the algorithm, which has been presented elsewhere, but on illustrating its use and on some of its more interesting features. DAISY is available on the web site http://www.dei.unipd.it/ approximately pia/.

  5. Genomic profiling identifies common HPV-associated chromosomal alterations in squamous cell carcinomas of cervix and head and neck

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leemans C René

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background It is well known that a persistent infection with high-risk human papillomavirus (hrHPV is causally involved in the development of squamous cell carcinomas of the uterine cervix (CxSCCs and a subset of SCCs of the head and neck (HNSCCs. The latter differ from hrHPV-negative HNSCCs at the clinical and molecular level. Methods To determine whether hrHPV-associated SCCs arising from different organs have specific chromosomal alterations in common, we compared genome-wide chromosomal profiles of 10 CxSCCs (all hrHPV-positive with 12 hrHPV-positive HNSCCs and 30 hrHPV-negative HNSCCs. Potential organ-specific alterations and alterations shared by SCCs in general were investigated as well. Results Unsupervised hierarchical clustering resulted in one mainly hrHPV-positive and one mainly hrHPV-negative cluster. Interestingly, loss at 13q and gain at 20q were frequent in HPV-positive carcinomas of both origins, but uncommon in hrHPV-negative HNSCCs, indicating that these alterations are associated with hrHPV-mediated carcinogenesis. Within the group of hrHPV-positive carcinomas, HNSCCs more frequently showed gains of multiple regions at 8q whereas CxSCCs more often showed loss at 17p. Finally, gains at 3q24-29 and losses at 11q22.3-25 were frequent (>50% in all sample groups. Conclusion In this study hrHPV-specific, organ-specific, and pan-SCC chromosomal alterations were identified. The existence of hrHPV-specific alterations in SCCs of different anatomical origin, suggests that these alterations are crucial for hrHPV-mediated carcinogenesis.

  6. Structural identifiability of systems biology models: a critical comparison of methods.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Oana-Teodora Chis

    Full Text Available Analysing the properties of a biological system through in silico experimentation requires a satisfactory mathematical representation of the system including accurate values of the model parameters. Fortunately, modern experimental techniques allow obtaining time-series data of appropriate quality which may then be used to estimate unknown parameters. However, in many cases, a subset of those parameters may not be uniquely estimated, independently of the experimental data available or the numerical techniques used for estimation. This lack of identifiability is related to the structure of the model, i.e. the system dynamics plus the observation function. Despite the interest in knowing a priori whether there is any chance of uniquely estimating all model unknown parameters, the structural identifiability analysis for general non-linear dynamic models is still an open question. There is no method amenable to every model, thus at some point we have to face the selection of one of the possibilities. This work presents a critical comparison of the currently available techniques. To this end, we perform the structural identifiability analysis of a collection of biological models. The results reveal that the generating series approach, in combination with identifiability tableaus, offers the most advantageous compromise among range of applicability, computational complexity and information provided.

  7. Neuroproteomics and Systems Biology Approach to Identify Temporal Biomarker Changes Post Experimental Traumatic Brain Injury in Rats

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Firas H Kobeissy

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Traumatic brain injury (TBI represents a critical health problem of which diagnosis, management and treatment remain challenging. TBI is a contributing factor in approximately 1/3 of all injury-related deaths in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC estimate that 1.7 million TBI people suffer a TBI in the United States annually. Efforts continue to focus on elucidating the complex molecular mechanisms underlying TBI pathophysiology and defining sensitive and specific biomarkers that can aid in improving patient management and care. Recently, the area of neuroproteomics-systems biology is proving to be a prominent tool in biomarker discovery for central nervous system (CNS injury and other neurological diseases. In this work, we employed the controlled cortical impact (CCI model of experimental TBI in rat model to assess the temporal-global proteome changes after acute (1 day and for the first time, subacute (7 days, post-injury time frame using the established CAX-PAGE LC-MS/MS platform for protein separation combined with discrete systems biology analyses to identify temporal biomarker changes related to this rat TBI model. Rather than focusing on any one individual molecular entities, we used in silico systems biology approach to understand the global dynamics that govern proteins that are differentially altered post-injury. In addition, gene ontology analysis of the proteomic data was conducted in order to categorize the proteins by molecular function, biological process, and cellular localization. Results show alterations in several proteins related to inflammatory responses and oxidative stress in both acute (1 day and subacute (7 days periods post TBI. Moreover, results suggest a differential upregulation of neuroprotective proteins at 7-days post-CCI involved in cellular functions such as neurite growth, regeneration, and axonal guidance. Our study is amongst the first to assess temporal neuroproteome

  8. Metabolomics identifies a biological response to chronic low-dose natural uranium contamination in urine samples.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grison, Stéphane; Favé, Gaëlle; Maillot, Matthieu; Manens, Line; Delissen, Olivia; Blanchardon, Eric; Banzet, Nathalie; Defoort, Catherine; Bott, Romain; Dublineau, Isabelle; Aigueperse, Jocelyne; Gourmelon, Patrick; Martin, Jean-Charles; Souidi, Maâmar

    2013-01-01

    Because uranium is a natural element present in the earth's crust, the population may be chronically exposed to low doses of it through drinking water. Additionally, the military and civil uses of uranium can also lead to environmental dispersion that can result in high or low doses of acute or chronic exposure. Recent experimental data suggest this might lead to relatively innocuous biological reactions. The aim of this study was to assess the biological changes in rats caused by ingestion of natural uranium in drinking water with a mean daily intake of 2.7 mg/kg for 9 months and to identify potential biomarkers related to such a contamination. Subsequently, we observed no pathology and standard clinical tests were unable to distinguish between treated and untreated animals. Conversely, LC-MS metabolomics identified urine as an appropriate biofluid for discriminating the experimental groups. Of the 1,376 features detected in urine, the most discriminant were metabolites involved in tryptophan, nicotinate, and nicotinamide metabolic pathways. In particular, N-methylnicotinamide, which was found at a level seven times higher in untreated than in contaminated rats, had the greatest discriminating power. These novel results establish a proof of principle for using metabolomics to address chronic low-dose uranium contamination. They open interesting perspectives for understanding the underlying biological mechanisms and designing a diagnostic test of exposure.

  9. Integrative analyses of miRNA and proteomics identify potential biological pathways associated with onset of pulmonary fibrosis in the bleomycin rat model

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fukunaga, Satoki [Department of Molecular Pathology, Osaka City University Graduate School of Medicine, 1-4-3 Asahi-machi, Abeno-ku, Osaka 545-8585 (Japan); Environmental Health Science Laboratory, Sumitomo Chemical Co., Ltd., 3-1-98 Kasugade-Naka, Konohana-ku, Osaka 554-8558 (Japan); Kakehashi, Anna [Department of Molecular Pathology, Osaka City University Graduate School of Medicine, 1-4-3 Asahi-machi, Abeno-ku, Osaka 545-8585 (Japan); Sumida, Kayo; Kushida, Masahiko; Asano, Hiroyuki [Environmental Health Science Laboratory, Sumitomo Chemical Co., Ltd., 3-1-98 Kasugade-Naka, Konohana-ku, Osaka 554-8558 (Japan); Gi, Min [Department of Molecular Pathology, Osaka City University Graduate School of Medicine, 1-4-3 Asahi-machi, Abeno-ku, Osaka 545-8585 (Japan); Wanibuchi, Hideki, E-mail: wani@med.osaka-cu.ac.jp [Department of Molecular Pathology, Osaka City University Graduate School of Medicine, 1-4-3 Asahi-machi, Abeno-ku, Osaka 545-8585 (Japan)

    2015-08-01

    To determine miRNAs and their predicted target proteins regulatory networks which are potentially involved in onset of pulmonary fibrosis in the bleomycin rat model, we conducted integrative miRNA microarray and iTRAQ-coupled LC-MS/MS proteomic analyses, and evaluated the significance of altered biological functions and pathways. We observed that alterations of miRNAs and proteins are associated with the early phase of bleomycin-induced pulmonary fibrosis, and identified potential target pairs by using ingenuity pathway analysis. Using the data set of these alterations, it was demonstrated that those miRNAs, in association with their predicted target proteins, are potentially involved in canonical pathways reflective of initial epithelial injury and fibrogenic processes, and biofunctions related to induction of cellular development, movement, growth, and proliferation. Prediction of activated functions suggested that lung cells acquire proliferative, migratory, and invasive capabilities, and resistance to cell death especially in the very early phase of bleomycin-induced pulmonary fibrosis. The present study will provide new insights for understanding the molecular pathogenesis of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. - Highlights: • We analyzed bleomycin-induced pulmonary fibrosis in the rat. • Integrative analyses of miRNA microarray and proteomics were conducted. • We determined the alterations of miRNAs and their potential target proteins. • The alterations may control biological functions and pathways in pulmonary fibrosis. • Our result may provide new insights of pulmonary fibrosis.

  10. Identifying the Distribution of Alteration Zone Using Very Low Frequency Method in Candi Gedong Songo, Ungaran, Semarang, Central Java

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alfianto, A. D.; Sari, D. P.; Almas, S. A.; Kurniawan, W. S.; Ambariani, S. G.; Suyanto, I.

    2016-09-01

    The alteration zone could be a key link and a proof to know where the paleo heat source was previously located. An electromagnetic survey to identify and to map the lateral and vertical distribution of alteration zone had been done at geothermal area Candi Gedong Songo, Ungaran, Central Java, from 9th - 19th of June 2014, using VLF method. The survey consisted of 6 profiles, with NW - SE direction, which were located nearby the fumaroles spots and then went down to the observed alteration zone. Each profile was 600 m long and the distance between each profile was 20 m. The space between each measurement point of a profile was 20 m. In this study, tilt and ellipticity data with frequency of 19.8 kHz (Japan) and 24 kHz (Panama) were used. First, the data was processed to get the cross features anomaly between tilt and ellipticity data on the chart. Then, the derivative fraser and the relative current density pseudosection were also made to support the cross features anomaly. The interpretation of this data was done qualitatively using fraser and relative current density pseudosection. The result shows that the alteration zone gives high response of conductivity compared to its surrounding area. This is supported by the anomaly cross features between tilt and ellipticity data on the chart, also by high value of fraser and relative current density. Thus, the alteration zone are located in meter 150 - 250 in V1 and V2 profiles, also in meter 180 - 250 in V5 and V6 profiles. This result indicates that the ancient heat source was previously located nearby the fumaroles area and it is physically shown by the presence of sulphuric clay mineral content at the alteration surface area.

  11. Pharmacological profiles of alpha 2 adrenergic receptor agonists identified using genetically altered mice and isobolographic analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fairbanks, Carolyn A; Stone, Laura S; Wilcox, George L

    2009-08-01

    Endogenous, descending noradrenergic fibers impose analgesic control over spinal afferent circuitry mediating the rostrad transmission of pain signals. These fibers target alpha 2 adrenergic receptors (alpha(2)ARs) on both primary afferent terminals and secondary neurons, and their activation mediates substantial inhibitory control over this transmission, rivaling that of opioid receptors which share a similar pattern of distribution. The terminals of primary afferent nociceptive neurons and secondary spinal dorsal horn neurons express alpha(2A)AR and alpha(2C)AR subtypes, respectively. Spinal delivery of these agents serves to reduce their side effects, which are mediated largely at supraspinal sites, by concentrating the drugs at the spinal level. Targeting these spinal alpha(2)ARs with one of five selective therapeutic agonists, clonidine, dexmedetomidine, brimonidine, ST91 and moxonidine, produces significant antinociception that can work in concert with opioid agonists to yield synergistic antinociception. Application of several genetically altered mouse lines had facilitated identification of the primary receptor subtypes that likely mediate the antinociceptive effects of these agents. This review provides first an anatomical description of the localization of the three subtypes in the central nervous system, second a detailed account of the pharmacological history of each of the six primary agonists, and finally a comprehensive report of the specific interactions of other GPCR agonists with each of the six principal alpha(2)AR agonists featured.

  12. Comparing the biological coherence of network clusters identified by different detection algorithms

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2007-01-01

    Protein-protein interaction networks serve to carry out basic molecular activity in the cell. Detecting the modular structures from the protein-protein interaction network is important for understanding the organization, function and dynamics of a biological system. In order to identify functional neighborhoods based on network topology, many network cluster identification algorithms have been developed. However, each algorithm might dissect a network from a different aspect and may provide different insight on the network partition. In order to objectively evaluate the performance of four commonly used cluster detection algorithms: molecular complex detection (MCODE), NetworkBlast, shortest-distance clustering (SDC) and Girvan-Newman (G-N) algorithm, we compared the biological coherence of the network clusters found by these algorithms through a uniform evaluation framework. Each algorithm was utilized to find network clusters in two different protein-protein interaction networks with various parameters. Comparison of the resulting network clusters indicates that clusters found by MCODE and SDC are of higher biological coherence than those by NetworkBlast and G-N algorithm.

  13. A systems biological approach to identify key transcription factors and their genomic neighborhoods in human sarcomas

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Antti Ylip(a)(a); Olli Yli-Harja; Wei Zhang; Matti Nykter

    2011-01-01

    Identification of genetic signatures is the main objective for many computational oncology studies. The signature usually consists of numerous genes that are differentially expressed between two clinically distinct groups of samples, such as tumor subtypes. Prospectively, many signatures have been found to generalize poorly to other datasets and, thus, have rarely been accepted into clinical use. Recognizing the limited success of traditionally generated signatures, we developed a systems biology-based framework for robust identification of key transcription factors and their genomic regulatory neighborhoods. Application of the framework to study the differences between gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST) and leiomyosarcoma (LMS) resulted in the identification of nine transcription factors (SRF, NKX2-5, CCDC6, LEF1, VDR, ZNF250, TRIM63, MAF, and MYC). Functional annotations of the obtained neighborhoods identified the biological processes which the key transcription factors regulate differently between the tumor types. Analyzing the differences in the expression patterns using our approach resulted in a more robust genetic signature and more biological insight into the diseases compared to a traditional genetic signature.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. Availability: CHAT is available for Cytoscape 3.0+ and can be installed via the Cytoscape App Store ( http://apps.cytoscape.org/apps/chat). PMID:27853512

  15. 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.

  16. DTAF dye concentrations commonly used to measure microscale deformations in biological tissues alter tissue mechanics.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Spencer E Szczesny

    Full Text Available Identification of the deformation mechanisms and specific components underlying the mechanical function of biological tissues requires mechanical testing at multiple levels within the tissue hierarchical structure. Dichlorotriazinylaminofluorescein (DTAF is a fluorescent dye that is used to visualize microscale deformations of the extracellular matrix in soft collagenous tissues. However, the DTAF concentrations commonly employed in previous multiscale experiments (≥2000 µg/ml may alter tissue mechanics. The objective of this study was to determine whether DTAF affects tendon fascicle mechanics and if a concentration threshold exists below which any observed effects are negligible. This information is valuable for guiding the continued use of this fluorescent dye in future experiments and for interpreting the results of previous work. Incremental strain testing demonstrated that high DTAF concentrations (≥100 µg/ml increase the quasi-static modulus and yield strength of rat tail tendon fascicles while reducing their viscoelastic behavior. Subsequent multiscale testing and modeling suggests that these effects are due to a stiffening of the collagen fibrils and strengthening of the interfibrillar matrix. Despite these changes in tissue behavior, the fundamental deformation mechanisms underlying fascicle mechanics appear to remain intact, which suggests that conclusions from previous multiscale investigations of strain transfer are still valid. The effects of lower DTAF concentrations (≤10 µg/ml on tendon mechanics were substantially smaller and potentially negligible; nevertheless, no concentration was found that did not at least slightly alter the tissue behavior. Therefore, future studies should either reduce DTAF concentrations as much as possible or use other dyes/techniques for measuring microscale deformations.

  17. Altered protein S-glutathionylation identifies a potential mechanism of resistance to acetaminophen-induced hepatotoxicity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGarry, David J; Chakravarty, Probir; Wolf, C Roland; Henderson, Colin J

    2015-11-01

    Acetaminophen (APAP) is the most commonly used over-the-counter analgesic. However, hepatotoxicity induced by APAP is a major clinical issue, and the factors that define sensitivity to APAP remain unclear. We have previously demonstrated that mice nulled for glutathione S-transferase Pi (GSTP) are resistant to APAP-induced hepatotoxicity. This study aims to exploit this difference to delineate pathways of importance in APAP toxicity. We used mice nulled for GSTP and heme oxygenase-1 oxidative stress reporter mice, together with a novel nanoflow liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry methodology to investigate the role of oxidative stress, cell signaling, and protein S-glutathionylation in APAP hepatotoxicity. We provide evidence that the sensitivity difference between wild-type and Gstp1/2(-/-) mice is unrelated to the ability of APAP to induce oxidative stress, despite observing significant increases in c-Jun N-terminal kinase and extracellular signal-regulated kinase phosphorylation in wild-type mice. The major difference in response to APAP was in the levels of protein S-glutathionylation: Gstp1/2(-/-) mice exhibited a significant increase in the number of S-glutathionylated proteins compared with wild-type animals. Remarkably, these S-glutathionylated proteins are involved in oxidative phosphorylation, respiratory complexes, drug metabolism, and mitochondrial apoptosis. Furthermore, we found that S-glutathionylation of the rate-limiting glutathione-synthesizing enzyme, glutamate cysteine ligase, was markedly increased in Gstp1/2(-/-) mice in response to APAP. The data demonstrate that S-glutathionylation provides an adaptive response to APAP and, as a consequence, suggest that this is an important determinant in APAP hepatotoxicity. This work identifies potential novel avenues associated with cell survival for the treatment of chemical-induced hepatotoxicity.

  18. System-based proteomic and metabonomic analysis of the Df(16)A+/− mouse identifies potential miR-185 targets and molecular pathway alterations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wesseling, H; Xu, B; Want, E J; Holmes, E; Guest, P C; Karayiorgou, M; Gogos, J A; Bahn, S

    2017-01-01

    Deletions on chromosome 22q11.2 are a strong genetic risk factor for development of schizophrenia and cognitive dysfunction. We employed shotgun liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry (LC-MS) proteomic and metabonomic profiling approaches on prefrontal cortex (PFC) and hippocampal (HPC) tissue from Df(16)A+/− mice, a model of the 22q11.2 deletion syndrome. Proteomic results were compared with previous transcriptomic profiling studies of the same brain regions. The aim was to investigate how the combined effect of the 22q11.2 deletion and the corresponding miRNA dysregulation affects the cell biology at the systems level. The proteomic brain profiling analysis revealed PFC and HPC changes in various molecular pathways associated with chromatin remodelling and RNA transcription, indicative of an epigenetic component of the 22q11.2DS. Further, alterations in glycolysis/gluconeogenesis, mitochondrial function and lipid biosynthesis were identified. Metabonomic profiling substantiated the proteomic findings by identifying changes in 22q11.2 deletion syndrome (22q11.2DS)-related pathways, such as changes in ceramide phosphoethanolamines, sphingomyelin, carnitines, tyrosine derivates and panthothenic acid. The proteomic findings were confirmed using selected reaction monitoring mass spectrometry, validating decreased levels of several proteins encoded on 22q11.2, increased levels of the computationally predicted putative miR-185 targets UDP-N-acetylglucosamine-peptide N-acetylglucosaminyltransferase 110 kDa subunit (OGT1) and kinesin heavy chain isoform 5A and alterations in the non-miR-185 targets serine/threonine-protein phosphatase 2B catalytic subunit gamma isoform, neurofilament light chain and vesicular glutamate transporter 1. Furthermore, alterations in the proteins associated with mammalian target of rapamycin signalling were detected in the PFC and with glutamatergic signalling in the hippocampus. Based on the proteomic and metabonomic findings, we were

  19. 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.

  20. Covariance Association Test (CVAT) Identifies Genetic Markers Associated with Schizophrenia in Functionally Associated Biological Processes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rohde, Palle Duun; Demontis, Ditte; Castro Dias Cuyabano, Beatriz;

    2016-01-01

    Schizophrenia is a psychiatric disorder with large personal and social costs, and understanding the genetic etiology is important. Such knowledge can be obtained by testing the association between a disease phenotype and individual genetic markers; however, such single-marker methods have limited...... power to detect genetic markers with small effects. Instead, aggregating genetic markers based on biological information might increase the power to identify sets of genetic markers of etiological significance. Several set test methods have been proposed: Here we propose a new set test derived from...... genomic best linear unbiased prediction (GBLUP), the covariance association test (CVAT). We compared the performance of CVAT to other commonly used set tests. The comparison was conducted using a simulated study population having the same genetic parameters as for schizophrenia. We found that CVAT...

  1. Chemical biology drug sensitivity screen identifies sunitinib as synergistic agent with disulfiram in prostate cancer cells.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kirsi Ketola

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Current treatment options for castration- and treatment-resistant prostate cancer are limited and novel approaches are desperately needed. Our recent results from a systematic chemical biology sensitivity screen covering most known drugs and drug-like molecules indicated that aldehyde dehydrogenase inhibitor disulfiram is one of the most potent cancer-specific inhibitors of prostate cancer cell growth, including TMPRSS2-ERG fusion positive cancers. However, the results revealed that disulfiram alone does not block tumor growth in vivo nor induce apoptosis in vitro, indicating that combinatorial approaches may be required to enhance the anti-neoplastic effects. METHODS AND FINDINGS: In this study, we utilized a chemical biology drug sensitivity screen to explore disulfiram mechanistic details and to identify compounds potentiating the effect of disulfiram in TMPRSS2-ERG fusion positive prostate cancer cells. In total, 3357 compounds including current chemotherapeutic agents as well as drug-like small molecular compounds were screened alone and in combination with disulfiram. Interestingly, the results indicated that androgenic and antioxidative compounds antagonized disulfiram effect whereas inhibitors of receptor tyrosine kinase, proteasome, topoisomerase II, glucosylceramide synthase or cell cycle were among compounds sensitizing prostate cancer cells to disulfiram. The combination of disulfiram and an antiangiogenic agent sunitinib was studied in more detail, since both are already in clinical use in humans. Disulfiram-sunitinib combination induced apoptosis and reduced androgen receptor protein expression more than either of the compounds alone. Moreover, combinatorial exposure reduced metastatic characteristics such as cell migration and 3D cell invasion as well as induced epithelial differentiation shown as elevated E-cadherin expression. CONCLUSIONS: Taken together, our results propose novel combinatorial approaches to inhibit

  2. Chemical Biology Drug Sensitivity Screen Identifies Sunitinib as Synergistic Agent with Disulfiram in Prostate Cancer Cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ketola, Kirsi; Kallioniemi, Olli; Iljin, Kristiina

    2012-01-01

    Background Current treatment options for castration- and treatment-resistant prostate cancer are limited and novel approaches are desperately needed. Our recent results from a systematic chemical biology sensitivity screen covering most known drugs and drug-like molecules indicated that aldehyde dehydrogenase inhibitor disulfiram is one of the most potent cancer-specific inhibitors of prostate cancer cell growth, including TMPRSS2-ERG fusion positive cancers. However, the results revealed that disulfiram alone does not block tumor growth in vivo nor induce apoptosis in vitro, indicating that combinatorial approaches may be required to enhance the anti-neoplastic effects. Methods and Findings In this study, we utilized a chemical biology drug sensitivity screen to explore disulfiram mechanistic details and to identify compounds potentiating the effect of disulfiram in TMPRSS2-ERG fusion positive prostate cancer cells. In total, 3357 compounds including current chemotherapeutic agents as well as drug-like small molecular compounds were screened alone and in combination with disulfiram. Interestingly, the results indicated that androgenic and antioxidative compounds antagonized disulfiram effect whereas inhibitors of receptor tyrosine kinase, proteasome, topoisomerase II, glucosylceramide synthase or cell cycle were among compounds sensitizing prostate cancer cells to disulfiram. The combination of disulfiram and an antiangiogenic agent sunitinib was studied in more detail, since both are already in clinical use in humans. Disulfiram-sunitinib combination induced apoptosis and reduced androgen receptor protein expression more than either of the compounds alone. Moreover, combinatorial exposure reduced metastatic characteristics such as cell migration and 3D cell invasion as well as induced epithelial differentiation shown as elevated E-cadherin expression. Conclusions Taken together, our results propose novel combinatorial approaches to inhibit prostate cancer cell

  3. Correlation analyses of clinical and molecular findings identify candidate biological pathways in systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ling Xuefeng B

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Clinicians have long appreciated the distinct phenotype of systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis (SJIA compared to polyarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis (POLY. We hypothesized that gene expression profiles of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC from children with each disease would reveal distinct biological pathways when analyzed for significant associations with elevations in two markers of JIA activity, erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR and number of affected joints (joint count, JC. Methods PBMC RNA from SJIA and POLY patients was profiled by kinetic PCR to analyze expression of 181 genes, selected for relevance to immune response pathways. Pearson correlation and Student's t-test analyses were performed to identify transcripts significantly associated with clinical parameters (ESR and JC in SJIA or POLY samples. These transcripts were used to find related biological pathways. Results Combining Pearson and t-test analyses, we found 91 ESR-related and 92 JC-related genes in SJIA. For POLY, 20 ESR-related and 0 JC-related genes were found. Using Ingenuity Systems Pathways Analysis, we identified SJIA ESR-related and JC-related pathways. The two sets of pathways are strongly correlated. In contrast, there is a weaker correlation between SJIA and POLY ESR-related pathways. Notably, distinct biological processes were found to correlate with JC in samples from the earlier systemic plus arthritic phase (SAF of SJIA compared to samples from the later arthritis-predominant phase (AF. Within the SJIA SAF group, IL-10 expression was related to JC, whereas lack of IL-4 appeared to characterize the chronic arthritis (AF subgroup. Conclusions The strong correlation between pathways implicated in elevations of both ESR and JC in SJIA argues that the systemic and arthritic components of the disease are related mechanistically. Inflammatory pathways in SJIA are distinct from those in POLY course JIA, consistent with

  4. Identifying biologically meaningful hot-weather events using threshold temperatures that affect life-history.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Susan J Cunningham

    Full Text Available Increases in the frequency, duration and intensity of heat waves are frequently evoked in climate change predictions. However, there is no universal definition of a heat wave. Recent, intense hot weather events have caused mass mortalities of birds, bats and even humans, making the definition and prediction of heat wave events that have the potential to impact populations of different species an urgent priority. One possible technique for defining biologically meaningful heat waves is to use threshold temperatures (T(thresh above which known fitness costs are incurred by species of interest. We set out to test the utility of this technique using T(thresh values that, when exceeded, affect aspects of the fitness of two focal southern African bird species: the southern pied babbler Turdiodes bicolor (T(thresh = 35.5 °C and the common fiscal Lanius collaris (T(thresh = 33 °C. We used these T(thresh values to analyse trends in the frequency, duration and intensity of heat waves of magnitude relevant to the focal species, as well as the annual number of hot days (maximum air temperature > T(thresh, in north-western South Africa between 1961 and 2010. Using this technique, we were able to show that, while all heat wave indices increased during the study period, most rapid increases for both species were in the annual number of hot days and in the maximum intensity (and therefore intensity variance of biologically meaningful heat waves. Importantly, we also showed that warming trends were not uniform across the study area and that geographical patterns in warming allowed both areas of high risk and potential climate refugia to be identified. We discuss the implications of the trends we found for our focal species, and the utility of the T(thresh technique as a conservation tool.

  5. Identifying biologically meaningful hot-weather events using threshold temperatures that affect life-history.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cunningham, Susan J; Kruger, Andries C; Nxumalo, Mthobisi P; Hockey, Philip A R

    2013-01-01

    Increases in the frequency, duration and intensity of heat waves are frequently evoked in climate change predictions. However, there is no universal definition of a heat wave. Recent, intense hot weather events have caused mass mortalities of birds, bats and even humans, making the definition and prediction of heat wave events that have the potential to impact populations of different species an urgent priority. One possible technique for defining biologically meaningful heat waves is to use threshold temperatures (T(thresh)) above which known fitness costs are incurred by species of interest. We set out to test the utility of this technique using T(thresh) values that, when exceeded, affect aspects of the fitness of two focal southern African bird species: the southern pied babbler Turdiodes bicolor (T(thresh) = 35.5 °C) and the common fiscal Lanius collaris (T(thresh) = 33 °C). We used these T(thresh) values to analyse trends in the frequency, duration and intensity of heat waves of magnitude relevant to the focal species, as well as the annual number of hot days (maximum air temperature > T(thresh)), in north-western South Africa between 1961 and 2010. Using this technique, we were able to show that, while all heat wave indices increased during the study period, most rapid increases for both species were in the annual number of hot days and in the maximum intensity (and therefore intensity variance) of biologically meaningful heat waves. Importantly, we also showed that warming trends were not uniform across the study area and that geographical patterns in warming allowed both areas of high risk and potential climate refugia to be identified. We discuss the implications of the trends we found for our focal species, and the utility of the T(thresh) technique as a conservation tool.

  6. Medical image integrity control and forensics based on watermarking--approximating local modifications and identifying global image alterations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, H; Coatrieux, G; Shu, H Z; Luo, L M; Roux, Ch

    2011-01-01

    In this paper we present a medical image integrity verification system that not only allows detecting and approximating malevolent local image alterations (e.g. removal or addition of findings) but is also capable to identify the nature of global image processing applied to the image (e.g. lossy compression, filtering …). For that purpose, we propose an image signature derived from the geometric moments of pixel blocks. Such a signature is computed over regions of interest of the image and then watermarked in regions of non interest. Image integrity analysis is conducted by comparing embedded and recomputed signatures. If any, local modifications are approximated through the determination of the parameters of the nearest generalized 2D Gaussian. Image moments are taken as image features and serve as inputs to one classifier we learned to discriminate the type of global image processing. Experimental results with both local and global modifications illustrate the overall performances of our approach.

  7. Hon-yaku: a biology-driven Bayesian methodology for identifying translation initiation sites in prokaryotes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    de Hoon Michiel JL

    2007-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Computational prediction methods are currently used to identify genes in prokaryote genomes. However, identification of the correct translation initiation sites remains a difficult task. Accurate translation initiation sites (TISs are important not only for the annotation of unknown proteins but also for the prediction of operons, promoters, and small non-coding RNA genes, as this typically makes use of the intergenic distance. A further problem is that most existing methods are optimized for Escherichia coli data sets; applying these methods to newly sequenced bacterial genomes may not result in an equivalent level of accuracy. Results Based on a biological representation of the translation process, we applied Bayesian statistics to create a score function for predicting translation initiation sites. In contrast to existing programs, our combination of methods uses supervised learning to optimally use the set of known translation initiation sites. We combined the Ribosome Binding Site (RBS sequence, the distance between the translation initiation site and the RBS sequence, the base composition of the start codon, the nucleotide composition (A-rich sequences following start codons, and the expected distribution of the protein length in a Bayesian scoring function. To further increase the prediction accuracy, we also took into account the operon orientation. The outcome of the procedure achieved a prediction accuracy of 93.2% in 858 E. coli genes from the EcoGene data set and 92.7% accuracy in a data set of 1243 Bacillus subtilis 'non-y' genes. We confirmed the performance in the GC-rich Gamma-Proteobacteria Herminiimonas arsenicoxydans, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Burkholderia pseudomallei K96243. Conclusion Hon-yaku, being based on a careful choice of elements important in translation, improved the prediction accuracy in B. subtilis data sets and other bacteria except for E. coli. We believe that most remaining

  8. A systems biology approach identifies a regulatory network in parotid acinar cell terminal differentiation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Melissa A Metzler

    Full Text Available The transcription factor networks that drive parotid salivary gland progenitor cells to terminally differentiate, remain largely unknown and are vital to understanding the regeneration process.A systems biology approach was taken to measure mRNA and microRNA expression in vivo across acinar cell terminal differentiation in the rat parotid salivary gland. Laser capture microdissection (LCM was used to specifically isolate acinar cell RNA at times spanning the month-long period of parotid differentiation.Clustering of microarray measurements suggests that expression occurs in four stages. mRNA expression patterns suggest a novel role for Pparg which is transiently increased during mid postnatal differentiation in concert with several target gene mRNAs. 79 microRNAs are significantly differentially expressed across time. Profiles of statistically significant changes of mRNA expression, combined with reciprocal correlations of microRNAs and their target mRNAs, suggest a putative network involving Klf4, a differentiation inhibiting transcription factor, which decreases as several targeting microRNAs increase late in differentiation. The network suggests a molecular switch (involving Prdm1, Sox11, Pax5, miR-200a, and miR-30a progressively decreases repression of Xbp1 gene transcription, in concert with decreased translational repression by miR-214. The transcription factor Xbp1 mRNA is initially low, increases progressively, and may be maintained by a positive feedback loop with Atf6. Transfection studies show that Xbp1 activates the Mist1 promoter [corrected]. In addition, Xbp1 and Mist1 each activate the parotid secretory protein (Psp gene, which encodes an abundant salivary protein, and is a marker of terminal differentiation.This study identifies novel expression patterns of Pparg, Klf4, and Sox11 during parotid acinar cell differentiation, as well as numerous differentially expressed microRNAs. Network analysis identifies a novel stemness arm, a

  9. Biological data warehousing system for identifying transcriptional regulatory sites from gene expressions of microarray data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsou, Ann-Ping; Sun, Yi-Ming; Liu, Chia-Lin; Huang, Hsien-Da; Horng, Jorng-Tzong; Tsai, Meng-Feng; Liu, Baw-Juine

    2006-07-01

    Identification of transcriptional regulatory sites plays an important role in the investigation of gene regulation. For this propose, we designed and implemented a data warehouse to integrate multiple heterogeneous biological data sources with data types such as text-file, XML, image, MySQL database model, and Oracle database model. The utility of the biological data warehouse in predicting transcriptional regulatory sites of coregulated genes was explored using a synexpression group derived from a microarray study. Both of the binding sites of known transcription factors and predicted over-represented (OR) oligonucleotides were demonstrated for the gene group. The potential biological roles of both known nucleotides and one OR nucleotide were demonstrated using bioassays. Therefore, the results from the wet-lab experiments reinforce the power and utility of the data warehouse as an approach to the genome-wide search for important transcription regulatory elements that are the key to many complex biological systems.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  11. Penetration Capacity, Color Alteration and Biological Response of Two In-office Bleaching Protocols.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cintra, Luciano Tavares Angelo; Benetti, Francine; Ferreira, Luciana Louzada; Gomes-Filho, João Eduardo; Ervolino, Edilson; Gallinari, Marjorie de Oliveira; Rahal, Vanessa; Briso, André Luiz Fraga

    2016-01-01

    Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) penetrates into the dental hard tissues causing color alteration but also alterations in pulpal tissues. Hard-tissue penetration, color alteration and the pulp response alterations were evaluated for two in-office bleaching protocols with H2O2. For trans-enamel/dentin penetration and color alteration, discs of bovine teeth were attached to an artificial pulp chamber and bleached according to the groups: BLU (20% H2O2 - 1x50 min, Whiteness HP Blue); MAX (35% H2O2 - 3x15 min, Whiteness HP Maxx); Control (1x50 min, placebo). Trans-enamel/dentin penetration was quantified based on the reaction of H2O2 with leucocrystal violet and the color analyzed by CIELab System. Twenty Wistar rats were divided into two groups (BLU and MAX) and their maxillary right molars were treated according to the same protocols of the in vitro study; the maxillary left molars were used as controls. After 2 days, the animals were killed and their maxillae were examined by light microscopy. The inflammation of pulp tissue was scored according to the inflammatory infiltrate (1, absent; 2, mild; 3, moderate; 4, severe/necrosis). Data were analyzed by statistical tests (α=0.05). MAX showed higher trans-enamel/dentinal penetration of H2O2 (p0.05), and different when compared to Control group (p<0.05). MAX showed severe inflammation in the upper thirds of the coronal pulp, and BLU showed moderate inflammation (p<0.05). In-office bleaching protocols using lower concentrations of hydrogen peroxide should be preferred due to their reduced trans-enamel/dentinal penetration since they cause less pulp damage and provide same bleaching efficiency.

  12. GWAS-identified risk variants for major depressive disorder: Preliminary support for an association with late-life depressive symptoms and brain structural alterations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ryan, Joanne; Artero, Sylvaine; Carrière, Isabelle; Maller, Jerome J; Meslin, Chantal; Ritchie, Karen; Ancelin, Marie-Laure

    2016-01-01

    A number of genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have investigated risk factors for major depressive disorder (MDD), however there has been little attempt to replicate these findings in population-based studies of depressive symptoms. Variants within three genes, BICC1, PCLO and GRM7 were selected for replication in our study based on the following criteria: they were identified in a prior MDD GWAS study; a subsequent study found evidence that they influenced depression risk; and there is a solid biological basis for a role in depression. We firstly investigated whether these variants were associated with depressive symptoms in our population-based cohort of 929 elderly (238 with clinical depressive symptoms and 691 controls), and secondly to investigate associations with structural brain alterations. A number of nominally significant associations were identified, but none reached Bonferroni-corrected significance levels. Common SNPs in BICC1 and PCLO were associated with a 50% and 30% decreased risk of depression, respectively. PCLO rs2522833 was also associated with the volume of grey matter (p=1.6×10(-3)), and to a lesser extent with hippocampal volume and white matter lesions. Among depressed individuals rs9870680 (GRM7) was associated with the volume of grey and white matter (p=10(-4) and 8.3×10(-3), respectively). Our results provide some support for the involvement of BICC1 and PCLO in late-life depressive disorders and preliminary evidence that these genetic variants may also influence brain structural volumes. However effect sizes remain modest and associations did not reach corrected significance levels. Further large imaging studies are needed to confirm our findings.

  13. Mass spectrometry-based proteomics as a tool to identify biological matrices in forensic science.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Steendam, Katleen; De Ceuleneer, Marlies; Dhaenens, Maarten; Van Hoofstat, David; Deforce, Dieter

    2013-03-01

    In forensic casework analysis, identification of the biological matrix and the species of a forensic trace, preferably without loss of DNA, is of major importance. The biological matrices that can be encountered in a forensic context are blood (human or non-human), saliva, semen, vaginal fluid, and to a lesser extent nasal secretions, feces, and urine. All these matrices were applied on swabs and digested with trypsin in order to obtain peptides. These peptides were injected on a mass spectrometer (ESI Q-TOF) resulting in the detection of several biomarkers that were used to build a decision tree for matrix identification. Saliva and blood were characterized by the presence of alpha-amylase 1 and hemoglobin, respectively. In vaginal fluid, cornulin, cornifin, and/or involucrin were found as biomarkers while semenogelin, prostate-specific antigen, and/or acid phosphatase were characteristic proteins for semen. Uromodulin or AMBP protein imply the presence of urine, while plunc protein is present in nasal secretions. Feces could be determined by the presence of immunoglobulins without hemoglobin. The biomarkers for the most frequently encountered biological matrices (saliva, blood, vaginal fluid, and semen) were validated in blind experiments and on real forensic samples. Additionally, by means of this proteomic approach, species identification was possible. This approach has the advantage that the analysis is performed on the first "washing" step of the chelex DNA extraction, a solution which is normally discarded, and that one single test is sufficient to determine the identity and the species of the biological matrix, while the conventional methods require cascade testing. This technique can be considered as a useful additional tool for biological matrix identification in forensic science and holds the promise of further automation.

  14. Using ASD data to identify the altered minerals for exploring of gold deposit in the Beishan area, North China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ren, G. L.; Yi, H.; Yang, M.; Liang, N.; Li, J. Q.; Yang, J. L.

    2016-11-01

    Hyperspectral information of altered minerals plays an important role in the identifications of mineralized zones. In this study, the altered minerals of two gold deposits from Fangshankou-Laojinchang regions of Beishan metallogenic belt were measured by ASD field Spectrometer. Many gold deposits would have a close relationship with Variscan magma intrusion, which have been found in study region. The alteration minerals have been divided six types by the spectral results, i.e. sericite, limonite, dolomite, chlorite, epidote and calcite. The distribution characteristics and formations of altered minerals were discussed here. By the ASD, the spectral curve of different geological units in the Jintanzi and Fangshankou gold deposits were analysed and summarized. The results show that the sericite and limonite are mainly related with the gold mineralization and widely occurred in the gold deposits. Therefore, we proposed that the sericite and limonite are the iconic alteration mineral assemblages for gold mineralization and the models of altered minerals for gold deposits could be established in this region.

  15. Highly dynamic biological seabed alterations revealed by side scan sonar tracking of Lanice conchilega beds offshore the island of Sylt (German Bight)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heinrich, C.; Feldens, P.; Schwarzer, K.

    2016-10-01

    Hydroacoustic surveys are common tools for habitat investigation and monitoring that aid in the realisation of the aims of the EU Marine Directives. However, the creation of habitat maps is difficult, especially when benthic organisms densely populate the seafloor. This study assesses the sensitivity of entropy and homogeneity image texture parameters derived from backscatter strength data to benthic habitats dominated by the tubeworm Lanice conchilega. Side scan sonar backscatter surveys were carried out in 2010 and 2011 in the German Bight (southern North Sea) at two sites approx. 20 km offshore of the island of Sylt. Abiotic and biotic seabed facies, such as sorted bedforms, areas of fine to medium sand and L. conchilega beds with different tube densities, were identified and characterised based on manual expert analysis and image texture analysis. Ground truthing was performed by grab sampling and underwater video observations. Compared to the manual expert analysis, the k-means classification of image textures proves to be a semi-automated method to investigate small-scale differences in a biologically altered seabed from backscatter data. The texture parameters entropy and homogeneity appear linearly interrelated with tube density, the former positively and the latter negatively. Reinvestigation of one site after 1 year showed an extensive change in the distribution of the L. conchilega-altered seabed. Such marked annual fluctuations in L. conchilega tube cover demonstrate the need for dense time series and high spatial coverage to meaningfully monitor ecological patterns on the seafloor with acoustic backscatter methods in the study region and similar settings worldwide, particularly because the sand mason plays a pivotal role in promoting biodiversity. In this context, image texture analysis provides a cost-effective and reproducible method to track biologically altered seabeds from side scan sonar backscatter signatures.

  16. The CRIT framework for identifying cross patterns in systems biology and application to chemogenomics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gianoulis, Tara A; Agarwal, Ashish; Snyder, Michael; Gerstein, Mark B

    2011-01-01

    Biological data is often tabular but finding statistically valid connections between entities in a sequence of tables can be problematic--for example, connecting particular entities in a drug property table to gene properties in a second table, using a third table associating genes with drugs. Here we present an approach (CRIT) to find connections such as these and show how it can be applied in a variety of genomic contexts including chemogenomics data.

  17. A magnetic-dependent protein corona of tailor-made superparamagnetic iron oxides alters their biological behaviors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Ziyao; Zhan, Xiaohui; Yang, Minggang; Yang, Qi; Xu, Xianghui; Lan, Fang; Wu, Yao; Gu, Zhongwei

    2016-03-01

    In recent years, it is becoming increasingly evident that once nanoparticles come into contact with biological fluids, a protein corona surely forms and critically affects the biological behaviors of nanoparticles. Herein, we investigate whether the formation of protein corona on the surface of superparamagnetic iron oxides (SPIOs) is influenced by static magnetic field. Under static magnetic field, there is no obvious variation in the total amount of protein adsorption, but the proportion of adsorbed proteins significantly changes. Noticeably, certain proteins including apolipoproteins, complement system proteins and acute phase proteins, increase in the protein corona of SPIOs in the magnetic field. More importantly, the magnetic-dependent protein corona of SPIOs enhances the cellular uptake of SPIOs into the normal cell line (3T3 cells) and tumor cell line (HepG2 cells), due to increased adsorption of apolipoprotein. In addition, SPIOs with the magnetic-dependent protein corona cause high cytotoxicity to 3T3 cells and HepG2 cells. This work discloses that superparamagnetism as a key feature of SPIOs affects the composition of protein corona to a large extent, which further alters the biological behaviors of SPIOs.In recent years, it is becoming increasingly evident that once nanoparticles come into contact with biological fluids, a protein corona surely forms and critically affects the biological behaviors of nanoparticles. Herein, we investigate whether the formation of protein corona on the surface of superparamagnetic iron oxides (SPIOs) is influenced by static magnetic field. Under static magnetic field, there is no obvious variation in the total amount of protein adsorption, but the proportion of adsorbed proteins significantly changes. Noticeably, certain proteins including apolipoproteins, complement system proteins and acute phase proteins, increase in the protein corona of SPIOs in the magnetic field. More importantly, the magnetic-dependent protein

  18. Systems Biology of cancer: Moving toward the Integrative Study of the metabolic alterations in cancer cells.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Claudia Erika Hernández Patiño

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available One of the main objectives in systems biology is to understand the biological mechanisms that give rise to the phenotype of a microorganism by using high-throughput technologies and genome-scale mathematical modeling. The computational modeling of genome-scale metabolic reconstructions is one systemic and quantitative strategy for characterizing the metabolic phenotype associated with human diseases and potentially for designing drugs with optimal clinical effects. The purpose of this short review is to describe how computational modeling, including the specific case of constraint-based modeling, can be used to explore, characterize and predict the metabolic capacities that distinguish the metabolic phenotype of cancer cell lines. As we show herein, this computational framework is far from a pure theoretical description, and to ensure proper biological interpretation, it is necessary to integrate high-throughput data and generate predictions for later experimental assessment. Hence, genome-scale modeling serves as a platform for the following: 1 the integration of data from high-throughput technologies, 2 the assessment of how metabolic activity is related to phenotype in cancer cell lines and 3 the design of new experiments to evaluate the outcomes of the in silico analysis. By combining the functions described above, we show that computational modeling is a useful methodology to construct an integrative, systemic and quantitative scheme for understanding the metabolic profiles of cancer cell lines, a first step to determine the metabolic mechanism by which cancer cells maintain and support their malignant phenotype in human tissues.

  19. Systems biology of cancer: moving toward the integrative study of the metabolic alterations in cancer cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hernández Patiño, Claudia E; Jaime-Muñoz, Gustavo; Resendis-Antonio, Osbaldo

    2012-01-01

    One of the main objectives in systems biology is to understand the biological mechanisms that give rise to the phenotype of a microorganism by using high-throughput technologies (HTs) and genome-scale mathematical modeling. The computational modeling of genome-scale metabolic reconstructions is one systemic and quantitative strategy for characterizing the metabolic phenotype associated with human diseases and potentially for designing drugs with optimal clinical effects. The purpose of this short review is to describe how computational modeling, including the specific case of constraint-based modeling, can be used to explore, characterize, and predict the metabolic capacities that distinguish the metabolic phenotype of cancer cell lines. As we show herein, this computational framework is far from a pure theoretical description, and to ensure proper biological interpretation, it is necessary to integrate high-throughput data and generate predictions for later experimental assessment. Hence, genome-scale modeling serves as a platform for the following: (1) the integration of data from HTs, (2) the assessment of how metabolic activity is related to phenotype in cancer cell lines, and (3) the design of new experiments to evaluate the outcomes of the in silico analysis. By combining the functions described above, we show that computational modeling is a useful methodology to construct an integrative, systemic, and quantitative scheme for understanding the metabolic profiles of cancer cell lines, a first step to determine the metabolic mechanism by which cancer cells maintain and support their malignant phenotype in human tissues.

  20. GC-MS Metabolomics Identifies Metabolite Alterations That Precede Subclinical Mastitis in the Blood of Transition Dairy Cows.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dervishi, Elda; Zhang, Guanshi; Dunn, Suzanna M; Mandal, Rupasri; Wishart, David S; Ametaj, Burim N

    2017-02-03

    The objectives of this study were to determine alterations in the serum metabolites related to amino acid (AA), carbohydrate, and lipid metabolism in transition dairy cows before diagnosis of subclinical mastitis (SCM), during, and after diagnosis of disease. A subclinical mastitis case was determined as a cow having somatic cell count (SCC) > 200 000/mL of milk for two or more consecutive reports. Blood samples were collected from 100 Holstein dairy cows at five time points at -8 and -4 weeks before parturition, at the week of SCM diagnosis, and +4 and +8 weeks after parturition. Twenty healthy control cows (CON) and six cows that were diagnosed with SCM were selected for serum analysis with GC-MS. At -8 weeks a total of 13 metabolites were significantly altered in SCM cows. In addition, at the week of SCM diagnosis 17 metabolites were altered in these cows. Four weeks after parturition 10 metabolites were altered in SCM cows and at +8 weeks 11 metabolites were found to be different between the two groups. Valine (Val), serine (Ser), tyrosine (Tyr), and phenylalanine (Phe) had very good predictive abilities for SCM and could be used at -8 weeks and -4 weeks before calving. Combination of Val, isoleucine (Ile), Ser, and proline (Pro) can be used as diagnostic biomarkers of SCM during early stages of lactation at +4 to +8 weeks after parturition. In conclusion, SCM is preceded and followed by alteration in AA metabolism.

  1. Bergamot (Citrus bergamia Risso fruit extracts and identified components alter expression of interleukin 8 gene in cystic fibrosis bronchial epithelial cell lines

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sacchetti Gianni

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Cystic fibrosis (CF airway pathology is a fatal, autosomal, recessive genetic disease characterized by extensive lung inflammation. After induction by TNF-α, elevated concentrations of several pro-inflammatory cytokines (i.e. IL-6, IL-1β and chemokines (i.e. IL-8 are released from airway epithelial cells. In order to reduce the excessive inflammatory response in the airways of CF patients, new therapies have been developed and in this respect, medicinal plant extracts have been studied. In this article we have investigated the possible use of bergamot extracts (Citrus bergamia Risso and their identified components to alter the expression of IL-8 associated with the cystic fibrosis airway pathology. Methods The extracts were chemically characterized by 1H-NMR (nuclear magnetic resonance, GC-FID (gas chromatography-flame ionization detector, GC-MS (gas chromatography-mass spectrometry and HPLC (high pressure liquid chromatography. Both bergamot extracts and main detected chemical constituents were assayed for their biological activity measuring (a cytokines and chemokines in culture supernatants released from cystic fibrosis IB3-1 cells treated with TNF-α by Bio-Plex cytokine assay; (b accumulation of IL-8 mRNA by real-time PCR. Results The extracts obtained from bergamot (Citrus bergamia Risso epicarps contain components displaying an inhibitory activity on IL-8. Particularly, the most active molecules were bergapten and citropten. These effects have been confirmed by analyzing mRNA levels and protein release in the CF cellular models IB3-1 and CuFi-1 induced with TNF-α or exposed to heat-inactivated Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Conclusions These obtained results clearly indicate that bergapten and citropten are strong inhibitors of IL-8 expression and could be proposed for further studies to verify possible anti-inflammatory properties to reduce lung inflammation in CF patients.

  2. A stochastic multicellular model identifies biological watermarks from disorders in self-organized patterns of phyllotaxis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Refahi, Yassin; Brunoud, Géraldine; Farcot, Etienne; Jean-Marie, Alain; Pulkkinen, Minna; Vernoux, Teva; Godin, Christophe

    2016-01-01

    Exploration of developmental mechanisms classically relies on analysis of pattern regularities. Whether disorders induced by biological noise may carry information on building principles of developmental systems is an important debated question. Here, we addressed theoretically this question using phyllotaxis, the geometric arrangement of plant aerial organs, as a model system. Phyllotaxis arises from reiterative organogenesis driven by lateral inhibitions at the shoot apex. Motivated by recurrent observations of disorders in phyllotaxis patterns, we revisited in depth the classical deterministic view of phyllotaxis. We developed a stochastic model of primordia initiation at the shoot apex, integrating locality and stochasticity in the patterning system. This stochastic model recapitulates phyllotactic patterns, both regular and irregular, and makes quantitative predictions on the nature of disorders arising from noise. We further show that disorders in phyllotaxis instruct us on the parameters governing phyllotaxis dynamics, thus that disorders can reveal biological watermarks of developmental systems. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.14093.001 PMID:27380805

  3. Systems biology and longevity: an emerging approach to identify innovative anti-aging targets and strategies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cevenini, E; Bellavista, E; Tieri, P; Castellani, G; Lescai, F; Francesconi, M; Mishto, M; Santoro, A; Valensin, S; Salvioli, S; Capri, M; Zaikin, A; Monti, D; de Magalhães, J P; Franceschi, C

    2010-01-01

    Human aging and longevity are complex and multi-factorial traits that result from a combination of environmental, genetic, epigenetic and stochastic factors, each contributing to the overall phenotype. The multi-factorial process of aging acts at different levels of complexity, from molecule to cell, from organ to organ systems and finally to organism, giving rise to the dynamic "aging mosaic". At present, an increasing amount of experimental data on genetics, genomics, proteomics and other -omics are available thanks to new high-throughput technologies but a comprehensive model for the study of human aging and longevity is still lacking. Systems biology represents a strategy to integrate and quantify the existing knowledge from different sources into predictive models, to be later tested and then implemented with new experimental data for validation and refinement in a recursive process. The ultimate goal is to compact the new acquired knowledge into a single picture, ideally able to characterize the phenotype at systemic/organism level. In this review we will briefly discuss the aging phenotype in a systems biology perspective, showing four specific examples at different levels of complexity, from a systemic process (inflammation) to a cascade-process pathways (coagulation) and from cellular organelle (proteasome) to single gene-network (PON-1), which could also represent targets for anti-aging strategies.

  4. A systems biology approach to identify the signalling network regulated by Rho-GDI-γ during neural stem cell differentiation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Jiao; Hu, Fuyan; Cheng, Hua; Zhao, Xing-Ming; Wen, Tieqiao

    2012-11-01

    Understanding the molecular mechanism that underlies the differentiation of neural stem cells (NSCs) is vital to develop regenerative medicines for neurological disorders. In our previous work, Rho-GDI-γ was found to be able to prompt neuronal differentiation when it was down regulated. However, it is unclear how Rho-GDI-γ regulates this differentiation process. Therefore, a novel systems biology approach is presented here to identify putative signalling pathways regulated by Rho-GDI-γ during NSC differentiation, and these pathways can provide insights into the NSC differentiation mechanisms. In particular, our proposed approach combines the predictive power of computational biology and molecular experiments. With different biological experiments, the genes in the computationally identified signalling network were validated to be indeed regulated by Rho-GDI-γ during the differentiation of NSCs. In particular, one randomly selected pathway involving Vcp, Mapk8, Ywhae and Ywhah was experimentally verified to be regulated by Rho-GDI-γ. These promising results demonstrate the effectiveness of our proposed systems biology approach, indicating the potential predictive power of integrating computational and experimental approaches.

  5. Sinking rates of microplastics and potential implications of their alteration by physical, biological, and chemical factors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kowalski, Nicole; Reichardt, Aurelia M; Waniek, Joanna J

    2016-08-15

    To follow the pathways of microplastics in aquatic environments, profound knowledge about the behaviour of microplastics is necessary. Therefore, sinking experiments were conducted with diverse polymer particles using fluids with different salinity. Particles ranged from 0.3 and 3.6mm with sinking rates between 6 and 91×10(-3)ms(-1). The sinking velocity was not solely related to particle density, size and fluid density but also to the particles shape leading to considerable deviation from calculated theoretical values. Thus, experimental studies are indispensable to get basic knowledge about the sinking behaviour and to gain representative datasets for model approaches estimating the distribution of microplastics in aquatic systems. The sinking behaviour may be altered considerably by weathering and biofouling demanding further studies with aged and fouled plastic particles. Furthermore, assumptions are made about the influence of sinking fouled microplastics on the marine carbon pump by transferring organic carbon to deeper water depths.

  6. Cosmetics alter biologically-based factors of beauty: evidence from facial contrast.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Alex L; Russell, Richard; Ward, Robert

    2015-02-28

    The use of cosmetics by women seems to consistently increase their attractiveness. What factors of attractiveness do cosmetics alter to achieve this? Facial contrast is a known cue to sexual dimorphism and youth, and cosmetics exaggerate sexual dimorphisms in facial contrast. Here, we demonstrate that the luminance contrast pattern of the eyes and eyebrows is consistently sexually dimorphic across a large sample of faces, with females possessing lower brow contrasts than males, and greater eye contrast than males. Red-green and yellow-blue color contrasts were not found to differ consistently between the sexes. We also show that women use cosmetics not only to exaggerate sexual dimorphisms of brow and eye contrasts, but also to increase contrasts that decline with age. These findings refine the notion of facial contrast, and demonstrate how cosmetics can increase attractiveness by manipulating factors of beauty associated with facial contrast.

  7. Cosmetics Alter Biologically-Based Factors of Beauty: Evidence from Facial Contrast

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alex L. Jones

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The use of cosmetics by women seems to consistently increase their attractiveness. What factors of attractiveness do cosmetics alter to achieve this? Facial contrast is a known cue to sexual dimorphism and youth, and cosmetics exaggerate sexual dimorphisms in facial contrast. Here, we demonstrate that the luminance contrast pattern of the eyes and eyebrows is consistently sexually dimorphic across a large sample of faces, with females possessing lower brow contrasts than males, and greater eye contrast than males. Red-green and yellow-blue color contrasts were not found to differ consistently between the sexes. We also show that women use cosmetics not only to exaggerate sexual dimorphisms of brow and eye contrasts, but also to increase contrasts that decline with age. These findings refine the notion of facial contrast, and demonstrate how cosmetics can increase attractiveness by manipulating factors of beauty associated with facial contrast.

  8. Prenatal stress is a vulnerability factor for altered morphology and biological activity of microglia cells.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joanna eŚlusarczyk

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Several lines of evidence suggest that the dysregulation of the immune system is an important factor in the development of depression. Microglia are the resident macrophages of the central nervous system and a key player in innate immunity of the brain. We hypothesized that prenatal stress (an animal model of depression as a priming factor could affect microglial cells and might lead to depressive-like disturbances in adult male rat offspring. We investigated the behavioral changes (sucrose preference test, Porsolt test, the expression of C1q and CD40 mRNA and the level of microglia (Iba1 positive in 3 month old control and prenatally stressed male offspring rats. In addition, we characterized the morphological and biochemical parameters of potentially harmful (NO, iNOS, IL-1β, IL-18, IL-6, TNF-α, CCL2, CXCL12, CCR2, CXCR4 and beneficial (IGF-1, BDNF phenotypes in cultures of microglia obtained from the cortices of 1-2 days old control and prenatally stressed pups. The adult prenatally stressed rats showed behavioral (anhedonic- and depression-like disturbances, enhanced expression of microglial activation markers and an increased number of Iba1-immunopositive cells in the hippocampus and frontal cortex. The morphology of glia was altered in cultures from prenatally stressed rats, as demonstrated by immunofluorescence microscopy. Moreover, in these cultures, we observed enhanced expression of CD40 and MHC II and release of pro-inflammatory cytokines, including IL-1β, IL-18, TNF-α and IL-6. Prenatal stress significantly up-regulated levels of the chemokines CCL2, CXCL12 and altered expression of their receptors, CCR2 and CXCR4 while IGF-1 production was suppressed in cultures of microglia from prenatally stressed rats.Our results suggest that prenatal stress may lead to excessive microglia activation and contribute to the behavioral changes observed in depression in adulthood.

  9. A magnetic-dependent protein corona of tailor-made superparamagnetic iron oxides alters their biological behaviors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Ziyao; Zhan, Xiaohui; Yang, Minggang; Yang, Qi; Xu, Xianghui; Lan, Fang; Wu, Yao; Gu, Zhongwei

    2016-04-14

    In recent years, it is becoming increasingly evident that once nanoparticles come into contact with biological fluids, a protein corona surely forms and critically affects the biological behaviors of nanoparticles. Herein, we investigate whether the formation of protein corona on the surface of superparamagnetic iron oxides (SPIOs) is influenced by static magnetic field. Under static magnetic field, there is no obvious variation in the total amount of protein adsorption, but the proportion of adsorbed proteins significantly changes. Noticeably, certain proteins including apolipoproteins, complement system proteins and acute phase proteins, increase in the protein corona of SPIOs in the magnetic field. More importantly, the magnetic-dependent protein corona of SPIOs enhances the cellular uptake of SPIOs into the normal cell line (3T3 cells) and tumor cell line (HepG2 cells), due to increased adsorption of apolipoprotein. In addition, SPIOs with the magnetic-dependent protein corona cause high cytotoxicity to 3T3 cells and HepG2 cells. This work discloses that superparamagnetism as a key feature of SPIOs affects the composition of protein corona to a large extent, which further alters the biological behaviors of SPIOs.

  10. Diagenetic alteration of natural Fe-Ti oxides identified by energy dispersive spectroscopy and low-temperature magnetic remanence and hysteresis measurements

    OpenAIRE

    Dillon, Melanie; Franke, Christine

    2008-01-01

    Diagenetic alteration of natural Fe-Ti oxides identified by energy dispersive spectroscopy and low-temperature magnetic remanence and hysteresis measurements GERMANY (Dillon, Melanie) GERMANY Received: 2007-12-20 Revised: 2008-07-24 Accepted: 2008-08-06

  11. A systems biology approach identifies molecular networks defining skeletal muscle abnormalities in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nil Turan

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD is an inflammatory process of the lung inducing persistent airflow limitation. Extensive systemic effects, such as skeletal muscle dysfunction, often characterize these patients and severely limit life expectancy. Despite considerable research efforts, the molecular basis of muscle degeneration in COPD is still a matter of intense debate. In this study, we have applied a network biology approach to model the relationship between muscle molecular and physiological response to training and systemic inflammatory mediators. Our model shows that failure to co-ordinately activate expression of several tissue remodelling and bioenergetics pathways is a specific landmark of COPD diseased muscles. Our findings also suggest that this phenomenon may be linked to an abnormal expression of a number of histone modifiers, which we discovered correlate with oxygen utilization. These observations raised the interesting possibility that cell hypoxia may be a key factor driving skeletal muscle degeneration in COPD patients.

  12. A systems biology strategy to identify molecular mechanisms of action and protein indicators of traumatic brain injury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Chenggang; Boutté, Angela; Yu, Xueping; Dutta, Bhaskar; Feala, Jacob D; Schmid, Kara; Dave, Jitendra; Tawa, Gregory J; Wallqvist, Anders; Reifman, Jaques

    2015-02-01

    The multifactorial nature of traumatic brain injury (TBI), especially the complex secondary tissue injury involving intertwined networks of molecular pathways that mediate cellular behavior, has confounded attempts to elucidate the pathology underlying the progression of TBI. Here, systems biology strategies are exploited to identify novel molecular mechanisms and protein indicators of brain injury. To this end, we performed a meta-analysis of four distinct high-throughput gene expression studies involving different animal models of TBI. By using canonical pathways and a large human protein-interaction network as a scaffold, we separately overlaid the gene expression data from each study to identify molecular signatures that were conserved across the different studies. At 24 hr after injury, the significantly activated molecular signatures were nonspecific to TBI, whereas the significantly suppressed molecular signatures were specific to the nervous system. In particular, we identified a suppressed subnetwork consisting of 58 highly interacting, coregulated proteins associated with synaptic function. We selected three proteins from this subnetwork, postsynaptic density protein 95, nitric oxide synthase 1, and disrupted in schizophrenia 1, and hypothesized that their abundance would be significantly reduced after TBI. In a penetrating ballistic-like brain injury rat model of severe TBI, Western blot analysis confirmed our hypothesis. In addition, our analysis recovered 12 previously identified protein biomarkers of TBI. The results suggest that systems biology may provide an efficient, high-yield approach to generate testable hypotheses that can be experimentally validated to identify novel mechanisms of action and molecular indicators of TBI.

  13. Simulated weightlessness alters biological characteristics of human breast cancer cell line MCF-7

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qian, Airong; Zhang, Wei; Xie, Li; Weng, Yuanyuan; Yang, Pengfei; Wang, Zhe; Hu, Lifang; Xu, Huiyun; Tian, Zongcheng; Shang, Peng

    The aim of this study is to investigate the effects of the clinostat-simulated microgravity on MCF-7 cells (a breast cancer cell line) biological characteristics. MCF-7 cells were incubated for 24 h in an incubator and then rotated in a clinostat as a model of simulated microgravity for 24, 48 and 72 h, respectively. The effects of the clinostat-simulated microgravity on MCF-7 cells proliferation, invasion, migration, gelatinase production, adhesion, cell cycle, apoptosis and vinculin expression were detected. The results showed that the clinostat-simulated microgravity affected breast cancer cell invasion, migration, adhesion, cell cycle, cell apoptosis and vinculin expression. These results may explore a new field of vision to study tumor metastasis in future.

  14. Biochemical evaluation of a 108-member deglycobleomycin library: viability of a selection strategy for identifying bleomycin analogues with altered properties.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ma, Qian; Xu, Zhidong; Schroeder, Benjamin R; Sun, Wenyue; Wei, Fang; Hashimoto, Shigeki; Konishi, Kazuhide; Leitheiser, Christopher J; Hecht, Sidney M

    2007-10-17

    The bleomycins (BLMs) are clinically used glycopeptide antitumor antibiotics that have been shown to mediate the sequence-selective oxidative damage of both DNA and RNA. Previously, we described the solid-phase synthesis of a library of 108 unique analogues of deglycoBLM A6, a congener that cleaves DNA analogously to BLM itself. Each member of the library was assayed for its ability to effect single- and double-strand nicking of duplex DNA, sequence-selective DNA cleavage, and RNA cleavage in the presence and absence of a metal ion cofactor. All of the analogues tested were found to mediate concentration-dependent plasmid DNA relaxation to some extent, and a number exhibited double-strand cleavage with an efficiency comparable to or greater than deglycoBLM A6. Further, some analogues having altered linker and metal-binding domains mediated altered sequence-selective cleavage, and a few were found to cleave a tRNA3Lys transcript both in the presence and in the absence of a metal cofactor. The results provide insights into structural elements within BLM that control DNA and RNA cleavage. The present study also permits inferences to be drawn regarding the practicality of a selection strategy for the solid-phase construction and evaluation of large libraries of BLM analogues having altered properties.

  15. An Integrated Bioinformatics and Computational Biology Approach Identifies New BH3-Only Protein Candidates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hawley, Robert G; Chen, Yuzhong; Riz, Irene; Zeng, Chen

    2012-05-04

    In this study, we utilized an integrated bioinformatics and computational biology approach in search of new BH3-only proteins belonging to the BCL2 family of apoptotic regulators. The BH3 (BCL2 homology 3) domain mediates specific binding interactions among various BCL2 family members. It is composed of an amphipathic α-helical region of approximately 13 residues that has only a few amino acids that are highly conserved across all members. Using a generalized motif, we performed a genome-wide search for novel BH3-containing proteins in the NCBI Consensus Coding Sequence (CCDS) database. In addition to known pro-apoptotic BH3-only proteins, 197 proteins were recovered that satisfied the search criteria. These were categorized according to α-helical content and predictive binding to BCL-xL (encoded by BCL2L1) and MCL-1, two representative anti-apoptotic BCL2 family members, using position-specific scoring matrix models. Notably, the list is enriched for proteins associated with autophagy as well as a broad spectrum of cellular stress responses such as endoplasmic reticulum stress, oxidative stress, antiviral defense, and the DNA damage response. Several potential novel BH3-containing proteins are highlighted. In particular, the analysis strongly suggests that the apoptosis inhibitor and DNA damage response regulator, AVEN, which was originally isolated as a BCL-xL-interacting protein, is a functional BH3-only protein representing a distinct subclass of BCL2 family members.

  16. Biological and economic impact of stream alteration in the Virginia Piedmont

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whelan, James B.

    1981-01-01

    A 31 month (September 1974 - March 1977) study was conducted on warmwater streams located in the Roanoke Creek watershed of the Piedmont Region of Virginia. The purpose of the study was to determine the effects of stream channelization on the aquatic/riparian wildlife resource and agricultural land-use patterns associated with the altered streams. Three streams, which were channelized 3, 6, and 10 years prior to initiation of the study, and teo unaltered streams, were selected as representative streams for the study. Recently channelized streams lacked overstory cover but has an abundance of herbaceous and small woody plany cover, Conversely, control streams had significantly larger percentages of trees over 46 m tall. Plant species diversity, foliage height diversity, and evenness diversity increased as age since channelization increased. No major differences in water quality parameters were found for either channelized or control streams, although channelized streams had greater deposits of sand and lesser amount of rock, rubble, and gravel. These changes in substrate composition did not significantly modify actual stream flow rates. Fish species composition and species diversity among channelized and unchannelized streams were only slightly different, with most of the differences probably attributable to strays from adjacent habitats, However, evenness diversity for fish communities was lower in channelized streams. The benthic population showed greater changes than did the fish populations with an increase in Chironominae tolerant of unstable sand substrates in channelized streams. Evenness diversity of benthic populations was also higher and showed more consistency in the control stream than in channelized streams. Evenness diversity of benthic communities in control stream averaged between 0.5 to 0.6 and was quite consistent; whereas, the average in the two youngest channelized streams was 0.3 to 0.4. These data seem to indicate decreased stability of the

  17. Rapidly detecting disorder in rhythmic biological signals: a spectral entropy measure to identify cardiac arrhythmias

    CERN Document Server

    Staniczenko, Phillip P A; Jones, Nick S

    2008-01-01

    We consider the use of a running measure of power spectrum disorder to distinguish between the normal sinus rhythm of the heart and two forms of cardiac arrhythmia: atrial fibrillation and atrial flutter. This is motivated by characteristic differences in the spectra of beats during the three rhythms. We plot patient data derived from 10-beat windows on a `disorder map' and identify rhythm-defining ranges in the level and variance of spectral entropy values. Employing the spectral entropy within an automatic arrhythmia detection algorithm enables the classification of periods of atrial fibrillation from the time series of patients' beats. When the algorithm is set to identify abnormal rhythms within 6s it agrees with 85.7% of the annotations of professional rhythm assessors; for a response time of 30s this becomes 89.5%, and with 60s it is 90.3%. The algorithm provides a rapid way to detect atrial fibrillation, demonstrating usable response times as low as six seconds. Measures of disorder in the frequency do...

  18. Identifying genes relevant to specific biological conditions in time course microarray experiments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, Nitesh Kumar; Repsilber, Dirk; Liebscher, Volkmar; Taher, Leila; Fuellen, Georg

    2013-01-01

    Microarrays have been useful in understanding various biological processes by allowing the simultaneous study of the expression of thousands of genes. However, the analysis of microarray data is a challenging task. One of the key problems in microarray analysis is the classification of unknown expression profiles. Specifically, the often large number of non-informative genes on the microarray adversely affects the performance and efficiency of classification algorithms. Furthermore, the skewed ratio of sample to variable poses a risk of overfitting. Thus, in this context, feature selection methods become crucial to select relevant genes and, hence, improve classification accuracy. In this study, we investigated feature selection methods based on gene expression profiles and protein interactions. We found that in our setup, the addition of protein interaction information did not contribute to any significant improvement of the classification results. Furthermore, we developed a novel feature selection method that relies exclusively on observed gene expression changes in microarray experiments, which we call "relative Signal-to-Noise ratio" (rSNR). More precisely, the rSNR ranks genes based on their specificity to an experimental condition, by comparing intrinsic variation, i.e. variation in gene expression within an experimental condition, with extrinsic variation, i.e. variation in gene expression across experimental conditions. Genes with low variation within an experimental condition of interest and high variation across experimental conditions are ranked higher, and help in improving classification accuracy. We compared different feature selection methods on two time-series microarray datasets and one static microarray dataset. We found that the rSNR performed generally better than the other methods.

  19. Chemicals identified in human biological media: a data base. Third annual report, October 1981

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cone, M.V.; Baldauf, M.F.; Martin, F.M. (comps.)

    1981-12-01

    Data from almost 1600 of the 3800 body-burden documents collected to date have been entered in the data base as of October 1981. The emphasis on including recent literature and significant research documents has resulted in a chronological mix of articles from 1974 to the present. When body-burden articles are identified, data are extracted and entered in the data base by chemical and tissue/body fluid. Each data entry comprises a single record (or line entry) and is assigned a record number. If a particular document deals with more than one chemical and/or tissue, there will be multiple records for that document. For example, a study of 5 chemicals in each of 3 tissues has 15 different records (or 15 line entries) in the data base with 15 record numbers. Record numbers are assigned consecutively throughout the entire data base and appear in the upper left corner of the first column for each record.

  20. Be alert to the alterations in the biological characteristics in heterogeneous vancomycin-intermediate Staphylococcus aureus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    X Zhou

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available The development of reduced vancomycin susceptibility in Staphylococcus aureus in many cases appears to be associated with characteristic changes. These changes may have pitfall of identifying S. aureus by automated testing methods like Vitek 32. In this study, we retested 24 heterogeneous vancomycin-intermediate Staphylococcus haemolyticus (h-VISH collected in 2008-2010 at the Department of Clinical Microbiology by conventional biochemical tests and polymerase chain reaction (PCR. The heterogeneous vancomycin-intermediate S. aureus (hVISA reversion test and electron microscopic examination were also used. Six isolates of 24 h-VISH possessed nuc, coa, and 16S rRNA genes, and could be reversed into S. aureus. It suggested that biochemical and morphological changes in hVISA and vancomycin-intermediate S. aureus (VISA should be considered, and the detection of S. aureus, especially reduced vancomycin susceptibility isolates, requires more attention and different techniques.

  1. Impact on disease development, genomic location and biological function of copy number alterations in non-small cell lung cancer.

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    Yen-Tsung Huang

    Full Text Available Lung cancer, of which more than 80% is non-small cell, is the leading cause of cancer-related death in the United States. Copy number alterations (CNAs in lung cancer have been shown to be positionally clustered in certain genomic regions. However, it remains unclear whether genes with copy number changes are functionally clustered. Using a dense single nucleotide polymorphism array, we performed genome-wide copy number analyses of a large collection of non-small cell lung tumors (n = 301. We proposed a formal statistical test for CNAs between different groups (e.g., non-involved lung vs. tumors, early vs. late stage tumors. We also customized the gene set enrichment analysis (GSEA algorithm to investigate the overrepresentation of genes with CNAs in predefined biological pathways and gene sets (i.e., functional clustering. We found that CNAs events increase substantially from germline, early stage to late stage tumor. In addition to genomic position, CNAs tend to occur away from the gene locations, especially in germline, non-involved tissue and early stage tumors. Such tendency decreases from germline to early stage and then to late stage tumors, suggesting a relaxation of selection during tumor progression. Furthermore, genes with CNAs in non-small cell lung tumors were enriched in certain gene sets and biological pathways that play crucial roles in oncogenesis and cancer progression, demonstrating the functional aspect of CNAs in the context of biological pathways that were overlooked previously. We conclude that CNAs increase with disease progression and CNAs are both positionally and functionally clustered. The potential functional capabilities acquired via CNAs may be sufficient for normal cells to transform into malignant cells.

  2. Biomimeticity in tissue engineering scaffolds through synthetic peptide modifications-altering chemistry for enhanced biological response.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sreejalekshmi, Kumaran G; Nair, Prabha D

    2011-02-01

    Biomimetic and bioactive biomaterials are desirable as tissue engineering scaffolds by virtue of their capability to mimic natural environments of the extracellular matrix. Biomimeticity has been achieved by the incorporation of synthetic short peptide sequences into suitable materials either by surface modification or by bulk incorporation. Research in this area has identified several novel synthetic peptide segments, some of them with cell-specific interactions, which may serve as potential candidates for use in explicit tissue applications. This review focuses on the developments and prospective directions of incorporating short synthetic peptide sequences onto scaffolds for tissue engineering, with emphasis on the chemistry of peptide immobilization and subsequent cell responses toward modified scaffolds. The article provides a decision-tree-type flow chart indicating the most probable cellular events on a given peptide-modified scaffold along with the consolidated list of synthetic peptide sequences, supports as well as cell types used in various tissue engineering studies, and aims to serve as a quick reference guide to peptide chemists and material scientists interested in the field.

  3. GeneBrowser 2: an application to explore and identify common biological traits in a set of genes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Oliveira José

    2010-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The development of high-throughput laboratory techniques created a demand for computer-assisted result analysis tools. Many of these techniques return lists of genes whose interpretation requires finding relevant biological roles for the problem at hand. The required information is typically available in public databases, and usually, this information must be manually retrieved to complement the analysis. This process is a very time-consuming task that should be automated as much as possible. Results GeneBrowser is a web-based tool that, for a given list of genes, combines data from several public databases with visualisation and analysis methods to help identify the most relevant and common biological characteristics. The functionalities provided include the following: a central point with the most relevant biological information for each inserted gene; a list of the most related papers in PubMed and gene expression studies in ArrayExpress; and an extended approach to functional analysis applied to Gene Ontology, homologies, gene chromosomal localisation and pathways. Conclusions GeneBrowser provides a unique entry point to several visualisation and analysis methods, providing fast and easy analysis of a set of genes. GeneBrowser fills the gap between Web portals that analyse one gene at a time and functional analysis tools that are limited in scope and usually desktop-based.

  4. A Network Biology Approach Identifies Molecular Cross-Talk between Normal Prostate Epithelial and Prostate Carcinoma Cells.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Victor Trevino

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available The advent of functional genomics has enabled the genome-wide characterization of the molecular state of cells and tissues, virtually at every level of biological organization. The difficulty in organizing and mining this unprecedented amount of information has stimulated the development of computational methods designed to infer the underlying structure of regulatory networks from observational data. These important developments had a profound impact in biological sciences since they triggered the development of a novel data-driven investigative approach. In cancer research, this strategy has been particularly successful. It has contributed to the identification of novel biomarkers, to a better characterization of disease heterogeneity and to a more in depth understanding of cancer pathophysiology. However, so far these approaches have not explicitly addressed the challenge of identifying networks representing the interaction of different cell types in a complex tissue. Since these interactions represent an essential part of the biology of both diseased and healthy tissues, it is of paramount importance that this challenge is addressed. Here we report the definition of a network reverse engineering strategy designed to infer directional signals linking adjacent cell types within a complex tissue. The application of this inference strategy to prostate cancer genome-wide expression profiling data validated the approach and revealed that normal epithelial cells exert an anti-tumour activity on prostate carcinoma cells. Moreover, by using a Bayesian hierarchical model integrating genetics and gene expression data and combining this with survival analysis, we show that the expression of putative cell communication genes related to focal adhesion and secretion is affected by epistatic gene copy number variation and it is predictive of patient survival. Ultimately, this study represents a generalizable approach to the challenge of deciphering cell

  5. A Network Biology Approach Identifies Molecular Cross-Talk between Normal Prostate Epithelial and Prostate Carcinoma Cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trevino, Victor; Cassese, Alberto; Nagy, Zsuzsanna; Zhuang, Xiaodong; Herbert, John; Antczak, Philipp; Clarke, Kim; Davies, Nicholas; Rahman, Ayesha; Campbell, Moray J; Guindani, Michele; Bicknell, Roy; Vannucci, Marina; Falciani, Francesco

    2016-04-01

    The advent of functional genomics has enabled the genome-wide characterization of the molecular state of cells and tissues, virtually at every level of biological organization. The difficulty in organizing and mining this unprecedented amount of information has stimulated the development of computational methods designed to infer the underlying structure of regulatory networks from observational data. These important developments had a profound impact in biological sciences since they triggered the development of a novel data-driven investigative approach. In cancer research, this strategy has been particularly successful. It has contributed to the identification of novel biomarkers, to a better characterization of disease heterogeneity and to a more in depth understanding of cancer pathophysiology. However, so far these approaches have not explicitly addressed the challenge of identifying networks representing the interaction of different cell types in a complex tissue. Since these interactions represent an essential part of the biology of both diseased and healthy tissues, it is of paramount importance that this challenge is addressed. Here we report the definition of a network reverse engineering strategy designed to infer directional signals linking adjacent cell types within a complex tissue. The application of this inference strategy to prostate cancer genome-wide expression profiling data validated the approach and revealed that normal epithelial cells exert an anti-tumour activity on prostate carcinoma cells. Moreover, by using a Bayesian hierarchical model integrating genetics and gene expression data and combining this with survival analysis, we show that the expression of putative cell communication genes related to focal adhesion and secretion is affected by epistatic gene copy number variation and it is predictive of patient survival. Ultimately, this study represents a generalizable approach to the challenge of deciphering cell communication networks

  6. Genes2WordCloud: a quick way to identify biological themes from gene lists and free text

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ma'ayan Avi

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Word-clouds recently emerged on the web as a solution for quickly summarizing text by maximizing the display of most relevant terms about a specific topic in the minimum amount of space. As biologists are faced with the daunting amount of new research data commonly presented in textual formats, word-clouds can be used to summarize and represent biological and/or biomedical content for various applications. Results Genes2WordCloud is a web application that enables users to quickly identify biological themes from gene lists and research relevant text by constructing and displaying word-clouds. It provides users with several different options and ideas for the sources that can be used to generate a word-cloud. Different options for rendering and coloring the word-clouds give users the flexibility to quickly generate customized word-clouds of their choice. Methods Genes2WordCloud is a word-cloud generator and a word-cloud viewer that is based on WordCram implemented using Java, Processing, AJAX, mySQL, and PHP. Text is fetched from several sources and then processed to extract the most relevant terms with their computed weights based on word frequencies. Genes2WordCloud is freely available for use online; it is open source software and is available for installation on any web-site along with supporting documentation at http://www.maayanlab.net/G2W. Conclusions Genes2WordCloud provides a useful way to summarize and visualize large amounts of textual biological data or to find biological themes from several different sources. The open source availability of the software enables users to implement customized word-clouds on their own web-sites and desktop applications.

  7. A Network Biology Approach Identifies Molecular Cross-Talk between Normal Prostate Epithelial and Prostate Carcinoma Cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trevino, Victor; Cassese, Alberto; Nagy, Zsuzsanna; Zhuang, Xiaodong; Herbert, John; Antzack, Philipp; Clarke, Kim; Davies, Nicholas; Rahman, Ayesha; Campbell, Moray J.; Bicknell, Roy; Vannucci, Marina; Falciani, Francesco

    2016-01-01

    Abstract The advent of functional genomics has enabled the genome-wide characterization of the molecular state of cells and tissues, virtually at every level of biological organization. The difficulty in organizing and mining this unprecedented amount of information has stimulated the development of computational methods designed to infer the underlying structure of regulatory networks from observational data. These important developments had a profound impact in biological sciences since they triggered the development of a novel data-driven investigative approach. In cancer research, this strategy has been particularly successful. It has contributed to the identification of novel biomarkers, to a better characterization of disease heterogeneity and to a more in depth understanding of cancer pathophysiology. However, so far these approaches have not explicitly addressed the challenge of identifying networks representing the interaction of different cell types in a complex tissue. Since these interactions represent an essential part of the biology of both diseased and healthy tissues, it is of paramount importance that this challenge is addressed. Here we report the definition of a network reverse engineering strategy designed to infer directional signals linking adjacent cell types within a complex tissue. The application of this inference strategy to prostate cancer genome-wide expression profiling data validated the approach and revealed that normal epithelial cells exert an anti-tumour activity on prostate carcinoma cells. Moreover, by using a Bayesian hierarchical model integrating genetics and gene expression data and combining this with survival analysis, we show that the expression of putative cell communication genes related to focal adhesion and secretion is affected by epistatic gene copy number variation and it is predictive of patient survival. Ultimately, this study represents a generalizable approach to the challenge of deciphering cell communication

  8. Increased temperature and altered summer precipitation have differential effects on biological soil crusts in a dryland ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Shannon L.; Kuske, Cheryl R.; Carney, Travis D.; Housman, David C.; Gallegos-Graves, La Verne; Belnap, Jayne

    2012-01-01

    Biological soil crusts (biocrusts) are common and ecologically important members of dryland ecosystems worldwide, where they stabilize soil surfaces and contribute newly fixed C and N to soils. To test the impacts of predicted climate change scenarios on biocrusts in a dryland ecosystem, the effects of a 2–3 °C increase in soil temperature and an increased frequency of smaller summer precipitation events were examined in a large, replicated field study conducted in the cold desert of the Colorado Plateau, USA. Surface soil biomass (DNA concentration), photosynthetically active cyanobacterial biomass (chlorophyll a concentration), cyanobacterial abundance (quantitative PCR assay), and bacterial community composition (16S rRNA gene sequencing) were monitored seasonally over 2 years. Soil microbial biomass and bacterial community composition were highly stratified between the 0–2 cm depth biocrusts and 5–10 cm depth soil beneath the biocrusts. The increase in temperature did not have a detectable effect on any of the measured parameters over 2 years. However, after the second summer of altered summer precipitation pattern, significant declines occurred in the surface soil biomass (avg. DNA concentration declined 38%), photosynthetic cyanobacterial biomass (avg. chlorophyll a concentration declined 78%), cyanobacterial abundance (avg. gene copies g−1 soil declined 95%), and proportion of Cyanobacteria in the biocrust bacterial community (avg. representation in sequence libraries declined 85%). Biocrusts are important contributors to soil stability, soil C and N stores, and plant performance, and the loss or reduction of biocrusts under an altered precipitation pattern associated with climate change could contribute significantly to lower soil fertility and increased erosion and dust production in dryland ecosystems at a regional scale.

  9. A systems biology pipeline identifies new immune and disease related molecular signatures and networks in human cells during microgravity exposure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mukhopadhyay, Sayak; Saha, Rohini; Palanisamy, Anbarasi; Ghosh, Madhurima; Biswas, Anupriya; Roy, Saheli; Pal, Arijit; Sarkar, Kathakali; Bagh, Sangram

    2016-05-01

    Microgravity is a prominent health hazard for astronauts, yet we understand little about its effect at the molecular systems level. In this study, we have integrated a set of systems-biology tools and databases and have analysed more than 8000 molecular pathways on published global gene expression datasets of human cells in microgravity. Hundreds of new pathways have been identified with statistical confidence for each dataset and despite the difference in cell types and experiments, around 100 of the new pathways are appeared common across the datasets. They are related to reduced inflammation, autoimmunity, diabetes and asthma. We have identified downregulation of NfκB pathway via Notch1 signalling as new pathway for reduced immunity in microgravity. Induction of few cancer types including liver cancer and leukaemia and increased drug response to cancer in microgravity are also found. Increase in olfactory signal transduction is also identified. Genes, based on their expression pattern, are clustered and mathematically stable clusters are identified. The network mapping of genes within a cluster indicates the plausible functional connections in microgravity. This pipeline gives a new systems level picture of human cells under microgravity, generates testable hypothesis and may help estimating risk and developing medicine for space missions.

  10. Integration of molecular biology tools for identifying promoters and genes abundantly expressed in flowers of Oncidium Gower Ramsey

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tung Shu-Yun

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Orchids comprise one of the largest families of flowering plants and generate commercially important flowers. However, model plants, such as Arabidopsis thaliana do not contain all plant genes, and agronomic and horticulturally important genera and species must be individually studied. Results Several molecular biology tools were used to isolate flower-specific gene promoters from Oncidium 'Gower Ramsey' (Onc. GR. A cDNA library of reproductive tissues was used to construct a microarray in order to compare gene expression in flowers and leaves. Five genes were highly expressed in flower tissues, and the subcellular locations of the corresponding proteins were identified using lip transient transformation with fluorescent protein-fusion constructs. BAC clones of the 5 genes, together with 7 previously published flower- and reproductive growth-specific genes in Onc. GR, were identified for cloning of their promoter regions. Interestingly, 3 of the 5 novel flower-abundant genes were putative trypsin inhibitor (TI genes (OnTI1, OnTI2 and OnTI3, which were tandemly duplicated in the same BAC clone. Their promoters were identified using transient GUS reporter gene transformation and stable A. thaliana transformation analyses. Conclusions By combining cDNA microarray, BAC library, and bombardment assay techniques, we successfully identified flower-directed orchid genes and promoters.

  11. Alterations in nanoparticle protein corona by biological surfactants: impact of bile salts on β-lactoglobulin-coated gold nanoparticles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winuprasith, Thunnalin; Chantarak, Sirinya; Suphantharika, Manop; He, Lili; McClements, David Julian

    2014-07-15

    The impact of biological surfactants (bile salts) on the protein (β-lactoglobulin) corona surrounding gold nanoparticles (200 nm) was studied using a variety of analytical techniques at pH 7: dynamic light scattering (DLS); particle electrophoresis (ζ-potential); UV-visible (UV) spectroscopy; transmission electron microscopy (TEM); and surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS). The bile salts adsorbed to the protein-coated nanoparticle surfaces and altered their interfacial composition, charge, and structure. SERS spectra of protein-coated nanoparticles after bile salt addition contained bands from both protein and bile salts, indicating that the protein was not fully displaced by the bile salts. UV, DLS and TEM techniques also indicated that the protein coating was not fully displaced from the nanoparticle surfaces. The impact of bile salts could be described by an orogenic mechanism: mixed interfaces were formed that consisted of islands of aggregated proteins surrounded by a sea of bile salts. This knowledge is useful for understanding the interactions of bile salts with protein-coated colloidal particles, which may be important for controlling the fate of colloidal delivery systems in the human gastrointestinal tract, or the gastrointestinal fate of ingested inorganic nanoparticles.

  12. Serum lipid alterations identified in chronic hepatitis B, hepatitis B virus-associated cirrhosis and carcinoma patients

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Tao; Zheng, Xiaojiao; Yang, Ming; Zhao, Aihua; Li, Meng; Chen, Tianlu; Panee, Jun; Jia, Wei; Ji, Guang

    2017-01-01

    The incidences of chronic hepatitis B (CHB), Hepatitis B virus (HBV)-associated cirrhosis and HBV-associated carcinoma are high and increasing. This study was designed to evaluate serum lipid metabolite changes that are associated with the progression from CHB to HBV-associated cirrhosis and ultimately to HBV-associated HCC. A targeted metabolomic assay was performed in fasting sera from 136 CHB patients, 104 HBV-associated cirrhosis, and 95 HBV-associated HCC using ultra-performance liquid chromatography triple quadrupole mass spectrometry. A total of 140 metabolites were identified. Clear separations between each two groups were obtained using the partial least squares discriminate analysis of 9 lipid metabolites. Progressively lower levels of long-chain lysophosphatidylcholines (lysoPC a C18:2, lysoPC a C20:3, lysoPC a C20:4) were observed from CHB to cirrhosis to carcinoma; lower levels of lysoPC a C20:4 were found in patients with higher model for end-stage liver disease in the same disease group; and lysoPC a C20:3 levels were lower in Child-Pugh Class C than in Class A and Class B in HBV-associated cirrhosis and HBV-associated HCC groups. The octadecadienyl carnitine level was higher in HBV-associated cirrhosis group than in other two groups. Serum levels of selected long-chain lysoPCs are promising markers for the progression of HBV-associated liver diseases. PMID:28198443

  13. Genome-wide screening for genetic alterations in esophageal cancer by aCGH identifies 11q13 amplification oncogenes associated with nodal metastasis.

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    Jianming Ying

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC is highly prevalent in China and other Asian countries, as a major cause of cancer-related mortality. ESCC displays complex chromosomal abnormalities, including multiple structural and numerical aberrations. Chromosomal abnormalities, such as recurrent amplifications and homozygous deletions, directly contribute to tumorigenesis through altering the expression of key oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPLE FINDINGS: To understand the role of genetic alterations in ESCC pathogenesis and identify critical amplification/deletion targets, we performed genome-wide 1-Mb array comparative genomic hybridization (aCGH analysis for 10 commonly used ESCC cell lines. Recurrent chromosomal gains were frequently detected on 3q26-27, 5p15-14, 8p12, 8p22-24, 11q13, 13q21-31, 18p11 and 20q11-13, with frequent losses also found on 8p23-22, 11q22, 14q32 and 18q11-23. Gain of 11q13.3-13.4 was the most frequent alteration in ESCC. Within this region, CCND1 oncogene was identified with high level of amplification and overexpression in ESCC, while FGF19 and SHANK2 was also remarkably over-expressed. Moreover, a high concordance (91.5% of gene amplification and protein overexpression of CCND1 was observed in primary ESCC tumors. CCND1 amplification/overexpression was also significantly correlated with the lymph node metastasis of ESCC. CONCLUSION: These findings suggest that genomic gain of 11q13 is the major mechanism contributing to the amplification. Novel oncogenes identified within the 11q13 amplicon including FGF19 and SHANK2 may play important roles in ESCC tumorigenesis.

  14. CONDITIONAL PROBABILITY ANALYSIS APPROACH FOR IDENTIFYING BIOLOGICAL THRESHOLD OF IMPACT FOR SEDIMENTATION: APPICATION TO FRESHWATER STREAMS IN OREGON COAST RANGE ECOREGION

    Science.gov (United States)

    A conditional probability analysis (CPA) approach has been developed for identifying biological thresholds of impact for use in the development of geographic-specific water quality criteria for protection of aquatic life. This approach expresses the threshold as the likelihood ...

  15. Altered brain processing of decision-making in healthy first-degree biological relatives of suicide completers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ding, Y; Pereira, F; Hoehne, A; Beaulieu, M-M; Lepage, M; Turecki, G; Jollant, F

    2016-12-13

    Suicidal behavior is heritable, with the transmission of risk being related to the transmission of vulnerability traits. Previous studies suggest that risky decision-making may be an endophenotype of suicide. Here, we aimed at investigating brain processing of decision-making in relatives of suicide completers in order to shed light on heritable mechanisms of suicidal vulnerability. Seventeen healthy first-degree biological relatives of suicide completers with no personal history of suicidal behavior, 16 relatives of depressed patients without any personal or family history of suicidal behavior, and 19 healthy controls were recruited. Functional 3 T magnetic resonance imaging scans were acquired while participants underwent the Iowa Gambling Task, an economic decision-making test. Whole-brain analyses contrasting activations during risky vs safe choices were conducted with AFNI and FSL. Individuals with a family history of suicide in comparison to control groups showed altered contrasts in left medial orbitofrontal cortex, and right dorsomedial prefrontal cortex. This pattern was different from the neural basis of familial depression. Moreover, controls in comparison to relatives showed increased contrast in several regions including the post-central gyrus, posterior cingulate and parietal cortices, and cerebellum (culmen) in familial suicide; and inferior parietal, temporal, occipital, anteromedial and dorsolateral prefrontal cortices, and cerebellum (vermis) in familial depression. These findings most likely represent a complex combination of vulnerability and protective mechanisms in relatives. They also support a significant role for deficient risk processing, and ventral and dorsal prefrontal cortex functioning in the suicidal diathesis.Molecular Psychiatry advance online publication, 13 December 2016; doi:10.1038/mp.2016.221.

  16. Cancer in silico drug discovery: a systems biology tool for identifying candidate drugs to target specific molecular tumor subtypes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    San Lucas, F Anthony; Fowler, Jerry; Chang, Kyle; Kopetz, Scott; Vilar, Eduardo; Scheet, Paul

    2014-12-01

    Large-scale cancer datasets such as The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) allow researchers to profile tumors based on a wide range of clinical and molecular characteristics. Subsequently, TCGA-derived gene expression profiles can be analyzed with the Connectivity Map (CMap) to find candidate drugs to target tumors with specific clinical phenotypes or molecular characteristics. This represents a powerful computational approach for candidate drug identification, but due to the complexity of TCGA and technology differences between CMap and TCGA experiments, such analyses are challenging to conduct and reproduce. We present Cancer in silico Drug Discovery (CiDD; scheet.org/software), a computational drug discovery platform that addresses these challenges. CiDD integrates data from TCGA, CMap, and Cancer Cell Line Encyclopedia (CCLE) to perform computational drug discovery experiments, generating hypotheses for the following three general problems: (i) determining whether specific clinical phenotypes or molecular characteristics are associated with unique gene expression signatures; (ii) finding candidate drugs to repress these expression signatures; and (iii) identifying cell lines that resemble the tumors being studied for subsequent in vitro experiments. The primary input to CiDD is a clinical or molecular characteristic. The output is a biologically annotated list of candidate drugs and a list of cell lines for in vitro experimentation. We applied CiDD to identify candidate drugs to treat colorectal cancers harboring mutations in BRAF. CiDD identified EGFR and proteasome inhibitors, while proposing five cell lines for in vitro testing. CiDD facilitates phenotype-driven, systematic drug discovery based on clinical and molecular data from TCGA.

  17. Systems Biology-Based Investigation of Cellular Antiviral Drug Targets Identified by Gene-Trap Insertional Mutagenesis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Junfei; Sheng, Jinsong; Rubin, Donald H.

    2016-01-01

    Viruses require host cellular factors for successful replication. A comprehensive systems-level investigation of the virus-host interactome is critical for understanding the roles of host factors with the end goal of discovering new druggable antiviral targets. Gene-trap insertional mutagenesis is a high-throughput forward genetics approach to randomly disrupt (trap) host genes and discover host genes that are essential for viral replication, but not for host cell survival. In this study, we used libraries of randomly mutagenized cells to discover cellular genes that are essential for the replication of 10 distinct cytotoxic mammalian viruses, 1 gram-negative bacterium, and 5 toxins. We herein reported 712 candidate cellular genes, characterizing distinct topological network and evolutionary signatures, and occupying central hubs in the human interactome. Cell cycle phase-specific network analysis showed that host cell cycle programs played critical roles during viral replication (e.g. MYC and TAF4 regulating G0/1 phase). Moreover, the viral perturbation of host cellular networks reflected disease etiology in that host genes (e.g. CTCF, RHOA, and CDKN1B) identified were frequently essential and significantly associated with Mendelian and orphan diseases, or somatic mutations in cancer. Computational drug repositioning framework via incorporating drug-gene signatures from the Connectivity Map into the virus-host interactome identified 110 putative druggable antiviral targets and prioritized several existing drugs (e.g. ajmaline) that may be potential for antiviral indication (e.g. anti-Ebola). In summary, this work provides a powerful methodology with a tight integration of gene-trap insertional mutagenesis testing and systems biology to identify new antiviral targets and drugs for the development of broadly acting and targeted clinical antiviral therapeutics. PMID:27632082

  18. Use of a bovine genome array to identify new biological pathways for beef marbling in Hanwoo (Korean Cattle

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lim Da-jeong

    2010-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Marbling (intramuscular fat is a valuable trait that impacts on meat quality and an important factor determining price of beef in the Korean beef market. Animals that are destined for this high marbling market are fed a high concentrate ration for approximately 30 months in the Korean finishing farms. However, this feeding strategy leads to inefficiencies and excessive fat production. This study aimed to identify candidate genes and pathways associated with intramuscular fat deposition on highly divergent marbling phenotypes in adult Hanwoo cattle. Results Bovine genome array analysis was conducted to detect differentially expressed genes (DEGs in m. longissimus with divergent marbling phenotype (marbling score 2 to 7. Three data-processing methods (MAS5.0, GCRMA and RMA were used to test for differential expression (DE. Statistical analysis identified 21 significant transcripts from at least two data-processing methods (P . All 21 differentially expressed genes were validated by real-time PCR. Results showed a high concordance in the gene expression fold change between the microarrays and the real time PCR data. Gene Ontology (GO and pathway analysis demonstrated that some genes (ADAMTS4, CYP51A and SQLE over expressed in high marbled animals are involved in a protein catabolic process and a cholesterol biosynthesis process. In addition, pathway analysis also revealed that ADAMTS4 is activated by three regulators (IL-17A, TNFα and TGFβ1. QRT-PCR was used to investigate gene expression of these regulators in muscle with divergent intramuscular fat contents. The results demonstrate that ADAMTS4 and TGFβ1 are associated with increasing marbling fat. An ADAMTS4/TGFβ1 pathway seems to be associated with the phenotypic differences between high and low marbled groups. Conclusions Marbling differences are possibly a function of complex signaling pathway interactions between muscle and fat. These results suggest that ADAMTS4

  19. On finding and using identifiable parameter combinations in nonlinear dynamic systems biology models and COMBOS: a novel web implementation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meshkat, Nicolette; Kuo, Christine Er-zhen; DiStefano, Joseph

    2014-01-01

    Parameter identifiability problems can plague biomodelers when they reach the quantification stage of development, even for relatively simple models. Structural identifiability (SI) is the primary question, usually understood as knowing which of P unknown biomodel parameters p1,…, pi,…, pP are-and which are not-quantifiable in principle from particular input-output (I-O) biodata. It is not widely appreciated that the same database also can provide quantitative information about the structurally unidentifiable (not quantifiable) subset, in the form of explicit algebraic relationships among unidentifiable pi. Importantly, this is a first step toward finding what else is needed to quantify particular unidentifiable parameters of interest from new I-O experiments. We further develop, implement and exemplify novel algorithms that address and solve the SI problem for a practical class of ordinary differential equation (ODE) systems biology models, as a user-friendly and universally-accessible web application (app)-COMBOS. Users provide the structural ODE and output measurement models in one of two standard forms to a remote server via their web browser. COMBOS provides a list of uniquely and non-uniquely SI model parameters, and-importantly-the combinations of parameters not individually SI. If non-uniquely SI, it also provides the maximum number of different solutions, with important practical implications. The behind-the-scenes symbolic differential algebra algorithms are based on computing Gröbner bases of model attributes established after some algebraic transformations, using the computer-algebra system Maxima. COMBOS was developed for facile instructional and research use as well as modeling. We use it in the classroom to illustrate SI analysis; and have simplified complex models of tumor suppressor p53 and hormone regulation, based on explicit computation of parameter combinations. It's illustrated and validated here for models of moderate complexity, with

  20. On finding and using identifiable parameter combinations in nonlinear dynamic systems biology models and COMBOS: a novel web implementation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicolette Meshkat

    Full Text Available Parameter identifiability problems can plague biomodelers when they reach the quantification stage of development, even for relatively simple models. Structural identifiability (SI is the primary question, usually understood as knowing which of P unknown biomodel parameters p1,…, pi,…, pP are-and which are not-quantifiable in principle from particular input-output (I-O biodata. It is not widely appreciated that the same database also can provide quantitative information about the structurally unidentifiable (not quantifiable subset, in the form of explicit algebraic relationships among unidentifiable pi. Importantly, this is a first step toward finding what else is needed to quantify particular unidentifiable parameters of interest from new I-O experiments. We further develop, implement and exemplify novel algorithms that address and solve the SI problem for a practical class of ordinary differential equation (ODE systems biology models, as a user-friendly and universally-accessible web application (app-COMBOS. Users provide the structural ODE and output measurement models in one of two standard forms to a remote server via their web browser. COMBOS provides a list of uniquely and non-uniquely SI model parameters, and-importantly-the combinations of parameters not individually SI. If non-uniquely SI, it also provides the maximum number of different solutions, with important practical implications. The behind-the-scenes symbolic differential algebra algorithms are based on computing Gröbner bases of model attributes established after some algebraic transformations, using the computer-algebra system Maxima. COMBOS was developed for facile instructional and research use as well as modeling. We use it in the classroom to illustrate SI analysis; and have simplified complex models of tumor suppressor p53 and hormone regulation, based on explicit computation of parameter combinations. It's illustrated and validated here for models of moderate

  1. Meta-analysis identifies novel risk loci and yields systematic insights into the biology of male-pattern baldness

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heilmann-Heimbach, Stefanie; Herold, Christine; Hochfeld, Lara M.; Hillmer, Axel M.; Nyholt, Dale R.; Hecker, Julian; Javed, Asif; Chew, Elaine G. Y.; Pechlivanis, Sonali; Drichel, Dmitriy; Heng, Xiu Ting; del Rosario, Ricardo C. -H.; Fier, Heide L.; Paus, Ralf; Rueedi, Rico; Galesloot, Tessel E.; Moebus, Susanne; Anhalt, Thomas; Prabhakar, Shyam; Li, Rui; Kanoni, Stavroula; Papanikolaou, George; Kutalik, Zoltán; Deloukas, Panos; Philpott, Michael P.; Waeber, Gérard; Spector, Tim D.; Vollenweider, Peter; Kiemeney, Lambertus A. L. M.; Dedoussis, George; Richards, J. Brent; Nothnagel, Michael; Martin, Nicholas G.; Becker, Tim; Hinds, David A.; Nöthen, Markus M.

    2017-01-01

    Male-pattern baldness (MPB) is a common and highly heritable trait characterized by androgen-dependent, progressive hair loss from the scalp. Here, we carry out the largest GWAS meta-analysis of MPB to date, comprising 10,846 early-onset cases and 11,672 controls from eight independent cohorts. We identify 63 MPB-associated loci (P<5 × 10−8, METAL) of which 23 have not been reported previously. The 63 loci explain ∼39% of the phenotypic variance in MPB and highlight several plausible candidate genes (FGF5, IRF4, DKK2) and pathways (melatonin signalling, adipogenesis) that are likely to be implicated in the key-pathophysiological features of MPB and may represent promising targets for the development of novel therapeutic options. The data provide molecular evidence that rather than being an isolated trait, MPB shares a substantial biological basis with numerous other human phenotypes and may deserve evaluation as an early prognostic marker, for example, for prostate cancer, sudden cardiac arrest and neurodegenerative disorders. PMID:28272467

  2. Biological soil crust as a bio-mediator alters hydrological processes in stabilized dune system of the Tengger Desert, China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Xinrong

    2016-04-01

    Biological soil crust (BSC) is a vital component in the stabilized sand dunes with a living cover up to more than 70% of the total, which has been considered as a bio-mediator that directly influences and regulates the sand dune ecosystem processes. However, its influences on soil hydrological processes have been long neglected in Chinese deserts. In this study, BSCs of different successional stages were chose to test their influence on the hydrological processes of stabilized dune, where the groundwater deep exceeds 30m, further to explore why occur the sand-binding vegetation replacement between shrubs and herbs. Our long-term observation (60 years) shows that cyanobacteria crust has been colonized and developed after 3 years since the sand-binding vegetation has been established and dune fixation using planted xerophytic shrubs and made sand barrier (straw-checkerboard) on shifting dune surface, lichen and moss crust occurred after 20 years, and the cover of moss dominated crust could reach 70 % after 50 years. The colonization and development of BSC altered the initial soil water balance of revegetated areas by influencing rainfall infiltration, soil evaporation and dew water entrapment. The results show that BSC obviously reduced the infiltration that occurred during most rainfall events (80%), when rainfall was greater than 5 mm or less than 20 mm. The presence of BSC reduced evaporation of topsoil after small rainfall (BSC. Moreover, the effect of the later successional BSC to dew entrapment, rainfall infiltration and evaporation was more obvious than the early successional BSC on stabilized dunes. In general, BSC reduced the amount of rainfall water that reached deeper soil (0.4-3m), which is where the roots of shrubs are primarily distributed. These changes in the soil moisture pattern induced shifting of sand-binding vegetation from initial planted xerophytic shrub communities with higher coverage (35%) to complex communities dominated by shallow

  3. TU-CD-BRB-10: 18F-FDG PET Image-Derived Tumor Features Highlight Altered Pathways Identified by Trancriptomic Analysis in Head and Neck Cancer

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tixier, F [CHU Miletrie, Poitiers (France); INSERM UMR1101 LaTIM, Brest (France); Cheze-Le-Rest, C; Dufour, X [CHU Miletrie, Poitiers (France); Hatt, M; Visvikis, D [INSERM UMR1101 LaTIM, Brest (France); Valette, G; Potard, G [CHRU Brest, Brest (France); Corcos, L [INSERM, UMR 1078, Brest (France)

    2015-06-15

    Purpose: Several quantitative features can be extracted from 18F-FDG PET images, such as standardized uptake values (SUVs), metabolic tumor volume (MTV), shape characterization (SC) or intra-tumor radiotracer heterogeneity quantification (HQ). Some of these features calculated from baseline 18F-FDG PET images have shown a prognostic and predictive clinical value. It has been hypothesized that these features highlight underlying tumor patho-physiological processes at smaller scales. The objective of this study was to investigate the ability of recovering alterations of signaling pathways from FDG PET image-derived features. Methods: 52 patients were prospectively recruited from two medical centers (Brest and Poitiers). All patients underwent an FDG PET scan for staging and biopsies of both healthy and primary tumor tissues. Biopsies went through a transcriptomic analysis performed in four spates on 4×44k chips (Agilent™). Primary tumors were delineated in the PET images using the Fuzzy Locally Adaptive Bayesian algorithm and characterized using 10 features including SUVs, SC and HQ. A module network algorithm followed by functional annotation was exploited in order to link PET features with signaling pathways alterations. Results: Several PET-derived features were found to discriminate differentially expressed genes between tumor and healthy tissue (fold-change >2, p<0.01) into 30 co-regulated groups (p<0.05). Functional annotations applied to these groups of genes highlighted associations with well-known pathways involved in cancer processes, such as cell proliferation and apoptosis, as well as with more specific ones such as unsaturated fatty acids. Conclusion: Quantitative features extracted from baseline 18F-FDG PET images usually exploited only for diagnosis and staging, were identified in this work as being related to specific altered pathways and may show promise as tools for personalizing treatment decisions.

  4. Diazotrophy in the Deep: Measuring Rates and Identifying Biological Mediators of N2 fixation in Deep-Sea Sediments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dekas, A. E.; Fike, D. A.; Chadwick, G.; Connon, S. A.; Orphan, V. J.

    2013-12-01

    Biological N2 fixation (the conversion of N2 to NH3) is the largest natural source of bioavailable nitrogen to the biosphere, and dictates the rate of community productivity in many nitrogen-limited environments. Deep-sea sediments are traditionally not thought to host N2 fixation, however evidence from a metagenomics dataset targeting deep-sea methanotrophic archaea (ANME) suggested their ability to fix N2 (Pernthaler, et al., PNAS 2008). Using stable isotope labeling experiments and FISH-NanoSIMS, a technique which allows the visualization of isotopic composition within phylogenetically identified cells on the nanometer scale, we demonstrated that the ANME are capable of N2 fixation (Dekas et al., Science 2009). In the present work, we use FISH-NanoSIMS and bulk Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometry (IRMS) to show that the ANME are the most significant source of new nitrogen at a Costa Rican methane seep. This suggests that the ANME may play a significant role in N2 fixation in methane seeps worldwide. We expand our investigation of deep-sea diazotrophy to include diverse habitats, including sulfide- and carbon-rich whalefalls, and observe that N2 fixation is widespread in sediments on the seafloor. Outside of methane seeps, N2 fixation appears to be mediated by a diversity of anaerobic microbes potentially including methanogens and sulfate reducing bacteria. Interestingly, deep-sea N2 fixation often occurs in the presence of high levels of NH4+. Our observations challenge long-held hypotheses about where and when N2 fixation occurs, and suggest a bigger role for N2 fixation on the seafloor - and potentially the deep-biosphere - than previously realized.

  5. Is altered expression of hepatic insulin-related genes in growth hormone receptor knockout mice due to GH resistance or a difference in biological life spans?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Panici, Jacob A; Wang, Feiya; Bonkowski, Michael S; Spong, Adam; Bartke, Andrzej; Pawlikowska, Ludmila; Kwok, Pui-Yan; Masternak, Michal M

    2009-11-01

    Growth hormone receptor knockout (GHRKO) mice live about 40%-55% longer than their normal (N) littermates. Previous studies of 21-month-old GHRKO and N mice showed major alterations of the hepatic expression of genes involved in insulin signaling. Differences detected at this age may have been caused by the knockout of the growth hormone receptor (GHR) or by differences in biological age between GHRKO and N mice. To address this question, we compared GHRKO and N mice at ages corresponding to the same percentage of median life span to see if the differences of gene expression persisted. Comparison of GHRKO and N mice at approximately 50% of biological life span showed significant differences in hepatic expression of all 14 analyzed genes. We conclude that these changes are due to disruption of GHR gene and the consequent suppression of growth hormone signaling rather than to differences in "biological age" between mutant and normal animals sampled at the same chronological age.

  6. MicroRNA expression profiles identify disease-specific alterations in systemic lupus erythematosus and primary Sjögren's syndrome

    Science.gov (United States)

    Póliska, Szilárd; Szabó, Krisztina; Tarr, Tünde; Bálint, Bálint László; Szodoray, Péter

    2017-01-01

    The discovery of microRNAs (miRNAs) and their critical role in genetic control opened new avenues in understanding of various biological processes including immune cell lineage commitment, differentiation, proliferation and apoptosis. However, a given miRNA may have hundreds of different mRNA targets and a target might be regulated by multiple miRNAs, thus the characterisation of dysregulated miRNA expression profiles could give a better insight into the development of immunological disturbances in autoimmune diseases. The aim of our study was to examine the changes in miRNA expression profiles in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and primary Sjögren's syndrome (pSS). Eight SLE patients, 8 pSS patients and 7 healthy subjects were enrolled in the investigation. MiRNAs were isolated from peripheral blood mononuclear cells, and expression patterns were determined with Illumina next-generation sequencing technology. Since the immunopathogenesis of pSS and SLE encompasses pronounced B cell hyperactivity along with specific autoantibody production, we paid a special attention on the association between miRNA expression levels and altered peripheral B cell distribution. In SLE patients 135, while in pSS patients 26 miRNAs showed altered expression. Interestingly, the 25 miRNAs including miR-146a, miR-16 and miR-21, which were over-expressed in pSS patients, were found to be elevated in SLE group, as well. On the contrary, we observed the down-regulation of miR-150-5p, which is a novel and unique finding in pSS. Levels of several miRNAs over-expressed in SLE, were not changed in pSS, such as miR-148a-3p, miR-152, miR-155, miR-223, miR-224, miR-326 and miR-342. Expression levels of miR-223-5p, miR-150-5p, miR-155-5p and miR-342-3p, which miRNAs are potentially linked to B cell functions, showed associations with the B cell proportions within peripheral blood mononuclear cells. The observed differences in miRNA expression profiles and the better understanding

  7. Biologic

    CERN Document Server

    Kauffman, L H

    2002-01-01

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

  8. MirSNP, a database of polymorphisms altering miRNA target sites, identifies miRNA-related SNPs in GWAS SNPs and eQTLs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liu Chenxing

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Numerous single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs associated with complex diseases have been identified by genome-wide association studies (GWAS and expression quantitative trait loci (eQTLs studies. However, few of these SNPs have explicit biological functions. Recent studies indicated that the SNPs within the 3’UTR regions of susceptibility genes could affect complex traits/diseases by affecting the function of miRNAs. These 3’UTR SNPs are functional candidates and therefore of interest to GWAS and eQTL researchers. Description We developed a publicly available online database, MirSNP (http://cmbi.bjmu.edu.cn/mirsnp, which is a collection of human SNPs in predicted miRNA-mRNA binding sites. We identified 414,510 SNPs that might affect miRNA-mRNA binding. Annotations were added to these SNPs to predict whether a SNP within the target site would decrease/break or enhance/create an miRNA-mRNA binding site. By applying MirSNP database to three brain eQTL data sets, we identified four unreported SNPs (rs3087822, rs13042, rs1058381, and rs1058398, which might affect miRNA binding and thus affect the expression of their host genes in the brain. We also applied the MirSNP database to our GWAS for schizophrenia: seven predicted miRNA-related SNPs (p  Conclusion MirSNP could identify the putative miRNA-related SNPs from GWAS and eQTLs researches and provide the direction for subsequent functional researches.

  9. Definition of a core module for the nuclear retrograde response to altered organellar gene expression identifies GLK overexpressors as gun mutants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leister, Dario; Kleine, Tatjana

    2016-07-01

    Retrograde signaling can be triggered by changes in organellar gene expression (OGE) induced by inhibitors such as lincomycin (LIN) or mutations that perturb OGE. Thus, an insufficiency of the organelle-targeted prolyl-tRNA synthetase PRORS1 in Arabidopsis thaliana activates retrograde signaling and reduces the expression of nuclear genes for photosynthetic proteins. Recently, we showed that mTERF6, a member of the so-called mitochondrial transcription termination factor (mTERF) family, is involved in the formation of chloroplast (cp) isoleucine-tRNA. To obtain further insights into its functions, co-expression analysis of MTERF6, PRORS1 and two other genes for organellar aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases was conducted. The results suggest a prominent role of mTERF6 in aminoacylation activity, light signaling and seed storage. Analysis of changes in whole-genome transcriptomes in the mterf6-1 mutant showed that levels of nuclear transcripts for cp OGE proteins were particularly affected. Comparison of the mterf6-1 transcriptome with that of prors1-2 showed that reduced aminoacylation of proline (prors1-2) and isoleucine (mterf6-1) tRNAs alters retrograde signaling in similar ways. Database analyses indicate that comparable gene expression changes are provoked by treatment with LIN, norflurazon or high light. A core OGE response module was defined by identifying genes that were differentially expressed under at least four of six conditions relevant to OGE signaling. Based on this module, overexpressors of the Golden2-like transcription factors GLK1 and GLK2 were identified as genomes uncoupled mutants.

  10. 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…

  11. Barefoot Trace Biological Characteristics Identifying System%赤平足痕迹生物特征识别系统

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    舒力迪; 轩兴涛; 云宝璠

    2011-01-01

    近年来,犯罪手段多变复杂,而且赤脚作案的发案率或频率明显上升,给刑侦侦破工作带来非常大的压力,所以赤脚平面足痕迹(简称赤平足)生物形态特征识别技术的研究成为现阶段刑侦识别技术研究的热点.赤平足识别属于生物形态和生物结构特征识别技术研究,通过图像预处理、生态形态分割、对象变换、生物形态和结构分析、生物特征提取、生物形态和结构匹配比对等一系列操作而进行的身份识别工作.对赤平足识别系统层次结构、系统模型、生物形态分类、生物形态特征数据库等重点内容进行了详细的介绍和说明,对赤平足识别系统建模和开发具有较大的参考价值.%In recent years, the scene of the crime is extremely complex. The barefoot crime frequency increases greatly and that gives great pressure on criminal investigation and detection. So, barefoot plane trace biological morphological characteristics identification also becomes the hotspot of criminal investigation recognition technology. The barefoot recognition belongs to biological form and biometric technology research. Its task is the identification through the image preprocessing, ecological form segmentation, object transform, biological morphogram and structure analysis, biological feature extraction, biological form and characteristic comparison match and so on a series of operations. This paper introduces barefoot recognition system structure, sysem model, biological shape classification and biological morphological characteristics database key content. It has great value of reference for baretfoot recognition system modeling and development.

  12. Biological effect of Acidithiobacillus thiooxidans on some potentially toxic elements during alteration of SON 68 nuclear glass

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bachelet, M.; Crovisier, J. L.; Stille, P.; Vuilleumier, S.; Geoffroy, V.

    2009-04-01

    Although underground nuclear waste repositories are not expected to be favourable places for microbial activity, one should not exclude localized action of extremophilic bacteria on some materials involved in the storage concept. Among endogenous or accidentally introduced acidophiles, some are susceptible to lead to a locally drastic decreased in pH, with potential consequences on materials corrosion. Experiments were performed with Acidithiobacillus thiooxidans on 100-125 m french reference nuclear glass SON68 grains in a mineral medium under static conditions during 60 days at 25degC. Growth medium was periodically renewed and analyzed by ICP-AES and ICP-MS spectrometry for both major, trace and ultra-trace elements. Biofilm formation was evidenced by confocal laser microscopy, staining DNA with ethidium bromide and exopolysaccharides with calcofluor white. Biofilm thickness around material grains exceeded 20 m under the chosen experimental conditions. It can be noticed that while numerous studies on biofilm formation upon interaction between Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans and materials are found in the literature, evidence for biofilm formation is still scarce for the case of the acidophilic bacterium A. thiooxidans. Presence of biofilm is a key parameter for material alteration at the solid/solution interface in biotic systems. Indeed, various constitutive elements of materials trapped in the polyanionic polymer of biofilm may also influence the alteration process. In particular, biofilm may reduce the alteration rate of materials by forming a protective barrier at their surface (Aouad et al., 2008). In this study, glass alteration rates, determined using strontium as tracer, showed that the progressive formation of a biofilm on the surface of glass has a protective effect against its alteration. Uranium and rare earth elements (REE) are efficiently trapped in the biogenic compartment of the system (exopolysaccharides + bacterial cells). Besides, the ratio

  13. A Systems Biology Strategy to Identify Molecular Mechanisms of Action and Protein Indicators of Traumatic Brain Injury

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-11-14

    microtubule-associated protein tau, which has been shown to be predictive of clinical outcome and intracranial pressure after severe TBI (Zemlan et al., 2002... intracranial pressure and clinical outcome. Brain Res 947:131–139. Zhang J, Yang Y, Wang Y, Zhang J, Wang Z, Yin M, Shen X. 2011. Identification of hub...1 illustrates the systems biology strategy. We started by performing computational analyses to generate TABLE I. Summary of the Four TBI Gene

  14. The AstroBiology Explorer (ABE) MIDEX Mission: Using Infrared Spectroscopy to Identify Organic Molecules in Space

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sandford, S. A.

    2002-01-01

    The AstroBiology Explorer (ABE) mission is one of four selected for Phase A Concept Study in NASA's current call for MIDEX class missions. ABE is a cooled space telescope equipped with spectrographs covering the 2.5-20 micron spectral range. The ABE mission is devoted to the detection and identification of organic and related molecular species in space. ABE is currently under study at NASA's Ames Research Center in collaboration with Ball Aerospace.

  15. Spatially robust estimates of biological nitrogen (N) fixation imply substantial human alteration of the tropical N cycle

    OpenAIRE

    Sullivan, Benjamin W.; Smith, W. Kolby; Alan R. Townsend; Nasto, Megan K.; Sasha C. Reed; Chazdon, Robin L; Cleveland, Cory C

    2014-01-01

    Biological nitrogen fixation (BNF) is the largest natural source of new nitrogen (N) to terrestrial ecosystems. Tropical forest ecosystems are a putative global hotspot of BNF, but direct, spatially explicit measurements in the biome are virtually nonexistent. Nonetheless, robust estimates of tropical forest BNF are critical for understanding how these important ecosystems may respond to global change and assessing human perturbations to the N cycle. Here, we introduce a spatial sampling meth...

  16. Gene expression profiling identifies microphthalmia-associated transcription factor (MITF and Dickkopf-1 (DKK1 as regulators of microenvironment-driven alterations in melanoma phenotype.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mariusz L Hartman

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The diversity of functional phenotypes observed within a tumor does not exclusively result from intratumoral genetic heterogeneity but also from the response of cancer cells to the microenvironment. We have previously demonstrated that the morphological and functional phenotypes of melanoma can be dynamically altered upon external stimuli. FINDINGS: In the present study, transcriptome profiles were generated to explore the molecules governing phenotypes of melanospheres grown in the bFGF(+EGF(+ serum-free cultures and monolayers maintained in the serum-containing medium. Higher expression levels of MITF-dependent genes that are responsible for differentiation, e.g., TYR and MLANA, and stemness-related genes, e.g., ALDH1A1, were detected in melanospheres. These results were supported by the observation that the melanospheres contained more pigmented cells and cells exerting the self-renewal capacity than the monolayers. In addition, the expression of the anti-apoptotic, MITF-dependent genes e.g., BCL2A1 was also higher in the melanospheres. The enhanced activity of MITF in melanospheres, as illustrated by the increased expression of 74 MITF-dependent genes, identified MITF as a central transcriptional regulator in melanospheres. Importantly, several genes including MITF-dependent ones were expressed in melanospheres and original tumors at similar levels. The reduced MITF level in monolayers might be partially explained by suppression of the Wnt/β-catenin pathway, and DKK1, a secreted inhibitor of this pathway, was highly up-regulated in monolayers in comparison to melanospheres and original tumors. Furthermore, the silencing of DKK1 in monolayers increased the percentage of cells with self-renewing capacity. CONCLUSIONS: Our study indicates that melanospheres can be used to unravel the molecular pathways that sustain intratumoral phenotypic heterogeneity. Melanospheres directly derived from tumor specimens more accurately mirrored

  17. Elevated temperature altered photosynthetic products in wheat seedlings and organic compounds and biological activity in rhizopshere soil under cadmium stress

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jia, Xia; Zhao, Yonghua; Wang, Wenke; He, Yunhua

    2015-09-01

    The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of slightly elevated atmospheric temperature in the spring on photosynthetic products in wheat seedlings and on organic compounds and biological activity in rhizosphere soil under cadmium (Cd) stress. Elevated temperature was associated with increased soluble sugars, reducing sugars, starch, and total sugars, and with decreased amino acids in wheat seedlings under Cd stress. Elevated temperature improved total soluble sugars, free amino acids, soluble phenolic acids, and organic acids in rhizosphere soil under Cd stress. The activity of amylase, phenol oxidase, invertase, β-glucosidase, and L-asparaginase in rhizosphere soil was significantly improved by elevated temperature under Cd stress; while cellulase, neutral phosphatase, and urease activity significantly decreased. Elevated temperature significantly improved bacteria, fungi, actinomycetes, and total microorganisms abundance and fluorescein diacetate activity under Cd stress. In conclusion, slightly elevated atmospheric temperature in the spring improved the carbohydrate levels in wheat seedlings and organic compounds and biological activity in rhizosphere soil under Cd stress in the short term. In addition, elevated atmospheric temperature in the spring stimulated available Cd by affecting pH, DOC, phenolic acids, and organic acids in rhizosphere soil, which resulted in the improvement of the Cd uptake by wheat seedlings.

  18. Identification of miRNA Signatures Associated with Epithelial Ovarian Cancer Chemoresistance with Further Biological and Functional Validation of Identified Key miRNAs

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-02-01

    maintenance of normal stem cells during embryonic development [e.g., Notch , Wnt, and Hedgehog] are also important for the growth of many cancers ...uncovered the biological relevance of this miRNA. We found that miR-181a induced platinum-resistance through the maintenance of cancer stem cells ...primary tumors. Most recently, the first stem - cell population that was able to give rise to ovarian cancers was identified in mice. Cells located

  19. Breeding biology and nest-site selection of red-tailed hawks in an altered desert grassland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hobbs, R.J.; DeStefano, S.; Halvorson, W.L.

    2006-01-01

    Red-tailed Hawks (Buteo jamaicensis) have expanded their range as trees have invaded formerly-open grasslands. Desert grasslands of southern Arizona have been invaded by mesquite trees (Prosopis velutina) since Anglo-American settlement and now support a large population of Red-tailed Hawks. We studied a population of Red-tailed Hawks in an altered desert grassland in southern Arizona. Our objectives were to determine what environmental characteristics influence Red-tailed Hawk habitat selection in mesquite-invaded desert grasslands and to evaluate the habitat quality of these grasslands for Red-tailed Hawks based on nesting density, nest success, and productivity. Red-tailed Hawks had 86% (95% C.I. = 73-99) nest success and 1.82 young per breeding pair (95% C.I. = 1.41-2.23). Nesting density was 0.15 (95% CI = 0.08-0.21) breeding pairs/km2 and the mean nearest-neighbor distance was 1.95 km (95% C.I. = 1.74-2.16). Red-tailed Hawks selected nest-sites with taller nest-trees and greater tree height and cover than were available at random. Mesquite trees in desert grasslands provide abundant potential nesting structures for Red-tailed Hawks. ?? 2006 The Raptor Research Foundation, Inc.

  20. Identifying molecular effects of diet through systems biology: influence of herring diet on sterol metabolism and protein turnover in mice.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Intawat Nookaew

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Changes in lifestyle have resulted in an epidemic development of obesity-related diseases that challenge the healthcare systems worldwide. To develop strategies to tackle this problem the focus is on diet to prevent the development of obesity-associated diseases such as cardiovascular disease (CVD. This will require methods for linking nutrient intake with specific metabolic processes in different tissues. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDING: Low-density lipoprotein receptor-deficient (Ldlr -/- mice were fed a high fat/high sugar diet to mimic a westernized diet, being a major reason for development of obesity and atherosclerosis. The diets were supplemented with either beef or herring, and matched in macronutrient contents. Body composition, plasma lipids and aortic lesion areas were measured. Transcriptomes of metabolically important tissues, e.g. liver, muscle and adipose tissue were analyzed by an integrated approach with metabolic networks to directly map the metabolic effects of diet in these different tissues. Our analysis revealed a reduction in sterol metabolism and protein turnover at the transcriptional level in herring-fed mice. CONCLUSION: This study shows that an integrated analysis of transcriptome data using metabolic networks resulted in the identification of signature pathways. This could not have been achieved using standard clustering methods. In particular, this systems biology analysis could enrich the information content of biomedical or nutritional data where subtle changes in several tissues together affects body metabolism or disease progression. This could be applied to improve diets for subjects exposed to health risks associated with obesity.

  1. High-throughput protein expression analysis using tissue microarray technology of a large well-characterised series identifies biologically distinct classes of breast cancer confirming recent cDNA expression analyses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abd El-Rehim, Dalia M; Ball, Graham; Pinder, Sarah E; Rakha, Emad; Paish, Claire; Robertson, John F R; Macmillan, Douglas; Blamey, Roger W; Ellis, Ian O

    2005-09-01

    Recent studies on gene molecular profiling using cDNA microarray in a relatively small series of breast cancer have identified biologically distinct groups with apparent clinical and prognostic relevance. The validation of such new taxonomies should be confirmed on larger series of cases prior to acceptance in clinical practice. The development of tissue microarray (TMA) technology provides methodology for high-throughput concomitant analyses of multiple proteins on large numbers of archival tumour samples. In our study, we have used immunohistochemistry techniques applied to TMA preparations of 1,076 cases of invasive breast cancer to study the combined protein expression profiles of a large panel of well-characterized commercially available biomarkers related to epithelial cell lineage, differentiation, hormone and growth factor receptors and gene products known to be altered in some forms of breast cancer. Using hierarchical clustering methodology, 5 groups with distinct patterns of protein expression were identified. A sixth group of only 4 cases was also identified but deemed too small for further detailed assessment. Further analysis of these clusters was performed using multiple layer perceptron (MLP)-artificial neural network (ANN) with a back propagation algorithm to identify key biomarkers driving the membership of each group. We have identified 2 large groups by their expression of luminal epithelial cell phenotypic characteristics, hormone receptors positivity, absence of basal epithelial phenotype characteristics and lack of c-erbB-2 protein overexpression. Two additional groups were characterized by high c-erbB-2 positivity and negative or weak hormone receptors expression but showed differences in MUC1 and E-cadherin expression. The final group was characterized by strong basal epithelial characteristics, p53 positivity, absent hormone receptors and weak to low luminal epithelial cytokeratin expression. In addition, we have identified significant

  2. A network biology approach evaluating the anticancer effects of bortezomib identifies SPARC as a therapeutic target in adult T-cell leukemia cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yu Zhang

    2008-10-01

    Full Text Available Junko H Ohyashiki1, Ryoko Hamamura2, Chiaki Kobayashi2, Yu Zhang2, Kazuma Ohyashiki21Intractable Immune System Disease Research Center, Tokyo Medical University, Tokyo, Japan; 2First Department of Internal Medicine, Tokyo Medical University, Tokyo, JapanAbstract: There is a need to identify the regulatory gene interaction of anticancer drugs on target cancer cells. Whole genome expression profiling offers promise in this regard, but can be complicated by the challenge of identifying the genes affected by hundreds to thousands of genes that induce changes in expression. A proteasome inhibitor, bortezomib, could be a potential therapeutic agent in treating adult T-cell leukemia (ATL patients, however, the underlying mechanism by which bortezomib induces cell death in ATL cells via gene regulatory network has not been fully elucidated. Here we show that a Bayesian statistical framework by VoyaGene® identified a secreted protein acidic and rich in cysteine (SPARC gene, a tumor-invasiveness related gene, as a possible modulator of bortezomib-induced cell death in ATL cells. Functional analysis using RNAi experiments revealed that inhibition of the expression SPARC by siRNA enhanced the apoptotic effect of bortezomib on ATL cells in accordance with an increase of cleaved caspase 3. Targeting SPARC may help to treat ATL patients in combination with bortezomib. This work shows that a network biology approach can be used advantageously to identify the genetic interaction related to anticancer effects.Keywords: network biology, adult T cell leukemia, bortezomib, SPARC

  3. Spatially robust estimates of biological nitrogen (N) fixation imply substantial human alteration of the tropical N cycle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sullivan, Benjamin W; Smith, W Kolby; Townsend, Alan R; Nasto, Megan K; Reed, Sasha C; Chazdon, Robin L; Cleveland, Cory C

    2014-06-03

    Biological nitrogen fixation (BNF) is the largest natural source of exogenous nitrogen (N) to unmanaged ecosystems and also the primary baseline against which anthropogenic changes to the N cycle are measured. Rates of BNF in tropical rainforest are thought to be among the highest on Earth, but they are notoriously difficult to quantify and are based on little empirical data. We adapted a sampling strategy from community ecology to generate spatial estimates of symbiotic and free-living BNF in secondary and primary forest sites that span a typical range of tropical forest legume abundance. Although total BNF was higher in secondary than primary forest, overall rates were roughly five times lower than previous estimates for the tropical forest biome. We found strong correlations between symbiotic BNF and legume abundance, but we also show that spatially free-living BNF often exceeds symbiotic inputs. Our results suggest that BNF in tropical forest has been overestimated, and our data are consistent with a recent top-down estimate of global BNF that implied but did not measure low tropical BNF rates. Finally, comparing tropical BNF within the historical area of tropical rainforest with current anthropogenic N inputs indicates that humans have already at least doubled reactive N inputs to the tropical forest biome, a far greater change than previously thought. Because N inputs are increasing faster in the tropics than anywhere on Earth, both the proportion and the effects of human N enrichment are likely to grow in the future.

  4. Spatially robust estimates of biological nitrogen (N) fixation imply substantial human alteration of the tropical N cycle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sullivan, Benjamin W.; Smith, William K.; Townsend, Alan R.; Nasto, Megan K.; Reed, Sasha C.; Chazdon, Robin L.; Cleveland, Cory C.

    2014-01-01

    Biological nitrogen fixation (BNF) is the largest natural source of exogenous nitrogen (N) to unmanaged ecosystems and also the primary baseline against which anthropogenic changes to the N cycle are measured. Rates of BNF in tropical rainforest are thought to be among the highest on Earth, but they are notoriously difficult to quantify and are based on little empirical data. We adapted a sampling strategy from community ecology to generate spatial estimates of symbiotic and free-living BNF in secondary and primary forest sites that span a typical range of tropical forest legume abundance. Although total BNF was higher in secondary than primary forest, overall rates were roughly five times lower than previous estimates for the tropical forest biome. We found strong correlations between symbiotic BNF and legume abundance, but we also show that spatially free-living BNF often exceeds symbiotic inputs. Our results suggest that BNF in tropical forest has been overestimated, and our data are consistent with a recent top-down estimate of global BNF that implied but did not measure low tropical BNF rates. Finally, comparing tropical BNF within the historical area of tropical rainforest with current anthropogenic N inputs indicates that humans have already at least doubled reactive N inputs to the tropical forest biome, a far greater change than previously thought. Because N inputs are increasing faster in the tropics than anywhere on Earth, both the proportion and the effects of human N enrichment are likely to grow in the future.

  5. Combining Methods to Describe Important Marine Habitats for Top Predators: Application to Identify Biological Hotspots in Tropical Waters.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laurie Thiers

    Full Text Available In tropical waters resources are usually scarce and patchy, and predatory species generally show specific adaptations for foraging. Tropical seabirds often forage in association with sub-surface predators that create feeding opportunities by bringing prey close to the surface, and the birds often aggregate in large multispecific flocks. Here we hypothesize that frigatebirds, a tropical seabird adapted to foraging with low energetic costs, could be a good predictor of the distribution of their associated predatory species, including other seabirds (e.g. boobies, terns and subsurface predators (e.g., dolphins, tunas. To test this hypothesis, we compared distribution patterns of marine predators in the Mozambique Channel based on a long-term dataset of both vessel- and aerial surveys, as well as tracking data of frigatebirds. By developing species distribution models (SDMs, we identified key marine areas for tropical predators in relation to contemporaneous oceanographic features to investigate multi-species spatial overlap areas and identify predator hotspots in the Mozambique Channel. SDMs reasonably matched observed patterns and both static (e.g. bathymetry and dynamic (e.g. Chlorophyll a concentration and sea surface temperature factors were important explaining predator distribution patterns. We found that the distribution of frigatebirds included the distributions of the associated species. The central part of the channel appeared to be the best habitat for the four groups of species considered in this study (frigatebirds, brown terns, boobies and sub-surface predators.

  6. The AstroBiology Explorer (ABE) MIDEX Mission Concept: Using Infrared Spectroscopy to Identify Organic Molecules in Space

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sandford, Scott A.; Ennico, Kimberly; Allamandola, Louis; Bregman, Jesse; Greene, Thomas; Hudgins, Douglas

    2002-01-01

    One of the principal means by which organic compounds are detected and identified in space is by infrared spectroscopy. Past IR telescopic and laboratory studies have shown that much of the carbon in the interstellar medium (ISM) is in complex organic species but the distribution, abundance and evolutionary relationships of these materials are not well understood. The Astrobiology Explorer (ABE) is a MIDEX mission concept designed to conduct IR spectroscopic observations to detect and identify these materials and address outstanding problems in astrobiology, astrochemistry, and astrophysics. ABE's core science program includes observations of planetary nebulae and stellar outflows, protostellar objects, Solar System objects, and galaxies, and lines of sight through dense molecular clouds and the diffuse ISM. ABE is a cryogenically-cooled 60 cm diameter space telescope equipped with 3 cross-dispersed R-2000 spectrometers that share a single common slit. Each spectrometer measures one spectral octave and together cover the entire 2.5-20 micron region simultaneously. The spectrometers use state-of-the-art InSb and Si:As 1024x1024 pixel detectors. ABE would operate in a heliocentric, Earth drift-away orbit and have a core science mission lasting approximately 1.5 years. ABE is currently under study at NASA's Ames Research Center in collaboration with Ball Aerospace and Technologies Corp.

  7. Advanced computational biology methods identify molecular switches for malignancy in an EGF mouse model of liver cancer.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Philip Stegmaier

    Full Text Available The molecular causes by which the epidermal growth factor receptor tyrosine kinase induces malignant transformation are largely unknown. To better understand EGFs' transforming capacity whole genome scans were applied to a transgenic mouse model of liver cancer and subjected to advanced methods of computational analysis to construct de novo gene regulatory networks based on a combination of sequence analysis and entrained graph-topological algorithms. Here we identified transcription factors, processes, key nodes and molecules to connect as yet unknown interacting partners at the level of protein-DNA interaction. Many of those could be confirmed by electromobility band shift assay at recognition sites of gene specific promoters and by western blotting of nuclear proteins. A novel cellular regulatory circuitry could therefore be proposed that connects cell cycle regulated genes with components of the EGF signaling pathway. Promoter analysis of differentially expressed genes suggested the majority of regulated transcription factors to display specificity to either the pre-tumor or the tumor state. Subsequent search for signal transduction key nodes upstream of the identified transcription factors and their targets suggested the insulin-like growth factor pathway to render the tumor cells independent of EGF receptor activity. Notably, expression of IGF2 in addition to many components of this pathway was highly upregulated in tumors. Together, we propose a switch in autocrine signaling to foster tumor growth that was initially triggered by EGF and demonstrate the knowledge gain form promoter analysis combined with upstream key node identification.

  8. A biology-driven approach identifies the hypoxia gene signature as a predictor of the outcome of neuroblastoma patients

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fardin Paolo

    2010-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Hypoxia is a condition of low oxygen tension occurring in the tumor microenvironment and it is related to poor prognosis in human cancer. To examine the relationship between hypoxia and neuroblastoma, we generated and tested an in vitro derived hypoxia gene signature for its ability to predict patients' outcome. Results We obtained the gene expression profile of 11 hypoxic neuroblastoma cell lines and we derived a robust 62 probesets signature (NB-hypo taking advantage of the strong discriminating power of the l1-l2 feature selection technique combined with the analysis of differential gene expression. We profiled gene expression of the tumors of 88 neuroblastoma patients and divided them according to the NB-hypo expression values by K-means clustering. The NB-hypo successfully stratifies the neuroblastoma patients into good and poor prognosis groups. Multivariate Cox analysis revealed that the NB-hypo is a significant independent predictor after controlling for commonly used risk factors including the amplification of MYCN oncogene. NB-hypo increases the resolution of the MYCN stratification by dividing patients with MYCN not amplified tumors in good and poor outcome suggesting that hypoxia is associated with the aggressiveness of neuroblastoma tumor independently from MYCN amplification. Conclusions Our results demonstrate that the NB-hypo is a novel and independent prognostic factor for neuroblastoma and support the view that hypoxia is negatively correlated with tumors' outcome. We show the power of the biology-driven approach in defining hypoxia as a critical molecular program in neuroblastoma and the potential for improvement in the current criteria for risk stratification.

  9. Moving from capstones toward cornerstones: successes and challenges in applying systems biology to identify mechanisms of autism spectrum disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kopp, Nathan; Climer, Sharlee; Dougherty, Joseph D

    2015-01-01

    The substantial progress in the last few years toward uncovering genetic causes and risk factors for autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) has opened new experimental avenues for identifying the underlying neurobiological mechanism of the condition. The bounty of genetic findings has led to a variety of data-driven exploratory analyses aimed at deriving new insights about the shared features of these genes. These approaches leverage data from a variety of different sources such as co-expression in transcriptomic studies, protein-protein interaction networks, gene ontologies (GOs) annotations, or multi-level combinations of all of these. Here, we review the recurrent themes emerging from these analyses and highlight some of the challenges going forward. Themes include findings that ASD associated genes discovered by a variety of methods have been shown to contain disproportionate amounts of neurite outgrowth/cytoskeletal, synaptic, and more recently Wnt-related and chromatin modifying genes. Expression studies have highlighted a disproportionate expression of ASD gene sets during mid fetal cortical development, particularly for rare variants, with multiple analyses highlighting the striatum and cortical projection and interneurons as well. While these explorations have highlighted potentially interesting relationships among these ASD-related genes, there are challenges in how to best transition these insights into empirically testable hypotheses. Nonetheless, defining shared molecular or cellular pathology downstream of the diverse genes associated with ASDs could provide the cornerstones needed to build toward broadly applicable therapeutic approaches.

  10. Moving from Capstones towards Cornerstones: Successes and challenges in applying systems biology to identify mechanisms of autism spectrum disorders.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nathan eKopp

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available The substantial progress in the last few years towards uncovering genetic causes and risk factors for autism spectrum disorders (ASD has opened new experimental avenues for identifying the underlying neurobiological mechanism of the condition. The bounty of genetic findings has led to a variety of data-driven exploratory analyses aimed at deriving new insights about the shared features of these genes. These approaches leverage data from a variety of different sources such as co-expression in transcriptomic studies, protein-protein interaction networks, Gene Ontologies annotations, or multi-level combinations of all of these. Here, we review the recurrent themes emerging from these analyses and highlight some of the challenges going forward. Themes include findings that ASD associated genes discovered by a variety of methods have been shown to contain disproportionate amounts of neurite outgrowth/cytoskeletal, synaptic, and more recently Wnt-related and chromatin modifying genes. Expression studies have highlighted a disproportionate expression of ASD gene sets during mid fetal cortical development, particularly for rare-variants, with multiple analyses highlighting the striatum and cortical projection and interneurons as well. While these explorations have highlighted potentially interesting relationships among these ASD-related genes, there are challenges in how to best transition these insights into empirically testable hypotheses. Nonetheless, defining shared molecular or cellular pathology downstream of the diverse genes associated with autism spectrum disorders could provide the cornerstones needed to build towards broadly applicable therapeutic approaches.

  11. Transcriptional Profiling of Hypoxic Neural Stem Cells Identifies Calcineurin-NFATc4 Signaling as a Major Regulator of Neural Stem Cell Biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moreno, Marta; Fernández, Virginia; Monllau, Josep M; Borrell, Víctor; Lerin, Carles; de la Iglesia, Núria

    2015-08-11

    Neural stem cells (NSCs) reside in a hypoxic microenvironment within the brain. However, the crucial transcription factors (TFs) that regulate NSC biology under physiologic hypoxia are poorly understood. Here we have performed gene set enrichment analysis (GSEA) of microarray datasets from hypoxic versus normoxic NSCs with the aim of identifying pathways and TFs that are activated under oxygen concentrations mimicking normal brain tissue microenvironment. Integration of TF target (TFT) and pathway enrichment analysis identified the calcium-regulated TF NFATc4 as a major candidate to regulate hypoxic NSC functions. Nfatc4 expression was coordinately upregulated by top hypoxia-activated TFs, while NFATc4 target genes were enriched in hypoxic NSCs. Loss-of-function analyses further revealed that the calcineurin-NFATc4 signaling axis acts as a major regulator of NSC self-renewal and proliferation in vitro and in vivo by promoting the expression of TFs, including Id2, that contribute to the maintenance of the NSC state.

  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. Genomic profiling of papillary renal cell tumours identifies small regions of DNA alterations: a possible role of HNF1B in tumour development

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Szponar, A.; Yusenko, M.V.; Kuiper, R.P.; Geurts van Kessel, A.H.M.; Kovacs, G.

    2011-01-01

    AIMS: Papillary renal cell tumours (RCT) are characterized by specific trisomies. The aim of this study was to identify small regions of duplication marking putative tumour genes. METHODS AND RESULTS: Full-tiling path bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) array hybridization of 20 papillary RCTs con

  14. Altered distribution of natural killer cell subsets identified by CD56, CD27 and CD70 in primary and chronic human immunodeficiency virus-1 infection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Titanji, Kehmia; Sammicheli, Stefano; De Milito, Angelo; Mantegani, Paola; Fortis, Claudio; Berg, Louise; Kärre, Klas; Travi, Giovanna; Tassandin, Chiara; Lopalco, Lucia; Rethi, Bence; Tambussi, Giuseppe; Chiodi, Francesca

    2008-01-01

    Human natural killer (NK) (CD3− CD56+) cells can be divided into two functionally distinct subsets, CD3− CD56dim and CD3− CD56bright. We analysed the distribution of NK cell subsets in primary and chronic human immunodeficiency virus-1 (HIV-1) infection, to determine if HIV infection stage may influence the subset distribution. In primary infection, contrary to chronic infection, the CD3− CD56dim subset was expanded compared to healthy controls. We also studied the effect of antiretroviral therapy administered early in infection and found that NK cell subset distribution was partially restored after 6 months of antiretroviral therapy in primary infection, but not normalized. Recently, NK cells have been divided into CD27− and CD27+ subsets with different migratory and functional capacity and CD27-mediated NK cell activation has been described in mice. We therefore investigated whether CD27 and/or CD70 (CD27 ligand) expression on NK cells, and thus the distribution of these novel NK subsets, was altered in HIV-1-infected patients. We found up-regulated expression of both CD27 and CD70 on NK cells of patients, resulting in higher proportions of CD27high and CD70high NK cells, and this phenomenon was more pronounced in chronic infection. Experiments conducted in vitro suggest that the high interleukin-7 levels found during HIV-1 infection may participate in up-regulation of CD70 on NK cell subsets. Imbalance of NK cell subsets and up-regulated expression of CD27 and CD70 initiated early in HIV-1 infection may indicate NK cell activation and intrinsic defects initiated by HIV-1 to disarm the innate immune response to the virus. PMID:17627773

  15. A phenotypic screen in zebrafish identifies a novel small-molecule inducer of ectopic tail formation suggestive of alterations in non-canonical Wnt/PCP signaling.

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    Evelien Gebruers

    Full Text Available Zebrafish have recently emerged as an attractive model for the in vivo bioassay-guided isolation and characterization of pharmacologically active small molecules of natural origin. We carried out a zebrafish-based phenotypic screen of over 3000 plant-derived secondary metabolite extracts with the goal of identifying novel small-molecule modulators of the BMP and Wnt signaling pathways. One of the bioactive plant extracts identified in this screen - Jasminum gilgianum, an Oleaceae species native to Papua New Guinea - induced ectopic tails during zebrafish embryonic development. As ectopic tail formation occurs when BMP or non-canonical Wnt signaling is inhibited during the tail protrusion process, we suspected a constituent of this extract to act as a modulator of these pathways. A bioassay-guided isolation was carried out on the basis of this zebrafish phenotype, identifying para-coumaric acid methyl ester (pCAME as the active compound. We then performed an in-depth phenotypic analysis of pCAME-treated zebrafish embryos, including a tissue-specific marker analysis of the secondary tails. We found pCAME to synergize with the BMP-inhibitors dorsomorphin and LDN-193189 in inducing ectopic tails, and causing convergence-extension defects in compound-treated embryos. These results indicate that pCAME may interfere with non-canonical Wnt signaling. Inhibition of Jnk, a downstream target of Wnt/PCP signaling (via morpholino antisense knockdown and pharmacological inhibition with the kinase inhibitor SP600125 phenocopied pCAME-treated embryos. However, immunoblotting experiments revealed pCAME to not directly inhibit Jnk-mediated phosphorylation of c-Jun, suggesting additional targets of SP600125, and/or other pathways, as possibly being involved in the ectopic tail formation activity of pCAME. Further investigation of pCAME's mechanism of action will help determine this compound's pharmacological utility.

  16. 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.

  17. Transcriptional Profiling of Hypoxic Neural Stem Cells Identifies Calcineurin-NFATc4 Signaling as a Major Regulator of Neural Stem Cell Biology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marta Moreno

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Neural stem cells (NSCs reside in a hypoxic microenvironment within the brain. However, the crucial transcription factors (TFs that regulate NSC biology under physiologic hypoxia are poorly understood. Here we have performed gene set enrichment analysis (GSEA of microarray datasets from hypoxic versus normoxic NSCs with the aim of identifying pathways and TFs that are activated under oxygen concentrations mimicking normal brain tissue microenvironment. Integration of TF target (TFT and pathway enrichment analysis identified the calcium-regulated TF NFATc4 as a major candidate to regulate hypoxic NSC functions. Nfatc4 expression was coordinately upregulated by top hypoxia-activated TFs, while NFATc4 target genes were enriched in hypoxic NSCs. Loss-of-function analyses further revealed that the calcineurin-NFATc4 signaling axis acts as a major regulator of NSC self-renewal and proliferation in vitro and in vivo by promoting the expression of TFs, including Id2, that contribute to the maintenance of the NSC state.

  18. Exome and Transcriptome Sequencing of Aedes aegypti Identifies a Locus That Confers Resistance to Brugia malayi and Alters the Immune Response

    KAUST Repository

    Juneja, Punita

    2015-03-27

    Many mosquito species are naturally polymorphic for their abilities to transmit parasites, a feature which is of great interest for controlling vector-borne disease. Aedes aegypti, the primary vector of dengue and yellow fever and a laboratory model for studying lymphatic filariasis, is genetically variable for its capacity to harbor the filarial nematode Brugia malayi. The genome of Ae. aegypti is large and repetitive, making genome resequencing difficult and expensive. We designed exome captures to target protein-coding regions of the genome, and used association mapping in a wild Kenyan population to identify a single, dominant, sex-linked locus underlying resistance. This falls in a region of the genome where a resistance locus was previously mapped in a line established in 1936, suggesting that this polymorphism has been maintained in the wild for the at least 80 years. We then crossed resistant and susceptible mosquitoes to place both alleles of the gene into a common genetic background, and used RNA-seq to measure the effect of this locus on gene expression. We found evidence for Toll, IMD, and JAK-STAT pathway activity in response to early stages of B. malayi infection when the parasites are beginning to die in the resistant genotype. We also found that resistant mosquitoes express anti-microbial peptides at the time of parasite-killing, and that this expression is suppressed in susceptible mosquitoes. Together, we have found that a single resistance locus leads to a higher immune response in resistant mosquitoes, and we identify genes in this region that may be responsible for this trait.

  19. [The biological reaction of inflammation, methylglyoxal of blood plasma, functional and structural alterations in elastic type arteries at the early stage of hypertension disease].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Titov, V N; Dmitriev, V A; Oshchepkov, E V; Balakhonova, T V; Tripoten', M I; Shiriaeva, Iu K

    2012-08-01

    The article deals with studying of the relationship between biologic reaction of inflammation with glycosylation reaction and content of methylglyoxal in blood serum. The positive correlation between pulse wave velocity and content of methylglyoxal, C-reactive protein in intercellular medium and malleolar brachial index value was established. This data matches the experimental results concerning involvement of biological reaction of inflammation into structural changes of elastic type arteries under hypertension disease, formation of arteries' rigidity and increase of pulse wave velocity. The arterial blood pressure is a biological reaction of hydrodynamic pressure which is used in vivo by several biological functions: biological function of homeostasis, function of endoecology, biological function of adaptation and function of locomotion. The biological reaction of hydrodynamic (hydraulic) pressure is a mode of compensation of derangement of several biological functions which results in the very high rate of hypertension disease in population. As a matter of fact, hypertension disease is a syndrome of lingering pathological compensation by higher arterial blood pressure of the biological functions derangements occurring in the distal section at the level of paracrine cenoses of cells. The arterial blood pressure is a kind of in vivo integral indicator of deranged metabolism. The essential hypertension disease pathogenically is a result of the derangement of three biological functions: biological function of homeostasis, biological function of trophology - nutrition (biological reaction of external feeding - exotrophia) and biological function of endoecology. In case of "littering" of intercellular medium in vivo with nonspecific endogenic flogogens a phylogenetically earlier activation of biological reactions of excretion, inflammation and hydrodynamic arterial blood pressure occur. In case of derangement of biological function of homeostasis, decreasing of

  20. Re-assessing the last 3,000 years of archaeological and biological sea-level data from Israel and Greece to identify East Mediterranean trends.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sivan, Dorit; Dean, Silas; Sisma-Ventura, Guy; Bechor, Benny; Evelpidou, Niki; Baika, Kalliopi; Theodoulou, Theotokis A.

    2016-04-01

    The last 3,000 years of relative sea level (RSL) in Israel are derived primarily from archaeological indicators with additional bio-construction indicators (Dendropoma petraeum reefs at the edge of the abrasion platform along the Israeli coast). The current study examines whether sea-level fluctuations (above and mainly below present-day MSL) observed along the coast of Israel can also be observed in other East Mediterranean areas like Greece so that better evaluations can be made of local and regional driving mechanisms. There are three objectives for achieving this goal: 1) Identify new and already published archaeological and biological RSL indicators from this period in Israel and Greece; 2) Assess the reliability of both existing and new indicators using consistent standards to determine which types most accurately indicate ancient RSL and with what degree of uncertainty; 3) Correct the data for isostatic and tectonic effects. The survey collected nearly 140 archaeological indicators from Israel and about 120 from Greece. Of the Israeli indicators, some 120 were deemed reliable enough for reconstructions, whereas in Greece only 40 were, and not all of these from tectonically stable areas. The Israeli data includes 31 dates obtained from Dendropoma reefs in Israel. The higher reliability of the Israeli dataset may stem from a smaller coastline and more focused SL research over the past few decades. In Greece, many measurements were taken before precise surveying methods were available, and published without sufficient metadata. The two regional datasets reveal chronological gaps and disparities: Israel has a strong set of many indicators from the Roman Period (~2000BP) to present, but fewer from 3000-2000BP, while Greek indicators are strongly clustered in the Classical to Hellenistic Periods (2500-2000BP). On-going research is focusing now also on the last Millennial Greek sea levels (mainly the 'Venetian' period). Results however suggest some correspondence

  1. The ethical landscape: identifying the right way to think about the ethical and societal aspects of synthetic biology research and products.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yearley, Steven

    2009-08-06

    Synthetic biology promises to be highly innovative in its contribution to scientific understanding. But it offers other sorts of innovation too: in the variety of applications that could result and in the wide range of practitioners who could become involved. But directly corresponding to each of these is a kind of regulatory concern. If the entry barriers are low for a form of scientific practice with dramatic implications then the need for regulatory control over access is great since no one wants unlicensed operators releasing experimental organisms. If there are likely to be extensive opportunities for application within the human body and in the open environment (for energy production or novel forms of bioremediation) then the release and safety-testing implications are potentially enormous. Proponents of synthetic biology have been quick to realise that these challenges call for reviews of the societal and ethical aspects of synthetic biology. This paper shows that the template commonly adopted for such reviews draws on bioethics. It goes on to show that this template is far from ideal, both because of limitations in the way that bioethics has been institutionalized and because of key differences between the regulatory demands on synthetic biology and on bioethics. The paper concludes that broader models of societal and ethical review of synthetic biology are urgently required.

  2. Altered global brain signal in schizophrenia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Genevieve J.; Murray, John D.; Repovs, Grega; Cole, Michael W.; Savic, Aleksandar; Glasser, Matthew F.; Pittenger, Christopher; Krystal, John H.; Wang, Xiao-Jing; Pearlson, Godfrey D.; Glahn, David C.; Anticevic, Alan

    2014-01-01

    Neuropsychiatric conditions like schizophrenia display a complex neurobiology, which has long been associated with distributed brain dysfunction. However, no investigation has tested whether schizophrenia shows alterations in global brain signal (GS), a signal derived from functional MRI and often discarded as a meaningless baseline in many studies. To evaluate GS alterations associated with schizophrenia, we studied two large chronic patient samples (n = 90, n = 71), comparing them to healthy subjects (n = 220) and patients diagnosed with bipolar disorder (n = 73). We identified and replicated increased cortical power and variance in schizophrenia, an effect predictive of symptoms yet obscured by GS removal. Voxel-wise signal variance was also increased in schizophrenia, independent of GS effects. Both findings were absent in bipolar patients, confirming diagnostic specificity. Biologically informed computational modeling of shared and nonshared signal propagation through the brain suggests that these findings may be explained by altered net strength of overall brain connectivity in schizophrenia. PMID:24799682

  3. 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......,475). They stably synthesise varying levels, consistent with origin and phenotype, of aberrantly glycosylated glycoproteins featuring exposed, terminal GalNAc residues, including the cancer-associated Tn antigen, which, in numerous studies, have been associated with metastatic competence and poor cancer prognosis...

  4. TF-finder: A software package for identifying transcription factors involved in biological processes using microarray data and existing knowledge base

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cui Xiaoqi

    2010-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Identification of transcription factors (TFs involved in a biological process is the first step towards a better understanding of the underlying regulatory mechanisms. However, due to the involvement of a large number of genes and complicated interactions in a gene regulatory network (GRN, identification of the TFs involved in a biology process remains to be very challenging. In reality, the recognition of TFs for a given a biological process can be further complicated by the fact that most eukaryotic genomes encode thousands of TFs, which are organized in gene families of various sizes and in many cases with poor sequence conservation except for small conserved domains. This poses a significant challenge for identification of the exact TFs involved or ranking the importance of a set of TFs to a process of interest. Therefore, new methods for recognizing novel TFs are desperately needed. Although a plethora of methods have been developed to infer regulatory genes using microarray data, it is still rare to find the methods that use existing knowledge base in particular the validated genes known to be involved in a process to bait/guide discovery of novel TFs. Such methods can replace the sometimes-arbitrary process of selection of candidate genes for experimental validation and significantly advance our knowledge and understanding of the regulation of a process. Results We developed an automated software package called TF-finder for recognizing TFs involved in a biological process using microarray data and existing knowledge base. TF-finder contains two components, adaptive sparse canonical correlation analysis (ASCCA and enrichment test, for TF recognition. ASCCA uses positive target genes to bait TFS from gene expression data while enrichment test examines the presence of positive TFs in the outcomes from ASCCA. Using microarray data from salt and water stress experiments, we showed TF-finder is very efficient in recognizing

  5. Validation and Application of the Survey of Teaching Beliefs and Practices for Undergraduates (STEP-U): Identifying Factors Associated with Valuing Important Workplace Skills among Biology Students.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marbach-Ad, Gili; Rietschel, Carly; Thompson, Katerina V

    2016-01-01

    We present a novel assessment tool for measuring biology students' values and experiences across their undergraduate degree program. Our Survey of Teaching Beliefs and Practices for Undergraduates (STEP-U) assesses the extent to which students value skills needed for the workplace (e.g., ability to work in groups) and their experiences with teaching practices purported to promote such skills (e.g., group work). The survey was validated through factor analyses in a large sample of biology seniors (n = 1389) and through response process analyses (five interviewees). The STEP-U skills items were characterized by two underlying factors: retention (e.g., memorization) and transfer (e.g., knowledge application). Multiple linear regression models were used to examine relationships between classroom experiences, values, and student characteristics (e.g., gender, cumulative grade point average [GPA], and research experience). Student demographic and experiential factors predicted the extent to which students valued particular skills. Students with lower GPAs valued retention skills more than those with higher GPAs. Students with research experience placed greater value on scientific writing and interdisciplinary understanding. Greater experience with specific teaching practices was associated with valuing the corresponding skills more highly. The STEP-U can provide feedback vital for designing curricula that better prepare students for their intended postgraduate careers.

  6. Accuracy of self-report, biological tests, collateral reports and clinician ratings in identifying substance use disorders among adults with schizophrenia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Desmarais, Sarah L; Van Dorn, Richard A; Sellers, Brian G; Young, M Scott; Swartz, Marvin S

    2013-09-01

    Identifying substance use disorders among adults with schizophrenia presents unique challenges but is critical to research and practice. This study examined: (a) the accuracy of assessments completed using various approaches in identifying substance use disorders, (b) their ability to discriminate between disorders of abuse and dependence, and (c) the benefits of using multiple indicators to identify substance use disorders. Data are from the Clinical Antipsychotic Trials of Intervention Effectiveness study. The sample comprised 1,460 community-based adults with schizophrenia, 15.8% (n = 230) of whom were positive for a current (past month) drug or alcohol use disorder using the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV Disorders (SCID). Clinician ratings, self-report, collateral reports, and results of hair and urine tests were compared to SCID diagnoses. Congruence with SCID diagnoses was good across approaches and evidence for superiority of one approach over another was limited. No approach discriminated between abuse and dependence. There was limited benefit of using multiple indicators. Findings suggest that the decision regarding the "best" approach for identifying substance use disorders among adults with schizophrenia may be made through consideration of practical issues and assessment purpose, rather than selection of the approach that yields the most accurate diagnostic assessment.

  7. Identifying obstacles and ranking common biological control research priorities for Europe to manage most economically important pests in arable, vegetable and perennial crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lamichhane, Jay Ram; Bischoff-Schaefer, Monika; Bluemel, Sylvia; Dachbrodt-Saaydeh, Silke; Dreux, Laure; Jansen, Jean-Pierre; Kiss, Jozsef; Köhl, Jürgen; Kudsk, Per; Malausa, Thibaut; Messéan, Antoine; Nicot, Philippe C; Ricci, Pierre; Thibierge, Jérôme; Villeneuve, François

    2017-01-01

    EU agriculture is currently in transition from conventional crop protection to integrated pest management (IPM). Because biocontrol is a key component of IPM, many European countries recently have intensified their national efforts on biocontrol research and innovation (R&I), although such initiatives are often fragmented. The operational outputs of national efforts would benefit from closer collaboration among stakeholders via transnationally coordinated approaches, as most economically important pests are similar across Europe. This paper proposes a common European framework on biocontrol R&I. It identifies generic R&I bottlenecks and needs as well as priorities for three crop types (arable, vegetable and perennial crops). The existing gap between the market offers of biocontrol solutions and the demand of growers, the lengthy and expensive registration process for biocontrol solutions and their varying effectiveness due to variable climatic conditions and site-specific factors across Europe are key obstacles hindering the development and adoption of biocontrol solutions in Europe. Considering arable, vegetable and perennial crops, a dozen common target pests are identified for each type of crop and ranked by order of importance at European level. Such a ranked list indicates numerous topics on which future joint transnational efforts would be justified. © 2016 Society of Chemical Industry.

  8. Soluble metals in the atmosphere and their biological implications. A study to identify important aerosol components by statistical analysis of PIXE data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winchester, J W

    1990-01-01

    Multivariate statistical analysis has been applied to time series measurements of aerosol elemental composition from PIXE analysis of filter samples, and principal components have been resolved that represent distinct particle types in an external mixture in the atmosphere. In this study, it is argued that a combination of chemical and statistical analyses of the data may be more powerful in determining chemical species in atmospheric aerosols than studied that employ mainly direct chemical analysis of chemical species in unresolved mixtures of aerosol particle samples. Sulfur is generally associated with mineral dust elements. It is reasoned that the association may represent sulfuric acid coatings on particles that can lead to mineral dissolution and solubilization of significant amounts of aluminum, iron, and other metals. Upon wet or dry deposition to the surface, the fluxes of these metals in biologically-available form may be sufficient to affect primary productivity in the world ocean and cause ecological damage in lakes. As a consequence, the fluxes of biogenic trace gases to the atmosphere may be changed, possibly leading to changes in the tropospheric concentration of ozone. The inputs to lakes of soluble aluminum, which is toxic to fish, may be partly by deposition directly from the atmosphere, thus not limited to leaching of soils by acid deposition. Human inhalation of soluble aluminum and other solubilized mineral metals may account, in part, for the observed geographic pattern of deaths attributed to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) that show high rates in cities of the Western US and the southeast region, but low in most of the midwest and northeast.

  9. Hierarchical super-structure identified by polarized light microscopy, electron microscopy and nanoindentation: Implications for the limits of biological control over the growth mode of abalone sea shells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Schneider Andreas S

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Mollusc shells are commonly investigated using high-resolution imaging techniques based on cryo-fixation. Less detailed information is available regarding the light-optical properties. Sea shells of Haliotis pulcherina were embedded for polishing in defined orientations in order to investigate the interface between prismatic calcite and nacreous aragonite by standard materialographic methods. A polished thin section of the interface was prepared with a defined thickness of 60 μm for quantitative birefringence analysis using polarized light and LC-PolScope microscopy. Scanning electron microscopy images were obtained for comparison. In order to study structural-mechanical relationships, nanoindentation experiments were performed. Results Incident light microscopy revealed a super-structure in semi-transparent regions of the polished cross-section under a defined angle. This super-structure is not visible in transmitted birefringence analysis due to the blurred polarization of small nacre platelets and numerous organic interfaces. The relative orientation and homogeneity of calcite prisms was directly identified, some of them with their optical axes exactly normal to the imaging plane. Co-oriented "prism colonies" were identified by polarized light analyses. The nacreous super-structure was also visualized by secondary electron imaging under defined angles. The domains of the super-structure were interpreted to consist of crystallographically aligned platelet stacks. Nanoindentation experiments showed that mechanical properties changed with the same periodicity as the domain size. Conclusions In this study, we have demonstrated that insights into the growth mechanisms of nacre can be obtained by conventional light-optical methods. For example, we observed super-structures formed by co-oriented nacre platelets as previously identified using X-ray Photo-electron Emission Microscopy (X-PEEM [Gilbert et al., Journal of the

  10. Systems biology approach identifies the kinase Csnk1a1 as a regulator of the DNA damage response in embryonic stem cells

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Carreras Puigvert, Jordi; von Stechow, Louise; Siddappa, Ramakrishnaiah

    2013-01-01

    In pluripotent stem cells, DNA damage triggers loss of pluripotency and apoptosis as a safeguard to exclude damaged DNA from the lineage. An intricate DNA damage response (DDR) signaling network ensures that the response is proportional to the severity of the damage. We combined an RNA interference...... screen targeting all kinases, phosphatases, and transcription factors with global transcriptomics and phosphoproteomics to map the DDR in mouse embryonic stem cells treated with the DNA cross-linker cisplatin. Networks derived from canonical pathways shared in all three data sets were implicated in DNA...... damage repair, cell cycle and survival, and differentiation. Experimental probing of these networks identified a mode of DNA damage-induced Wnt signaling that limited apoptosis. Silencing or deleting the p53 gene demonstrated that genotoxic stress elicited Wnt signaling in a p53-independent manner...

  11. Evidence for Alteration in Chemical and Physical Properties of Water and Modulation of its Biological Functions by Sunlight Transmitted through Color Ranges of the Visible Spectrum-A Novel Study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Rajeswara Rao

    2005-08-01

    Full Text Available We investigated the changes in the properties of water when exposed to sunlight for 40 days. We hypothesize and prove that solar irradiation to water entraps electromagnetic radiation as potential energy, which becomes kinetic energy in various systems. It is postulated that photochemically-induced energy transfers, associated with individual spectral emission of visible spectrum of solar light, exert diverse influences on biological systems. Bottles of distilled water, individually wrapped in spectral-colored cellophane were exposed to sunlight and compared to an unwrapped bottle to determine chemical and physical changes as well as modifications of biological properties. Each bottle of water was named according to the color of cellophane paper with letter E (stands for exposed as a prefix with (E-violet, E-indigo, E-blue, E-green, E-yellow, E-orange, and Ered. E-control (without wrap was exposed to polychromatic sunlight. This study addresses two main issues viz., the chemical and physical changes in E-water and its effect on biological activities. Chemical and physical composition analysis using inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectrometry; physical conductance by a Wheatstone Bridge type conductivity meter; osmolarity by a vapor pressure osmometer; and, salt solubility profile of 10% sodium bicarbonate were determined. Furthermore, testing the effect of E-waters on human lymphocyte proliferation, mosquito larvae hatching and seed germination determined the functional role of solar radiation through specific spectrum/s of visible light on various biological processes. We found that water exposed to visible spectral emissions of sunlight had an altered elemental composition, electrical conductance, osmolarity and salt-solubility, as well as differences in bio-modulatory effects. A gradual increase in leaching of Boron from Eviolet to E-red was noted. E-indigo showed maximal increase in electrical conductance and maximal salt

  12. Seasonal spatial patterns in seabird and marine mammal distribution in the eastern Chukchi and western Beaufort seas: Identifying biologically important pelagic areas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuletz, Kathy J.; Ferguson, Megan C.; Hurley, Brendan; Gall, Adrian E.; Labunski, Elizabeth A.; Morgan, Tawna C.

    2015-08-01

    The Chukchi and Beaufort seas are undergoing rapid climate change and increased human activity. Conservation efforts for upper trophic level predators such as seabirds and marine mammals require information on species' distributions and identification of important marine areas. Here we describe broad-scale distributions of seabirds and marine mammals. We examined spatial patterns of relative abundance of seabirds and marine mammals in the eastern Chukchi and western Beaufort seas during summer (15 June-31 August) and fall (1 September-20 November) from 2007 to 2012. We summarized 49,206 km of shipboard surveys for seabirds and 183,157 km of aerial surveys for marine mammals into a grid of 40-km × 40-km cells. We used Getis-Ord Gi∗ hotspot analysis to test for cells with higher relative abundance than expected when compared to all cells within the study area. We identified cells representing single species and taxonomic group hotspots, cells representing hotspots for multiple species, and cells representing hotspots for both seabirds and marine mammals. The locations of hotspots varied among species but often were located near underwater canyons or over continental shelf features and slopes. Hotspots for seabirds, walrus, and gray whales occurred primarily in the Chukchi Sea. Hotspots for bowhead whales and other pinnipeds (i.e., seals) occurred near Barrow Canyon and along the Beaufort Sea shelf and slope. Hotspots for belugas occurred in both the Chukchi and Beaufort seas. There were three hotspots shared by both seabirds and marine mammals in summer: off Wainwright in the eastern Chukchi Sea, south of Hanna Shoal, and at the mouth of Barrow Canyon. In fall, the only identified shared hotspot occurred at the mouth of Barrow Canyon. Shared hotspots are characterized by strong fronts caused by upwelling and currents, and these areas can have high densities of euphausiids in summer and fall. Due to the high relative abundance of animals and diversity of taxa

  13. MICROSATELLITE ALTERATION AND ITS CHARACTERISTICS IN COLORECTAL CARCINOMA

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2001-01-01

    Objective: To determine the role of microsatellite alterations incarcinogenesis of colorectal carcinoma (CRC). Methods: Alterations of 10 microsatellite loci from 5 different chromosomes were detected in 92 colorectal cancers and their paired normal mucosa by PCR, denatured polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and silver staining. Associations of microsatellite alterations with clinopathologic parameters were statistically clarified.Results: Alterations of microsatellite were classified into microsatellite instability type I, type II and loss of heterozygosity (LOH). The carcinoma with ≥30% loci microsatellite alterations was defined as replication error(RER) positive tumors. Of 92 cases, 14 were RER+. Microsatellite alterations of P53(1) and D18S363 loci (64.29% ) was most commonly identified in the RER+ tumors. RER+ were more commonly seen in poorly differentiated carcinomas and tended to occur in mucoid carcinomas. The type of microsatellite alterations varied in different histological types of CRC. Conclusions: Microsatellite alteration is a common molecular event in CRC. Different microsatellite loci showed various biologic significance. P53(1) and D18S363 should be essentially detected loci that can show the RER status of tumors.

  14. Biolog Automated Microbes Identification System in the Production of Strains Identified from Yibin Sprouts%Biolog微生物自动鉴定系统对宜宾芽菜生产菌种的鉴定

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    左勇; 鞠帅; 刘利平; 李东; 谢晖; 李杨; 彭述刚

    2012-01-01

    通过对芽菜生产菌种的鉴定,指导芽菜生产,提高产品的风味和品质.采用形态学特征和显微观察,初步得到A、B、C 3株优势菌.经Biolog微生物自动鉴系统鉴定:A菌为浅黄隐球酵母菌,B菌为橙黄红酵母菌B,C菌为木糖葡萄球菌.%In order to guide the bean sprouts production and improve the quality and flavor of the product, we identified producing strains of bean sprouts. Three advantage strains (A, B and C) were preliminarily separated by the observation of morphology and microscopic, and then the result of identified by the Biolog Automated Microbes Identification System Identification as follows: A bacteria was Cryptococcus luteolus, B was Rhodotorula aurantiaca and C was Staphylococcus xylosus.

  15. Biology Myth-Killers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lampert, Evan

    2014-01-01

    "Biology Myth-Killers" is an activity designed to identify and correct common misconceptions for high school and college introductory biology courses. Students identify common myths, which double as biology misconceptions, and use appropriate sources to share the "truth" about the myths. This learner-centered activity is a fun…

  16. Biallelic ATM alterations detected at diagnosis identify a subset of treatment-naïve chronic lymphocytic leukemia patients with reduced overall survival similar to patients with p53 deletion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lozano-Santos, Carol; García-Vela, José A; Pérez-Sanz, Nuria; Nova-Gurumeta, Sara; Fernandez-Cuevas, Belen; Gomez-Lozano, Natalia; Sánchez-Beato, Margarita; Sanchez-Godoy, Pedro; Bueno, José Luis; Garcia-Marco, José A

    2017-04-01

    The prognostic impact of biallelic ATM abnormalities (ATM mutation and concurrent 11q deletion) remains unknown. We studied ATM, BIRC3, SF3B1, and NOTCH1 genes in 118 treatment-naïve CLL patients at diagnosis. Patients with biallelic ATM alteration had a similar time to first treatment (TTFT) and shorter overall survival (OS) compared with patients with isolated 11q deletion and shorter TTFT and OS when compared to patients with wild-type ATM. Furthermore, biallelic ATM alteration (HR: 6.4; p ≤ 0.007) was significantly associated with an increased risk of death similar to p53 deletion (HR: 6.1; p ≤ 0.004), superior to 11q deletion alone (HR: 2.8; p ≤ 0.022) and independent of other significant parameters such as age, advanced clinical stage, and complex karyotype. Our results suggest the identification of ATM mutations in CLL patients with 11q deletion at diagnosis is clinically relevant and predicts disease progression, poor response to the treatment, and reduced OS independent of other molecular prognostic factors.

  17. Quest to identify geochemical risk factors associated with chronic kidney disease of unknown etiology (CKDu) in an endemic region of Sri Lanka-a multimedia laboratory analysis of biological, food, and environmental samples.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levine, Keith E; Redmon, Jennifer Hoponick; Elledge, Myles F; Wanigasuriya, Kamani P; Smith, Kristin; Munoz, Breda; Waduge, Vajira A; Periris-John, Roshini J; Sathiakumar, Nalini; Harrington, James M; Womack, Donna S; Wickremasinghe, Rajitha

    2016-10-01

    fluoride, iron, manganese, sodium, and lead exceeding applicable drinking water standards in some instances. Current literature suggests that the etiology of CKDu is likely multifactorial, with no single biological or hydrogeochemical parameter directly related to disease genesis and progression. This preliminary screening identified that specific constituents may be present above levels of concern, but does not compare results against specific kidney toxicity values or cumulative risk related to a multifactorial disease process. The data collected from this limited investigation are intended to be used in the subsequent study design of a comprehensive and multifactorial etiological study of CKDu risk factors that includes sample collection, individual surveys, and laboratory analyses to more fully evaluate the potential environmental, behavioral, genetic, and lifestyle risk factors associated with CKDu.

  18. Discriminating isogenic cancer cells and identifying altered unsaturated fatty acid content as associated with metastasis status, using k-means clustering and partial least squares-discriminant analysis of Raman maps

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hedegaard, Martin; Krafft, Christoph; Ditzel, Henrik J;

    2010-01-01

    discarded as they showed much smaller differences between the two cell lines compared to cytoplasm spectra. Partial least squares-discriminant analysis (PLS-DA) was applied to distinguish the two cell lines. A cross-validated PLS-DA resulted in 92% correctly classified samples. Spectral differences were...... assigned to a higher unsaturated fatty acid content in the metastatic vs nonmetastatic cell line. Our study demonstrates the unique ability of Raman spectroscopy to distinguish minute differences at the subcellular level and yield new biological information. Our study is the first to demonstrate...... the association between polyunsaturated fatty acid content and metastatic ability in this unique cell model system and is in agreement with previous studies on this topic....

  19. 市售蕲蛇样品的传统鉴定与分子生物学鉴定特征%Characteristics of Commercial Ancistrodon Acutus Identified by Traditional Method and Molecular Biology

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    刘晓青

    2014-01-01

    Objective: To investigate the accuracy of different methods in distinguishing commercial an-cistrodon acutus. Methods: The samples from different companies were identified with traditional method and the method of molecular biology respectively. Results: Altogether 30 kinds of samples from three pharmaceutical com-panies were collected. the results showed that there were 25 kinds of authentic ones and five counterfeit ones, quali-fication rate was 83.3%; DNA of mitochondria were extracted from the samples by the method of molecular biology, specific primers were amplified by PCR method. There were 20 kinds of qualified goods and ten kinds of unqualified ones, qualification rate was 66.67%. Conclusion: Traditional identification method is of low specificity, the method of molecular biology is simple, accurate and rapid, it demonstrates broad prospect to regulate the marketing of an-cistrodon acutus.%目的:探讨不同方法对市售蕲蛇样品真伪特征鉴别结果的准确性。方法:对来自不同销售公司蕲蛇样品分别采用传统鉴别方法和分子生物学方法进行鉴定。结果:采集三个城市医药销售公司共30个蕲蛇样品,传统外观和显微镜方法鉴定30个样品中有25个正品,5个伪品,合格率为83.3%;用分子生物学方法从市售蕲蛇样品中抽提线粒体DNA,采用PCR方法进行特异性引物扩增。30个蕲蛇样品中合格品20个,不合格品10个,合格率为66.67%。结论:传统鉴别方法鉴别市售蕲蛇样品特异性较低,分子生物学方法检测简单、准确、快捷,对规范市售蕲蛇中药材市场具有广阔前景。

  20. [Biology molecular of glioblastomas].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Franco-Hernández, C; Martínez-Glez, V; Rey, J A

    2007-10-01

    Glioblastomas, the most frequent and malignant human brain tumors, may develop de novo (primary glioblastoma) or by progression from low-grade or anapalsic astrocytoma (secondary glioblastoma). The molecular alteration most frequent in these tumor-like types is the loss of heterozygosity on chromosome 10, in which several genes have been identified as tumors suppressor. The TP53/MDM2/P14arf and CDK4/RB1/ P16ink4 genetic pathways involved in cycle control are deregulated in the majority of gliomas as well as genes that promote the cellular division, EGFR. Finally the increase of growth and angiogenics factors is also involved in the development of glioblastomas. One of the objectives of molecular biology in tumors of glial ancestry is to try to find the genetic alterations that allow to approach better the classification of glioblastomas, its evolution prediction and treatment. The new pathmolecular classification of gliomas should improve the old one, especially being concerned about the oncogenesis and heterogeneity of these tumors. It is desirable that this classification had clinical applicability and integrates new molecular findings with some known histological features with pronostic value. In this paper we review the most frequent molecular mechanisms involved in the patogenesis of glioblastomas.

  1. Identifying Activity

    CERN Document Server

    Lewis, Adrian S

    2009-01-01

    Identification of active constraints in constrained optimization is of interest from both practical and theoretical viewpoints, as it holds the promise of reducing an inequality-constrained problem to an equality-constrained problem, in a neighborhood of a solution. We study this issue in the more general setting of composite nonsmooth minimization, in which the objective is a composition of a smooth vector function c with a lower semicontinuous function h, typically nonsmooth but structured. In this setting, the graph of the generalized gradient of h can often be decomposed into a union (nondisjoint) of simpler subsets. "Identification" amounts to deciding which subsets of the graph are "active" in the criticality conditions at a given solution. We give conditions under which any convergent sequence of approximate critical points finitely identifies the activity. Prominent among these properties is a condition akin to the Mangasarian-Fromovitz constraint qualification, which ensures boundedness of the set of...

  2. Data for mitochondrial proteomic alterations in the aging mouse brain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kelly L. Stauch

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Mitochondria are dynamic organelles critical for many cellular processes, including energy generation. Thus, mitochondrial dysfunction likely plays a role in the observed alterations in brain glucose metabolism during aging. Despite implications of mitochondrial alterations during brain aging, comprehensive quantitative proteomic studies remain limited. Therefore, to characterize the global age-associated mitochondrial proteomic changes in the brain, we analyzed mitochondria isolated from the brain of 5-, 12-, and 24-month old mice using quantitative mass spectrometry. We identified changes in the expression of proteins important for biological processes involved in the generation of precursor metabolites and energy through the breakdown of carbohydrates, lipids, and proteins. These results are significant because we identified age-associated proteomic changes suggestive of altered mitochondrial catabolic reactions during brain aging. The proteomic data described here can be found in the PRIDE Archive using the reference number PXD001370. A more comprehensive analysis of this data may be obtained from the article “Proteomic analysis and functional characterization of mouse brain mitochondria during aging reveal alterations in energy metabolism” in PROTEOMICS.

  3. A translational systems biology approach in both animals and humans identifies a functionally related module of accumbal genes involved in the regulation of reward processing and binge drinking in males

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stacey, David; Lourdusamy, Anbarasu; Ruggeri, Barbara; Maroteaux, Matthieu; Jia, Tianye; Cattrell, Anna; Nymberg, Charlotte; Banaschewski, Tobias; Bhattacharyya, Sohinee; Band, Hamid; Barker, Gareth; Bokde, Arun; Buchel, Christian; Carvalho, Fabiana; Conrod, Patricia; Desrivieres, Sylvane; Easton, Alanna; Fauth-Buehler, Mira; Fernandez-Medarde, Alberto; Flor, Herta; Frouin, Vincent; Gallinat, Jurgen; Garavanh, Hugh; Heinz, Andreas; Ittermann, Bernd; Lathrop, Mark; Lawrence, Claire; Loth, Eva; Mann, Karl; Martinot, Jean-Luc; Nees, Frauke; Paus, Tomas; Pausova, Zdenka; Rietschel, Marcella; Rotter, Andrea; Santos, Eugenio; Smolka, Michael; Sommer, Wolfgang; Mameli, Manuel; Spanagel, Rainer; Girault, Jean-Antoine; Mueller, Christian; Schumann, Gunter

    2016-01-01

    Background The mesolimbic dopamine system, composed primarily of dopaminergic neurons in the ventral tegmental area that project to striatal structures, is considered to be the key mediator of reinforcement-related mechanisms in the brain. Prompted by a genome-wide association meta-analysis implicating the Ras-specific guanine nucleotide-releasing factor 2 (RASGRF2) gene in the regulation of alcohol intake in men, we have recently shown that male Rasgrf2−/− mice exhibit reduced ethanol intake and preference accompanied by a perturbed mesolimbic dopamine system. We therefore propose that these mice represent a valid model to further elucidate the precise genes and mechanisms regulating mesolimbic dopamine functioning. Methods Transcriptomic data from the nucleus accumbens (NAcc) of male Rasgrf2−/− mice and wild-type controls were analyzed by weighted gene coexpression network analysis (WGCNA). We performed follow-up genetic association tests in humans using a sample of male adolescents from the IMAGEN study characterized for binge drinking (n = 905) and ventral striatal activation during an fMRI reward task (n = 608). Results The WGCNA analyses using accumbal transcriptomic data revealed 37 distinct “modules,” or functionally related groups of genes. Two of these modules were significantly associated with Rasgrf2 knockout status: M5 (p < 0.001) and M6 (p < 0.001). In follow-up translational analyses we found that human orthologues for the M5 module were significantly (p < 0.01) enriched with genetic association signals for binge drinking in male adolescents. Furthermore, the most significant locus, originating from the EH-domain containing 4 (EHD4) gene (p < 0.001), was also significantly associated with altered ventral striatal activity in male adolescents performing an fMRI reward task (pempirical < 0.001). Limitations It was not possible to determine the extent to which the M5 module was dysregulated in Rasgrf2−/− mice by perturbed mesolimbic

  4. Chronic kidney disease alters intestinal microbial flora.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vaziri, Nosratola D; Wong, Jakk; Pahl, Madeleine; Piceno, Yvette M; Yuan, Jun; DeSantis, Todd Z; Ni, Zhenmin; Nguyen, Tien-Hung; Andersen, Gary L

    2013-02-01

    The population of microbes (microbiome) in the intestine is a symbiotic ecosystem conferring trophic and protective functions. Since the biochemical environment shapes the structure and function of the microbiome, we tested whether uremia and/or dietary and pharmacologic interventions in chronic kidney disease alters the microbiome. To identify different microbial populations, microbial DNA was isolated from the stools of 24 patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) and 12 healthy persons, and analyzed by phylogenetic microarray. There were marked differences in the abundance of 190 bacterial operational taxonomic units (OTUs) between the ESRD and control groups. OTUs from Brachybacterium, Catenibacterium, Enterobacteriaceae, Halomonadaceae, Moraxellaceae, Nesterenkonia, Polyangiaceae, Pseudomonadaceae, and Thiothrix families were markedly increased in patients with ESRD. To isolate the effect of uremia from inter-individual variations, comorbid conditions, and dietary and medicinal interventions, rats were studied 8 weeks post 5/6 nephrectomy or sham operation. This showed a significant difference in the abundance of 175 bacterial OTUs between the uremic and control animals, most notably as decreases in the Lactobacillaceae and Prevotellaceae families. Thus, uremia profoundly alters the composition of the gut microbiome. The biological impact of this phenomenon is unknown and awaits further investigation.

  5. Fostering synergy between cell biology and systems biology

    OpenAIRE

    2015-01-01

    In the shared pursuit of elucidating detailed mechanisms of cell function, systems biology presents a natural complement to ongoing efforts in cell biology. Systems biology aims to characterize biological systems through integrated and quantitative modeling of cellular information. The process of model building and analysis provides value through synthesizing and cataloging information about cells and molecules; predicting mechanisms and identifying generalizable themes; generating hypotheses...

  6. Wnt Signaling in Cancer Stem Cell Biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Sousa E Melo, Felipe; Vermeulen, Louis

    2016-06-27

    Aberrant regulation of Wnt signaling is a common theme seen across many tumor types. Decades of research have unraveled the epigenetic and genetic alterations that result in elevated Wnt pathway activity. More recently, it has become apparent that Wnt signaling levels identify stem-like tumor cells that are responsible for fueling tumor growth. As therapeutic targeting of these tumor stem cells is an intense area of investigation, a concise understanding on how Wnt activity relates to cancer stem cell traits is needed. This review attempts at summarizing the intricacies between Wnt signaling and cancer stem cell biology with a special emphasis on colorectal cancer.

  7. Biological rhythms and preeclampsia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Agnès eDitisheim

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available The impact of impaired circadian rhythm on health has been widely studied in shift workers and trans-meridian travelers. A part from its correlation with sleep and mood disorders, biological rhythm impairment is a recognized risk factor for cardiovascular diseases and breast cancer.Preeclampsia is a major public health issue, associated with a significant maternal and fetal morbidity and mortality worldwide. While the risks factors for this condition such as obesity, diabetes, pre-existing hypertension have been identified, the underlying mechanism of this multi-factorial disease is yet not fully understood.The disruption of the light/dark cycle in pregnancy has been associated with adverse outcomes. Slightly increased risk for small for gestational age babies, low birth weight babies and preterm deliveries has been reported in shift working women. Whether altered circadian cycle represents a risk factor for preeclampsia or preeclampsia is itself linked with an abnormal circadian cycle is less clear. There are only few reports available, showing conflicting results. In this review, we will discuss recent observations concerning circadian pattern of blood pressure in normotensive and hypertensive pregnancies. We explore the hypothesis that circadian misalignments may represent a risk factor for preeclampsia. Unraveling potential link between circadian clock gene and preeclampsia could offer a novel approach to our understanding of this multi-system disease specific to pregnancy.

  8. All biology is computational biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-01-01

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

  9. [Altered states of consciousness].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gora, E P

    2005-01-01

    The review of modern ideas concerning the altered states of consciousness is presented in this article. Various methods of entry into the altered states of consciousness are looked over. It is shown that the altered states of consciousness are insufficiently known, but important aspects of human being existence. The role of investigation of the altered states of consciousness for the creation of integrative scientific conception base is discussed.

  10. Altered Pathway Analyzer: A gene expression dataset analysis tool for identification and prioritization of differentially regulated and network rewired pathways

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaushik, Abhinav; Ali, Shakir; Gupta, Dinesh

    2017-01-01

    Gene connection rewiring is an essential feature of gene network dynamics. Apart from its normal functional role, it may also lead to dysregulated functional states by disturbing pathway homeostasis. Very few computational tools measure rewiring within gene co-expression and its corresponding regulatory networks in order to identify and prioritize altered pathways which may or may not be differentially regulated. We have developed Altered Pathway Analyzer (APA), a microarray dataset analysis tool for identification and prioritization of altered pathways, including those which are differentially regulated by TFs, by quantifying rewired sub-network topology. Moreover, APA also helps in re-prioritization of APA shortlisted altered pathways enriched with context-specific genes. We performed APA analysis of simulated datasets and p53 status NCI-60 cell line microarray data to demonstrate potential of APA for identification of several case-specific altered pathways. APA analysis reveals several altered pathways not detected by other tools evaluated by us. APA analysis of unrelated prostate cancer datasets identifies sample-specific as well as conserved altered biological processes, mainly associated with lipid metabolism, cellular differentiation and proliferation. APA is designed as a cross platform tool which may be transparently customized to perform pathway analysis in different gene expression datasets. APA is freely available at http://bioinfo.icgeb.res.in/APA. PMID:28084397

  11. Natural fumarolic alteration of fluorapatite, olivine, and basaltic glass, and implications for habitable environments on Mars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hausrath, Elisabeth M; Tschauner, Oliver

    2013-11-01

    Fumaroles represent a very important potential habitat on Mars because they contain water and nutrients. Global deposition of volcanic sulfate aerosols may also have been an important soil-forming process affecting large areas of Mars. Here we identify alteration from the Senator fumarole, northwest Nevada, USA, and in low-temperature environments near the fumarole to help interpret fumarolic and acid vapor alteration of rocks and soils on Mars. We analyzed soil samples and fluorapatite, olivine, and basaltic glass placed at and near the fumarole in in situ mineral alteration experiments designed to measure weathering under natural field conditions. Using synchrotron X-ray diffraction, we clearly observe hydroxyl-carbonate-bearing fluorapatite as a fumarolic alteration product of the original material, fluorapatite. The composition of apatites as well as secondary phosphates has been previously used to infer magmatic conditions as well as fumarolic conditions on Mars. To our knowledge, the observations reported here represent the first documented instance of formation of hydroxyl-carbonate-bearing apatite from fluorapatite in a field experiment. Retreat of olivine surfaces, as well as abundant NH4-containing minerals, was also characteristic of fumarolic alteration. In contrast, alteration in the nearby low-temperature environment resulted in formation of large pits on olivine surfaces, which were clearly distinguishable from the fumarolic alteration. Raman signatures of some fumarolically impacted surfaces are consistent with detection of the biological molecules chlorophyll and scytenomin, potentially useful biosignatures. Observations of altered minerals on Mars may therefore help identify the environment of formation and understand the aqueous history and potential habitability of that planet.

  12. Systems biology analysis merging phenotype, metabolomic and genomic data identifies Non-SMC Condensin I Complex, Subunit G (NCAPG and cellular maintenance processes as major contributors to genetic variability in bovine feed efficiency.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Philipp Widmann

    Full Text Available Feed efficiency is a paramount factor for livestock economy. Previous studies had indicated a substantial heritability of several feed efficiency traits. In our study, we investigated the genetic background of residual feed intake, a commonly used parameter of feed efficiency, in a cattle resource population generated from crossing dairy and beef cattle. Starting from a whole genome association analysis, we subsequently performed combined phenotype-metabolome-genome analysis taking a systems biology approach by inferring gene networks based on partial correlation and information theory approaches. Our data about biological processes enriched with genes from the feed efficiency network suggest that genetic variation in feed efficiency is driven by genetic modulation of basic processes relevant to general cellular functions. When looking at the predicted upstream regulators from the feed efficiency network, the Tumor Protein P53 (TP53 and Transforming Growth Factor beta 1 (TGFB1 genes stood out regarding significance of overlap and number of target molecules in the data set. These results further support the hypothesis that TP53 is a major upstream regulator for genetic variation of feed efficiency. Furthermore, our data revealed a significant effect of both, the Non-SMC Condensin I Complex, Subunit G (NCAPG I442M (rs109570900 and the Growth /differentiation factor 8 (GDF8 Q204X (rs110344317 loci, on residual feed intake and feed conversion. For both loci, the growth promoting allele at the onset of puberty was associated with a negative, but favorable effect on residual feed intake. The elevated energy demand for increased growth triggered by the NCAPG 442M allele is obviously not fully compensated for by an increased efficiency in converting feed into body tissue. As a consequence, the individuals carrying the NCAPG 442M allele had an additional demand for energy uptake that is reflected by the association of the allele with increased daily

  13. 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

  14. Ability of Slovakian Pupils to Identify Birds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prokop, Pavol; Rodak, Rastislav

    2009-01-01

    A pupil's ability to identify common organisms is necessary for acquiring further knowledge of biology. We investigated how pupils were able to identify 25 bird species following their song, growth habits, or both features presented simultaneously. Just about 19% of birds were successfully identified by song, about 39% by growth habit, and 45% of…

  15. Network Analysis Identifies Disease-Specific Pathways for Parkinson's Disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Monti, Chiara; Colugnat, Ilaria; Lopiano, Leonardo; Chiò, Adriano; Alberio, Tiziana

    2016-12-21

    Neurodegenerative diseases are characterized by the progressive loss of specific neurons in selected regions of the central nervous system. The main clinical manifestation (movement disorders, cognitive impairment, and/or psychiatric disturbances) depends on the neuron population being primarily affected. Parkinson's disease is a common movement disorder, whose etiology remains mostly unknown. Progressive loss of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra causes an impairment of the motor control. Some of the pathogenetic mechanisms causing the progressive deterioration of these neurons are not specific for Parkinson's disease but are shared by other neurodegenerative diseases, like Alzheimer's disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Here, we performed a meta-analysis of the literature of all the quantitative proteomic investigations of neuronal alterations in different models of Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis to distinguish between general and Parkinson's disease-specific pattern of neurodegeneration. Then, we merged proteomics data with genetics information from the DisGeNET database. The comparison of gene and protein information allowed us to identify 25 proteins involved uniquely in Parkinson's disease and we verified the alteration of one of them, i.e., transaldolase 1 (TALDO1), in the substantia nigra of 5 patients. By using open-source bioinformatics tools, we identified the biological processes specifically affected in Parkinson's disease, i.e., proteolysis, mitochondrion organization, and mitophagy. Eventually, we highlighted four cellular component complexes mostly involved in the pathogenesis: the proteasome complex, the protein phosphatase 2A, the chaperonins CCT complex, and the complex III of the respiratory chain.

  16. [Biological weapons].

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-08-01

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

  17. Design principles for the analysis and construction of robustly homeostatic biological networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tang, Zhe F; McMillen, David R

    2016-11-07

    Homeostatic biological systems resist external disturbances, allowing cells and organisms to maintain a constant internal state despite perturbations from their surroundings. Many biological regulatory networks are known to act homeostatically, with examples including thermal adaptation, osmoregulation, and chemotaxis. Understanding the network topologies (sets of regulatory interactions) and biological parameter regimes that can yield homeostasis in a biological system is of interest both for the study of natural biological system, and in the context of designing new biological control schemes for use in synthetic biology. Here, we examine the mathematical properties of a function that maps a biological system's inputs to its outputs, we have formulated a novel criterion (the "cofactor condition") that compactly describes the conditions for homeostasis. We further analyze the problem of robust homeostasis, wherein the system is required to maintain homeostatic behavior when its parameter values are slightly altered. We use the cofactor condition to examine previously reported examples of robust homeostasis, showing that it is a useful way to unify a number of seemingly different analyses into a single framework. Based on the observation that all previous robustly homeostatic examples fall into one of three classes, we propose a "strong cofactor condition" and use it to provide an algorithm for designing new robustly homeostatic biological networks, giving both their topologies and constraints on their parameter values. Applying the design algorithm to a three-node biological network, we construct several robustly homeostatic genetic networks, uncovering network topologies not previously identified as candidates for exhibiting robust homeostasis.

  18. A genome-wide investigation of microRNA expression identifies biologically-meaningful microRNAs that distinguish between high-risk and low-risk intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasms of the pancreas.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jennifer Permuth-Wey

    Full Text Available Intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasms (IPMNs are pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC precursors. Differentiating between high-risk IPMNs that warrant surgical resection and low-risk IPMNs that can be monitored is a significant clinical problem, and we sought to discover a panel of mi(croRNAs that accurately classify IPMN risk status.In a discovery phase, genome-wide miRNA expression profiling was performed on 28 surgically-resected, pathologically-confirmed IPMNs (19 high-risk, 9 low-risk using Taqman MicroRNA Arrays. A validation phase was performed in 21 independent IPMNs (13 high-risk, 8 low-risk. We also explored associations between miRNA expression level and various clinical and pathological factors and examined genes and pathways regulated by the identified miRNAs by integrating data from bioinformatic analyses and microarray analysis of miRNA gene targets. Six miRNAs (miR-100, miR-99b, miR-99a, miR-342-3p, miR-126, miR-130a were down-regulated in high-risk versus low-risk IPMNs and distinguished between groups (P<10-3, area underneath the curve (AUC = 87%. The same trend was observed in the validation phase (AUC = 74%. Low miR-99b expression was associated with main pancreatic duct involvement (P = 0.021, and serum albumin levels were positively correlated with miR-99a (r = 0.52, P = 0.004 and miR-100 expression (r = 0.49, P = 0.008. Literature, validated miRNA:target gene interactions, and pathway enrichment analysis supported the candidate miRNAs as tumor suppressors and regulators of PDAC development. Microarray analysis revealed that oncogenic targets of miR-130a (ATG2B, MEOX2, miR-342-3p (DNMT1, and miR-126 (IRS-1 were up-regulated in high- versus low-risk IPMNs (P<0.10.This pilot study highlights miRNAs that may aid in preoperative risk stratification of IPMNs and provides novel insights into miRNA-mediated progression to pancreatic malignancy. The miRNAs identified here and in other recent investigations warrant evaluation

  19. Natal Host Plants Can Alter Herbivore Competition

    OpenAIRE

    Pan, Huipeng; Evan L. Preisser; Su, Qi; Jiao, Xiaoguo; Xie, Wen; Wang, Shaoli; Wu, Qingjun; Zhang, Youjun

    2016-01-01

    Interspecific competition between herbivores is widely recognized as an important determinant of community structure. Although researchers have identified a number of factors capable of altering competitive interactions, few studies have addressed the influence of neighboring plant species. If adaptation to/ epigenetic effects of an herbivore’s natal host plant alter its performance on other host plants, then interspecific herbivore interactions may play out differently in heterogeneous and h...

  20. Homosexuality, biology, and ideology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haumann, G

    1995-01-01

    This paper critically examines the complex relationships and interdependencies between biological theories on homosexuality and sociosexual ideologies. It challenges the privileged status of biology as the ultimate authority on homosexuality. This status is based on the belief that biology is a value-free science. On the contrary, this essay shows how unacknowledged assumptions and culturally bound patterns of thinking about sexuality taint biological research. Sociosexual ideologies are defined as principles that organize the ways we express our sexualities and the way we theorize about them in biology. The following ideologies are identified: (1) sexuality-as-heterosexuality, (2) sexuality-as-reproduction, (3) sexual dualism (male vs. female), and (4) the view the homosexuality is a sexual inversion. The process by which these ideologies are incorporated into biology is two-fold: (1) as a projective act from society onto nature and (2) as a reflective act from nature back into society. It is further argued that biological knowledge of homosexuality resulting from that process can be used for diverse political interests. Finally, it is proposed that since biological theories on homosexuality are inseparable from the context of their paradigmatic origin, it is possible that new theories could be derived from new ideologies.

  1. Genetic alterations in pancreatic carcinoma

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Schmid Roland M

    2003-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Cancer of the exocrine pancreas represents the fifth leading cause of cancer death in the Western population with an average survival after diagnosis of 3 to 6 months and a five-year survival rate under 5%. Our understanding of the molecular carcinogenesis has improved in the last few years due to the development of novel molecular biological techniques. Pancreatic cancer is a multi-stage process resulting from the accumulation of genetic changes in the somatic DNA of normal cells. In this article we describe major genetic alterations of pancreatic cancer, mutations in the proto-oncogene K-RAS and the tumor suppressors INK4A, TP53 and DPC4/SMAD4. The accumulation of these genetic changes leads to a profound disturbance in cell cycle regulation and continuous growth. The knowledge of the underlying molecular mechanisms will offer new therapeutic and diagnostic options and hopefully improve the outcome of this aggressive disease.

  2. Alterations of 5-Hydroxymethylcytosine in Human Cancers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ali Yesilkanal

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available Prior to 2009, 5-methylcytosine (5-mC was thought to be the only biologically significant cytosine modification in mammalian DNA. With the discovery of the TET enzymes, which convert 5-methylcytosine (5-mC to 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5-hmC, however, intense interest has emerged in determining the biological function of 5-hmC. Here, we review the techniques used to study 5-hmC and evidence that alterations to 5-hmC physiology play a functional role in the molecular pathogenesis of human cancers.

  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. Oral alterations among chemical dependents

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Estela Vanessa COLODEL

    2009-03-01

    Full Text Available Introduction: It has been daily observed a significant increase ofchemical dependent individuals, as well as the lack of depth on thisissue in the dentistry area. Nevertheless many times the dentalclinicians are the first professionals to diagnose possible alterations,which appear due to the consumption of tobacco, alcohol and other illicit drugs. Objectives: To make a literature review of oral alterations and to identify them on a specific group of persons, which are addicted to different types of drugs. Material and methods: The clinical history of the selected individuals was added to the answers of a questionnaire,comprising the data of the present research. Results: Besides other minor soft tissue alterations, a high prevalence of caries and periodontal diseases were found in the studied population. Conclusion: It was concluded that the role of the dental clinician is very important to the health rehabilitation of drug addicts, individuals with physical and mental disorders that need specific oral care, which sometimes is neglected.

  5. 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...

  6. Spreading chromatin into chemical biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allis, C David; Muir, Tom W

    2011-01-24

    Epigenetics, broadly defined as the inheritance of non-Mendelian phenotypic traits, can be more narrowly defined as heritable alterations in states of gene expression ("on" versus "off") that are not linked to changes in DNA sequence. Moreover, these alterations can persist in the absence of the signals that initiate them, thus suggesting some kind of "memory" to epigenetic forms of regulation. How, for example, during early female mammalian development, is one X chromosome selected to be kept in an active state, while the genetically identical sister X chromosome is "marked" to be inactive, even though they reside in the same nucleus, exposed to the same collection of shared trans-factors? Once X inactivation occurs, how are these contrasting chromatin states maintained and inherited faithfully through subsequent cell divisions? Chromatin states, whether active (euchromatic) or silent (heterochromatic) are established, maintained, and propagated with remarkable precision during normal development and differentiation. However, mistakes made in establishing and maintaining these chromatin states, often executed by a variety of chromatin-remodeling activities, can lead to mis-expression or mis-silencing of critical downstream gene targets with far-reaching implications for human biology and disease, notably cancer. Though chromatin biologists have identified many of the "inputs" that are important for controlling chromatin states, the detailed mechanisms by which these processes work remain largely opaque, in part due to the staggering complexity of the chromatin polymer, the physiologically relevant form of our genome. The primary objective of this article is to serve as a "call to arms" for chemists to contribute to the development of the precision tools needed to answer pressing molecular problems in this rapidly moving field.

  7. Biological variables and prognosis of DCIS.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van de Vijver, Marc J

    2005-12-01

    Based on current knowledge, biological factors that have been investigated in ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) include histology of these lesions, the impact of margin status on local recurrence, and several genetic alterations. Optimal integration of these factors in guiding optimal therapy is of great importance, since the incidence of DCIS is rising as a result of population-based mammographic screening. Mastectomy will almost always cure patients with DCIS but represents overtreatment for many. Less extensive treatment options should combine an optimal cosmetic result with the same safety for outcome of disease as mastectomy. To guide such optimal treatment, histological classification is not sufficient and additional biological factors are being investigated for their ability to predict outcome for individual patients with DCIS. In this review, the histological classification of DCIS is described and in addition the emerging knowledge on genetic alterations is summarised. For clinical management of DCIS patients, genetic or other biological factors should be identified that can predict the risk of progression of DCIS to invasive breast cancer and distant metastases. At present, insufficient knowledge on prognostic and predictive factors in DCIS is available. Research in this area is hampered by the difficulties in obtaining DCIS tumour tissue, as the tumour cells grow in the lumen of pre-existing ducts and lobules. As the recurrence rates are relatively low and the most relevant clinical endpoint, distant metastases, is indeed very rare, large numbers of patients (hundreds to a few thousand) need to be studied. Integration of translational studies into clinical trials aimed at optimising the treatment of DCIS are required to achieve this goal.

  8. Potentials of single-cell biology in identification and validation of disease biomarkers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niu, Furong; Wang, Diane C; Lu, Jiapei; Wu, Wei; Wang, Xiangdong

    2016-09-01

    Single-cell biology is considered a new approach to identify and validate disease-specific biomarkers. However, the concern raised by clinicians is how to apply single-cell measurements for clinical practice, translate the message of single-cell systems biology into clinical phenotype or explain alterations of single-cell gene sequencing and function in patient response to therapies. This study is to address the importance and necessity of single-cell gene sequencing in the identification and development of disease-specific biomarkers, the definition and significance of single-cell biology and single-cell systems biology in the understanding of single-cell full picture, the development and establishment of whole-cell models in the validation of targeted biological function and the figure and meaning of single-molecule imaging in single cell to trace intra-single-cell molecule expression, signal, interaction and location. We headline the important role of single-cell biology in the discovery and development of disease-specific biomarkers with a special emphasis on understanding single-cell biological functions, e.g. mechanical phenotypes, single-cell biology, heterogeneity and organization of genome function. We have reason to believe that such multi-dimensional, multi-layer, multi-crossing and stereoscopic single-cell biology definitely benefits the discovery and development of disease-specific biomarkers.

  9. Vibrations, Quanta and Biology

    CERN Document Server

    Huelga, S F

    2013-01-01

    Quantum biology is an emerging field of research that concerns itself with the experimental and theoretical exploration of non-trivial quantum phenomena in biological systems. In this tutorial overview we aim to bring out fundamental assumptions and questions in the field, identify basic design principles and develop a key underlying theme -- the dynamics of quantum dynamical networks in the presence of an environment and the fruitful interplay that the two may enter. At the hand of three biological phenomena whose understanding is held to require quantum mechanical processes, namely excitation and charge transfer in photosynthetic complexes, magneto-reception in birds and the olfactory sense, we demonstrate that this underlying theme encompasses them all, thus suggesting its wider relevance as an archetypical framework for quantum biology.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Foldit Biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-07-31

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

  13. A mathematical methodology for determining the temporal order of pathway alterations arising during gliomagenesis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yu-Kang Cheng

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Human cancer is caused by the accumulation of genetic alterations in cells. Of special importance are changes that occur early during malignant transformation because they may result in oncogene addiction and thus represent promising targets for therapeutic intervention. We have previously described a computational approach, called Retracing the Evolutionary Steps in Cancer (RESIC, to determine the temporal sequence of genetic alterations during tumorigenesis from cross-sectional genomic data of tumors at their fully transformed stage. Since alterations within a set of genes belonging to a particular signaling pathway may have similar or equivalent effects, we applied a pathway-based systems biology approach to the RESIC methodology. This method was used to determine whether alterations of specific pathways develop early or late during malignant transformation. When applied to primary glioblastoma (GBM copy number data from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA project, RESIC identified a temporal order of pathway alterations consistent with the order of events in secondary GBMs. We then further subdivided the samples into the four main GBM subtypes and determined the relative contributions of each subtype to the overall results: we found that the overall ordering applied for the proneural subtype but differed for mesenchymal samples. The temporal sequence of events could not be identified for neural and classical subtypes, possibly due to a limited number of samples. Moreover, for samples of the proneural subtype, we detected two distinct temporal sequences of events: (i RAS pathway activation was followed by TP53 inactivation and finally PI3K2 activation, and (ii RAS activation preceded only AKT activation. This extension of the RESIC methodology provides an evolutionary mathematical approach to identify the temporal sequence of pathway changes driving tumorigenesis and may be useful in guiding the understanding of signaling rearrangements in cancer

  14. Metabolic adaptation of a human pathogen during chronic infections - a systems biology approach

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Thøgersen, Juliane Charlotte

    modeling to uncover how human pathogens adapt to the human host. Pseudomonas aeruginosa infections in cystic fibrosis patients are used as a model system for under-­‐ standing these adaptation processes. The exploratory systems biology approach facilitates identification of important phenotypes...... to phenotype at a systemic level. Particular metabolic subsystems were identified as important for metabolic adaptation in P. aeruginosa. One altered metabolic phenotype was connected to a genetic change; a finding that was possible through the systems characterization and which was not identi-­‐ fied...... by classical molecular biology approaches where genes and reactions typically are investigated in a one to one relationship. This thesis is an example of how mathematical approaches and modeling can facilitate new biologi-­‐ cal understanding and provide new surprising ideas to important biological processes....

  15. Human Metabolic Network: Reconstruction, Simulation, and Applications in Systems Biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Ming; Chan, Christina

    2012-01-01

    Metabolism is crucial to cell growth and proliferation. Deficiency or alterations in metabolic functions are known to be involved in many human diseases. Therefore, understanding the human metabolic system is important for the study and treatment of complex diseases. Current reconstructions of the global human metabolic network provide a computational platform to integrate genome-scale information on metabolism. The platform enables a systematic study of the regulation and is applicable to a wide variety of cases, wherein one could rely on in silico perturbations to predict novel targets, interpret systemic effects, and identify alterations in the metabolic states to better understand the genotype-phenotype relationships. In this review, we describe the reconstruction of the human metabolic network, introduce the constraint based modeling approach to analyze metabolic networks, and discuss systems biology applications to study human physiology and pathology. We highlight the challenges and opportunities in network reconstruction and systems modeling of the human metabolic system. PMID:24957377

  16. Sex speeds adaptation by altering the dynamics of molecular evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McDonald, Michael J; Rice, Daniel P; Desai, Michael M

    2016-03-10

    Sex and recombination are pervasive throughout nature despite their substantial costs. Understanding the evolutionary forces that maintain these phenomena is a central challenge in biology. One longstanding hypothesis argues that sex is beneficial because recombination speeds adaptation. Theory has proposed several distinct population genetic mechanisms that could underlie this advantage. For example, sex can promote the fixation of beneficial mutations either by alleviating interference competition (the Fisher-Muller effect) or by separating them from deleterious load (the ruby in the rubbish effect). Previous experiments confirm that sex can increase the rate of adaptation, but these studies did not observe the evolutionary dynamics that drive this effect at the genomic level. Here we present the first, to our knowledge, comparison between the sequence-level dynamics of adaptation in experimental sexual and asexual Saccharomyces cerevisiae populations, which allows us to identify the specific mechanisms by which sex speeds adaptation. We find that sex alters the molecular signatures of evolution by changing the spectrum of mutations that fix, and confirm theoretical predictions that it does so by alleviating clonal interference. We also show that substantially deleterious mutations hitchhike to fixation in adapting asexual populations. In contrast, recombination prevents such mutations from fixing. Our results demonstrate that sex both speeds adaptation and alters its molecular signature by allowing natural selection to more efficiently sort beneficial from deleterious mutations.

  17. Music and Alterity Processes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Josep Martí

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available The concept of alterity constitutes an important issue in anthropological research and, therefore, in the study of musical practices, as well. Without it, we could hardly understand other kinds of music situated in different spaces and time from the observer. In order to effectively approach these musical practices, we have to develop strategies to help us reduce as much as possible that which distorts the vision of the other. However, beyond the strictly epistemological and methodological issues, the study of music cannot ignore the ethical question related to the manner in which Western thought has understood and treated the other: through a hierarchical and stereotypical type of thinking based on the condition of otherness. Throughout the article, different alterity procedures are presented and discussed, such as synecdochization, exoticization, undervaluation, overvaluation, misunderstanding and exclusion. Taking these different alterity strategies into account may help us to better understand how the musical other is constructed, used and ultimately instrumentalized.

  18. Attention Alters Perceived Attractiveness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Störmer, Viola S; Alvarez, George A

    2016-04-01

    Can attention alter the impression of a face? Previous studies showed that attention modulates the appearance of lower-level visual features. For instance, attention can make a simple stimulus appear to have higher contrast than it actually does. We tested whether attention can also alter the perception of a higher-order property-namely, facial attractiveness. We asked participants to judge the relative attractiveness of two faces after summoning their attention to one of the faces using a briefly presented visual cue. Across trials, participants judged the attended face to be more attractive than the same face when it was unattended. This effect was not due to decision or response biases, but rather was due to changes in perceptual processing of the faces. These results show that attention alters perceived facial attractiveness, and broadly demonstrate that attention can influence higher-level perception and may affect people's initial impressions of one another.

  19. Human giant congenital melanocytic nevus exhibits potential proteomic alterations leading to melanotumorigenesis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kim Hyoung Kyu

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background A giant congenital melanocytic nevus (GCMN is a malformation of the pigment cells. It is a distress to the patients for two reasons: one is disfigurement, and the other is the possibility of malignant changes. However, the underlying mechanisms of the development of GCMN and melanotumorigenesis in GCMN are unknown. Hence, the aim of this study was to identify the proteomic alterations and associated functional pathways in GCMN. Results Proteomic differences between GCMN (n = 3 and normal skin samples (n = 3 were analyzed by one-dimensional-liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry Relative levels of the selected proteins were validated using western blot analysis. The biological processes associated with the abundance modified proteins were analyzed using bioinformatic tools. Among the 46 abundance modified proteins, expression of 4 proteins was significantly downregulated and expression of 42 proteins was significantly upregulated in GCMN compared to normal skin samples (p  Conclusion These findings suggest that GCMN exhibits potential proteomic alterations, which may play a role in melanotumorigenesis, and the significant alteration of 14-3-3 family proteins could be a key regulator of the biological pathway remodeling in GCMN.

  20. A Survey of Olivine Alteration Products Using Raman Spectroscopy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuebler, K.; Jolliff, B. L.; Wang, A.; Haskin, L. A.

    2004-01-01

    Identification of mineral alteration products will aid in the crucial task of interpreting past Martian environmental conditions, especially aqueous environments. Olivine has been identified at the surface of Mars and is readily altered in aqueous environments. Using Raman spectroscopy, we studied three rocks with altered olivine and compared the data with mineral chemistry from electron microprobe analysis. Although the alteration in all three samples has loosely been called iddingsite their appearances and modes of occurrences differ as described. Alteration products in all three samples are likely fine-grained mixtures.

  1. Sparse Linear Identifiable Multivariate Modeling

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Henao, Ricardo; Winther, Ole

    2011-01-01

    In this paper we consider sparse and identifiable linear latent variable (factor) and linear Bayesian network models for parsimonious analysis of multivariate data. We propose a computationally efficient method for joint parameter and model inference, and model comparison. It consists of a fully...... Bayesian hierarchy for sparse models using slab and spike priors (two-component δ-function and continuous mixtures), non-Gaussian latent factors and a stochastic search over the ordering of the variables. The framework, which we call SLIM (Sparse Linear Identifiable Multivariate modeling), is validated...... and bench-marked on artificial and real biological data sets. SLIM is closest in spirit to LiNGAM (Shimizu et al., 2006), but differs substantially in inference, Bayesian network structure learning and model comparison. Experimentally, SLIM performs equally well or better than LiNGAM with comparable...

  2. Vitalism in Naive Biological Thinking.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morris, Suzanne C.; Taplin, John E.; Gelman, Susan A.

    2000-01-01

    Three experiments investigated use of vitalistic explanations for biological phenomena by 5- and 10-year-olds and by adults. Results replicated the original Japanese finding of vitalistic thinking among English-speaking 5-year-olds, identified the more active component of vitalism as a belief in the transfer of energy during biological processes,…

  3. Tipificação de sintomas relacionados à voz e sua produção em professores identificados com ausência de alteração vocal na avaliação fonoaudiológica Typification of symptoms related to voice and its production in teachers identified with absence of vocal alteration in Speech-Language Pathology evaluation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emilse Aparecida Merlin Servilha

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available OBJETIVO: tipificar os sintomas relacionados à voz e sua produção auto referidos por professoras, cujas vozes foram identificadas como saudáveis na avaliação fonoaudiológica. MÉTODOS: participaram 36 docentes, idade média de 37 anos, solteiras (75% e escolaridade superior (83,33% da rede municipal de ensino de uma cidade do interior do estado de São Paulo. Os docentes responderam a um questionário e referiram a alteração, suas vozes foram gravadas e submetidas à avaliação fonoaudiológica perceptivo-auditiva e posteriormente comparados os dois tipos de avaliação. Procedeu-se a caracterização sócio demográfica, condições ambientais e organizacionais do trabalho dos docentes e seus sintomas tipificados e submetidos à análise estatística descritiva. RESULTADOS: constatou-se a presença de poeira (91,67%, ruído (75% e excesso de trabalho (88,88%, falta de tempo para desenvolver as atividades na escola (88,88% e fiscalização constante do desempenho (33,33%. Quanto à voz, a alteração foi percebida há mais de quatro anos (30,56%, secundária ao seu uso intensivo (94,44% e ao estresse (61,11%, classificada como moderada (66,67%, sendo proeminentes como sintomas auditivos, a rouquidão e o cansaço ao falar, ambos com 69,44% e como sintomas proprioceptivos, o pigarro (63,88% e a garganta seca (61,11%. A comparação entre os sintomas mostra que os proprioceptivos (63,26 % foram mais mencionados do que os auditivos (36,73 %. CONCLUSÃO: os professores trabalham em ambientes adversos à saúde e à voz; a prevalência de sintomas proprioceptivos foi maior que os auditivos, o que pode ter interferido na avaliação perceptual de suas vozes pelas fonoaudiólogas que contaram apenas com a pista auditiva.PURPOSE: to typify the symptoms related to voice and its production self-referred by teachers, whose voices were identified as healthful in the Speech-Language Pathology evaluation. METHODS: 36 teachers took part, with mean

  4. Cerebrospinal fluid space alterations in melancholic depression.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Esther Via

    Full Text Available Melancholic depression is a biologically homogeneous clinical entity in which structural brain alterations have been described. Interestingly, reports of structural alterations in melancholia include volume increases in Cerebro-Spinal Fluid (CSF spaces. However, there are no previous reports of CSF volume alterations using automated whole-brain voxel-wise approaches, as tissue classification algorithms have been traditionally regarded as less reliable for CSF segmentation. Here we aimed to assess CSF volumetric alterations in melancholic depression and their clinical correlates by means of a novel segmentation algorithm ('new segment', as implemented in the software Statistical Parametric Mapping-SPM8, incorporating specific features that may improve CSF segmentation. A three-dimensional Magnetic Resonance Image (MRI was obtained from seventy patients with melancholic depression and forty healthy control subjects. Although imaging data were pre-processed with the 'new segment' algorithm, in order to obtain a comparison with previous segmentation approaches, tissue segmentation was also performed with the 'unified segmentation' approach. Melancholic patients showed a CSF volume increase in the region of the left Sylvian fissure, and a CSF volume decrease in the subarachnoid spaces surrounding medial and lateral parietal cortices. Furthermore, CSF increases in the left Sylvian fissure were negatively correlated with the reduction percentage of depressive symptoms at discharge. None of these results were replicated with the 'unified segmentation' approach. By contrast, between-group differences in the left Sylvian fissure were replicated with a non-automated quantification of the CSF content of this region. Left Sylvian fissure alterations reported here are in agreement with previous findings from non-automated CSF assessments, and also with other reports of gray and white matter insular alterations in depressive samples using automated approaches

  5. Network community structure alterations in adult schizophrenia: identification and localization of alterations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lerman-Sinkoff, Dov B; Barch, Deanna M

    2016-01-01

    A growing body of literature suggests functional connectivity alterations in schizophrenia. While findings have been mixed, evidence points towards a complex pattern of hyper-connectivity and hypo-connectivity. This altered connectivity can be represented and analyzed using the mathematical frameworks provided by graph and information theory to represent functional connectivity data as graphs comprised of nodes and edges linking the nodes. One analytic technique in this framework is the determination and analysis of network community structure, which is the grouping of nodes into linked communities or modules. This data-driven technique finds a best-fit structure such that nodes in a given community have greater connectivity with nodes in their community than with nodes in other communities. These community structure representations have been found to recapitulate known neural-systems in healthy individuals, have been used to identify novel functional systems, and have identified and localized community structure alterations in a childhood onset schizophrenia cohort. In the present study, we sought to determine whether community structure alterations were present in an adult onset schizophrenia cohort while stringently controlling for sources of imaging artifacts. Group level average graphs in healthy controls and individuals with schizophrenia exhibited visually similar network community structures and high amounts of normalized mutual information (NMI). However, testing of individual subject community structures identified small but significant alterations in community structure with alterations being driven by changes in node community membership in the somatosensory, auditory, default mode, salience, and subcortical networks.

  6. Biological preconcentrator

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-09-09

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

  7. Ressourcenorientierte Diagnostik im Alter

    OpenAIRE

    Forstmeier, Simon; Maercker, Andreas

    2008-01-01

    Trotz der im Alter zunehmenden körperlichen, kognitiven und sozialen Verlusten bleibt das subjektive Wohlbefinden relativ stabil. Dies weist auf die vielen Ressourcen älterer Menschen hin. Dieser Artikel stellt für die klinische Ressourcendiagnostik relevante Verfahren vor und erläutert die zugrunde liegenden Konzepte. Berücksichtigt werden Aktivitäten und Erlebnisse als Ressourcen, emotionale Ressourcen (positiver Affekt, Lebenszufriedenheit, Selbstwerterleben, Lebensqualität), motivationale...

  8. A framework to identify gene expression profiles in a model of inflammation induced by lipopolysaccharide after treatment with thalidomide

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paiva Renata T

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Thalidomide is an anti-inflammatory and anti-angiogenic drug currently used for the treatment of several diseases, including erythema nodosum leprosum, which occurs in patients with lepromatous leprosy. In this research, we use DNA microarray analysis to identify the impact of thalidomide on gene expression responses in human cells after lipopolysaccharide (LPS stimulation. We employed a two-stage framework. Initially, we identified 1584 altered genes in response to LPS. Modulation of this set of genes was then analyzed in the LPS stimulated cells treated with thalidomide. Results We identified 64 genes with altered expression induced by thalidomide using the rank product method. In addition, the lists of up-regulated and down-regulated genes were investigated by means of bioinformatics functional analysis, which allowed for the identification of biological processes affected by thalidomide. Confirmatory analysis was done in five of the identified genes using real time PCR. Conclusions The results showed some genes that can further our understanding of the biological mechanisms in the action of thalidomide. Of the five genes evaluated with real time PCR, three were down regulated and two were up regulated confirming the initial results of the microarray analysis.

  9. A Systematic Approach to Identify Markers of Distinctly Activated Human Macrophages

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bayan eSudan

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Polarization has been a useful concept for describing activated macrophage phenotypes and gene expression profiles. However, macrophage activation status within tumors and other settings are often inferred based on only a few markers. Complicating matters for relevance to human biology, many of the best studied macrophage activation markers have been best characterized in mice and sometimes are not similarly regulated in human macrophages. To identify novel markers of activated human macrophages, gene expression profiles for human macrophages of a single donor subjected to 33 distinct activating conditions were obtained and a set of putative activation markers were subsequently evaluated in macrophages from multiple donors using integrated fluidic circuit (IFC-based RT-PCR. Using unsupervised hierarchical clustering of the microarray screen, highly-altered transcripts (>4-fold change in expression sorted the macrophage transcription profiles into two major and 13 minor clusters. Among the 1874 highly-altered transcripts, over 100 were uniquely altered in one major or two related minor clusters. IFC PCR-derived data confirmed the microarray results and to show the kinetics of expression of potential macrophage activation markers. Transcripts encoding chemokines, cytokines, and cell surface were prominent in our analyses. The activation markers identified by this study could be used to better characterize tumor-associated macrophages from biopsies as well as other macrophage populations collected from human clinical samples.

  10. Nutritional Systems Biology

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Kasper

    sites of diet on the disease pathway. We propose a framework for interrogating the critical targets in colon cancer process and identifying plant-based dietary interventions as important modifiers using a systems chemical biology approach. The fifth chapter of the thesis is on discovering of novel anti...... number of thoroughly selected targets. Our need for fundamental understanding of the building blocks of the complex biological systems had been the main reason for the reductionist approach that was mainly applied in the past to elucidate these systems. Nowadays, it is widely recognized that systems...... components with biological systems and their connection to health and disease. The database will be enriched with predicted interactions between food components and protein targets, based on their structural and pharmacophore similarity with known small molecule ligands. Further to this, the associations...

  11. 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)

  12. (Biological dosimetry)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Preston, R.J.

    1990-12-17

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

  13. 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)

  14. 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.

  15. Biology Notes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    School Science Review, 1984

    1984-01-01

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

  16. Analysing Java Identifier Names

    OpenAIRE

    Butler, Simon

    2016-01-01

    Identifier names are the principal means of recording and communicating ideas in source code and are a significant source of information for software developers and maintainers, and the tools that support their work. This research aims to increase understanding of identifier name content types - words, abbreviations, etc. - and phrasal structures - noun phrases, verb phrases, etc. - by improving techniques for the analysis of identifier names. The techniques and knowledge acquired can be appl...

  17. Identifiability in stochastic models

    CERN Document Server

    1992-01-01

    The problem of identifiability is basic to all statistical methods and data analysis, occurring in such diverse areas as Reliability Theory, Survival Analysis, and Econometrics, where stochastic modeling is widely used. Mathematics dealing with identifiability per se is closely related to the so-called branch of ""characterization problems"" in Probability Theory. This book brings together relevant material on identifiability as it occurs in these diverse fields.

  18. Using biological pathway data with paxtools.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emek Demir

    Full Text Available A rapidly growing corpus of formal, computable pathway information can be used to answer important biological questions including finding non-trivial connections between cellular processes, identifying significantly altered portions of the cellular network in a disease state and building predictive models that can be used for precision medicine. Due to its complexity and fragmented nature, however, working with pathway data is still difficult. We present Paxtools, a Java library that contains algorithms, software components and converters for biological pathways represented in the standard BioPAX language. Paxtools allows scientists to focus on their scientific problem by removing technical barriers to access and analyse pathway information. Paxtools can run on any platform that has a Java Runtime Environment and was tested on most modern operating systems. Paxtools is open source and is available under the Lesser GNU public license (LGPL, which allows users to freely use the code in their software systems with a requirement for attribution. Source code for the current release (4.2.0 can be found in Software S1. A detailed manual for obtaining and using Paxtools can be found in Protocol S1. The latest sources and release bundles can be obtained from biopax.org/paxtools.

  19. Transcriptome sequencing in prostate cancer identifies inter-tumor heterogeneity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Janet Mendonca

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Given the dearth of gene mutations in prostate cancer, [1] ,[2] it is likely that genomic rearrangements play a significant role in the evolution of prostate cancer. However, in the search for recurrent genomic alterations, "private alterations" have received less attention. Such alterations may provide insights into the evolution, behavior, and clinical outcome of an individual tumor. In a recent report in "Genome Biology" Wyatt et al. [3] defines unique alterations in a cohort of high-risk prostate cancer patient with a lethal phenotype. Utilizing a transcriptome sequencing approach they observe high inter-tumor heterogeneity; however, the genes altered distill into three distinct cancer-relevant pathways. Their analysis reveals the presence of several non-ETS fusions, which may contribute to the phenotype of individual tumors, and have significance for disease progression.

  20. Mapping biological systems to network systems

    CERN Document Server

    Rathore, Heena

    2016-01-01

    The book presents the challenges inherent in the paradigm shift of network systems from static to highly dynamic distributed systems – it proposes solutions that the symbiotic nature of biological systems can provide into altering networking systems to adapt to these changes. The author discuss how biological systems – which have the inherent capabilities of evolving, self-organizing, self-repairing and flourishing with time – are inspiring researchers to take opportunities from the biology domain and map them with the problems faced in network domain. The book revolves around the central idea of bio-inspired systems -- it begins by exploring why biology and computer network research are such a natural match. This is followed by presenting a broad overview of biologically inspired research in network systems -- it is classified by the biological field that inspired each topic and by the area of networking in which that topic lies. Each case elucidates how biological concepts have been most successfully ...

  1. Mesoscopic biology

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    G V Shivashankar

    2002-02-01

    In this paper we present a qualitative outlook of mesoscopic biology where the typical length scale is of the order of nanometers and the energy scales comparable to thermal energy. Novel biomolecular machines, governed by coded information at the level of DNA and proteins, operate at these length scales in biological systems. In recent years advances in technology have led to the study of some of the design principles of these machines; in particular at the level of an individual molecule. For example, the forces that operate in molecular interactions, the stochasticity involved in these interactions and their spatio-temporal dynamics are beginning to be explored. Understanding such design principles is opening new possibilities in mesoscopic physics with potential applications.

  2. Inflammation and immune system alterations in frailty.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yao, Xu; Li, Huifen; Leng, Sean X

    2011-02-01

    Frailty is an important geriatric syndrome characterized by multisystem dysregulation. Substantial evidence suggests heightened inflammatory state and significant immune system alterations in frailty. A heightened inflammatory state is marked by increases in levels of inflammatory molecules (interleukin 6 and C-reactive protein) and counts of white blood cell and its subpopulations, which may play an important role in the pathogenesis of frailty, directly or through its detrimental influence on other physiologic systems. Alterations in the innate immune system include decreased proliferation of the peripheral blood mononuclear cells and upregulated monocytic expression of specific stress-responsive inflammatory pathway genes. In the adaptive immune system, although little information is available about potential B-cell changes, significant alterations have been identified in the T-cell compartment, including increased counts of CD8+, CD8+CD28-, CCR5+T cells, above and beyond age-related senescent immune remodeling.

  3. Biological degradation of chernozems under irrigation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Oksana Naydyonova

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available We studied the changes in the state of microbial cenosis of Ukraine’s chernozems under irrigation. Considerable part of Ukraine’s chernozems is located in the areas where humidification is insufficient and unstable. Irrigation is a soil-reclamation measure for chernozems of Ukrainian Forest-steppe and Steppe which enables getting the assured yield, especially vegetable and fodder crops. At the same time, irrigation is a powerful anthropogenic factor that affects the soil, causes a significant transformation of many of its properties and regimes including biological ones. Often these changes are negative. The purpose of our investigation was to identify changes in the state of microbial cenoses of chernozem soils under irrigation which depend on such factors as the quality of irrigation water, the duration and intensity of irrigation, the initial properties of soil, the structure of crop rotation, usage of fertilizing systems and agroameliorative techniques. We identified direction and evaluated a degree of changes in biological properties of chernozems under influence of irrigation in different agro-irrigational and soil-climatic conditions. In the long-term stationary field experiments we identified the following biological indices of irrigated soils and their non-irrigated analogues: a number of microorganisms which belong to main ecological-trophic groups, activity of soil enzymes (dehydrogenase, invertase, phenol oxidase, soil phytotoxic activity, cellulose destroying capacity of soil, indices of oligotrophy and mineralization, summary biological index (SBI and index of biological degradation (BDI. Results of researches showed that irrigation unbalanced the soil ecosystem and stipulated the forming of microbial cenosis with new parameters. Long-term intensive irrigation of typical chernozem (Kharkiv Region with fresh water under condition of 4-fields vegetable crop rotation led to the degradation changes of its microbial cenosis such as

  4. Enabling plant synthetic biology through genome engineering.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baltes, Nicholas J; Voytas, Daniel F

    2015-02-01

    Synthetic biology seeks to create new biological systems, including user-designed plants and plant cells. These systems can be employed for a variety of purposes, ranging from producing compounds of industrial or therapeutic value, to reducing crop losses by altering cellular responses to pathogens or climate change. To realize the full potential of plant synthetic biology, techniques are required that provide control over the genetic code - enabling targeted modifications to DNA sequences within living plant cells. Such control is now within reach owing to recent advances in the use of sequence-specific nucleases to precisely engineer genomes. We discuss here the enormous potential provided by genome engineering for plant synthetic biology.

  5. Marine biology

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1984-01-01

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

  6. A Study of Olivine Alteration to Iddingsite Using Raman Spectroscopy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuebler, K. E.; Wang, Alian; Haskin, L. A.; Jolliff, B. L.

    2003-01-01

    A crucial task of Mars surface science is to determine past environmental conditions, especially aqueous environments and their nature. Identification of mineral alteration by water is one way to do this. Recent work interprets TES spectra as indicating altered basalt on Mars. Olivine, a primary basaltic mineral, is easily altered by aqueous solutions. Alteration assemblages of olivine may be specific to deuteric, hydrothermal, surface water, or metamorphic environments. Raman spectra are produced by molecular vibrations and provide direct means for studying and identifying alteration products. Here, we present a combined study of changes in the chemical composition and Raman spectra of an olivine as it alters to iddingsite. Iddingsite is found in some SNC meteorites and is presumably present on Mars. The term 'iddingsite' has been used as a catch-all term to describe reddish alteration products of olivine, although some authors ascribe a narrower definition: an angstrom-scale intergrowth of goethite and smectite (presumably saponite) formed in an oxidizing and fluid-rich environment. Alteration conserves Fe (albeit oxidized) but requires addition of Al and H2O and removal of Mg and Si. The smectite that forms may be removed by continued alteration. Dehydration of the goethite forms hematite. Our purpose is to study the mineral assemblage, determine the structural and chemical variability of the components with respect to the degree of alteration, and to find spectral indicators of alteration that will be useful during in-situ analyses on Mars.

  7. Classification of Recombinant Biologics in the EU

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Klein, Kevin; De Bruin, Marie L; Broekmans, Andre W;

    2015-01-01

    BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: Biological medicinal products (biologics) are subject to specific pharmacovigilance requirements to ensure that biologics are identifiable by brand name and batch number in adverse drug reaction (ADR) reports. Since Member States collect ADR data at the national level be...

  8. Student Teachers' Conceptions of Teaching Biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Subramaniam, Karthigeyan

    2014-01-01

    The purpose of this qualitative study was to investigate prospective biology teachers' conceptions of teaching biology and identify how these conceptions revealed their strategies for helping their future students' learning of biology. The study utilized drawings, narratives and interviews to investigate the nature of the prospective biology…

  9. Biological effects of space radiation and development of effective countermeasures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kennedy, Ann R.

    2014-04-01

    As part of a program to assess the adverse biological effects expected from astronauts' exposure to space radiation, numerous different biological effects relating to astronauts' health have been evaluated. There has been major focus recently on the assessment of risks related to exposure to solar particle event (SPE) radiation. The effects related to various types of space radiation exposure that have been evaluated are: gene expression changes (primarily associated with programmed cell death and extracellular matrix (ECM) remodeling), oxidative stress, gastrointestinal tract bacterial translocation and immune system activation, peripheral hematopoietic cell counts, emesis, blood coagulation, skin, behavior/fatigue (including social exploration, submaximal exercise treadmill and spontaneous locomotor activity), heart functions, alterations in biological endpoints related to astronauts' vision problems (lumbar puncture/intracranial pressure, ocular ultrasound and histopathology studies), and survival, as well as long-term effects such as cancer and cataract development. A number of different countermeasures have been identified that can potentially mitigate or prevent the adverse biological effects resulting from exposure to space radiation.

  10. A review of the use of biological agents for chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyradiculoneuropathy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stübgen, Joerg-Patrick

    2013-03-15

    Chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP) is a group of idiopathic, acquired, immune-mediated inflammatory demyelinating diseases of the peripheral nervous system. A majority of patients with CIDP respond to "first-line" treatment with IVIG, plasmapheresis and/or corticosteroids. There exists insufficient evidence to ascertain the benefit of treatment with "conventional" immunosuppressive drugs. The inconsistent efficacy, long-term financial burden and health risks of non-specific immune altering therapy have drawn recurrent attention to the possible usefulness of a variety of biological agents that target key aspects in the CIDP immunopathogenic pathways. This review aims to give an updated account of the scientific rationale and potential use of biological therapeutics in patients with CIDP. No specific treatment recommendations are given. The discovery, development and application of biological markers by modern molecular diagnostic techniques may help identify drug-naïve or treatment-resistant CIDP patients most likely to respond to targeted immunotherapy.

  11. Identifying with Dexter

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Houwen Janna

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Many contemporary high quality TV series tend to enable identification with protagonists who engage in morally dubious or outright abject acts. This essay takes Showtime’s series Dexter as a pre-eminent and extreme example of this tendency, and explores how the viewer’s identification with the serial-killing protagonist of the show is constructed and altered throughout several seasons of the series. In order to analyze the specific relation between Dexter and its audience, this essay first examines the more general possibility television series to produce firm identification of viewers with protagonists by comparing the format of the television series to two media that can be understood as its predecessors: literature and film.

  12. Biological Databases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kaviena Baskaran

    2013-12-01

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

  13. Identifying Knowledge and Communication

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eduardo Coutinho Lourenço de Lima

    2006-12-01

    Full Text Available In this paper, I discuss how the principle of identifying knowledge which Strawson advances in ‘Singular Terms and Predication’ (1961, and in ‘Identifying Reference and Truth-Values’ (1964 turns out to constrain communication. The principle states that a speaker’s use of a referring expression should invoke identifying knowledge on the part of the hearer, if the hearer is to understand what the speaker is saying, and also that, in so referring, speakers are attentive to hearers’ epistemic states. In contrasting it with Russell’s Principle (Evans 1982, as well as with the principle of identifying descriptions (Donnellan 1970, I try to show that the principle of identifying knowledge, ultimately a condition for understanding, makes sense only in a situation of conversation. This allows me to conclude that the cooperative feature of communication (Grice 1975 and reference (Clark andWilkes-Gibbs 1986 holds also at the understanding level. Finally, I discuss where Strawson’s views seem to be unsatisfactory, and suggest how they might be improved.

  14. Genetic alterations and markers of melanoma

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N. N. Mazurenko

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Melanoma remains the most deadly form of malignant skin disease with high risk of metastases. Metastatic melanoma is prognostic highly unfavorable and resistant to traditional chemotherapy and biologic treatment. There is a great progress in understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying melanoma initiation and progression. The external (ultraviolet irradiation and internal (genetic factors are involved in melanoma genesis. 5–14 % of melanoma cases occur in familial context due to genetic predisposition risk factors. Among them rare germinal mutations in the cell cycle genes regulators CDKN2A and CDK4 and in the master gene of melanocyte homeostasis MITF, as well as single nucleotide polymorphisms of several low-penetrated genes, namely MC1R, have been identified. The main cell signaling pathways and oncogene driver mutations are involved in melanoma pathogenesis. RAS / RAF / MEK / ERK cascade is hyperactivated in 75 % of cutaneous melanoma cases. Activation of PI3K / AKT / mTOR signaling pathway is important for melanoma progression. Recent studies revealed that melanomas are genetically and phenotypically heterogeneous tumors. Spectrum of chromosomal alterations and activating mutations corresponding to tumor molecular portraits varies in melanomas of different location. Most of cutaneous melanomas contain BRAF (50 % or NRAS (20 % mutations, and NRAS mutations occur on chronically sun-exposed skin. Activating KIT mutations have been reported in approximately 20–30 % of certain subtypes of melanoma, including acral and mucosal, and melanoma that develop on photodamaged skin. Cutaneous metastatic melanoma derive from preexisting nevi in 25 % of cases, molecular mechanisms of nevi malignization are discussed. Deepsequencing approaches of melanoma samples of different melanoma types highlighted new melanoma driver genes, that are damaged due to tumorigenic effects of ultraviolet: PPP6C, RAC1, SNX31, TACC1 and STK19. The

  15. Identifying learning styles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hughes, Grace

    2016-12-14

    What was the nature of the CPD activity, practice-related feedback and/or event and/or experience in your practice? The article explored different learning styles and outlined some of the models that can be used to identify them. It discussed the limitations of these models, indicating that although they can be helpful in identifying a student's preferred learning style, this is not 'fixed' and might change over time. Learning is also influenced by other factors, such as culture and age.

  16. Biological biomaterials

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1997-05-01

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

  17. Phytochemicals Perturb Membranes and Promiscuously Alter Protein Function

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ingólfsson, Helgi I; Thakur, Pratima; Herold, Karl F; Hobart, E Ashley; Ramsey, Nicole B; Periole, Xavier; de Jong, Djurre H; Zwama, Martijn; Yilmaz, Duygu; Hall, Katherine; Maretzky, Thorsten; Hemmings, Hugh C; Blobel, Carl; Marrink, Siewert J; Kocer, Armagan; Sack, Jon T; Andersen, Olaf S

    2014-01-01

    A wide variety of phytochemicals are consumed for their perceived health benefits. Many of these phytochemicals have been found to alter numerous cell functions, but the mechanisms underlying their biological activity tend to be poorly understood. Phenolic phytochemicals are particularly promiscuous

  18. Warming can boost denitrification disproportionately due to altered oxygen dynamics

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Veraart, A.J.; Klein, de J.J.M.; Scheffer, M.

    2011-01-01

    Background - Global warming and the alteration of the global nitrogen cycle are major anthropogenic threats to the environment. Denitrification, the biological conversion of nitrate to gaseous nitrogen, removes a substantial fraction of the nitrogen from aquatic ecosystems, and can therefore help to

  19. Natural soil microbes alter flowering phenology and the intensity of selection on flowering time in a wild Arabidopsis relative.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wagner, Maggie R; Lundberg, Derek S; Coleman-Derr, Devin; Tringe, Susannah G; Dangl, Jeffery L; Mitchell-Olds, Thomas

    2014-06-01

    Plant phenology is known to depend on many different environmental variables, but soil microbial communities have rarely been acknowledged as possible drivers of flowering time. Here, we tested separately the effects of four naturally occurring soil microbiomes and their constituent soil chemistries on flowering phenology and reproductive fitness of Boechera stricta, a wild relative of Arabidopsis. Flowering time was sensitive to both microbes and the abiotic properties of different soils; varying soil microbiota also altered patterns of selection on flowering time. Thus, soil microbes potentially contribute to phenotypic plasticity of flowering time and to differential selection observed between habitats. We also describe a method to dissect the microbiome into single axes of variation that can help identify candidate organisms whose abundance in soil correlates with flowering time. This approach is broadly applicable to search for microbial community members that alter biological characteristics of interest.

  20. Identifying Nursing's Future Leaders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gunning, Carolyn S.; Hawken, Patty L.

    1990-01-01

    A study determined that encouraging and supporting students in professional activities while they were still in school would lead those students to participate in professional nursing organizations after they graduated. Organized nursing needs to identify the factors that influence nurses to join organizations and concentrate on these factors to…

  1. Identifying and Managing Risk.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abraham, Janice M.

    1999-01-01

    The role of the college or university chief financial officer in institutional risk management is (1) to identify risk (physical, casualty, fiscal, business, reputational, workplace safety, legal liability, employment practices, general liability), (2) to develop a campus plan to reduce and control risk, (3) to transfer risk, and (4) to track and…

  2. Melanoma biomolecules: independently identified but functionally intertwined.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dye, Danielle E; Medic, Sandra; Ziman, Mel; Coombe, Deirdre R

    2013-09-24

    The majority of patients diagnosed with melanoma present with thin lesions and generally these patients have a good prognosis. However, 5% of patients with early melanoma (CSPG4), and paired box 3 (PAX3). The goal is to provide context around what is known about the contribution of these biomarkers to melanoma biology and metastasis. Although each of these molecules have been independently identified as likely biomarkers, it is clear from our analyses that each are closely linked with each other, with intertwined roles in melanoma biology.

  3. Ovarian alterations in wild northern pike Esox lucius females.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zarski, Daniel; Rechulicz, Jacek; Krejszeff, Sławomir; Czarkowski, Tomasz K; Stańczak, Katarzyna; Palińska, Katarzyna; Gryzińska, Magdalena; Targońska, Katarzyna; Kozłowski, Krzysztof; Mamcarz, Andrzej; Hliwa, Piotr

    2013-09-24

    The aim of the present study was to analyse the occurrence of macroscopically visible ovary alterations in 2 populations of northern pike Esox lucius L. originating from lakes in the Mazurian Lake District (NE Poland). The alterations were characterised by ovary tissue that was morphologically malformed, in part or in whole, and contained immature oocytes, i.e. trophoplastic or previtellogenic oocytes instead of vitellogenic oocytes. These alterations were found only in the ovaries, and no morphological alterations of the testes were noted. Macroscopic and histological analyses were carried out in order to classify the observed alterations in the ovaries. Three types of alterations were identified in which morphological malformations as well as histological investigation of the ovaries were considered. An analysis of the size and age of the fish in relation to the occurrence of alterations as well as of the macroscopic and histological nature of the alteration types was made. The data obtained revealed no lake or age dependency of the observed alterations. Based on the results obtained, we suggest that the presence of endocrine disruptors in the environment or/and genetic factors could be responsible for these kinds of gonad anomalies. However, our results did not allow us to determine the aetiology of the alterations.

  4. Researchers Discover Plants Biological Clock

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    王全良

    1996-01-01

    Scientists who created glow-in-the-dark plants by shooting up seedlingswith firefly DNA have identified the first biological clock gene in plants. Discovery of the timepiece gene, which controls such biological rhythmsas daily leaf movements and proe openings, flower-blooming schedules andphotosynthesis cycles, could lead to a host of applications in ornamental horti-culture, agriculture and even human health. Many researchers believe that

  5. 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.

  6. Knowledge-making distinctions in synthetic biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Malley, Maureen A; Powell, Alexander; Davies, Jonathan F; Calvert, Jane

    2008-01-01

    Synthetic biology is an increasingly high-profile area of research that can be understood as encompassing three broad approaches towards the synthesis of living systems: DNA-based device construction, genome-driven cell engineering and protocell creation. Each approach is characterized by different aims, methods and constructs, in addition to a range of positions on intellectual property and regulatory regimes. We identify subtle but important differences between the schools in relation to their treatments of genetic determinism, cellular context and complexity. These distinctions tie into two broader issues that define synthetic biology: the relationships between biology and engineering, and between synthesis and analysis. These themes also illuminate synthetic biology's connections to genetic and other forms of biological engineering, as well as to systems biology. We suggest that all these knowledge-making distinctions in synthetic biology raise fundamental questions about the nature of biological investigation and its relationship to the construction of biological components and systems.

  7. The role of GRASPs in morphological alterations of Golgi apparatus: mechanisms and effects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ji, Guang; Ji, Hui; Mo, Xiaoye; Li, Ting; Yu, Yaduo; Hu, Zhiping

    2013-01-01

    The Golgi apparatus (GA) is a pivotal organelle in cell metabolism, functioning not only in the processing and transportation of cargoes but also in ion homeostasis, cell apoptosis, and stress sensing. We are interested in the intricate role of GA and the recently present novel concept of 'GA stress'. GA shows various morphological alterations in many neurodegenerative diseases and cell apoptosis induced by biochemical reagents, mechanisms in which oxidative stress is strongly involved. In turn, the structural changes and morphological alterations of the GA could also transduce stress signals. Therefore, besides the biochemical changes, more attention should be paid to the morphological alterations of the GA itself during pathological processes and diseases. The Golgi reassembly and stacking proteins (GRASPs) have been identified as important components acting in the transformation of Golgi structure, and they may thus affect the Golgi functions and cell behavior. In this review, we will discuss the intricate role of the GRASPs in remodeling the GA morphology and focus on their mechanisms and effects in the processes of Golgi stacking, mitosis, cell apoptosis, and cargo secretion. We would also like to provide a further prospective of their potential biological values in neurodegenerative diseases.

  8. Biological scaling and physics

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    A R P Rau

    2002-09-01

    Kleiber’s law in biology states that the specific metabolic rate (metabolic rate per unit mass) scales as -1/4 in terms of the mass of the organism. A long-standing puzzle is the (- 1/4) power in place of the usual expectation of (- 1/3) based on the surface to volume ratio in three-dimensions. While recent papers by physicists have focused exclusively on geometry in attempting to explain the puzzle, we consider here a specific law of physics that governs fluid flow to show how the (- 1/4) power arises under certain conditions. More generally, such a line of approach that identifies a specific physical law as involved and then examines the implications of a power law may illuminate better the role of physics in biology.

  9. Biological scaling and physics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rau, A R P

    2002-09-01

    Kleiber's law in biology states that the specific metabolic rate (metabolic rate per unit mass) scales as M- 1/4 in terms of the mass M of the organism. A long-standing puzzle is the (- 1/4) power in place of the usual expectation of (- 1/3) based on the surface to volume ratio in three-dimensions. While recent papers by physicists have focused exclusively on geometry in attempting to explain the puzzle, we consider here a specific law of physics that governs fluid flow to show how the (- 1/4) power arises under certain conditions. More generally, such a line of approach that identifies a specific physical law as involved and then examines the implications of a power law may illuminate better the role of physics in biology.

  10. Music alters visual perception.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jacob Jolij

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Visual perception is not a passive process: in order to efficiently process visual input, the brain actively uses previous knowledge (e.g., memory and expectations about what the world should look like. However, perception is not only influenced by previous knowledge. Especially the perception of emotional stimuli is influenced by the emotional state of the observer. In other words, how we perceive the world does not only depend on what we know of the world, but also by how we feel. In this study, we further investigated the relation between mood and perception. METHODS AND FINDINGS: We let observers do a difficult stimulus detection task, in which they had to detect schematic happy and sad faces embedded in noise. Mood was manipulated by means of music. We found that observers were more accurate in detecting faces congruent with their mood, corroborating earlier research. However, in trials in which no actual face was presented, observers made a significant number of false alarms. The content of these false alarms, or illusory percepts, was strongly influenced by the observers' mood. CONCLUSIONS: As illusory percepts are believed to reflect the content of internal representations that are employed by the brain during top-down processing of visual input, we conclude that top-down modulation of visual processing is not purely predictive in nature: mood, in this case manipulated by music, may also directly alter the way we perceive the world.

  11. Genetic Alterations in Glioma

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bralten, Linda B. C.; French, Pim J., E-mail: p.french@erasmusmc.nl [Department of Neurology, Erasmus University Medical Center, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Dr Molewaterplein 50, 3000 CA, Rotterdam (Netherlands)

    2011-03-07

    Gliomas are the most common type of primary brain tumor and have a dismal prognosis. Understanding the genetic alterations that drive glioma formation and progression may help improve patient prognosis by identification of novel treatment targets. Recently, two major studies have performed in-depth mutation analysis of glioblastomas (the most common and aggressive subtype of glioma). This systematic approach revealed three major pathways that are affected in glioblastomas: The receptor tyrosine kinase signaling pathway, the TP53 pathway and the pRB pathway. Apart from frequent mutations in the IDH1/2 gene, much less is known about the causal genetic changes of grade II and III (anaplastic) gliomas. Exceptions include TP53 mutations and fusion genes involving the BRAF gene in astrocytic and pilocytic glioma subtypes, respectively. In this review, we provide an update on all common events involved in the initiation and/or progression across the different subtypes of glioma and provide future directions for research into the genetic changes.

  12. Identifying Instability Pockets

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-12-04

    TYPE SAMS Monograph 3. DATES COVERED (From - To) FEB 2014 – DEC 2014 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE IDENTIFYING INSTABILITY POCKETS 5a. CONTRACT...century, and if the first few years of the new century are indicative of the future, Central Asia is surely destined to be a focus of the world...reasons. First, there is a possibility of the collapse and instability of Afghanistan once all the U.S troops vacate .107 This stability will most

  13. Epigenetic Alterations in Parathyroid Cancers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Verdelli, Chiara; Corbetta, Sabrina

    2017-01-01

    Parathyroid cancers (PCas) are rare malignancies representing approximately 0.005% of all cancers. PCas are a rare cause of primary hyperparathyroidism, which is the third most common endocrine disease, mainly related to parathyroid benign tumors. About 90% of PCas are hormonally active hypersecreting parathormone (PTH); consequently patients present with complications of severe hypercalcemia. Pre-operative diagnosis is often difficult due to clinical features shared with benign parathyroid lesions. Surgery provides the current best chance of cure, though persistent or recurrent disease occurs in about 50% of patients with PCas. Somatic inactivating mutations of CDC73/HRPT2 gene, encoding parafibromin, are the most frequent genetic anomalies occurring in PCas. Recently, the aberrant DNA methylation signature and microRNA expression profile have been identified in PCas, providing evidence that parathyroid malignancies are distinct entities from parathyroid benign lesions, showing an epigenetic signature resembling some embryonic aspects. The present paper reviews data about epigenetic alterations in PCas, up to now limited to DNA methylation, chromatin regulators and microRNA profile. PMID:28157158

  14. TCGA and Its Vital Role in Understanding the Landscape of Somatic Alterations in Cancer - TCGA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dr. Stephen Chanock, M.D., Director of the Division of Cancer Epidemiology & Genetics at the NCI, discusses how TCGA provides a strong foundation for understanding key biological alterations in cancer.

  15. Structural Biology Fact Sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  16. Identification of genes with altered expression in medullary breast cancer vs. ductal breast cancer and normal breast epithelia

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gjerstorff, Morten; Benoit, Vivian; Laenkholm, Anne-Vibeke

    2006-01-01

    to both immunological and endogenous cellular factors, although little is known about the distinct biology of MCB that may contribute to the improved outcome of MCB patients. To identify candidate genes, we performed gene array expression analysis of cell lines of MCB, ductal breast cancer and normal......Medullary breast cancer (MCB) is a morphologically and biologically distinct subtype that, despite cytologically highly malignant characteristics, has a favorable prognosis compared to the more common infiltrating ductal breast carcinoma. MCB metastasizes less frequently, which has been attributed......) gene families, Vav1, monoglyceride lipase and NADP+-dependent malic enzyme, exhibited altered expression in MCB vs. ductal breast cancer, and the differences for some of these genes were confirmed on an extended panel of cell lines by quantitative PCR. Immunohistochemical analysis further established...

  17. Identification of genes with altered expression in medullary breast cancer vs. ductal breast cancer and normal breast epithelia

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gjerstorff, Morten F; Benoit, Vivian M; Laenkholm, Anne-Vibeke;

    2006-01-01

    Medullary breast cancer (MCB) is a morphologically and biologically distinct subtype that, despite cytologically highly malignant characteristics, has a favorable prognosis compared to the more common infiltrating ductal breast carcinoma. MCB metastasizes less frequently, which has been attributed...... to both immunological and endogenous cellular factors, although little is known about the distinct biology of MCB that may contribute to the improved outcome of MCB patients. To identify candidate genes, we performed gene array expression analysis of cell lines of MCB, ductal breast cancer and normal......) gene families, Vav1, monoglyceride lipase and NADP+-dependent malic enzyme, exhibited altered expression in MCB vs. ductal breast cancer, and the differences for some of these genes were confirmed on an extended panel of cell lines by quantitative PCR. Immunohistochemical analysis further established...

  18. Genomic alterations detected by comparative genomic hybridization in ovarian endometriomas

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L.C. Veiga-Castelli

    2010-08-01

    Full Text Available Endometriosis is a complex and multifactorial disease. Chromosomal imbalance screening in endometriotic tissue can be used to detect hot-spot regions in the search for a possible genetic marker for endometriosis. The objective of the present study was to detect chromosomal imbalances by comparative genomic hybridization (CGH in ectopic tissue samples from ovarian endometriomas and eutopic tissue from the same patients. We evaluated 10 ovarian endometriotic tissues and 10 eutopic endometrial tissues by metaphase CGH. CGH was prepared with normal and test DNA enzymatically digested, ligated to adaptors and amplified by PCR. A second PCR was performed for DNA labeling. Equal amounts of both normal and test-labeled DNA were hybridized in human normal metaphases. The Isis FISH Imaging System V 5.0 software was used for chromosome analysis. In both eutopic and ectopic groups, 4/10 samples presented chromosomal alterations, mainly chromosomal gains. CGH identified 11q12.3-q13.1, 17p11.1-p12, 17q25.3-qter, and 19p as critical regions. Genomic imbalances in 11q, 17p, 17q, and 19p were detected in normal eutopic and/or ectopic endometrium from women with ovarian endometriosis. These regions contain genes such as POLR2G, MXRA7 and UBA52 involved in biological processes that may lead to the establishment and maintenance of endometriotic implants. This genomic imbalance may affect genes in which dysregulation impacts both eutopic and ectopic endometrium.

  19. Chromophore Deprotonation State Alters the Optical Properties of Blue Chromoprotein.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cheng-Yi Chiang

    Full Text Available Chromoproteins (CPs have unique colors and can be used in biological applications. In this work, a novel blue CP with a maximum absorption peak (λmax at 608 nm was identified from the carpet anemone Stichodactyla gigantea (sgBP. In vivo expression of sgBP in zebrafish would change the appearance of the fishes to have a blue color, indicating the potential biomarker function. To enhance the color properties, the crystal structure of sgBP at 2.25 Å resolution was determined to allow structure-based protein engineering. Among the mutations conducted in the Gln-Tyr-Gly chromophore and chromophore environment, a S157C mutation shifted the λmax to 604 nm with an extinction coefficient (ε of 58,029 M-1·cm-1 and darkened the blue color expression. The S157C mutation in the sgBP chromophore environment could affect the color expression by altering the deprotonation state of the phenolic group in the chromophore. Our results provide a structural basis for the blue color enhancement of the biomarker development.

  20. Simulating Biological and Non-Biological Motion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bruzzo, Angela; Gesierich, Benno; Wohlschlager, Andreas

    2008-01-01

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

  1. A Brief Introduction to Chinese Biological Biological

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2005-01-01

    Chinese Biological Abstracts sponsored by the Library, the Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, the Biological Documentation and Information Network, all of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, commenced publication in 1987 and was initiated to provide access to the Chinese information in the field of biology.

  2. Extraction of Mineral Alteration Zone from ETM+ Data in Northwestern Yunnan,China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Zhao Zhifang; Zhang Yujun; Cheng Qiuming; Chen Jianping

    2008-01-01

    Alteration is regarded as significant information for mineral exploration. In this study, ETM+ remote sensing data are used for recognizing and extracting alteration zones in northwestern Yunnan (云南), China. The principal component analysis (PCA) of ETM+ bands 1, 4, 5, and 7 was employed for OH- alteration extractions. The PCA of ETM+ bands 1, 3, 4, and 5 was used for extracting Fe2+ (Fe3+) alterations. Interfering factors, such as vegetation, snow, and shadows, were masked. Alteration components were defined in the principal components (PCs) by the contributions of their diagnostic spectral bands. The zones of alteration identified from remote sensing were analyzed in detail along with geological surveys and field verification. The results show that the OH" alteration is a main indicator of K-feldspar, phyllic, and prophilized alterations. These alterations are closely related to porphyry copper deposits. The Fe2+ (Fe3+) alteration indicates pyritization, which is mainly related to hydrothermal or skarn type polymetallic deposits.

  3. Altered metabolism of growth hormone receptor mutant mice: a combined NMR metabonomics and microarray study.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Horst Joachim Schirra

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Growth hormone is an important regulator of post-natal growth and metabolism. We have investigated the metabolic consequences of altered growth hormone signalling in mutant mice that have truncations at position 569 and 391 of the intracellular domain of the growth hormone receptor, and thus exhibit either low (around 30% maximum or no growth hormone-dependent STAT5 signalling respectively. These mutations result in altered liver metabolism, obesity and insulin resistance. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: The analysis of metabolic changes was performed using microarray analysis of liver tissue and NMR metabonomics of urine and liver tissue. Data were analyzed using multivariate statistics and Gene Ontology tools. The metabolic profiles characteristic for each of the two mutant groups and wild-type mice were identified with NMR metabonomics. We found decreased urinary levels of taurine, citrate and 2-oxoglutarate, and increased levels of trimethylamine, creatine and creatinine when compared to wild-type mice. These results indicate significant changes in lipid and choline metabolism, and were coupled with increased fat deposition, leading to obesity. The microarray analysis identified changes in expression of metabolic enzymes correlating with alterations in metabolite concentration both in urine and liver. Similarity of mutant 569 to the wild-type was seen in young mice, but the pattern of metabolites shifted to that of the 391 mutant as the 569 mice became obese after six months age. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The metabonomic observations were consistent with the parallel analysis of gene expression and pathway mapping using microarray data, identifying metabolites and gene transcripts involved in hepatic metabolism, especially for taurine, choline and creatinine metabolism. The systems biology approach applied in this study provides a coherent picture of metabolic changes resulting from impaired STAT5 signalling by the growth hormone

  4. Random Cell Identifiers Assignment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert Bestak

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Despite integration of advanced functions that enable Femto Access Points (FAPs to be deployed in a plug-and-play manner, the femtocell concept still cause several opened issues to be resolved. One of them represents an assignment of Physical Cell Identifiers (PCIs to FAPs. This paper analyses a random based assignment algorithm in LTE systems operating in diverse femtocell scenarios. The performance of the algorithm is evaluated by comparing the number of confusions for various femtocell densities, PCI ranges and knowledge of vicinity. Simulation results show that better knowledge of vicinity can significantly reduce the number of confusions events.

  5. Menstrual Cycle: Basic Biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hawkins, Shannon M.; Matzuk, Martin M.

    2010-01-01

    The basic biology of the menstrual cycle is a complex, coordinated sequence of events involving the hypothalamus, anterior pituitary, ovary, and endometrium. The menstrual cycle with all its complexities can be easily perturbed by environmental factors such as stress, extreme exercise, eating disorders, and obesity. Furthermore, genetic influences such as fragile X premutations (Chapter X), X chromosome abnormalities (Chapter X), and galactose-1-phosphate uridyltransferase (GALT) point mutations (galactosemia) also contribute to perturbations of the menstrual cycle. Although not perfect, mouse model have helped to identify and confirm additional components and pathways in menstrual cycle function and dysfunction in humans. PMID:18574203

  6. Microbial colonization and alteration of basaltic glass

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Einen

    2006-03-01

    Full Text Available Microorganisms have been reported to be associated with the alteration of the glassy margin of seafloor pillow basalts (Thorseth et al., 2001, 2003; Lysnes et al., 2004. The amount of iron and other biological important elements present in basalts and the vast abundance of basaltic glass in the earth's crust, make glass alteration an important process in global element cycling. To gain further insight into microbial communities associated with glass alteration, five microcosm experiments mimicking seafloor conditions were inoculated with seafloor basalt and incubated for one year. Mineral precipitations, microbial attachment to the glass and glass alteration were visualized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM, and the bacterial community composition was fingerprinted by PCR and denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE in combination with sequencing. SEM analysis revealed a microbial community with low morphological diversity of mainly biofilm associated and prosthecate microorganisms. Approximately 30 nm thick alteration rims developed on the glass in all microcosms after one year of incubation; this however was also seen in non inoculated controls. Calcium carbonate precipitates showed parallel, columnar and filamentous crystallization habits in the microcosms as well as in the sterile controls. DGGE analysis showed an alteration in bacterial community profiles in the five different microcosms, as a response to the different energy and redox regimes and time. In all microcosms a reduction in number of DGGE bands, in combination with an increase in cell abundance were recorded during the experiment. Sequence analysis showed that the microcosms were dominated by four groups of organisms with phylogenetic affiliation to four taxa: The Rhodospirillaceae, a family containing phototrophic marine organisms, in which some members are capable of heterotrophic growth in darkness and N2 fixation; the family Hyphomicrobiaceae, a group

  7. Microbial colonization and alteration of basaltic glass

    Science.gov (United States)

    Einen, J.; Kruber, C.; Øvreås, L.; Thorseth, I. H.; Torsvik, T.

    2006-03-01

    Microorganisms have been reported to be associated with the alteration of the glassy margin of seafloor pillow basalts (Thorseth et al., 2001, 2003; Lysnes et al., 2004). The amount of iron and other biological important elements present in basalts and the vast abundance of basaltic glass in the earth's crust, make glass alteration an important process in global element cycling. To gain further insight into microbial communities associated with glass alteration, five microcosm experiments mimicking seafloor conditions were inoculated with seafloor basalt and incubated for one year. Mineral precipitations, microbial attachment to the glass and glass alteration were visualized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and the bacterial community composition was fingerprinted by PCR and denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) in combination with sequencing. SEM analysis revealed a microbial community with low morphological diversity of mainly biofilm associated and prosthecate microorganisms. Approximately 30 nm thick alteration rims developed on the glass in all microcosms after one year of incubation; this however was also seen in non inoculated controls. Calcium carbonate precipitates showed parallel, columnar and filamentous crystallization habits in the microcosms as well as in the sterile controls. DGGE analysis showed an alteration in bacterial community profiles in the five different microcosms, as a response to the different energy and redox regimes and time. In all microcosms a reduction in number of DGGE bands, in combination with an increase in cell abundance were recorded during the experiment. Sequence analysis showed that the microcosms were dominated by four groups of organisms with phylogenetic affiliation to four taxa: The Rhodospirillaceae, a family containing phototrophic marine organisms, in which some members are capable of heterotrophic growth in darkness and N2 fixation; the family Hyphomicrobiaceae, a group of prosthecate oligotrophic

  8. Perception of biological motion in schizophrenia and healthy individuals: a behavioral and FMRI study.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jejoong Kim

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Anomalous visual perception is a common feature of schizophrenia plausibly associated with impaired social cognition that, in turn, could affect social behavior. Past research suggests impairment in biological motion perception in schizophrenia. Behavioral and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI experiments were conducted to verify the existence of this impairment, to clarify its perceptual basis, and to identify accompanying neural concomitants of those deficits. METHODOLOGY/FINDINGS: In Experiment 1, we measured ability to detect biological motion portrayed by point-light animations embedded within masking noise. Experiment 2 measured discrimination accuracy for pairs of point-light biological motion sequences differing in the degree of perturbation of the kinematics portrayed in those sequences. Experiment 3 measured BOLD signals using event-related fMRI during a biological motion categorization task. Compared to healthy individuals, schizophrenia patients performed significantly worse on both the detection (Experiment 1 and discrimination (Experiment 2 tasks. Consistent with the behavioral results, the fMRI study revealed that healthy individuals exhibited strong activation to biological motion, but not to scrambled motion in the posterior portion of the superior temporal sulcus (STSp. Interestingly, strong STSp activation was also observed for scrambled or partially scrambled motion when the healthy participants perceived it as normal biological motion. On the other hand, STSp activation in schizophrenia patients was not selective to biological or scrambled motion. CONCLUSION: Schizophrenia is accompanied by difficulties discriminating biological from non-biological motion, and associated with those difficulties are altered patterns of neural responses within brain area STSp. The perceptual deficits exhibited by schizophrenia patients may be an exaggerated manifestation of neural events within STSp associated with

  9. Experimental Alteration of Basalt to Support Interpretation of Remote Sensing and In Situ Meausrements from Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bell, M. S.

    2014-01-01

    Major occurrences of hydrous alteration minerals on Mars have been found in Noachian impact craters formed in basaltic targets and detected using visible/near infrared (VNIR) spectroscopy. Until recently phyllosilicates were detected only in craters in the southern hemisphere [1, 2]. However, it has been reported that at least nine craters in the northern plains apparently excavated thick layers of lava and sediment to expose phyllosilicates [3] as well. The MER (Mars Exploration Rovers) rovers previously reported results of in situ measurement indicating the presence of alteration minerals on Mars [4,5] and it was recently reported that the Mars Curiosity rover has detected alteration phases in situ at Yellowknife Bay in Gale crater as well [6,7]. An important discovery for Mars geochronology is that the Chemistry and Mineralogy (CheMin) x-ray diffraction (XRD) instrument on Curiosity detected phyllosilicates indicating that phyllosilicate formation on Mars extended beyond the Noachian Epoch [8]. These discoveries indicate that Mars was globally altered by water in the past but does not constrain formation conditions for alteration phase occurrences, which have important implications for the evolution of the surface and the biological potential on Mars. Understanding the alteration assemblages produced by a range of conditions is vital for the interpretation of phyllosilicate spectral signatures as well as in situ measurements and to decipher the environment and evolution of early Mars. The martian surface has been intensely altered by meteorite impacts whose effects include brecciation and melting of target materials as well as the initiation of hydrothermal circulation in a hydrous target [9,10,11,12]. Impact effects may facilitate aqueous alteration of a basaltic target because the rate of silicate dissolution is a function of the degree of crystallinity, surface area, and temperature. The resultant alteration mineralogies from shocked basaltic target material

  10. Molecular Biology and Prevention of Endometrial Cancer

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-07-01

    of the oral contraceptive pill (OCP). Project 1: Objectives completed and data previously submitted with 2004 report. Data published this past year...molecular aberrations associated with endometrial carcinogenesis and the biologic mechanisms underlying the protective effect of oral contraceptive (OC...not been altered appreciably. Despite the known protective effect of oral contraceptives , little has been learned regarding the underlying mechanism

  11. Fostering synergy between cell biology and systems biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-08-01

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

  12. MicroRNA Expression Profiling Altered by Variant Dosage of Radiation Exposure

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kuei-Fang Lee

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Various biological effects are associated with radiation exposure. Irradiated cells may elevate the risk for genetic instability, mutation, and cancer under low levels of radiation exposure, in addition to being able to extend the postradiation side effects in normal tissues. Radiation-induced bystander effect (RIBE is the focus of rigorous research as it may promote the development of cancer even at low radiation doses. Alterations in the DNA sequence could not explain these biological effects of radiation and it is thought that epigenetics factors may be involved. Indeed, some microRNAs (or miRNAs have been found to correlate radiation-induced damages and may be potential biomarkers for the various biological effects caused by different levels of radiation exposure. However, the regulatory role that miRNA plays in this aspect remains elusive. In this study, we profiled the expression changes in miRNA under fractionated radiation exposure in human peripheral blood mononuclear cells. By utilizing publicly available microRNA knowledge bases and performing cross validations with our previous gene expression profiling under the same radiation condition, we identified various miRNA-gene interactions specific to different doses of radiation treatment, providing new insights for the molecular underpinnings of radiation injury.

  13. Mutations in the catalytic loop HRD motif alter the activity and function of Drosophila Src64.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Taylor C Strong

    Full Text Available The catalytic loop HRD motif is found in most protein kinases and these amino acids are predicted to perform functions in catalysis, transition to, and stabilization of the active conformation of the kinase domain. We have identified mutations in a Drosophila src gene, src64, that alter the three HRD amino acids. We have analyzed the mutants for both biochemical activity and biological function during development. Mutation of the aspartate to asparagine eliminates biological function in cytoskeletal processes and severely reduces fertility, supporting the amino acid's critical role in enzymatic activity. The arginine to cysteine mutation has little to no effect on kinase activity or cytoskeletal reorganization, suggesting that the HRD arginine may not be critical for coordinating phosphotyrosine in the active conformation. The histidine to leucine mutant retains some kinase activity and biological function, suggesting that this amino acid may have a biochemical function in the active kinase that is independent of its side chain hydrogen bonding interactions in the active site. We also describe the phenotypic effects of other mutations in the SH2 and tyrosine kinase domains of src64, and we compare them to the phenotypic effects of the src64 null allele.

  14. Haploinsufficiency networks identify targetable patterns of allelic deficiency in low mutation ovarian cancer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delaney, Joe Ryan; Patel, Chandni B.; Willis, Katelyn McCabe; Haghighiabyaneh, Mina; Axelrod, Joshua; Tancioni, Isabelle; Lu, Dan; Bapat, Jaidev; Young, Shanique; Cadassou, Octavia; Bartakova, Alena; Sheth, Parthiv; Haft, Carley; Hui, Sandra; Saenz, Cheryl; Schlaepfer, David D.; Harismendy, Olivier; Stupack, Dwayne G.

    2017-01-01

    Identification of specific oncogenic gene changes has enabled the modern generation of targeted cancer therapeutics. In high-grade serous ovarian cancer (OV), the bulk of genetic changes is not somatic point mutations, but rather somatic copy-number alterations (SCNAs). The impact of SCNAs on tumour biology remains poorly understood. Here we build haploinsufficiency network analyses to identify which SCNA patterns are most disruptive in OV. Of all KEGG pathways (N=187), autophagy is the most significantly disrupted by coincident gene deletions. Compared with 20 other cancer types, OV is most severely disrupted in autophagy and in compensatory proteostasis pathways. Network analysis prioritizes MAP1LC3B (LC3) and BECN1 as most impactful. Knockdown of LC3 and BECN1 expression confers sensitivity to cells undergoing autophagic stress independent of platinum resistance status. The results support the use of pathway network tools to evaluate how the copy-number landscape of a tumour may guide therapy. PMID:28198375

  15. Lung adenocarcinoma of never smokers and smokers harbor differential regions of genetic alteration and exhibit different levels of genomic instability.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kelsie L Thu

    Full Text Available Recent evidence suggests that the observed clinical distinctions between lung tumors in smokers and never smokers (NS extend beyond specific gene mutations, such as EGFR, EML4-ALK, and KRAS, some of which have been translated into targeted therapies. However, the molecular alterations identified thus far cannot explain all of the clinical and biological disparities observed in lung tumors of NS and smokers. To this end, we performed an unbiased genome-wide, comparative study to identify novel genomic aberrations that differ between smokers and NS. High resolution whole genome DNA copy number profiling of 69 lung adenocarcinomas from smokers (n = 39 and NS (n = 30 revealed both global and regional disparities in the tumor genomes of these two groups. We found that NS lung tumors had a greater proportion of their genomes altered than those of smokers. Moreover, copy number gains on chromosomes 5q, 7p, and 16p occurred more frequently in NS. We validated our findings in two independently generated public datasets. Our findings provide a novel line of evidence distinguishing genetic differences between smoker and NS lung tumors, namely, that the extent of segmental genomic alterations is greater in NS tumors. Collectively, our findings provide evidence that these lung tumors are globally and genetically different, which implies they are likely driven by distinct molecular mechanisms.

  16. Cell biology perspectives in phage biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ansaldi, Mireille

    2012-01-01

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

  17. Dominating biological networks.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tijana Milenković

    Full Text Available Proteins are essential macromolecules of life that carry out most cellular processes. Since proteins aggregate to perform function, and since protein-protein interaction (PPI networks model these aggregations, one would expect to uncover new biology from PPI network topology. Hence, using PPI networks to predict protein function and role of protein pathways in disease has received attention. A debate remains open about whether network properties of "biologically central (BC" genes (i.e., their protein products, such as those involved in aging, cancer, infectious diseases, or signaling and drug-targeted pathways, exhibit some topological centrality compared to the rest of the proteins in the human PPI network.To help resolve this debate, we design new network-based approaches and apply them to get new insight into biological function and disease. We hypothesize that BC genes have a topologically central (TC role in the human PPI network. We propose two different concepts of topological centrality. We design a new centrality measure to capture complex wirings of proteins in the network that identifies as TC those proteins that reside in dense extended network neighborhoods. Also, we use the notion of domination and find dominating sets (DSs in the PPI network, i.e., sets of proteins such that every protein is either in the DS or is a neighbor of the DS. Clearly, a DS has a TC role, as it enables efficient communication between different network parts. We find statistically significant enrichment in BC genes of TC nodes and outperform the existing methods indicating that genes involved in key biological processes occupy topologically complex and dense regions of the network and correspond to its "spine" that connects all other network parts and can thus pass cellular signals efficiently throughout the network. To our knowledge, this is the first study that explores domination in the context of PPI networks.

  18. Tunable promoters in synthetic and systems biology

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dehli, Tore; Solem, Christian; Jensen, Peter Ruhdal

    2012-01-01

    in synthetic biology. A number of tools exist to manipulate the steps in between gene sequence and functional protein in living cells, but out of these the most straight-forward approach is to alter the gene expression level by manipulating the promoter sequence. Some of the promoter tuning tools available......Synthetic and systems biologists need standardized, modular and orthogonal tools yielding predictable functions in vivo. In systems biology such tools are needed to quantitatively analyze the behavior of biological systems while the efficient engineering of artificial gene networks is central...... for accomplishing such altered gene expression levels are discussed here along with examples of their use, and ideas for new tools are described. The road ahead looks very promising for synthetic and systems biologists as tools to achieve just about anything in terms of tuning and timing multiple gene expression...

  19. Cardiovascular toxicities of biological therapies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ryberg, Marianne

    2013-01-01

    The development of biological therapy is based on growing knowledge regarding the molecular changes required in cells for the development and progression of cancer to occur. Molecular targeted therapy is designed to inhibit the major molecular pathways identified as essential for a specific...

  20. Expanding the biological periodic table.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seravalli, Javier; Ragsdale, Stephen W

    2010-08-27

    Metal ions play an indispensable role in biology, enabling enzymes to perform their functions and lending support to the structures of numerous macromolecules. Despite their prevalence and importance, the metalloproteome is still relatively unexplored. Cvetkovic et al. (2010) now describe an approach to identify metalloproteins on a genome-wide scale.

  1. Genetic alteration in hepatocellular carcinoma

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kim, Yoo Chul; Kang, Tae Woong; Lee, Jin Oh [Korea Cancer Center Hospital of Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute, Seoul (Korea, Republic of)

    1994-12-01

    Cancer of stomach, colon and liver are a group of the most common cancer in Korea. However, results with current therapeutic modalities are still unsatisfactory. The intensive efforts have been made to understand basic pathogenesis and to find better therapeutic tools for the treatment of this miserable disease. We studied the alteration of tumor suppressor genes and oncogenes in hepatocellular carcinoma in Korea. We found that alteration of Rb gene, APC were 33 %, 13 % respectively. But alterations of oncogenes such as myc, ras and mdm2 were rarely found. Our results suggests that HBV may act as oncogenic role in hepatocarcinogenesis instead of oncogenes. 6 figs, 2 tabs. (Author).

  2. Epigenetic alterations in gastric carcinogenesis

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    In-Seon CHOI; Tsung-Teh WU

    2005-01-01

    Gastric cancer is believed to result in part from the accumulation of multiple genetic alterations leading to oncogene overexpression and tumor suppressor loss. Epigenetic alterations as a distinct and crucial mechanism to silence a variety of methylated tissue-specific and imprinted genes, have been extensively studied in gastric carcinoma and play important roles in gastric carcinogenesis. This review will briefly discuss the basic aspects of DNA methylation and CpG island methylation, in particular the epigenetic alterations of certain critical genes implicated in gastric carcinogenesis and its relevance of clinical implications.

  3. [Molecular biology of renal cancer: bases for genetic directed therapy in advanced disease].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maroto Rey, José Pablo; Cillán Narvaez, Elena

    2013-06-01

    There has been expansion of therapeutic options in the management of metastatic renal cell carcinoma due to a better knowledge of the molecular biology of kidney cancers. There are different tumors grouped under the term renal cell carcinoma, being clear cell cancer the most frequent and accounting for 80% of kidney tumors. Mutations in the Von Hippel-Lindau gene can be identified in up to 80% of sporadic clear cell cancer, linking a genetically inheritable disease where vascular tumors are frequent, with renal cell cancer. Other histologic types present specific alterations in molecular pathways, like c-MET in papillary type I tumors, and Fumarase Hydratase in papillary type II tumors. Identification of the molecular alteration for a specific tumor may offer an opportunity for treatment selection based on biomarkers, and, in the future, for developing an engineering designed genetic treatment.

  4. Postmenopausal osteoporosis - clinical, biological and histopathological aspects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pavel, Oana Roxana; Popescu, Mihaela; Novac, Liliana; Mogoantă, LaurenŢiu; Pavel, LaurenŢiu Petrişor; Vicaş, Răzvan Marius; Trăistaru, Magdalena Rodica

    2016-01-01

    Osteoporosis is one of the most common disorders in postmenopausal women, affecting the quality of life and increasing the risk for fractures in minor traumas. Changes in the bone microarchitecture causes static changes in the body and affects motility. In this study, we analyzed two groups of women, one with physiological menopause and one with surgically induced menopause. The diagnosis of osteoporosis was suspected based on the clinical symptoms and confirmed by assessing bone mineral density by the dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA). Comparing some clinical and biological aspects there was noted that a much higher percentage of women with surgically induced menopause exhibited increases in body mass index, changes in serum lipids, cholesterol, triglycerides, blood glucose, serum calcium, magnesemia and osteocalcin. In contrast, no significant differences were observed in the histopathological aspects of bone tissue examined from these two groups. In all patients, there was identified a significant reduction in the number of osteocytes and osteoblasts, the expansion of haversian channels, reducing the number of trabecular bone in the cancellous bone with wide areola cavities often full of adipose tissue, non-homogenous demineralization of both the compact bone and the cancellous bone, atrophy and even absence of the endosteal, and the presence of multiple microfractures. Our study showed that early surgically induced menopause more intensely alters the lipid, carbohydrate and mineral metabolism, thus favoring the onset of osteoporosis.

  5. Alterations in the nuclear proteome of HIV-1 infected T-cells

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    DeBoer, Jason [Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology, Creighton University, 2500 California Plaza, Omaha, NE 68178 (United States); Jagadish, Teena; Haverland, Nicole A. [Department of Pharmacology and Experimental Neuroscience, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE 68198 (United States); Madson, Christian J. [Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology, Creighton University, 2500 California Plaza, Omaha, NE 68178 (United States); Ciborowski, Pawel [Department of Pharmacology and Experimental Neuroscience, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE 68198 (United States); The Nebraska Center for Virology, University of Nebraska, Lincoln 68583 (United States); Belshan, Michael, E-mail: michaelbelshan@creighton.edu [Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology, Creighton University, 2500 California Plaza, Omaha, NE 68178 (United States); The Nebraska Center for Virology, University of Nebraska, Lincoln 68583 (United States)

    2014-11-15

    Virus infection of a cell involves the appropriation of host factors and the innate defensive response of the cell. The identification of proteins critical for virus replication may lead to the development of novel, cell-based inhibitors. In this study we mapped the changes in T-cell nuclei during human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) at 20 hpi. Using a stringent data threshold, a total of 13 and 38 unique proteins were identified in infected and uninfected cells, respectively, across all biological replicates. An additional 15 proteins were found to be differentially regulated between infected and control nuclei. STRING analysis identified four clusters of protein–protein interactions in the data set related to nuclear architecture, RNA regulation, cell division, and cell homeostasis. Immunoblot analysis confirmed the differential expression of several proteins in both C8166-45 and Jurkat E6-1 T-cells. These data provide a map of the response in host cell nuclei upon HIV-1 infection. - Highlights: • We identify changes in the expression of nuclear proteins during HIV-1 infection. • 163 nuclear proteins were found differentially regulated during HIV-1 infection. • Bioinformatic analysis identified several nuclear pathways altered by HIV infection. • Candidate factors were validated in two independent cell lines.

  6. Computational Modeling of Biological Systems From Molecules to Pathways

    CERN Document Server

    2012-01-01

    Computational modeling is emerging as a powerful new approach for studying and manipulating biological systems. Many diverse methods have been developed to model, visualize, and rationally alter these systems at various length scales, from atomic resolution to the level of cellular pathways. Processes taking place at larger time and length scales, such as molecular evolution, have also greatly benefited from new breeds of computational approaches. Computational Modeling of Biological Systems: From Molecules to Pathways provides an overview of established computational methods for the modeling of biologically and medically relevant systems. It is suitable for researchers and professionals working in the fields of biophysics, computational biology, systems biology, and molecular medicine.

  7. Grand challenges in space synthetic biology

    OpenAIRE

    Menezes, Amor A.; Montague, Michael G.; Cumbers, John; Hogan, John A.; Arkin, Adam P.

    2015-01-01

    Space synthetic biology is a branch of biotechnology dedicated to engineering biological systems for space exploration, industry and science. There is significant public and private interest in designing robust and reliable organisms that can assist on long-duration astronaut missions. Recent work has also demonstrated that such synthetic biology is a feasible payload minimization and life support approach as well. This article identifies the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead in the...

  8. Complement Activation Alters Platelet Function

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-12-01

    Award Number: W81XWH-12-1-0523 TITLE: Complement Activation Alters Platelet Function PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR: George Tsokos, M.D. CONTRACTING...Activation Alters Platelet Function 5a. CONTRACT NUMBER 5b. GRANT NUMBER W81XWH-12-1-0523 5c. PROGRAM ELEMENT NUMBER 6. AUTHOR(S) George Tsokos, M.D...a decreased level of disease. Further studies will expand upon these observations better outlining the function of platelets in the injury associated

  9. Biological warfare agents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pohanka, Miroslav; Kuca, Kamil

    2010-01-01

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

  10. Teaching biology with model organisms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keeley, Dolores A.

    The purpose of this study is to identify and use model organisms that represent each of the kingdoms biologists use to classify organisms, while experiencing the process of science through guided inquiry. The model organisms will be the basis for studying the four high school life science core ideas as identified by the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS): LS1-From molecules to organisms, LS2-Ecosystems, LS3- Heredity, and LS4- Biological Evolution. NGSS also have identified four categories of science and engineering practices which include developing and using models and planning and carrying out investigations. The living organisms will be utilized to increase student interest and knowledge within the discipline of Biology. Pre-test and posttest analysis utilizing student t-test analysis supported the hypothesis. This study shows increased student learning as a result of using living organisms as models for classification and working in an inquiry-based learning environment.

  11. The biology of melanoma prognostic factors.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Spatz, A.; Stock, N.; Batist, G.; Kempen, L.C.L.T. van

    2010-01-01

    Cutaneous melanoma still represents a paradox among all solid tumors. It is the cancer for which the best prognostic markers ever identified in solid tumors are available, yet there is very little understanding of their biological significance. This review focuses on recent biological data that shed

  12. Traceability of Biologics in The Netherlands

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Klein, Kevin; Scholl, Joep H G; Vermeer, Niels S;

    2016-01-01

    INTRODUCTION AND OBJECTIVE: Pharmacovigilance requirements for biologics mandate that EU Member States shall ensure that any biologic that is the subject of a suspected adverse drug reaction (ADR) is identifiable by brand name and batch number. Recent studies showed that brand name identification...

  13. Deciphering the biological effects of acupuncture treatment modulating multiple metabolism pathways.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Aihua; Yan, Guangli; Sun, Hui; Cheng, Weiping; Meng, Xiangcai; Liu, Li; Xie, Ning; Wang, Xijun

    2016-02-16

    Acupuncture is an alternative therapy that is widely used to treat various diseases. However, detailed biological interpretation of the acupuncture stimulations is limited. We here used metabolomics and proteomics technology, thereby identifying the serum small molecular metabolites into the effect and mechanism pathways of standardized acupuncture treatments at 'Zusanli' acupoint which was the most often used acupoint in previous reports. Comprehensive overview of serum metabolic profiles during acupuncture stimulation was investigated. Thirty-four differential metabolites were identified in serum metabolome and associated with ten metabolism pathways. Importantly, we have found that high impact glycerophospholipid metabolism, fatty acid metabolism, ether lipid metabolism were acutely perturbed by acupuncture stimulation. As such, these alterations may be useful to clarify the biological mechanism of acupuncture stimulation. A series of differentially expressed proteins were identified and such effects of acupuncture stimulation were found to play a role in transport, enzymatic activity, signaling pathway or receptor interaction. Pathway analysis further revealed that most of these proteins were found to play a pivotal role in the regulation of multiple metabolism pathways. It demonstrated that the metabolomics coupled with proteomics as a powerful approach for potential applications in understanding the biological effects of acupuncture stimulation.

  14. 41 CFR 102-74.145 - What information must a Federal agency submit to GSA after the agency has identified a need for...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... Federal agency submit to GSA after the agency has identified a need for construction or alteration of a... the agency has identified a need for construction or alteration of a public building? Federal agencies identifying a need for construction or alteration of a public building must provide information, such as...

  15. Epigenetic Alterations Associated with War Trauma and Childhood Maltreatment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramo-Fernández, Laura; Schneider, Anna; Wilker, Sarah; Kolassa, Iris-Tatjana

    2015-10-01

    Survivors of war trauma or childhood maltreatment are at increased risk for trauma-spectrum disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In addition, traumatic stress has been associated with alterations in the neuroendocrine and the immune system, enhancing the risk for physical diseases. Traumatic experiences might even affect psychological as well as biological parameters in the next generation, i.e. traumatic stress might have transgenerational effects. This article outlines how epigenetic processes, which represent a pivotal biological mechanism for dynamic adaptation to environmental challenges, might contribute to the explanation of the long-lasting and transgenerational effects of trauma. In particular, epigenetic alterations in genes regulating the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis as well as the immune system have been observed in survivors of childhood and adult trauma. These changes could result in enduring alterations of the stress response as well as the physical health risk. Furthermore, the effects of parental trauma could be transmitted to the next generation by parental distress and the pre- and postnatal environment, as well as by epigenetic marks transmitted via the germline. While epigenetic research has a high potential of advancing our understanding of the consequences of trauma, the findings have to be interpreted with caution, as epigenetics only represent one piece of a complex puzzle of interacting biological and environmental factors. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  16. Industrial systems biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Otero, José Manuel; Nielsen, Jens

    2010-02-15

    The chemical industry is currently undergoing a dramatic change driven by demand for developing more sustainable processes for the production of fuels, chemicals, and materials. In biotechnological processes different microorganisms can be exploited, and the large diversity of metabolic reactions represents a rich repository for the design of chemical conversion processes that lead to efficient production of desirable products. However, often microorganisms that produce a desirable product, either naturally or because they have been engineered through insertion of heterologous pathways, have low yields and productivities, and in order to establish an economically viable process it is necessary to improve the performance of the microorganism. Here metabolic engineering is the enabling technology. Through metabolic engineering the metabolic landscape of the microorganism is engineered such that there is an efficient conversion of the raw material, typically glucose, to the product of interest. This process may involve both insertion of new enzymes activities, deletion of existing enzyme activities, but often also deregulation of existing regulatory structures operating in the cell. In order to rapidly identify the optimal metabolic engineering strategy the industry is to an increasing extent looking into the use of tools from systems biology. This involves both x-ome technologies such as transcriptome, proteome, metabolome, and fluxome analysis, and advanced mathematical modeling tools such as genome-scale metabolic modeling. Here we look into the history of these different techniques and review how they find application in industrial biotechnology, which will lead to what we here define as industrial systems biology.

  17. A test of biological trait analysis with nematodes and an anthropogenic stressor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitwally, Hanan M; Fleeger, John W

    2016-03-01

    Aquatic ecosystems are fundamentally altered by nutrient enrichment, and effective monitoring tools are needed to detect biological responses especially in the early stages of eutrophication. We tested the utility of biological trait analysis (BTA) to quantify the temporal responses of nematodes inhabiting salt marsh creeks that were experimentally enriched with nutrients for 6 years. Feeding, body shape, and tail shape traits were characterized on >6000 nematodes from annual samples from enriched and non-enriched sites. Here, we ask if trait combinations are more effective than single traits in detecting the magnitude and rate of change. We also sought to identify combinations of traits that best distinguish natural from nutrient-induced variation. BTA revealed that feeding, body shape, and all traits combined equally detected the response to nutrient enrichment. Compared to single traits however, BTAs were more sensitive to temporal trends and better distinguished natural variation from the response to nutrient enrichment. Tail shape traits (that might respond to altered sediment texture or geochemistry) were not affected by enrichment, and feeding traits yielded the greatest difference between enriched and reference communities indicating that changes in food resources drove responses. Feeding traits provided the highest quality information content in our study, and the use of feeding traits alone may adequately identify anthropogenic effects in many studies. However, we caution that body shape, tail shape, and feeding traits were strongly interrelated at our study site, and a diversity of trait groups may increase the information content of BTAs in more diverse habitats.

  18. Alterations in Cell Signaling Pathways in Breast Cancer Cells after Environmental Exposure

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kulp, K; McCutcheon-Maloney, S M; Bennett, L M

    2003-02-01

    Recent human epidemiological studies suggest that up to 75% of human cancers can be attributed to environmental exposures. Understanding the biologic impact of being exposed to a lifetime of complex environmental mixtures that may not be fully characterized is currently a major challenge. Functional endpoints may be used to assess the gross health consequences of complex mixture exposures from groundwater contamination, superfund sites, biologic releases, or nutritional sources. Such endpoints include the stimulation of cell growth or the induction of a response in an animal model. An environmental exposure that upsets normal cell growth regulation may have important ramifications for cancer development. Stimulating cell growth may alter an individual's cancer risk by changing the expression of genes and proteins that have a role in growth regulatory pathways within cells. Modulating the regulation of these genes and their products may contribute to the initiation, promotion or progression of disease in response to environmental exposure. We are investigating diet-related compounds that induce cell proliferation in breast cancer cell lines. These compounds, PhIP, Flor-Essence{reg_sign} and Essiac{reg_sign}, may be part of an everyday diet. PhIP is a naturally occurring mutagen that is formed in well-cooked muscle meats. PhIP consistently causes dose-dependent breast tumor formation in rats and consumption of well-done meat has been linked to increased risk of breast cancer in women. Flor-Essence{reg_sign} and Essiac{reg_sign} herbal tonics are complementary and alternative medicines used by women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer as an alternative therapy for disease treatment and prevention. The long-term goal of this work is to identify those cellular pathways that are altered by a chemical or biologic environmental exposure and understand how those changes correlate with and or predict changes in human health risk. This project addressed this goal

  19. Human strongyloidiasis: identifying knowledge gaps, with emphasis on environmental control

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Taylor MJ

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Michael J Taylor, Tara A Garrard, Francis J O'Donahoo, Kirstin E Ross Health and Environment, School of the Environment, Flinders University, Adelaide, SA, Australia Abstract: Strongyloides is a human parasitic nematode that is poorly understood outside a clinical context. This article identifies gaps within the literature, with particular emphasis on gaps that are hindering environmental control of Strongyloides. The prevalence and distribution of Strongyloides is unclear. An estimate of 100–370 million people infected worldwide has been proposed; however, inaccuracy of diagnosis, unreliability of prevalence mapping, and the fact that strongyloidiasis remains a neglected disease suggest that the higher figure of more than 300 million cases is likely to be a more accurate estimate. The complexity of Strongyloides life cycle means that laboratory cultures cannot be maintained outside of a host. This currently limits the range of laboratory-based research, which is vital to controlling Strongyloides through environmental alteration or treatment. Successful clinical treatment with antihelminthic drugs has meant that controlling Strongyloides through environmental control, rather than clinical intervention, has been largely overlooked. These control measures may encompass alteration of the soil environment through physical means, such as desiccation or removal of nutrients, or through chemical or biological agents. Repeated antihelminthic treatment of individuals with recurrent strongyloidiasis has not been observed to result in the selection of resistant strains; however, this has not been explicitly demonstrated, and relying on such assumptions in the long-term may prove to be shortsighted. It is ultimately naive to assume that continued administration of antihelminthics will be without any negative long-term effects. In Australia, strongyloidiasis primarily affects Indigenous communities, including communities from arid central Australia. This

  20. Biology of Schwann cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kidd, Grahame J; Ohno, Nobuhiko; Trapp, Bruce D

    2013-01-01

    The fundamental roles of Schwann cells during peripheral nerve formation and regeneration have been recognized for more than 100 years, but the cellular and molecular mechanisms that integrate Schwann cell and axonal functions continue to be elucidated. Derived from the embryonic neural crest, Schwann cells differentiate into myelinating cells or bundle multiple unmyelinated axons into Remak fibers. Axons dictate which differentiation path Schwann cells follow, and recent studies have established that axonal neuregulin1 signaling via ErbB2/B3 receptors on Schwann cells is essential for Schwann cell myelination. Extracellular matrix production and interactions mediated by specific integrin and dystroglycan complexes are also critical requisites for Schwann cell-axon interactions. Myelination entails expansion and specialization of the Schwann cell plasma membrane over millimeter distances. Many of the myelin-specific proteins have been identified, and transgenic manipulation of myelin genes have provided novel insights into myelin protein function, including maintenance of axonal integrity and survival. Cellular events that facilitate myelination, including microtubule-based protein and mRNA targeting, and actin based locomotion, have also begun to be understood. Arguably, the most remarkable facet of Schwann cell biology, however, is their vigorous response to axonal damage. Degradation of myelin, dedifferentiation, division, production of axonotrophic factors, and remyelination all underpin the substantial regenerative capacity of the Schwann cells and peripheral nerves. Many of these properties are not shared by CNS fibers, which are myelinated by oligodendrocytes. Dissecting the molecular mechanisms responsible for the complex biology of Schwann cells continues to have practical benefits in identifying novel therapeutic targets not only for Schwann cell-specific diseases but other disorders in which axons degenerate.

  1. Biological conversion system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scott, C.D.

    A system for bioconversion of organic material comprises a primary bioreactor column wherein a biological active agent (zymomonas mobilis) converts the organic material (sugar) to a product (alcohol), a rejuvenator column wherein the biological activity of said biological active agent is enhanced, and means for circulating said biological active agent between said primary bioreactor column and said rejuvenator column.

  2. Effect of single-point sequence alterations on the aggregationpropensity of a model protein

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bratko, Dusan; Cellmer, Troy; Prausnitz, John M.; Blanch, Harvey W.

    2005-10-07

    Sequences of contemporary proteins are believed to have evolved through process that optimized their overall fitness including their resistance to deleterious aggregation. Biotechnological processing may expose therapeutic proteins to conditions that are much more conducive to aggregation than those encountered in a cellular environment. An important task of protein engineering is to identify alternative sequences that would protect proteins when processed at high concentrations without altering their native structure associated with specific biological function. Our computational studies exploit parallel tempering simulations of coarse-grained model proteins to demonstrate that isolated amino-acid residue substitutions can result in significant changes in the aggregation resistance of the protein in a crowded environment while retaining protein structure in isolation. A thermodynamic analysis of protein clusters subject to competing processes of folding and association shows that moderate mutations can produce effects similar to those caused by changes in system conditions, including temperature, concentration, and solvent composition that affect the aggregation propensity. The range of conditions where a protein can resist aggregation can therefore be tuned by sequence alterations although the protein generally may retain its generic ability for aggregation.

  3. [Neurocutaneous syndrome with hair alterations].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Camacho-Martínez, F

    1997-09-01

    There are multiple neurocutaneous syndromes that may show hair alterations such as the interglabellar peak or 'widow's peak', which is an alteration of the hair implantation, in addition to the genohypotrichosis, hypertrichosis and hair shaft dysplasias. In this chapter we will focus on the latter. Out of the unspecific hair shaft dysplasias the only ones showing neurological alterations are trichorrhexis invaginata, observed in the syndrome of Netherton. Among the specific dysplasias we would like to point out monilethrix, and very especially the moniliform hair syndrome, the trichorrhexis nodosa, the pili torti and trichotiodystrophy. The latter is actually a group of syndromes which associates a series of diverse symptoms that have in common hair brittleness, fertility problems and physical and mental retardation, and they constitute the basic syndrome know as 'BIDS syndrome.

  4. Grand challenges in space synthetic biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Menezes, Amor A; Montague, Michael G; Cumbers, John; Hogan, John A; Arkin, Adam P

    2015-12-06

    Space synthetic biology is a branch of biotechnology dedicated to engineering biological systems for space exploration, industry and science. There is significant public and private interest in designing robust and reliable organisms that can assist on long-duration astronaut missions. Recent work has also demonstrated that such synthetic biology is a feasible payload minimization and life support approach as well. This article identifies the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead in the field of space synthetic biology, while highlighting relevant progress. It also outlines anticipated broader benefits from this field, because space engineering advances will drive technological innovation on Earth.

  5. Synthetic biology: insights into biological computation.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-18

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

  6. Translational environmental biology: cell biology informing conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Traylor-Knowles, Nikki; Palumbi, Stephen R

    2014-05-01

    Typically, findings from cell biology have been beneficial for preventing human disease. However, translational applications from cell biology can also be applied to conservation efforts, such as protecting coral reefs. Recent efforts to understand the cell biological mechanisms maintaining coral health such as innate immunity and acclimatization have prompted new developments in conservation. Similar to biomedicine, we urge that future efforts should focus on better frameworks for biomarker development to protect coral reefs.

  7. ascatNgs: Identifying Somatically Acquired Copy-Number Alterations from Whole-Genome Sequencing Data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raine, Keiran M; Van Loo, Peter; Wedge, David C; Jones, David; Menzies, Andrew; Butler, Adam P; Teague, Jon W; Tarpey, Patrick; Nik-Zainal, Serena; Campbell, Peter J

    2016-12-08

    We have developed ascatNgs to aid researchers in carrying out Allele-Specific Copy number Analysis of Tumours (ASCAT). ASCAT is capable of detecting DNA copy number changes affecting a tumor genome when comparing to a matched normal sample. Additionally, the algorithm estimates the amount of tumor DNA in the sample, known as Aberrant Cell Fraction (ACF). ASCAT itself is an R-package which requires the generation of many file types. Here, we present a suite of tools to help handle this for the user. Our code is available on our GitHub site (https://github.com/cancerit). This unit describes both 'one-shot' execution and approaches more suitable for large-scale compute farms. © 2016 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

  8. The diverse heterogeneity of molecular alterations in prostate cancer identified through next-generation sequencing

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Alexander W Wyatt; Fan Mo; Yuzhuo Wang; Colin C Collins

    2013-01-01

    Prostate cancer is a leading cause of global cancer-related death but attempts to improve diagnoses and develop novel therapies have been confounded by significant patient heterogeneity.In recent years,the application of next-generation sequencing to hundreds of prostate tumours has defined novel molecular subtypes and characterized extensive genomic aberration underlying disease initiation and progression.It is now clear that the heterogeneity observed in the clinic is underpinned by a molecular landscape rife with complexity,where genomic rearrangements and rare mutations combine to amplify transcriptomic diversity.This review dissects our current understanding of prostate cancer ‘omics',including the sentinel role of copy number variation,the growing spectrum of oncogenic fusion genes,the potential influence of chromothripsis,and breakthroughs in defining mutation-associated subtypes.Increasing evidence suggests that genomic lesions frequently converge on specific cellular functions and signalling pathways,yet recurrent gene aberration appears rare.Therefore,it is critical that we continue to define individual tumour genomes,especially in the context of their expressed transcriptome.Only through improved characterisation of tumour to tumour variability can we advance to an age of precision therapy and personalized oncology.

  9. Structural health monitoring (vibration) as a tool for identifying structural alterations of the lumbar spine

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kawchuk, Gregory N; Hartvigsen, Jan; Edgecombe, Tiffany

    2016-01-01

    concordant or discordant. Vibration was then applied to each subject's spine and the resulting response recorded from sensors overlying lumbar spinous processes. The peak frequency, area under the curve and the root mean square were computed from the frequency response function of each sensor. Statistical...

  10. Computational Systems Chemical Biology

    OpenAIRE

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

    2011-01-01

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

  11. Zebrafish phenotypic screen identifies novel Notch antagonists.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Velaithan, Vithya; Okuda, Kazuhide Shaun; Ng, Mei Fong; Samat, Norazwana; Leong, Sze Wei; Faudzi, Siti Munirah Mohd; Abas, Faridah; Shaari, Khozirah; Cheong, Sok Ching; Tan, Pei Jean; Patel, Vyomesh

    2017-04-01

    Zebrafish represents a powerful in vivo model for phenotype-based drug discovery to identify clinically relevant small molecules. By utilizing this model, we evaluated natural product derived compounds that could potentially modulate Notch signaling that is important in both zebrafish embryogenesis and pathogenic in human cancers. A total of 234 compounds were screened using zebrafish embryos and 3 were identified to be conferring phenotypic alterations similar to embryos treated with known Notch inhibitors. Subsequent secondary screens using HEK293T cells overexpressing truncated Notch1 (HEK293TΔE) identified 2 compounds, EDD3 and 3H4MB, to be potential Notch antagonists. Both compounds reduced protein expression of NOTCH1, Notch intracellular domain (NICD) and hairy and enhancer of split-1 (HES1) in HEK293TΔE and downregulated Notch target genes. Importantly, EDD3 treatment of human oral cancer cell lines demonstrated reduction of Notch target proteins and genes. EDD3 also inhibited proliferation and induced G0/G1 cell cycle arrest of ORL-150 cells through inducing p27(KIP1). Our data demonstrates the utility of the zebrafish phenotypic screen and identifying EDD3 as a promising Notch antagonist for further development as a novel therapeutic agent.

  12. On the relationship between sloppiness and identifiability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chis, Oana-Teodora; Villaverde, Alejandro F; Banga, Julio R; Balsa-Canto, Eva

    2016-12-01

    Dynamic models of biochemical networks are often formulated as sets of non-linear ordinary differential equations, whose states are the concentrations or abundances of the network components. They typically have a large number of kinetic parameters, which must be determined by calibrating the model with experimental data. In recent years it has been suggested that dynamic systems biology models are universally sloppy, meaning that the values of some parameters can be perturbed by several orders of magnitude without causing significant changes in the model output. This observation has prompted calls for focusing on model predictions rather than on parameters. In this work we examine the concept of sloppiness, investigating its links with the long-established notions of structural and practical identifiability. By analysing a set of case studies we show that sloppiness is not equivalent to lack of identifiability, and that sloppy models can be identifiable. Thus, using sloppiness to draw conclusions about the possibility of estimating parameter values can be misleading. Instead, structural and practical identifiability analyses are better tools for assessing the confidence in parameter estimates. Furthermore, we show that, when designing new experiments to decrease parametric uncertainty, designs that optimize practical identifiability criteria are more informative than those that minimize sloppiness.

  13. Electrostatic thin film chemical and biological sensor

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prelas, Mark A.; Ghosh, Tushar K.; Tompson, Jr., Robert V.; Viswanath, Dabir; Loyalka, Sudarshan K.

    2010-01-19

    A chemical and biological agent sensor includes an electrostatic thin film supported by a substrate. The film includes an electrostatic charged surface to attract predetermined biological and chemical agents of interest. A charge collector associated with said electrostatic thin film collects charge associated with surface defects in the electrostatic film induced by the predetermined biological and chemical agents of interest. A preferred sensing system includes a charge based deep level transient spectroscopy system to read out charges from the film and match responses to data sets regarding the agents of interest. A method for sensing biological and chemical agents includes providing a thin sensing film having a predetermined electrostatic charge. The film is exposed to an environment suspected of containing the biological and chemical agents. Quantum surface effects on the film are measured. Biological and/or chemical agents can be detected, identified and quantified based on the measured quantum surface effects.

  14. [Biologism controversy: ethical implications for psychiatry].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stier, M; Muders, S; Rüther, M; Schöne-Seifert, B

    2013-10-01

    Current biological psychiatry, it is frequently claimed by its opponents, is "biologistic" and unduly narrows psychological disorders to neurobiology and molecular biology. They deem a complete neuroscientific reduction of the mental phenomena to be impossible because of the impossibility of reducing certain phenomena, such as the individual subjective experience. If such a reduction is nevertheless undertaken it is ultimately to the disadvantage of the patients. We argue in this article that the very term "biologism" has to be put under scrutiny in the first place. As a result it becomes obvious that "biologism", as a subclass of "philosophical naturalism", is ultimately quite unproblematic. Biologism is dangerous only if it implies an eliminative rejection or an inappropriate underestimation of the relevance of the psyche. On closer examination it gets evident that such implications do not follow necessarily from biologism but cannot be precluded either. To better identify and possibly prevent such dangers, a more differentiated terminology seems helpful.

  15. Identifying pelagic ecosystem indicators for management

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Trenkel, Verena; Hintzen, Niels; Rindorf, Anna

    2013-01-01

    to pelagic fisheries to further explore the setting of management objectives. The objectives were identified through a participatory process including industry, management, scientist and NGO representatives. These objectives were used to identify appropriate driver, pressure and state indicators. The links......When exploiting fish populations under the ecosystem approach, aiming for MSY is not necessarily sufficient to ensure wider ecosystem sustainability. All of the large stocks of pelagic fish are managed through harvest control rules based on an MSY approach. Ensuring good environmental status...... will probably require further constraints to be imposed by management. Most of the current paradigm with regards to GES for fisheries has been based on demersal fish. Pelagic fisheries and fish are operationally and biologically respectively different. We use the example of applying the ecosystem approach...

  16. Art as Alterity in Education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Guoping

    2014-01-01

    In education, art has often been perceived as entertainment and decoration and is the first subject to go when there are budget cuts or test-score pressures. Drawing on Emmanuel Lévinas's idea of the primacy of radical alterity that breaks the totality of our being, enables self-transformation and ethics, and ensures community as a totality…

  17. Sequencing of neuroblastoma identifies chromothripsis and defects in neuritogenesis genes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    J. Molenaar (Jan); J. Koster (Jan); D. Zwijnenburg (Danny); P. van Sluis (Peter); L.J. Valentijn (Linda); I. van der Ploeg (Ida); M. Hamdi (Mohamed); J. van Nes (Johan); B.A. Westerman (Bart); J. van Arkel (Jennemiek); M.E. Ebus; F. Haneveld (Franciska); A. Lakeman (Arjan); L. Schild (Linda); P. Molenaar (Piet); P. Stroeken (Peter); M.M. van Noesel (Max); I. Øra (Ingrid); J.P. di Santo (James); H.N. Caron (Huib); E.M. Westerhout (Ellen); R. Versteeg (Rogier)

    2012-01-01

    textabstractNeuroblastoma is a childhood tumour of the peripheral sympathetic nervous system. The pathogenesis has for a long time been quite enigmatic, as only very few gene defects were identified in this often lethal tumour. Frequently detected gene alterations are limited to MYCN amplification (

  18. Modelling glass alteration in an altered argillaceous environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bildstein, O.; Trotignon, L.; Pozo, C.; Jullien, M.

    2007-05-01

    The long term behaviour of materials such as glass, steel and clay has been investigated in the context of deep geological disposal of radioactive wastes. The interactions between vitrified wastes, canister corrosion products (CPs) and clay are studied using a modified version of the reaction-transport code Crunch, especially looking at pH changes and possible cementation at the interface with the clayey materials. These perturbations may indeed affect the lifetime of glass matrix in deep repositories, e.g., high pH enhances the rate of glass alteration. This work focuses on the argillite of Bure. The calculations were performed at 323 K with a glass alteration rate switching from a high initial rate to a residual rate according to the sorption capacity of CPs. The time at which this sorption capacity is saturated is crucial to the system in terms of wastes package lifetime. The results show that the glass alteration imposes a high pH value at the interface with CPs and clay: up to a value of 9.2, compared to 7.3 which is the initial pH value in the argillite. Experimental data show that the rate of glass alteration is much higher in such pH conditions. For a R7T7-type glass, the rate is about five times higher at pH 9 than at pH 7. This pH perturbation migrates through the clayey domain as a result of the migration of mobile elements such as boron and sodium, and despite the existence of strong pH buffers in the argillite. The cementation of porosity at the interface between glass and clay is predicted by the model due to the massive precipitation of iron corrosion products and glass alteration products. At this point of the evolution of the system, the pH starts to decrease and the alteration rate of the glass could be significantly reduced. This porosity clogging effect is difficult to confirm by experiments especially since existing data on short term experiments tend to show a pervasive precipitation of silica in the domain instead of a localized precipitation

  19. Development as adaptation: a paradigm for gravitational and space biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alberts, Jeffrey R.; Ronca, April E.

    2005-01-01

    Adaptation is a central precept of biology; it provides a framework for identifying functional significance. We equate mammalian development with adaptation, by viewing the developmental sequence as a series of adaptations to a stereotyped sequence of habitats. In this way development is adaptation. The Norway rat is used as a mammalian model, and the sequence of habitats that is used to define its adaptive-developmental sequence is (a) the uterus, (b) the mother's body, (c) the huddle, and (d) the coterie of pups as they gain independence. Then, within this framework and in relation to each of the habitats, we consider problems of organismal responses to altered gravitational forces (micro-g to hyper-g), especially those encountered during space flight and centrifugation. This approach enables a clearer identification of simple "effects" and active "responses" with respect to gravity. It focuses our attention on functional systems and brings to the fore the manner in which experience shapes somatic adaptation. We argue that this basic developmental approach is not only central to basic issues in gravitational biology, but that it provides a natural tool for understanding the underlying processes that are vital to astronaut health and well-being during long duration flights that will involve adaptation to space flight conditions and eventual re-adaptation to Earth's gravity.

  20. Novel and highly recurrent chromosomal alterations in Sezary syndrome

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vermeer, Maarten H.; van Doorn, Remco; Dijkman, Remco; Mao, Xin; Whittaker, Sean; Vader, Pieter C. van Voorst; Gerritsen, Marie-Jeanne P.; Geerts, Marie-Louise; Gellrich, Sylke; Soderberg, Ola; Leuchowius, Karl-Johan; Landegren, Ulf; Out-Luiting, Jacoba J.; Knijnenburg, Jeroen; Ijszenga, Marije; Szuhai, Karoly; Willemze, Rein; Tensen, Cornelis P.

    2008-01-01

    This study was designed to identify highly recurrent genetic alterations typical of Sezary syndrome (Sz), an aggressive cutaneous T-cell lymphoma/leukemia, possibly revealing pathogenetic mechanisms and novel therapeutic targets. High-resolution array-based comparative genomic hybridization was done

  1. Signal Transduction in Primary Human T Lymphocytes in Altered Gravity During Parabolic Flight and Clinostat Experiments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Svantje Tauber

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Background/Aims: Several limiting factors for human health and performance in microgravity have been clearly identified arising from the immune system, and substantial research activities are required in order to provide the basic information for appropriate integrated risk management. The gravity-sensitive nature of cells of the immune system renders them an ideal biological model in search for general gravity-sensitive mechanisms and to understand how the architecture and function of human cells is related to the gravitational force and therefore adapted to life on Earth. Methods: We investigated the influence of altered gravity in parabolic flight and 2D clinostat experiments on key proteins of activation and signaling in primary T lymphocytes. We quantified components of the signaling cascade 1. in non-activated T lymphocytes to assess the “basal status” of the cascade and 2. in the process of activation to assess the signal transduction. Results: We found a rapid decrease of CD3 and IL-2R surface expression and reduced p-LAT after 20 seconds of altered gravity in non-activated primary T lymphocytes during parabolic flight. Furthermore, we observed decreased CD3 surface expression, reduced ZAP-70 abundance and increased histone H3-acetylation in activated T lymphocytes after 5 minutes of clinorotation and a transient downregulation of CD3 and stable downregulation of IL-2R during 60 minutes of clinorotation. Conclusion: CD3 and IL-2R are downregulated in primary T lymphocytes in altered gravity. We assume that a gravity condition around 1g is required for the expression of key surface receptors and appropriate regulation of signal molecules in T lymphocytes.

  2. NetDecoder: a network biology platform that decodes context-specific biological networks and gene activities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    da Rocha, Edroaldo Lummertz; Ung, Choong Yong; McGehee, Cordelia D; Correia, Cristina; Li, Hu

    2016-06-02

    The sequential chain of interactions altering the binary state of a biomolecule represents the 'information flow' within a cellular network that determines phenotypic properties. Given the lack of computational tools to dissect context-dependent networks and gene activities, we developed NetDecoder, a network biology platform that models context-dependent information flows using pairwise phenotypic comparative analyses of protein-protein interactions. Using breast cancer, dyslipidemia and Alzheimer's disease as case studies, we demonstrate NetDecoder dissects subnetworks to identify key players significantly impacting cell behaviour specific to a given disease context. We further show genes residing in disease-specific subnetworks are enriched in disease-related signalling pathways and information flow profiles, which drive the resulting disease phenotypes. We also devise a novel scoring scheme to quantify key genes-network routers, which influence many genes, key targets, which are influenced by many genes, and high impact genes, which experience a significant change in regulation. We show the robustness of our results against parameter changes. Our network biology platform includes freely available source code (http://www.NetDecoder.org) for researchers to explore genome-wide context-dependent information flow profiles and key genes, given a set of genes of particular interest and transcriptome data. More importantly, NetDecoder will enable researchers to uncover context-dependent drug targets.

  3. Calcium signaling in plant cells in altered gravity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kordyum, E. L.

    2003-10-01

    Changes in the intracellular Ca 2+ concentration in altered gravity (microgravity and clinostating) evidence that Ca 2+ signaling can play a fundamental role in biological effects of microgravity. Calcium as a second messenger is known to play a crucial role in stimulus - response coupling for many plant cellular signaling pathways. Its messenger functions are realized by transient changes in the cytosolic ion concentration induced by a variety of internal and external stimuli such as light, hormones, temperature, anoxia, salinity, and gravity. Although the first data on the changes in the calcium balance in plant cells under the influence of altered gravity have appeared in 80 th, a review highlighting the performed research and the possible significance of such Ca 2+ changes in the structural and metabolic rearrangements of plant cells in altered gravity is still lacking. In this paper, an attempt was made to summarize the available experimental results and to consider some hypotheses in this field of research. It is proposed to distinguish between cell gravisensing and cell graviperception; the former is related to cell structure and metabolism stability in the gravitational field and their changes in microgravity (cells not specialized to gravity perception), the latter is related to active use of a gravitational stimulus by cells presumebly specialized to gravity perception for realization of normal space orientation, growth, and vital activity (gravitropism, gravitaxis) in plants. The main experimental data concerning both redistribution of free Ca 2+ ions in plant cell organelles and the cell wall, and an increase in the intracellular Ca 2+ concentration under the influence of altered gravity are presented. Based on the gravitational decompensation hypothesis, the consequence of events occurring in gravisensing cells not specialized to gravity perception under altered gravity are considered in the following order: changes in the cytoplasmic membrane surface

  4. Radiation induces acute alterations in neuronal function.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter H Wu

    Full Text Available Every year, nearly 200,000 patients undergo radiation for brain tumors. For both patients and caregivers the most distressing adverse effect is impaired cognition. Efforts to protect against this debilitating effect have suffered from inadequate understanding of the cellular mechanisms of radiation damage. In the past it was accepted that radiation-induced normal tissue injury resulted from a progressive reduction in the survival of clonogenic cells. Moreover, because radiation-induced brain dysfunction is believed to evolve over months to years, most studies have focused on late changes in brain parenchyma. However, clinically, acute changes in cognition are also observed. Because neurons are fully differentiated post-mitotic cells, little information exists on the acute effects of radiation on synaptic function. The purpose of our study was to assess the potential acute effects of radiation on neuronal function utilizing ex vivo hippocampal brain slices. The cellular localization and functional status of excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmitter receptors was identified by immunoblotting. Electrophysiological recordings were obtained both for populations of neuronal cells and individual neurons. In the dentate gyrus region of isolated ex vivo slices, radiation led to early decreases in tyrosine phosphorylation and removal of excitatory N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors (NMDARs from the cell surface while simultaneously increasing the surface expression of inhibitory gamma-aminobutyric acid receptors (GABA(ARs. These alterations in cellular localization corresponded with altered synaptic responses and inhibition of long-term potentiation. The non-competitive NMDAR antagonist memantine blocked these radiation-induced alterations in cellular distribution. These findings demonstrate acute effects of radiation on neuronal cells within isolated brain slices and open new avenues for study.

  5. Biology Undergraduates' Misconceptions about Genetic Drift

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andrews, T. M.; Price, R. M.; Mead, L. S.; McElhinny, T. L.; Thanukos, A.; Perez, K. E.; Herreid, C. F.; Terry, D. R.; Lemons, P. P.

    2012-01-01

    This study explores biology undergraduates' misconceptions about genetic drift. We use qualitative and quantitative methods to describe students' definitions, identify common misconceptions, and examine differences before and after instruction on genetic drift. We identify and describe five overarching categories that include 16 distinct…

  6. Prospects of Biological Resources in Mitigating Agricultural Disasters

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    WANG Shaonan; YE Zhihua; YU Dazhao

    2001-01-01

    This paper analyzes the agricultural impacts of meteorological disasters, such as flood and drought, and biological disasters such as crop diseases, insect pests, weeds and rodents; and elaborates that efficacious development and utilization of biological resources are an effective way to preventing and mitigating agricultural disasters. Subjects for research on the development of biological resources are identified.

  7. Student Teachers' Conceptions of Teaching Biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Subramaniam, Karthigeyan

    2014-01-01

    The purpose of this qualitative study was to investigate prospective biology teachers' conceptions of teaching biology and identify how these conceptions revealed their strategies for helping their future students' learning of biology. The study utilized drawings, narratives and interviews to investigate the nature of the prospective…

  8. Systems biology approaches and pathway tools for investigating cardiovascular disease

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wheelock, C.E.; Wheelock, A.M.; Kawashima, S.; Diez, D.; Kanehisa, M.; Erk, M. van; Kleemann, R.; Haeggström, J.Z.; Goto, S.

    2009-01-01

    Systems biology aims to understand the nonlinear interactions of multiple biomolecular components that characterize a living organism. One important aspect of systems biology approaches is to identify the biological pathways or networks that connect the differing elements of a system, and examine ho

  9. Alteration in Hawaiian Drill Core: An analog for Martian basalts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calvin, W. M.; Fraeman, A.; Ehlmann, B. L.; Lautze, N. C.

    2015-12-01

    The Humu'ula Groundwater Research Project (HGRP) drilled their first continuously-cored hole in the saddle region of the big island of Hawaii in March of 2013. Temperatures at the bottom of the hole were unexpectedly high and reached over 100C. The core traverses various lava flows, representing the shield-building phase of the island and the lithology is dominantly basalt with varying amounts of plagioclase and olivine phenocrysts. Logging of the core noted that discontinuous alteration became prevalent starting at ~ 1 km depth. In May of 2015 we collected 780 infrared spectra of the core from depths of 0.97 to 1.76 km using our portable field spectrometer with a contact probe and field of view of 10 mm. Many of the spectra are unaltered, showing mafic mineralogy (augite or augite with olivine). Minerals from aqueous alteration include clinochlore, micaceous minerals likely mixed with other common phyllic alteration products, and three groups of spectral types associated with zeolites. This suite of minerals suggests alteration was initiated from higher temperature and moderate pH fluids. Based on the field reconnaissance spectroscopy, 25 sections were cut that represent the alteration diversity for thin section and subsequent detailed petrologic analyses. Eight of these sections were examined using the Ultra-Compact Imaging Spectrometer (UCIS) prototype instrument at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. UCIS collects spectra at 80 μm / pixel and identifies the same alteration mineralogy as the bulk samples, but clearly shows that the alteration occurs in veins and vugs. Unaltered olivine and pyroxene phenocrysts occur in the groundmass adjacent to highly altered vugs, and are preserved throughout the section surveyed. Given the limited alteration and abundant preservation of olivine to depths of 1.5 km, the core may be representative of alteration in moderate pH environments on Mars, where unaltered basaltic materials occur in close proximity to alteration products

  10. Catchment-scale conservation units identified for the threatened Yarra pygmy perch (Nannoperca obscura in highly modified river systems.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chris J Brauer

    Full Text Available Habitat fragmentation caused by human activities alters metapopulation dynamics and decreases biological connectivity through reduced migration and gene flow, leading to lowered levels of population genetic diversity and to local extinctions. The threatened Yarra pygmy perch, Nannoperca obscura, is a poor disperser found in small, isolated populations in wetlands and streams of southeastern Australia. Modifications to natural flow regimes in anthropogenically-impacted river systems have recently reduced the amount of habitat for this species and likely further limited its opportunity to disperse. We employed highly resolving microsatellite DNA markers to assess genetic variation, population structure and the spatial scale that dispersal takes place across the distribution of this freshwater fish and used this information to identify conservation units for management. The levels of genetic variation found for N. obscura are amongst the lowest reported for a fish species (mean heterozygosity of 0.318 and mean allelic richness of 1.92. We identified very strong population genetic structure, nil to little evidence of recent migration among demes and a minimum of 11 units for conservation management, hierarchically nested within four major genetic lineages. A combination of spatial analytical methods revealed hierarchical genetic structure corresponding with catchment boundaries and also demonstrated significant isolation by riverine distance. Our findings have implications for the national recovery plan of this species by demonstrating that N. obscura populations should be managed at a catchment level and highlighting the need to restore habitat and avoid further alteration of the natural hydrology.

  11. Elevated ozone alters soybean-virus interaction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bilgin, Damla D; Aldea, Mihai; O'Neill, Bridget F; Benitez, Marisol; Li, Min; Clough, Steven J; DeLucia, Evan H

    2008-10-01

    Increasing concentrations of ozone (O(3)) in the troposphere affect many organisms and their interactions with each other. To analyze the changes in a plant-pathogen interaction, soybean plants were infected with Soybean mosaic virus (SMV) while they were fumigated with O(3). In otherwise natural field conditions, elevated O(3) treatment slowed systemic infection and disease development by inducing a nonspecific resistance against SMV for a period of 3 weeks. During this period, the negative effect of virus infection on light-saturated carbon assimilation rate was prevented by elevated O(3) exposure. To identify the molecular basis of a soybean nonspecific defense response, high-throughput gene expression analysis was performed in a controlled environment. Transcripts of fungal, bacterial, and viral defense-related genes, including PR-1, PR-5, PR-10, and EDS1, as well as genes of the flavonoid biosynthesis pathways (and concentrations of their end products, quercetin and kaempherol derivatives) increased in response to elevated O(3). The drastic changes in soybean basal defense response under altered atmospheric conditions suggest that one of the elements of global change may alter the ecological consequences and, eventually, coevolutionary relationship of plant-pathogen interactions in the future.

  12. Natal Host Plants Can Alter Herbivore Competition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pan, Huipeng; Preisser, Evan L.; Su, Qi; Jiao, Xiaoguo; Xie, Wen; Wang, Shaoli; Wu, Qingjun

    2016-01-01

    Interspecific competition between herbivores is widely recognized as an important determinant of community structure. Although researchers have identified a number of factors capable of altering competitive interactions, few studies have addressed the influence of neighboring plant species. If adaptation to/ epigenetic effects of an herbivore’s natal host plant alter its performance on other host plants, then interspecific herbivore interactions may play out differently in heterogeneous and homogenous plant communities. We tested wether the natal host plant of a whitefly population affected interactions between the Middle-east Asia Minor 1 (MEAM1) and Mediterranean (MED) cryptic species of the whitefly Bemisia tabaci by rearing the offspring of a cabbage-derived MEAM1 population and a poinsettia-derived MED population together on three different host plants: cotton, poinsettia, and cabbage. We found that MED dominated on poinsettia and that MEAM1 dominated on cabbage, results consistent with previous research. MED also dominated when reared with MEAM1 on cotton, however, a result at odds with multiple otherwise-similar studies that reared both species on the same natal plant. Our work provides evidence that natal plants affect competitive interactions on another plant species, and highlights the potential importance of neighboring plant species on herbivore community composition in agricultral systems. PMID:28030636

  13. Natal Host Plants Can Alter Herbivore Competition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pan, Huipeng; Preisser, Evan L; Su, Qi; Jiao, Xiaoguo; Xie, Wen; Wang, Shaoli; Wu, Qingjun; Zhang, Youjun

    2016-01-01

    Interspecific competition between herbivores is widely recognized as an important determinant of community structure. Although researchers have identified a number of factors capable of altering competitive interactions, few studies have addressed the influence of neighboring plant species. If adaptation to/ epigenetic effects of an herbivore's natal host plant alter its performance on other host plants, then interspecific herbivore interactions may play out differently in heterogeneous and homogenous plant communities. We tested wether the natal host plant of a whitefly population affected interactions between the Middle-east Asia Minor 1 (MEAM1) and Mediterranean (MED) cryptic species of the whitefly Bemisia tabaci by rearing the offspring of a cabbage-derived MEAM1 population and a poinsettia-derived MED population together on three different host plants: cotton, poinsettia, and cabbage. We found that MED dominated on poinsettia and that MEAM1 dominated on cabbage, results consistent with previous research. MED also dominated when reared with MEAM1 on cotton, however, a result at odds with multiple otherwise-similar studies that reared both species on the same natal plant. Our work provides evidence that natal plants affect competitive interactions on another plant species, and highlights the potential importance of neighboring plant species on herbivore community composition in agricultral systems.

  14. Resetting Biological Clocks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winfree, Arthur T.

    1975-01-01

    Reports on experiments conducted on two biological clocks, in organisms in the plant and animal kingdoms, which indicate that biological oscillation can be arrested by a single stimulus of a definite strength delivered at the proper time. (GS)

  15. Biology is simple.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Newman, Tim

    2015-12-30

    This paper explores the potential for simplicity to reveal new biological understanding. Borrowing selectively from physics thinking, and contrasting with Crick's reductionist philosophy, the author argues that greater emphasis on simplicity is necessary to advance biology and its applications.

  16. Biology of Blood

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... here for the Professional Version Home Blood Disorders Biology of Blood Overview of Blood Resources In This ... Version. DOCTORS: Click here for the Professional Version Biology of Blood Overview of Blood Components of Blood ...

  17. [Factors that alter taste perception].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maffeis, E R; Silva-Netto, C R

    1990-01-01

    Dysfunction of taste perception is a significant problem for many individuals. Taste anomalies may affect health not only by directly affecting liquid and solid food intake, but also by creating a state of depression due to the loss of an important source of pleasure. Many factors alter taste perception, such as lesions of the oral mucosa, cigarette smoking, radiation, chemotherapy, renal disease, hepatitis, leprosy, hormones, nutrition, use of dentures, medications, and aging. Gum or ice chewing may temporarily help loss of taste. Patients should be encouraged to chew their food thoroughly, alternating the sides of the mouth, or alternating different foods. Unfortunately, in many cases there is no cure for this alteration, and patience is then the only possibility.

  18. Fantastic alterities and The Sandman

    OpenAIRE

    2012-01-01

    This article explores the ways in which the comics medium enhances our understanding of literary models of the Fantastic. It examines the presence and depiction of multiple worlds in Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman, with specific reference to the role of the comics medium and its denial of mimesis when creating such alterities. \\ud \\ud It initially uses literature review to establish a contemporary working model of the Fantastic, taking as its basis the framework devised by Tzvetan Todorov, and inc...

  19. Grays River Watershed and Biological Assessment, 2006 Final Report.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    May, Christopher; Geist, David [Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

    2007-04-01

    habitat conditions, and biological integrity. In addition, human land-use impacts are factored into the conceptual model because they can alter habitat quality and can disrupt natural habitat forming processes. In this model (Figure S.1), aquatic habitat--both instream and riparian--is viewed as the link between watershed conditions and biologic responses. Based on this conceptual model, assessment of habitat loss and the resultant declines in salmonid populations can be conducted by relating current and historical (e.g., natural) habitat conditions to salmonid utilization, diversity, and abundance. In addition, assessing disrupted ecosystem functions and processes within the watershed can aid in identifying the causes of habitat change and the associated decline in biological integrity. In this same way, restoration, enhancement, and conservation projects can be identified and prioritized. A watershed assessment is primarily a landscape-scale evaluation of current watershed conditions and the associated hydrogeomorphic riverine processes. The watershed assessment conducted for this project focused on watershed processes that form and maintain salmonid habitat. Landscape metrics describing the level of human alteration of natural ecosystem attributes were used as indicators of water quality, hydrology, channel geomorphology, instream habitat, and biotic integrity. Ecological (watershed) processes are related to and can be predicted based on specific aspects of spatial pattern. This study evaluated the hydrologic regime, sediment delivery regime, and riparian condition of the sub-watersheds that comprise the upper Grays River watershed relative to their natural range of conditions. Analyses relied primarily on available geographic information system (GIS) data describing landscape characteristics such as climate, vegetation type and maturity, geology and soils, topography, land use, and road density. In addition to watershed-scale landscape characteristics, the study area

  20. Grays River Watershed and Biological Assessment Final Report 2006.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    May, Christopher W.; McGrath, Kathleen E.; Geist, David R. [Pacific Northwest National Laboratory; Abbe, Timothy; Barton, Chase [Herrera Environmental Consultants, Inc.

    2008-02-04

    habitat conditions, and biological integrity. In addition, human land-use impacts are factored into the conceptual model because they can alter habitat quality and can disrupt natural habitat-forming processes. In this model (Figure S.1), aquatic habitat--both instream and riparian--is viewed as the link between watershed conditions and biologic responses. Based on this conceptual model, assessment of habitat loss and the resultant declines in salmonid populations can be conducted by relating current and historical (e.g., natural) habitat conditions to salmonid utilization, diversity, and abundance. In addition, assessing disrupted ecosystem functions and processes within the watershed can aid in identifying the causes of habitat change and the associated decline in biological integrity. In this same way, restoration, enhancement, and conservation projects can be identified and prioritized. A watershed assessment is primarily a landscape-scale evaluation of current watershed conditions and the associated hydrogeomorphic riverine processes. The watershed assessment conducted for this project focused on watershed processes that form and maintain salmonid habitat. Landscape metrics describing the level of human alteration of natural ecosystem attributes were used as indicators of water quality, hydrology, channel geomorphology, instream habitat, and biotic integrity. Ecological (watershed) processes are related to and can be predicted based on specific aspects of spatial pattern. This study evaluated the hydrologic regime, sediment delivery regime, and riparian condition of the sub-watersheds that comprise the upper Grays River watershed relative to their natural range of conditions. Analyses relied primarily on available geographic information system (GIS) data describing landscape characteristics such as climate, vegetation type and maturity, geology and soils, topography, land use, and road density. In addition to watershed-scale landscape characteristics, the study area

  1. [Molecular alterations in melanoma and targeted therapies].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mourah, Samia; Lebbé, Céleste

    2014-12-01

    Melanoma is a skin cancer whose incidence is increasing steadily. The recent discovery of frequent and recurrent genetic alterations in cutaneous melanoma allowed a molecular classification of tumors into distinct subgroups, and paved the way for targeted therapy. Several signaling pathways are involved in the progression of this disease with oncogenic mutations affecting signaling pathways: MAPK, PI3K, cAMP and cyclin D1/CDK4. In each of these pathways, several potential therapeutic targets have been identified and specific inhibitors have already been developed and have shown clinical efficacy. The use of these inhibitors is often conditioned by tumors genotyping. In France, melanomas genotyping is supported by the platforms of the National Cancer Institute (INCA), which implemented a national program ensuring access to innovation for personalized medicine. The identification of new targets in melanoma supplies a very active dynamic development of innovative molecules contributing to changing the therapeutic landscape of this pathology.

  2. Buccal alterations in diabetes mellitus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Negrato Carlos

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Long standing hyperglycaemia besides damaging the kidneys, eyes, nerves, blood vessels, heart, can also impair the function of the salivary glands leading to a reduction in the salivary flow. When salivary flow decreases, as a consequence of an acute hyperglycaemia, many buccal or oral alterations can occur such as: a increased concentration of mucin and glucose; b impaired production and/or action of many antimicrobial factors; c absence of a metalloprotein called gustin, that contains zinc and is responsible for the constant maturation of taste papillae; d bad taste; e oral candidiasis f increased cells exfoliation after contact, because of poor lubrication; g increased proliferation of pathogenic microorganisms; h coated tongue; i halitosis; and many others may occur as a consequence of chronic hyperglycaemia: a tongue alterations, generally a burning mouth; b periodontal disease; c white spots due to demineralization in the teeth; d caries; e delayed healing of wounds; f greater tendency to infections; g lichen planus; h mucosa ulcerations. Buccal alterations found in diabetic patients, although not specific of this disease, have its incidence and progression increased when an inadequate glycaemic control is present.

  3. Cell biology of neuronal endocytosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parton, R G; Dotti, C G

    1993-09-01

    Endocytosis is the process by which cells take in fluid and components of the plasma membrane. In this way cells obtain nutrients and trophic factors, retrieve membrane proteins for degradation, and sample their environment. In neuronal cells endocytosis is essential for the recycling of membrane after neurotransmitter release and plays a critical role during early developmental stages. Moreover, alterations of the endocytic pathway have been attributed a crucial role in the pathophysiology of certain neurological diseases. Although well characterized at the ultrastructural level, little is known of the dynamics and molecular organization of the neuronal endocytic pathways. In this respect most of our knowledge comes from studies of non-neuronal cells. In this review we will examine the endocytic pathways in neurons from a cell biological viewpoint by making comparisons with non-neuronal cells and in particular with another polarized cell, the epithelial cell.

  4. Designing synthetic biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agapakis, Christina M

    2014-03-21

    Synthetic biology is frequently defined as the application of engineering design principles to biology. Such principles are intended to streamline the practice of biological engineering, to shorten the time required to design, build, and test synthetic gene networks. This streamlining of iterative design cycles can facilitate the future construction of biological systems for a range of applications in the production of fuels, foods, materials, and medicines. The promise of these potential applications as well as the emphasis on design has prompted critical reflection on synthetic biology from design theorists and practicing designers from many fields, who can bring valuable perspectives to the discipline. While interdisciplinary connections between biologists and engineers have built synthetic biology via the science and the technology of biology, interdisciplinary collaboration with artists, designers, and social theorists can provide insight on the connections between technology and society. Such collaborations can open up new avenues and new principles for research and design, as well as shed new light on the challenging context-dependence-both biological and social-that face living technologies at many scales. This review is inspired by the session titled "Design and Synthetic Biology: Connecting People and Technology" at Synthetic Biology 6.0 and covers a range of literature on design practice in synthetic biology and beyond. Critical engagement with how design is used to shape the discipline opens up new possibilities for how we might design the future of synthetic biology.

  5. BIOLOGICAL FOUNDATIONS OF LANGUAGE.

    Science.gov (United States)

    LENNEBERG, ERIC H.

    THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN BIOLOGY AND LANGUAGE IS EXPLORED IN THIS VOLUME. THE AUTHOR BELIEVES THAT "LANGUAGE IS THE MANIFESTATION OF SPECIES-SPECIFIC COGNITIVE PROPENSITIES. IT IS THE CONSEQUENCE OF THE BIOLOGICAL PECULIARITIES THAT MAKE A HUMAN TYPE OF COGNITION POSSIBLE." IN ATTEMPTING TO "REINSTATE THE CONCEPT OF THE BIOLOGICAL BASIS OF…

  6. Two-Dimensional Differential Gel Electrophoresis to Identify Protein Biomarkers in Amniotic Fluid of Edwards Syndrome (Trisomy 18 Pregnancies.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Te-Yao Hsu

    Full Text Available Edwards syndrome (ES is a severe chromosomal abnormality with a prevalence of about 0.8 in 10,000 infants born alive. The aims of this study were to identify candidate proteins associated with ES pregnancies from amniotic fluid supernatant (AFS using proteomics, and to explore the role of biological networks in the pathophysiology of ES.AFS from six second trimester pregnancies with ES fetuses and six normal cases were included in this study. Fluorescence-based two-dimensional difference gel electrophoresis (2D-DIGE and matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF/MS were used for comparative proteomic analysis. The identified proteins were further validated by Western blotting and the role of biological networks was analyzed.Twelve protein spots were differentially expressed by more than 1.5-fold in the AFS of the ES pregnancies. MALDI-TOF/MS identified one up-regulated protein: apolipoprotein A1 (ApoA1, and four under-regulated proteins: vitamin D binding protein (VDBP, alpha-1-antitrypsin (A1AT, insulin-like growth factor-binding protein 1 (IGFBP-1, and transthyretin (TTR. Western blot and densitometric analysis of ApoA1, A1AT, IGFBP-1, and TTR confirmed the alteration of these proteins in the amniotic fluid samples. Biological network analysis revealed that the proteins of the ES AFS were involved mainly in lipid and hormone metabolism, immune response, and cardiovascular disease.These five proteins may be involved in the pathogenesis of ES. Further studies are needed to explore.

  7. Novel BRAF Alteration in a Sporadic Pilocytic Astrocytoma

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sonika Dahiya

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Pilocytic astrocytoma (PA is the most frequently encountered glial tumor (glioma or astrocytoma in children. Recent studies have identified alterations in the BRAF serine/threonine kinase gene as the likely causative mutation in these childhood brain tumors. The majority of these genetic changes involve chromosome 7q34 tandem duplication, resulting in aberrant BRAF fusion transcripts. In this paper, we describe a novel KIAA1549:BRAF fusion transcript in a sporadic PA tumor associated with increased ERK activation and review the spectrum of BRAF genetic alterations in this common pediatric low-grade central nervous system neoplasm.

  8. Review of biological network data and its applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Donghyeon; Kim, Minsoo; Xiao, Guanghua; Hwang, Tae Hyun

    2013-12-01

    Studying biological networks, such as protein-protein interactions, is key to understanding complex biological activities. Various types of large-scale biological datasets have been collected and analyzed with high-throughput technologies, including DNA microarray, next-generation sequencing, and the two-hybrid screening system, for this purpose. In this review, we focus on network-based approaches that help in understanding biological systems and identifying biological functions. Accordingly, this paper covers two major topics in network biology: reconstruction of gene regulatory networks and network-based applications, including protein function prediction, disease gene prioritization, and network-based genome-wide association study.

  9. A Systems Biology Analysis Unfolds the Molecular Pathways and Networks of Two Proteobacteria in Spaceflight and Simulated Microgravity Conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roy, Raktim; Phani Shilpa, P.; Bagh, Sangram

    2016-09-01

    Bacteria are important organisms for space missions due to their increased pathogenesis in microgravity that poses risks to the health of astronauts and for projected synthetic biology applications at the space station. We understand little about the effect, at the molecular systems level, of microgravity on bacteria, despite their significant incidence. In this study, we proposed a systems biology pipeline and performed an analysis on published gene expression data sets from multiple seminal studies on Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium under spaceflight and simulated microgravity conditions. By applying gene set enrichment analysis on the global gene expression data, we directly identified a large number of new, statistically significant cellular and metabolic pathways involved in response to microgravity. Alteration of metabolic pathways in microgravity has rarely been reported before, whereas in this analysis metabolic pathways are prevalent. Several of those pathways were found to be common across studies and species, indicating a common cellular response in microgravity. We clustered genes based on their expression patterns using consensus non-negative matrix factorization. The genes from different mathematically stable clusters showed protein-protein association networks with distinct biological functions, suggesting the plausible functional or regulatory network motifs in response to microgravity. The newly identified pathways and networks showed connection with increased survival of pathogens within macrophages, virulence, and antibiotic resistance in microgravity. Our work establishes a systems biology pipeline and provides an integrated insight into the effect of microgravity at the molecular systems level.

  10. Identifying tumor cell growth inhibitors by combinatorial chemistry and zebrafish assays.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jing Xiang

    Full Text Available Cyclin-dependent kinases (CDKs play important roles in regulating cell cycle progression, and altered cell cycles resulting from over-expression or abnormal activation of CDKs observed in many human cancers. As a result, CDKs have become extensive studied targets for developing chemical inhibitors for cancer therapies; however, protein kinases share a highly conserved ATP binding pocket at which most chemical inhibitors bind, therefore, a major challenge in developing kinase inhibitors is achieving target selectivity. To identify cell growth inhibitors with potential applications in cancer therapy, we used an integrated approach that combines one-pot chemical synthesis in a combinatorial manner to generate diversified small molecules with new chemical scaffolds coupled with growth inhibition assay using developing zebrafish embryos. We report the successful identification of a novel lead compound that displays selective inhibitory effects on CDK2 activity, cancer cell proliferation, and tumor progression in vivo. Our approaches should have general applications in developing cell proliferation inhibitors using an efficient combinatorial chemical genetic method and integrated biological assays. The novel cell growth inhibitor we identified should have potential as a cancer therapeutic agent.

  11. Biomedical synthetic biology: an overview for physicians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keret, Ophir

    2013-06-01

    Synthetic bioiogy is a ,relatively new fieild of bologlcal research and development that focases on the engineering of genetic molecular machlnes wIth a specific predefined function. Plainly put the newly engineered organism functions as a machine. It can process information. manufature, heal and even diagnose. We just have to engineer It to do so. The famous quote "Biology Is the nanotechnology that works" is currently being put to the test on a worldwide scale. The application of these machines Is theoretically boundless. In laboratories worldwide synthetic biology technologies are being rationally designed to assist in diagnosis or disrupt disease mechnisms. In the not too distant future they are expected to reach the clinical setting. This new field should be distinguished from classic genetic engineering. The latter researches naturalfy found DNA segments via cloning. It is weakly associated with engineering. Synthetic biology focuses on the engineering of molecular biological machines for the benefit of mankind. This is done via synthetic (computer printed) DNA sequences, man-designed or altered in silico. In this article I will briefly introduce synthetic biology, elaborate on the BiobrickFoundation as an independent fast-growing synthetic biology-sharing movement, and report on selected developing applications for medicine.

  12. Genomic and Immunological Tumor Profiling Identifies Targetable Pathways and Extensive CD8+/PDL1+ Immune Infiltration in Inflammatory Breast Cancer Tumors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamm, Christopher A; Moran, Diarmuid; Rao, Kakuturu; Trusk, Patricia B; Pry, Karen; Sausen, Mark; Jones, Siân; Velculescu, Victor E; Cristofanilli, Massimo; Bacus, Sarah

    2016-07-01

    Inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) is a rare and aggressive form of breast cancer that remains poorly understood at the molecular level. Comprehensive tumor profiling was performed to understand clinically actionable alterations in IBC. Targeted next-generation sequencing (NGS) and IHC were performed to identify activated pathways in IBC tumor tissues. siRNA studies examined the impact of IBC genomic variants in cellular models. IBC tumor tissues were further characterized for immune infiltration and immune checkpoint expression by IHC. Genomic analysis identified recurrent alterations in core biologic pathways, including activating and targetable variants in HER/PI3K/mTOR signaling. High rates of activating HER3 point mutations were discovered in IBC tumors. Cell line studies confirmed a role for mutant HER3 in IBC cell proliferation. Immunologic analysis revealed a subset of IBC tumors associated with high CD8(+)/PD-L1(+) lymphocyte infiltration. Immune infiltration positively correlated with an NGS-based estimate of neoantigen exposure derived from the somatic mutation rate and mutant allele frequency, iScore. Additionally, DNA mismatch repair alterations, which may contribute to higher iScores, occurred at greater frequency in tumors with higher immune infiltration. Our study identifies genomic alterations that mechanistically contribute to oncogenic signaling in IBC and provides a genetic basis for the selection of clinically relevant targeted and combination therapeutic strategies. Furthermore, an NGS-based estimate of neoantigen exposure developed in this study (iScore) may be a useful biomarker to predict immune infiltration in IBC and other cancers. The iScore may be associated with greater levels of response to immunotherapies, such as PD-L1/PD-1-targeted therapies. Mol Cancer Ther; 15(7); 1746-56. ©2016 AACR.

  13. Positioning Genomics in Biology Education: Content Mapping of Undergraduate Biology Textbooks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Naomi L. B. Wernick

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Biological thought increasingly recognizes the centrality of the genome in constituting and regulating processes ranging from cellular systems to ecology and evolution. In this paper, we ask whether genomics is similarly positioned as a core concept in the instructional sequence for undergraduate biology. Using quantitative methods, we analyzed the order in which core biological concepts were introduced in textbooks for first-year general and human biology. Statistical analysis was performed using self-organizing map algorithms and conventional methods to identify clusters of terms and their relative position in the books. General biology textbooks for both majors and nonmajors introduced genome-related content after text related to cell biology and biological chemistry, but before content describing higher-order biological processes. However, human biology textbooks most often introduced genomic content near the end of the books. These results suggest that genomics is not yet positioned as a core concept in commonly used textbooks for first-year biology and raises questions about whether such textbooks, or courses based on the outline of these textbooks, provide an appropriate foundation for understanding contemporary biological science.

  14. Laws of biology: why so few?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dhar, Pawan K; Giuliani, Alessandro

    2010-03-01

    Finding fundamental organizing principles is the current intellectual front end of systems biology. From a hydrogen atom to the whole cell level, organisms manage massively parallel and massively interactive processes over several orders of magnitude of size. To manage this scale of informational complexity it is natural to expect organizing principles that determine higher order behavior. Currently, there are only hints of such organizing principles but no absolute evidences. Here, we present an approach as old as Mendel that could help uncover fundamental organizing principles in biology. Our approach essentially consists of identifying constants at various levels and weaving them into a hierarchical chassis. As we identify and organize constants, from pair-wise interactions to networks, our understanding of the fundamental principles in biology will improve, leading to a theory in biology.

  15. Computational systems chemical biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

    There is a critical need for improving the level of chemistry awareness in systems biology. The data and information related to modulation of genes and proteins by small molecules continue to accumulate at the same time as simulation tools in systems biology and whole body physiologically based pharmacokinetics (PBPK) continue to evolve. We called this emerging area at the interface between chemical biology and systems biology systems chemical biology (SCB) (Nat Chem Biol 3: 447-450, 2007).The overarching goal of computational SCB is to develop tools for integrated chemical-biological data acquisition, filtering and processing, by taking into account relevant information related to interactions between proteins and small molecules, possible metabolic transformations of small molecules, as well as associated information related to genes, networks, small molecules, and, where applicable, mutants and variants of those proteins. There is yet an unmet need to develop an integrated in silico pharmacology/systems biology continuum that embeds drug-target-clinical outcome (DTCO) triplets, a capability that is vital to the future of chemical biology, pharmacology, and systems biology. Through the development of the SCB approach, scientists will be able to start addressing, in an integrated simulation environment, questions that make the best use of our ever-growing chemical and biological data repositories at the system-wide level. This chapter reviews some of the major research concepts and describes key components that constitute the emerging area of computational systems chemical biology.

  16. Duration of chronic inflammation alters gene expression in muscle from untreated girls with juvenile dermatomyositis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gordish-Dressman Heather

    2008-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background To evaluate the impact of the duration of chronic inflammation on gene expression in skeletal muscle biopsies (MBx from untreated children with juvenile dermatomyositis (JDM and identify genes and biological processes associated with the disease progression, expression profiling data from 16 girls with active symptoms of JDM greater than or equal to 2 months were compared with 3 girls with active symptoms less than 2 months. Results Seventy-nine genes were differentially expressed between the groups with long or short duration of untreated disease. Genes involved in immune responses and vasculature remodelling were expressed at a higher level in muscle biopsies from children with greater or equal to 2 months of symptoms, while genes involved in stress responses and protein turnover were expressed at a lower level. Among the 79 genes, expression of 9 genes showed a significant linear regression relationship with the duration of untreated disease. Five differentially expressed genes – HLA-DQA1, smooth muscle myosin heavy chain, clusterin, plexin D1 and tenomodulin – were verified by quantitative RT-PCR. The chronic inflammation of longer disease duration was also associated with increased DC-LAMP+ and BDCA2+ mature dendritic cells, identified by immunohistochemistry. Conclusion We conclude that chronic inflammation alters the gene expression patterns in muscle of untreated children with JDM. Symptoms lasting greater or equal to 2 months were associated with dendritic cell maturation and anti-angiogenic vascular remodelling, directly contributing to disease pathophysiology.

  17. Identifying mechanistic similarities in drug responses

    KAUST Repository

    Zhao, C.

    2012-05-15

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

  18. Quantum biological information theory

    CERN Document Server

    Djordjevic, Ivan B

    2016-01-01

    This book is a self-contained, tutorial-based introduction to quantum information theory and quantum biology. It serves as a single-source reference to the topic for researchers in bioengineering, communications engineering, electrical engineering, applied mathematics, biology, computer science, and physics. The book provides all the essential principles of the quantum biological information theory required to describe the quantum information transfer from DNA to proteins, the sources of genetic noise and genetic errors as well as their effects. Integrates quantum information and quantum biology concepts; Assumes only knowledge of basic concepts of vector algebra at undergraduate level; Provides a thorough introduction to basic concepts of quantum information processing, quantum information theory, and quantum biology; Includes in-depth discussion of the quantum biological channel modelling, quantum biological channel capacity calculation, quantum models of aging, quantum models of evolution, quantum models o...

  19. Systems biology of industrial microorganisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Papini, Marta; Salazar, Margarita; Nielsen, Jens

    2010-01-01

    The field of industrial biotechnology is expanding rapidly as the chemical industry is looking towards more sustainable production of chemicals that can be used as fuels or building blocks for production of solvents and materials. In connection with the development of sustainable bioprocesses, it is a major challenge to design and develop efficient cell factories that can ensure cost efficient conversion of the raw material into the chemical of interest. This is achieved through metabolic engineering, where the metabolism of the cell factory is engineered such that there is an efficient conversion of sugars, the typical raw materials in the fermentation industry, into the desired product. However, engineering of cellular metabolism is often challenging due to the complex regulation that has evolved in connection with adaptation of the different microorganisms to their ecological niches. In order to map these regulatory structures and further de-regulate them, as well as identify ingenious metabolic engineering strategies that full-fill mass balance constraints, tools from systems biology can be applied. This involves both high-throughput analysis tools like transcriptome, proteome and metabolome analysis, as well as the use of mathematical modeling to simulate the phenotypes resulting from the different metabolic engineering strategies. It is in fact expected that systems biology may substantially improve the process of cell factory development, and we therefore propose the term Industrial Systems Biology for how systems biology will enhance the development of industrial biotechnology for sustainable chemical production.

  20. Systems Biology of Industrial Microorganisms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Papini, Marta; Salazar, Margarita; Nielsen, Jens

    The field of industrial biotechnology is expanding rapidly as the chemical industry is looking towards more sustainable production of chemicals that can be used as fuels or building blocks for production of solvents and materials. In connection with the development of sustainable bioprocesses, it is a major challenge to design and develop efficient cell factories that can ensure cost efficient conversion of the raw material into the chemical of interest. This is achieved through metabolic engineering, where the metabolism of the cell factory is engineered such that there is an efficient conversion of sugars, the typical raw materials in the fermentation industry, into the desired product. However, engineering of cellular metabolism is often challenging due to the complex regulation that has evolved in connection with adaptation of the different microorganisms to their ecological niches. In order to map these regulatory structures and further de-regulate them, as well as identify ingenious metabolic engineering strategies that full-fill mass balance constraints, tools from systems biology can be applied. This involves both high-throughput analysis tools like transcriptome, proteome and metabolome analysis, as well as the use of mathematical modeling to simulate the phenotypes resulting from the different metabolic engineering strategies. It is in fact expected that systems biology may substantially improve the process of cell factory development, and we therefore propose the term Industrial Systems Biology for how systems biology will enhance the development of industrial biotechnology for sustainable chemical production.

  1. New criteria to identify spectrum

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Arne; Krishna, M.

    2005-01-01

    In this paper we give some new criteria for identifying the components of a probability measure, in its Lebesgue decomposition. This enables us to give new criteria to identify spectral types of self-adjoint operators on Hilbert spaces, especially those of interest....

  2. New Criteria to Identify Spectrum

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    A Jensen; M Krishna

    2005-05-01

    In this paper we give some new criteria for identifying the components of a probability measure, in its Lebesgue decomposition. This enables us to give new criteria to identify spectral types of self-adjoint operators on Hilbert spaces, especially those of interest.

  3. Network biology methods integrating biological data for translational science.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bebek, Gurkan; Koyutürk, Mehmet; Price, Nathan D; Chance, Mark R

    2012-07-01

    The explosion of biomedical data, both on the genomic and proteomic side as well as clinical data, will require complex integration and analysis to provide new molecular variables to better understand the molecular basis of phenotype. Currently, much data exist in silos and is not analyzed in frameworks where all data are brought to bear in the development of biomarkers and novel functional targets. This is beginning to change. Network biology approaches, which emphasize the interactions between genes, proteins and metabolites provide a framework for data integration such that genome, proteome, metabolome and other -omics data can be jointly analyzed to understand and predict disease phenotypes. In this review, recent advances in network biology approaches and results are identified. A common theme is the potential for network analysis to provide multiplexed and functionally connected biomarkers for analyzing the molecular basis of disease, thus changing our approaches to analyzing and modeling genome- and proteome-wide data.

  4. Predicting the effect of climate change on African trypanosomiasis: integrating epidemiology with parasite and vector biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, Sean; Shrestha, Sourya; Tomlinson, Kyle W; Vuong, Holly

    2012-05-07

    Climate warming over the next century is expected to have a large impact on the interactions between pathogens and their animal and human hosts. Vector-borne diseases are particularly sensitive to warming because temperature changes can alter vector development rates, shift their geographical distribution and alter transmission dynamics. For this reason, African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness), a vector-borne disease of humans and animals, was recently identified as one of the 12 infectious diseases likely to spread owing to climate change. We combine a variety of direct effects of temperature on vector ecology, vector biology and vector-parasite interactions via a disease transmission model and extrapolate the potential compounding effects of projected warming on the epidemiology of African trypanosomiasis. The model predicts that epidemics can occur when mean temperatures are between 20.7°C and 26.1°C. Our model does not predict a large-range expansion, but rather a large shift of up to 60 per cent in the geographical extent of the range. The model also predicts that 46-77 million additional people may be at risk of exposure by 2090. Future research could expand our analysis to include other environmental factors that influence tsetse populations and disease transmission such as humidity, as well as changes to human, livestock and wildlife distributions. The modelling approach presented here provides a framework for using the climate-sensitive aspects of vector and pathogen biology to predict changes in disease prevalence and risk owing to climate change.

  5. Consciousness and biological evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindahl, B I

    1997-08-21

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

  6. Metabolic alterations in cancer cells and therapeutic implications

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Naima Hammoudi; Kausar Begam Riaz Ahmed; Celia Garcia-Prieto; Peng Huang

    2011-01-01

    Cancer metabolism has emerged as an important area of research in recent years. Elucidation of the metabolic differences between cancer and normal cells and the underlying mechanisms will not only advance our understanding of fundamental cancer cell biology but also provide an important basis for the development of new therapeutic strategies and novel compounds to selectively eliminate cancer cells by targeting their unique metabolism. This article reviews several important metabolic alterations in cancer cells, with an emphasis on increased aerobic glycolysis (the Warburg effect) and glutamine addiction, and discusses the mechanisms that may contribute to such metabolic changes. In addition, metabolic alterations in cancer stem cells, mitochondrial metabolism and its influence on drug sensitivity, and potential therapeutic strategies and agents that target cancer metabolism are also discussed.

  7. Altered Transendothelial Transport of Hormones as a Contributor to Diabetes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nanyoung Yoon

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available The vascular endothelium is a dynamic structure responsible for the separation and regulated movement of biological material between circulation and interstitial fluid. Hormones and nutrients can move across the endothelium either via a transcellular or paracellular route. Transcellular endothelial transport is well understood and broadly acknowledged to play an important role in the normal and abnormal physiology of endothelial function. However, less is known about the role of the paracellular route. Although the concept of endothelial dysfunction in diabetes is now widely accepted, we suggest that alterations in paracellular transport should be studied in greater detail and incorporated into this model. In this review we provide an overview of endothelial paracellular permeability and discuss its potential importance in contributing to the development of diabetes and associated complications. Accordingly, we also contend that if better understood, altered endothelial paracellular permeability could be considered as a potential therapeutic target for diabetes.

  8. Network-based analysis of affected biological processes in type 2 diabetes models.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Manway Liu

    2007-06-01

    Full Text Available Type 2 diabetes mellitus is a complex disorder associated with multiple genetic, epigenetic, developmental, and environmental factors. Animal models of type 2 diabetes differ based on diet, drug treatment, and gene knockouts, and yet all display the clinical hallmarks of hyperglycemia and insulin resistance in peripheral tissue. The recent advances in gene-expression microarray technologies present an unprecedented opportunity to study type 2 diabetes mellitus at a genome-wide scale and across different models. To date, a key challenge has been to identify the biological processes or signaling pathways that play significant roles in the disorder. Here, using a network-based analysis methodology, we identified two sets of genes, associated with insulin signaling and a network of nuclear receptors, which are recurrent in a statistically significant number of diabetes and insulin resistance models and transcriptionally altered across diverse tissue types. We additionally identified a network of protein-protein interactions between members from the two gene sets that may facilitate signaling between them. Taken together, the results illustrate the benefits of integrating high-throughput microarray studies, together with protein-protein interaction networks, in elucidating the underlying biological processes associated with a complex disorder.

  9. Transcriptomic analysis using olive varieties and breeding progenies identify candidate genes involved in plant architecture

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juan José eGonzález Plaza

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Plant architecture is a critical trait in fruit crops that can significantly influence yield, pruning, planting density and harvesting. Little is known about how plant architecture is genetically determined in olive, were most of the existing varieties are traditional with an architecture poorly suited for modern growing and harvesting systems. In the present study, we have carried out microarray analysis of meristematic tissue to compare expression profiles of olive varieties displaying differences in architecture, as well as seedlings from their cross pooled on the basis of their sharing architecture-related phenotypes. The microarray used, previously developed by our group has already been applied to identify candidates genes involved in regulating juvenile to adult transition in the shoot apex of seedlings. Varieties with distinct architecture phenotypes and individuals from segregating progenies displaying opposite architecture features were used to link phenotype to expression. Here, we identify 2,252 differentially expressed genes associated to differences in plant architecture. Microarray results were validated by quantitative RT-PCR carried out on genes with functional annotation likely related to plant architecture. Twelve of these genes were further analyzed in individual seedlings of the corresponding pool. We also examined Arabidopsis mutants in putative orthologs of these targeted candidate genes, finding altered architecture for most of them. This supports a functional conservation between species and potential biological relevance of the candidate genes identified. This study is the first to identify genes associated to plant architecture in olive, and the results obtained could be of great help in future programs aimed at selecting phenotypes adapted to modern cultivation practices in this species.

  10. Transcriptomic Analysis Using Olive Varieties and Breeding Progenies Identifies Candidate Genes Involved in Plant Architecture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    González-Plaza, Juan J; Ortiz-Martín, Inmaculada; Muñoz-Mérida, Antonio; García-López, Carmen; Sánchez-Sevilla, José F; Luque, Francisco; Trelles, Oswaldo; Bejarano, Eduardo R; De La Rosa, Raúl; Valpuesta, Victoriano; Beuzón, Carmen R

    2016-01-01

    Plant architecture is a critical trait in fruit crops that can significantly influence yield, pruning, planting density and harvesting. Little is known about how plant architecture is genetically determined in olive, were most of the existing varieties are traditional with an architecture poorly suited for modern growing and harvesting systems. In the present study, we have carried out microarray analysis of meristematic tissue to compare expression profiles of olive varieties displaying differences in architecture, as well as seedlings from their cross pooled on the basis of their sharing architecture-related phenotypes. The microarray used, previously developed by our group has already been applied to identify candidates genes involved in regulating juvenile to adult transition in the shoot apex of seedlings. Varieties with distinct architecture phenotypes and individuals from segregating progenies displaying opposite architecture features were used to link phenotype to expression. Here, we identify 2252 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) associated to differences in plant architecture. Microarray results were validated by quantitative RT-PCR carried out on genes with functional annotation likely related to plant architecture. Twelve of these genes were further analyzed in individual seedlings of the corresponding pool. We also examined Arabidopsis mutants in putative orthologs of these targeted candidate genes, finding altered architecture for most of them. This supports a functional conservation between species and potential biological relevance of the candidate genes identified. This study is the first to identify genes associated to plant architecture in olive, and the results obtained could be of great help in future programs aimed at selecting phenotypes adapted to modern cultivation practices in this species.

  11. Standard biological parts knowledgebase.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galdzicki, Michal; Rodriguez, Cesar; Chandran, Deepak; Sauro, Herbert M; Gennari, John H

    2011-02-24

    We have created the Knowledgebase of Standard Biological Parts (SBPkb) as a publically accessible Semantic Web resource for synthetic biology (sbolstandard.org). The SBPkb allows researchers to query and retrieve standard biological parts for research and use in synthetic biology. Its initial version includes all of the information about parts stored in the Registry of Standard Biological Parts (partsregistry.org). SBPkb transforms this information so that it is computable, using our semantic framework for synthetic biology parts. This framework, known as SBOL-semantic, was built as part of the Synthetic Biology Open Language (SBOL), a project of the Synthetic Biology Data Exchange Group. SBOL-semantic represents commonly used synthetic biology entities, and its purpose is to improve the distribution and exchange of descriptions of biological parts. In this paper, we describe the data, our methods for transformation to SBPkb, and finally, we demonstrate the value of our knowledgebase with a set of sample queries. We use RDF technology and SPARQL queries to retrieve candidate "promoter" parts that are known to be both negatively and positively regulated. This method provides new web based data access to perform searches for parts that are not currently possible.

  12. Standard biological parts knowledgebase.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michal Galdzicki

    Full Text Available We have created the Knowledgebase of Standard Biological Parts (SBPkb as a publically accessible Semantic Web resource for synthetic biology (sbolstandard.org. The SBPkb allows researchers to query and retrieve standard biological parts for research and use in synthetic biology. Its initial version includes all of the information about parts stored in the Registry of Standard Biological Parts (partsregistry.org. SBPkb transforms this information so that it is computable, using our semantic framework for synthetic biology parts. This framework, known as SBOL-semantic, was built as part of the Synthetic Biology Open Language (SBOL, a project of the Synthetic Biology Data Exchange Group. SBOL-semantic represents commonly used synthetic biology entities, and its purpose is to improve the distribution and exchange of descriptions of biological parts. In this paper, we describe the data, our methods for transformation to SBPkb, and finally, we demonstrate the value of our knowledgebase with a set of sample queries. We use RDF technology and SPARQL queries to retrieve candidate "promoter" parts that are known to be both negatively and positively regulated. This method provides new web based data access to perform searches for parts that are not currently possible.

  13. Pesticide Exposures May Alter Mouth Bacteria

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... fullstory_162249.html Pesticide Exposures May Alter Mouth Bacteria Study of Washington farm workers finds alterations persist ... News) -- Pesticide exposure may change the makeup of bacteria in the mouths of farm workers, a new ...

  14. Author Identifiers in Scholarly Repositories

    CERN Document Server

    Warner, Simeon

    2010-01-01

    Bibliometric and usage-based analyses and tools highlight the value of information about scholarship contained within the network of authors, articles and usage data. Less progress has been made on populating and using the author side of this network than the article side, in part because of the difficulty of unambiguously identifying authors. I briefly review a sample of author identifier schemes, and consider use in scholarly repositories. I then describe preliminary work at arXiv to implement public author identifiers, services based on them, and plans to make this information useful beyond the boundaries of arXiv.

  15. The Biology of Neisseria Adhesins

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Miao-Chiu Hung

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Members of the genus Neisseria include pathogens causing important human diseases such as meningitis, septicaemia, gonorrhoea and pelvic inflammatory disease syndrome. Neisseriae are found on the exposed epithelia of the upper respiratory tract and the urogenital tract. Colonisation of these exposed epithelia is dependent on a repertoire of diverse bacterial molecules, extending not only from the surface of the bacteria but also found within the outer membrane. During invasive disease, pathogenic Neisseriae also interact with immune effector cells, vascular endothelia and the meninges. Neisseria adhesion involves the interplay of these multiple surface factors and in this review we discuss the structure and function of these important molecules and the nature of the host cell receptors and mechanisms involved in their recognition. We also describe the current status for recently identified Neisseria adhesins. Understanding the biology of Neisseria adhesins has an impact not only on the development of new vaccines but also in revealing fundamental knowledge about human biology.

  16. Climate change and physical disturbance manipulations result in distinct biological soil crust communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steven, Blaire; Kuske, Cheryl R.; Gallegos-Graves, La Verne; Reed, Sasha C.; Belnap, Jayne

    2015-01-01

    Biological soil crusts (biocrusts) colonize plant interspaces in many drylands and are critical to soil nutrient cycling. Multiple climate change and land use factors have been shown to detrimentally impact biocrusts on a macroscopic (i.e., visual) scale. However, the impact of these perturbations on the bacterial components of the biocrusts remain poorly understood. We employed multiple long-term field experiments to assess the impacts of chronic physical (foot trampling) and climatic changes (2 °C soil warming, altered summer precipitation (wetting), and combined warming and wetting) on biocrust bacterial biomass, composition, and metabolic profile. The biocrust bacterial communities adopted distinct states based on the mechanism of disturbance. Chronic trampling decreased biomass and caused small community compositional change. Soil warming had little effect on biocrust biomass or composition, while wetting resulted in an increase in cyanobacterial biomass and altered bacterial composition. Warming combined with wetting dramatically altered bacterial composition and decreased cyanobacteria abundance. Shotgun metagenomic sequencing identified four functional gene categories that differed in relative abundance among the manipulations, suggesting that climate and land use changes affected soil bacterial functional potential. This study illustrates that different types of biocrust disturbance damage biocrusts in macroscopically similar ways, but they differentially impact the resident soil bacterial communities and the community functional profile can differ depending on the disturbance type. Therefore, the nature of the perturbation and the microbial response are important considerations for management and restoration of drylands.

  17. Climate change and physical disturbance manipulations result in distinct biological soil crust communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steven, Blaire; Kuske, Cheryl R; Gallegos-Graves, La Verne; Reed, Sasha C; Belnap, Jayne

    2015-11-01

    Biological soil crusts (biocrusts) colonize plant interspaces in many drylands and are critical to soil nutrient cycling. Multiple climate change and land use factors have been shown to detrimentally impact biocrusts on a macroscopic (i.e., visual) scale. However, the impact of these perturbations on the bacterial components of the biocrusts remains poorly understood. We employed multiple long-term field experiments to assess the impacts of chronic physical (foot trampling) and climatic changes (2°C soil warming, altered summer precipitation [wetting], and combined warming and wetting) on biocrust bacterial biomass, composition, and metabolic profile. The biocrust bacterial communities adopted distinct states based on the mechanism of disturbance. Chronic trampling decreased biomass and caused small community compositional changes. Soil warming had little effect on biocrust biomass or composition, while wetting resulted in an increase in the cyanobacterial biomass and altered bacterial composition. Warming combined with wetting dramatically altered bacterial composition and decreased Cyanobacteria abundance. Shotgun metagenomic sequencing identified four functional gene categories that differed in relative abundance among the manipulations, suggesting that climate and land use changes affected soil bacterial functional potential. This study illustrates that different types of biocrust disturbance damage biocrusts in macroscopically similar ways, but they differentially impact the resident soil bacterial communities, and the communities' functional profiles can differ depending on the disturbance type. Therefore, the nature of the perturbation and the microbial response are important considerations for management and restoration of drylands.

  18. Computational systems biology in cancer brain metastasis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peng, Huiming; Tan, Hua; Zhao, Weiling; Jin, Guangxu; Sharma, Sambad; Xing, Fei; Watabe, Kounosuke; Zhou, Xiaobo

    2016-01-01

    Brain metastases occur in 20-40% of patients with advanced malignancies. A better understanding of the mechanism of this disease will help us to identify novel therapeutic strategies. In this review, we will discuss the systems biology approaches used in this area, including bioinformatics and mathematical modeling. Bioinformatics has been used for identifying the molecular mechanisms driving brain metastasis and mathematical modeling methods for analyzing dynamics of a system and predicting optimal therapeutic strategies. We will illustrate the strategies, procedures, and computational techniques used for studying systems biology in cancer brain metastases. We will give examples on how to use a systems biology approach to analyze a complex disease. Some of the approaches used to identify relevant networks, pathways, and possibly biomarkers in metastasis will be reviewed into details. Finally, certain challenges and possible future directions in this area will also be discussed.

  19. Network modeling identifies molecular functions targeted by miR-204 to suppress head and neck tumor metastasis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Younghee Lee

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available Due to the large number of putative microRNA gene targets predicted by sequence-alignment databases and the relative low accuracy of such predictions which are conducted independently of biological context by design, systematic experimental identification and validation of every functional microRNA target is currently challenging. Consequently, biological studies have yet to identify, on a genome scale, key regulatory networks perturbed by altered microRNA functions in the context of cancer. In this report, we demonstrate for the first time how phenotypic knowledge of inheritable cancer traits and of risk factor loci can be utilized jointly with gene expression analysis to efficiently prioritize deregulated microRNAs for biological characterization. Using this approach we characterize miR-204 as a tumor suppressor microRNA and uncover previously unknown connections between microRNA regulation, network topology, and expression dynamics. Specifically, we validate 18 gene targets of miR-204 that show elevated mRNA expression and are enriched in biological processes associated with tumor progression in squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (HNSCC. We further demonstrate the enrichment of bottleneckness, a key molecular network topology, among miR-204 gene targets. Restoration of miR-204 function in HNSCC cell lines inhibits the expression of its functionally related gene targets, leads to the reduced adhesion, migration and invasion in vitro and attenuates experimental lung metastasis in vivo. As importantly, our investigation also provides experimental evidence linking the function of microRNAs that are located in the cancer-associated genomic regions (CAGRs to the observed predisposition to human cancers. Specifically, we show miR-204 may serve as a tumor suppressor gene at the 9q21.1-22.3 CAGR locus, a well established risk factor locus in head and neck cancers for which tumor suppressor genes have not been identified. This new strategy

  20. Melanoma biomolecules: independently identified but functionally intertwined

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Danielle Erin Dye

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available The majority of patients diagnosed with melanoma present with thin lesions and generally these patients have a good prognosis. However, 5% of patients with early melanoma (< 1mm thick will have recurrence and die within 10 years, despite no evidence of local or metastatic spread at the time of diagnosis. Thus, there is a need for additional prognostic markers to help identify those patients that may be at risk of recurrent disease. Many studies and several meta-analyses have compared gene and protein expression in melanocytes, naevi, primary and metastatic melanoma in an attempt to find informative prognostic markers for these patients. However, although a large number of putative biomarkers have been described, few of these molecules are informative when used in isolation. The best approach is likely to involve a combination of molecules. We believe one approach could be to analyze the expression of a group of interacting proteins that regulate different aspects of the metastatic pathway. This is because a primary lesion expressing proteins involved in multiple stages of metastasis may be more likely to lead to secondary disease than one that does not. This review focuses on five putative biomarkers - melanoma cell adhesion molecule (MCAM, galectin-3 (gal-3, matrix metalloproteinase 2 (MMP-2, chondroitin sulfate proteoglycan 4 (CSPG4 and paired box 3 (PAX3. The goal is to provide context around what is known about the contribution of these biomarkers to melanoma biology and metastasis. Although each of these molecules have been independently identified as likely biomarkers, it is clear from our analyses that each are closely linked with each other, with intertwined roles in melanoma biology.

  1. A kernel version of multivariate alteration detection

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Allan Aasbjerg; Vestergaard, Jacob Schack

    2013-01-01

    Based on the established methods kernel canonical correlation analysis and multivariate alteration detection we introduce a kernel version of multivariate alteration detection. A case study with SPOT HRV data shows that the kMAD variates focus on extreme change observations.......Based on the established methods kernel canonical correlation analysis and multivariate alteration detection we introduce a kernel version of multivariate alteration detection. A case study with SPOT HRV data shows that the kMAD variates focus on extreme change observations....

  2. Identifiability, exchangeability and confounding revisited

    OpenAIRE

    Greenland, Sander; Robins, James Matthew

    2009-01-01

    In 1986 the International Journal of Epidemiology published "Identifiability, Exchangeability and Epidemiological Confounding". We review the article from the perspective of a quarter century after it was first drafted and relate it to subsequent developments on confounding, ignorability, and collapsibility.

  3. Identifying discharge practice training needs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lees, L; Emmerson, K

    A training needs analysis tool was developed to identify nurses' discharge training needs and to improve discharge practice. The tool includes 49 elements of discharge practice subdivided into four areas: corporate, operational, clinical and nurse-led discharge. The tool was disseminated to 15 wards on two hospital sites with assistance from the practice development team. Analysis of discharge training is important to assess discharge training needs and to identify staff who may assist with training.

  4. Plant synthetic biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Wusheng; Stewart, C Neal

    2015-05-01

    Plant synthetic biology is an emerging field that combines engineering principles with plant biology toward the design and production of new devices. This emerging field should play an important role in future agriculture for traditional crop improvement, but also in enabling novel bioproduction in plants. In this review we discuss the design cycles of synthetic biology as well as key engineering principles, genetic parts, and computational tools that can be utilized in plant synthetic biology. Some pioneering examples are offered as a demonstration of how synthetic biology can be used to modify plants for specific purposes. These include synthetic sensors, synthetic metabolic pathways, and synthetic genomes. We also speculate about the future of synthetic biology of plants.

  5. Branching processes in biology

    CERN Document Server

    Kimmel, Marek

    2015-01-01

    This book provides a theoretical background of branching processes and discusses their biological applications. Branching processes are a well-developed and powerful set of tools in the field of applied probability. The range of applications considered includes molecular biology, cellular biology, human evolution and medicine. The branching processes discussed include Galton-Watson, Markov, Bellman-Harris, Multitype, and General Processes. As an aid to understanding specific examples, two introductory chapters, and two glossaries are included that provide background material in mathematics and in biology. The book will be of interest to scientists who work in quantitative modeling of biological systems, particularly probabilists, mathematical biologists, biostatisticians, cell biologists, molecular biologists, and bioinformaticians. The authors are a mathematician and cell biologist who have collaborated for more than a decade in the field of branching processes in biology for this new edition. This second ex...

  6. How progesterone impairs memory for biologically salient stimuli in healthy young women.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wingen, G.A. van; Broekhoven, F. van; Verkes, R.J.; Petersson, K.M.; Backstrom, T.; Buitelaar, J.K.; Fernandez, G.

    2007-01-01

    Progesterone, or rather its neuroactive metabolite allopregnanolone, modulates amygdala activity and thereby influences anxiety. Cognition and, in particular, memory are also altered by allopregnanolone. In the present study, we investigated whether allopregnanolone modulates memory for biologically

  7. Neuroinflammation and neurological alterations in chronic liver diseases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carmina Montoliu

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Several million people with chronic liver diseases (cirrhosis, hepatitis show neurological alterations, named hepatic encephalopathy (HE with cognitive and motor alterations that impair quality of life and reduces life span. Inflammation acts synergistically with hyperammonemia to induce cognitive and motor alterations in patients with chronic liver disease and minimal hepatic encephalopathy (MHE. Previous studies in animal models have suggested that neuroinflammation is a major player in HE. This would also be the case in patients with liver cirrhosis or hepatitis C with HE. Rats with MHE show microglial activation and neuroinflammation that is associated with cognitive impairment and hypokinesia. The anti-inflammatory drug ibuprofen reduces microglial activation and neuroinflammation and restores cognitive and motor functions in rats with MHE. Chronic hyperammonemia per se induces neuroinflammation. Both peripheral inflammation and hyperammonemia would contribute to neuroinflammation in chronic liver failure. Therefore, neuroinflammation may be a key therapeutic target to improve the cognitive and motor alterations in MHE and overt HE. Identifying new targets to reduce neuroinflammation in MHE without inducing secondary effects would serve to develop new therapeutic tools to reverse the cognitive and motor alterations in patients with HE associated with chronic liver diseases.

  8. Valuing hydrological alteration in Multi-Objective reservoir management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bizzi, S.; Pianosi, F.; Soncini-Sessa, R.

    2012-04-01

    mathematical properties required by widely used optimization methods based on dynamic programming; iii) discussing the ranking provided by the proposed indices for a case study in Italy where different operating policies were designed using a MO algorithm, taking into account hydropower production, irrigation supply and flood mitigation and imposing different type of minimum environmental flow; iv) providing a framework to effectively include hydrological alteration within MO problem of reservoir management. Richter, B.D., Baumgartner, J.V., Powell, J., Braun, D.P., 1996, A Method for Assessing Hydrologic Alteration within Ecosystems, Conservation Biology, 10(4), 1163-1174.

  9. Individual Identifiability Predicts Population Identifiability in Forensic Microsatellite Markers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Algee-Hewitt, Bridget F B; Edge, Michael D; Kim, Jaehee; Li, Jun Z; Rosenberg, Noah A

    2016-04-01

    Highly polymorphic genetic markers with significant potential for distinguishing individual identity are used as a standard tool in forensic testing [1, 2]. At the same time, population-genetic studies have suggested that genetically diverse markers with high individual identifiability also confer information about genetic ancestry [3-6]. The dual influence of polymorphism levels on ancestry inference and forensic desirability suggests that forensically useful marker sets with high levels of individual identifiability might also possess substantial ancestry information. We study a standard forensic marker set-the 13 CODIS loci used in the United States and elsewhere [2, 7-9]-together with 779 additional microsatellites [10], using direct population structure inference to test whether markers with substantial individual identifiability also produce considerable information about ancestry. Despite having been selected for individual identification and not for ancestry inference [11], the CODIS markers generate nontrivial model-based clustering patterns similar to those of other sets of 13 tetranucleotide microsatellites. Although the CODIS markers have relatively low values of the F(ST) divergence statistic, their high heterozygosities produce greater ancestry inference potential than is possessed by less heterozygous marker sets. More generally, we observe that marker sets with greater individual identifiability also tend toward greater population identifiability. We conclude that population identifiability regularly follows as a byproduct of the use of highly polymorphic forensic markers. Our findings have implications for the design of new forensic marker sets and for evaluations of the extent to which individual characteristics beyond identification might be predicted from current and future forensic data.

  10. Chemical Biology is.....

    OpenAIRE

    2007-01-01

    Chemical Biology is a relatively new field, and as such is not yet simply or succinctly defined. It includes such a wide range of fundamental problems that this commentary could only include just a few snapshots of potential areas of interest. Overarching themes and selected recent successes and ideas in chemical biology are described to illustrate broadly the scope of the field, but should not be taken as exhaustive. The Chemical Biology Section of Chemistry Central Journal is pleased to rec...

  11. Biological detector and method

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sillerud, Laurel; Alam, Todd M.; McDowell, Andrew F.

    2015-11-24

    A biological detector includes a conduit for receiving a fluid containing one or more magnetic nanoparticle-labeled, biological objects to be detected and one or more permanent magnets or electromagnet for establishing a low magnetic field in which the conduit is disposed. A microcoil is disposed proximate the conduit for energization at a frequency that permits detection by NMR spectroscopy of whether the one or more magnetically-labeled biological objects is/are present in the fluid.

  12. Biological detector and method

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sillerud, Laurel; Alam, Todd M; McDowell, Andrew F

    2014-04-15

    A biological detector includes a conduit for receiving a fluid containing one or more magnetic nanoparticle-labeled, biological objects to be detected and one or more permanent magnets or electromagnet for establishing a low magnetic field in which the conduit is disposed. A microcoil is disposed proximate the conduit for energization at a frequency that permits detection by NMR spectroscopy of whether the one or more magnetically-labeled biological objects is/are present in the fluid.

  13. Biological Individuality of Man

    Science.gov (United States)

    1974-12-01

    RECIPIENT’S CAT * LOO NUMBER Biological Individuality of Man 5 TlrPE OF REPORT a PERIOD COVERED Technical « PERFORMING ORO REPORT...Variability 13 A. Background , 13 B. Slatistictl Approaches to Biological Variability 13 C. Genetic Aspects of Biological Variability . 14 III...ioiological determinants of individuality. Only recently, have genetic infaienccs been investigated and the potentialities for future control of bio

  14. Biological detector and method

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sillerud, Laurel; Alam, Todd M; McDowell, Andrew F

    2013-02-26

    A biological detector includes a conduit for receiving a fluid containing one or more magnetic nanoparticle-labeled, biological objects to be detected and one or more permanent magnets or electromagnet for establishing a low magnetic field in which the conduit is disposed. A microcoil is disposed proximate the conduit for energization at a frequency that permits detection by NMR spectroscopy of whether the one or more magnetically-labeled biological objects is/are present in the fluid.

  15. Perception of biological motion in visual agnosia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elisabeth eHuberle

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Over the past twenty-five years, visual processing has been discussed in the context of the dual stream hypothesis consisting of a ventral (‘what' and a dorsal ('where' visual information processing pathway. Patients with brain damage of the ventral pathway typically present with signs of visual agnosia, the inability to identify and discriminate objects by visual exploration, but show normal perception of motion perception. A dissociation between the perception of biological motion and non-biological motion has been suggested: Perception of biological motion might be impaired when 'non-biological' motion perception is intact and vice versa. The impact of object recognition on the perception of biological motion remains unclear. We thus investigated this question in a patient with severe visual agnosia, who showed normal perception of non-biological motion. The data suggested that the patient's perception of biological motion remained largely intact. However, when tested with objects constructed of coherently moving dots (‘Shape-from-Motion’, recognition was severely impaired. The results are discussed in the context of possible mechanisms of biological motion perception.

  16. Perception of biological motion in visual agnosia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huberle, Elisabeth; Rupek, Paul; Lappe, Markus; Karnath, Hans-Otto

    2012-01-01

    Over the past 25 years, visual processing has been discussed in the context of the dual stream hypothesis consisting of a ventral ("what") and a dorsal ("where") visual information processing pathway. Patients with brain damage of the ventral pathway typically present with signs of visual agnosia, the inability to identify and discriminate objects by visual exploration, but show normal perception of motion perception. A dissociation between the perception of biological motion and non-biological motion has been suggested: perception of biological motion might be impaired when "non-biological" motion perception is intact and vice versa. The impact of object recognition on the perception of biological motion remains unclear. We thus investigated this question in a patient with severe visual agnosia, who showed normal perception of non-biological motion. The data suggested that the patient's perception of biological motion remained largely intact. However, when tested with objects constructed of coherently moving dots ("Shape-from-Motion"), recognition was severely impaired. The results are discussed in the context of possible mechanisms of biological motion perception.

  17. Synthetic biology: mapping the scientific landscape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oldham, Paul; Hall, Stephen; Burton, Geoff

    2012-01-01

    This article uses data from Thomson Reuters Web of Science to map and analyse the scientific landscape for synthetic biology. The article draws on recent advances in data visualisation and analytics with the aim of informing upcoming international policy debates on the governance of synthetic biology by the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA) of the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity. We use mapping techniques to identify how synthetic biology can best be understood and the range of institutions, researchers and funding agencies involved. Debates under the Convention are likely to focus on a possible moratorium on the field release of synthetic organisms, cells or genomes. Based on the empirical evidence we propose that guidance could be provided to funding agencies to respect the letter and spirit of the Convention on Biological Diversity in making research investments. Building on the recommendations of the United States Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues we demonstrate that it is possible to promote independent and transparent monitoring of developments in synthetic biology using modern information tools. In particular, public and policy understanding and engagement with synthetic biology can be enhanced through the use of online interactive tools. As a step forward in this process we make existing data on the scientific literature on synthetic biology available in an online interactive workbook so that researchers, policy makers and civil society can explore the data and draw conclusions for themselves.

  18. Synthetic biology: mapping the scientific landscape.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paul Oldham

    Full Text Available This article uses data from Thomson Reuters Web of Science to map and analyse the scientific landscape for synthetic biology. The article draws on recent advances in data visualisation and analytics with the aim of informing upcoming international policy debates on the governance of synthetic biology by the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA of the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity. We use mapping techniques to identify how synthetic biology can best be understood and the range of institutions, researchers and funding agencies involved. Debates under the Convention are likely to focus on a possible moratorium on the field release of synthetic organisms, cells or genomes. Based on the empirical evidence we propose that guidance could be provided to funding agencies to respect the letter and spirit of the Convention on Biological Diversity in making research investments. Building on the recommendations of the United States Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues we demonstrate that it is possible to promote independent and transparent monitoring of developments in synthetic biology using modern information tools. In particular, public and policy understanding and engagement with synthetic biology can be enhanced through the use of online interactive tools. As a step forward in this process we make existing data on the scientific literature on synthetic biology available in an online interactive workbook so that researchers, policy makers and civil society can explore the data and draw conclusions for themselves.

  19. Characterizing genomic alterations in cancer by complementary functional associations | Office of Cancer Genomics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Systematic efforts to sequence the cancer genome have identified large numbers of mutations and copy number alterations in human cancers. However, elucidating the functional consequences of these variants, and their interactions to drive or maintain oncogenic states, remains a challenge in cancer research. We developed REVEALER, a computational method that identifies combinations of mutually exclusive genomic alterations correlated with functional phenotypes, such as the activation or gene dependency of oncogenic pathways or sensitivity to a drug treatment.

  20. Chemical space and biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dobson, Christopher M

    2004-12-16

    Chemical space--which encompasses all possible small organic molecules, including those present in biological systems--is vast. So vast, in fact, that so far only a tiny fraction of it has been explored. Nevertheless, these explorations have greatly enhanced our understanding of biology, and have led to the development of many of today's drugs. The discovery of new bioactive molecules, facilitated by a deeper understanding of the nature of the regions of chemical space that are relevant to biology, will advance our knowledge of biological processes and lead to new strategies to treat disease.

  1. Polythiophenes in biological applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sista, Prakash; Ghosh, Koushik; Martinez, Jennifer S; Rocha, Reginaldo C

    2014-01-01

    Polythiophene and its derivatives have shown tremendous potential for interfacing electrically conducting polymers with biological applications. These semiconducting organic polymers are relatively soft, conduct electrons and ions, have low cytotoxicity, and can undergo facile chemical modifications. In addition, the reduction in electrical impedance of electrodes coated with polythiophenes may prove to be invaluable for a stable and permanent connection between devices and biological tissues. This review article focuses on the synthesis and some key applications of polythiophenes in multidisciplinary areas at the interface with biology. These polymers have shown tremendous potential in biological applications such as diagnostics, therapy, drug delivery, imaging, implant devices and artificial organs.

  2. Optimizing biological therapy in Crohn's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gecse, Krisztina Barbara; Végh, Zsuzsanna; Lakatos, Péter László

    2016-01-01

    Anti-TNF therapy has revolutionized the treatment of inflammatory bowel diseases, including both Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. However, a significant proportion of patients does not respond to anti-TNF agents or lose response over time. Recently, therapeutic drug monitoring has gained a major role in identifying the mechanism and management of loss of response. The aim of this review article is to summarize the predictors of efficacy and outcomes, the different mechanisms of anti-TNF/biological failure in Crohn's disease and identify strategies to optimize biological treatment.

  3. Peripheral whole blood microRNA alterations in major depression and bipolar disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maffioletti, Elisabetta; Cattaneo, Annamaria; Rosso, Gianluca; Maina, Giuseppe; Maj, Carlo; Gennarelli, Massimo; Tardito, Daniela; Bocchio-Chiavetto, Luisella

    2016-08-01

    Major depression (MD) and bipolar disorder (BD) are severe and potentially life-threating mood disorders whose etiology is to date not completely understood. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small non-coding RNAs that regulate protein synthesis post-transcriptionally by base-pairing to target gene mRNAs. Growing evidence indicated that miRNAs might play a key role in the pathogenesis of neuropsychiatric disorders and in the action of psychotropic drugs. On these bases, in this study we evaluated the expression levels of 1733 mature miRNAs annotated in miRBase v.17, through a microarray technique, in the blood of 20 MD and 20 BD patients and 20 healthy controls, in order to identify putative miRNA signatures associated with mood disorders. We found that 5 miRNAs (hsa-let-7a-5p, hsa-let-7d-5p, hsa-let-7f-5p, hsa-miR-24-3p and hsa-miR-425-3p) were specifically altered in MD patients and 5 (hsa-miR-140-3p, hsa-miR-30d-5p, hsa-miR-330-5p, hsa-miR-378a-5p and hsa-miR-21-3p) in BD patients, whereas 2 miRNAs (hsa-miR-330-3p and hsa-miR-345-5p) were dysregulated in both the diseases. The bioinformatic prediction of the genes targeted by the altered miRNAs revealed the possible involvement of neural pathways relevant for psychiatric disorders. In conclusion, the observed results indicate a dysregulation of miRNA blood expression in mood disorders and could indicate new avenues for a better understanding of their pathogenetic mechanisms. The identified alterations may represent potential peripheral biomarkers to be complemented with other clinical and biological features for the improvement of diagnostic accuracy.

  4. Window to 'Clovis's' Altered Past

    Science.gov (United States)

    2004-01-01

    This image taken by the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit shows a rock outcrop dubbed 'Clovis.' The rock was discovered to be softer than other rocks studied so far at Gusev Crater after the rover easily ground a hole (center) into it with its rock abrasion tool. An analysis of the interior of the hole with the rover's alpha particle X-ray spectrometer found higher concentrations of sulfur, bromine and chlorine compared to basaltic, or volcanic, rocks at Gusev. This might indicate that Clovis was chemically altered, and that fluids once flowed through the rock depositing these elements. Spirit's solar panels can be seen in the foreground. This image was taken by the rover's navigation camera on sol 205 (July 31, 2004).

  5. Epigenetic alterations underlying autoimmune diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aslani, Saeed; Mahmoudi, Mahdi; Karami, Jafar; Jamshidi, Ahmad Reza; Malekshahi, Zahra; Nicknam, Mohammad Hossein

    2016-01-01

    Recent breakthroughs in genetic explorations have extended our understanding through discovery of genetic patterns subjected to autoimmune diseases (AID). Genetics, on the contrary, has not answered all the conundrums to describe a comprehensive explanation of causal mechanisms of disease etiopathology with regard to the function of environment, sex, or aging. The other side of the coin, epigenetics which is defined by gene manifestation modification without DNA sequence alteration, reportedly has come in to provide new insights towards disease apprehension through bridging the genetics and environmental factors. New investigations in genetic and environmental contributing factors for autoimmunity provide new explanation whereby the interactions between genetic elements and epigenetic modifications signed by environmental agents may be responsible for autoimmune disease initiation and perpetuation. It is aimed through this article to review recent progress attempting to reveal how epigenetics associates with the pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases.

  6. Epigenetic Alterations in Muscular Disorders

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chiara Lanzuolo

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Epigenetic mechanisms, acting via chromatin organization, fix in time and space different transcriptional programs and contribute to the quality, stability, and heritability of cell-specific transcription programs. In the last years, great advances have been made in our understanding of mechanisms by which this occurs in normal subjects. However, only a small part of the complete picture has been revealed. Abnormal gene expression patterns are often implicated in the development of different diseases, and thus epigenetic studies from patients promise to fill an important lack of knowledge, deciphering aberrant molecular mechanisms at the basis of pathogenesis and diseases progression. The identification of epigenetic modifications that could be used as targets for therapeutic interventions could be particularly timely in the light of pharmacologically reversion of pathological perturbations, avoiding changes in DNA sequences. Here I discuss the available information on epigenetic mechanisms that, altered in neuromuscular disorders, could contribute to the progression of the disease.

  7. Self-alteration in HRI

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Yamazaki, Ryuji; Nørskov, Marco

    Humanlike androids are being developed with the ambition to be immersed into our daily life and meet us on an equal level in social interaction. The possibilities and limitations of these types of robots can potentially change societies and Human-Robot Interaction might affect the very way in which...... the ways in which our subjectivity can be innerly transformed, decentred, in other words, self-altered. In our trials so far, we have been investigating the potential of teleoperated androids, which are embodied telecommunication media with humanlike appearances. By conducting pilot studies in Japan...... and Denmark, we examine how Telenoid, a new type of teleoperated android robot designed as a minimalistic human, affect people in the real world. We introduce Telenoid to real-world as the fields of elderly care and child education by focusing on the social aspects of the android robot that might facilitate...

  8. Genetic alterations in pancreatic cancer

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Muhammad Wasif Saif; Lena Karapanagiotou; Kostas Syrigos

    2007-01-01

    The diagnosis of pancreatic cancer is devastating for patients and their relatives as the incidence rate is approximately the same as mortality rate. Only a small percentage, which ranges from 0.4% to 4% of patients who have been given this diagnosis, will be alive at five years. At the time of diagnosis, 80% of pancreatic cancer patients have unresectable or metastatic disease.Moreover, the therapeutic alternatives offered by chemotherapy or radiotherapy are few, if not zero. For all these reasons, there is an imperative need of analyzing and understanding the primitive lesions that lead to invasive pancreatic adenocarcinoma. Molecular pathology of these lesions is the key of our understanding of the mechanisms underlying the development of this cancer and will probably help us in earlier diagnosis and better therapeutic results. This review focuses on medical research on pancreatic cancer models and the underlying genetic alterations.

  9. Biological features and biomarkers in hepatocellularcarcinoma

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2015-01-01

    Similar to other cancers, a multistep process of carcinogenesisis observed in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).Although the mechanisms underlying the developmentof HCC have been investigated in terms of oncology,virology, and stem cell biology, the whole picture ofhepatocarcinogenesis remains to be elucidated. Recentprogress in molecular biology has provided clues tothe underlying cause of various diseases. In particular,sequencing technologies, such as whole genome andexome sequencing analyses, have made an impacton genomic research on a variety of cancers includingHCC. Comprehensive genomic analyses have detectednumerous abnormal genetic alterations, such asmutations and copy number alterations. Based on thesefindings, signaling pathways and cancer-related genesinvolved in hepatocarcinogenesis could be analyzed indetail. Simultaneously, a number of novel biomarkers,both from tissue and blood samples, have been recentlyreported. These biomarkers have been successfullyapplied to early diagnosis and prognostic prediction ofpatients with HCC. In this review, we focus on the recentdevelopments in molecular cancer research on HCC andexplain the biological features and novel biomarkers.

  10. Sonoelastography as a diagnostic tool in the assessment of musculoskeletal alterations

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pedersen, M; Fredberg, Ulrich; Langberg, H

    2012-01-01

    was found to be able to distinguish between healthy and diseased muscles and was potentially more sensitive in identifying early dystrophic changes than US or MRI. Conclusion: Based on this critical evaluation of the literature, SEL seems to be at least as feasible as US and MRI for assessing tendon...... alterations and able to identify subclinical tendon alterations not visible with conventional US. The findings in the reviewed articles suggest that SEL could become a supplementary imaging technique in the assessment of musculoskeletal alterations, potentially superior to US and MRI. Until more studies...

  11. Absolute quantification of somatic DNA alterations in human cancer

    OpenAIRE

    Carter, Scott L.; Cibulskis, Kristian; Helman, Elena; McKenna, Aaron; Shen, Hui; Zack, Travis; Laird, Peter W.; Onofrio, Robert C.; Winckler, Wendy; Weir, Barbara A; Beroukhim, Rameen; Pellman, David; Levine, Douglas A.; Lander, Eric S.; Meyerson, Matthew

    2012-01-01

    We developed a computational method (ABSOLUTE) that infers tumor purity and malignant cell ploidy directly from analysis of somatic DNA alterations. ABSOLUTE can detect subclonal heterogeneity, somatic homozygosity, and calculate statistical sensitivity to detect specific aberrations. We used ABSOLUTE to analyze ovarian cancer data and identified pervasive subclonal somatic point mutations. In contrast, mutations occurring in key tumor suppressor genes, TP53 and NF1 were predominantly clonal ...

  12. Absolute quantification of somatic DNA alterations in human cancer

    OpenAIRE

    Carter, Scott L.; Cibulskis, Kristian; Helman, Elena; McKenna, Aaron; Shen, Hui; Zack, Travis; Laird, Peter W.; Onofrio, Robert C.; Winckler, Wendy; Weir, Barbara A; Beroukhim, Rameen; Pellman, David; Levine, Douglas A.; Lander, Eric S.; Meyerson, Matthew

    2015-01-01

    We developed a computational method (ABSOLUTE) that infers tumor purity and malignant cell ploidy directly from analysis of somatic DNA alterations. ABSOLUTE can detect subclonal heterogeneity, somatic homozygosity, and calculate statistical sensitivity to detect specific aberrations. We used ABSOLUTE to analyze ovarian cancer data and identified pervasive subclonal somatic point mutations. In contrast, mutations occurring in key tumor suppressor genes, TP53 and NF1 were predominantly clonal ...

  13. Prolonged morphine administration alters protein expression in the rat myocardium

    OpenAIRE

    Drastichova Zdenka; Skrabalova Jitka; Neckar Jan; Kolar Frantisek; Novotny Jiri

    2011-01-01

    Abstract Background Morphine is used in clinical practice as a highly effective painkiller as well as the drug of choice for treatment of certain heart diseases. However, there is lack of information about its effect on protein expression in the heart. Therefore, here we aimed to identify the presumed alterations in rat myocardial protein levels after prolonged morphine treatment. Methods Morphine was administered to adult male Wistar rats in high doses (10 mg/kg per day) for 10 days. Protein...

  14. Football refereeing: Identifying innovative methods

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Reza MohammadKazemi

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available The aim of the present study is to identify the potentials innovation in football industry. Data were collected from 10 national and international referees, assistant referees and referees’ supervisors in Iran. In this study, technological innovations are identified that assist better refereeing performances. The analysis revealed a significant relationship between using new technologies and referees ‘performance. The results indicate that elite referees, assistant referees and supervisors agreed to use new technological innovations during the game. According to their comments, this kind of technology causes the referees’ performance development.

  15. MATERNAL ATRAZINE (ATR) ALTERS HYPOTHALAMIC DOPAMINE (HYP-DA) AND SERUM PROLACTIN (SPRL) IN MALE PUPS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maternal Atrazine (ATR) alters hypothalamic dopamine (HYP-DA) and serum prolactin (sPRL) in male pups. 1Christopher Langdale, 2Tammy Stoker and 2Ralph Cooper. 1 Dept. of Cell Biology, North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine, Raleigh, NC. 2 Endocrinology ...

  16. ALTERATIONS IN CALCIUM ION ACTIVITY BY ELF AND RF ELECTROMAGNETIC FIELDS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alterations in calcium ion activity by ELF and RF electromagnetic fieldsIntroductionCalcium ions play many important roles in biological systems. For example, calcium ion activity can be used as an indicator of second-messenger signal-transduction processe...

  17. Expression and structural-functional alterations of α-1-acid glycoprotein at the pathological state

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kulinich A. O.

    2010-07-01

    Full Text Available The review analyzes up-to-date knowledge on structure and biological functions of α-acid glycoprotein. The special attention is given to alterations of fucosylation, sialylation and branching of orosomucoid at the acute, chronic inflammation and oncotransformations.

  18. Biology Library Workbook.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Constance; And Others

    A library skills workbook provides college biology students with an introduction to biological library resources. Divided into two sections, the first contains explanations of the various steps in the library research process. The second consists of exercises keyed to the explanatory chapters of the first section. (RAA)

  19. Psoriasis : implications of biologics

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lecluse, L.L.A.

    2010-01-01

    Since the end of 2004 several specific immunomodulating therapies: ‘biologic response modifiers’ or ‘biologics’ have been registered for moderate to severe psoriasis in Europe. This thesis is considering the implications of the introduction of the biologics for psoriasis patients, focusing on safety

  20. Biological Macromolecule Crystallization Database

    Science.gov (United States)

    SRD 21 Biological Macromolecule Crystallization Database (Web, free access)   The Biological Macromolecule Crystallization Database and NASA Archive for Protein Crystal Growth Data (BMCD) contains the conditions reported for the crystallization of proteins and nucleic acids used in X-ray structure determinations and archives the results of microgravity macromolecule crystallization studies.

  1. Experimenting with Mathematical Biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanft, Rebecca; Walter, Anne

    2016-01-01

    St. Olaf College recently added a Mathematical Biology concentration to its curriculum. The core course, Mathematics of Biology, was redesigned to include a wet laboratory. The lab classes required students to collect data and implement the essential modeling techniques of formulation, implementation, validation, and analysis. The four labs…

  2. Introduction to systems biology

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bruggeman, F.J.; Hornberg, J.J.; Boogerd, F.C.; Westerhoff, H.V.; Boogerd, F.C.; Bruggeman, F.J.; Hofmeyr, J.H.S.; Westerhoff, H.V.

    2007-01-01

    The developments in the molecular biosciences have made possible a shift to combined molecular and system-level approaches to biological research under the name of Systems Biology. It integrates many types of molecular knowledge, which can best be achieved by the synergistic use of models and experi

  3. [Autism, genetics and synaptic function alterations].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perche, O; Laumonnier, F; Baala, L; Ardourel, M-Y; Menuet, A; Robin, V; Mortaud, S; Montécot-Dubourg, C; Richard, O; Pichon, J; Briault, S

    2010-10-01

    Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by a deficit of language and communication both associated with a restricted repertoire of activities and interests. The current prevalence of autistic disorder stricto sensu is estimated at 1/500 whereas autism spectrum disorders (ASD) increases up to 1/150 to 1/200. Mental deficiency (MD) and epilepsy are present in numerous autistic individuals. Consequently, autism is as a major public health issue. Autism was first considered as a non biological disease; however various rational approaches for analysing epidemiological data suggested the possibility of the influence of genetic factors. In 2003, this hypothesis was clearly illustrated by the characterization of genetic mutations transmitted through a mendelian manner. Subsequently, the glutamate synapse appeared as a preferential causal target in autism because the identified genes encoded proteins present in this structure. Strikingly, the findings that an identical genetic dysfunction of the synapse might also explain some MD suggested the possibility of a genetic comorbidity between these neurodevelopmental conditions. To date, various identified genes are considered indifferently as "autism" or "MD" genes. The characterization of mutations in the NLGN4X gene in patients with Asperger syndrome, autism without MD, or MD without autism, was the first example. It appears that a genetic continuum between ASD on one hand, and between autism and MD on the other hand, is present. Consequently, it is likely that genes already involved in MD will be found mutated in autistic patients and will represent future target for finding new factors in autism.

  4. Frontiers in mathematical biology

    CERN Document Server

    1994-01-01

    Volume 100, which is the final volume of the LNBM series serves to commemorate the acievements in two decades of this influential collection of books in mathematical biology. The contributions, by the leading mathematical biologists, survey the state of the art in the subject, and offer speculative, philosophical and critical analyses of the key issues confronting the field. The papers address fundamental issues in cell and molecular biology, organismal biology, evolutionary biology, population ecology, community and ecosystem ecology, and applied biology, plus the explicit and implicit mathematical challenges. Cross-cuttting issues involve the problem of variation among units in nonlinear systems, and the related problems of the interactions among phenomena across scales of space, time and organizational complexity.

  5. Space biology research development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonting, Sjoerd L.

    1993-01-01

    The purpose of the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) Institute is to conduct and promote research related activities regarding the search for extraterrestrial life, particularly intelligent life. Such research encompasses the broad discipline of 'Life in the Universe', including all scientific and technological aspects of astronomy and the planetary sciences, chemical evolution, the origin of life, biological evolution, and cultural evolution. The primary purpose was to provide funding for the Principal Investigator to collaborate with the personnel of the SETI Institute and the NASA-Ames Research center in order to plan and develop space biology research on and in connection with Space Station Freedom; to promote cooperation with the international partners in the space station; to conduct a study on the use of biosensors in space biology research and life support system operation; and to promote space biology research through the initiation of an annual publication 'Advances in Space Biology and Medicine'.

  6. Optics of Biological Particles

    CERN Document Server

    Hoekstra, Alfons; Videen, Gorden

    2007-01-01

    This book covers the optics of single biological particles, both theory and experiment, with emphasis on Elastic Light Scattering and Fluorescence. It deals with the optics of bacteria (bio-aerosols), marine particles (selected phytoplankton communities) and red and white blood cells. Moreover, there are dedicated chapters on a general theory for scattering by a cell, and modelling and simulation of scattering by inhomogeneous biological cells. Finally, one chapter is dedicated to astro-biological signatures, discussing the possibilities for detecting non-terrestrial biological material. The volume has up-to-date discussions on new experimental and numerical techniques, and many examples of applications of these techniques in real-life systems, as used to detect and characterize e.g. biological warfare agents or human blood cells.

  7. Biological sample collector

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murphy, Gloria A.

    2010-09-07

    A biological sample collector is adapted to a collect several biological samples in a plurality of filter wells. A biological sample collector may comprise a manifold plate for mounting a filter plate thereon, the filter plate having a plurality of filter wells therein; a hollow slider for engaging and positioning a tube that slides therethrough; and a slide case within which the hollow slider travels to allow the tube to be aligned with a selected filter well of the plurality of filter wells, wherein when the tube is aligned with the selected filter well, the tube is pushed through the hollow slider and into the selected filter well to sealingly engage the selected filter well and to allow the tube to deposit a biological sample onto a filter in the bottom of the selected filter well. The biological sample collector may be portable.

  8. Identifying the Gifted Child Humorist.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fern, Tami L.

    1991-01-01

    This study attempted to identify gifted child humorists among 1,204 children in grades 3-6. Final identification of 13 gifted child humorists was determined through application of such criteria as funniness, originality, and exemplary performance or product. The influence of intelligence, development, social factors, sex differences, family…

  9. SNP interaction pattern identifier (SIPI)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lin, Hui-Yi; Chen, Dung-Tsa; Huang, Po-Yu

    2016-01-01

    MOTIVATION: Testing SNP-SNP interactions is considered as a key for overcoming bottlenecks of genetic association studies. However, related statistical methods for testing SNP-SNP interactions are underdeveloped. RESULTS: We propose the SNP Interaction Pattern Identifier (SIPI), which tests 45...

  10. Large-scale proteomics differentiates cholesteatoma from surrounding tissues and identifies novel proteins related to the pathogenesis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anders Britze

    Full Text Available Cholesteatoma is the growth of keratinizing squamous epithelium in the middle ear. It is associated with severe complications and has a poorly understood etiopathogenesis. Here, we present the results from extensive bioinformatics analyses of the first large-scale proteomic investigation of cholesteatoma. The purpose of this study was to take an unbiased approach to identifying alterations in protein expression and in biological processes, in order to explain the characteristic phenotype of this skin-derived tumor. Five different human tissue types (cholesteatoma, neck of cholesteatoma, tympanic membrane, external auditory canal skin, and middle ear mucosa were analyzed. More than 2,400 unique proteins were identified using nanoLC-MS/MS based proteomics (data deposited to the ProteomeXchange, and 295 proteins were found to be differentially regulated in cholesteatoma. Validation analyses were performed by SRM mass spectrometry. Proteins found to be up- or down-regulated in cholesteatoma were analyzed using Ingenuity Pathway Analysis and clustered into functional groups, for which activation state and associations to disease processes were predicted. Cholesteatoma contained high levels of pro-inflammatory S100 proteins, such as S100A7A and S100A7. Several proteases, such as ELANE, were up-regulated, whereas extracellular matrix proteins, such as COL18A1 and NID2, were under-represented. This may lead to alterations in integrity and differentiation of the tissue (as suggested by the up-regulation of KRT4 in the cholesteatoma. The presented data on the differential protein composition in cholesteatoma corroborate previous studies, highlight novel protein functionalities involved in the pathogenesis, and identify new areas for targeted research that hold therapeutic potential for the disease.

  11. Identification of alterations in the Jacobian of biochemical reaction networks from steady state covariance data at two conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kügler, Philipp; Yang, Wei

    2014-06-01

    Model building of biochemical reaction networks typically involves experiments in which changes in the behavior due to natural or experimental perturbations are observed. Computational models of reaction networks are also used in a systems biology approach to study how transitions from a healthy to a diseased state result from changes in genetic or environmental conditions. In this paper we consider the nonlinear inverse problem of inferring information about the Jacobian of a Langevin type network model from covariance data of steady state concentrations associated to two different experimental conditions. Under idealized assumptions on the Langevin fluctuation matrices we prove that relative alterations in the network Jacobian can be uniquely identified when comparing the two data sets. Based on this result and the premise that alteration is locally confined to separable parts due to network modularity we suggest a computational approach using hybrid stochastic-deterministic optimization for the detection of perturbations in the network Jacobian using the sparsity promoting effect of [Formula: see text]-penalization. Our approach is illustrated by means of published metabolomic and signaling reaction networks.

  12. Triclosan exposure alters postembryonic development in a Pacific tree frog (Pseudacris regilla) Amphibian Metamorphosis Assay (TREEMA)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Marlatt, Vicki L. [Nautilus Environmental, 8864 Commerce Court, Burnaby, B.C. V5A 4N7 (Canada); Veldhoen, Nik [Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology, University of Victoria, P.O. Box 3055 Stn CSC, Victoria, B.C. V8W 3P6 (Canada); Lo, Bonnie P. [Nautilus Environmental, 8864 Commerce Court, Burnaby, B.C. V5A 4N7 (Canada); Bakker, Dannika; Rehaume, Vicki; Vallee, Kurtis [Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology, University of Victoria, P.O. Box 3055 Stn CSC, Victoria, B.C. V8W 3P6 (Canada); Haberl, Maxine; Shang, Dayue; Aggelen, Graham C. van; Skirrow, Rachel C. [Pacific and Yukon Laboratory for Environmental Testing, Emergencies Operational Analytical Laboratories and Research Support Division, Environment Canada, 2645 Dollarton Highway, North Vancouver, B.C. V7H 1B1 (Canada); Elphick, James R. [Nautilus Environmental, 8864 Commerce Court, Burnaby, B.C. V5A 4N7 (Canada); Helbing, Caren C., E-mail: chelbing@uvic.ca [Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology, University of Victoria, P.O. Box 3055 Stn CSC, Victoria, B.C. V8W 3P6 (Canada)

    2013-01-15

    The Amphibian Metamorphosis Assay (AMA), developed for Xenopus laevis, is designed to identify chemicals that disrupt thyroid hormone (TH)-mediated biological processes. We adapted the AMA for use on an ecologically-relevant North American species, the Pacific tree frog (Pseudacris regilla), and applied molecular endpoints to evaluate the effects of the antibacterial agent, triclosan (TCS). Premetamorphic (Gosner stage 26-28) tadpoles were immersed for 21 days in solvent control, 1.5 {mu}g/L thyroxine (T{sub 4}), 0.3, 3 and 30 {mu}g/L (nominal) TCS, or combined T{sub 4}/TCS treatments. Exposure effects were scored by morphometric (developmental stage, wet weight, and body, snout-vent and hindlimb lengths) and molecular (mRNA abundance using quantitative real time polymerase chain reaction) criteria. T{sub 4} treatment alone accelerated development concomitant with altered levels of TH receptors {alpha} and {beta}, proliferating cell nuclear antigen, and gelatinase B mRNAs in the brain and tail. We observed TCS-induced perturbations in all of the molecular and morphological endpoints indicating that TCS exposure disrupts coordination of postembryonic tadpole development. Clear alterations in molecular endpoints were evident at day 2 whereas the earliest morphological effects appeared at day 4 and were most evident at day 21. Although TCS alone (3 and 30 {mu}g/L) was protective against tadpole mortality, this protection was lost in the presence of T{sub 4}. The Pacific tree frog is the most sensitive species examined to date displaying disruption of TH-mediated development by a common antimicrobial agent.

  13. Mutant p53: multiple mechanisms define biologic activity in cancer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael Paul Kim

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available The functional importance of p53 as a tumor suppressor gene is evident through its pervasiveness in cancer biology. The p53 gene is the most commonly altered gene in human cancer; however, not all genetic alterations are biologically equivalent. The majority of p53 alterations involve missense mutations that result in the production of mutant p53 proteins. Such mutant p53 proteins lack normal p53 function and may acquire novel functions, often with deleterious effects. Here, we review characterized mechanisms of mutant p53 gain of function in multiple model systems. In addition, we review mutant p53 addiction as emerging evidence suggests that tumors may depend on sustained mutant p53 activity for continued growth. We also discuss the role of p53 in stromal elements and their contribution to tumor initiation and progression. Lastly, current genetic mouse models of mutant p53 are reviewed and their limitations discussed.

  14. Can we trust current estimates for biological nitrogen fixation?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bellenger, Jean-Philippe; Kraepiel, Anne

    2016-04-01

    Biological nitrogen fixation (BNF) consists on the reduction of atmospheric dinitrogen (N2) into bioavailable ammonium. This reaction accounts for up to 97% of nitrogen (N) input in unmanaged terrestrial ecosystems. Closing the N budget is a long standing challenge in many ecosystems. Recent studies have highlighted that current methods used to assess BNF are affected by critical biases. These findings challenge our confidence in many N budgets and call for a profound reconsideration of our methodological approaches. Beside these methodological issues, our ability to properly assess BNF might be further altered as a result of a misconception regarding the importance of BNF enzymatic diversity in nature. BNF is catalyzed by the enzyme nitrogenase (Nase) for which three isoforms have been identified so far; the molybdenum (Mo), vanadium (V) and iron-only (Fe) isoforms. Currently BNF is mostly considered to primarily depend on the Mo isoform. The contribution of the alternative Nases (V and Fe isoforms) to BNF in natural habitats has been mostly overlooked. However, recent findings have challenged this traditional view of the Nases hierarchy (Mo isoform predominance) with deep implications for BNF assessment in the field. Here, I will present an overview of recent findings, provided by various research groups, challenging current methods used to assess BNF. I will also present a summary of recent studies highlighting the importance of alternative Nases in nature. I will finally illustrate how altering our view on the Mo-Nase predominance can deeply affect our confidence in current BNF estimates. I will conclude by presenting new methodological approaches that will contribute to significantly improve our ability to understand and estimate BNF in the field by improving our capacity to access BNF spatio-temporal variability and enzymatic diversity.

  15. Synthetic biology and biosecurity: challenging the "myths".

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jefferson, Catherine; Lentzos, Filippa; Marris, Claire

    2014-01-01

    Synthetic biology, a field that aims to "make biology easier to engineer," is routinely described as leading to an increase in the "dual-use" threat, i.e., the potential for the same scientific research to be "used" for peaceful purposes or "misused" for warfare or terrorism. Fears have been expressed that the "de-skilling" of biology, combined with online access to the genomic DNA sequences of pathogenic organisms and the reduction in price for DNA synthesis, will make biology increasingly accessible to people operating outside well-equipped professional research laboratories, including people with malevolent intentions. The emergence of do-it-yourself (DIY) biology communities and of the student iGEM competition has come to epitomize this supposed trend toward greater ease of access and the associated potential threat from rogue actors. In this article, we identify five "myths" that permeate discussions about synthetic biology and biosecurity, and argue that they embody misleading assumptions about both synthetic biology and bioterrorism. We demonstrate how these myths are challenged by more realistic understandings of the scientific research currently being conducted in both professional and DIY laboratories, and by an analysis of historical cases of bioterrorism. We show that the importance of tacit knowledge is commonly overlooked in the dominant narrative: the focus is on access to biological materials and digital information, rather than on human practices and institutional dimensions. As a result, public discourse on synthetic biology and biosecurity tends to portray speculative scenarios about the future as realities in the present or the near future, when this is not warranted. We suggest that these "myths" play an important role in defining synthetic biology as a "promissory" field of research and as an "emerging technology" in need of governance.

  16. Semi-automatic classification of skeletal morphology in genetically altered mice using flat-panel volume computed tomography.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christian Dullin

    2007-07-01

    Full Text Available Rapid progress in exploring the human and mouse genome has resulted in the generation of a multitude of mouse models to study gene functions in their biological context. However, effective screening methods that allow rapid noninvasive phenotyping of transgenic and knockout mice are still lacking. To identify murine models with bone alterations in vivo, we used flat-panel volume computed tomography (fpVCT for high-resolution 3-D imaging and developed an algorithm with a computational intelligence system. First, we tested the accuracy and reliability of this approach by imaging discoidin domain receptor 2- (DDR2- deficient mice, which display distinct skull abnormalities as shown by comparative landmark-based analysis. High-contrast fpVCT data of the skull with 200 microm isotropic resolution and 8-s scan time allowed segmentation and computation of significant shape features as well as visualization of morphological differences. The application of a trained artificial neuronal network to these datasets permitted a semi-automatic and highly accurate phenotype classification of DDR2-deficient compared to C57BL/6 wild-type mice. Even heterozygous DDR2 mice with only subtle phenotypic alterations were correctly determined by fpVCT imaging and identified as a new class. In addition, we successfully applied the algorithm to classify knockout mice lacking the DDR1 gene with no apparent skull deformities. Thus, this new method seems to be a potential tool to identify novel mouse phenotypes with skull changes from transgenic and knockout mice on the basis of random mutagenesis as well as from genetic models. However for this purpose, new neuronal networks have to be created and trained. In summary, the combination of fpVCT images with artificial neuronal networks provides a reliable, novel method for rapid, cost-effective, and noninvasive primary screening tool to detect skeletal phenotypes in mice.

  17. Identifying Airborne Pathogens in Time to Respond

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hazi, A

    2006-01-25

    Among the possible terrorist activities that might threaten national security is the release of an airborne pathogen such as anthrax. Because the potential damage to human health could be severe, experts consider 1 minute to be an operationally useful time limit for identifying the pathogen and taking action. Many commercial systems can identify airborne pathogenic microbes, but they take days or, at best, hours to produce results. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and other U.S. government agencies are interested in finding a faster approach. To answer this national need, a Livermore team, led by scientist Eric Gard, has developed the bioaerosol mass spectrometry (BAMS) system--the only instrument that can detect and identify spores at low concentrations in less than 1 minute. BAMS can successfully distinguish between two related but different spore species. It can also sort out a single spore from thousands of other particles--biological and nonbiological--with no false positives. The BAMS team won a 2005 R&D 100 Award for developing the system. Livermore's Laboratory Directed Research and Development (LDRD) Program funded the biomedical aspects of the BAMS project, and the Department of Defense's Technical Support Working Group and Defense Advanced Research Project Agency funded the biodefense efforts. Developing a detection system that can analyze small samples so quickly has been challenging. Livermore engineer Vincent Riot, who worked on the BAMS project, explains, ''A typical spore weighs approximately one-trillionth of a gram and is dispersed in the atmosphere, which contains naturally occurring particles that could be present at concentrations thousands of times higher. Previous systems also had difficulty separating benign organisms from those that are pathogenic but very similar, which has resulted in false alarms''.

  18. Identifying novel drug indications through automated reasoning.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luis Tari

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: With the large amount of pharmacological and biological knowledge available in literature, finding novel drug indications for existing drugs using in silico approaches has become increasingly feasible. Typical literature-based approaches generate new hypotheses in the form of protein-protein interactions networks by means of linking concepts based on their cooccurrences within abstracts. However, this kind of approaches tends to generate too many hypotheses, and identifying new drug indications from large networks can be a time-consuming process. METHODOLOGY: In this work, we developed a method that acquires the necessary facts from literature and knowledge bases, and identifies new drug indications through automated reasoning. This is achieved by encoding the molecular effects caused by drug-target interactions and links to various diseases and drug mechanism as domain knowledge in AnsProlog, a declarative language that is useful for automated reasoning, including reasoning with incomplete information. Unlike other literature-based approaches, our approach is more fine-grained, especially in identifying indirect relationships for drug indications. CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE: To evaluate the capability of our approach in inferring novel drug indications, we applied our method to 943 drugs from DrugBank and asked if any of these drugs have potential anti-cancer activities based on information on their targets and molecular interaction types alone. A total of 507 drugs were found to have the potential to be used for cancer treatments. Among the potential anti-cancer drugs, 67 out of 81 drugs (a recall of 82.7% are indeed known cancer drugs. In addition, 144 out of 289 drugs (a recall of 49.8% are non-cancer drugs that are currently tested in clinical trials for cancer treatments. These results suggest that our method is able to infer drug indications (original or alternative based on their molecular targets and interactions alone and has

  19. Proteomic analysis of exosomes from nasopharyngeal carcinoma cell identifies intercellular transfer of angiogenic proteins

    KAUST Repository

    Chan, Yuk-kit

    2015-04-01

    Exosomes, a group of secreted extracellular nanovesicles containing genetic materials and signaling molecules, play a critical role in intercellular communication. During tumorigenesis, exosomes have been demonstrated to promote tumor angiogenesis and metastasis while their biological functions in nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) are poorly understood. In this study, we focused on the role of NPC-derived exosomes on angiogenesis. Exosomes derived from the NPC C666-1 cells and immortalized nasopharyngeal epithelial cells (NP69 and NP460) were isolated using ultracentrifugation. The molecular profile and biophysical characteristics of exosomes were verified by Western blotting, sucrose density gradient, and electron microscopy. We showed that the C666-1 exosomes (10 and 20 μg/ml) could significantly increase the tubulogenesis, migration and invasion of human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) in a dose-dependent manner. Subsequently, an iTRAQ-based quantitative proteomics was used to identify the differentially expressed proteins in C666-1 exosomes. Among the 640 identified proteins, 51 and 89 proteins were considered as up- and down-regulated (≥ 1.5-fold variations) in C666-1 exosomes compared to the normal counterparts, respectively. As expected, pro-angiogenic proteins including intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) and CD44 variant isoform 5 (CD44v5) are among the up-regulated proteins, whereas angio-suppressive protein, thrombospondin-1 (TSP-1) was down-regulated in C666-1 exosomes. Further confocal microscopic study and Western blotting clearly demonstrated that the alteration of ICAM-1, and TSP-1 expressions in recipient HUVECs are due to internalization of exosomes. Taken together, these data strongly indicated the critical roles of identified angiogenic proteins in the involvement of exosomes-induced angiogenesis, which could potentially be developed as therapeutic targets in future. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

  20. Proteomic analysis of exosomes from nasopharyngeal carcinoma cell identifies intercellular transfer of angiogenic proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chan, Yuk-Kit; Zhang, Huoming; Liu, Pei; Tsao, Sai-Wah; Lung, Maria Li; Mak, Nai-Ki; Ngok-Shun Wong, Ricky; Ying-Kit Yue, Patrick

    2015-10-15

    Exosomes, a group of secreted extracellular nanovesicles containing genetic materials and signaling molecules, play a critical role in intercellular communication. During tumorigenesis, exosomes have been demonstrated to promote tumor angiogenesis and metastasis while their biological functions in nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) are poorly understood. In this study, we focused on the role of NPC-derived exosomes on angiogenesis. Exosomes derived from the NPC C666-1 cells and immortalized nasopharyngeal epithelial cells (NP69 and NP460) were isolated using ultracentrifugation. The molecular profile and biophysical characteristics of exosomes were verified by Western blotting, sucrose density gradient and electron microscopy. We showed that the C666-1 exosomes (10 and 20 μg/ml) could significantly increase the tubulogenesis, migration and invasion of human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) in a dose-dependent manner. Subsequently, an iTRAQ-based quantitative proteomics was used to identify the differentially expressed proteins in C666-1 exosomes. Among the 640 identified proteins, 51 and 89 proteins were considered as up- and down-regulated (≥ 1.5-fold variations) in C666-1 exosomes compared to the normal counterparts, respectively. As expected, pro-angiogenic proteins including intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) and CD44 variant isoform 5 (CD44v5) are among the up-regulated proteins, whereas angio-suppressive protein, thrombospondin-1 (TSP-1) was down-regulated in C666-1 exosomes. Further confocal microscopic study and Western blotting clearly demonstrated that the alteration of ICAM-1 and TSP-1 expressions in recipient HUVECs are due to internalization of exosomes. Taken together, these data strongly indicated the critical roles of identified angiogenic proteins in the involvement of exosomes-induced angiogenesis, which could potentially be developed as therapeutic targets in future.

  1. Methods of information geometry in computational system biology (consistency between chemical and biological evolution).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Astakhov, Vadim

    2009-01-01

    Interest in simulation of large-scale metabolic networks, species development, and genesis of various diseases requires new simulation techniques to accommodate the high complexity of realistic biological networks. Information geometry and topological formalisms are proposed to analyze information processes. We analyze the complexity of large-scale biological networks as well as transition of the system functionality due to modification in the system architecture, system environment, and system components. The dynamic core model is developed. The term dynamic core is used to define a set of causally related network functions. Delocalization of dynamic core model provides a mathematical formalism to analyze migration of specific functions in biosystems which undergo structure transition induced by the environment. The term delocalization is used to describe these processes of migration. We constructed a holographic model with self-poetic dynamic cores which preserves functional properties under those transitions. Topological constraints such as Ricci flow and Pfaff dimension were found for statistical manifolds which represent biological networks. These constraints can provide insight on processes of degeneration and recovery which take place in large-scale networks. We would like to suggest that therapies which are able to effectively implement estimated constraints, will successfully adjust biological systems and recover altered functionality. Also, we mathematically formulate the hypothesis that there is a direct consistency between biological and chemical evolution. Any set of causal relations within a biological network has its dual reimplementation in the chemistry of the system environment.

  2. Identifying causal networks linking cancer processes and anti-tumor immunity using Bayesian network inference and metagene constructs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaiser, Jacob L; Bland, Cassidy L; Klinke, David J

    2016-03-01

    Cancer arises from a deregulation of both intracellular and intercellular networks that maintain system homeostasis. Identifying the architecture of these networks and how they are changed in cancer is a pre-requisite for designing drugs to restore homeostasis. Since intercellular networks only appear in intact systems, it is difficult to identify how these networks become altered in human cancer using many of the common experimental models. To overcome this, we used the diversity in normal and malignant human tissue samples from the Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) database of human breast cancer to identify the topology associated with intercellular networks in vivo. To improve the underlying biological signals, we constructed Bayesian networks using metagene constructs, which represented groups of genes that are concomitantly associated with different immune and cancer states. We also used bootstrap resampling to establish the significance associated with the inferred networks. In short, we found opposing relationships between cell proliferation and epithelial-to-mesenchymal transformation (EMT) with regards to macrophage polarization. These results were consistent across multiple carcinomas in that proliferation was associated with a type 1 cell-mediated anti-tumor immune response and EMT was associated with a pro-tumor anti-inflammatory response. To address the identifiability of these networks from other datasets, we could identify the relationship between EMT and macrophage polarization with fewer samples when the Bayesian network was generated from malignant samples alone. However, the relationship between proliferation and macrophage polarization was identified with fewer samples when the samples were taken from a combination of the normal and malignant samples. © 2016 American Institute of Chemical Engineers Biotechnol. Prog., 32:470-479, 2016.

  3. Cold-induced thermoregulation and biological aging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Florez-Duquet, M; McDonald, R B

    1998-04-01

    Aging is associated with diminished cold-induced thermoregulation (CIT). The mechanisms accounting for this phenomenon have yet to be clearly elucidated but most likely reflect a combination of increased heat loss and decreased metabolic heat production. The inability of the aged subject to reduce heat loss during cold exposure is associated with diminished reactive tone of the cutaneous vasculature and, to a lesser degree, alterations in the insulative properties of body fat. Cold-induced metabolic heat production via skeletal muscle shivering thermogenesis and brown adipose tissue nonshivering thermogenesis appears to decline with age. Few investigations have directly linked diminished skeletal muscle shivering thermogenesis with the age-related reduction in cold-induced thermoregulatory capacity. Rather, age-related declines in skeletal muscle mass and metabolic activity are cited as evidence for decreased heat production via shivering. Reduced mass, GDP binding to brown fat mitochondria, and uncoupling protein (UCP) levels are cited as evidence for attenuated brown adipose tissue cold-induced nonshivering thermogenic capacity during aging. The age-related reduction in brown fat nonshivering thermogenic capacity most likely reflects altered cellular signal transduction rather than changes in neural and hormonal signaling. The discussion in this review focuses on how alterations in CIT during the life span may offer insight into possible mechanisms of biological aging. Although the preponderance of evidence presented here demonstrates that CIT declines with chronological time, the mechanism reflecting this attenuated function remains to be elucidated. The inability to draw definitive conclusions regarding biological aging and CIT reflects the lack of a clear definition of aging. It is unlikely that the mechanisms accounting for the decline in cold-induced thermoregulation during aging will be determined until biological aging is more precisely defined.

  4. On nonepistemic values in conservation biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baumgaertner, Bert; Holthuijzen, Wieteke

    2017-02-01

    Conservation biology is a uniquely interdisciplinary science with strong roots in ecology, but it also embraces a value-laden and mission-oriented framework. This combination of science and values causes conservation biology to be at the center of critique regarding the discipline's scientific credibility-especially the division between the realms of theory and practice. We identify this dichotomy between seemingly objective (fact-based) and subjective (value-laden) practices as the measure-value dichotomy, whereby measure refers to methods and analyses used in conservation biology (i.e., measuring biodiversity) and value refers to nonepistemic values. We reviewed and evaluated several landmark articles central to the foundation of conservation biology and concepts of biodiversity with respect to their attempts to separate measures and values. We argue that the measure-value dichotomy is false and that conservation biology can make progress in ways unavailable to other disciplines because its practitioners are tasked with engaging in both the realm of theory and the realm of practice. The entanglement of measures and values is by no means a weakness of conservation biology. Because central concepts such as biodiversity contain both factual and evaluative aspects, conservation biologists can make theoretical progress by examining, reviewing, and forming the values that are an integral part of those concepts. We suggest that values should be included and analyzed with respect to the methods, results, and conclusions of scientific work in conservation biology.

  5. Toward university modeling instruction--biology: adapting curricular frameworks from physics to biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manthey, Seth; Brewe, Eric

    2013-06-01

    University Modeling Instruction (UMI) is an approach to curriculum and pedagogy that focuses instruction on engaging students in building, validating, and deploying scientific models. Modeling Instruction has been successfully implemented in both high school and university physics courses. Studies within the physics education research (PER) community have identified UMI's positive impacts on learning gains, equity, attitudinal shifts, and self-efficacy. While the success of this pedagogical approach has been recognized within the physics community, the use of models and modeling practices is still being developed for biology. Drawing from the existing research on UMI in physics, we describe the theoretical foundations of UMI and how UMI can be adapted to include an emphasis on models and modeling for undergraduate introductory biology courses. In particular, we discuss our ongoing work to develop a framework for the first semester of a two-semester introductory biology course sequence by identifying the essential basic models for an introductory biology course sequence.

  6. 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

  7. Evolving Human Alteration of the Carbon Cycle: the Watershed Continuum

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaushal, S.; Delaney Newcomb, K.; Newcomer Johnson, T.; Pennino, M. J.; Smith, R. M.; Beaulieu, J. J.; Belt, K.; Grese, M.; Blomquist, J.; Duan, S.; Findlay, S.; Likens, G.; Mayer, P. M.; Murthy, S.; Utz, R.; Yepsen, M.

    2014-12-01

    Watersheds experiencing land development are constantly evolving, and their biogeochemical signatures are expected to evolve across both space and time in drainage waters. We investigate how land development influences spatial and temporal evolution of the carbon cycle from small streams to major rivers in the Eastern U.S. Along the watershed continuum, we show that there is spatial evolution in: (1) the amount, chemical form, and bioavailability of carbon; (2) carbon retention/release at the reach scale; and (3) ecosystem metabolism of carbon from headwaters to coastal waters. Over shorter time scales, the interaction between land use and climate variability alters magnitude and frequency of carbon "pulses" in watersheds. Amounts and forms of carbon pulses in agricultural and urban watersheds respond similarly to climate variability due to headwater alteration and loss of ecosystem services to buffer runoff and temperature changes. Over longer time scales, land use change has altered organic carbon concentrations in tidal waters of Chesapeake Bay, and there have been increased bicarbonate alkalinity concentrations in rivers throughout the Eastern U.S. due to human activities. In summary, our analyses indicates that the form and reactivity of carbon have evolved over space and time along the watershed continuum with major implications for downstream ecosystem metabolism, biological oxygen demand, carbon dioxide production, and river alkalinization.

  8. Biological and Chemical Security

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fitch, P J

    2002-12-19

    The LLNL Chemical & Biological National Security Program (CBNP) provides science, technology and integrated systems for chemical and biological security. Our approach is to develop and field advanced strategies that dramatically improve the nation's capabilities to prevent, prepare for, detect, and respond to terrorist use of chemical or biological weapons. Recent events show the importance of civilian defense against terrorism. The 1995 nerve gas attack in Tokyo's subway served to catalyze and focus the early LLNL program on civilian counter terrorism. In the same year, LLNL began CBNP using Laboratory-Directed R&D investments and a focus on biodetection. The Nunn-Lugar-Domenici Defense Against Weapons of Mass Destruction Act, passed in 1996, initiated a number of U.S. nonproliferation and counter-terrorism programs including the DOE (now NNSA) Chemical and Biological Nonproliferation Program (also known as CBNP). In 2002, the Department of Homeland Security was formed. The NNSA CBNP and many of the LLNL CBNP activities are being transferred as the new Department becomes operational. LLNL has a long history in national security including nonproliferation of weapons of mass destruction. In biology, LLNL had a key role in starting and implementing the Human Genome Project and, more recently, the Microbial Genome Program. LLNL has over 1,000 scientists and engineers with relevant expertise in biology, chemistry, decontamination, instrumentation, microtechnologies, atmospheric modeling, and field experimentation. Over 150 LLNL scientists and engineers work full time on chemical and biological national security projects.

  9. Rapid classification of biological components

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Thompson, Vicki S.; Barrett, Karen B.; Key, Diane E.

    2013-10-15

    A method is disclosed for analyzing a biological sample by antibody profiling for identifying forensic samples or for detecting the presence of an analyte. In an illustrative embodiment of the invention, the analyte is a drug, such as marijuana, cocaine (crystalline tropane alkaloid), methamphetamine, methyltestosterone, or mesterolone. The method involves attaching antigens to a surface of a solid support in a preselected pattern to form an array wherein the locations of the antigens are known; contacting the array with the biological sample such that a portion of antibodies in the sample reacts with and binds to antigens in the array, thereby forming immune complexes; washing away antibodies that do not form immune complexes; and detecting the immune complexes, thereby forming an antibody profile. Forensic samples are identified by comparing a sample from an unknown source with a sample from a known source. Further, an assay, such as a test for illegal drug use, can be coupled to a test for identity such that the results of the assay can be positively correlated to a subject's identity.

  10. Rapid classification of biological components

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Thompson, Vicki S. (Idaho Falls, ID); Barrett, Karen B. (Meridian, ID); Key, Diane E. (Idaho Falls, ID)

    2010-03-23

    A method is disclosed for analyzing a biological sample by antibody profiling for identifying forensic samples or for detecting the presence of an analyte. In an illustrative embodiment of the invention, the analyte is a drug, such as marijuana, Cocaine (crystalline tropane alkaloid), methamphetamine, methyltestosterone, or mesterolone. The method involves attaching antigens of the surface of a solid support in a preselected pattern to form an array wherein the locations of the antigens are known; contacting the array with the biological sample such that a portion of antibodies in the sample reacts with and binds to antigens in the array, thereby forming immune complexes; washing away antibodies that do not form immune complexes; and detecting the immune complexes, thereby forming an antibody profile. Forensic samples are identified by comparing a sample from an unknown source with a sample from a known source. Further, an assay, such as a test for illegal drug use, can be coupled to a test for identity such that the results of the assay can be positively correlated to a subject's identity.

  11. Rapid classification of biological components

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Thompson, Vicki S. (Idaho Falls, ID); Barrett, Karen B. (Meridian, ID); Key, Diane E. (Idaho Falls, ID)

    2010-03-23

    A method is disclosed for analyzing a biological sample by antibody profiling for identifying forensic samples or for detecting the presence of an analyte. In an illustrative embodiment of the invention, the analyte is a drug, such as marijuana, cocaine (crystalline tropane alkaloid), methamphetamine, methyltestosterone, or mesterolone. The method involves attaching antigens to a surface of a solid support in a preselected pattern to form an array wherein the locations of the antigens are known; contacting the array with the biological sample such that a portion of antibodies in the sample reacts with and binds to antigens in the array, thereby forming immune complexes; washing away antibodies that do not form immune complexes; and detecting the immune complexes, thereby forming an antibody profile. Forensic samples are identified by comparing a sample from an unknown source with a sample from a known source. Further, an assay, such as a test for illegal drug use, can be coupled to a test for identity such that the results of the assay can be positively correlated to a subject's identity.

  12. Rapid classification of biological components

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Thompson, Vicki S.; Barrett, Karen B.; Key, Diane E.

    2006-01-24

    A method is disclosed for analyzing a biological sample by antibody profiling for identifying forensic samples or for detecting the presence of an analyte. In an illustrative embodiment of the invention, the analyte is a drug, such as marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine, methyltestosterone, or mesterolone. The method involves attaching antigens to the surface of a solid support in a preselected pattern to form an array wherein the locations of the antigens are known; contacting the array with the biological sample such that a portion of antibodies in the sample reacts with and binds to antigens in the array, thereby forming immune complexes; washing away antibodies that do form immune complexes; and detecting the immune complexes, thereby forming an antibody profile. Forensic samples are identified by comparing a sample from an unknown source with a sample from a known source. Further, an assay, such as a test for illegal drug use, can be coupled to a test for identity such that the results of the assay can be positively correlated to the subject's identity.

  13. Rapid classification of biological components

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, Vicki S.; Barrett, Karen B.; Key, Diane E.

    2013-10-15

    A method is disclosed for analyzing a biological sample by antibody profiling for identifying forensic samples or for detecting the presence of an analyte. In an illustrative embodiment of the invention, the analyte is a drug, such as marijuana, cocaine (crystalline tropane alkaloid), methamphetamine, methyltestosterone, or mesterolone. The method involves attaching antigens to a surface of a solid support in a preselected pattern to form an array wherein the locations of the antigens are known; contacting the array with the biological sample such that a portion of antibodies in the sample reacts with and binds to antigens in the array, thereby forming immune complexes; washing away antibodies that do not form immune complexes; and detecting the immune complexes, thereby forming an antibody profile. Forensic samples are identified by comparing a sample from an unknown source with a sample from a known source. Further, an assay, such as a test for illegal drug use, can be coupled to a test for identity such that the results of the assay can be positively correlated to a subject's identity.

  14. Hindlimb unloading alters ligament healing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Provenzano, Paolo P.; Martinez, Daniel A.; Grindeland, Richard E.; Dwyer, Kelley W.; Turner, Joanne; Vailas, Arthur C.; Vanderby, Ray Jr

    2003-01-01

    We investigated the hypothesis that hindlimb unloading inhibits healing in fibrous connective tissue such as ligament. Male rats were assigned to 3- and 7-wk treatment groups with three subgroups each: sham control, ambulatory healing, and hindlimb-suspended healing. Ambulatory and suspended animals underwent surgical rupture of their medial collateral ligaments, whereas sham surgeries were performed on control animals. After 3 or 7 wk, mechanical and/or morphological properties were measured in ligament, muscle, and bone. During mechanical testing, most suspended ligaments failed in the scar region, indicating the greatest impairment was to ligament and not to bone-ligament insertion. Ligament testing revealed significant reductions in maximum force, ultimate stress, elastic modulus, and low-load properties in suspended animals. In addition, femoral mineral density, femoral strength, gastrocnemius mass, and tibialis anterior mass were significantly reduced. Microscopy revealed abnormal scar formation and cell distribution in suspended ligaments with extracellular matrix discontinuities and voids between misaligned, but well-formed, collagen fiber bundles. Hence, stress levels from ambulation appear unnecessary for formation of fiber bundles yet required for collagen to form structurally competent continuous fibers. Results support our hypothesis that hindlimb unloading impairs healing of fibrous connective tissue. In addition, this study provides compelling morphological evidence explaining the altered structure-function relationship in load-deprived healing connective tissue.

  15. Pulmonary alterations in cocaine users

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mário Terra Filho

    Full Text Available CONTEXT: Brazilian researchers have recently recognized a marked increase in the number of people using abusable drugs and the consequences of this habit. It has become a major public health problem in a potentially productive segment of the general population. In the last few years, several medical articles have given special emphasis to pulmonary complications related to cocaine use. This review is based on this information and experience acquired with groups of cocaine users. OBJECTIVE: To present to physicians the pulmonary aspects of cocaine use and warn about the various effects this drug has on the respiratory system, stressing those related to long-term use. DESIGN: Narrative review. METHOD: Pulmonary complications are described. These may include infections (Staphylococcus aureus, pulmonary tuberculosis, acquired immunodeficiency syndrome/aids, etc., aspiration pneumonia, lung abscess, empyema, septic embolism, non-cardiogenic pulmonary edema, barotrauma, pulmonary granulomatosis, bronchiolitis obliterans and organizing pneumonia, pneumonitis and interstitial fibrosis, pneumonitis hypersensitivity, lung infiltrates and eosinophilia in individuals with bronchial hyperreactivity, diffuse alveolar hemorrhage, vasculitis, pulmonary infarction, pulmonary hypertension and alterations in gas exchange. It is concluded that physicians should give special attention to the various pulmonary and clinical manifestations related to cocaine use, particularly in young patients.

  16. TP53 alterations in acute myeloid leukemia with complex karyotype correlate with specific copy number alterations, monosomal karyotype, and dismal outcome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rücker, Frank G; Schlenk, Richard F; Bullinger, Lars; Kayser, Sabine; Teleanu, Veronica; Kett, Helena; Habdank, Marianne; Kugler, Carla-Maria; Holzmann, Karlheinz; Gaidzik, Verena I; Paschka, Peter; Held, Gerhard; von Lilienfeld-Toal, Marie; Lübbert, Michael; Fröhling, Stefan; Zenz, Thorsten; Krauter, Jürgen; Schlegelberger, Brigitte; Ganser, Arnold; Lichter, Peter; Döhner, Konstanze; Döhner, Hartmut

    2012-03-01

    To assess the frequency of TP53 alterations and their correlation with other genetic changes and outcome in acute myeloid leukemia with complex karyotype (CK-AML), we performed integrative analysis using TP53 mutational screening and array-based genomic profiling in 234 CK-AMLs. TP53 mutations were found in 141 of 234 (60%) and TP53 losses were identified in 94 of 234 (40%) CK-AMLs; in total, 164 of 234 (70%) cases had TP53 alterations. TP53-altered CK-AML were characterized by a higher degree of genomic complexity (aberrations per case, 14.30 vs 6.16; P number alterations, such as -5/5q-, -7/7q-, -16/16q-, -18/18q-, +1/+1p, and +11/+11q/amp11q13∼25; among CK-AMLs, TP53-altered more frequently exhibited a monosomal karyotype (MK). Patients with TP53 alterations were older and had significantly lower complete remission rates, inferior event-free, relapse-free, and overall survival. In multivariable analysis for overall survival, TP53 alterations, white blood cell counts, and age were the only significant factors. In conclusion, TP53 is the most frequently known altered gene in CK-AML. TP53 alterations are associated with older age, genomic complexity, specific DNA copy number alterations, MK, and dismal outcome. In multivariable analysis, TP53 alteration is the most important prognostic factor in CK-AML, outweighing all other variables, including the MK category.

  17. Anisotropy of light propagation in biological tissue

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kienle, A.; Forster, F. K.; Hibst, R.

    2004-11-01

    We investigated the propagation of light in biological tissues that have aligned cylindrical microstructures (e.g., muscle, skin, bone, tooth). Because of pronounced anisotropic light scattering by cylindrical structures (e.g., myofibrils and collagen fibers) the spatially resolved reflectance exhibits a directional dependence that is different close to and far from the incident source. We applied Monte Carlo simulations, using the phase function of an infinitely long cylinder, to explain quantitatively the experimental results. These observations have consequences for noninvasive determination of the optical properties of tissue as well as for the diagnosis of early tissue alterations.

  18. The cell biology of fat expansion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rutkowski, Joseph M.; Stern, Jennifer H.

    2015-01-01

    Adipose tissue is a complex, multicellular organ that profoundly influences the function of nearly all other organ systems through its diverse metabolite and adipokine secretome. Adipocytes are the primary cell type of adipose tissue and play a key role in maintaining energy homeostasis. The efficiency with which adipose tissue responds to whole-body energetic demands reflects the ability of adipocytes to adapt to an altered nutrient environment, and has profound systemic implications. Deciphering adipocyte cell biology is an important component of understanding how the aberrant physiology of expanding adipose tissue contributes to the metabolic dysregulation associated with obesity. PMID:25733711

  19. Milk inhibits the biological activity of ricin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ricin is a highly toxic protein produced by the castor plant Ricinus communis. The toxin is relatively easy to isolate and can be used as a biological weapon. There is great interest in identifying effective inhibitors for ricin. In this study, we demonstrated by three independent assays that compon...

  20. Rural Electric Network Alteration Spurs Cable Production

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2012-01-01

    <正>Most aluminum cable enterprises in Yunnan and Zhejiang focus their production capacity on overhead cables needed in rural electric network alteration. During the 12th Five-Year Plan period, China launched the rural electric network alteration & upgrade project. As of the middle of 2011, the budget of the central government for the rural electric network alteration & upgrade project planned by the National Development and Reform Commission has reached up to RMB 64.96 billion.

  1. Biological research for radiation protection

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kim, In Gyu; Kim, Kug Chan; Shim, Hae Won; Oh, Tae Jeong; Park, Seon Young; Lee, Kang Suk

    2000-04-01

    The work scope of Biological research for the radiation protection had contained the search of biological microanalytic methods for assessing the health effect by {gamma}-radiation and toxic agents, the standardization of human T-lymphocyte cell culture and polymerase chain reaction, T-cell clonal assay, and the quantification of mutation frequency in the hypoxanthine (guanine) phosphoribosyl transferase (HPRT) gene locus by single exposure or combined exposure. Especially, the polymerase chain reaction methods using reverse transcriptase has been developed to analyze the mutant gene induced by {gamma}-radiation and chemical (pentachlorophenol) agent exposure, and to investigate the point mutations in the HPRT gene locus of T-lymphocytes. The HPRT T-cell clonal assay revealed that it could not differentiate {gamma}-irradiation from pentachlorophenol, because the frequency of somatic mutations induced by both damaging agents increased in a dose-dependent manner. The analysis of DNA sequence alterations of HPRT mutant clones clearly showed that both damaging agents induced different mutational spectra in the HPRT locus of T-cells. The large deletions, which account for 75 percent of the analyzed mutants, are characteristic mutations induced by {gamma}-irradiation. By contrast, point mutations such as base substitutions and insertion, come up to 97 percent in the case of pentachlorophenol-treated cells. The point mutation frequencies at 190 base pair and 444 base pair positions are 3-6 folds as high as in those at other mutation positions. It may be that these mutation sites are hot spots induced by pentachlorophenol. These results suggest that the HPRT mutation spectrum can be used as a potential bio marker for assessing a specific environmental risk. (author)

  2. Biology and Medicine Division annual report, 1987

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1988-04-01

    Modern biology is characterized by rapid change. The development of new tools and the results derived from their application to various biological systems require significant shifts in our concepts and the strategies that are adopted to analyze and elucidate mechanisms. In parallel with exciting new scientific developments our organizational structure and programmatic emphases have altered. These changes and developments have enabled the life sciences at LBL to be better positioned to create and respond to new opportunities. The work summarized in this annual report reflects a vital multifaceted research program that is in the vanguard of the areas represented. We are committed to justifying the confidence expressed by LBL through the new mission statement and reorganizational changes designed to give greater prominence to the life sciences.

  3. A Systems Biology Starter Kit for Arenaviruses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Magali E. Droniou-Bonzom

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Systems biology approaches in virology aim to integrate viral and host biological networks, and thus model the infection process. The growing availability of high-throughput “-omics” techniques and datasets, as well as the ever-increasing sophistication of in silico modeling tools, has resulted in a corresponding rise in the complexity of the analyses that can be performed. The present study seeks to review and organize published evidence regarding virus-host interactions for the arenaviruses, from alterations in the host proteome during infection, to reported protein-protein interactions. In this way, we hope to provide an overview of the interplay between arenaviruses and the host cell, and lay the foundations for complementing current arenavirus research with a systems-level approach.

  4. A systems biology starter kit for arenaviruses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Droniou-Bonzom, Magali E; Cannon, Paula M

    2012-12-01

    Systems biology approaches in virology aim to integrate viral and host biological networks, and thus model the infection process. The growing availability of high-throughput “-omics” techniques and datasets, as well as the ever-increasing sophistication of in silico modeling tools, has resulted in a corresponding rise in the complexity of the analyses that can be performed. The present study seeks to review and organize published evidence regarding virus-host interactions for the arenaviruses, from alterations in the host proteome during infection, to reported protein-protein interactions. In this way, we hope to provide an overview of the interplay between arenaviruses and the host cell, and lay the foundations for complementing current arenavirus research with a systems-level approach.

  5. Patenting humans: clones, chimeras, and biological artifacts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hurlbut, William B

    2005-01-01

    The momentum of advances in biology is evident in the history of patents on life forms. As we proceed forward with greater understanding and technological control of developmental biology there will be many new and challenging dilemmas related to patenting of human parts and partial trajectories of human development. These dilemmas are already evident in the current conflict over the moral status of the early human embryo. In this essay, recent evidence from embryological studies is considered and the unbroken continuity of organismal development initiated at fertilization is asserted as clear and reasonable grounds for moral standing. Within this frame of analysis, it is proposed that through a technique of Altered Nuclear Transfer, non-organismal entities might be created from which embryonic stem cells could be morally procured. Criteria for patenting of such non-organismal entities are considered.

  6. Complexity through Recombination: From Chemistry to Biology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carolina Díaz Arenas

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Recombination is a common event in nature, with examples in physics, chemistry, and biology. This process is characterized by the spontaneous reorganization of structural units to form new entities. Upon reorganization, the complexity of the overall system can change. In particular the components of the system can now experience a new response to externally applied selection criteria, such that the evolutionary trajectory of the system is altered. In this work we explore the link between chemical and biological forms of recombination. We estimate how the net system complexity changes, through analysis of RNA-RNA recombination and by mathematical modeling. Our results underscore the importance of recombination in the origins of life on the Earth and its subsequent evolutionary divergence.

  7. Fragment Produced by Nuclear Reaction of Heavy Ions Interacted with Tissue-equivalent Biological Material

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2001-01-01

    In heavy ion therapy and radiation biological effects the nuclear fragments from the heavy ion collisions may cause a significant alteration of the radiation field. Nuclear collision between beam particles and tissue nuclei along the penetration path of high-energy ions in tissue or biological-equivalent material causes a loss

  8. Microarray-bioinformatics analysis of altered genomic expression profiles between human fetal and infant myocardium

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    KONG Bo; LIU Ying-long; L(U) Xiao-dong

    2008-01-01

    Background The physiological differences between fetal and postnatal heart have been well characterized at the cellular level. However, the genetic mechanisms governing and regulating these differences have only been partially elucidated. Elucidation of the differentially expressed genes profile before and after birth has never been systematically proposed and analyzed.Methods The human oligonuclectide microarray and bioinformatics analysis approaches were applied to isolate and classify the differentially expressed genes between fetal and infant cardiac tissue samples. Quantitative real-time PCR was used to confirm the results from the microarray.Results Two hundred and forty-two differentially expressed genes were discovered and classified into 13 categories, including genes related to energy metabolism, myocyte hyperplasia, development, muscle contraction, protein synthesis and degradation, extraceUular matrix components, transcription factors, apoptosis, signal pathway molecules, organelle organization and several other biological processes. Moreover, 95 genes were identified which had not previously been reported to be expressed in the heart.Conclusions The study systematically analyzed the alteration of the gene expression profile between the human fetal and infant myocardium. A number of genes were discovered which had not been reported to be expressed in the heart. The data provided insight into the physical development mechanisms of the heart before and after birth.KONG Bo and LU Xiao-dong contributed equally to this study.

  9. Altered mental status and endocrine diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Elizabeth; Abraham, Michael K

    2014-05-01

    Although the altered mental status is a common presentation in the emergency department, altered mental status caused by endocrine emergencies is rare. The altered patient could have an endocrine cause that can quickly improve with appropriate diagnosis and interventions. When dealing with limited information and an obtunded patient, it is important to have a broad differential diagnosis, pick up on the physical examination findings, and evaluate laboratory abnormalities that could suggest an underlying endocrine emergency. This article outlines the findings and provides a description of altered patients with endocrine emergencies to facilitate the diagnosis and treatment in the emergency department.

  10. Bayesian networks: a powerful tool for systems biology study

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Xiu-Jie WANG

    2010-01-01

    @@ Higher Education Press and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2010The wide application of omics research approaches caused a burst of biological data in the past decade, and also promoted the growth of systems biology, a research field that studies biological questions from a genome-wide point of view. One feature of systems biology study is to integrate and identify. Not only experiments are carried out at whole-genome scales, but also data from various resources, such as genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics,and metabolics data, need to be integrated to identify correlations among targeted entities. Therefore, plenty amounts of experimental data, robust statistical methods, and reliable network construction models are indispensable for systems biology study. Among the available network construction models, Bayesian network is considered as one of the most effective methods available so far for biological network predictions (Pe'er, 2005).

  11. Thermodynamics of Biological Processes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garcia, Hernan G.; Kondev, Jane; Orme, Nigel; Theriot, Julie A.; Phillips, Rob

    2012-01-01

    There is a long and rich tradition of using ideas from both equilibrium thermodynamics and its microscopic partner theory of equilibrium statistical mechanics. In this chapter, we provide some background on the origins of the seemingly unreasonable effectiveness of ideas from both thermodynamics and statistical mechanics in biology. After making a description of these foundational issues, we turn to a series of case studies primarily focused on binding that are intended to illustrate the broad biological reach of equilibrium thinking in biology. These case studies include ligand-gated ion channels, thermodynamic models of transcription, and recent applications to the problem of bacterial chemotaxis. As part of the description of these case studies, we explore a number of different uses of the famed Monod–Wyman–Changeux (MWC) model as a generic tool for providing a mathematical characterization of two-state systems. These case studies should provide a template for tailoring equilibrium ideas to other problems of biological interest. PMID:21333788

  12. Hammond Bay Biological Station

    Data.gov (United States)

    Federal Laboratory Consortium — Hammond Bay Biological Station (HBBS), located near Millersburg, Michigan, is a field station of the USGS Great Lakes Science Center (GLSC). HBBS was established by...

  13. Enhanced Biological Sampling Data

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This is a database of a variety of biological, reproductive, and energetic data collected from fish on the continental shelf in the northwest Atlantic Ocean. Species...

  14. Chemistry and biology data

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency — Chemical monitoring data and biological data from field collected samples. This dataset is associated with the following publication: Biales , A., D. Denton , D....

  15. Laboratory of Biological Modeling

    Data.gov (United States)

    Federal Laboratory Consortium — The Laboratory of Biological Modeling is defined by both its methodologies and its areas of application. We use mathematical modeling in many forms and apply it to...

  16. Laboratory of Biological Modeling

    Data.gov (United States)

    Federal Laboratory Consortium — The Laboratory of Biological Modeling is defined by both its methodologies and its areas of application. We use mathematical modeling in many forms and apply it to a...

  17. Precision Measurement in Biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quake, Stephen

    Is biology a quantitative science like physics? I will discuss the role of precision measurement in both physics and biology, and argue that in fact both fields can be tied together by the use and consequences of precision measurement. The elementary quanta of biology are twofold: the macromolecule and the cell. Cells are the fundamental unit of life, and macromolecules are the fundamental elements of the cell. I will describe how precision measurements have been used to explore the basic properties of these quanta, and more generally how the quest for higher precision almost inevitably leads to the development of new technologies, which in turn catalyze further scientific discovery. In the 21st century, there are no remaining experimental barriers to biology becoming a truly quantitative and mathematical science.

  18. Biological satellite Kosmos-936

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vedeshin, L. A.

    1978-01-01

    A description is given of physiological experiments performed on the biological satellite Kosmos-936. Other experiments to determine the electrostatic and dielectric responses to the effects of cosmic radiation are discussed.

  19. Fishery Biology Database (AGDBS)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Basic biological data are the foundation on which all assessments of fisheries resources are built. These include parameters such as the size and age composition of...

  20. Large Pelagics Biological Survey

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The Large Pelagics Biological Survey (LPBS) collects additional length and weight information and body parts such as otoliths, caudal vertebrae, dorsal spines, and...