Sample records for biology

  1. Biologic

    CERN Document Server

    Kauffman, L H


    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.

  2. All biology is computational biology (United States)


    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

  3. Biological computation

    CERN Document Server

    Lamm, Ehud


    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

  4. [Biological weapons]. (United States)

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


    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.

  5. Is synthetic biology mechanical biology? (United States)

    Holm, Sune


    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.

  6. Computational biology

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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


    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...

  7. Biological Oceanography (United States)

    Dyhrman, Sonya


    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.

  8. Quantum Biology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alessandro Sergi


    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.

  9. Foldit Biology (United States)


    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

  10. Biological preconcentrator (United States)

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


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

  11. Biology Notes. (United States)

    School Science Review, 1981


    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.


    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 (United States)

    Dewees, Christopher M.; Hooper, Jon K.


    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. (United States)

    Minelli, Alessandro


    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. (United States)

    School Science Review, 1984


    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. Mesoscopic biology

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    G V Shivashankar


    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.

  17. Marine biology

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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


    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.

  18. Biological Databases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kaviena Baskaran


    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.

  19. Biological biomaterials

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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


    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.

  20. Structural Biology Fact Sheet (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 ...

  1. Simulating Biological and Non-Biological Motion (United States)

    Bruzzo, Angela; Gesierich, Benno; Wohlschlager, Andreas


    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…

  2. A Brief Introduction to Chinese Biological Biological

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)


    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.

  3. Cell biology perspectives in phage biology. (United States)

    Ansaldi, Mireille


    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.

  4. Biological warfare agents. (United States)

    Pohanka, Miroslav; Kuca, Kamil


    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.

  5. Biological conversion system (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.

  6. Synthetic biology: insights into biological computation. (United States)

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


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

  7. Translational environmental biology: cell biology informing conservation. (United States)

    Traylor-Knowles, Nikki; Palumbi, Stephen R


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

  8. Computational Systems Chemical Biology


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


    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).

  9. Resetting Biological Clocks (United States)

    Winfree, Arthur T.


    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)

  10. Biology is simple. (United States)

    Newman, Tim


    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.

  11. Biology of Blood (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 ...

  12. Designing synthetic biology. (United States)

    Agapakis, Christina M


    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.




  14. Biology Myth-Killers (United States)

    Lampert, Evan


    "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…

  15. Computational systems chemical biology. (United States)

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


    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. Quantum biological information theory

    CERN Document Server

    Djordjevic, Ivan B


    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...

  17. Standard biological parts knowledgebase. (United States)

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


    We have created the Knowledgebase of Standard Biological Parts (SBPkb) as a publically accessible Semantic Web resource for synthetic biology ( 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 ( 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.

  18. 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 ( 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 ( 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.

  19. Plant synthetic biology. (United States)

    Liu, Wusheng; Stewart, C Neal


    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.

  20. Branching processes in biology

    CERN Document Server

    Kimmel, Marek


    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...

  1. Chemical Biology is.....



    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...

  2. Biological detector and method

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sillerud, Laurel; Alam, Todd M.; McDowell, Andrew F.


    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.

  3. Biological detector and method (United States)

    Sillerud, Laurel; Alam, Todd M; McDowell, Andrew F


    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.

  4. Biological Individuality of Man (United States)


    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

  5. Biological detector and method (United States)

    Sillerud, Laurel; Alam, Todd M; McDowell, Andrew F


    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.

  6. Chemical space and biology. (United States)

    Dobson, Christopher M


    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.

  7. Polythiophenes in biological applications. (United States)

    Sista, Prakash; Ghosh, Koushik; Martinez, Jennifer S; Rocha, Reginaldo C


    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.

  8. Biology Library Workbook. (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)

  9. Homosexuality, biology, and ideology. (United States)

    Haumann, G


    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.

  10. Psoriasis : implications of biologics

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lecluse, L.L.A.


    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

  11. Biological Macromolecule Crystallization Database (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.

  12. Experimenting with Mathematical Biology (United States)

    Sanft, Rebecca; Walter, Anne


    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…

  13. 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.


    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

  14. Frontiers in mathematical biology

    CERN Document Server


    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.

  15. Space biology research development (United States)

    Bonting, Sjoerd L.


    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'.

  16. Optics of Biological Particles

    CERN Document Server

    Hoekstra, Alfons; Videen, Gorden


    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.

  17. Biological sample collector (United States)

    Murphy, Gloria A.


    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.

  18. Managing biological diversity (United States)

    Samson, Fred B.; Knopf, Fritz L.


    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

  19. Biological and Chemical Security

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fitch, P J


    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.

  20. Thermodynamics of Biological Processes (United States)

    Garcia, Hernan G.; Kondev, Jane; Orme, Nigel; Theriot, Julie A.; Phillips, Rob


    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

  1. Hammond Bay Biological Station (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...

  2. Enhanced Biological Sampling Data (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...

  3. Chemistry and biology data (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....

  4. Laboratory of Biological Modeling (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...

  5. Laboratory of Biological Modeling (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...

  6. Precision Measurement in Biology (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.

  7. Biological satellite Kosmos-936 (United States)

    Vedeshin, L. A.


    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.

  8. Fishery Biology Database (AGDBS) (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...

  9. Large Pelagics Biological Survey (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...

  10. Vibrations, Quanta and Biology

    CERN Document Server

    Huelga, S F


    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.

  11. Mechanical Biological Treatment

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bilitewski, B-; Oros, Christiane; Christensen, Thomas Højlund


    or residual waste (after some recyclables removed at the source). The concept was originally to reduce the amount of waste going to landfill, but MBT technologies are today also seen as plants recovering fuel as well as material fractions. As the name suggests the technology combines mechanical treatment......The basic processes and technologies of composting and anaerobic digestion, as described in the previous chapters, are usually used for specific or source-separated organic waste flows. However, in the 1990s mechanical biological waste treatment technologies (MBT) were developed for unsorted...... technologies (screens, sieves, magnets, etc.) with biological technologies (composting, anaerobic digestion). Two main technologies are available: Mechanical biological pretreatment (MBP), which first removes an RDF fraction and then biologically treats the remaining waste before most of it is landfilled...

  12. Multiscale Biological Materials

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Frølich, Simon

    example of biological design. We investigated the architecture of A. simplex and found that an advanced hierarchical biomineralized structure acts as the interface between soft musculature and a stiff substrate, thus securing underwater attachment. In bone, the mechanical properties of the material......, and the nanoscale response of bone in compression. Lastly, a framework for the investigation of biological design principles has been developed. The framework combines parametric modeling, multi-material 3D-printing, and direct mechanical testing to efficiently screen large parameter spaces of biological design. We......Materials formed by organisms, also known as biological materials, exhibit outstanding structural properties. The range of materials formed in nature is remarkable and their functions include support, protection, motion, sensing, storage, and maintenance of physiological homeostasis. These complex...

  13. [Systems biology of cancer]. (United States)

    Barillot, Emmanuel; Calzone, Laurence; Zinovyev, Andrei


    Cancer Systems Biology is now accepted and recognized as a promising field both in biological and clinical research. It relies on a rigorous formalization of regulation networks into precise and unambiguous languages. It provides both detailed and modular views of the complex biological system of interest (which in cancer research is typically an interaction network governing essential cellular events such as proliferation, differentiation, cell death...) in order to facilitate the interpretation of molecular profiles of tumors. The translation of these networks into mathematical models allows prediction of the evolution of the system in time and under certain perturbations. As a result, it can not only propose specific target points for pharmaceutical purposes, but also anticipate the evolution of tumors as well as their classifications. These characteristics emphasize the important role of Systems Biology of Cancer in the future of biomedical research.

  14. Insecticides and Biological Control (United States)

    Furness, G. O.


    Use of insecticides has been questioned due to their harmful effects on edible items. Biological control of insects along with other effective practices for checking spread of parasites on crops are discussed. (PS)

  15. Nestedness across biological scales (United States)

    Marquitti, Flavia M. D.; Raimundo, Rafael L. G.; Sebastián-González, Esther; Coltri, Patricia P.; Perez, S. Ivan; Brandt, Débora Y. C.; Nunes, Kelly; Daura-Jorge, Fábio G.; Floeter, Sergio R.; Guimarães, Paulo R.


    Biological networks pervade nature. They describe systems throughout all levels of biological organization, from molecules regulating metabolism to species interactions that shape ecosystem dynamics. The network thinking revealed recurrent organizational patterns in complex biological systems, such as the formation of semi-independent groups of connected elements (modularity) and non-random distributions of interactions among elements. Other structural patterns, such as nestedness, have been primarily assessed in ecological networks formed by two non-overlapping sets of elements; information on its occurrence on other levels of organization is lacking. Nestedness occurs when interactions of less connected elements form proper subsets of the interactions of more connected elements. Only recently these properties began to be appreciated in one-mode networks (where all elements can interact) which describe a much wider variety of biological phenomena. Here, we compute nestedness in a diverse collection of one-mode networked systems from six different levels of biological organization depicting gene and protein interactions, complex phenotypes, animal societies, metapopulations, food webs and vertebrate metacommunities. Our findings suggest that nestedness emerge independently of interaction type or biological scale and reveal that disparate systems can share nested organization features characterized by inclusive subsets of interacting elements with decreasing connectedness. We primarily explore the implications of a nested structure for each of these studied systems, then theorize on how nested networks are assembled. We hypothesize that nestedness emerges across scales due to processes that, although system-dependent, may share a general compromise between two features: specificity (the number of interactions the elements of the system can have) and affinity (how these elements can be connected to each other). Our findings suggesting occurrence of nestedness

  16. Biological Parameters of Impact (United States)


    zone between no effect and gross injury or death . For example, the pilot who survives an aircraft crash, but who is injured or unconscious so that he...Biological effects were limited to one incidence of bradycardia (116 t36 t and three instances of premature ventricular contractions. However. subjeCtiY" I...R.F.Chandler INTRODUCTION -Investigation of the biological effects of abrupt acceleration (impact) was stimulated by the advent of technical advances

  17. Systems cell biology. (United States)

    Mast, Fred D; Ratushny, Alexander V; Aitchison, John D


    Systems cell biology melds high-throughput experimentation with quantitative analysis and modeling to understand many critical processes that contribute to cellular organization and dynamics. Recently, there have been several advances in technology and in the application of modeling approaches that enable the exploration of the dynamic properties of cells. Merging technology and computation offers an opportunity to objectively address unsolved cellular mechanisms, and has revealed emergent properties and helped to gain a more comprehensive and fundamental understanding of cell biology.

  18. FDA 101: Regulating Biological Products (United States)

    ... Products For Consumers Home For Consumers Consumer Updates FDA 101: Regulating Biological Products Share Tweet Linkedin Pin ... field. back to top What biological products does FDA regulate? The Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research ( ...

  19. Stochastic Methods in Biology

    CERN Document Server

    Kallianpur, Gopinath; Hida, Takeyuki


    The use of probabilistic methods in the biological sciences has been so well established by now that mathematical biology is regarded by many as a distinct dis­ cipline with its own repertoire of techniques. The purpose of the Workshop on sto­ chastic methods in biology held at Nagoya University during the week of July 8-12, 1985, was to enable biologists and probabilists from Japan and the U. S. to discuss the latest developments in their respective fields and to exchange ideas on the ap­ plicability of the more recent developments in stochastic process theory to problems in biology. Eighteen papers were presented at the Workshop and have been grouped under the following headings: I. Population genetics (five papers) II. Measure valued diffusion processes related to population genetics (three papers) III. Neurophysiology (two papers) IV. Fluctuation in living cells (two papers) V. Mathematical methods related to other problems in biology, epidemiology, population dynamics, etc. (six papers) An important f...

  20. Biological warfare agents

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Duraipandian Thavaselvam


    Full Text Available The recent bioterrorist attacks using anthrax spores have emphasized the need to detect and decontaminate critical facilities in the shortest possible time. There has been a remarkable progress in the detection, protection and decontamination of biological warfare agents as many instrumentation platforms and detection methodologies are developed and commissioned. Even then the threat of biological warfare agents and their use in bioterrorist attacks still remain a leading cause of global concern. Furthermore in the past decade there have been threats due to the emerging new diseases and also the re-emergence of old diseases and development of antimicrobial resistance and spread to new geographical regions. The preparedness against these agents need complete knowledge about the disease, better research and training facilities, diagnostic facilities and improved public health system. This review on the biological warfare agents will provide information on the biological warfare agents, their mode of transmission and spread and also the detection systems available to detect them. In addition the current information on the availability of commercially available and developing technologies against biological warfare agents has also been discussed. The risk that arise due to the use of these agents in warfare or bioterrorism related scenario can be mitigated with the availability of improved detection technologies.

  1. Information Complexity and Biology (United States)

    Bagnoli, Franco; Bignone, Franco A.; Cecconi, Fabio; Politi, Antonio

    Kolmogorov contributed directly to Biology in essentially three problems: the analysis of population dynamics (Lotka-Volterra equations), the reaction-diffusion formulation of gene spreading (FKPP equation), and some discussions about Mendel's laws. However, the widely recognized importance of his contribution arises from his work on algorithmic complexity. In fact, the limited direct intervention in Biology reflects the generally slow growth of interest of mathematicians towards biological issues. From the early work of Vito Volterra on species competition, to the slow growth of dynamical systems theory, contributions to the study of matter and the physiology of the nervous system, the first 50-60 years have witnessed important contributions, but as scattered pieces apparently uncorrelated, and in branches often far away from Biology. Up to the 40' it is hard to see the initial loose build up of a convergence, for those theories that will become mainstream research by the end of the century, and connected by the study of biological systems per-se.

  2. Fostering synergy between cell biology and systems biology



    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...

  3. Informing biological design by integration of systems and synthetic biology. (United States)

    Smolke, Christina D; Silver, Pamela A


    Synthetic biology aims to make the engineering of biology faster and more predictable. In contrast, systems biology focuses on the interaction of myriad components and how these give rise to the dynamic and complex behavior of biological systems. Here, we examine the synergies between these two fields.

  4. Biological applications of nanobiotechnology. (United States)

    de Morais, Michele Greque; Martins, Vilásia Guimarães; Steffens, Daniela; Pranke, Patricia; da Costa, Jorge Alberto Vieira


    Nanotechnology is a multidisciplinary field that covers a vast and diverse array of devices derived from engineering, physics, chemistry, and biology. Nanotechnology has opened up by rapid advances in science and technology, creating new opportunities for advances in the fields of medicine, electronics, foods, and the environment. Nanoscale structures and materials (nanoparticles, nanowires, nanofibers, nanotubes) have been explored in many biological applications (biosensing, biological separation, molecular imaging, anticancer therapy) because their novel properties and functions differ drastically from their bulk counterparts. Their high volume/surface ratio, improved solubility, and multifunctionality open many new possibilities. The objective of this review is to describe the potential benefits and impacts of the nanobiotechnology in different areas.

  5. Epigenetics: Biology's Quantum Mechanics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Richard A Jorgensen


    Full Text Available The perspective presented here is that modern genetics is at a similar stage of development as were early formulations of quantum mechanics theory in the 1920's and that in 2010 we are at the dawn of a new revolution in genetics that promises to enrich and deepen our understanding of the gene and the genome. The interrelationships and interdependence of two views of the gene - the molecular biological view and the epigenetic view - are explored, and it is argued that the classical molecular biological view is incomplete without incorporation of the epigenetic perspective and that in a sense the molecular biological view has been evolving to include the epigenetic view. Intriguingly, this evolution of the molecular view toward the broader and more inclusive epigenetic view of the gene has an intriguing, if not precise, parallel in the evolution of concepts of atomic physics from Newtonian mechanics to quantum mechanics that are interesting to consider.

  6. Epigenetics: Biology's Quantum Mechanics. (United States)

    Jorgensen, Richard A


    The perspective presented here is that modern genetics is at a similar stage of development as were early formulations of quantum mechanics theory in the 1920s and that in 2010 we are at the dawn of a new revolution in genetics that promises to enrich and deepen our understanding of the gene and the genome. The interrelationships and interdependence of two views of the gene - the molecular biological view and the epigenetic view - are explored, and it is argued that the classical molecular biological view is incomplete without incorporation of the epigenetic perspective and that in a sense the molecular biological view has been evolving to include the epigenetic view. Intriguingly, this evolution of the molecular view toward the broader and more inclusive epigenetic view of the gene has an intriguing, if not precise, parallel in the evolution of concepts of atomic physics from Newtonian mechanics to quantum mechanics that are interesting to consider.

  7. 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...

  8. [Biologics in SLE]. (United States)

    Karonitsch, Thomas; Aringer, Martin


    Biologics have become indispensable in the last decade in the treatment of the more common rheumatic diseases. For treating systemic lupus erythematodes (SLE), B-cell depletion, albeit off-label, has been a well-accepted strategy in severe and refractory disease. Unexpectedly, however, the results of the first randomized controlled rituximab trials in SLE were negative. New trials with improved study protocols are ongoing, which should resolve this issue. In 2012, with the approval of belimumab, SLE finally entered the era of approved biological therapies. The anti-Blys/BAFF antibody belimumab showed prevention of SLE flares, glucocorticoid sparing, and significant improvement in the quality of life of SLE patients, in part by drastically reducing immune complex mediated fatigue. Positive reports on further targeting approaches give hope that additional biological agents will be available for SLE therapy soon.

  9. Biological therapy of psoriasis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sivamani Raja


    Full Text Available The treatment of psoriasis has undergone a revolution with the advent of biologic therapies, including infliximab, etanercept, adalimumab, efalizumab, and alefacept. These medications are designed to target specific components of the immune system and are a major technological advancement over traditional immunosuppressive medications. These usually being well tolerated are being found useful in a growing number of immune-mediated diseases, psoriasis being just one example. The newest biologic, ustekinumab, is directed against the p40 subunit of the IL-12 and IL-23 cytokines. It has provided a new avenue of therapy for an array of T-cell-mediated diseases. Biologics are generally safe; however, there has been concern over the risk of lymphoma with use of these agents. All anti-TNF-α agents have been associated with a variety of serious and "routine" opportunistic infections.

  10. Biological Soft Robotics. (United States)

    Feinberg, Adam W


    In nature, nanometer-scale molecular motors are used to generate force within cells for diverse processes from transcription and transport to muscle contraction. This adaptability and scalability across wide temporal, spatial, and force regimes have spurred the development of biological soft robotic systems that seek to mimic and extend these capabilities. This review describes how molecular motors are hierarchically organized into larger-scale structures in order to provide a basic understanding of how these systems work in nature and the complexity and functionality we hope to replicate in biological soft robotics. These span the subcellular scale to macroscale, and this article focuses on the integration of biological components with synthetic materials, coupled with bioinspired robotic design. Key examples include nanoscale molecular motor-powered actuators, microscale bacteria-controlled devices, and macroscale muscle-powered robots that grasp, walk, and swim. Finally, the current challenges and future opportunities in the field are addressed.

  11. Biological therapy and dentistry (United States)

    Radfar, Lida; Ahmadabadi, Roshanak E; Masood, Farah; Scofield, R Hal


    In recent years, a new class of drugs has revolutionized the treatment of autoimmune, allergic, infectious and many more diseases. These drugs are classified into three groups, cytokines, monoclonal antibodies and fusion proteins. Biological drugs have less side effects compared to conventional drugs, and may target special damaged cells, but not all the cells. There may be side effects such as infection, hypersensitivity, hematological disorders, cancer, hepatotoxicity and neurological disorders, but there is not enough evidence or long term studies of the mechanism of action and side effects of these drugs. Patients on biological therapy may need some special consideration in dentistry. This paper is a review regarding the classification, mechanism of action and side effects of these drugs, and dental consideration for patients on biological therapy. PMID:26372436

  12. The biology of personality. (United States)

    Mulder, R


    Historically, models of personality have generally postulated, or assumed, a link with biology. This century has witnessed a major revision of these ideas with both behavioural and psychoanalytic theorists emphasising life experiences as being largely responsible for behaviour as adults. Challenges to this assumption of the overwhelming importance of life experiences are reviewed. An extensive body of data now exists suggesting that biology contributes significantly to individual variability. This biological contribution occurs at a relatively low level in the central nervous system, best defined as temperament. Further research has suffered from the lack of a cohesive psychobiological model. Cloninger's tridimensional theory of personality is presented as a model which attempts to bridge the gap between theoretical temperamental traits, neurotransmitter function and clinical psychiatry. It is to be hoped that new theoretical models will be formulated which will focus on the importance of temperamental variables in psychiatric disorders.

  13. 7th Annual Systems Biology Symposium: Systems Biology and Engineering

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Galitski, Timothy P.


    Systems biology recognizes the complex multi-scale organization of biological systems, from molecules to ecosystems. The International Symposium on Systems Biology has been hosted by the Institute for Systems Biology in Seattle, Washington, since 2002. The annual two-day event gathers the most influential researchers transforming biology into an integrative discipline investingating complex systems. Engineering and application of new technology is a central element of systems biology. Genome-scale, or very small-scale, biological questions drive the enigneering of new technologies, which enable new modes of experimentation and computational analysis, leading to new biological insights and questions. Concepts and analytical methods in engineering are now finding direct applications in biology. Therefore, the 2008 Symposium, funded in partnership with the Department of Energy, featured global leaders in "Systems Biology and Engineering."

  14. [Cybernetics and biology]. (United States)

    Vasil'ev, G F


    Owing to methodical disadvantages, the theory of control still lacks the potential for the analysis of biological systems. To get the full benefit of the method in addition to the algorithmic model of control (as of today the only used model in the theory of control) a parametric model of control is offered to employ. The reasoning for it is explained. The approach suggested provides the possibility to use all potential of the modern theory of control for the analysis of biological systems. The cybernetic approach is shown taking a system of the rise of glucose concentration in blood as an example.

  15. PAC research in biology

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chain, C. Y., E-mail: [Universidad Nacional de La Plata, IFLP (Argentina); Ceolin, M. [Instituto de Investigaciones Fisicoquimicas Teoricas y Aplicadas, Dto de Quimica, Fac. Cs. Exactas, UNLP (Argentina); Pasquevich, A. F. [Universidad Nacional de La Plata, IFLP (Argentina)


    In this paper possible applications of the Perturbed Angular Correlations (PAC) technique in Biology are considered. Previous PAC experiments in biology are globally analyzed. All the work that appears in the literature has been grouped in a few research lines, just to make the analysis and discussion easy. The commonly used radioactive probes are listed and the experimental difficulties are analyzed. We also report applications of {sup 181}Hf and {sup 111}In isotopes in life sciences other than their use in PAC. The possibility of extending these studies using the PAC technique is discussed.

  16. Biological and Pharmaceutical Nanomaterials (United States)

    Kumar, Challa S. S. R.


    This first comprehensive yet concise overview of all important classes of biological and pharmaceutical nanomaterials presents in one volume the different kinds of natural biological compounds that form nanomaterials or that may be used to purposefully create them. This unique single source of information brings together the many articles published in specialized journals, which often remain unseen by members of other, related disciplines. Covering pharmaceutical, nucleic acid, peptide and DNA-Chitosan nanoparticles, the book focuses on those innovative materials and technologies needed for the continued growth of medicine, healthcare, pharmaceuticals and human wellness. For chemists, biochemists, cell biologists, materials scientists, biologists, and those working in the pharmaceutical and chemical industries.

  17. Systems biology in animal sciences

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Woelders, H.; Pas, te M.F.W.; Bannink, A.; Veerkamp, R.F.; Smits, M.A.


    Systems biology is a rapidly expanding field of research and is applied in a number of biological disciplines. In animal sciences, omics approaches are increasingly used, yielding vast amounts of data, but systems biology approaches to extract understanding from these data of biological processes an

  18. Plant Systems Biology (editorial) (United States)

    In June 2003, Plant Physiology published an Arabidopsis special issue devoted to plant systems biology. The intention of Natasha Raikhel and Gloria Coruzzi, the two editors of this first-of-its-kind issue, was ‘‘to help nucleate this new effort within the plant community’’ as they considered that ‘‘...

  19. Evolution, Entropy, & Biological Information (United States)

    Peterson, Jacob


    A logical question to be expected from students: "How could life develop, that is, change, evolve from simple, primitive organisms into the complex forms existing today, while at the same time there is a generally observed decline and disorganization--the second law of thermodynamics?" The explanations in biology textbooks relied upon by…

  20. Doublethink in Biological Education (United States)

    Cox, Donald D.


    Presents the material given in a talk at the 1974 convention of the National Science Teachers Association in which the author compares practices in biology education to George Orwell's concept of "doublethink," i.e., the ability to hold two contradictory beliefs in one's mind simultaneously and to accept both of them. Developments in curriculum…

  1. Next-generation biology

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rodrigues da Fonseca, Rute Andreia; Albrechtsen, Anders; Themudo, Goncalo Espregueira Cruz;


    As sequencing technologies become more affordable, it is now realistic to propose studying the evolutionary history of virtually any organism on a genomic scale. However, when dealing with non-model organisms it is not always easy to choose the best approach given a specific biological question, ...

  2. Openers for Biology Classes. (United States)

    Gridley, C. Robert R.

    This teaching guide contains 200 activities that are suitable for openers and demonstrations in biology classes. Details are provided regarding the use of these activities. Some of the broad topics under which the activities are organized include algae, amphibians, bacteria, biologists, crustaceans, dinosaurs, ecology, evolution, flowering plants,…

  3. Biological Warfare Agents

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dev Vrat Kamboj


    Full Text Available There is a long historic record of use of biological warfare (BW agents by warring countriesagainst their enemies. However, the frequency of their use has increased since the beginningof the twentieth century. World war I witnessed the use of anthrax agent against human beingsand animals by Germans, followed by large-scale field trials by Japanese against war prisonersand Chinese population during world war II. Ironically, research and development in biologicalwarfare agents increased tremendously after the Geneva Protocol, signed in 1925, because ofits drawbacks which were overcome by Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC in1972. Biological warfare programme took back seat after the 1972 convention but biologicalagents regained their importance after the bioterrorist attacks of anthrax powder in 2001. In thelight of these attacks, many of which turned out to be hoax, general awareness is required aboutbiological warfare agents that can be used against them. This review has been written highlightingimportant biological warfare agents, diseases caused by them, possible therapies and otherprotection measures.

  4. Diversity in Biological Molecules (United States)

    Newbury, H. John


    One of the striking characteristics of fundamental biological processes, such as genetic inheritance, development and primary metabolism, is the limited amount of variation in the molecules involved. Natural selective pressures act strongly on these core processes and individuals carrying mutations and producing slightly sub-optimal versions of…

  5. Next-generation biology

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rodrigues da Fonseca, Rute Andreia; Albrechtsen, Anders; Themudo, Goncalo Espregueira Cruz


    we present an overview of the current sequencing technologies and the methods used in typical high-throughput data analysis pipelines. Subsequently, we contextualize high-throughput DNA sequencing technologies within their applications in non-model organism biology. We include tips regarding managing...

  6. Bayes in biological anthropology. (United States)

    Konigsberg, Lyle W; Frankenberg, Susan R


    In this article, we both contend and illustrate that biological anthropologists, particularly in the Americas, often think like Bayesians but act like frequentists when it comes to analyzing a wide variety of data. In other words, while our research goals and perspectives are rooted in probabilistic thinking and rest on prior knowledge, we often proceed to use statistical hypothesis tests and confidence interval methods unrelated (or tenuously related) to the research questions of interest. We advocate for applying Bayesian analyses to a number of different bioanthropological questions, especially since many of the programming and computational challenges to doing so have been overcome in the past two decades. To facilitate such applications, this article explains Bayesian principles and concepts, and provides concrete examples of Bayesian computer simulations and statistics that address questions relevant to biological anthropology, focusing particularly on bioarchaeology and forensic anthropology. It also simultaneously reviews the use of Bayesian methods and inference within the discipline to date. This article is intended to act as primer to Bayesian methods and inference in biological anthropology, explaining the relationships of various methods to likelihoods or probabilities and to classical statistical models. Our contention is not that traditional frequentist statistics should be rejected outright, but that there are many situations where biological anthropology is better served by taking a Bayesian approach. To this end it is hoped that the examples provided in this article will assist researchers in choosing from among the broad array of statistical methods currently available.

  7. Antiprotons get biological

    CERN Multimedia


    After its final run in September, the first results of the Antiproton Cell Experiment (ACE) look very promising. It was the first experiment to take data on the biological effects of antiproton beams to evaluate the potential of antiprotons in radiation therapy.

  8. Biology Curriculum Support Document. (United States)

    North Carolina Dept. of Public Instruction, Raleigh.

    This biology curriculum supplement includes the North Carolina Standard Course of Study Goals, helpful resources, and suggested activities supported by inquiry-based laboratory activities. Contents include a detailed description of content which provides the goals and standards being sough), a materials list for inquiry support labs and…

  9. Biological Isolation Garment (United States)


    A spinoff of astronaut's biological garment will allow hospital patients who are highly vulnerable to infection to leave their sterile habitats for several hours, carrying their germ free environment with them. Garments can be used in any of some 200 hospitals where isolation rooms are installed to treat leukemia.

  10. Commercializing Biological Control (United States)

    LeLeu, K. L.; Young, M. A.


    Describes the only commercial establishment involved in biological control in Australia. The wasp Aphitis melinus, which parasitizes the insect Red Scale, is bred in large numbers and released in the citrus groves where Red Scale is causing damage to the fruit. (JR)

  11. Biological trade and markets. (United States)

    Hammerstein, Peter; Noë, Ronald


    Cooperation between organisms can often be understood, like trade between merchants, as a mutually beneficial exchange of services, resources or other 'commodities'. Mutual benefits alone, however, are not sufficient to explain the evolution of trade-based cooperation. First, organisms may reject a particular trade if another partner offers a better deal. Second, while human trade often entails binding contracts, non-human trade requires unwritten 'terms of contract' that 'self-stabilize' trade and prevent cheating even if all traders strive to maximize fitness. Whenever trading partners can be chosen, market-like situations arise in nature that biologists studying cooperation need to account for. The mere possibility of exerting partner choice stabilizes many forms of otherwise cheatable trade, induces competition, facilitates the evolution of specialization and often leads to intricate forms of cooperation. We discuss selected examples to illustrate these general points and review basic conceptual approaches that are important in the theory of biological trade and markets. Comparing these approaches with theory in economics, it turns out that conventional models-often called 'Walrasian' markets-are of limited relevance to biology. In contrast, early approaches to trade and markets, as found in the works of Ricardo and Cournot, contain elements of thought that have inspired useful models in biology. For example, the concept of comparative advantage has biological applications in trade, signalling and ecological competition. We also see convergence between post-Walrasian economics and biological markets. For example, both economists and biologists are studying 'principal-agent' problems with principals offering jobs to agents without being sure that the agents will do a proper job. Finally, we show that mating markets have many peculiarities not shared with conventional economic markets. Ideas from economics are useful for biologists studying cooperation but need

  12. Systems biology, emergence and antireductionism. (United States)

    Kesić, Srdjan


    This study explores the conceptual history of systems biology and its impact on philosophical and scientific conceptions of reductionism, antireductionism and emergence. Development of systems biology at the beginning of 21st century transformed biological science. Systems biology is a new holistic approach or strategy how to research biological organisms, developed through three phases. The first phase was completed when molecular biology transformed into systems molecular biology. Prior to the second phase, convergence between applied general systems theory and nonlinear dynamics took place, hence allowing the formation of systems mathematical biology. The second phase happened when systems molecular biology and systems mathematical biology, together, were applied for analysis of biological data. Finally, after successful application in science, medicine and biotechnology, the process of the formation of modern systems biology was completed. Systems and molecular reductionist views on organisms were completely opposed to each other. Implications of systems and molecular biology on reductionist-antireductionist debate were quite different. The analysis of reductionism, antireductionism and emergence issues, in the era of systems biology, revealed the hierarchy between methodological, epistemological and ontological antireductionism. Primarily, methodological antireductionism followed from the systems biology. Only after, epistemological and ontological antireductionism could be supported.

  13. Quantum physics meets biology

    CERN Document Server

    Arndt, Markus; Vedral, Vlatko


    Quantum physics and biology have long been regarded as unrelated disciplines, describing nature at the inanimate microlevel on the one hand and living species on the other hand. Over the last decades the life sciences have succeeded in providing ever more and refined explanations of macroscopic phenomena that were based on an improved understanding of molecular structures and mechanisms. Simultaneously, quantum physics, originally rooted in a world view of quantum coherences, entanglement and other non-classical effects, has been heading towards systems of increasing complexity. The present perspective article shall serve as a pedestrian guide to the growing interconnections between the two fields. We recapitulate the generic and sometimes unintuitive characteristics of quantum physics and point to a number of applications in the life sciences. We discuss our criteria for a future quantum biology, its current status, recent experimental progress and also the restrictions that nature imposes on bold extrapolat...

  14. [Cell biology and cosmetology]. (United States)

    Traniello, S; Cavalletti, T


    Cellular biology can become the natural support of research in the field of cosmetics because it is able to provide alternative experimental models which can partially replace the massive use of laboratory animals. Cultures of human skin cells could be used in tests investigating irritation of the skin. We have developed an "in vitro" experimental model that allows to evaluate the damage caused by the free radicals to the fibroblasts in culture and to test the protective action of the lipoaminoacids. Experimenting on human cell cultures presents the advantage of eliminating the extrapolation between the different species, of allowing a determination of the biological action of a substance and of evaluating its dose/response effect. This does not mean that "in vitro" experimenting could completely replace experimenting on living animals, but the "in vitro" model can be introduced in the realisation of preliminary screenings.

  15. Biological scaling and physics

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    A R P Rau


    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.

  16. Next-generation biology

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rodrigues da Fonseca, Rute Andreia; Albrechtsen, Anders; Themudo, Gonçalo Espregueira;


    we present an overview of the current sequencing technologies and the methods used in typical high-throughput data analysis pipelines. Subsequently, we contextualize high-throughput DNA sequencing technologies within their applications in non-model organism biology. We include tips regarding managing......As sequencing technologies become more affordable, it is now realistic to propose studying the evolutionary history of virtually any organism on a genomic scale. However, when dealing with non-model organisms it is not always easy to choose the best approach given a specific biological question......, a limited budget, and challenging sample material. Furthermore, although recent advances in technology offer unprecedented opportunities for research in non-model organisms, they also demand unprecedented awareness from the researcher regarding the assumptions and limitations of each method. In this review...

  17. Quantum physics meets biology. (United States)

    Arndt, Markus; Juffmann, Thomas; Vedral, Vlatko


    Quantum physics and biology have long been regarded as unrelated disciplines, describing nature at the inanimate microlevel on the one hand and living species on the other hand. Over the past decades the life sciences have succeeded in providing ever more and refined explanations of macroscopic phenomena that were based on an improved understanding of molecular structures and mechanisms. Simultaneously, quantum physics, originally rooted in a world-view of quantum coherences, entanglement, and other nonclassical effects, has been heading toward systems of increasing complexity. The present perspective article shall serve as a "pedestrian guide" to the growing interconnections between the two fields. We recapitulate the generic and sometimes unintuitive characteristics of quantum physics and point to a number of applications in the life sciences. We discuss our criteria for a future "quantum biology," its current status, recent experimental progress, and also the restrictions that nature imposes on bold extrapolations of quantum theory to macroscopic phenomena.

  18. Biological scaling and physics. (United States)

    Rau, A R P


    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.

  19. Heritability and biological explanation. (United States)

    Turkheimer, E


    Modern neuroscientific and genetic technologies have provoked intense disagreement between scientists who envision a future in which biogenetic theories will enrich or even replace psychological theories, and others who consider biogenetic theories exaggerated, dehumanizing, and dangerous. Both sides of the debate about the role of genes and brains in the genesis of human behavior have missed an important point: All human behavior that varies among individuals is partially heritable and correlated with measurable aspects of brains, but the very ubiquity of these findings makes them a poor basis for reformulating scientists' conceptions of human behavior. Materialism requires psychological processes to be physically instantiated, but more crucial for psychology is the occasional empirical discovery of behavioral phenomena that are specific manifestations of low-level biological variables. Heritability and psychobiological association cannot be the basis for establishing whether behavior is genetic or biological, because to do so leads only to the banal tautology that all behavior is ultimately based in the genotype and brain.

  20. Topology in Molecular Biology

    CERN Document Server

    Monastyrsky, Michail Ilych


    The book presents a class of new results in molecular biology for which topological methods and ideas are important. These include: the large-scale conformation properties of DNA; computational methods (Monte Carlo) allowing the simulation of large-scale properties of DNA; the tangle model of DNA recombination and other applications of Knot theory; dynamics of supercoiled DNA and biocatalitic properties of DNA; the structure of proteins; and other very recent problems in molecular biology. The text also provides a short course of modern topology intended for the broad audience of biologists and physicists. The authors are renowned specialists in their fields and some of the new results presented here are documented for the first time in monographic form.

  1. Traceability of biologicals

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vermeer, Niels S; Spierings, Irina; Mantel-Teeuwisse, Aukje K


    not support the routine recording of batch information. Expected changes in supply chain standards provide opportunities to systematically record detailed exposure information. Spontaneous reporting systems are the most vulnerable link in ensuring traceability, due to the manual nature of data transfer...... individual products within pharmacovigilance databases. AREAS COVERED: The authors discuss the present challenges in the traceability of biologicals in relation to pharmacovigilance, by exploring the processes involved in ensuring traceability. They explore both the existing systems that are in place...

  2. Milli-Biology (United States)


    inefficient at low RPM because power is wasted as heat in the coils, requiring gearing at low RPM, and power is required to maintain static position...soldering to join metal parts, epoxy to join the heat -sensitive permanent magnets, and screws to reversibly fasten subassemblies that might require...aerospace, and heliostat pointing for solar power. These are now transitioning to commercial development. The milli-biology workflow for coded

  3. Menstrual Cycle: Basic Biology



    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 mutati...

  4. Biological Correlates of Empathy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. Timucin Oral


    Full Text Available Empathy can be defined as the capacity to know emotionally what another is experiencing from within the frame of reference of that other person and the capacity to sample the feelings of another or it can be metaphorized as to put oneself in another’s shoes. Although the concept of empathy was firstly described in psychological theories, researches studying the biological correlates of psychological theories have been increasing recently. Not suprisingly, dinamically oriented psychotherapists Freud, Kohut, Basch and Fenichel had suggested theories about the biological correlates of empathy concept and established the basis of this modality decades ago. Some other theorists emphasized the importance of empathy in the early years of lifetime regarding mother-child attachment in terms of developmental psychology and investigated its role in explanation of psychopathology. The data coming from some of the recent brain imaging and animal model studies also seem to support these theories. Although increased activity in different brain regions was shown in many of the brain imaging studies, the role of cingulate cortex for understanding mother-child relationship was constantly emphasized in nearly all of the studies. In addition to these studies, a group of Italian scientists has defined a group of neurons as “mirror neurons” in their studies observing rhesus macaque monkeys. Later, they also defined mirror neurons in human studies, and suggested them as “empathy neurons”. After the discovery of mirror neurons, the hopes of finding the missing part of the puzzle for understanding the biological correlates of empathy raised again. Although the roles of different biological parameters such as skin conductance and pupil diameter for defining empathy have not been certain yet, they are going to give us the opportunity to revise the inconsistent basis of structural validity in psychiatry and to stabilize descriptive validity. In this review, the

  5. Biological therapies for spondyloarthritis


    Bruner, Vincenzo; Atteno, Mariangela; Spanò, Angelo; Scarpa, Raffaele; Peluso, Rosario


    Biological therapies and new imaging techniques have changed the therapeutic and diagnostic approach to spondyloarthritis. In patients with axial spondyloarthritis, tumor necrosis factor α (TNFα) inhibitor treatment is currently the only effective therapy in patients for whom conventional therapy with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) has failed. TNFα inhibitor treatment is more effective in preventing articular damage in peripheral joints than in axial ones. It is important to tr...

  6. 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.

  7. Quantum Effects in Biology (United States)

    Mohseni, Masoud; Omar, Yasser; Engel, Gregory S.; Plenio, Martin B.


    List of contributors; Preface; Part I. Introduction: 1. Quantum biology: introduction Graham R. Fleming and Gregory D. Scholes; 2. Open quantum system approaches to biological systems Alireza Shabani, Masoud Mohseni, Seogjoo Jang, Akihito Ishizaki, Martin Plenio, Patrick Rebentrost, Alàn Aspuru-Guzik, Jianshu Cao, Seth Lloyd and Robert Silbey; 3. Generalized Förster resonance energy transfer Seogjoo Jang, Hoda Hossein-Nejad and Gregory D. Scholes; 4. Multidimensional electronic spectroscopy Tomáš Mančal; Part II. Quantum Effects in Bacterial Photosynthetic Energy Transfer: 5. Structure, function, and quantum dynamics of pigment protein complexes Ioan Kosztin and Klaus Schulten; 6. Direct observation of quantum coherence Gregory S. Engel; 7. Environment-assisted quantum transport Masoud Mohseni, Alàn Aspuru-Guzik, Patrick Rebentrost, Alireza Shabani, Seth Lloyd, Susana F. Huelga and Martin B. Plenio; Part III. Quantum Effects in Higher Organisms and Applications: 8. Excitation energy transfer in higher plants Elisabet Romero, Vladimir I. Novoderezhkin and Rienk van Grondelle; 9. Electron transfer in proteins Spiros S. Skourtis; 10. A chemical compass for bird navigation Ilia A. Solov'yov, Thorsten Ritz, Klaus Schulten and Peter J. Hore; 11. Quantum biology of retinal Klaus Schulten and Shigehiko Hayashi; 12. Quantum vibrational effects on sense of smell A. M. Stoneham, L. Turin, J. C. Brookes and A. P. Horsfield; 13. A perspective on possible manifestations of entanglement in biological systems Hans J. Briegel and Sandu Popescu; 14. Design and applications of bio-inspired quantum materials Mohan Sarovar, Dörthe M. Eisele and K. Birgitta Whaley; 15. Coherent excitons in carbon nanotubes Leonas Valkunas and Darius Abramavicius; Glossary; References; Index.

  8. Synthetic biology: advancing biological frontiers by building synthetic systems


    Chen, Yvonne Yu-Hsuan; Galloway, Kate E; Smolke, Christina D.


    Advances in synthetic biology are contributing to diverse research areas, from basic biology to biomanufacturing and disease therapy. We discuss the theoretical foundation, applications, and potential of this emerging field.

  9. Biological heart valves. (United States)

    Ciubotaru, Anatol; Cebotari, Serghei; Tudorache, Igor; Beckmann, Erik; Hilfiker, Andres; Haverich, Axel


    Cardiac valvular pathologies are often caused by rheumatic fever in young adults, atherosclerosis in elderly patients, or by congenital malformation of the heart in children, in effect affecting almost all population ages. Almost 300,000 heart valve operations are performed worldwide annually. Tissue valve prostheses have certain advantages over mechanical valves such as biocompatibility, more physiological hemodynamics, and no need for life-long systemic anticoagulation. However, the major disadvantage of biological valves is related to their durability. Nevertheless, during the last decade, the number of patients undergoing biological, rather than mechanical, valve replacement has increased from half to more than three-quarters for biological implants. Continuous improvement in valve fabrication includes development of new models and shapes, novel methods of tissue treatment, and preservation and implantation techniques. These efforts are focused not only on the improvement of morbidity and mortality of the patients but also on the improvement of their quality of life. Heart valve tissue engineering aims to provide durable, "autologous" valve prostheses. These valves demonstrate adaptive growth, which may avoid the need of repeated operations in growing patients.

  10. Absolute biological needs. (United States)

    McLeod, Stephen


    Absolute needs (as against instrumental needs) are independent of the ends, goals and purposes of personal agents. Against the view that the only needs are instrumental needs, David Wiggins and Garrett Thomson have defended absolute needs on the grounds that the verb 'need' has instrumental and absolute senses. While remaining neutral about it, this article does not adopt that approach. Instead, it suggests that there are absolute biological needs. The absolute nature of these needs is defended by appeal to: their objectivity (as against mind-dependence); the universality of the phenomenon of needing across the plant and animal kingdoms; the impossibility that biological needs depend wholly upon the exercise of the abilities characteristic of personal agency; the contention that the possession of biological needs is prior to the possession of the abilities characteristic of personal agency. Finally, three philosophical usages of 'normative' are distinguished. On two of these, to describe a phenomenon or claim as 'normative' is to describe it as value-dependent. A description of a phenomenon or claim as 'normative' in the third sense does not entail such value-dependency, though it leaves open the possibility that value depends upon the phenomenon or upon the truth of the claim. It is argued that while survival needs (or claims about them) may well be normative in this third sense, they are normative in neither of the first two. Thus, the idea of absolute need is not inherently normative in either of the first two senses.

  11. Biologics for tendon repair. (United States)

    Docheva, Denitsa; Müller, Sebastian A; Majewski, Martin; Evans, Christopher H


    Tendon injuries are common and present a clinical challenge to orthopedic surgery mainly because these injuries often respond poorly to treatment and require prolonged rehabilitation. Therapeutic options used to repair ruptured tendons have consisted of suture, autografts, allografts, and synthetic prostheses. To date, none of these alternatives has provided a successful long-term solution, and often the restored tendons do not recover their complete strength and functionality. Unfortunately, our understanding of tendon biology lags far behind that of other musculoskeletal tissues, thus impeding the development of new treatment options for tendon conditions. Hence, in this review, after introducing the clinical significance of tendon diseases and the present understanding of tendon biology, we describe and critically assess the current strategies for enhancing tendon repair by biological means. These consist mainly of applying growth factors, stem cells, natural biomaterials and genes, alone or in combination, to the site of tendon damage. A deeper understanding of how tendon tissue and cells operate, combined with practical applications of modern molecular and cellular tools could provide the long awaited breakthrough in designing effective tendon-specific therapeutics and overall improvement of tendon disease management.

  12. Biological surface science (United States)

    Kasemo, Bengt


    Biological surface science (BioSS), as defined here is the broad interdisciplinary area where properties and processes at interfaces between synthetic materials and biological environments are investigated and biofunctional surfaces are fabricated. Six examples are used to introduce and discuss the subject: Medical implants in the human body, biosensors and biochips for diagnostics, tissue engineering, bioelectronics, artificial photosynthesis, and biomimetic materials. They are areas of varying maturity, together constituting a strong driving force for the current rapid development of BioSS. The second driving force is the purely scientific challenges and opportunities to explore the mutual interaction between biological components and surfaces. Model systems range from the unique water structures at solid surfaces and water shells around proteins and biomembranes, via amino and nucleic acids, proteins, DNA, phospholipid membranes, to cells and living tissue at surfaces. At one end of the spectrum the scientific challenge is to map out the structures, bonding, dynamics and kinetics of biomolecules at surfaces in a similar way as has been done for simple molecules during the past three decades in surface science. At the other end of the complexity spectrum one addresses how biofunctional surfaces participate in and can be designed to constructively participate in the total communication system of cells and tissue. Biofunctional surfaces call for advanced design and preparation in order to match the sophisticated (bio) recognition ability of biological systems. Specifically this requires combined topographic, chemical and visco-elastic patterns on surfaces to match proteins at the nm scale and cells at the micrometer scale. Essentially all methods of surface science are useful. High-resolution (e.g. scanning probe) microscopies, spatially resolved and high sensitivity, non-invasive optical spectroscopies, self-organizing monolayers, and nano- and microfabrication

  13. Molecular Biology of Nitrogen Fixation (United States)

    Shanmugam, K. T.; Valentine, Raymond C.


    Reports that as a result of our increasing knowledge of the molecular biology of nitrogen fixation it might eventually be possible to increase the biological production of nitrogenous fertilizer from atmospheric nitrogen. (GS)

  14. Is Our Biology to Blame? (United States)

    Schneider, Scott


    Brief analyses of three recent examples of biological determinism: sex roles, overpopulation, and sociobiology, are presented in this article. Also a brief discussion of biological determinism and education is presented. (MR)

  15. Logical analysis of biological systems

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mardare, Radu Iulian


    R. Mardare, Logical analysis of biological systems. Fundamenta Informaticae, N 64:271-285, 2005.......R. Mardare, Logical analysis of biological systems. Fundamenta Informaticae, N 64:271-285, 2005....

  16. Biological treatment of Crohn's disease

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Ole Haagen; Bjerrum, Jacob Tveiten; Seidelin, Jakob Benedict


    Introduction of biological agents for the treatment of Crohn's disease (CD) has led to a transformation of the treatment paradigm. Several biological compounds have been approved for patients with CD refractory to conventional treatment: infliximab, adalimumab and certolizumab pegol (and...

  17. Logical impossibilities in biological networks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Monendra Grover


    Full Text Available Biological networks are complex and involve several kinds of molecules. For proper biological function it is important for these biomolecules to act at an individual level and act at the level of interaction of these molecules. In this paper some of the logical impossibilities that may arise in the biological networks and their possible solutions are discussed. It may be important to understand these paradoxes and their possible solutions in order to develop a holistic view of biological function.

  18. Biological Computing Fundamentals and Futures


    Akula, Balaji; Cusick, James


    The fields of computing and biology have begun to cross paths in new ways. In this paper a review of the current research in biological computing is presented. Fundamental concepts are introduced and these foundational elements are explored to discuss the possibilities of a new computing paradigm. We assume the reader to possess a basic knowledge of Biology and Computer Science

  19. Functions in Biological Kind Classification (United States)

    Lombrozo, Tania; Rehder, Bob


    Biological traits that serve functions, such as a zebra's coloration (for camouflage) or a kangaroo's tail (for balance), seem to have a special role in conceptual representations for biological kinds. In five experiments, we investigate whether and why functional features are privileged in biological kind classification. Experiment 1…

  20. Semiconductor nanostructures in biological applications

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Alexson, Dimitri [Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL 60607 (United States); Chen Hongfeng [Department of Bioengineering, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL 60607 (United States); Cho, Michael [Department of Bioengineering, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL 60607 (United States); Department of Physics, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL 60607 (United States); Dutta, Mitra [Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL 60607 (United States); Department of Physics, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL 60607 (United States); Li Yang [Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL 60607 (United States); Shi, Peng [Department of Bioengineering, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL 60607 (United States); Raichura, Amit [Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL 60607 (United States); Ramadurai, Dinakar [Department of Bioengineering, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL 60607 (United States); Parikh, Shaunak [Department of Bioengineering, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL 60607 (United States); Stroscio, Michael A [Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL 60607 (United States); Department of Physics, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL 60607 (United States); Vasudev, Milana [Department of Bioengineering, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL 60607 (United States)


    Semiconductor nanostructures in biological applications are discussed. Results are presented on the use of colloidal semiconductor quantum dots both as biological tags and as structures that interact with and influence biomolecules. Results are presented on the use of semiconducting carbon nanotubes in biological applications. (topical review)


    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. I. Burak


    Full Text Available The methodology for computer modeling of complex eco-biological models is presented in this paper. It is based on system approach of J. Forrester. Developed methodology is universal for complex ecological and biological systems. Modeling algorithm considers specialties of eco-biological systems and shows adequate and accurate results in practice. 

  2. Marine molecular biology: an emerging field of biological sciences. (United States)

    Thakur, Narsinh L; Jain, Roopesh; Natalio, Filipe; Hamer, Bojan; Thakur, Archana N; Müller, Werner E G


    An appreciation of the potential applications of molecular biology is of growing importance in many areas of life sciences, including marine biology. During the past two decades, the development of sophisticated molecular technologies and instruments for biomedical research has resulted in significant advances in the biological sciences. However, the value of molecular techniques for addressing problems in marine biology has only recently begun to be cherished. It has been proven that the exploitation of molecular biological techniques will allow difficult research questions about marine organisms and ocean processes to be addressed. Marine molecular biology is a discipline, which strives to define and solve the problems regarding the sustainable exploration of marine life for human health and welfare, through the cooperation between scientists working in marine biology, molecular biology, microbiology and chemistry disciplines. Several success stories of the applications of molecular techniques in the field of marine biology are guiding further research in this area. In this review different molecular techniques are discussed, which have application in marine microbiology, marine invertebrate biology, marine ecology, marine natural products, material sciences, fisheries, conservation and bio-invasion etc. In summary, if marine biologists and molecular biologists continue to work towards strong partnership during the next decade and recognize intellectual and technological advantages and benefits of such partnership, an exciting new frontier of marine molecular biology will emerge in the future.

  3. NASA Biological Specimen Repository (United States)

    McMonigal, K. A.; Pietrzyk, R. A.; Sams, C. F.; Johnson, M. A.


    The NASA Biological Specimen Repository (NBSR) was established in 2006 to collect, process, preserve and distribute spaceflight-related biological specimens from long duration ISS astronauts. This repository provides unique opportunities to study longitudinal changes in human physiology spanning may missions. The NBSR collects blood and urine samples from all participating ISS crewmembers who have provided informed consent. These biological samples are collected once before flight, during flight scheduled on flight days 15, 30, 60, 120 and within 2 weeks of landing. Postflight sessions are conducted 3 and 30 days after landing. The number of in-flight sessions is dependent on the duration of the mission. Specimens are maintained under optimal storage conditions in a manner that will maximize their integrity and viability for future research The repository operates under the authority of the NASA/JSC Committee for the Protection of Human Subjects to support scientific discovery that contributes to our fundamental knowledge in the area of human physiological changes and adaptation to a microgravity environment. The NBSR will institute guidelines for the solicitation, review and sample distribution process through establishment of the NBSR Advisory Board. The Advisory Board will be composed of representatives of all participating space agencies to evaluate each request from investigators for use of the samples. This process will be consistent with ethical principles, protection of crewmember confidentiality, prevailing laws and regulations, intellectual property policies, and consent form language. Operations supporting the NBSR are scheduled to continue until the end of U.S. presence on the ISS. Sample distribution is proposed to begin with selections on investigations beginning in 2017. The availability of the NBSR will contribute to the body of knowledge about the diverse factors of spaceflight on human physiology.

  4. Biology Reflective Assessment Curriculum (United States)

    Bayley, Cheryl Ann

    Often students and educators view assessments as an obligation and finality for a unit. In the current climate of high-stakes testing and accountability, the balance of time, resources and emphasis on students' scores related to assessment have been slanted considerably toward the summative side. This tension between assessment for accountability and assessment to inform teaching strains instruction and educators' ability to use that information to design learning opportunities that help students develop deeper conceptual understanding. A substantive body of research indicates that formative and reflective assessment can significantly improve student learning. Biology Reflective Assessment Curriculum (BRAC) examines support provided for high school science students through assessment practices. This investigation incorporates the usage of reflective assessments as a guiding practice for differentiated instruction and student choice. Reflective assessment is a metacognitive strategy that promotes self-monitoring and evaluation. The goals of the curriculum are to promote self-efficacy and conceptual understanding in students learning biology through developing their metacognitive awareness. BRAC was implemented in a high school biology classroom. Data from assessments, metacognitive surveys, self-efficacy surveys, reflective journals, student work, a culminating task and field notes were used to evaluate the effectiveness of the curriculum. The results suggest that students who develop their metacognitive skills developed a deeper conceptual understanding and improved feelings of self-efficacy when they were engaged in a reflective assessment unit embedded with student choice. BRAC is a tool for teachers to use assessments to assist students in becoming metacognitive and to guide student choice in learning opportunities.

  5. The Promises of Biology and the Biology of Promises

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lee, Jieun


    commitments with differently imagined futures. I argue that promises are constitutive of the stem cell biology, rather than being derivative of it. Since the biological concept of stem cells is predicated on the future that they promise, the biological life of stem cells is inextricably intertwined...... patients’ bodies in anticipation of materializing the promises of stem cell biology, they are produced as a new form of biovaluable. The promises of biology move beyond the closed circuit of scientific knowledge production, and proliferate in the speculative marketplaces of promises. Part II looks at how...... of technologized biology and biological time can appear promising with the backdrop of the imagined intransigence of social, political, and economic order in the Korean society....

  6. Illuminating Cell Biology (United States)


    NASA's Ames Research Center awarded Ciencia, Inc., a Small Business Innovation Research contract to develop the Cell Fluorescence Analysis System (CFAS) to address the size, mass, and power constraints of using fluorescence spectroscopy in the International Space Station's Life Science Research Facility. The system will play an important role in studying biological specimen's long-term adaptation to microgravity. Commercial applications for the technology include diverse markets such as food safety, in situ environmental monitoring, online process analysis, genomics and DNA chips, and non-invasive diagnostics. Ciencia has already sold the system to the private sector for biosensor applications.

  7. Biological hydrogen production

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Benemann, J.R. [Univ. of California, Berkeley, CA (United States)


    Biological hydrogen production can be accomplished by either thermochemical (gasification) conversion of woody biomass and agricultural residues or by microbiological processes that yield hydrogen gas from organic wastes or water. Biomass gasification is a well established technology; however, the synthesis gas produced, a mixture of CO and H{sub 2}, requires a shift reaction to convert the CO to H{sub 2}. Microbiological processes can carry out this reaction more efficiently than conventional catalysts, and may be more appropriate for the relatively small-scale of biomass gasification processes. Development of a microbial shift reaction may be a near-term practical application of microbial hydrogen production.

  8. Biological Petri Nets

    CERN Document Server

    Wingender, E


    It was suggested some years ago that Petri nets might be well suited to modeling metabolic networks, overcoming some of the limitations encountered by the use of systems employing ODEs (ordinary differential equations). Much work has been done since then which confirms this and demonstrates the usefulness of this concept for systems biology. Petri net technology is not only intuitively understood by scientists trained in the life sciences, it also has a robust mathematical foundation and provides the required degree of flexibility. As a result it appears to be a very promising approach to mode

  9. Systems biology: experimental design. (United States)

    Kreutz, Clemens; Timmer, Jens


    Experimental design has a long tradition in statistics, engineering and life sciences, dating back to the beginning of the last century when optimal designs for industrial and agricultural trials were considered. In cell biology, the use of mathematical modeling approaches raises new demands on experimental planning. A maximum informative investigation of the dynamic behavior of cellular systems is achieved by an optimal combination of stimulations and observations over time. In this minireview, the existing approaches concerning this optimization for parameter estimation and model discrimination are summarized. Furthermore, the relevant classical aspects of experimental design, such as randomization, replication and confounding, are reviewed.

  10. Biology of Nanobots (United States)

    Duan, Wentao; Pavlick, Ryan; Sen, Ayusman


    One of the more interesting recent discoveries has been the ability to design nano/microbots which catalytically harness the chemical energy in their environment to move autonomously. Their potential applications include delivery of materials, self-assembly of superstructures, and roving sensors. One emergent area of research is the study of their collective behavior and how they emulate living systems. The aim of this chapter is to describe the "biology" of nanobots, summarizing the fundamentals physics behind their motion and how the bots interact with each other to initiate complex emergent behavior.

  11. Menstrual Cycle: Basic Biology (United States)

    Hawkins, Shannon M.; Matzuk, Martin M.


    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

  12. [Tuberculosis and molecular biology]. (United States)

    Andersen, Ase Bengård; Lillebaek, Troels; Søborg, Christian; Johansen, Isik Somuncu; Thomsen, Vibeke Østergaard


    Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the causative agent of tuberculosis (TB) hunting millions worldwide, is a challenge to work with in the laboratory. Modern molecular biology has provided extremely useful tools which have changed conventional diagnostic procedures in the TB laboratories. Research in molecular epidemiology is currently expanding our knowledge of the natural history of TB. Access to the genome sequence has opened new avenues for research in drug development and new vaccines. However, we are still awaiting the impact of these efforts in the resource-poor TB endemic countries.

  13. Biology of Bilirubin Photoisomers. (United States)

    Hansen, Thor Willy Ruud


    Phototherapy is the main treatment for neonatal hyperbilirubinemia. In acute treatment of extreme hyperbilirubinemia, intensive phototherapy may have a role in 'detoxifying' the bilirubin molecule to more polar photoisomers, which should be less prone to crossing the blood-brain barrier, providing a 'brain-sparing' effect. This article reviews the biology of bilirubin isomers. Although there is evidence supporting the lower toxicity of bilirubin photoisomers, there are studies showing the opposite. There are methodologic weaknesses in most studies and better-designed experiments are needed. In an infant acutely threatened by bilirubin-induced brain damage, intensified phototherapy should be used expediently and aggressively.

  14. Nanoindentation of biological composites (United States)

    Dickinson, M.


    This investigation studied the effect of storage conditions on the mechanical properties as measured by nanoindentation of mineralised tissue samples. The three storage solutions were Hanks balanced salt solution, phosphate buffered saline and deionised water and all had a significant effect on the surface properties, namely hardness and modulus of enamel, dentin and bone tested. The effect was significant with a greater than 70% reduction in surface mechanical properties after 8 days immersion in the solutions. This study highlights the importance of testing biological tissues immediately after extraction, and the possible structural and chemistry changes that may occur by artificially storing the tissues.

  15. Opportunities in plant synthetic biology. (United States)

    Cook, Charis; Martin, Lisa; Bastow, Ruth


    Synthetic biology is an emerging field uniting scientists from all disciplines with the aim of designing or re-designing biological processes. Initially, synthetic biology breakthroughs came from microbiology, chemistry, physics, computer science, materials science, mathematics, and engineering disciplines. A transition to multicellular systems is the next logical step for synthetic biologists and plants will provide an ideal platform for this new phase of research. This meeting report highlights some of the exciting plant synthetic biology projects, and tools and resources, presented and discussed at the 2013 GARNet workshop on plant synthetic biology.

  16. [Biological activity of Spirulina]. (United States)

    Blinkova, L P; Gorobets, O B; Baturo, A P


    In this review information of Spirulina platensis (SP), a blue-green alga (photosynthesizing cyanobacterium) having diverse biological activity is presented. Due to high content of highly valuable proteins, indispensable amino acids, vitamins, beta-carotene and other pigments, mineral substances, indispensable fatty acids and polysaccharides, PS has been found suitable for use as bioactive additive. SP produces an immunostimulating effect by enhancing the resistance of humans, mammals, chickens and fish to infections, the capacity of influencing hemopoiesis, stimulating the production of antibodies and cytokines. Under the influence of SP macrophages, T and B cells are activated. SP sulfolipids have proved to be effective against HIV. Preparations obtained from SP biomass have also been found active against herpesvirus, cytomegalovirus, influenza virus, etc. SP extracts are capable in inhibiting cancerogenesis. SP preparations are regarded as functional products contributing to the preservation of the resident intestinal microflora, especially lactic acid bacilli and bifidobacteria, and to a decrease in the level of Candida albicans. The biological activity of SP with respect to microorganisms holds good promise for using these microalgae as components of culture media.

  17. Biological hydrogen photoproduction

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nemoto, Y. [Univ. of Miami, FL (United States)


    Following are the major accomplishments of the 6th year`s study of biological hydrogen photoproduction which were supported by DOE/NREL. (1) We have been characterizing a biological hydrogen production system using synchronously growing aerobically nitrogen-fixing unicellular cyanobacterium, Synechococcus sp. Miami BG 043511. So far it was necessary to irradiate the cells to produce hydrogen. Under darkness they did not produce hydrogen. However, we found that, if the cells are incubated with oxygen, they produce hydrogen under the dark. Under 80% argon + 20% oxygen condition, the hydrogen production activity under the dark was about one third of that under the light + argon condition. (2) Also it was necessary so far to incubate the cells under argon atmosphere to produce hydrogen in this system. Argon treatment is very expensive and should be avoided in an actual hydrogen production system. We found that, if the cells are incubated at a high cell density and in a container with minimum headspace, it is not necessary to use argon for the hydrogen production. (3) Calcium ion was found to play an important role in the mechanisms of protection of nitrogenase from external oxygen. This will be a clue to understand the reason why the hydrogen production is so resistant to oxygen in this strain. (4) In this strain, sulfide can be used as electron donor for the hydrogen production. This result shows that waste water can be used for the hydrogen production system using this strain.

  18. Synthetic biology in plastids. (United States)

    Scharff, Lars B; Bock, Ralph


    Plastids (chloroplasts) harbor a small gene-dense genome that is amenable to genetic manipulation by transformation. During 1 billion years of evolution from the cyanobacterial endosymbiont to present-day chloroplasts, the plastid genome has undergone a dramatic size reduction, mainly as a result of gene losses and the large-scale transfer of genes to the nuclear genome. Thus the plastid genome can be regarded as a naturally evolved miniature genome, the gradual size reduction and compaction of which has provided a blueprint for the design of minimum genomes. Furthermore, because of the largely prokaryotic genome structure and gene expression machinery, the high transgene expression levels attainable in transgenic chloroplasts and the very low production costs in plant systems, the chloroplast lends itself to synthetic biology applications that are directed towards the efficient synthesis of green chemicals, biopharmaceuticals and other metabolites of commercial interest. This review describes recent progress with the engineering of plastid genomes with large constructs of foreign or synthetic DNA, and highlights the potential of the chloroplast as a model system in bottom-up and top-down synthetic biology approaches.

  19. Oscillations in Mathematical Biology

    CERN Document Server


    The papers in this volume are based on talks given at a one day conference held on the campus of Adelphi University in April 1982. The conference was organized with the title "Oscillations in Mathematical Biology;" however the speakers were allowed considerable latitutde in their choice of topics. In the event, the talks all concerned the dynamics of non-linear systems arising in biology so that the conference achieved a good measure of cohesion. Some of the speakers cho~e not to submit a manuscript for these proceedings, feeling that their material was too conjectural to be committed to print. Also the paper of Rinzel and Troy is a distillation of the two separate talks that the authors gave. Otherwise the material reproduces the conference proceedings. The conference was made possible by the generous support of the Office of the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Adelphi. The bulk of the organization of the conference was carried out by Dr. Ronald Grisell whose energy was in large measure responsib...

  20. Neutron instrumentation for biology

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mason, S.A. [Institut Laue-Langevin, Grenoble (France)


    In the October 1994 round of proposals at the ILL, the external biology review sub- committee was asked to allocate neutron beam time to a wide range of experiments, on almost half the total number of scheduled neutron instruments: on 3 diffractometers, on 3 small angle scattering instruments, and on some 6 inelastic scattering spectrometers. In the 3.5 years since the temporary reactor shutdown, the ILL`s management structure has been optimized, budgets and staff have been trimmed, the ILL reactor has been re-built, and many of the instruments up-graded, many powerful (mainly Unix) workstations have been introduced, and the neighboring European Synchrotron Radiation Facility has established itself as the leading synchrotron radiation source and has started its official user program. The ILL reactor remains the world`s most intense dedicated neutron source. In this challenging context, it is of interest to review briefly the park of ILL instruments used to study the structure and energetics of small and large biological systems. A brief summary will be made of each class of experiments actually proposed in the latest ILL proposal round.

  1. Industrial systems biology. (United States)

    Otero, José Manuel; Nielsen, Jens


    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.

  2. Mathematical modeling of biological processes

    CERN Document Server

    Friedman, Avner


    This book on mathematical modeling of biological processes includes a wide selection of biological topics that demonstrate the power of mathematics and computational codes in setting up biological processes with a rigorous and predictive framework. Topics include: enzyme dynamics, spread of disease, harvesting bacteria, competition among live species, neuronal oscillations, transport of neurofilaments in axon, cancer and cancer therapy, and granulomas. Complete with a description of the biological background and biological question that requires the use of mathematics, this book is developed for graduate students and advanced undergraduate students with only basic knowledge of ordinary differential equations and partial differential equations; background in biology is not required. Students will gain knowledge on how to program with MATLAB without previous programming experience and how to use codes in order to test biological hypothesis.

  3. Protein microarrays for systems biology

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Lina Yang; Shujuan Guo; Yang Li; Shumin Zhou; Shengce Tao


    Systems biology holds the key for understanding biological systems on a system level. It eventually holds the key for the treatment and cure of complex diseases such as cancer,diabetes, obesity, mental disorders, and many others. The '-omics' technologies, such as genomics, transcriptomics,proteomics, and metabonomics, are among the major driving forces of systems biology. Featured as highthroughput, miniaturized, and capable of parallel analysis,protein microarrays have already become an important technology platform for systems biology, In this review, we will focus on the system level or global analysis of biological systems using protein microarrays. Four major types of protein microarrays will be discussed: proteome microarrays, antibody microarrays, reverse-phase protein arrays,and lectin microarrays. We will also discuss the challenges and future directions of protein microarray technologies and their applications for systems biology. We strongly believe that protein microarrays will soon become an indispensable and invaluable tool for systems biology.

  4. Microgravity Fluids for Biology, Workshop (United States)

    Griffin, DeVon; Kohl, Fred; Massa, Gioia D.; Motil, Brian; Parsons-Wingerter, Patricia; Quincy, Charles; Sato, Kevin; Singh, Bhim; Smith, Jeffrey D.; Wheeler, Raymond M.


    Microgravity Fluids for Biology represents an intersection of biology and fluid physics that present exciting research challenges to the Space Life and Physical Sciences Division. Solving and managing the transport processes and fluid mechanics in physiological and biological systems and processes are essential for future space exploration and colonization of space by humans. Adequate understanding of the underlying fluid physics and transport mechanisms will provide new, necessary insights and technologies for analyzing and designing biological systems critical to NASAs mission. To enable this mission, the fluid physics discipline needs to work to enhance the understanding of the influence of gravity on the scales and types of fluids (i.e., non-Newtonian) important to biology and life sciences. In turn, biomimetic, bio-inspired and synthetic biology applications based on physiology and biology can enrich the fluid mechanics and transport phenomena capabilities of the microgravity fluid physics community.

  5. Synthetic biology: ethical ramifications 2009. (United States)

    Rabinow, Paul; Bennett, Gaymon


    During 2007 and 2008 synthetic biology moved from the manifesto stage to research programs. As of 2009, synthetic biology is ramifying; to ramify means to produce differentiated trajectories from previous determinations. From its inception, most of the players in synthetic biology agreed on the need for (a) rationalized design and construction of new biological parts, devices, and systems as well as (b) the re-design of natural biological systems for specified purposes, and that (c) the versatility of designed biological systems makes them suitable to address such challenges as renewable energy, the production of inexpensive drugs, and environmental remediation, as well as providing a catalyst for further growth of biotechnology. What is understood by these goals, however, is diverse. Those assorted understandings are currently contributing to different ramifications of synthetic biology. The Berkeley Human Practices Lab, led by Paul Rabinow, is currently devoting its efforts to documenting and analyzing these ramifications as they emerge.

  6. Bridging the gap between systems biology and synthetic biology. (United States)

    Liu, Di; Hoynes-O'Connor, Allison; Zhang, Fuzhong


    Systems biology is an inter-disciplinary science that studies the complex interactions and the collective behavior of a cell or an organism. Synthetic biology, as a technological subject, combines biological science and engineering, allowing the design and manipulation of a system for certain applications. Both systems and synthetic biology have played important roles in the recent development of microbial platforms for energy, materials, and environmental applications. More importantly, systems biology provides the knowledge necessary for the development of synthetic biology tools, which in turn facilitates the manipulation and understanding of complex biological systems. Thus, the combination of systems and synthetic biology has huge potential for studying and engineering microbes, especially to perform advanced tasks, such as producing biofuels. Although there have been very few studies in integrating systems and synthetic biology, existing examples have demonstrated great power in extending microbiological capabilities. This review focuses on recent efforts in microbiological genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, and metabolomics, aiming to fill the gap between systems and synthetic biology.

  7. Molecular biology of potyviruses. (United States)

    Revers, Frédéric; García, Juan Antonio


    Potyvirus is the largest genus of plant viruses causing significant losses in a wide range of crops. Potyviruses are aphid transmitted in a nonpersistent manner and some of them are also seed transmitted. As important pathogens, potyviruses are much more studied than other plant viruses belonging to other genera and their study covers many aspects of plant virology, such as functional characterization of viral proteins, molecular interaction with hosts and vectors, structure, taxonomy, evolution, epidemiology, and diagnosis. Biotechnological applications of potyviruses are also being explored. During this last decade, substantial advances have been made in the understanding of the molecular biology of these viruses and the functions of their various proteins. After a general presentation on the family Potyviridae and the potyviral proteins, we present an update of the knowledge on potyvirus multiplication, movement, and transmission and on potyvirus/plant compatible interactions including pathogenicity and symptom determinants. We end the review providing information on biotechnological applications of potyviruses.

  8. Networks in Cell Biology (United States)

    Buchanan, Mark; Caldarelli, Guido; De Los Rios, Paolo; Rao, Francesco; Vendruscolo, Michele


    Introduction; 1. Network views of the cell Paolo De Los Rios and Michele Vendruscolo; 2. Transcriptional regulatory networks Sarath Chandra Janga and M. Madan Babu; 3. Transcription factors and gene regulatory networks Matteo Brilli, Elissa Calistri and Pietro Lió; 4. Experimental methods for protein interaction identification Peter Uetz, Björn Titz, Seesandra V. Rajagopala and Gerard Cagney; 5. Modeling protein interaction networks Francesco Rao; 6. Dynamics and evolution of metabolic networks Daniel Segré; 7. Hierarchical modularity in biological networks: the case of metabolic networks Erzsébet Ravasz Regan; 8. Signalling networks Gian Paolo Rossini; Appendix 1. Complex networks: from local to global properties D. Garlaschelli and G. Caldarelli; Appendix 2. Modelling the local structure of networks D. Garlaschelli and G. Caldarelli; Appendix 3. Higher-order topological properties S. Ahnert, T. Fink and G. Caldarelli; Appendix 4. Elementary mathematical concepts A. Gabrielli and G. Caldarelli; References.

  9. The biology of strigolactones

    KAUST Repository

    Ruyter-Spira, Carolien P.


    The strigolactones are rhizosphere signaling molecules as well as a new class of plant hormones with a still increasing number of biological functions being uncovered. Here, we review a recent major breakthrough in our understanding of strigolactone biosynthesis, which has revealed the unexpected simplicity of the originally postulated complex pathway. Moreover, the discovery and localization of a strigolactone exporter sheds new light on putative strigolactone fluxes to the rhizosphere as well as within the plant. The combination of these data with information on the expression and regulation of strigolactone biosynthetic and downstream signaling genes provides new insights into how strigolactones control the many different aspects of plant development and how their rhizosphere signaling role may have evolved. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

  10. Plant Vascular Biology 2010

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ding, Biao


    This grant supported the Second International Conference on Plant Vascular Biology (PVB 2010) held July 24-28, 2010 on the campus of Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio. Biao Ding (Ohio State University; OSU) and David Hannapel (Iowa State University; ISU) served as co-chairs of this conference. Biao Ding served as the local organizer. PVB is defined broadly here to include studies on the biogenesis, structure and function of transport systems in plants, under conditions of normal plant growth and development as well as of plant interactions with pathogens. The transport systems cover broadly the xylem, phloem, plasmodesmata and vascular cell membranes. The PVB concept has emerged in recent years to emphasize the integrative nature of the transport systems and approaches to investigate them.

  11. A Biologically Inspired Classifier

    CERN Document Server

    Bagnoli, Franco


    We present a method for measuring the distance among records based on the correlations of data stored in the corresponding database entries. The original method (F. Bagnoli, A. Berrones and F. Franci. Physica A 332 (2004) 509-518) was formulated in the context of opinion formation. The opinions expressed over a set of topic originate a ``knowledge network'' among individuals, where two individuals are nearer the more similar their expressed opinions are. Assuming that individuals' opinions are stored in a database, the authors show that it is possible to anticipate an opinion using the correlations in the database. This corresponds to approximating the overlap between the tastes of two individuals with the correlations of their expressed opinions. In this paper we extend this model to nonlinear matching functions, inspired by biological problems such as microarray (probe-sample pairing). We investigate numerically the error between the correlation and the overlap matrix for eight sequences of reference with r...

  12. Biology of Sexual Dysfunction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anil Kumar Mysore Nagaraj


    Full Text Available Sexual activity is a multifaceted activity, involving complex interactions between the nervous system, the endocrine system, the vascular system and a variety of structures that are instrumental in sexual excitement, intercourse and satisfaction. Sexual function has three components i.e., desire, arousal and orgasm. Many sexual dysfunctions can be categorized according to the phase of sexual response that is affected. In actual clinical practice however, sexual desire, arousal and orgasmic difficulties more often than not coexist, suggesting an integration of phases. Sexual dysfunction can result from a wide variety of psychological and physiological causes including derangements in the levels of sex hormones and neurotrensmitters. This review deals with the biology of different phases of sexual function as well as implications of hormones and neurotransmitters in sexual dysfunction

  13. Evolutionary biology of cancer. (United States)

    Crespi, Bernard; Summers, Kyle


    Cancer is driven by the somatic evolution of cell lineages that have escaped controls on replication and by the population-level evolution of genes that influence cancer risk. We describe here how recent evolutionary ecological studies have elucidated the roles of predation by the immune system and competition among normal and cancerous cells in the somatic evolution of cancer. Recent analyses of the evolution of cancer at the population level show how rapid changes in human environments have augmented cancer risk, how strong selection has frequently led to increased cancer risk as a byproduct, and how anticancer selection has led to tumor-suppression systems, tissue designs that slow somatic evolution, constraints on morphological evolution and even senescence itself. We discuss how applications of the tools of ecology and evolutionary biology are poised to revolutionize our understanding and treatment of this disease.

  14. Biology of Schwann cells. (United States)

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


    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.

  15. The Promises of Biology and the Biology of Promises

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lee, Jieun


    This dissertation considers the ontology of stem cells as a future-oriented life form characterized by its potentiality in relation to the anticipatory mode of living in contemporary Korea. The biological notion that stem cells have the potential for differentiation and the capacity for self-rene...... of technologized biology and biological time can appear promising with the backdrop of the imagined intransigence of social, political, and economic order in the Korean society....

  16. Systems biology: a biologist's viewpoint. (United States)

    Bose, Biplab


    The debate over reductionism and antireductionism in biology is very old. Even the systems approach in biology is more than five decades old. However, mainstream biology, particularly experimental biology, has broadly sidestepped those debates and ideas. Post-genome data explosion and development of high-throughput techniques led to resurfacing of those ideas and debates as a new incarnation called Systems Biology. Though experimental biologists have co-opted systems biology and hailed it as a paradigm shift, it is practiced in different shades and understood with divergent meanings. Biology has certain questions linked with organization of multiple components and processes. Often such questions involve multilevel systems. Here in this essay we argue that systems theory provides required framework and abstractions to explore those questions. We argue that systems biology should follow the logical and mathematical approach of systems theory and transmogrification of systems biology to mere collection of higher dimensional data must be avoided. Therefore, the questions that we ask and the priority of those questions should also change. Systems biology should focus on system-level properties and investigate complexity without shying away from it.

  17. Biology of biological meshes used in hernia repair. (United States)

    Novitsky, Yuri W


    Successful repair of most hernias requires the use of a prosthetic implant for reinforcement of the defect. Because of the need for prosthetic implants to resist infections as well to support repairs in contaminated or potentially contaminated fields, biological meshes have been developed to take the place of nondegradable synthetic meshes in cases where mesh infection is of high concern. The ideal is a biological matrix that resists infection while providing durable reinforcement of a hernia repair. This article reviews the validity of assumptions that support the purported notion of the biological behavior of biological meshes.

  18. Microfluidic Technologies for Synthetic Biology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sung Kuk Lee


    Full Text Available Microfluidic technologies have shown powerful abilities for reducing cost, time, and labor, and at the same time, for increasing accuracy, throughput, and performance in the analysis of biological and biochemical samples compared with the conventional, macroscale instruments. Synthetic biology is an emerging field of biology and has drawn much attraction due to its potential to create novel, functional biological parts and systems for special purposes. Since it is believed that the development of synthetic biology can be accelerated through the use of microfluidic technology, in this review work we focus our discussion on the latest microfluidic technologies that can provide unprecedented means in synthetic biology for dynamic profiling of gene expression/regulation with high resolution, highly sensitive on-chip and off-chip detection of metabolites, and whole-cell analysis.

  19. Quantum Effects in Biological Systems

    CERN Document Server


    Since the last decade the study of quantum mechanical phenomena in biological systems has become a vibrant field of research. Initially sparked by evidence of quantum effects in energy transport that is instrumental for photosynthesis, quantum biology asks the question of how methods and models from quantum theory can help us to understand fundamental mechanisms in living organisms. This approach entails a paradigm change challenging the related disciplines: The successful framework of quantum theory is taken out of its low-temperature, microscopic regimes and applied to hot and dense macroscopic environments, thereby extending the toolbox of biology and biochemistry at the same time. The Quantum Effects in Biological Systems conference is a platform for researchers from biology, chemistry and physics to present and discuss the latest developments in the field of quantum biology. After meetings in Lisbon (2009), Harvard (2010), Ulm (2011), Berkeley (2012), Vienna (2013), Singapore (2014) and Florence (2015),...

  20. Values, Advocay and Conservation Biology



    In this essay, I examine the controversy concerning the advocacy of ethical values in conservation biology. First, I argue, as others have, that conservation biology is a science laden with values both ethical and non-ethical. Second, after clarifying the notion of advocacy at work, I contend that conservation biologists should advocate the preservation of biological diversity. Third, I explore what ethical grounds should be used for advocating the preservation of ecological systems by conser...

  1. Relations between intuitive biological thinking and biological misconceptions in biology majors and nonmajors. (United States)

    Coley, John D; Tanner, Kimberly


    Research and theory development in cognitive psychology and science education research remain largely isolated. Biology education researchers have documented persistent scientifically inaccurate ideas, often termed misconceptions, among biology students across biological domains. In parallel, cognitive and developmental psychologists have described intuitive conceptual systems--teleological, essentialist, and anthropocentric thinking--that humans use to reason about biology. We hypothesize that seemingly unrelated biological misconceptions may have common origins in these intuitive ways of knowing, termed cognitive construals. We presented 137 undergraduate biology majors and nonmajors with six biological misconceptions. They indicated their agreement with each statement, and explained their rationale for their response. Results indicate frequent agreement with misconceptions, and frequent use of construal-based reasoning among both biology majors and nonmajors in their written explanations. Moreover, results also show associations between specific construals and the misconceptions hypothesized to arise from those construals. Strikingly, such associations were stronger among biology majors than nonmajors. These results demonstrate important linkages between intuitive ways of thinking and misconceptions in discipline-based reasoning, and raise questions about the origins, persistence, and generality of relations between intuitive reasoning and biological misconceptions.

  2. NASA space biology accomplishments, 1982 (United States)

    Halstead, T. W.; Pleasant, L. G.


    Summaries of NASA's Space Biology Program projects are provided. The goals, objectives, accomplishments, and future plans of each project are described in this publication as individual technical summaries.

  3. Engineering Nanoscale Biological Molecular Motors


    Korosec, Chapin; Forde, Nancy R.


    Understanding the operation of biological molecular motors, nanoscale machines that transduce electrochemical energy into mechanical work, is enhanced by bottom-up strategies to synthesize novel motors.

  4. Telemetry System of Biological Parameters

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jan Spisak


    Full Text Available The mobile telemetry system of biological parameters serves for reading and wireless data transfer of measured values of selected biological parameters to an outlying computer. It concerns basically long time monitoring of vital function of car pilot.The goal of this projects is to propose mobile telemetry system for reading, wireless transfer and processing of biological parameters of car pilot during physical and psychical stress. It has to be made with respect to minimal consumption, weight and maximal device mobility. This system has to eliminate signal noise, which is created by biological artifacts and disturbances during the data transfer.

  5. Biological and medical sensor technologies

    CERN Document Server

    Iniewski, Krzysztof


    Biological and Medical Sensor Technologies presents contributions from top experts who explore the development and implementation of sensors for various applications used in medicine and biology. Edited by a pioneer in the area of advanced semiconductor materials, the book is divided into two sections. The first part covers sensors for biological applications. Topics include: Advanced sensing and communication in the biological world DNA-derivative architectures for long-wavelength bio-sensing Label-free silicon photonics Quartz crystal microbalance-based biosensors Lab-on-chip technologies fo

  6. American Institute of Biological Sciences (United States)

    ... organizations advancing biology through membership in AIBS News Trump's FY 2018 Budget Request Would Slash Most Science Programs President Trump's first budget request seeks historically deep budget cuts ...

  7. Synthetic biology for therapeutic applications. (United States)

    Abil, Zhanar; Xiong, Xiong; Zhao, Huimin


    Synthetic biology is a relatively new field with the key aim of designing and constructing biological systems with novel functionalities. Today, synthetic biology devices are making their first steps in contributing new solutions to a number of biomedical challenges, such as emerging bacterial antibiotic resistance and cancer therapy. This review discusses some synthetic biology approaches and applications that were recently used in disease mechanism investigation and disease modeling, drug discovery and production, as well as vaccine development and treatment of infectious diseases, cancer, and metabolic disorders.

  8. Computer algebra in systems biology

    CERN Document Server

    Laubenbacher, Reinhard


    Systems biology focuses on the study of entire biological systems rather than on their individual components. With the emergence of high-throughput data generation technologies for molecular biology and the development of advanced mathematical modeling techniques, this field promises to provide important new insights. At the same time, with the availability of increasingly powerful computers, computer algebra has developed into a useful tool for many applications. This article illustrates the use of computer algebra in systems biology by way of a well-known gene regulatory network, the Lac Operon in the bacterium E. coli.

  9. Bioinspired materials: Boosting plant biology (United States)

    Scholes, Gregory D.; Sargent, Edward H.


    Chloroplasts with extended photosynthetic activity beyond the visible absorption spectrum, and living leaves that perform non-biological functions, are made possible by localizing nanoparticles within plant organelles.

  10. Rotating Biological Contractors (RBC's). Instructor's Guide. Biological Treatment Process Control. (United States)

    Zickefoose, Charles S.

    This two-lesson unit on rotating biological contactors (RBC's) is designed to be used with students who have had some experience in wastewater treatment and a basic understanding of biological treatment. The first lesson provides information on the concepts and components of RBC treatment systems. The second lesson focuses on design operation and…

  11. Exploring Visuomotor Priming Following Biological and Non-Biological Stimuli (United States)

    Gowen, E.; Bradshaw, C.; Galpin, A.; Lawrence, A.; Poliakoff, E.


    Observation of human actions influences the observer's own motor system, termed visuomotor priming, and is believed to be caused by automatic activation of mirror neurons. Evidence suggests that priming effects are larger for biological (human) as opposed to non-biological (object) stimuli and enhanced when viewing stimuli in mirror compared to…

  12. Quantitative biology: where modern biology meets physical sciences. (United States)

    Shekhar, Shashank; Zhu, Lian; Mazutis, Linas; Sgro, Allyson E; Fai, Thomas G; Podolski, Marija


    Quantitative methods and approaches have been playing an increasingly important role in cell biology in recent years. They involve making accurate measurements to test a predefined hypothesis in order to compare experimental data with predictions generated by theoretical models, an approach that has benefited physicists for decades. Building quantitative models in experimental biology not only has led to discoveries of counterintuitive phenomena but has also opened up novel research directions. To make the biological sciences more quantitative, we believe a two-pronged approach needs to be taken. First, graduate training needs to be revamped to ensure biology students are adequately trained in physical and mathematical sciences and vice versa. Second, students of both the biological and the physical sciences need to be provided adequate opportunities for hands-on engagement with the methods and approaches necessary to be able to work at the intersection of the biological and physical sciences. We present the annual Physiology Course organized at the Marine Biological Laboratory (Woods Hole, MA) as a case study for a hands-on training program that gives young scientists the opportunity not only to acquire the tools of quantitative biology but also to develop the necessary thought processes that will enable them to bridge the gap between these disciplines.

  13. "Protected biological control"- Biological pest management in the greenhouse industry

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pilkington, L.J.; Messelink, G.J.; Lenteren, van J.C.; Mottee, Le K.


    This paper briefly describes the foundations and characteristics of biological control in protected cropping and what drivers are behind adoption of this management system within this industry. Examining a brief history of biological control in greenhouses and what makes it a successful management s

  14. Crystallogenesis of biological macromolecules. Biological, microgravity and other physicochemical aspects

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Giege, R; Drenth, J; Ducruix, A; McPherson, A; Saenger, W


    After an historical introduction and justification of the importance of proteins (as well as other macromolecules or macromolecular assemblies of biological origin) in modern biology but also in physics, this review presents the state of the field of macromolecular crystallogenesis. The basic questi

  15. [Hemodialysis with biological object]. (United States)

    Eventov, V L; Maksimenko, V A; Zhidkov, I L; Andrianova, M Iu


    The essence of the method of biodialysis (hemodialysis with biological object) developed and suggested by the authors for clinical use consists in that the healthy organism exerts, through a system of mass transfer, a therapeutic action on the sick organism. Blood from the affected and healthy organisms is perfused through individual mass exchangers (dialyzers, hemodiafilters and hemofilters), which are hydraulically connected by a circulating transport medium. Metabolites that accumulate in blood of the affected organism diffuse into the transport medium and, from there, into blood of the healthy organism, which metabolizes them. The reverse process occurs simultaneously: substances, whose concentration in blood of the sick organism is less versus the healthy organism, diffuse from blood of the healthy organism to blood of patient. The method suggested by us can be used in clinical practice for normalizing a variety of parameters in patients with hepatic and renal insufficiency. Besides, a number of substances can be transferred from the healthy donor to patient in the process of biodialysis, which opens promising potentialities for the treatment of many diseases.

  16. Consciousness and biological evolution. (United States)

    Lindahl, B I


    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.

  17. Flotation of Biological Materials

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    George Z. Kyzas


    Full Text Available Flotation constitutes a gravity separation process, which originated from the minerals processing field. However, it has, nowadays, found several other applications, as for example in the wastewater treatment field. Concerning the necessary bubble generation method, typically dispersed-air or dissolved-air flotation was mainly used. Various types of biological materials were tested and floated efficiently, such as bacteria, fungi, yeasts, activated sludge, grape stalks, etc. Innovative processes have been studied in our Laboratory, particularly for metal ions removal, involving the initial abstraction of heavy metal ions onto a sorbent (including a biosorbent: in the first, the application of a flotation stage followed for the efficient downstream separation of metal-laden particles. The ability of microorganisms to remove metal ions from dilute aqueous solutions (as most wastewaters are is a well-known property. The second separation process, also applied effectively, was a new hybrid cell of microfiltration combined with flotation. Sustainability in this field and its significance for the chemical and process industry is commented.

  18. [Biology molecular of glioblastomas]. (United States)

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


    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.

  19. Mesangial cell biology

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Abboud, Hanna E., E-mail:


    Mesangial cells originate from the metanephric mesenchyme and maintain structural integrity of the glomerular microvascular bed and mesangial matrix homeostasis. In response to metabolic, immunologic or hemodynamic injury, these cells undergo apoptosis or acquire an activated phenotype and undergo hypertrophy, proliferation with excessive production of matrix proteins, growth factors, chemokines and cytokines. These soluble factors exert autocrine and paracrine effects on the cells or on other glomerular cells, respectively. MCs are primary targets of immune-mediated glomerular diseases such as IGA nephropathy or metabolic diseases such as diabetes. MCs may also respond to injury that primarily involves podocytes and endothelial cells or to structural and genetic abnormalities of the glomerular basement membrane. Signal transduction and oxidant stress pathways are activated in MCs and likely represent integrated input from multiple mediators. Such responses are convenient targets for therapeutic intervention. Studies in cultured MCs should be supplemented with in vivo studies as well as examination of freshly isolated cells from normal and diseases glomeruli. In addition to ex vivo morphologic studies in kidney cortex, cells should be studied in their natural environment, isolated glomeruli or even tissue slices. Identification of a specific marker of MCs should help genetic manipulation as well as selective therapeutic targeting of these cells. Identification of biological responses of MCs that are not mediated by the renin–angiotensin system should help development of novel and effective therapeutic strategies to treat diseases characterized by MC pathology.

  20. Biological rhythms and preeclampsia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Agnès eDitisheim


    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.

  1. Biological control of ticks (United States)

    Samish, M.; Ginsberg, H.; Glazer, I.; Bowman, A.S.; Nuttall, P.


    Ticks have numerous natural enemies, but only a few species have been evaluated as tick biocontrol agents (BCAs). Some laboratory results suggest that several bacteria are pathogenic to ticks, but their mode of action and their potential value as biocontrol agents remain to be determined. The most promising entomopathogenic fungi appear to be Metarhizium anisopliae and Beauveria bassiana, strains of which are already commercially available for the control of some pests. Development of effective formulations is critical for tick management. Entomopathogenic nematodes that are pathogenic to ticks can potentially control ticks, but improved formulations and selection of novel nematode strains are needed. Parasitoid wasps of the genus Ixodiphagus do not typically control ticks under natural conditions, but inundative releases show potential value. Most predators of ticks are generalists, with a limited potential for tick management (one possible exception is oxpeckers in Africa). Biological control is likely to play a substantial role in future IPM programmes for ticks because of the diversity of taxa that show high potential as tick BCAs. Considerable research is required to select appropriate strains, develop them as BCAs, establish their effectiveness, and devise production strategies to bring them to practical use.

  2. Aristotle's biopolitics: a defense of biological teleology against biological nihilism. (United States)

    Arnhart, L


    Modern Darwinian biology seems to promote nihilism, for it seems to teach that there is no rationally discoverable standard in nature for giving meaning to life. The purpose of this article is to argue for a revival of Aristotle's biological teleology as a reasonable alternative to biological nihilism. The article begins with Edward Wilson's vain struggle against nihilism. Then it is argued that a teleological understanding of nature is assumed in the practice of medicine, as illustrated by one case from Oliver Sacks' neurological practice. The article then considers the importance of biological teleology for Aristotle's moral and political philosophy, and attention is given to some points of agreement and disagreement with contemporary sociobiologists. The main part of the article is then devoted to a defense of Aristotle's biology against the five objections that might be made by a Darwinian biologist. Finally, the article illustrates the practical implications of this issue for bioethics by considering the recent work of Engelhardt.

  3. Introduction to Biology, Tropical Edition. (United States)

    Mackean, D. G.

    This pupil's reference book is intended to provide biological information, using plants and animals which are suitable for study over a wide range of tropical countries. Its topics are taken mostly from the biology syllabi for the British General Certification of Education at the Ordinary Level and are written principally for pupils in the last…

  4. Biology and Water Pollution Control. (United States)

    Warren, Charles E.

    Within this text, the reader is attuned to the role biology can and should play in combating the alarming increase in water pollution. Both the urgency of the problem and the biological techniques that are being developed to cope with the water pollution crisis are scrutinized; what is and is not known about the problem is explained; past,…

  5. Space Biology: Patterns of Life (United States)

    Salisbury, Frank B.


    Present knowledge about Mars is compared with past beliefs about the planet. Biological experiments that indicate life may exist on Mars are interpreted. Life patterns or biological features that might be postulated for extraterrestrial life are presented at the molecular, cellular, organism, and ecosystem levels. (DS)

  6. Marine Biology and Human Affairs (United States)

    Russell, F. S.


    Marine biology has become an important area for study throughout the world. The author of this article discusses some of the important discoveries and fields of research in marine biology that are useful for mankind. Topics include food from the sea, fish farming, pesticides, pollution, and conservation. (MA)

  7. Querying Large Biological Network Datasets (United States)

    Gulsoy, Gunhan


    New experimental methods has resulted in increasing amount of genetic interaction data to be generated every day. Biological networks are used to store genetic interaction data gathered. Increasing amount of data available requires fast large scale analysis methods. Therefore, we address the problem of querying large biological network datasets.…

  8. Validation of systems biology models

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hasdemir, D.


    The paradigm shift from qualitative to quantitative analysis of biological systems brought a substantial number of modeling approaches to the stage of molecular biology research. These include but certainly are not limited to nonlinear kinetic models, static network models and models obtained by the

  9. Structural Biology Guides Antibiotic Discovery (United States)

    Polyak, Steven


    Modern drug discovery programs require the contribution of researchers in a number of specialist areas. One of these areas is structural biology. Using X-ray crystallography, the molecular basis of how a drug binds to its biological target and exerts its mode of action can be defined. For example, a drug that binds into the active site of an…

  10. Biological Effectiveness of Antiproton Annihilation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Maggiore, C.; Agazaryan, N.; Bassler, N.;


    from the annihilation of antiprotons produce an increase in ‘‘biological dose’’ in the vicinity of the narrow Bragg peak for antiprotons compared to protons. This experiment is the first direct measurement of the biological effects of antiproton annihilation. The background, description, and status...

  11. Static Analysis for Systems Biology

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielson, Flemming; Nielson, Hanne Riis; Rosa, D. Schuch da


    This paper shows how static analysis techniques can help understanding biological systems. Based on a simple example we illustrate the outcome of performing three different analyses extracting information of increasing precision. We conclude by reporting on the potential impact and exploitation o...... of these techniques in systems biology....

  12. Interfacing DNA nanodevices with biology

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vinther, Mathias; Kjems, Jørgen


    in biology and biomedicine acting as a molecular ‘nanorobot’ or smart drug interacting with the cellular machinery. In this review, we will explore and examine the perspective of DNA nanotechnology for such use. We summarize which requirements DNA nanostructures must fulfil to function in cellular...... environments and inside living organisms. In addition, we highlight recent advances in interfacing DNA nanostructures with biology....

  13. From Biology to Quality (BQ)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Michael Engelbrecht; Ingerslev, Hans-Christian


    “Quality is never an accident; it is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction and skilful execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives.” (William A. Foster) The quality of fish meat is dependent upon a wide range of biological and non-biological ...

  14. The Ethics of Synthetic Biology

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Christiansen, Andreas

    The dissertation analyses and discusses a number of ethical issues that have been raised in connection with the development of synthetic biology. Synthetic biology is a set of new techniques for DNA-level design and construction of living beings with useful properties. The dissertation especially...

  15. Biological clocks: riding the tides. (United States)

    de la Iglesia, Horacio O; Johnson, Carl Hirschie


    Animals with habitats in the intertidal zone often display biological rhythms that coordinate with both the tidal and the daily environmental cycles. Two recent studies show that the molecular components of the biological clocks mediating tidal rhythms are likely different from the phylogenetically conserved components that mediate circadian (daily) rhythms.

  16. BIological Psychology, Exercise, and Stress. (United States)

    Dishman, Rod K.


    Reviews theory and methods used by the field of biological psychology to study stress that have potential for understanding how behavioral and biological adaptations to the stress of exercise are integrated. The overview focuses on anxiety, depression, and physiological responsiveness to nonexercise stressors from the perspective of biological…

  17. Virtual Environments in Biology Teaching (United States)

    Mikropoulos, Tassos A.; Katsikis, Apostolos; Nikolou, Eugenia; Tsakalis, Panayiotis


    This article reports on the design, development and evaluation of an educational virtual environment for biology teaching. In particular it proposes a highly interactive three-dimensional synthetic environment involving certain learning tasks for the support of teaching plant cell biology and the process of photosynthesis. The environment has been…

  18. An Exercise in Biological Control. (United States)

    Lennox, John; Duke, Michael


    Discusses the history of the use of pesticides and biological control. Introduces the concept of biological control as illustrated in the use of the entomopathogenic bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis and highlights laboratory demonstrations of Koch's postulates. Includes an exercise that offers the student and teacher several integrated learning…

  19. Vitalism in Naive Biological Thinking. (United States)

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


    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,…

  20. Synthetic biology and genetic causation. (United States)

    Oftedal, Gry; Parkkinen, Veli-Pekka


    Synthetic biology research is often described in terms of programming cells through the introduction of synthetic genes. Genetic material is seemingly attributed with a high level of causal responsibility. We discuss genetic causation in synthetic biology and distinguish three gene concepts differing in their assumptions of genetic control. We argue that synthetic biology generally employs a difference-making approach to establishing genetic causes, and that this approach does not commit to a specific notion of genetic program or genetic control. Still, we suggest that a strong program concept of genetic material can be used as a successful heuristic in certain areas of synthetic biology. Its application requires control of causal context, and may stand in need of a modular decomposition of the target system. We relate different modularity concepts to the discussion of genetic causation and point to possible advantages of and important limitations to seeking modularity in synthetic biology systems.

  1. Combining supramolecular chemistry with biology. (United States)

    Uhlenheuer, Dana A; Petkau, Katja; Brunsveld, Luc


    Supramolecular chemistry has primarily found its inspiration in biological molecules, such as proteins and lipids, and their interactions. Currently the supramolecular assembly of designed compounds can be controlled to great extent. This provides the opportunity to combine these synthetic supramolecular elements with biomolecules for the study of biological phenomena. This tutorial review focuses on the possibilities of the marriage of synthetic supramolecular architectures and biological systems. It highlights that synthetic supramolecular elements are for example ideal platforms for the recognition and modulation of proteins and cells. The unique features of synthetic supramolecular systems with control over size, shape, valency, and interaction strength allow the generation of structures fitting the demands to approach the biological problems at hand. Supramolecular chemistry has come full circle, studying the biology and its molecules which initially inspired its conception.

  2. Engineering life through Synthetic Biology. (United States)

    Chopra, Paras; Kamma, Akhil


    Synthetic Biology is a field involving synthesis of novel biological systems which are not generally found in nature. It has brought a new paradigm in science as it has enabled scientists to create life from the scratch, hence helping better understand the principles of biology. The viability of living organisms that use unnatural molecules is also being explored. Unconventional projects such as DNA playing tic-tac-toe, bacterial photographic film, etc. are taking biology to its extremes. The field holds a promise for mass production of cheap drugs and programming bacteria to seek-and-destroy tumors in the body. However, the complexity of biological systems make the field a challenging one. In addition to this, there are other major technical and ethical challenges which need to be addressed before the field realizes its true potential.

  3. Grand challenges for biological engineering. (United States)

    Yoon, Jeong-Yeol; Riley, Mark R


    Biological engineering will play a significant role in solving many of the world's problems in medicine, agriculture, and the environment. Recently the U.S. National Academy of Engineering (NAE) released a document "Grand Challenges in Engineering," covering broad realms of human concern from sustainability, health, vulnerability and the joy of living. Biological engineers, having tools and techniques at the interface between living and non-living entities, will play a prominent role in forging a better future. The 2010 Institute of Biological Engineering (IBE) conference in Cambridge, MA, USA will address, in part, the roles of biological engineering in solving the challenges presented by the NAE. This letter presents a brief outline of how biological engineers are working to solve these large scale and integrated problems of our society.

  4. Grand challenges for biological engineering

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Riley Mark R


    Full Text Available Abstract Biological engineering will play a significant role in solving many of the world's problems in medicine, agriculture, and the environment. Recently the U.S. National Academy of Engineering (NAE released a document "Grand Challenges in Engineering," covering broad realms of human concern from sustainability, health, vulnerability and the joy of living. Biological engineers, having tools and techniques at the interface between living and non-living entities, will play a prominent role in forging a better future. The 2010 Institute of Biological Engineering (IBE conference in Cambridge, MA, USA will address, in part, the roles of biological engineering in solving the challenges presented by the NAE. This letter presents a brief outline of how biological engineers are working to solve these large scale and integrated problems of our society.

  5. Hierarchical structure of biological systems (United States)

    Alcocer-Cuarón, Carlos; Rivera, Ana L; Castaño, Victor M


    A general theory of biological systems, based on few fundamental propositions, allows a generalization of both Wierner and Berthalanffy approaches to theoretical biology. Here, a biological system is defined as a set of self-organized, differentiated elements that interact pair-wise through various networks and media, isolated from other sets by boundaries. Their relation to other systems can be described as a closed loop in a steady-state, which leads to a hierarchical structure and functioning of the biological system. Our thermodynamical approach of hierarchical character can be applied to biological systems of varying sizes through some general principles, based on the exchange of energy information and/or mass from and within the systems. PMID:24145961

  6. Loop Quantum Theory Applied to Biology and Nonlinear Whole Biology

    CERN Document Server

    Chang, Yi-Fang


    The loop quantum theory, which constitutes a very small discontinuous space, as new method is applied to biology. The model of protein folding and lungs is proposed. In the model, some known results are used, and four approximate conclusions are obtained: their structures are quantized, their space regions are finite, various singularities correspond to folding and crossed points, and different types of catastrophe exist. Further, based on the inseparability and correlativity of the biological systems, the nonlinear whole biology is proposed, and four basic hypotheses are formed. It may unify reductionism and holism, structuralism and functionalism. Finally, the medical meaning of the theory is discussed briefly.

  7. Biology and Economics: Metaphors that Economists usually take from Biology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Danny García Callejas


    Full Text Available Adam Smith, Alfred Marshall, Stanley Jevons, Karl Marx, Francois Quesnay and Joseph Schumpeter all have at least one thing in common: they used biological metaphors when speaking about economics. Nonetheless, today, this relation subsists and biology and economics are viewed as complementary sciences that have a lot to gain from joint research in fields like: evolutionary economics, economic growth, cognitive economics and environmental and ecological economics, among others. This paper, divided in four sections, will show this conclusion and explain that biology and economics are more sisters than strangers

  8. Biological Systems, Energy Sources, and Biology Teaching. Biology and Human Welfare. (United States)

    Tribe, Michael; Pritchard, Alan J.

    This five-chapter document (part of a series on biology and human welfare) focuses on biological systems as energy sources and on the teaching of this subject area. Chapter 1 discusses various topics related to energy and ecology, including biomass, photosynthesis and world energy balances, energy flow through ecosystems, and others. Chapter 2…

  9. Biological modulation of tectonics (United States)

    Sleep, N. H.; Bird, D. K.


    Photosynthesis has had geologic consequences over the Earth's history. In addition to modifying Earth's atmosphere and ocean chemistry, it has also modulated tectonic processes through enhanced weathering and modification of the nature and composition of sedimentary rocks within fold mountain belts and convergent margins. Molecular biological studies indicate that bacterial photosynthesis evolved just once and that most bacterial clades descend from this photosynthetic common ancestor. Iron-based photosynthesis (ideally 4FeO + CO2 + H2O = 2Fe2O3 + CH2O) was the most bountiful anoxygenic niche on land. The back reaction provided energy to heterotrophic microbes and returned FeO to the photosynthetic microbes. Bacterial land colonists evolved into ecosystems that effectively weathered FeO-bearing minerals and volcanic glass. Clays, sands, and dissolved cations from the weathering process entered the ocean and formed our familiar classes sedimentary rocks: shales, sandstones, and carbonates. Marine photosynthesis caused organic carbon to accumulate in black shales. In contrast, non-photosynthetic ecosystems do not cause organic carbon to accumulate in shale. These evolutionary events occurred before 3.8 Ga as black shales are among the oldest rock types (Rosing and Frei, Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. 217, 237-244, 2004). Thick sedimentary sequences deformed into fold mountain belts. They remelted at depth to form granitic rocks (Rosing et al., Palaeoclimatol. Palaeoecol. 232, 99-11, 2006). Regions of outcropping low-FeO rocks including granites, quartzites, and some shales were a direct result. This dearth of FeO favored the evolution of oxic photosynthesis of cyanobacteria from photosynthetic soil bacteria. Black shales have an additional modulation effect on tectonics as they concentrate radioactive elements, particularly uranium (e.g. so that the surface heat flow varies by a factor of ca. 2). Thick sequences of black shales at continental rises of passive margins are

  10. The Relationships between Epistemic Beliefs in Biology and Approaches to Learning Biology among Biology-Major University Students in Taiwan (United States)

    Lin, Yi-Chun; Liang, Jyh-Chong; Tsai, Chin-Chung


    The aim of this study was to investigate the relationships between students' epistemic beliefs in biology and their approaches to learning biology. To this end, two instruments, the epistemic beliefs in biology and the approaches to learning biology surveys, were developed and administered to 520 university biology students, respectively. By and…

  11. The meaning of biological information. (United States)

    Koonin, Eugene V


    Biological information encoded in genomes is fundamentally different from and effectively orthogonal to Shannon entropy. The biologically relevant concept of information has to do with 'meaning', i.e. encoding various biological functions with various degree of evolutionary conservation. Apart from direct experimentation, the meaning, or biological information content, can be extracted and quantified from alignments of homologous nucleotide or amino acid sequences but generally not from a single sequence, using appropriately modified information theoretical formulae. For short, information encoded in genomes is defined vertically but not horizontally. Informally but substantially, biological information density seems to be equivalent to 'meaning' of genomic sequences that spans the entire range from sharply defined, universal meaning to effective meaninglessness. Large fractions of genomes, up to 90% in some plants, belong within the domain of fuzzy meaning. The sequences with fuzzy meaning can be recruited for various functions, with the meaning subsequently fixed, and also could perform generic functional roles that do not require sequence conservation. Biological meaning is continuously transferred between the genomes of selfish elements and hosts in the process of their coevolution. Thus, in order to adequately describe genome function and evolution, the concepts of information theory have to be adapted to incorporate the notion of meaning that is central to biology.

  12. Digital 'faces' of synthetic biology. (United States)

    Friedrich, Kathrin


    In silicio design plays a fundamental role in the endeavour to synthesise biological systems. In particular, computer-aided design software enables users to manage the complexity of biological entities that is connected to their construction and reconfiguration. The software's graphical user interface bridges the gap between the machine-readable data on the algorithmic subface of the computer and its human-amenable surface represented by standardised diagrammatic elements. Notations like the Systems Biology Graphical Notation (SBGN), together with interactive operations such as drag & drop, allow the user to visually design and simulate synthetic systems as 'bio-algorithmic signs'. Finally, the digital programming process should be extended to the wet lab to manufacture the designed synthetic biological systems. By exploring the different 'faces' of synthetic biology, I argue that in particular computer-aided design (CAD) is pushing the idea to automatically produce de novo objects. Multifaceted software processes serve mutually aesthetic, epistemic and performative purposes by simultaneously black-boxing and bridging different data sources, experimental operations and community-wide standards. So far, synthetic biology is mainly a product of digital media technologies that structurally mimic the epistemological challenge to take both qualitative as well as quantitative aspects of biological systems into account in order to understand and produce new and functional entities.

  13. Synthetic biology and metabolic engineering. (United States)

    Stephanopoulos, Gregory


    Metabolic engineering emerged 20 years ago as the discipline occupied with the directed modification of metabolic pathways for the microbial synthesis of various products. As such, it deals with the engineering (design, construction, and optimization) of native as well as non-natural routes of product synthesis, aided in this task by the availability of synthetic DNA, the core enabling technology of synthetic biology. The two fields, however, only partially overlap in their interest in pathway engineering. While fabrication of biobricks, synthetic cells, genetic circuits, and nonlinear cell dynamics, along with pathway engineering, have occupied researchers in the field of synthetic biology, the sum total of these areas does not constitute a coherent definition of synthetic biology with a distinct intellectual foundation and well-defined areas of application. This paper reviews the origins of the two fields and advances two distinct paradigms for each of them: that of unit operations for metabolic engineering and electronic circuits for synthetic biology. In this context, metabolic engineering is about engineering cell factories for the biological manufacturing of chemical and pharmaceutical products, whereas the main focus of synthetic biology is fundamental biological research facilitated by the use of synthetic DNA and genetic circuits.

  14. Synthetic biology as red herring. (United States)

    Preston, Beth


    It has become commonplace to say that with the advent of technologies like synthetic biology the line between artifacts and living organisms, policed by metaphysicians since antiquity, is beginning to blur. But that line began to blur 10,000 years ago when plants and animals were first domesticated; and has been thoroughly blurred at least since agriculture became the dominant human subsistence pattern many millennia ago. Synthetic biology is ultimately only a late and unexceptional offshoot of this prehistoric development. From this perspective, then, synthetic biology is a red herring, distracting us from more thorough philosophical consideration of the most truly revolutionary human practice-agriculture. In the first section of this paper I will make this case with regard to ontology, arguing that synthetic biology crosses no ontological lines that were not crossed already in the Neolithic. In the second section I will construct a parallel case with regard to cognition, arguing that synthetic biology as biological engineering represents no cognitive advance over what was required for domestication and the new agricultural subsistence pattern it grounds. In the final section I will make the case with regard to human existence, arguing that synthetic biology, even if wildly successful, is not in a position to cause significant existential change in what it is to be human over and above the massive existential change caused by the transition to agriculture. I conclude that a longer historical perspective casts new light on some important issues in philosophy of technology and environmental philosophy.

  15. Fostering synergy between cell biology and systems biology. (United States)

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


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

  16. Agroterrorism, Biological Crimes, and Biological Warfare Targeting Animal Agriculture

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wilson, Terry M.; Logan-Henfrey, Linda; Weller, Richard E.; Kellman, Brian


    There is a rising level of concern that agriculture might be targeted for economic sabotage by terrorists. Knowledge gathered about the Soviet Union biological weapons program and Iraq following the Gulf War, confirmed that animals and agricultural crops were targets of bioweapon development. These revelations are particularly disturbing in light of the fact that both countries are States Parties to the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention that entered into force in 1975. The potential for misusing biotechnology to create more virulent pathogens and the lack of international means to detect unethical uses of new technologies to create destructive bioweapons is of increasing concern. Disease outbreaks, whether naturally occurring or intentionally, involving agricultural pathogens that destroy livestock and crops would have a profound impact on a country's infrastructure, economy and export markets. This chapter deals with the history of agroterrorism, biological crimes and biological warfare directed toward animal agriculture, specifically, horses, cattle, swine, sheep, goats, and poultry.

  17. Marine molecular biology: An emerging field of biological sciences

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Thakur, N.L.; Jain, R.; Natalio, F.; Hamer, B.; Thakur, A.N.; Muller, W.E.G.

    to tackle problems associated with global climate changes, bio- diversity, environmental quality and use of marine living re- sources (Molecular biology in marine science, 1994). Marine biologists study oceanic life in relation to marine environment... that often range from small to global scale, whereas, molecular biologist study biological events in terms of the physiochemical properties of molecules. The immediate benefits of the collab- orative research between these two disciplines could include...

  18. Biological Databases for Human Research

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Dong Zou; Lina Ma; Jun Yu; Zhang Zhang


    The completion of the Human Genome Project lays a foundation for systematically studying the human genome from evolutionary history to precision medicine against diseases. With the explosive growth of biological data, there is an increasing number of biological databases that have been developed in aid of human-related research. Here we present a collection of human-related biological databases and provide a mini-review by classifying them into different categories according to their data types. As human-related databases continue to grow not only in count but also in volume, challenges are ahead in big data storage, processing, exchange and curation.

  19. The Ethics of Synthetic Biology

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Christiansen, Andreas

    The dissertation analyses and discusses a number of ethical issues that have been raised in connection with the development of synthetic biology. Synthetic biology is a set of new techniques for DNA-level design and construction of living beings with useful properties. The dissertation especially......) popular responsesto them succeed, and whether the objections are ultimately persuasive.2. Given that synthetic biology is a new technology, there is a certain degree of uncertainty about its ultimate effects, and many perceive the technology as risky. I discuss two common approaches in risk regulation...

  20. Bilingual teaching of molecular biology

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)


    Recently bilingual teaching in China's universities has been widely carried out and become a popular subject for study. In this paper, the reasons for bilingual teaching of molecular biology are pointed out, the textbook of molecular biology and teaching method in bilingual teaching classes are determined after investigation and the practice of bilingually teaching molecular biology use both English and Chinese in a class. The effect has proved good. The bilingual teaching methods, the problem of bilingual teaching, the importance of understanding its significance and the possibilities of improving such teaching of the subject are also discussed.

  1. The renaissance of developmental biology. (United States)

    St Johnston, Daniel


    Since its heyday in the 1980s and 90s, the field of developmental biology has gone into decline; in part because it has been eclipsed by the rise of genomics and stem cell biology, and in part because it has seemed less pertinent in an era with so much focus on translational impact. In this essay, I argue that recent progress in genome-wide analyses and stem cell research, coupled with technological advances in imaging and genome editing, have created the conditions for the renaissance of a new wave of developmental biology with greater translational relevance.

  2. Ten questions about systems biology

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Joyner, Michael J; Pedersen, Bente K


    to understand how whole animals adapt to the real world. We argue that a lack of fluency in these concepts is a major stumbling block for what has been narrowly defined as 'systems biology' by some of its leading advocates. We also point out that it is a failure of regulation at multiple levels that causes many......In this paper we raise 'ten questions' broadly related to 'omics', the term systems biology, and why the new biology has failed to deliver major therapeutic advances for many common diseases, especially diabetes and cardiovascular disease. We argue that a fundamentally narrow and reductionist...

  3. Basic radiotherapy physics and biology

    CERN Document Server

    Chang, David S; Das, Indra J; Mendonca, Marc S; Dynlacht, Joseph R


    This book is a concise and well-illustrated review of the physics and biology of radiation therapy intended for radiation oncology residents, radiation therapists, dosimetrists, and physicists. It presents topics that are included on the Radiation Therapy Physics and Biology examinations and is designed with the intent of presenting information in an easily digestible format with maximum retention in mind. The inclusion of mnemonics, rules of thumb, and reader-friendly illustrations throughout the book help to make difficult concepts easier to grasp. Basic Radiotherapy Physics and Biology is a

  4. Biological Optimisation for Nurse Scheduling

    CERN Document Server

    Twycross, Jamie


    Artificial immune systems (AISs) to date have generally been inspired by naive biological metaphors. This has limited the effectiveness of these systems. In this position paper two ways in which AISs could be made more biologically realistic are discussed. We propose that AISs should draw their inspiration from organisms which possess only innate immune systems, and that AISs should employ systemic models of the immune system to structure their overall design. An outline of plant and invertebrate immune systems is presented, and a number of contemporary research that more biologically-realistic AISs could have is also discussed.

  5. Robust design of biological circuits: evolutionary systems biology approach. (United States)

    Chen, Bor-Sen; Hsu, Chih-Yuan; Liou, Jing-Jia


    Artificial gene circuits have been proposed to be embedded into microbial cells that function as switches, timers, oscillators, and the Boolean logic gates. Building more complex systems from these basic gene circuit components is one key advance for biologic circuit design and synthetic biology. However, the behavior of bioengineered gene circuits remains unstable and uncertain. In this study, a nonlinear stochastic system is proposed to model the biological systems with intrinsic parameter fluctuations and environmental molecular noise from the cellular context in the host cell. Based on evolutionary systems biology algorithm, the design parameters of target gene circuits can evolve to specific values in order to robustly track a desired biologic function in spite of intrinsic and environmental noise. The fitness function is selected to be inversely proportional to the tracking error so that the evolutionary biological circuit can achieve the optimal tracking mimicking the evolutionary process of a gene circuit. Finally, several design examples are given in silico with the Monte Carlo simulation to illustrate the design procedure and to confirm the robust performance of the proposed design method. The result shows that the designed gene circuits can robustly track desired behaviors with minimal errors even with nontrivial intrinsic and external noise.

  6. Systems biology of human atherosclerosis. (United States)

    Shalhoub, Joseph; Sikkel, Markus B; Davies, Kerry J; Vorkas, Panagiotis A; Want, Elizabeth J; Davies, Alun H


    Systems biology describes a holistic and integrative approach to understand physiology and pathology. The "omic" disciplines include genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, and metabolic profiling (metabonomics and metabolomics). By adopting a stance, which is opposing (yet complimentary) to conventional research techniques, systems biology offers an overview by assessing the "net" biological effect imposed by a disease or nondisease state. There are a number of different organizational levels to be understood, from DNA to protein, metabolites, cells, organs and organisms, even beyond this to an organism's context. Systems biology relies on the existence of "nodes" and "edges." Nodes are the constituent part of the system being studied (eg, proteins in the proteome), while the edges are the way these constituents interact. In future, it will be increasingly important to collaborate, collating data from multiple studies to improve data sets, making them freely available and undertaking integrative analyses.

  7. VT Biodiversity Project - Biological Hotspots (United States)

    Vermont Center for Geographic Information — (Link to Metadata) This dataset is the result of an effort to map biological "hotspots" in Vermont based on the "element occurrences" in the Nongame and Natural...

  8. Quivira NWR biological baseline data (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This dataset is biological baseline data for Quivira National Wildlife Refuge as of January 2016. It contains data on species found on the refuge, when and where...

  9. Sex and the Biology Teacher (United States)

    Keller, Dolores Elaine


    Summarizes evidence that mammals are basically female, with masculine characteristics being imposed by hormonal changes in embryos or post-natally. Advocates the removal of male-dominant terminology in biological research and teaching. (AL)

  10. Synthetic Biology for Specialty Chemicals. (United States)

    Markham, Kelly A; Alper, Hal S


    In this review, we address recent advances in the field of synthetic biology and describe how those tools have been applied to produce a wide variety of chemicals in microorganisms. Here we classify the expansion of the synthetic biology toolbox into three different categories based on their primary function in strain engineering-for design, for construction, and for optimization. Next, focusing on recent years, we look at how chemicals have been produced using these new synthetic biology tools. Advances in producing fuels are briefly described, followed by a more thorough treatment of commodity chemicals, specialty chemicals, pharmaceuticals, and nutraceuticals. Throughout this review, an emphasis is placed on how synthetic biology tools are applied to strain engineering. Finally, we discuss organism and host strain diversity and provide a future outlook in the field.

  11. Systems biology and cardiac arrhythmias. (United States)

    Grace, Andrew A; Roden, Dan M


    During the past few years, the development of effective, empirical technologies for treatment of cardiac arrhythmias has exceeded the pace at which detailed knowledge of the underlying biology has accumulated. As a result, although some clinical arrhythmias can be cured with techniques such as catheter ablation, drug treatment and prediction of the risk of sudden death remain fairly primitive. The identification of key candidate genes for monogenic arrhythmia syndromes shows that to bring basic biology to the clinic is a powerful approach. Increasingly sophisticated experimental models and methods of measurement, including stem cell-based models of human cardiac arrhythmias, are being deployed to study how perturbations in several biologic pathways can result in an arrhythmia-prone heart. The biology of arrhythmia is largely quantifiable, which allows for systematic analysis that could transform treatment strategies that are often still empirical into management based on molecular evidence.

  12. Aging and computational systems biology. (United States)

    Mooney, Kathleen M; Morgan, Amy E; Mc Auley, Mark T


    Aging research is undergoing a paradigm shift, which has led to new and innovative methods of exploring this complex phenomenon. The systems biology approach endeavors to understand biological systems in a holistic manner, by taking account of intrinsic interactions, while also attempting to account for the impact of external inputs, such as diet. A key technique employed in systems biology is computational modeling, which involves mathematically describing and simulating the dynamics of biological systems. Although a large number of computational models have been developed in recent years, these models have focused on various discrete components of the aging process, and to date no model has succeeded in completely representing the full scope of aging. Combining existing models or developing new models may help to address this need and in so doing could help achieve an improved understanding of the intrinsic mechanisms which underpin aging.

  13. Inference problems in structural biology

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Olsson, Simon

    The structure and dynamics of biological molecules are essential for their function. Consequently, a wealth of experimental techniques have been developed to study these features. However, while experiments yield detailed information about geometrical features of molecules, this information is of...

  14. The relativity of biological function. (United States)

    Laubichler, Manfred D; Stadler, Peter F; Prohaska, Sonja J; Nowick, Katja


    Function is a central concept in biological theories and explanations. Yet discussions about function are often based on a narrow understanding of biological systems and processes, such as idealized molecular systems or simple evolutionary, i.e., selective, dynamics. Conflicting conceptions of function continue to be used in the scientific literature to support certain claims, for instance about the fraction of "functional DNA" in the human genome. Here we argue that all biologically meaningful interpretations of function are necessarily context dependent. This implies that they derive their meaning as well as their range of applicability only within a specific theoretical and measurement context. We use this framework to shed light on the current debate about functional DNA and argue that without considering explicitly the theoretical and measurement contexts all attempts to integrate biological theories are prone to fail.

  15. Text mining for systems biology. (United States)

    Fluck, Juliane; Hofmann-Apitius, Martin


    Scientific communication in biomedicine is, by and large, still text based. Text mining technologies for the automated extraction of useful biomedical information from unstructured text that can be directly used for systems biology modelling have been substantially improved over the past few years. In this review, we underline the importance of named entity recognition and relationship extraction as fundamental approaches that are relevant to systems biology. Furthermore, we emphasize the role of publicly organized scientific benchmarking challenges that reflect the current status of text-mining technology and are important in moving the entire field forward. Given further interdisciplinary development of systems biology-orientated ontologies and training corpora, we expect a steadily increasing impact of text-mining technology on systems biology in the future.

  16. Language from a biological perspective

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Mohinish Shukla


    The faculty of language is unique to the human species. This implies that there are human-specific biological changes that lie at the basis of human language. However, it is not clear what the nature of such changes are, and how they could be shaped by evolution. In this paper, emphasis is laid on describing language in a Chomskyan manner, as a mental object. This serves as a standpoint to speculate about the biological basis of the emergence and evolution of language.

  17. Feller's Contributions to Mathematical Biology


    Baake, Ellen; Wakolbinger, Anton


    This is a review of William Feller's important contributions to mathematical biology. The seminal paper [Feller1951] "Diffusion processes in genetics" was particularly influential on the development of stochastic processes at the interface to evolutionary biology, and interesting ideas in this direction (including a first characterization of what is nowadays known as "Feller's branching diffusion") already shaped up in the paper [Feller 1939] (written in German) "The foundations of a probabis...

  18. How physics can inspire biology (United States)

    Kornyshev, Alexei


    In July 1997 Adrian Parsegian, a biophysicist at the National Institutes of Health in the US and a former president of the Biophysical Society, published an article in Physics Today in which he outlined his thoughts about the main obstacles to a happy marriage between physics and biology. Parsegian started his article with a joke about a physicist talking to his biology-trained friend.

  19. Biological Effects of Acoustic Cavitation (United States)


    rectified diffusion. 56 III. STABLE CAVITATION A. Introduction There are manv areas associated with the biological effects of ultrasound in which the...used said as cavitation indicators. Further, if clinical ultrasound systems are found to be inducing cavitation , either stable or transient, it will...O BIOLOGICAL EFFECTS OF ACOUSTIC CAVITATION by Lawrence A. Crum -- Physical Acoustics Research Laboratory Department of Physics and Astronomy ’ CTE

  20. Researchers Discover Plants Biological Clock

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)



    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

  1. Nanoscale technology in biological systems

    CERN Document Server

    Greco, Ralph S; Smith, R Lane


    Reviewing recent accomplishments in the field of nanobiology Nanoscale Technology in Biological Systems introduces the application of nanoscale matrices to human biology. It focuses on the applications of nanotechnology fabrication to biomedical devices and discusses new physical methods for cell isolation and manipulation and intracellular communication at the molecular level. It also explores the application of nanobiology to cardiovascular diseases, oncology, transplantation, and a range of related disciplines. This book build a strong background in nanotechnology and nanobiology ideal for

  2. US Competitiveness in Synthetic Biology. (United States)

    Gronvall, Gigi Kwik


    Synthetic biology is an emerging technical field that aims to make biology easier to engineer; the field has applications in strategically important sectors for the US economy. While the United States currently leads in synthetic biology R&D, other nations are heavily investing in order to boost their economies, which will inevitably diminish the US leadership position. This outcome is not entirely negative--additional investments will expand markets--but it is critical that the US government take steps to remain competitive: There are applications from which the US population and economy may benefit; there are specific applications with importance for national defense; and US technical leadership will ensure that US experts have a leading role in synthetic biology governance, regulation, and oversight. Measures to increase competitiveness in S&T generally are broadly applicable for synthetic biology and should be pursued. However, the US government will also need to take action on fundamental issues that will affect the field's development, such as countering anti-GMO (genetically modified organism) sentiments and anti-GMO legislation. The United States should maintain its regulatory approach so that it is the product that is regulated, not the method used to create a product. At the same time, the United States needs to ensure that the regulatory framework is updated so that synthetic biology products do not fall into regulatory gaps. Finally, the United States needs to pay close attention to how synthetic biology applications may be governed internationally, such as through the Nagoya Protocol of the Convention on Biological Diversity, so that beneficial applications may be realized.

  3. Issues in Biological Shape Modelling

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hilger, Klaus Baggesen

    This talk reflects parts of the current research at informatics and Mathematical Modelling at the Technical University of Denmark within biological shape modelling. We illustrate a series of generalizations, modifications, and applications of the elements of constructing models of shape or appear......This talk reflects parts of the current research at informatics and Mathematical Modelling at the Technical University of Denmark within biological shape modelling. We illustrate a series of generalizations, modifications, and applications of the elements of constructing models of shape...

  4. US Competitiveness in Synthetic Biology (United States)


    Synthetic biology is an emerging technical field that aims to make biology easier to engineer; the field has applications in strategically important sectors for the US economy. While the United States currently leads in synthetic biology R&D, other nations are heavily investing in order to boost their economies, which will inevitably diminish the US leadership position. This outcome is not entirely negative—additional investments will expand markets—but it is critical that the US government take steps to remain competitive: There are applications from which the US population and economy may benefit; there are specific applications with importance for national defense; and US technical leadership will ensure that US experts have a leading role in synthetic biology governance, regulation, and oversight. Measures to increase competitiveness in S&T generally are broadly applicable for synthetic biology and should be pursued. However, the US government will also need to take action on fundamental issues that will affect the field's development, such as countering anti-GMO (genetically modified organism) sentiments and anti-GMO legislation. The United States should maintain its regulatory approach so that it is the product that is regulated, not the method used to create a product. At the same time, the United States needs to ensure that the regulatory framework is updated so that synthetic biology products do not fall into regulatory gaps. Finally, the United States needs to pay close attention to how synthetic biology applications may be governed internationally, such as through the Nagoya Protocol of the Convention on Biological Diversity, so that beneficial applications may be realized. PMID:26690379

  5. The aesthetics of chemical biology. (United States)

    Parsons, Glenn


    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. Market study: Biological isolation garment (United States)


    The biological isolation garment was originally designed for Apollo astronauts to wear upon their return to earth from the moon to avoid the possibility of their contaminating the environment. The concept has been adapted for medical use to protect certain patients from environmental contamination and the risk of infection. The nature and size of the anticipated market are examined with certain findings and conclusions relative to clinical acceptability and potential commercial viability of the biological isolation garment.

  7. Biological Activities of Hydrazone Derivatives

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Güniz Küçükgüzel


    Full Text Available There has been considerable interest in the development of novel compounds with anticonvulsant, antidepressant, analgesic, antiinflammatory, antiplatelet, antimalarial, antimicrobial, antimycobacterial, antitumoral, vasodilator, antiviral and antischistosomiasis activities. Hydrazones possessing an azometine -NHN=CH- proton constitute an important class of compounds for new drug development. Therefore, many researchers have synthesized these compounds as target structures and evaluated their biological activities. These observations have been guiding for the development of new hydrazones that possess varied biological activities.

  8. Biological markets explain human ultrasociality. (United States)

    Sheskin, Mark; Lambert, Stéphane; Baumard, Nicolas


    The evidence Gowdy & Krall (G&K) provide is more consistent with a biological markets explanation of human ultrasociality than a group selection explanation. Specifically, large-scale societies provide a better biological market for cooperation than do small-scale societies, allowing individuals to increase their fitness. Importantly, many of the quality-of-life costs G&K discuss (e.g., patriarchy) are not fitness costs.

  9. Biological atomism and cell theory. (United States)

    Nicholson, Daniel J


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

  10. Where Synthetic Biology Meets ET (United States)

    Rothschild, Lynn J.


    Synthetic biology - the design and construction of new biological parts and systems and the redesign of existing ones for useful purposes - has the potential to transform fields from pharmaceuticals to fuels. Our lab has focused on the potential of synthetic biology to revolutionize all three major parts of astrobiology: Where do we come from? Where are we going? and Are we alone? For the first and third, synthetic biology is allowing us to answer whether the evolutionary narrative that has played out on planet earth is likely to have been unique or universal. For example, in our lab we are re-evolving the biosynthetic pathways of amino acids in order to understand potential capabilities of an early organism with a limited repertoire of amino acids and developing techniques for the recovery of metals from spent electronics on other planetary bodies. And what about the limits for life? Can we create organisms that expand the envelope for life? In the future synthetic biology will play an increasing role in human activities both on earth, in fields as diverse as human health and the industrial production of novel bio-composites. Beyond earth, we will rely increasingly on biologically-provided life support, as we have throughout our evolutionary history. In order to do this, the field will build on two of the great contributions of astrobiology: studies of the origin of life and life in extreme environments.

  11. Molecular biology of the cell

    CERN Document Server

    Alberts, Bruce; Lewis, Julian


    Molecular Biology of the Cell is the classic in-dept text reference in cell biology. By extracting the fundamental concepts from this enormous and ever-growing field, the authors tell the story of cell biology, and create a coherent framework through which non-expert readers may approach the subject. Written in clear and concise language, and beautifully illustrated, the book is enjoyable to read, and it provides a clear sense of the excitement of modern biology. Molecular Biology of the Cell sets forth the current understanding of cell biology (completely updated as of Autumn 2001), and it explores the intriguing implications and possibilities of the great deal that remains unknown. The hallmark features of previous editions continue in the Fourth Edition. The book is designed with a clean and open, single-column layout. The art program maintains a completely consistent format and style, and includes over 1,600 photographs, electron micrographs, and original drawings by the authors. Clear and concise concept...

  12. Synthetic biology and personalized medicine. (United States)

    Jain, K K


    Synthetic biology, application of synthetic chemistry to biology, is a broad term that covers the engineering of biological systems with structures and functions not found in nature to process information, manipulate chemicals, produce energy, maintain cell environment and enhance human health. Synthetic biology devices contribute not only to improve our understanding of disease mechanisms, but also provide novel diagnostic tools. Methods based on synthetic biology enable the design of novel strategies for the treatment of cancer, immune diseases metabolic disorders and infectious diseases as well as the production of cheap drugs. The potential of synthetic genome, using an expanded genetic code that is designed for specific drug synthesis as well as delivery and activation of the drug in vivo by a pathological signal, was already pointed out during a lecture delivered at Kuwait University in 2005. Of two approaches to synthetic biology, top-down and bottom-up, the latter is more relevant to the development of personalized medicines as it provides more flexibility in constructing a partially synthetic cell from basic building blocks for a desired task.

  13. Biologic Therapy (Immunotherapy) for Kidney Cancer (United States)

    ... Stage for Kidney Cancer Kidney Cancer Treating Kidney Cancer Biologic Therapy (Immunotherapy) for Kidney Cancer The goal of biologic therapy ... Therapy for Kidney Cancer Targeted Therapies for Kidney Cancer Biologic Therapy (Immunotherapy) for Kidney Cancer Chemotherapy for Kidney Cancer Pain ...

  14. A bridge between chemistry and biology. (United States)

    Kikuchi, Kazuya; Kakeya, Hideaki


    Chemical biology is an interdisciplinary field that is undergoing rapid expansion around the globe. Recently, the Japanese Society for Chemical Biology sponsored its inaugural scientific meeting to discuss research at the interface of chemistry and biology.

  15. Biological couplings: Classification and characteristic rules

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)


    The phenomena that biological functions originate from biological coupling are the important biological foundation of multiple bionics and the significant discoveries in the bionic fields. In this paper, the basic concepts related to biological coupling are introduced from the bionic viewpoint. Constitution, classification and characteristic rules of biological coupling are illuminated, the general modes of biological coupling studies are analyzed, and the prospects of multi-coupling bionics are predicted.

  16. Marine biology, intertidal ecology, and a new place for biology. (United States)

    Benson, Keith R


    At the present time, there is considerable interest for the physical setting of science, that is, its actual 'place' of practice. Among historians of biology, place has been considered to be a crucial component for the study of ecology. Other historians have noted the 'built' environments (laboratories) for the study of biology along the seashore, even referring to these places in terms more applicable to vacation sites. In this paper, I examine the place of intertidal ecology investigations, both in terms of the physical space and the built space. Part of the examination will investigate the aesthetic aspect of the Pacific Coast, part will evaluate the unique character of the intertidal zone, and part will consider the construction of natural laboratories and built laboratories as characteristic places for biology.

  17. In silico cell biology and biochemistry: a systems biology approach


    Camacho, Diogo Mayo


    In the post-"omic" era the analysis of high-throughput data is regarded as one of the major challenges faced by researchers. One focus of this data analysis is uncovering biological network topologies and dynamics. It is believed that this kind of research will allow the development of new mathematical models of biological systems as well as aid in the improvement of already existing ones. The work that is presented in this dissertation addresses the problem of the analysis of highly complex ...

  18. Biological pest control in Mexico. (United States)

    Williams, Trevor; Arredondo-Bernal, Hugo C; Rodríguez-del-Bosque, Luis A


    Mexico is a megadiverse country that forms part of the Mesoamerican biological corridor that connects North and South America. Mexico's biogeographical situation places it at risk from invasive exotic insect pests that enter from the United States, Central America, or the Caribbean. In this review we analyze the factors that contributed to some highly successful past programs involving classical biological control and/or the sterile insect technique (SIT). The present situation is then examined with reference to biological control, including SIT programs, targeted at seven major pests, with varying degrees of success. Finally, we analyze the current threats facing Mexico's agriculture industry from invasive pests that have recently entered the country or are about to do so. We conclude that despite a number of shortcomings, Mexico is better set to develop biological control-based pest control programs, particularly on an area-wide basis, than many other Latin American countries are. Classical and augmentative biological control and SIT-based programs are likely to provide effective and sustainable options for control of native and exotic pests, particularly when integrated into technology packages that meet farmers' needs across the great diversity of production systems in Mexico.

  19. Biologic therapy of rheumatoid arthritis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Damjanov Nemanja


    Full Text Available Rheumatoid arthritis (RA and juvenile idiopathic/rheumatoid arthritis (JIA are chronic, inflammatory, systemic, auto-immune diseases characterized by chronic arthritis leading to progressive joint erosions. The individual functional and social impact of rheumatoid arthritis is of great importance. Disability and joint damage occur rapidly and early in the course of the disease. The remarkably improved outcomes have been achieved initiating biologic therapy with close monitoring of disease progression. Biologic agents are drugs, usually proteins, which can influence chronic immune dysregulation resulting in chronic arthritis. According to the mechanism of action these drugs include: 1 anti-TNF drugs (etanercept, infiximab, adalimumab; 2 IL-1 blocking drugs (anakinra; 3 IL-6 blocking drugs (tocilizumab; 4 agents blocking selective co-stimulation modulation (abatacept; 5 CD 20 blocking drugs (rituximab. Biologics targeting TNF-alpha with methotrexate have revolutionized the treatment of RA, producing significant improvement in clinical, radiographic, and functional outcomes not seen previously. The new concept of rheumatoid arthritis treatment defines early diagnosis, early aggressive therapy with optimal doses of disease modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs and, if no improvement has been achieved during six months, early introduction of biologic drugs. The three-year experience of biologic therapy in Serbia has shown a positive effect on disease outcome.

  20. Mathematical models in biological discovery

    CERN Document Server

    Walter, Charles


    When I was asked to help organize an American Association for the Advancement of Science symposium about how mathematical models have con­ tributed to biology, I agreed immediately. The subject is of immense importance and wide-spread interest. However, too often it is discussed in biologically sterile environments by "mutual admiration society" groups of "theoreticians", many of whom have never seen, and most of whom have never done, an original scientific experiment with the biolog­ ical materials they attempt to describe in abstract (and often prejudiced) terms. The opportunity to address the topic during an annual meeting of the AAAS was irresistable. In order to try to maintain the integrity ;,f the original intent of the symposium, it was entitled, "Contributions of Mathematical Models to Biological Discovery". This symposium was organized by Daniel Solomon and myself, held during the 141st annual meeting of the AAAS in New York during January, 1975, sponsored by sections G and N (Biological and Medic...

  1. Biological width: No violation zone

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ashu Sharma


    Full Text Available Maintenance of gingival health is one of the keys for the longevity of teeth, as well as for the longevity of restorations. The concept of Biologic width has been widely described by periodontists and restorative dentists. An adequate understanding of relationship between periodontal tissues and restorative dentistry is paramount to ensure adequate form, function and esthetics, and comfort of the dentition. While most clinicians are aware of this important relationship, uncertainty remains regarding specific concepts such as biologic width and indications and applications of surgical crown lengthening. These violations lead to complications like gingival inflammation, alveolar bone loss and improper fit of the restorative component. This review gives the wide aspect of the complex question of biologic width and represents an attempt to answer some of the demands in relation to it. The article also discusses the possible methods to assess biologic width, problems that occur after improper margin placement in the periodontium and the alternative procedures for prevention of biological width violation.

  2. Circadian systems biology in Metazoa. (United States)

    Lin, Li-Ling; Huang, Hsuan-Cheng; Juan, Hsueh-Fen


    Systems biology, which can be defined as integrative biology, comprises multistage processes that can be used to understand components of complex biological systems of living organisms and provides hierarchical information to decoding life. Using systems biology approaches such as genomics, transcriptomics and proteomics, it is now possible to delineate more complicated interactions between circadian control systems and diseases. The circadian rhythm is a multiscale phenomenon existing within the body that influences numerous physiological activities such as changes in gene expression, protein turnover, metabolism and human behavior. In this review, we describe the relationships between the circadian control system and its related genes or proteins, and circadian rhythm disorders in systems biology studies. To maintain and modulate circadian oscillation, cells possess elaborative feedback loops composed of circadian core proteins that regulate the expression of other genes through their transcriptional activities. The disruption of these rhythms has been reported to be associated with diseases such as arrhythmia, obesity, insulin resistance, carcinogenesis and disruptions in natural oscillations in the control of cell growth. This review demonstrates that lifestyle is considered as a fundamental factor that modifies circadian rhythm, and the development of dysfunctions and diseases could be regulated by an underlying expression network with multiple circadian-associated signals.

  3. Kinetic Modeling of Biological Systems

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Resat, Haluk; Petzold, Linda; Pettigrew, Michel F.


    The dynamics of how its constituent components interact define the spatio-temporal response of a natural system to stimuli. Modeling the kinetics of the processes that represent a biophysical system has long been pursued with the aim of improving our understanding of the studied system. Due to the unique properties of biological systems, in addition to the usual difficulties faced in modeling the dynamics of physical or chemical systems, biological simulations encounter difficulties that result from intrinsic multiscale and stochastic nature of the biological processes. This chapter discusses the implications for simulation of models involving interacting species with very low copy numbers, which often occur in biological systems and give rise to significant relative fluctuations. The conditions necessitating the use of stochastic kinetic simulation methods and the mathematical foundations of the stochastic simulation algorithms are presented. How the well-organized structural hierarchies often seen in biological systems can lead to multiscale problems, and possible ways to address the encountered computational difficulties are discussed. We present the details of the existing kinetic simulation methods, and discuss their strengths and shortcomings. A list of the publicly available kinetic simulation tools and our reflections for future prospects are also provided.

  4. Theoretical aspects of Systems Biology. (United States)

    Bizzarri, Mariano; Palombo, Alessandro; Cucina, Alessandra


    The natural world consists of hierarchical levels of complexity that range from subatomic particles and molecules to ecosystems and beyond. This implies that, in order to explain the features and behavior of a whole system, a theory might be required that would operate at the corresponding hierarchical level, i.e. where self-organization processes take place. In the past, biological research has focused on questions that could be answered by a reductionist program of genetics. The organism (and its development) was considered an epiphenomenona of its genes. However, a profound rethinking of the biological paradigm is now underway and it is likely that such a process will lead to a conceptual revolution emerging from the ashes of reductionism. This revolution implies the search for general principles on which a cogent theory of biology might rely. Because much of the logic of living systems is located at higher levels, it is imperative to focus on them. Indeed, both evolution and physiology work on these levels. Thus, by no means Systems Biology could be considered a 'simple' 'gradual' extension of Molecular Biology.

  5. [Biological experiments on "Kosmos-1887"]. (United States)

    Alpatov, A M; I'lin, E A; Antipov, V V; Tairbekov, M G


    In the 13-ray space flight on Kosmos-1887 various experiments in the field of cell biology, genetics, biorhythm, developmental biology and regeneration were performed using bacteria, protozoa, plants, worms, insects, fish and amphibia. Paramecia showed enhanced cell proliferation, spheroidization and diminished protein content. Experiments on fruit-flies, newt oocytes and primate lymphocytes confirmed involvement of the cell genetic apparatus in responses to microgravity. Beetles exhibited a reduction of the length of the spontaneous period of freely running circadian rhythms. Carausius morosus developed latent changes in early embryogenesis which manifested at later stages of ontogenesis. Exposure to microgravity did not prevent recovery of injured tissues; moreover their regeneration may be accelerated after recovery. Biology research programs in future biosatellite flights are discussed.

  6. The mathematics behind biological invasions

    CERN Document Server

    Lewis, Mark A; Potts, Jonathan R


    This book investigates the mathematical analysis of biological invasions. Unlike purely qualitative treatments of ecology, it draws on mathematical theory and methods, equipping the reader with sharp tools and rigorous methodology. Subjects include invasion dynamics, species interactions, population spread, long-distance dispersal, stochastic effects, risk analysis, and optimal responses to invaders. While based on the theory of dynamical systems, including partial differential equations and integrodifference equations, the book also draws on information theory, machine learning, Monte Carlo methods, optimal control, statistics, and stochastic processes. Applications to real biological invasions are included throughout. Ultimately, the book imparts a powerful principle: that by bringing ecology and mathematics together, researchers can uncover new understanding of, and effective response strategies to, biological invasions. It is suitable for graduate students and established researchers in mathematical ecolo...

  7. Biological Remediation of Petroleum Contaminants (United States)

    Kuhad, Ramesh Chander; Gupta, Rishi

    Large volumes of hazardous wastes are generated in the form of oily sludges and contaminated soils during crude oil transportation and processing. Although many physical, chemical and biological treatment technologies are available for petroleum contaminants petroleum contaminants in soil, biological methods have been considered the most cost-effective. Practical biological remediation methods typically involve direct use of the microbes naturally occurring in the contaminated environment and/or cultured indigenous or modified microorganisms. Environmental and nutritional factors, including the properties of the soil, the chemical structure of the hydrocarbon(s), oxygen, water, nutrient availability, pH, temperature, and contaminant bioavailability, can significantly affect the rate and the extent of hydrocarbon biodegradation hydrocarbon biodegradation by microorganisms in contaminated soils. This chapter concisely discusses the major aspects of bioremediation of petroleum contaminants.

  8. The Dark Matter of Biology. (United States)

    Ross, Jennifer L


    The inside of the cell is full of important, yet invisible species of molecules and proteins that interact weakly but couple together to have huge and important effects in many biological processes. Such "dark matter" inside cells remains mostly hidden, because our tools were developed to investigate strongly interacting species and folded proteins. Example dark-matter species include intrinsically disordered proteins, posttranslational states, ion species, and rare, transient, and weak interactions undetectable by biochemical assays. The dark matter of biology is likely to have multiple, vital roles to regulate signaling, rates of reactions, water structure and viscosity, crowding, and other cellular activities. We need to create new tools to image, detect, and understand these dark-matter species if we are to truly understand fundamental physical principles of biology.

  9. Vitalism in naive biological thinking. (United States)

    Morris, S C; Taplin, J E; Gelman, S A


    Vitalism is the belief that internal bodily organs have agency and that they transmit or exchange a vital force or energy. Three experiments investigated the use of vitalistic explanations for biological phenomena by 5- and 10-year-old English-speaking children and adults, focusing on 2 components: the notion that bodily organs have intentions and the notion that some life force or energy is transmitted. The original Japanese finding of vitalistic thinking was replicated in Experiment 1 with English-speaking 5-year-olds. Experiment 2 indicated that the more active component of vitalism for these children is a belief in the transfer of energy during biological processes, and Experiment 3 suggested an additional, albeit lesser, role for organ intentionality. A belief in vital energy may serve a causal placeholder function within a naive theory of biology until a more precisely formulated mechanism is known.

  10. Teaching biology with engineering practices (United States)

    Potter, Stephen

    The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) expresses a vision of science education that requires students to not only have an understanding of science concepts but be able to investigate the natural world through process of science inquiry or to solve meaningful problems though the practices of engineering design. While incorporating engineering practices into our science curriculum will soon be requirement of the new state standards, there is little research published as to how this should be implemented in a biology classroom. The goal of this study was to measure the effectiveness of incorporating engineering design into a biology curriculum on student understanding of engineering practices and science content knowledge. The results of this study indicate that the integration of engineering design in a biology curriculum has a positive effect on student's science content knowledge as well as their understanding of engineering design principles.

  11. Rotating Biological Contactors (RBC's). Student Manual. Biological Treatment Process Control. (United States)

    Zickefoose, Charles S.

    This student manual provides the textual material for a unit on rotating biological contactors (RBC's). Topic areas considered include: (1) flow patterns of water through RBC installations; (2) basic concepts (shaft and stage); (3) characteristics of biomass; (4) mechanical features (bearings, mechanical drive systems, and air drive systems); (5)…

  12. Agriculture and Biology Teaching. Biology and Human Welfare. (United States)

    Rao, A. N.; Pritchard, Alan J.

    This six-chapter document (part of a series on biology and human welfare) focuses on agriculture and the teaching of this subject area. Major topic areas considered in the first five chapters are: (1) the development of agriculture; (2) agricosystems (considering agriculture as an ecosystem, land utilization and soils, soils and food production,…

  13. Integrating Functional, Developmental and Evolutionary Biology into Biology Curricula (United States)

    Haave, Neil


    A complete understanding of life involves how organisms are able to function in their environment and how they arise. Understanding how organisms arise involves both their evolution and development. Thus to completely comprehend living things, biology must study their function, development and evolution. Previous proposals for standardized…

  14. Integrative Biology: A Capstone Course for an Introductory Biology Core (United States)

    Chaplin, Susan B.; Hartung, Nancy Z.


    A capstone to the biology introductory curriculum was developed with the specific goals of enhancing integration of course content, promoting development of oral presentation skills and critical reading and thinking skills, and introducing ecological principles omitted from the rest of the core. Classes of 12 to 16 students were team taught by…

  15. Computational optimization and biological evolution. (United States)

    Goryanin, Igor


    Modelling and optimization principles become a key concept in many biological areas, especially in biochemistry. Definitions of objective function, fitness and co-evolution, although they differ between biology and mathematics, are similar in a general sense. Although successful in fitting models to experimental data, and some biochemical predictions, optimization and evolutionary computations should be developed further to make more accurate real-life predictions, and deal not only with one organism in isolation, but also with communities of symbiotic and competing organisms. One of the future goals will be to explain and predict evolution not only for organisms in shake flasks or fermenters, but for real competitive multispecies environments.

  16. Biological Motion Perception in Autism

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J Cusack


    Full Text Available Typically developing adults can readily recognize human actions, even when conveyed to them via point-like markers placed on the body of the actor (Johansson, 1973. Previous research has suggested that children affected by autism spectrum disorder (ASD are not equally sensitive to this type of visual information (Blake et al, 2003, but it remains unknown why ASD would impact the ability to perceive biological motion. We present evidence which looks at how adolescents and adults with autism are affected by specific factors which are important in biological motion perception, such as (eg, inter-agent synchronicity, upright/inverted, etc.

  17. Biological effectiveness of antiproton annihilation

    CERN Document Server

    Holzscheiter, Michael H.; Bassler, Niels; Beyer, Gerd; De Marco, John J.; Doser, Michael; Ichioka, Toshiyasu; Iwamoto, Keisuke S.; Knudsen, Helge V.; Landua, Rolf; Maggiore, Carl; McBride, William H.; Møller, Søren Pape; Petersen, Jorgen; Smathers, James B.; Skarsgard, Lloyd D.; Solberg, Timothy D.; Uggerhøj, Ulrik I.; Withers, H.Rodney; Vranjes, Sanja; Wong, Michelle; Wouters, Bradly G.


    We describe an experiment designed to determine whether or not the densely ionizing particles emanating from the annihilation of antiprotons produce an increase in “biological dose” in the vicinity of the narrow Bragg peak for antiprotons compared to protons. This experiment is the first direct measurement of the biological effects of antiproton annihilation. The experiment has been approved by the CERN Research Board for running at the CERN Antiproton Decelerator (AD) as AD-4/ACE (Antiproton Cell Experiment) and has begun data taking in June of 2003. The background, description and the current status of the experiment are given.

  18. Rhomboids, signalling and cell biology. (United States)

    Freeman, Matthew


    Here, I take a somewhat personal perspective on signalling control, focusing on the rhomboid-like superfamily of proteins that my group has worked on for almost 20 years. As well as describing some of the key and recent advances, I attempt to draw out signalling themes that emerge. One important message is that the genetic and biochemical perspective on signalling has tended to underplay the importance of cell biology. There is clear evidence that signalling pathways exploit the control of intracellular trafficking, protein quality control and degradation and other cell biological phenomena, as important regulatory opportunities.

  19. The NASA Space Biology Program (United States)

    Halstead, T. W.


    A discussion is presented of the research conducted under the auspices of the NASA Space Biology Program. The objectives of this Program include the determination of how gravity affects and how it has shaped life on earth, the use of gravity as a tool to investigate relevant biological questions, and obtaining an understanding of how near-weightlessness affects both plants and animals in order to enhance the capability to use and explore space. Several areas of current developmental research are discussed and the future focus of the Program is considered.

  20. Biological effects of electromagnetic fields. (United States)

    Macrì, M. A.; Di Luzio, Sr.; Di Luzio, S.


    Nowadays, concerns about hazards from electromagnetic fields represent an alarming source for human lives in technologically developed countries. We are surrounded by electromagnetic fields everywhere we spend our working hours, rest or recreational activities. The aim of this review is to summarize the biological effects due to these fields arising from power and transmission lines, electrical cable splices, electronic devices inside our homes and work-places, distribution networks and associated devices such as cellular telephones and wireless communication tower, etc. Special care has been reserved to study the biological effects of electromagnetic fields on cell lines of the mammalian immune system about which our research group has been working for several years.

  1. Systems biology approach to bioremediation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chakraborty, Romy; Wu, Cindy H.; Hazen, Terry C.


    Bioremediation has historically been approached as a ‘black box’ in terms of our fundamental understanding. Thus it succeeds and fails, seldom without a complete understanding of why. Systems biology is an integrated research approach to study complex biological systems, by investigating interactions and networks at the molecular, cellular, community, and ecosystem level. The knowledge of these interactions within individual components is fundamental to understanding the dynamics of the ecosystem under investigation. Finally, understanding and modeling functional microbial community structure and stress responses in environments at all levels have tremendous implications for our fundamental understanding of hydrobiogeochemical processes and the potential for making bioremediation breakthroughs and illuminating the ‘black box’.

  2. [Medical applications of systems biology]. (United States)

    Demongeot, Jacques


    We illustrate in this review some applications of systems biology in the medical and biological areas. After a brief summary of time scales experienced by medical -observations and of the general scheme of dynamic systems, we describe how some techniques underlying the complex systems theory can be applied to model medical issues in immunology, medical genetics, developmental morphogenesis, biochemistry, epidemiology, telemedecine and multiple platforms of expertise. In concluding, we will discuss the issue of "clinomics" coupling clinical and -omics data in a unique patient-specific file.

  3. Mitochondria in biology and medicine

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Madsen, Claus Desler; Rasmussen, Lene Juel


    pathologies (Luft, 1994). Since 1959, the understanding of mitochondrial cytopathies has evolved immensely and mitochondrial cytopathies are now known to be the largest group of metabolic diseases and to be resulting in a wide variety of pathologies. "Mitochondria in Biology and Medicine" was the title...... of the first annual conference of Society of Mitochondrial Research and Medicine - India. The conference was organized by A. S. Sreedhar, Keshav Singh and Kumarasamy Thangaraj, and was held at The Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) Hyderabad, India, during 9-10 December 2011. The conference...

  4. Artful interfaces within biological materials

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John W.C. Dunlop


    Full Text Available Biological materials have a wide range of mechanical properties matching their biological function. This is achieved via complex structural hierarchies, spanning many length scales, arising from the assembly of different sized building blocks during growth. The interfaces between these building blocks can increase resistance to fracture, join materials of different character, make them deform more easily and provide motility. While they represent only a tiny fraction of the overall volume, interfaces are essential for the integrity and function of the overall tissue. Understanding their construction principles, often based on specialized molecular assemblies, may change our current thinking about composite materials.

  5. Biological effectiveness of antiproton annihilation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Holzscheiter, M.H.; Agazaryan, N.; Bassler, Niels;


    We describe an experiment designed to determine whether or not the densely ionizing particles emanating from the annihilation of antiprotons produce an increase in ‘‘biological dose’’ in the vicinity of the narrow Bragg peak for antiprotons compared to protons. This experiment is the first direct...... measurement of the biological effects of antiproton annihilation. The experiment has been approved by the CERN Research Board for running at the CERN Antiproton Decelerator (AD) as AD-4/ACE (Antiproton Cell Experiment) and has begun data taking in June of 2003. The background, description and the current...

  6. Synthetic biology and its promises

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    José Manuel De Cózar Escalante


    Full Text Available Synthetic biology is a new science and emerging technology, or rather a technoscience, which converges with others such as nanotechnology, information technology, robotics, artificial intelligence and neuroscience. All have common features that could have highly concerning social and environmental impacts. With its ambitious goals of controlling complexity, redesigning and creating new living entities, synthetic biology perfectly exemplifies the new bioeconomic reality. This requires expanding the focus of the discussion beyond the limited comparative analysis of risks and benefits, to address uncertainties, reassign responsibilities and initiate a thorough social assessment of what is at stake.

  7. System biology of gene regulation. (United States)

    Baitaluk, Michael


    A famous joke story that exhibits the traditionally awkward alliance between theory and experiment and showing the differences between experimental biologists and theoretical modelers is when a University sends a biologist, a mathematician, a physicist, and a computer scientist to a walking trip in an attempt to stimulate interdisciplinary research. During a break, they watch a cow in a field nearby and the leader of the group asks, "I wonder how one could decide on the size of a cow?" Since a cow is a biological object, the biologist responded first: "I have seen many cows in this area and know it is a big cow." The mathematician argued, "The true volume is determined by integrating the mathematical function that describes the outer surface of the cow's body." The physicist suggested: "Let's assume the cow is a sphere...." Finally the computer scientist became nervous and said that he didn't bring his computer because there is no Internet connection up there on the hill. In this humorous but explanatory story suggestions proposed by theorists can be taken to reflect the view of many experimental biologists that computer scientists and theorists are too far removed from biological reality and therefore their theories and approaches are not of much immediate usefulness. Conversely, the statement of the biologist mirrors the view of many traditional theoretical and computational scientists that biological experiments are for the most part simply descriptive, lack rigor, and that much of the resulting biological data are of questionable functional relevance. One of the goals of current biology as a multidisciplinary science is to bring people from different scientific areas together on the same "hill" and teach them to speak the same "language." In fact, of course, when presenting their data, most experimentalist biologists do provide an interpretation and explanation for the results, and many theorists/computer scientists aim to answer (or at least to fully describe

  8. Synthetic Biology in Health and Disease

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Passel, van M.W.J.; Lam, C.M.C.; Martins dos Santos, V.A.P.; Suarez Diez, M.


    Synthetic biology draws on the understanding from genetics, biology, chemistry, physics, engineering, and computational sciences to (re-)design and (re-)engineer biological functions. Here we address how synthetic biology can be possibly deployed to promote health and tackle disease. We discuss how

  9. Analyzing the Biology on the System Level


    Tong, Wei


    Although various genome projects have provided us enormous static sequence information, understanding of the sophisticated biology continues to require integrating the computational modeling, system analysis, technology development for experiments, and quantitative experiments all together to analyze the biology architecture on various levels, which is just the origin of systems biology subject. This review discusses the object, its characteristics, and research attentions in systems biology,...

  10. A Brief Introduction to Chinese Biological Abstracts

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)


    Chinese Biological Abstracts (CBA), a state-level indexing and abstracting journal published monthly, is jointly sponsored by the Library of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences as well as the Biological Information Network of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, published and distributed by the Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, and approved by the State Scientific and Technological Commission.

  11. Greek Secondary School Students' Views about Biology (United States)

    Mavrikaki, Evangelia; Koumparou, Helen; Kyriakoudi, Margarita; Papacharalampous, Irene; Trimandili, Maria


    This paper aims to give a picture of Greek students' views about biology and some of the factors that affect them. A questionnaire measuring students' intrinsic motivation to learn biology, individual interest in biology and perceived difficulty of biology, along with information about students' gender, level, parents' occupation and educational…

  12. A Brief Introduction to Chinese Biological Abstracts

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)


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

  13. [Research progress of cardiac systems biology]. (United States)

    Wang, Juan; Shang, Tong


    Systems Biology is one of the most widely discussed fields among emerging post-genomic disciplines. Medical systems biology is an important component of systems biology. The goals of medical systems biology are gaining a complete understanding of human body in normal and disease states. Driven by the great importance of cardiovascular diseases, cardiac systems biology is improving rapidly. This review provides an overview of major themes in the developing field of cardiac systems biology, including some of the high-throughput experiments and strategies used to integrate the datasets, various types of computational approaches used for developing useful quantitative models, and successful examples, future directions of cardiac systems biology.

  14. Dual Causality and the Autonomy of Biology. (United States)

    Bock, Walter J


    Ernst Mayr's concept of dual causality in biology with the two forms of causes (proximate and ultimate) continues to provide an essential foundation for the philosophy of biology. They are equivalent to functional (=proximate) and evolutionary (=ultimate) causes with both required for full biological explanations. The natural sciences can be classified into nomological, historical nomological and historical dual causality, the last including only biology. Because evolutionary causality is unique to biology and must be included for all complete biological explanations, biology is autonomous from the physical sciences.

  15. Engineering microbes with synthetic biology frameworks. (United States)

    Leonard, Effendi; Nielsen, David; Solomon, Kevin; Prather, Kristala Jones


    Typically, the outcome of biologically engineered unit operations cannot be controlled a priori due to the incorporation of ad hoc design into complex natural systems. To mitigate this problem, synthetic biology presents a systematic approach to standardizing biological components for the purpose of increasing their programmability and robustness when assembled with the aim to achieve novel biological functions. A complex engineered biological system using only standardized biological components is yet to exist. Nevertheless, current attempts to create and to implement modular, standardized biological components pave the way for the future creation of highly predictable artificial biological systems. Although synthetic biology frameworks can be applied to any biological engineering endeavor, this article will focus on providing a brief overview of advances in the field and its recent utilization for the engineering of microbes.

  16. Biology, Violence, and Antisocial Personality. (United States)

    Kandel, Elizabeth

    Aggressive and antisocial behavior have persisted as significant social problems. In response, a voluminous amount of research has been generated in an attempt to discover the causes of such behavior. Previous studies have examined separately the role of perinatal biology in the etiology of violent criminal behavior and the etiology of Anti-Social…


    Rotating biological contactors employ aerobic fixed-film treatment to degrade either organic and/or nitrogenous (ammonia-nitrogen) constituents present in aqueous waste streams. ixed-film systems provide a surface to which the biomass can adhere. Treatment is achieved as the wast...

  18. Biotech drugs : biological therapeutic agents


    Grech, Godfrey; Fenech, Anthony


    The recent years has seen significant growth in a new therapeutic approach to the management of disease. Biological therapeutic agents, constitute a broad category of drugs, usually generated by recombinant techniques from living organisms. These therapies revolutionise the traditional approaches to drug design and development, and regulatory agencies have been swift in developing the necessary structures to ensure their optimal use.

  19. When cell biology meets theory (United States)

    Gonzalez-Gaitan, Marcos


    Cell biologists now have tools and knowledge to generate useful quantitative data. But how can we make sense of these data, and are we measuring the correct parameters? Moreover, how can we test hypotheses quantitatively? To answer these questions, the theory of physics is required and is essential to the future of quantitative cell biology. PMID:26416957

  20. Turing patterns and biological explanation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Serban, Maria


    , promoting theory exploration, and acting as constitutive parts of empirically adequate explanations of naturally occurring phenomena, such as biological pattern formation. Focusing on the roles that minimal model explanations play in science motivates the adoption of a broader diachronic view of scientific...

  1. Building multivariate systems biology models

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kirwan, G.M.; Johansson, E.; Kleemann, R.; Verheij, E.R.; Wheelock, A.M.; Goto, S.; Trygg, J.; Wheelock, C.E.


    Systems biology methods using large-scale "omics" data sets face unique challenges: integrating and analyzing near limitless data space, while recognizing and removing systematic variation or noise. Herein we propose a complementary multivariate analysis workflow to both integrate "omics" data from

  2. Anion binding in biological systems (United States)

    Feiters, Martin C.; Meyer-Klaucke, Wolfram; Kostenko, Alexander V.; Soldatov, Alexander V.; Leblanc, Catherine; Michel, Gurvan; Potin, Philippe; Küpper, Frithjof C.; Hollenstein, Kaspar; Locher, Kaspar P.; Bevers, Loes E.; Hagedoorn, Peter-Leon; Hagen, Wilfred R.


    We compare aspects of biological X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS) studies of cations and anions, and report on some examples of anion binding in biological systems. Brown algae such as Laminaria digitata (oarweed) are effective accumulators of I from seawater, with tissue concentrations exceeding 50 mM, and the vanadate-containing enzyme haloperoxidase is implicated in halide accumulation. We have studied the chemical state of iodine and its biological role in Laminaria at the I K edge, and bromoperoxidase from Ascophyllum nodosum (knotted wrack) at the Br K edge. Mo is essential for many forms of life; W only for certain archaea, such as Archaeoglobus fulgidus and the hyperthermophilic archaeon Pyrococcus furiosus, and some bacteria. The metals are bound and transported as their oxo-anions, molybdate and tungstate, which are similar in size. The transport protein WtpA from P. furiosus binds tungstate more strongly than molybdate, and is related in sequence to Archaeoglobus fulgidus ModA, of which a crystal structure is known. We have measured A. fulgidus ModA with tungstate at the W L3 (2p3/2) edge, and compared the results with the refined crystal structure. XAS studies of anion binding are feasible even if only weak interactions are present, are biologically relevant, and give new insights in the spectroscopy.

  3. Anion binding in biological systems

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Feiters, Martin C [Department of Organic Chemistry, Institute for Molecules and Materials, Faculty of Science, Radboud University Nijmegen, Heyendaalseweg 135, 6525 AJ Nijmegen (Netherlands); Meyer-Klaucke, Wolfram [EMBL Hamburg Outstation at DESY, Notkestrasse 85, D-22607 Hamburg (Germany); Kostenko, Alexander V; Soldatov, Alexander V [Faculty of Physics, Southern Federal University, Sorge 5, Rostov-na-Donu, 344090 (Russian Federation); Leblanc, Catherine; Michel, Gurvan; Potin, Philippe [Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique and Universite Pierre et Marie Curie Paris-VI, Station Biologique de Roscoff, Place Georges Teissier, BP 74, F-29682 Roscoff cedex, Bretagne (France); Kuepper, Frithjof C [Scottish Association for Marine Science, Dunstaffnage Marine Laboratory, Oban, Argyll PA37 1QA, Scotland (United Kingdom); Hollenstein, Kaspar; Locher, Kaspar P [Institute of Molecular Biology and Biophysics, ETH Zuerich, Schafmattstrasse 20, Zuerich, 8093 (Switzerland); Bevers, Loes E; Hagedoorn, Peter-Leon; Hagen, Wilfred R, E-mail: [Department of Biotechnology, Delft University of Technology, Julianalaan 67, 2628 BC Delft (Netherlands)


    We compare aspects of biological X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS) studies of cations and anions, and report on some examples of anion binding in biological systems. Brown algae such as Laminaria digitata (oarweed) are effective accumulators of I from seawater, with tissue concentrations exceeding 50 mM, and the vanadate-containing enzyme haloperoxidase is implicated in halide accumulation. We have studied the chemical state of iodine and its biological role in Laminaria at the I K edge, and bromoperoxidase from Ascophyllum nodosum (knotted wrack) at the Br K edge. Mo is essential for many forms of life; W only for certain archaea, such as Archaeoglobus fulgidus and the hyperthermophilic archaeon Pyrococcus furiosus, and some bacteria. The metals are bound and transported as their oxo-anions, molybdate and tungstate, which are similar in size. The transport protein WtpA from P. furiosus binds tungstate more strongly than molybdate, and is related in sequence to Archaeoglobus fulgidus ModA, of which a crystal structure is known. We have measured A. fulgidus ModA with tungstate at the W L{sub 3} (2p{sub 3/2}) edge, and compared the results with the refined crystal structure. XAS studies of anion binding are feasible even if only weak interactions are present, are biologically relevant, and give new insights in the spectroscopy.

  4. Biological Laboratory, Ann Arbor, Michigan (United States)

    Moffett, James W.


    This laboratory located about 40 miles west of Detroit, near the intersection of highways I-94 and US-23, can be reached by bus, railroad, or via commercial airlines to Detroit Willow Run or Metropolitan airports. Field biological stations are located in Wisconsin at Ashland; in Ohio at Sandusky; and in Michigan at Ludington, Marquette, Millersburg, and Northville.

  5. Biology and pathogenesis of Acanthamoeba


    Siddiqui Ruqaiyyah; Khan Naveed


    Abstract Acanthamoeba is a free-living protist pathogen, capable of causing a blinding keratitis and fatal granulomatous encephalitis. The factors that contribute to Acanthamoeba infections include parasite biology, genetic diversity, environmental spread and host susceptibility, and are highlighted together with potential therapeutic and preventative measures. The use of Acanthamoeba in the study of cellular differentiation mechanisms, motility and phagocytosis, bacterial pathogenesis and ev...

  6. The Physics of Marine Biology. (United States)

    Conn, Kathleen


    Discusses ways in which marine biology can be integrated into the physics classroom. Topics suggested for incorporation include the harmonic motion of ocean waves, ocean currents, the interaction of visible light with ocean water, pressure, light absorption, and sound transfer in water. (MDH)

  7. The synthetic biology open language. (United States)

    Myers, Chris; Clancy, Kevin; Misirli, Goksel; Oberortner, Ernst; Pocock, Matthew; Quinn, Jacqueline; Roehner, Nicholas; Sauro, Herbert M


    The design and construction of engineered organisms is an emerging new discipline called synthetic biology and holds considerable promise as a new technological platform. The design of biologically engineered systems is however nontrivial, requiring contributions from a wide array of disciplines. One particular issue that confronts synthetic biologists is the ability to unambiguously describe novel designs such that they can be reengineered by a third-party. For this reason, the synthetic biology open language (SBOL) was developed as a community wide standard for formally representing biological designs. A design created by one engineering team can be transmitted electronically to another who can then use this design to reproduce the experimental results. The development and the community of the SBOL standard started in 2008 and has since grown in use with now over 80 participants, including international, academic, and industrial interests. SBOL has stimulated the development of repositories and software tools to help synthetic biologists in their design efforts. This chapter summarizes the latest developments and future of the SBOL standard and its supporting infrastructure.

  8. Cardiovascular toxicities of biological therapies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ryberg, Marianne


    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...

  9. Expanding the biological periodic table. (United States)

    Seravalli, Javier; Ragsdale, Stephen W


    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.

  10. Biology, Philosophy, and Scientific Method. (United States)

    Hill, L.


    The limits of falsification are discussed and the historically based models of science described by Lakatos and Kuhn are shown to offer greater insights into the practice of science. The theory of natural selection is used to relate biology to philosophy and scientific method. (Author/JN)

  11. Biological warfare, bioterrorism, and biocrime. (United States)

    Jansen, H J; Breeveld, F J; Stijnis, C; Grobusch, M P


    Biological weapons achieve their intended target effects through the infectivity of disease-causing infectious agents. The ability to use biological agents in warfare is prohibited by the Biological and Toxin Weapon Convention. Bioterrorism is defined as the deliberate release of viruses, bacteria or other agents used to cause illness or death in people, but also in animals or plants. It is aimed at creating casualties, terror, societal disruption, or economic loss, inspired by ideological, religious or political beliefs. The success of bioterroristic attempts is defined by the measure of societal disruption and panic, and not necessarily by the sheer number of casualties. Thus, making only a few individuals ill by the use of crude methods may be sufficient, as long as it creates the impact that is aimed for. The assessment of bioterrorism threats and motives have been described before. Biocrime implies the use of a biological agent to kill or make ill a single individual or small group of individuals, motivated by revenge or the desire for monetary gain by extortion, rather than by political, ideological, religious or other beliefs. The likelihood of a successful bioterrorist attack is not very large, given the technical difficulties and constraints. However, even if the number of casualties is likely to be limited, the impact of a bioterrorist attack can still be high. Measures aimed at enhancing diagnostic and therapeutic capabilities and capacities alongside training and education will improve the ability of society to combat 'regular' infectious diseases outbreaks, as well as mitigating the effects of bioterrorist attacks.

  12. Testing of Biologically Inhibiting Surface

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bill Madsen, Thomas; Larsen, Erup


    The main purpose of this course is to examine a newly developed biologically inhibiting material with regards to galvanic corrosion and electrochemical properties. More in detail, the concern was how the material would react when exposed to cleaning agents, here under CIP cleaning (Cleaning...

  13. Systems biology of industrial microorganisms. (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.

  14. Is evolutionary biology strategic science? (United States)

    Meagher, Thomas R


    There is a profound need for the scientific community to be better aware of the policy context in which it operates. To address this need, Evolution has established a new Outlook feature section to include papers that explore the interface between society and evolutionary biology. This first paper in the series considers the strategic relevance of evolutionary biology. Support for scientific research in general is based on governmental or institutional expenditure that is an investment, and such investment is based on strategies designed to achieve particular outcomes, such as advance in particular areas of basic science or application. The scientific community can engage in the development of scientific strategies on a variety of levels, including workshops to explicitly develop research priorities and targeted funding initiatives to help define emerging scientific areas. Better understanding and communication of the scientific achievements of evolutionary biology, emphasizing immediate and potential societal relevance, are effective counters to challenges presented by the creationist agenda. Future papers in the Outlook feature section should assist the evolutionary biology community in achieving a better collective understanding of the societal relevance of their field.

  15. Biological and Chemical Information Technologies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Amos, Martyn; Dittrich, Peter; McCaskill, John;


    Biological and chemical information technologies (bio/chem IT) have the potential to reshape the scientific and technological landscape. In this paper we briefly review the main challenges and opportunities in the field, before presenting several case studies based on ongoing FP7 research projects....

  16. Synthetic Biological Engineering of Photosynthesis (United States)


    photosynthesis into artificial metabolic pathways. During the course of the granting period, we also made significant progress on understanding the...compartmentalization of carbon fixation and flux in relationship to photosynthesis and obtained 1. REPORT DATE (DD-MM-YYYY) 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE...2014 Approved for Public Release; Distribution Unlimited Final Report: Synthetic Biological Engineering of Photosynthesis The views, opinions and/or

  17. Education science and biological anthropology. (United States)

    Krebs, Uwe


    This contribution states deficits and makes proposals in order to overcome them. First there is the question as to why the Biological Anthropology--despite all its diversifications--hardly ever deals with educational aspects of its subject. Second it is the question as to why Educational Science neglects or even ignores data of Biological Anthropology which are recognizably important for its subject. It is postulated that the stated deficits are caused by several adverse influences such as, the individual identity of each of the involved single sciences; aspects of the recent history of the German Anthropology; a lack of conceptual understanding of each other; methodological differences and, last but not least, the structure of the universities. The necessity to remedy this situation was deduced from two groups of facts. First, more recent data of the Biological Anthropology (e.g. brain functions and learning, sex specificity and education) are of substantial relevance for the Educational Science. Second, the epistemological requirements of complex subjects like education need interdisciplinary approaches. Finally, a few suggestions of concrete topics are given which are related to both, Educational Science and Biological Anthropology.

  18. Language as a biological entity

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)



    @@ Nowadays, the metaphor of "languageas abiological entity"claimed by some linguists being used widely has become a hot issue. Language and biological entity indeed share a lot of similarities,specifically,the life cycle of languages and the process of the language evolution and the spread of languages.

  19. Teaching the Ethics of Biology. (United States)

    Johansen, Carol K.; Harris, David E.


    Points out the challenges of educating students about bioethics and the limited training of many biologists on ethics. Discusses the basic principles of ethics and ethical decision making as applied to biology. Explains the models of ethical decision making that are often difficult for students to determine where to begin analyzing. (Contains 28…

  20. Systems biology in molecular psychiatry. (United States)

    Gebicke-Haerter, P J


    The last ten to fifteen years have seen a remarkable shift of research strategies from hypothesis-driven, reductionistic to data driven, hypothesis-free approaches. This tendency has become evident after completion of the sequencing of the human genome, when publications under the label systems biology have been skyrocketing. This shift marks a gradual revision of scientific understanding of biological systems. Whilst the former has been component-oriented, precluding elements that do not belong to the hypothesis, the latter try to extract information from the whole system in the first place. Only with this information at hand, data driven strategies develop hypotheses. Data driven strategies unearth the immense complexity of biological systems and, hence, necessitate computer-aided support. Mathematical tools derived from chaos theory appear to be applicable in biological systems, but require significant improvements. The combination of high throughput data collection with in silico modelling of molecular or higher order systems can markedly extend our understanding of onset and progression of diseases. Undoubtedly, systems thinking in brain research is the greatest challenge for the years to come.

  1. Biologic Influences on Exercise Adherence. (United States)

    Dishman, Rod K.


    Diagnostic profiles of 362 male participants in an exercise program were analyzed to determine the biological variables between exercise adherence and symptoms of coronary disease. Findings indicated that individuals with lower metabolic capacity tended to adhere longer, to be less fit, were leaner, and began with more symptoms related to coronary…

  2. Biological physics and synchrotron radiation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Filhol, J.M.; Chavanne, J. [European Synchrotron Radiation Facility, 38 - Grenoble (France); Weckert, E. [Hasylab at Desy, Hamburg (Germany)] [and others


    This conference deals with the applications of synchrotron radiation to current problems in biology and medicine. Seven sessions take stock on the subject: sources and detectors; inelastic scattering and dynamics; muscle diffraction; reaction mechanisms; macromolecular assemblies; medical applications; imaging and spectroscopy. The document presents the papers abstracts. (A.L.B.)

  3. Systems Biology of Industrial Microorganisms (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.

  4. When cell biology meets theory. (United States)

    Gonzalez-Gaitan, Marcos; Roux, Aurélien


    Cell biologists now have tools and knowledge to generate useful quantitative data. But how can we make sense of these data, and are we measuring the correct parameters? Moreover, how can we test hypotheses quantitatively? To answer these questions, the theory of physics is required and is essential to the future of quantitative cell biology.

  5. Herbivory, Predation, and Biological Control. (United States)

    Murphy, Terence M.; And Others


    Authors describe a set of controlled ecosystems that can be used to demonstrate the effects of herbivory on the health and growth of a plant population and of predation on the growth of a primary consumer population. The system also shows the effectiveness of biological pest control measures in a dramatic way. The construction of the ecosystems is…

  6. [Biological mutualism, concepts and models]. (United States)

    Perru, Olivier


    Mutualism is a biological association for a mutual benefit between two different species. In this paper, firstly, we examine the history and signification of mutualism in relation to symbiosis. Then, we consider the link between concepts and models of mutualism. Models of mutualism depend on different concepts we use: If mutualism is situated at populations' level, it will be expressed by Lotka-Volterra models, concerning exclusively populations' size. If mutualism is considered as a resources' exchange or a biological market increasing the fitness of these organisms, it will be described at an individual level by a cost-benefit model. Our analysis will be limited to the history and epistemology of Lotka-Volterra models and we hypothesize that these models are adapted at first to translate dynamic evolutions of mutualism. They render stability or variations of size and assume that there are clear distinctions and a state of equilibrium between populations of different species. Italian mathematician Vito Volterra demonstrated that biological associations consist in a constant relation between some species. In 1931 and 1935, Volterra described the general form of antagonistic or mutualistic biological associations by the same differential equations. We recognize that these equations have been more used to model competition or prey-predator interactions, but a simple sign change allows describing mutualism. The epistemological problem is the following: Volterra's equations help us to conceptualize a global phenomenon. However, mutualistic interactions may have stronger effects away from equilibrium and these effects may be better understood at individual level. We conclude that, between 1985 and 2000, some researchers carried on working and converting Lotka-Volterra models but this description appeared as insufficient. So, other researchers adopted an economical viewpoint, considering mutualism as a biological market.

  7. Communication theory and multicellular biology. (United States)

    Mian, I S; Rose, C


    In this Perspective, we propose that communication theory--a field of mathematics concerned with the problems of signal transmission, reception and processing--provides a new quantitative lens for investigating multicellular biology, ancient and modern. What underpins the cohesive organisation and collective behaviour of multicellular ecosystems such as microbial colonies and communities (microbiomes) and multicellular organisms such as plants and animals, whether built of simple tissue layers (sponges) or of complex differentiated cells arranged in tissues and organs (members of the 35 or so phyla of the subkingdom Metazoa)? How do mammalian tissues and organs develop, maintain their architecture, become subverted in disease, and decline with age? How did single-celled organisms coalesce to produce many-celled forms that evolved and diversified into the varied multicellular organisms in existence today? Some answers can be found in the blueprints or recipes encoded in (epi)genomes, yet others lie in the generic physical properties of biological matter such as the ability of cell aggregates to attain a certain complexity in size, shape, and pattern. We suggest that Lasswell's maxim "Who says what to whom in what channel with what effect" provides a foundation for understanding not only the emergence and evolution of multicellularity, but also the assembly and sculpting of multicellular ecosystems and many-celled structures, whether of natural or human-engineered origin. We explore how the abstraction of communication theory as an organising principle for multicellular biology could be realised. We highlight the inherent ability of communication theory to be blind to molecular and/or genetic mechanisms. We describe selected applications that analyse the physics of communication and use energy efficiency as a central tenet. Whilst communication theory has and could contribute to understanding a myriad of problems in biology, investigations of multicellular biology

  8. Space Biology in Russia Today (United States)

    Grigoriev, Anatoly; Sychev, Vladimir; Ilyin, Eugene

    At present space biology research in Russia is making significant progress in several areas of high priority. Gravitational biology. In April-May 2013, a successful 30-day flight of the biological satellite (biosatellite) Bion-M1 was conducted, which carried rodents (mice and gerbils), geckos, fish, mollusks, crustaceans, microorganisms, insects, lower and higher plants, seeds, etc. The investigations were performed by Russian scientists as well as by researchers from NASA, CNES, DLR and South Korea. Foton-M4 carrying various biological specimens is scheduled to launch in 2014. Work has begun to develop science research programs to be implemented onboard Bion-M2 and Bion-M3 as well as on high apogee recoverable spacecraft. Study of the effects of microgravity on the growth and development of higher plants cultivated over several generations on the International Space Station (ISS) has been recently completed. Space radiobiology. Regular experiments aimed at investigating the effects of high-energy galactic cosmic rays on the animal central nervous system and behavior are being carried out using the Particle Accelerator in the town of Dubna. Biological (environmental) life support systems. In recent years, experiments have been performed on the ISS to upgrade technologies of plant cultivation in microgravity. Advanced greenhouse mockups have been built and are currentlyundergoing bioengineering tests. Technologies of waste utilization in space are being developed. Astrobiology experiments in orbital missions. In 2010, the Biorisk experiment on bacterial and fungal spores, seeds and dormant forms of organisms was completed. The payload containing the specimens was installed on the exterior wall of the ISS and was exposed to outer space for 31 months. In addition, Bion-M1 also carried seeds, bacterial spores and microbes that were exposed to outer space effects. The survival rate of bacterial spores incorporated into man-made meteorites, that were attached to the

  9. Network biology methods integrating biological data for translational science. (United States)

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


    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.

  10. Biology and Mechanics of Blood Flows Part I: Biology

    CERN Document Server

    Thiriet, Marc


    Biology and Mechanics of Blood Flows presents the basic knowledge and state-of-the-art techniques necessary to carry out investigations of the cardiovascular system using modeling and simulation. Part I of this two-volume sequence, Biology, addresses the nanoscopic and microscopic scales. The nanoscale corresponds to the scale of biochemical reaction cascades involved in cell adaptation to mechanical stresses among other stimuli. The microscale is the scale of stress-induced tissue remodeling associated with acute or chronic loadings. The cardiovascular system, like any physiological system, has a complicated three-dimensional structure and composition. Its time dependent behavior is regulated, and this complex system has many components. In this authoritative work, the author provides a survey of relevant cell components and processes, with detailed coverage of the electrical and mechanical behaviors of vascular cells, tissues, and organs. Because the behaviors of vascular cells and tissues are tightly coupl...

  11. 78 FR 43817 - Distribution of Reference Biological Standards and Biological Preparations (United States)


    ... HUMAN SERVICES 42 CFR Part 7 RIN 0920-AA53 Distribution of Reference Biological Standards and Biological... sections of its regulations titled ``Distribution of Reference Biological Standards and Biological... section states that HHS/CDC may prepare any biological product described under section 351 of the...

  12. Systems biology: the reincarnation of systems theory applied in biology? (United States)

    Wolkenhauer, O


    With the availability of quantitative data on the transcriptome and proteome level, there is an increasing interest in formal mathematical models of gene expression and regulation. International conferences, research institutes and research groups concerned with systems biology have appeared in recent years and systems theory, the study of organisation and behaviour per se, is indeed a natural conceptual framework for such a task. This is, however, not the first time that systems theory has been applied in modelling cellular processes. Notably in the 1960s systems theory and biology enjoyed considerable interest among eminent scientists, mathematicians and engineers. Why did these early attempts vanish from research agendas? Here we shall review the domain of systems theory, its application to biology and the lessons that can be learned from the work of Robert Rosen. Rosen emerged from the early developments in the 1960s as a main critic but also developed a new alternative perspective to living systems, a concept that deserves a fresh look in the post-genome era of bioinformatics.

  13. Knowledge-making distinctions in synthetic biology. (United States)

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


    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.

  14. Stochastic processes in cell biology

    CERN Document Server

    Bressloff, Paul C


    This book develops the theory of continuous and discrete stochastic processes within the context of cell biology.  A wide range of biological topics are covered including normal and anomalous diffusion in complex cellular environments, stochastic ion channels and excitable systems, stochastic calcium signaling, molecular motors, intracellular transport, signal transduction, bacterial chemotaxis, robustness in gene networks, genetic switches and oscillators, cell polarization, polymerization, cellular length control, and branching processes. The book also provides a pedagogical introduction to the theory of stochastic process – Fokker Planck equations, stochastic differential equations, master equations and jump Markov processes, diffusion approximations and the system size expansion, first passage time problems, stochastic hybrid systems, reaction-diffusion equations, exclusion processes, WKB methods, martingales and branching processes, stochastic calculus, and numerical methods.   This text is primarily...

  15. Dissipative Structures and Biological Evolution (United States)

    Brändas, E. J.

    This contribution celebrates Prof. Manuel G. Velarde's exceptional accomplishments in the science of Complex Systems and Non-Linear Dynamics in connection with his seventieth anniversary and subsequent retirement from the Instituto Pluridisciplinar de la Universidad Complutense de Madrid (UCM). In this commemoration I will discuss my provisional yet unique association with Manuel over the years. Although viewing scientific problems from differing ends of the micro-macro spectrum I believe our relationship has been mutually beneficial. In this account I will, in a few words, describe recent developments in our program to attack complicated issues on the borderline between physics and biology. Concrete overlapping interests incorporate problems related to strongly correlated systems like superconductivity as well as currently disputed issues pertaining to biological concepts and the unity of physical theory. In summary we will give examples of such wide-ranging proposals comprising potential avenues providing feasible platforms for the future.

  16. Nonlinear dynamics in biological systems

    CERN Document Server

    Carballido-Landeira, Jorge


    This book presents recent research results relating to applications of nonlinear dynamics, focusing specifically on four topics of wide interest: heart dynamics, DNA/RNA, cell mobility, and proteins. The book derives from the First BCAM Workshop on Nonlinear Dynamics in Biological Systems, held in June 2014 at the Basque Center of Applied Mathematics (BCAM). At this international meeting, researchers from different but complementary backgrounds, including molecular dynamics, physical chemistry, bio-informatics and biophysics, presented their most recent results and discussed the future direction of their studies using theoretical, mathematical modeling and experimental approaches. Such was the level of interest stimulated that the decision was taken to produce this publication, with the organizers of the event acting as editors. All of the contributing authors are researchers working on diverse biological problems that can be approached using nonlinear dynamics. The book will appeal especially to applied math...

  17. The hidden simplicity of biology (United States)

    Davies, Paul C. W.; Imari Walker, Sara


    Life is so remarkable, and so unlike any other physical system, that it is tempting to attribute special factors to it. Physics is founded on the assumption that universal laws and principles underlie all natural phenomena, but is it far from clear that there are ‘laws of life’ with serious descriptive or predictive power analogous to the laws of physics. Nor is there (yet) a ‘theoretical biology’ in the same sense as theoretical physics. Part of the obstacle in developing a universal theory of biological organization concerns the daunting complexity of living organisms. However, many attempts have been made to glimpse simplicity lurking within this complexity, and to capture this simplicity mathematically. In this paper we review a promising new line of inquiry to bring coherence and order to the realm of biology by focusing on ‘information’ as a unifying concept.

  18. Current perspectives of inhibin biology. (United States)

    Risbridger, G P; Robertson, D M; de Kretser, D M


    Inhibin is generally considered to be a feedback regulator of FSH secretion, but significant progress in the field of inhibin biology over the past four years has widened our perspective of inhibin and its production, regulation and action. Firstly, inhibin is a member of a larger family of hormones, secondly it is produced by organs other than the gonads, and thirdly its action is not confined to the pituitary gland. In this review we will outline the isolation and characterization of inhibin related peptides and their production by the Sertoli and granulosa cells of the testis and ovary. With this information in mind, more recent studies concerning the measurement, production, regulation and action of inhibin and inhibin-related proteins will be discussed, in an effort to alert the reader to the contemporary and controversial issues concerning inhibin biology.

  19. Biology of Applied Digital Ecosystems

    CERN Document Server

    Briscoe, G; Paperin, G


    A primary motivation for research in digital ecosystems is the desire to exploit the self-organising properties of natural ecosystems. Ecosystems are thought to be robust, scalable architectures that can automatically solve complex, dynamic problems. However, the biological processes that contribute to these properties have not been made explicit in digital ecosystem research. Here, we discuss how biological properties contribute to the self-organising features of natural ecosystems. These properties include populations of evolving agents, a complex dynamic environment, and spatial distributions which generate local interactions. The potential for exploiting these properties in artificial systems is then considered. An example architecture, the Digital Business Ecosystem (DBE), is considered in detail. Simulation results imply that the DBE performs better at large scales than a comparable service-oriented architecture. These results suggest that incorporating ideas from theoretical ecology can contribute to u...

  20. Synthetic biology character and impact

    CERN Document Server

    Pade, Christian; Wigger, Henning; Gleich, Arnim


    Synthetic Biology is already an object of intensive debate. However, to a great extent the discussion to date has been concerned with fundamental ethical, religious and philosophical questions. By contrast, based on an investigation of the field’s scientific and technological character, this book focuses on new functionalities provided by synthetic biology and explores the associated opportunities and risks. Following an introduction to the subject and a discussion of the most central paradigms and methodologies, the book provides an overview of the structure of this field of science and technology. It informs the reader about the current stage of development, as well as topical problems and potential opportunities in important fields of application. But not only the science itself is in focus. In order to investigate its broader impact, ecological as well as ethical implications will be considered, paving the way for a discussion of responsibilities in the context of a field at a transitional crossroads be...

  1. Teaching biology with model organisms (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.

  2. Molecular Processes in Biological Thermosensation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    I. Digel


    Full Text Available Since thermal gradients are almost everywhere, thermosensation could represent one of the oldest sensory transduction processes that evolved in organisms. There are many examples of temperature changes affecting the physiology of living cells. Almost all classes of biological macromolecules in a cell (nucleic acids, lipids, proteins can present a target of the temperature-related stimuli. This review discusses some features of different classes of temperature-sensing molecules as well as molecular and biological processes that involve thermosensation. Biochemical, structural, and thermodynamic approaches are applied in the paper to organize the existing knowledge on molecular mechanisms of thermosensation. Special attention is paid to the fact that thermosensitive function cannot be assigned to any particular functional group or spatial structure but is rather of universal nature. For instance, the complex of thermodynamic, structural, and functional features of hemoglobin family proteins suggests their possible accessory role as “molecular thermometers”.

  3. Programming languages for synthetic biology. (United States)

    Umesh, P; Naveen, F; Rao, Chanchala Uma Maheswara; Nair, Achuthsankar S


    In the backdrop of accelerated efforts for creating synthetic organisms, the nature and scope of an ideal programming language for scripting synthetic organism in-silico has been receiving increasing attention. A few programming languages for synthetic biology capable of defining, constructing, networking, editing and delivering genome scale models of cellular processes have been recently attempted. All these represent important points in a spectrum of possibilities. This paper introduces Kera, a state of the art programming language for synthetic biology which is arguably ahead of similar languages or tools such as GEC, Antimony and GenoCAD. Kera is a full-fledged object oriented programming language which is tempered by biopart rule library named Samhita which captures the knowledge regarding the interaction of genome components and catalytic molecules. Prominent feature of the language are demonstrated through a toy example and the road map for the future development of Kera is also presented.

  4. Deep learning for computational biology. (United States)

    Angermueller, Christof; Pärnamaa, Tanel; Parts, Leopold; Stegle, Oliver


    Technological advances in genomics and imaging have led to an explosion of molecular and cellular profiling data from large numbers of samples. This rapid increase in biological data dimension and acquisition rate is challenging conventional analysis strategies. Modern machine learning methods, such as deep learning, promise to leverage very large data sets for finding hidden structure within them, and for making accurate predictions. In this review, we discuss applications of this new breed of analysis approaches in regulatory genomics and cellular imaging. We provide background of what deep learning is, and the settings in which it can be successfully applied to derive biological insights. In addition to presenting specific applications and providing tips for practical use, we also highlight possible pitfalls and limitations to guide computational biologists when and how to make the most use of this new technology.

  5. Osteocyte biology and space flight. (United States)

    Pajevic, Paola Divieti; Spatz, Jordan M; Garr, Jenna; Adamson, Chris; Misener, Lowell


    The last decade has seen an impressive expansion of our understanding of the role of osteocytes in skeletal homeostasis. These amazing cells, deeply embedded into the mineralized matrix, are the key regulators of bone homeostasis and skeletal mechano sensation and transduction. They are the cells that can sense the mechanical forces applied to the bone and then translate these forces into biological responses. They are also ideally positioned to detect and respond to hormonal stimuli and to coordinate the function of osteoblasts and osteoclasts through the production and secretion of molecules such as Sclerostin and RANKL. How osteocytes perceive mechanical forces and translate them into biological responses in still an open question. Novel "in vitro" models as well the opportunity to study these cells under microgravity condition, will allow a closer look at the molecular and cellular mechanisms of mechano transduction. This article highlights novel investigations on osteocytes and discusses their significance in our understanding of skeletal mechano transduction.

  6. Olefin Metathesis for Chemical Biology (United States)

    Binder, Joseph B; Raines, Ronald T


    Summary Chemical biology relies on effective synthetic chemistry for building molecules to probe and modulate biological function. Olefin metathesis in organic solvents is a valuable addition to this armamentarium, and developments during the previous decade are enabling metathesis in aqueous solvents for the manipulation of biomolecules. Functional group-tolerant ruthenium metathesis catalysts modified with charged moieties or hydrophilic polymers are soluble and active in water, enabling ring-opening metathesis polymerization, cross metathesis, and ring-closing metathesis. Alternatively, conventional hydrophobic ruthenium complexes catalyze a similar array of metathesis reactions in mixtures of water and organic solvents. This strategy has enabled cross metathesis on the surface of a protein. Continuing developments in catalyst design and methodology will popularize the bioorthogonal reactivity of metathesis. PMID:18935975

  7. The Biology of Neisseria Adhesins

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Miao-Chiu Hung


    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.

  8. Ontologies in biological data visualization. (United States)

    Carpendale, Sheelagh; Chen, Min; Evanko, Daniel; Gehlenborg, Nils; Gorg, Carsten; Hunter, Larry; Rowland, Francis; Storey, Margaret-Anne; Strobelt, Hendrik


    In computer science, an ontology is essentially a graph-based knowledge representation in which each node corresponds to a concept and each edge specifies a relation between two concepts. Ontological development in biology can serve as a focus to discuss the challenges and possible research directions for ontologies in visualization. The principle challenges are the dynamic and evolving nature of ontologies, the ever-present issue of scale, the diversity and richness of the relationships in ontologies, and the need to better understand the relationship between ontologies and the data analysis tasks scientists wish to support. Research directions include visualizing ontologies; visualizing semantically or ontologically annotated texts, documents, and corpora; automated generation of visualizations using ontologies; and visualizing ontological context to support search. Although this discussion uses issues of ontologies in biological data visualization as a springboard, these topics are of general relevance to visualization.

  9. Biological signals classification and analysis

    CERN Document Server

    Kiasaleh, Kamran


    This authored monograph presents key aspects of signal processing analysis in the biomedical arena. Unlike wireless communication systems, biological entities produce signals with underlying nonlinear, chaotic nature that elude classification using the standard signal processing techniques, which have been developed over the past several decades for dealing primarily with standard communication systems. This book separates what is random from that which appears to be random, and yet is truly deterministic with random appearance. At its core, this work gives the reader a perspective on biomedical signals and the means to classify and process such signals. In particular, a review of random processes along with means to assess the behavior of random signals is also provided. The book also includes a general discussion of biological signals in order to demonstrate the inefficacy of the well-known techniques to correctly extract meaningful information from such signals. Finally, a thorough discussion of recently ...

  10. Carbon nanomaterials in biological systems

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pu Chun Ke [Laboratory of Single-Molecule Biophysics and Polymer Physics, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Clemson University, Clemson, SC 29634 (United States); Qiao Rui [Department of Mechanical Engineering, Clemson University, Clemson, SC 29634 (United States)


    This paper intends to reflect, from the biophysical viewpoint, our current understanding on interfacing nanomaterials, such as carbon nanotubes and fullerenes, with biological systems. Strategies for improving the solubility, and therefore, the bioavailability of nanomaterials in aqueous solutions are summarized. In particular, the underlining mechanisms of attaching biomacromolecules (DNA, RNA, proteins) and lysophospholipids onto carbon nanotubes and gallic acids onto fullerenes are analyzed. The diffusion and the cellular delivery of RNA-coated carbon nanotubes are characterized using fluorescence microscopy. The translocation of fullerenes across cell membranes is simulated using molecular dynamics to offer new insight into the complex issue of nanotoxicity. To assess the fate of nanomaterials in the environment, the biomodification of lipid-coated carbon nanotubes by the aquatic organism Daphnia magna is discussed. The aim of this paper is to illuminate the need for adopting multidisciplinary approaches in the field study of nanomaterials in biological systems and in the environment. (topical review)

  11. Structural Biology: Practical NMR Applications

    CERN Document Server

    Teng, Quincy


    This textbook begins with an overview of NMR development and applications in biological systems. It describes recent developments in instrument hardware and methodology. Chapters highlight the scope and limitation of NMR methods. While detailed math and quantum mechanics dealing with NMR theory have been addressed in several well-known NMR volumes, chapter two of this volume illustrates the fundamental principles and concepts of NMR spectroscopy in a more descriptive manner. Topics such as instrument setup, data acquisition, and data processing using a variety of offline software are discussed. Chapters further discuss several routine stategies for preparing samples, especially for macromolecules and complexes. The target market for such a volume includes researchers in the field of biochemistry, chemistry, structural biology and biophysics.

  12. Biomaterial science meets computational biology. (United States)

    Hutmacher, Dietmar W; Little, J Paige; Pettet, Graeme J; Loessner, Daniela


    There is a pressing need for a predictive tool capable of revealing a holistic understanding of fundamental elements in the normal and pathological cell physiology of organoids in order to decipher the mechanoresponse of cells. Therefore, the integration of a systems bioengineering approach into a validated mathematical model is necessary to develop a new simulation tool. This tool can only be innovative by combining biomaterials science with computational biology. Systems-level and multi-scale experimental data are incorporated into a single framework, thus representing both single cells and collective cell behaviour. Such a computational platform needs to be validated in order to discover key mechano-biological factors associated with cell-cell and cell-niche interactions.

  13. The semantics of biological forms. (United States)

    Albertazzi, Liliana; Canal, Luisa; Dadam, James; Micciolo, Rocco


    This study analyses how certain qualitative perceptual appearances of biological forms are correlated with expressions of natural language. Making use of the Osgood semantic differential, we presented the subjects with 32 drawings of biological forms and a list of 10 pairs of connotative adjectives to be put in correlations with them merely by subjective judgments. The principal components analysis made it possible to group the semantics of forms according to two distinct axes of variability: harmony and dynamicity. Specifically, the nonspiculed, nonholed, and flat forms were perceived as harmonic and static; the rounded ones were harmonic and dynamic. The elongated forms were somewhat disharmonious and somewhat static. The results suggest the existence in the general population of a correspondence between perceptual and semantic processes, and of a nonsymbolic relation between visual forms and their adjectival expressions in natural language.

  14. Light in elementary biological reactions (United States)

    Sundström, Villy


    Light plays an important role in biology. In this review we discuss several processes and systems where light triggers a biological response, i.e. photosynthesis, vision, photoreceptors. For these functions Nature has chosen simple elementary chemical reactions, which occur in highly specialized and organized structures. The high efficiency and specificity of these reactions make them interesting for applications in light energy conversion and opto-electronics. In order to emphasize the synergism in studies of natural and synthetic systems we will discuss a few of each kind, with similar functions. In all cases light triggers a rapid sequence of events, which makes ultrafast spectroscopy an ideal tool to disentangle reaction mechanisms and dynamics.

  15. Stable States of Biological Organisms

    CERN Document Server

    Yukalov, V I; Yukalova, E P; Henry, J -Y; Cobb, J P


    A novel model of biological organisms is advanced, treating an organism as a self-consistent system subject to a pathogen flux. The principal novelty of the model is that it describes not some parts, but a biological organism as a whole. The organism is modeled by a five-dimensional dynamical system. The organism homeostasis is described by the evolution equations for five interacting components: healthy cells, ill cells, innate immune cells, specific immune cells, and pathogens. The stability analysis demonstrates that, in a wide domain of the parameter space, the system exhibits robust structural stability. There always exist four stable stationary solutions characterizing four qualitatively differing states of the organism: alive state, boundary state, critical state, and dead state.

  16. Insights into circular RNA biology

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ebbesen, Karoline K; Hansen, Thomas B; Kjems, Jørgen


    Circular RNAs (circRNAs) are a novel class of non-coding RNA characterized by a covalently closed-loop structure generated through a special type of alternative splicing termed backsplicing. CircRNAs are emerging as a heterogeneous class of molecules involved in modulating gene expression by regu...... and lastly, an outlook with a focus on unanswered questions regarding circRNA biology will be included....

  17. Biology-Inspired Autonomous Control (United States)


    of, and perhaps will not be tolerated in, manmade critical systems. Although this paper does not directly address questions of ethics associated...political, ethical , and moral issues associated with the use of autonomous systems in warfare will be debated long after the technology hurdles to...accessible discussion on the interplay of biochemistry, genetics and embryology in animal evolution; Wagner, 2005 describes biological concepts of

  18. Nonlinear analysis of biological sequences

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Torney, D.C.; Bruno, W.; Detours, V. [and others


    This is the final report of a three-year, Laboratory Directed Research and Development (LDRD) project at the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). The main objectives of this project involved deriving new capabilities for analyzing biological sequences. The authors focused on tabulating the statistical properties exhibited by Human coding DNA sequences and on techniques of inferring the phylogenetic relationships among protein sequences related by descent.

  19. Biological rhythms and vector insects

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mirian David Marques


    Full Text Available The adjustment of all species, animals and plants, to the Earth’s cyclic environments is ensured by their temporal organisation. The relationships between parasites, vectors and hosts rely greatly upon the synchronisation of their biological rhythms, especially circadian rhythms. In this short note, parasitic infections by Protozoa and by microfilariae have been chosen as examples of the dependence of successful transmission mechanisms on temporal components.

  20. Correlation Effects in Biological Networks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A.A. Bagdasaryan


    Full Text Available Review of the complex network theory is presented and classification of such networks in accordance with the main statistical characteristics is considered. For the adjacency matrix of a real neural network the shortest distances for each pair of nodes as well as the node degree distribution and cluster coefficients are calculated. Comparison of the main statistical parameters with the random network is performed, and based on this, the conclusions about the correlation phenomena in biological system are made.

  1. Allostatic load and biological anthropology. (United States)

    Edes, Ashley N; Crews, Douglas E


    Multiple stressors affect developing and adult organisms, thereby partly structuring their phenotypes. Determining how stressors influence health, well-being, and longevity in human and nonhuman primate populations are major foci within biological anthropology. Although much effort has been devoted to examining responses to multiple environmental and sociocultural stressors, no holistic metric to measure stress-related physiological dysfunction has been widely applied within biological anthropology. Researchers from disciplines outside anthropology are using allostatic load indices (ALIs) to estimate such dysregulation and examine life-long outcomes of stressor exposures, including morbidity and mortality. Following allostasis theory, allostatic load represents accumulated physiological and somatic damage secondary to stressors and senescent processes experienced over the lifespan. ALIs estimate this wear-and-tear using a composite of biomarkers representing neuroendocrine, cardiovascular, metabolic, and immune systems. Across samples, ALIs are associated significantly with multiple individual characteristics (e.g., age, sex, education, DNA variation) of interest within biological anthropology. They also predict future outcomes, including aspects of life history variation (e.g., survival, lifespan), mental and physical health, morbidity and mortality, and likely health disparities between groups, by stressor exposures, ethnicity, occupations, and degree of departure from local indigenous life ways and integration into external and commodified ones. ALIs also may be applied to similar stress-related research areas among nonhuman primates. Given the reports from multiple research endeavors, here we propose ALIs may be useful for assessing stressors, stress responses, and stress-related dysfunction, current and long-term cognitive function, health and well-being, and risk of early mortality across many research programs within biological anthropology.

  2. Africa and Precambrian biological evolution


    Knoll, A.H


    African sedimentary rocks and their contained fossils have played a fundamental role in the unravelling of Precambrian biological history. Various lines of evidence including stromatolites, filamentous and coccoidal microfossils, stable isotope ratios, organic carbon distribution, and oxide facies iron formation suggest that a complex prokaryotic ecosystem fueled by photosynthesis, and perhaps including aerobic photoautotrophs, existed as early as 3 500 m.y. ago. The primary sources of data o...

  3. Biological couplings: Function, characteristics and implementation mode

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)


    Through rigorous natural selection, biological organisms have evolved exceptional functions highly adaptable to their living environments. Biological organisms can achieve a variety of biological functions efficiently by using the synergic actions of two or more different parts of the body, or the coupling effects of multiple factors, and demonstrate optimal adaptations to the living environment. In this paper, the function, characteristics and types of biological couplings are analyzed, the implementation mechanism and mode of biological coupling functions are revealed from the bionic viewpoint. Finally, the technological prospects of the bionic implementation of biological coupling function are predicted.

  4. Recent progress in histochemistry and cell biology. (United States)

    Hübner, Stefan; Efthymiadis, Athina


    Studies published in Histochemistry and Cell Biology in the year 2011 represent once more a manifest of established and newly sophisticated techniques being exploited to put tissue- and cell type-specific molecules into a functional context. The review is therefore the Histochemistry and Cell Biology's yearly intention to provide interested readers appropriate summaries of investigations touching the areas of tissue biology, developmental biology, the biology of the immune system, stem cell research, the biology of subcellular compartments, in order to put the message of such studies into natural scientific-/human- and also pathological-relevant correlations.

  5. The cell biology of aging (United States)

    DiLoreto, Race; Murphy, Coleen T.


    One of the original hypotheses of organismal longevity posits that aging is the natural result of entropy on the cells, tissues, and organs of the animal—a slow, inexorable slide into nonfunctionality caused by stochastic degradation of its parts. We now have evidence that aging is instead at least in part genetically regulated. Many mutations have been discovered to extend lifespan in organisms of all complexities, from yeast to mammals. The study of metazoan model organisms, such as Caenorhabditis elegans, has been instrumental in understanding the role of genetics in the cell biology of aging. Longevity mutants across the spectrum of model organisms demonstrate that rates of aging are regulated through genetic control of cellular processes. The regulation and subsequent breakdown of cellular processes represent a programmatic decision by the cell to either continue or abandon maintenance procedures with age. Our understanding of cell biological processes involved in regulating aging have been particularly informed by longevity mutants and treatments, such as reduced insulin/IGF-1 signaling and dietary restriction, which are critical in determining the distinction between causes of and responses to aging and have revealed a set of downstream targets that participate in a range of cell biological activities. Here we briefly review some of these important cellular processes. PMID:26668170

  6. Imidazole: Having Versatile Biological Activities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amita Verma


    Full Text Available Imidazoles have occupied a unique position in heterocyclic chemistry, and its derivatives have attracted considerable interests in recent years for their versatile properties in chemistry and pharmacology. Imidazole is nitrogen-containing heterocyclic ring which possesses biological and pharmaceutical importance. Thus, imidazole compounds have been an interesting source for researchers for more than a century. The imidazole ring is a constituent of several important natural products, including purine, histamine, histidine, and nucleic acid. Being a polar and ionisable aromatic compound, it improves pharmacokinetic characteristics of lead molecules and thus is used as a remedy to optimize solubility and bioavailability parameters of proposed poorly soluble lead molecules. There are several methods used for the synthesis of imidazole-containing compounds, and also their various structure reactions offer enormous scope in the field of medicinal chemistry. The imidazole derivatives possess extensive spectrum of biological activities such as antibacterial, anticancer, antitubercular, antifungal, analgesic, and anti-HIV activities. This paper aims to review the biological activities of imidazole during the past years.

  7. Decavanadate effects in biological systems. (United States)

    Aureliano, Manuel; Gândara, Ricardo M C


    Vanadium biological studies often disregarded the formation of decameric vanadate species known to interact, in vitro, with high-affinity with many proteins such as myosin and sarcoplasmic reticulum calcium pump and also to inhibit these biochemical systems involved in energy transduction. Moreover, very few in vivo animal studies involving vanadium consider the contribution of decavanadate to vanadium biological effects. Recently, it has been shown that an acute exposure to decavanadate but not to other vanadate oligomers induced oxidative stress and a different fate in vanadium intracellular accumulation. Several markers of oxidative stress analyzed on hepatic and cardiac tissue were monitored after in vivo effect of an acute exposure (12, 24 h and 7 days), to a sub-lethal concentration (5 mM; 1 mg/kg) of two vanadium solutions ("metavanadate" and "decavanadate"). It was observed that "decavanadate" promote different effects than other vanadate oligomers in catalase activity, glutathione content, lipid peroxidation, mitochondrial superoxide anion production and vanadium accumulation, whereas both solutions seem to equally depress reactive oxygen species (ROS) production as well as total intracellular reducing power. Vanadium is accumulated in mitochondria in particular when "decavanadate" is administered. These recent findings, that are now summarized, point out the decameric vanadate species contributions to in vivo and in vitro effects induced by vanadium in biological systems.


    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stolуarova M. A.


    Full Text Available The article describes the innovations in the classification and measurement of biological assets according to IFRS (IAS 41 "Agriculture". The difficulties faced by agricultural producers using standard, set out in article. The classification based on the adopted amendments, according to which the fruit-bearing plants, previously accounted for as biological assets are measured at fair value are included in the category of fixed assets. The structure of biological assets and main means has been studied in trials. Changes made to the IFRS (IAS 41 "Agriculture", make similar national and international accounting rules. In this way, the fruit-bearing plants are carried at cost, taking into account accumulated depreciation. This approach is similar in both accounting systems. The method of accounting of fruit-bearing assets, which after maturation are not significant biotransformation in the value, has been simplifying accounting. According to the fruit-bearing assets, active market was absent; therefore, the estimation of fair value for them is not correct. The model of using fruit-bearing assets is similar to the use of industrial equipment. Historical cost is more appropriate and meets economic substance of the objects. Assessment of performance of fruit-bearing assets and indicators of their use is represented on an example of perennial crops

  9. Dueling biological and social contagions (United States)

    Fu, Feng; Christakis, Nicholas A.; Fowler, James H.


    Numerous models explore how a wide variety of biological and social phenomena spread in social networks. However, these models implicitly assume that the spread of one phenomenon is not affected by the spread of another. Here, we develop a model of “dueling contagions”, with a particular illustration of a situation where one is biological (influenza) and the other is social (flu vaccination). We apply the model to unique time series data collected during the 2009 H1N1 epidemic that includes information about vaccination, flu, and face-to-face social networks. The results show that well-connected individuals are more likely to get vaccinated, as are people who are exposed to friends who get vaccinated or are exposed to friends who get the flu. Our dueling contagion model suggests that other epidemiological models may be dramatically underestimating the R0 of contagions. It also suggests that the rate of vaccination contagion may be even more important than the biological contagion in determining the course of the disease. These results suggest that real world and online platforms that make it easier to see when friends have been vaccinated (personalized vaccination campaigns) and when they get the flu (personalized flu warnings) could have a large impact on reducing the severity of epidemics. They also suggest possible benefits from understanding the coevolution of many kinds of dueling contagions. PMID:28252663

  10. Stochastic simulation in systems biology. (United States)

    Székely, Tamás; Burrage, Kevin


    Natural systems are, almost by definition, heterogeneous: this can be either a boon or an obstacle to be overcome, depending on the situation. Traditionally, when constructing mathematical models of these systems, heterogeneity has typically been ignored, despite its critical role. However, in recent years, stochastic computational methods have become commonplace in science. They are able to appropriately account for heterogeneity; indeed, they are based around the premise that systems inherently contain at least one source of heterogeneity (namely, intrinsic heterogeneity). In this mini-review, we give a brief introduction to theoretical modelling and simulation in systems biology and discuss the three different sources of heterogeneity in natural systems. Our main topic is an overview of stochastic simulation methods in systems biology. There are many different types of stochastic methods. We focus on one group that has become especially popular in systems biology, biochemistry, chemistry and physics. These discrete-state stochastic methods do not follow individuals over time; rather they track only total populations. They also assume that the volume of interest is spatially homogeneous. We give an overview of these methods, with a discussion of the advantages and disadvantages of each, and suggest when each is more appropriate to use. We also include references to software implementations of them, so that beginners can quickly start using stochastic methods for practical problems of interest.

  11. A biologically inspired MANET architecture (United States)

    Kershenbaum, Aaron; Pappas, Vasileios; Lee, Kang-Won; Lio, Pietro; Sadler, Brian; Verma, Dinesh


    Mobile Ad-Hoc Networks (MANETs), that do not rely on pre-existing infrastructure and that can adapt rapidly to changes in their environment, are coming into increasingly wide use in military applications. At the same time, the large computing power and memory available today even for small, mobile devices, allows us to build extremely large, sophisticated and complex networks. Such networks, however, and the software controlling them are potentially vulnerable to catastrophic failures because of their size and complexity. Biological networks have many of these same characteristics and are potentially subject to the same problems. But in successful organisms, these biological networks do in fact function well so that the organism can survive. In this paper, we present a MANET architecture developed based on a feature, called homeostasis, widely observed in biological networks but not ordinarily seen in computer networks. This feature allows the network to switch to an alternate mode of operation under stress or attack and then return to the original mode of operation after the problem has been resolved. We explore the potential benefits such an architecture has, principally in terms of the ability to survive radical changes in its environment using an illustrative example.

  12. Measurement Frontiers in Molecular Biology (United States)

    Laderman, Stephen


    Developments of molecular measurements and manipulations have long enabled forefront research in evolution, genetics, biological development and its dysfunction, and the impact of external factors on the behavior of cells. Measurement remains at the heart of exciting and challenging basic and applied problems in molecular and cell biology. Methods to precisely determine the identity and abundance of particular molecules amongst a complex mixture of similar and dissimilar types require the successful design and integration of multiple steps involving biochemical manipulations, separations, physical probing, and data processing. Accordingly, today's most powerful methods for characterizing life at the molecular level depend on coordinated advances in applied physics, biochemistry, chemistry, computer science, and engineering. This is well illustrated by recent approaches to the measurement of DNA, RNA, proteins, and intact cells. Such successes underlie well founded visions of how molecular biology can further assist in answering compelling scientific questions and in enabling the development of remarkable advances in human health. These visions, in turn, are motivating the interdisciplinary creation of even more comprehensive measurements. As a further and closely related consequence, they are motivating innovations in the conceptual and practical approaches to organizing and visualizing large, complex sets of interrelated experimental results and distilling from those data compelling, informative conclusions.

  13. Complexity, Information and Biological Organisation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Attila Grandpierre


    Full Text Available Regarding the widespread confusion about the concept and nature of complexity, information and biological organization, we look for some coordinated conceptual considerations corresponding to quantitative measures suitable to grasp the main characteristics of biological complexity. Quantitative measures of algorithmic complexity of supercomputers like Blue Gene/L are compared with the complexity of the brain. We show that both the computer and the brain have a more fundamental, dynamic complexity measure corresponding to the number of operations per second. Recent insights suggest that the origin of complexity may go back to simplicity at a deeper level, corresponding to algorithmic complexity. We point out that for physical systems Ashby’s Law, Kahre’s Law and causal closure of the physical exclude the generation of information, and since genetic information corresponds to instructions, we are faced with a controversy telling that the algorithmic complexity of physics is much lower than the instructions’ complexity of the human DNA: I_algorithmic(physics ~ 10^3 bit << I_instructions(DNA ~ 10^9 bit. Analyzing the genetic complexity we obtain that actually the genetic information corresponds to a deeper than algorithmic level of complexity, putting an even greater emphasis to the information paradox. We show that the resolution of the fundamental information paradox may lie either in the chemical evolution of inheritance in abiogenesis, or in the existence of an autonomous biological principle allowing the production of information beyond physics.

  14. Exploring the biology of socialization. (United States)

    Posner, M I; Rothbart, M K; Gerardi-Caulton, G


    How will the social sciences take advantage of the revolution that has taken place in biology during the past two decades? Over the last fifteen years, neuroimaging has allowed the study of human cognition and emotion within psychology to achieve close alliances with biology through the development of cognitive and affective neuroscience. There is little doubt that a similar alliance between psychology and biology will occur in the domain of human brain development. In principle, understanding how the human brain is organized by experience (epigenetic rules) and how societies instruct their young could produce a link between natural and social science. The late David C. McClelland sought methods to base the social sciences on psychological ideas. McClelland sought to connect the values of achievement and power as coded from children's readers and popular ballads to societal economic growth and conflict. These efforts lacked knowledge of brain mechanisms of memory and attention and an understanding of the role of experience in organizing brain circuitry. Understanding of cognitive and brain systems related to knowledge and action may allow a new approach to forging connections between individual minds and social behavior.

  15. Ins and outs of systems biology vis-à-vis molecular biology: continuation or clear cut? (United States)

    De Backer, Philippe; De Waele, Danny; Van Speybroeck, Linda


    The comprehension of living organisms in all their complexity poses a major challenge to the biological sciences. Recently, systems biology has been proposed as a new candidate in the development of such a comprehension. The main objective of this paper is to address what systems biology is and how it is practised. To this end, the basic tools of a systems biological approach are explored and illustrated. In addition, it is questioned whether systems biology 'revolutionizes' molecular biology and 'transcends' its assumed reductionism. The strength of this claim appears to depend on how molecular and systems biology are characterised and on how reductionism is interpreted. Doing credit to molecular biology and to methodological reductionism, it is argued that the distinction between molecular and systems biology is gradual rather than sharp. As such, the classical challenge in biology to manage, interpret and integrate biological data into functional wholes is further intensified by systems biology's use of modelling and bioinformatics, and by its scale enlargement.

  16. Synthetic biology: applying biological circuits beyond novel therapies. (United States)

    Dobrin, Anton; Saxena, Pratik; Fussenegger, Martin


    Synthetic biology, an engineering, circuit-driven approach to biology, has developed whole new classes of therapeutics. Unfortunately, these advances have thus far been undercapitalized upon by basic researchers. As discussed herein, using synthetic circuits, one can undertake exhaustive investigations of the endogenous circuitry found in nature, develop novel detectors and better temporally and spatially controlled inducers. One could detect changes in DNA, RNA, protein or even transient signaling events, in cell-based systems, in live mice, and in humans. Synthetic biology has also developed inducible systems that can be induced chemically, optically or using radio waves. This induction has been re-wired to lead to changes in gene expression, RNA stability and splicing, protein stability and splicing, and signaling via endogenous pathways. Beyond simple detectors and inducible systems, one can combine these modalities and develop novel signal integration circuits that can react to a very precise pre-programmed set of conditions or even to multiple sets of precise conditions. In this review, we highlight some tools that were developed in which these circuits were combined such that the detection of a particular event automatically triggered a specific output. Furthermore, using novel circuit-design strategies, circuits have been developed that can integrate multiple inputs together in Boolean logic gates composed of up to 6 inputs. We highlight the tools available and what has been developed thus far, and highlight how some clinical tools can be very useful in basic science. Most of the systems that are presented can be integrated together; and the possibilities far exceed the number of currently developed strategies.

  17. Glycosides from Marine Sponges (Porifera, Demospongiae: Structures, Taxonomical Distribution, Biological Activities and Biological Roles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Valentin A. Stonik


    Full Text Available Literature data about glycosides from sponges (Porifera, Demospongiae are reviewed. Structural diversity, biological activities, taxonomic distribution and biological functions of these natural products are discussed.

  18. Glycosides from marine sponges (Porifera, Demospongiae): structures, taxonomical distribution, biological activities and biological roles. (United States)

    Kalinin, Vladimir I; Ivanchina, Natalia V; Krasokhin, Vladimir B; Makarieva, Tatyana N; Stonik, Valentin A


    Literature data about glycosides from sponges (Porifera, Demospongiae) are reviewed. Structural diversity, biological activities, taxonomic distribution and biological functions of these natural products are discussed.

  19. Banks Lake NWR: Biological Review Report (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This report covers a biological review undertaken in 2007/08 at Banks Lake National Wildlife Refuge. On November 14-15, 2007, a Biological Review was conducted at...

  20. FDA Regulation of Follow-On Biologics (United States)


    biologic is similar to the brand-name (innovator) product made by the pharmaceutical or biotechnology industry . In contrast to a biologic, most commonly used drugs are synthesized via a chemical process.

  1. Biology of corals and coral reefs

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Rajkumar, R.; Parulekar, A.H.

    This chapter deals with biology of corals, coral reefs (in general) and coral reefs of the Indian Ocean. Biology of corals is lucidly dealt with, beginning from the clarification on hermatypic and ahermatypic forms. A complete account...

  2. Skin Cancer: Biology, Risk Factors & Treatment (United States)

    ... turn Javascript on. Feature: Skin Cancer Skin Cancer: Biology, Risk Factors & Treatment Past Issues / Summer 2013 Table ... Articles Skin Cancer Can Strike Anyone / Skin Cancer: Biology, Risk Factors & Treatment / Timely Healthcare Checkup Catches Melanoma ...

  3. Freshwater Biological Traits Database (Final Report) (United States)

    EPA announced the release of the final report, Freshwater Biological Traits Database. This report discusses the development of a database of freshwater biological traits. The database combines several existing traits databases into an online format. The database is also...

  4. Towards Systems Biology of Mycotoxin Regulation


    Christof Rampitsch; Rajagopal Subramaniam


    Systems biology is a scientific approach that integrates many scientific disciplines to develop a comprehensive understanding of biological phenomena, thus allowing the prediction and accurate simulation of complex biological behaviors. It may be presumptuous to write about toxin regulation at the level of systems biology, but the last decade of research is leading us closer than ever to this approach. Past research has delineated multiple levels of regulation in the pathways leading to the b...

  5. Biological physics--origin and perspectives. (United States)

    Sackmann, Erich


    Biology and Physics share common ancestors. The two sciences have drifted apart during the last century, although they have often mutually fertilized each other. Often the discovery of a new physical method has triggered dramatic progresses in biology but there are also numerous examples of biology-inspired new developments in physics. In this special issue of ChemPhysChem, various facets and new developments of the interface between physics and biology are pointed out.

  6. The biology of Colletotrichum acutatum

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Diéguez-Uribeondo, Javier


    Full Text Available Colletotrichum acutatum is major pathogen of fruit crops, causing economically important losses of temperate, subtropical and tropical fruits worldwide. However, few studies have been carried out on key aspects of its biology. This is mainly because traditionally isolates of C. acutatum were often wrongly identified as C. gloeosporioides. Effective separation of the two species was not possible until the introduction of molecular tools for taxonomy. The life cycle of C. acutatum comprises a sexual and an asexual stage and much remains to be resolved regarding the genetics of sexuality and the effects of the sexual stage on population structure. Colletotrichum acutatum exhibits both infection strategies described for Colletotrichum species, i.e. intracellular hemibiotrophy and subcuticular-intramural necrotrophy, and may also undergo a period of quiescence in order to overcome resistance mechanisms in immature fruit such as pre-formed toxic compounds and phytoalexins, or due to the unsuitability of unripe fruit to fulfill the nutritional and energy requirements of the pathogen. Colletotrichum acutatum may overwinter as mycelium and/or appressoria in or on different parts of the host. Conidia are water-born and spread by rain episodes so infections are usually highest during the wettest periods of the growing season. Current management strategies for this fungus comprise the exploitation of cultivar resistance, cultural, chemical, and biological control methods, and preventive strategies such as disease-forecasting models. This review focuses on the current knowledge of biological aspects of C. acutatum and related Colletotrichum species and includes a discussion of the progress towards their control.Colletotrichum acutatum es uno de los principales hongos patógenos en agricultura y responsable de importantes pérdidas económicas en frutales en áreas tanto de climas templados como subtropicales y tropicales. Sin embargo, existen pocos estudios

  7. Biological Psychiatry, Research And Industry

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ajai R. Singh


    Full Text Available In this section, we look at how the biological paradigm shift in psychiatry has been aided and abetted by industry for serving its own needs; which stymies other promising approaches; but which, nonetheless, can serve to advance biomedicine if checks and balances are in place. Industry, Biological Psychiatry And Non-pharmacological Advance The larger issue of benefit to society also concerns us when we realize that industry sponsorship is mainly for potential medications, not for trying to determine whether there may be non-pharmacological interventions that may be equally good, if not better. …a lack of balance in research activities, with a focus mainly on potential medications, is likely to divert talented researchers from the pursuit of profound scientific questions or divert them from the pursuit of questions without market relevance but with an aspect of public good. A company has little incentive to support trials evaluating whether inexpensive, off-patent drugs or whether non-pharmaceutical interventions, could replace their profitable patented drug (Baird, 2003 This is the reason why methods like yoga, psychotherapy, meditation, non-medicated non-mechanised relaxation will not find industry sponsors readily and may never be proved useful apart from anecdotal reporting.In which case to expect industry sponsorship to develop a larger therapeutic armamentarium, especially non-drug based, is wishful thinking. Moreover, non-pharmacological treatment procedures may not get desirable funding. This may not be as much of a problem in other branches of medicine as in psychiatry, wherein non-pharmacological interventions like psychotherapy still hold promise of therapeutic relief.If we do not see rigorous experimental research in psychotherapy or other non-drug modalities to the extent that we should, let us be careful before blaming the researchers for it. Where are the funds? Also, let us note that behind the great thrust towards Biological

  8. Classification of Recombinant Biologics in the EU

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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


    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...

  9. Biology Education Research: Lessons and Future Directions (United States)

    Singer, Susan R.; Nielsen, Natalie R.; Schweingruber, Heidi A.


    Biologists have long been concerned about the quality of undergraduate biology education. Over time, however, biology faculty members have begun to study increasingly sophisticated questions about teaching and learning in the discipline. These scholars, often called biology education researchers, are part of a growing field of inquiry called…

  10. Integrating systems biology models and biomedical ontologies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    de Bono Bernard


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Systems biology is an approach to biology that emphasizes the structure and dynamic behavior of biological systems and the interactions that occur within them. To succeed, systems biology crucially depends on the accessibility and integration of data across domains and levels of granularity. Biomedical ontologies were developed to facilitate such an integration of data and are often used to annotate biosimulation models in systems biology. Results We provide a framework to integrate representations of in silico systems biology with those of in vivo biology as described by biomedical ontologies and demonstrate this framework using the Systems Biology Markup Language. We developed the SBML Harvester software that automatically converts annotated SBML models into OWL and we apply our software to those biosimulation models that are contained in the BioModels Database. We utilize the resulting knowledge base for complex biological queries that can bridge levels of granularity, verify models based on the biological phenomenon they represent and provide a means to establish a basic qualitative layer on which to express the semantics of biosimulation models. Conclusions We establish an information flow between biomedical ontologies and biosimulation models and we demonstrate that the integration of annotated biosimulation models and biomedical ontologies enables the verification of models as well as expressive queries. Establishing a bi-directional information flow between systems biology and biomedical ontologies has the potential to enable large-scale analyses of biological systems that span levels of granularity from molecules to organisms.

  11. 9 CFR 311.39 - Biological residues. (United States)


    ... 9 Animals and Animal Products 2 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Biological residues. 311.39 Section... Biological residues. Carcasses, organs, or other parts of carcasses of livestock shall be condemned if it is determined that they are adulterated because of the presence of any biological residues....

  12. Causal and Teleological Explanations in Biology (United States)

    Yip, Cheng-Wai


    A causal explanation in biology focuses on the mechanism by which a biological process is brought about, whereas a teleological explanation considers the end result, in the context of the survival of the organism, as a reason for certain biological processes or structures. There is a tendency among students to offer a teleological explanation…

  13. Synthetic biology: from mainstream to counterculture. (United States)

    Sleator, Roy D


    Existing at the interface of science and engineering, synthetic biology represents a new and emerging field of mainstream biology. However, there also exists a counterculture of Do-It-Yourself biologists, citizen scientists, who have made significant inroads, particularly in the design and development of new tools and techniques. Herein, I review the development and convergence of synthetic biology's mainstream and countercultures.

  14. Student Teachers' Conceptions of Teaching Biology (United States)

    Subramaniam, Karthigeyan


    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…

  15. Biology-Derived Algorithms in Engineering Optimization

    CERN Document Server

    Yang, Xin-She


    Biology-derived algorithms are an important part of computational sciences, which are essential to many scientific disciplines and engineering applications. Many computational methods are derived from or based on the analogy to natural evolution and biological activities, and these biologically inspired computations include genetic algorithms, neural networks, cellular automata, and other algorithms.

  16. Allicin: Chemistry and Biological Properties

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jan Borlinghaus


    Full Text Available Allicin (diallylthiosulfinate is a defence molecule from garlic (Allium sativum L. with a broad range of biological activities. Allicin is produced upon tissue damage from the non-proteinogenic amino acid alliin (S-allylcysteine sulfoxide in a reaction that is catalyzed by the enzyme alliinase. Current understanding of the allicin biosynthetic pathway will be presented in this review. Being a thiosulfinate, allicin is a reactive sulfur species (RSS and undergoes a redox-reaction with thiol groups in glutathione and proteins that is thought to be essential for its biological activity. Allicin is physiologically active in microbial, plant and mammalian cells. In a dose-dependent manner allicin can inhibit the proliferation of both bacteria and fungi or kill cells outright, including antibiotic-resistant strains like methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA. Furthermore, in mammalian cell lines, including cancer cells, allicin induces cell-death and inhibits cell proliferation. In plants allicin inhibits seed germination and attenuates root-development. The majority of allicin’s effects are believed to be mediated via redox-dependent mechanisms. In sub-lethal concentrations, allicin has a variety of health-promoting properties, for example cholesterol- and blood pressure-lowering effects that are advantageous for the cardio-vascular system. Clearly, allicin has wide-ranging and interesting applications in medicine and (green agriculture, hence the detailed discussion of its enormous potential in this review. Taken together, allicin is a fascinating biologically active compound whose properties are a direct consequence of the molecule’s chemistry.

  17. Africa and Precambrian biological evolution

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. H. Knoll


    Full Text Available African sedimentary rocks and their contained fossils have played a fundamental role in the unravelling of Precambrian biological history. Various lines of evidence including stromatolites, filamentous and coccoidal microfossils, stable isotope ratios, organic carbon distribution, and oxide facies iron formation suggest that a complex prokaryotic ecosystem fueled by photosynthesis, and perhaps including aerobic photoautotrophs, existed as early as 3 500 m.y. ago. The primary sources of data on early Archean life are rock sequences in southern Africa and Australia. The diversity of later Archean (ca. 2 700 m.y. communities is attested to by abundant and varied stromatolites found in Zimbabwe. The extensive growth and consolidation of continents that heralded the Proterozoic Eon had profound effects on the earth’s biota. Primary productivity must have increased substantially, resulting in the establishment of an 02-rich atmosphere, and, subsequently, the radiation of aerobic respirers. Southern African sequences provide critical evidence bearing on this crust/atmosphere/biota interaction; however, the best known microfossils of this age come from North America. Upper Proterozoic sedimentary rocks abound in Africa. Stromatolites from northwestern Africa have been well studied; however, microfossil occurrences remain but sketchily described. Contemporaneous sequences from Scandinavia and Australia document the initial radiation of eukaryotes in the planktonic realm, as well as a terminal Precambrian episode of extinction among plankters. Early heterotrophic protists are known from several continents. The Nama Group of South West Africa/Namibia contains important evidence of early invertebrates. In general, Precambrian evolution can be viewed as a series of increasingly elevated biological plateaus connected by steps marking relatively short periods of evolutionary innovation and radiation. With each step, communities have increased in complexity

  18. Tunable promoters in systems biology

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mijakovic, Ivan; Petranovic, Dina; Jensen, Peter Ruhdal


    The construction of synthetic promoter libraries has represented a major breakthrough in systems biology, enabling the subtle tuning of enzyme activities. A number of tools are now available that allow the modulation of gene expression and the detection of changes in expression patterns. But, how...... does one choose the correct promoter and what are the appropriate methods for reading promoter strength? Furthermore, how fine should the tuning of gene expression be for some specific applications and how can the simultaneous and individual tuning of multiple genes be achieved? Some recent studies...

  19. Quantitative approaches in developmental biology. (United States)

    Oates, Andrew C; Gorfinkiel, Nicole; González-Gaitán, Marcos; Heisenberg, Carl-Philipp


    The tissues of a developing embryo are simultaneously patterned, moved and differentiated according to an exchange of information between their constituent cells. We argue that these complex self-organizing phenomena can only be fully understood with quantitative mathematical frameworks that allow specific hypotheses to be formulated and tested. The quantitative and dynamic imaging of growing embryos at the molecular, cellular and tissue level is the key experimental advance required to achieve this interaction between theory and experiment. Here we describe how mathematical modelling has become an invaluable method to integrate quantitative biological information across temporal and spatial scales, serving to connect the activity of regulatory molecules with the morphological development of organisms.

  20. Semiconductor Nanocrystals for Biological Imaging

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fu, Aihua; Gu, Weiwei; Larabell, Carolyn; Alivisatos, A. Paul


    Conventional organic fluorophores suffer from poor photo stability, narrow absorption spectra and broad emission feature. Semiconductor nanocrystals, on the other hand, are highly photo-stable with broad absorption spectra and narrow size-tunable emission spectra. Recent advances in the synthesis of these materials have resulted in bright, sensitive, extremely photo-stable and biocompatible semiconductor fluorophores. Commercial availability facilitates their application in a variety of unprecedented biological experiments, including multiplexed cellular imaging, long-term in vitro and in vivo labeling, deep tissue structure mapping and single particle investigation of dynamic cellular processes. Semiconductor nanocrystals are one of the first examples of nanotechnology enabling a new class of biomedical applications.

  1. New journal on biological frontiers

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Weihua WU


    @@ Frontiers in Biology, an international peer-reviewed scientific journal to be published bi-monthly, is launched today. It is jointly published by Higher Education Press and Springer. The joumal provides a forum for a broad blend of peer-reviewed articles to promote rapid communication and exchanges among biologists around the world. The primary criterion for publication is new insights that are of broad interest to biologists, not just specialists, and the presentation of results must be appropriate to a wide audience of biologists.

  2. Systems biology of Microbial Communities

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Navid, A; Ghim, C; Fenley, A; Yoon, S; Lee, S; Almaas, E


    Microbes exist naturally in a wide range of environments, spanning the extremes of high acidity and high temperature to soil and the ocean, in communities where their interactions are significant. We present a practical discussion of three different approaches for modeling microbial communities: rate equations, individual-based modeling, and population dynamics. We illustrate the approaches with detailed examples. Each approach is best fit to different levels of system representation, and they have different needs for detailed biological input. Thus, this set of approaches is able to address the operation and function of microbial communities on a wide range of organizational levels.

  3. Mechanical Instabilities of Biological Tubes (United States)

    Hannezo, Edouard; Prost, Jacques; Joanny, Jean-François


    We study theoretically the morphologies of biological tubes affected by various pathologies. When epithelial cells grow, the negative tension produced by their division provokes a buckling instability. Several shapes are investigated: varicose, dilated, sinuous, or sausagelike. They are all found in pathologies of tracheal, renal tubes, or arteries. The final shape depends crucially on the mechanical parameters of the tissues: Young’s modulus, wall-to-lumen ratio, homeostatic pressure. We argue that since tissues must be in quasistatic mechanical equilibrium, abnormal shapes convey information as to what causes the pathology. We calculate a phase diagram of tubular instabilities which could be a helpful guide for investigating the underlying genetic regulation.

  4. Molecular biology of Plasmodiophora brassicae

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Siemens, Johannes; Bulman, Simon; Rehn, Frank


    of several genes have been revealed, and the expression of those genes has been linked to development of clubroot to some extent. In addition, the sequence data have reinforced the inclusion of the plasmodiophorids within the Cercozoa. The recent successes in molecular biology have produced new approaches......Initially, molecular techniques were used to detect and distinguish Plasmodiophora pathotypes in soil. Meanwhile, chromosomes from 2.2 Mb to 680 kb are characterized and the total genome size is estimated to be approximately 20 Mb. Furthermore, the genomic gene structure and the cDNA structure...

  5. Biology-inspired AMO physics (United States)

    Mathur, Deepak


    This Topical Review presents an overview of increasingly robust interconnects that are being established between atomic, molecular and optical (AMO) physics and the life sciences. AMO physics, outgrowing its historical role as a facilitator—a provider of optical methodologies, for instance—now seeks to partner biology in its quest to link systems-level descriptions of biological entities to insights based on molecular processes. Of course, perspectives differ when AMO physicists and biologists consider various processes. For instance, while AMO physicists link molecular properties and dynamics to potential energy surfaces, these have to give way to energy landscapes in considerations of protein dynamics. But there are similarities also: tunnelling and non-adiabatic transitions occur both in protein dynamics and in molecular dynamics. We bring to the fore some such differences and similarities; we consider imaging techniques based on AMO concepts, like 4D fluorescence microscopy which allows access to the dynamics of cellular processes, multiphoton microscopy which offers a built-in confocality, and microscopy with femtosecond laser beams to saturate the suppression of fluorescence in spatially controlled fashion so as to circumvent the diffraction limit. Beyond imaging, AMO physics contributes with optical traps that probe the mechanical and dynamical properties of single ‘live’ cells, highlighting differences between healthy and diseased cells. Trap methodologies have also begun to probe the dynamics governing of neural stem cells adhering to each other to form neurospheres and, with squeezed light to probe sub-diffusive motion of yeast cells. Strong field science contributes not only by providing a source of energetic electrons and γ-rays via laser-plasma accelerations schemes, but also via filamentation and supercontinuum generation, enabling mainstream collision physics into play in diverse processes like DNA damage induced by low-energy collisions to

  6. Programming and engineering biological networks. (United States)

    Chin, Jason W


    Synthetic biology aims to build new functions in living organisms. Recent work has addressed the creation of synthetic epigenetic switches in mammalian cells and synthetic intracellular communication. Fundamentally new, and potentially scaleable, modes of gene regulation have been created that enable expansion of the scope of synthetic circuits. Increasingly sophisticated models of gene regulation that include stochastic effects are beginning to predict the behaviour of small synthetic networks. Overall, these advances suggest that a combination of molecular engineering and systems engineering should allow the creation of living matter capable of performing many useful and novel functions.

  7. Condensed Matter Physics - Biology Resonance (United States)

    Baskaran, G.

    The field of condensed matter physics had its genesis this century and it has had a remarkable evolution. A closer look at its growth reveals a hidden aim in the collective consciousness of the field - a part of the development this century is a kind of warm up exercise to understand the nature of living condensed matter, namely the field of biology, by a growing new breed of scientists in the coming century. Through some examples the vitality of this interaction will be pointed out.

  8. Biology and pathogenesis of Acanthamoeba

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Siddiqui Ruqaiyyah


    Full Text Available Abstract Acanthamoeba is a free-living protist pathogen, capable of causing a blinding keratitis and fatal granulomatous encephalitis. The factors that contribute to Acanthamoeba infections include parasite biology, genetic diversity, environmental spread and host susceptibility, and are highlighted together with potential therapeutic and preventative measures. The use of Acanthamoeba in the study of cellular differentiation mechanisms, motility and phagocytosis, bacterial pathogenesis and evolutionary processes makes it an attractive model organism. There is a significant emphasis on Acanthamoeba as a Trojan horse of other microbes including viral, bacterial, protists and yeast pathogens.

  9. Neutrons in biology - a perspective

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schoenborn, B.P. [Los Alamos National Laboratory, NM (United States)


    After almost a decade of uncertainty, the field of neutrons in biology is set to embark on an era of stability and renewed vitality. As detailed in this volume, methodologies have been refined, new tools are now being added to the array, the two largest reactor sources have long term programs in place, and spoliation sources are making an impact. By way of introduction, it is pertinent to reflect on the origins of the field and to highlight some aspects that have influenced the progress of the field. In an increasingly competitive environment, it is extremely important that the future capitalize on the substantial investment made over the last two to three decades.

  10. Design Automation in Synthetic Biology. (United States)

    Appleton, Evan; Madsen, Curtis; Roehner, Nicholas; Densmore, Douglas


    Design automation refers to a category of software tools for designing systems that work together in a workflow for designing, building, testing, and analyzing systems with a target behavior. In synthetic biology, these tools are called bio-design automation (BDA) tools. In this review, we discuss the BDA tools areas-specify, design, build, test, and learn-and introduce the existing software tools designed to solve problems in these areas. We then detail the functionality of some of these tools and show how they can be used together to create the desired behavior of two types of modern synthetic genetic regulatory networks.

  11. The dawn of mathematical biology

    CERN Document Server

    Hoffmann, Daniel Sander


    In this paper I describe the early development of the so-called mathematical biophysics, as conceived by Nicolas Rashevsky back in the 1920's, as well as his latter idealization of a "relational biology". I also underline that the creation of the journal "The Bulletin of Mathematical Biophysics" was instrumental in legitimating the efforts of Rashevsky and his students, and I finally argue that his pioneering efforts, while still largely unacknowledged, were vital for the development of important scientific contributions, most notably the McCulloch-Pitts model of neural networks.

  12. Theoretical approach to biological aging

    CERN Document Server

    D'Almeida, R M C; Penna, T J P


    We present a model for biological aging that considers the number of individuals whose (inherited) genetic charge determines the maximum age for death: each individual may die before that age due to some external factor, but never after that limit. The genetic charge of the offspring is inherited from the parent with some mutations, described by a transition matrix. The model can describe different strategies of reproduction and it is exactly soluble. We applied our method to the bit-string model for aging and the results are in perfect agreement with numerical simulations.

  13. Theoretical approach to biological aging (United States)

    Almeida, R. M. C. de; Oliveira, S. Moss de; Penna, T. J. P.

    We present a model for biological aging that considers the number of individuals whose (inherited) genotype determines the maximum age for death: each individual may die before that age due to some external factor, but never after that limit. The genotype of the offspring is inherited from the parent with some mutations, described by a transition matrix. The model can describe different strategies of reproduction and it is exactly soluble. We applied our method to the bit-string model for aging and the results are in perfect agreement with numerical simulations.

  14. Synthetic Biology Guides Biofuel Production

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael R. Connor


    Full Text Available The advancement of microbial processes for the production of renewable liquid fuels has increased with concerns about the current fuel economy. The development of advanced biofuels in particular has risen to address some of the shortcomings of ethanol. These advanced fuels have chemical properties similar to petroleum-based liquid fuels, thus removing the need for engine modification or infrastructure redesign. While the productivity and titers of each of these processes remains to be improved, progress in synthetic biology has provided tools to guide the engineering of these processes through present and future challenges.

  15. Biological wastewater treatment in brewhouses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Voronov Yuriy Viktorovich


    Full Text Available In the article the working principles of wastewater biological treatment for food companies is reviewed, including dairies and breweries, the waters of which are highly concentrated with dissolved organic contaminants and suspended solids. An example of successful implementation is anaerobic-aerobic treatment plants. Implementation of these treatment plants can achieve the required wastewater treatment at the lowest operational expenses and low volumes of secondary waste generated. Waste water from the food companies have high concentration of various organic contaminants (fats, proteins, starch, sugar, etc.. For such wastewater, high rates of suspended solids, grease and other contaminants are characteristic. Wastewater food industry requires effective purification flowsheets using biological treatment facilities. At the moment methods for the anaerobic-aerobic purification are applied. One of such methods is the treatment of wastewater at ASB-reactor (methane reactor and the further tertiary treatment on the OSB-reactor (aeration. Anaerobic process means water treatment processes in anoxic conditions. The anaerobic treatment of organic contamination is based on the process of methane fermentation - the process of converting substances to biogas. The role of biological effluent treatment is discussed with special attention given to combined anaerobic/aerobic treatment. Combining anaerobic pre-treatment with aerobic post-treatment integrates the advantages of both processes, amongst which there are reduced energy consumption (net energy production, reduced biological sludge production and limited space requirements. This combination allows for significant savings for operational costs as compared to complete aerobic treatment without compromising the required discharge standards. Anaerobic treatment is a proven and energy efficient method to treat industrial wastewater effluents. These days, more and more emphasis is laid on low energy use, a

  16. Differential equations and mathematical biology

    CERN Document Server

    Jones, DS; Sleeman, BD


    ""… Much progress by these authors and others over the past quarter century in modeling biological and other scientific phenomena make this differential equations textbook more valuable and better motivated than ever. … The writing is clear, though the modeling is not oversimplified. Overall, this book should convince math majors how demanding math modeling needs to be and biologists that taking another course in differential equations will be worthwhile. The coauthors deserve congratulations as well as course adoptions.""-SIAM Review, Sept. 2010, Vol. 52, No. 3""… Where this text stands out i

  17. Intestinal nematodes: biology and control. (United States)

    Epe, Christian


    A variety of nematodes occur in dogs and cats. Several nematode species inhabit the small and large intestines. Important species that live in the small intestine are roundworms of the genus Toxocara (T canis, T cati) and Toxascaris (ie, T leonina), and hookworms of the genus Ancylostoma (A caninum, A braziliense, A tubaeforme) or Uncinaria (U stenocephala). Parasites of the large intestine are nematodes of the genus Trichuris (ie, whipworms, T vulpis). After a comprehensive description of their life cycle and biology, which are indispensable for understanding and justifying their control, current recommendations for nematode control are presented and discussed thereafter.

  18. From biologically-inspired physics to physics-inspired biology From biologically-inspired physics to physics-inspired biology (United States)

    Kornyshev, Alexei A.


    The conference 'From DNA-Inspired Physics to Physics-Inspired Biology' (1-5 June 2009, International Center for Theoretical Physics, Trieste, Italy) that myself and two former presidents of the American Biophysical Society—Wilma Olson (Rutgers University) and Adrian Parsegian (NIH), with the support of an ICTP team (Ralf Gebauer (Local Organizer) and Doreen Sauleek (Conference Secretary)), have organized was intended to establish stronger links between the biology and physics communities on the DNA front. The relationships between them were never easy. In 1997, Adrian published a paper in Physics Today ('Harness the Hubris') summarizing his thoughts about the main obstacles for a successful collaboration. The bottom line of that article was that physicists must seriously learn biology before exploring it and even having an interpreter, a friend or co-worker, who will be cooperating with you and translating the problems of biology into a physical language, may not be enough. He started his story with a joke about a physicist asking a biologist: 'I want to study the brain. Tell me something about it!' Biologist: 'First, the brain consists of two parts, and..' Physicist: 'Stop. You have told me too much.' Adrian listed a few direct avenues where physicists' contributions may be particularly welcome. This gentle and elegantly written paper caused, however, a stormy reaction from Bob Austin (Princeton), published together with Adrian's notes, accusing Adrian of forbidding physicists to attack big questions in biology straightaway. Twelve years have passed and many new developments have taken place in the biologist-physicist interaction. This was something I addressed in my opening conference speech, with my position lying somewhere inbetween Parsegian's and Austin's, which is briefly outlined here. I will first recall certain precepts or 'dogmas' that fly in the air like Valkyries, poisoning those relationships. Since the early seventies when I was a first year Ph

  19. Analyzing the Biology on the System Level

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Wei Tong


    Although various genome projects have provided us enormous static sequence information, understanding of the sophisticated biology continues to require integrating the computational modeling, system analysis, technology development for experiments, and quantitative experiments all together to analyze the biology architecture on various levels, which is just the origin of systems biology subject. This review discusses the object, its characteristics, and research attentions in systems biology, and summarizes the analysis methods, experimental technologies, research developments, and so on in the four key fields of systems biology-systemic structures, dynamics, control methods, and design principles.

  20. Systems biology characterization of engineered tissues. (United States)

    Rajagopalan, Padmavathy; Kasif, Simon; Murali, T M


    Tissue engineering and molecular systems biology are inherently interdisciplinary fields that have been developed independently so far. In this review, we first provide a brief introduction to tissue engineering and to molecular systems biology. Next, we highlight some prominent applications of systems biology techniques in tissue engineering. Finally, we outline research directions that can successfully blend these two fields. Through these examples, we propose that experimental and computational advances in molecular systems biology can lead to predictive models of bioengineered tissues that enhance our understanding of bioengineered systems. In turn, the unique challenges posed by tissue engineering will usher in new experimental techniques and computational advances in systems biology.

  1. Biological motion distorts size perception (United States)

    Veto, Peter; Einhäuser, Wolfgang; Troje, Nikolaus F.


    Visual illusions explore the limits of sensory processing and provide an ideal testbed to study perception. Size illusions – stimuli whose size is consistently misperceived – do not only result from sensory cues, but can also be induced by cognitive factors, such as social status. Here we investigate, whether the ecological relevance of biological motion can also distort perceived size. We asked observers to judge the size of point-light walkers (PLWs), configurations of dots whose movements induce the perception of human movement, and visually matched control stimuli (inverted PLWs). We find that upright PLWs are consistently judged as larger than inverted PLWs, while static point-light figures do not elicit the same effect. We also show the phenomenon using an indirect paradigm: observers judged the relative size of a disc that followed an inverted PLW larger than a disc following an upright PLW. We interpret this as a contrast effect: The upright PLW is perceived larger and thus the subsequent disc is judged smaller. Together, these results demonstrate that ecologically relevant biological-motion stimuli are perceived larger than visually matched control stimuli. Our findings present a novel case of illusory size perception, where ecological importance leads to a distorted perception of size. PMID:28205639

  2. Rapid classification of biological components

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Thompson, Vicki S.; Barrett, Karen B.; Key, Diane E.


    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.

  3. Biological variation of cystatin C

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Reinhard, Mark; Erlandsen, Erland; Randers, Else


    Introduction: Cystatin C has been investigated as a marker of the glomerular filtration rate. However, previous studies have reported conflicting results concerning the biological variation of cystatin C. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the biological variation of cystatin C...... available for analysis. Serum cystatin C was measured using Dade Behring N Latex Cystatin C assay and serum creatinine by an enzymatic method (Roche). Results: The mean serum concentration of cystatin C was 0.70 mg/l (range 0.44-1.09) and the mean serum creatinine was 77 µmol/l (range 54......-100). The analytical variance (CVA) was 2.0% for cystatin C and 1.6% for creatinine. The intra-individual variance (CVI) was greater for cystatin C than for creatinine (8.6% vs. 4.7%). The inter-individual variance (CVG) was similar for both analytes (cystatin C 15.1% vs. creatinine 14.4%). Accordingly, the index...

  4. Resveratrol and its biological actions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shah Praharsh


    Full Text Available Resveratrol is a phytoalexin that is found in a few edible food materials such as grape skins, pea-nuts and red wine. Numerous reports exists in the literature suggesting that dietary resveratrol may act as an antioxidant, promotes nitric oxide production, inhibits platelet aggregation and increases high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and subsequently may serve as a cardio-protective agent. Recent reports demonstrated that resveratrol can function as a cancer chemopreventive agent, exhibiting anti-inflammatory, neuroprotective, anti-ageing and antiviral properties. However, most of these effects are yet to be confirmed in humans. In the only clinical trial, high doses of special proprietary formulation has demonstrated blood sugar-lowering effects of resveratrol in type 2 diabetes mellitus. As with many polyphenols, resveratrol is reasonably well absorbed but has low bioavailability. It is metabolized by hydroxylation, glucuronidation, sulfation and hydrogenation. We reviewed the published literature and reports to consolidate information available on the biological activity of resveratrol using electronic databases as well as handpicked articles to summarize the biological effects of resveratrol and its clinical benefits against human diseases.

  5. Queering high school biology textbooks (United States)

    Snyder, Vicky L.; Broadway, Francis S.


    As teachers committed to educating all students, we need to learn more about how instructional materials shape representations of sexuality and gender. Through its insistent deconstruction of the norms that structure practice and belief, queer theory offers perspectives from which science educators can question assumptions embedded in textbooks. This article applies queer theory to analyze eight biology textbooks used in the United States. Specifically, we ask how biology textbooks address sexuality outside the heterosexual norm and if they propagate heteronormative attitudes. The textbooks examined offer deafening silences, antiseptic factoids, socially sanitized concepts, and politically correct binary-gendered illustrations. In these textbooks, the term homosexuality was used only in the context of AIDS where, along with iv drug users, they were identified as an affected group. The pervasive acceptance of heteronormative behavior privileges students that fit the heterosexual norm, and oppresses through omission and silence those who do not. We offer implications for practice to help science educators broaden their perspectives on the constructs of sexuality and gender to construct new ways of knowing and understanding differences in science classrooms and the natural world.

  6. The biological invasion in Albania

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)



    Full Text Available Albania, whose territory comprises many types of habitats and is characterized by a rich biological diversity, is particularly vulnerable to the threats posed by alien invasive species. The spread of invasive alien species is creating complex and far-reaching challenges that threaten both the natural biological riches of the earth and the well-being of our people. While the problem is global, the nature and severity of the impacts on society, economic life, health, and natural heritage are distributed unevenly across nations and regions. Some aspects of the global invasive alien species (IAS problem require solutions tailored to the specific values, needs, and priorities of nations while others call for consolidated action by the larger world community. Preventing the international movement of invasive alien species and coordinating a timely and effective response to invasions requires cooperation and collaboration among governments, economic sectors, non-governmental organizations, and international treaty organizations. Many features have been attributed to invasive species and invaded ecosystems, but none are universal and invasive species tend to have a suite of traits rather than all of themThe large numbers of alien organisms introduced into Albania do not generally endanger the biodiversity on a large scale.

  7. Attentional Networks and Biological Motion

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chandramouli Chandrasekaran


    Full Text Available Our ability to see meaningful actions when presented with pointlight traces of human movement is commonly referred to as the perception of biological motion. While traditionalexplanations have emphasized the spontaneous and automatic nature of this ability, morerecent findings suggest that attention may play a larger role than is typically assumed. Intwo studies we show that the speed and accuracy of responding to point-light stimuli is highly correlated with the ability to control selective attention. In our first experiment we measured thresholds for determining the walking direction of a masked point-light figure, and performance on a range of attention-related tasks in the same set of observers. Mask-density thresholds for the direction discrimination task varied quite considerably from observer to observer and this variation was highly correlated with performance on both Stroop and flanker interference tasks. Other components of attention, such as orienting, alerting and visual search efficiency, showed no such relationship. In a second experiment, we examined the relationship between the ability to determine the orientation of unmasked point-light actions and Stroop interference, again finding a strong correlation. Our results are consistent with previous research suggesting that biological motion processing may requite attention, and specifically implicate networks of attention related to executive control and selection.

  8. Cell biology of fat storage. (United States)

    Cohen, Paul; Spiegelman, Bruce M


    The worldwide epidemic of obesity and type 2 diabetes has greatly increased interest in the biology and physiology of adipose tissues. Adipose (fat) cells are specialized for the storage of energy in the form of triglycerides, but research in the last few decades has shown that fat cells also play a critical role in sensing and responding to changes in systemic energy balance. White fat cells secrete important hormone-like molecules such as leptin, adiponectin, and adipsin to influence processes such as food intake, insulin sensitivity, and insulin secretion. Brown fat, on the other hand, dissipates chemical energy in the form of heat, thereby defending against hypothermia, obesity, and diabetes. It is now appreciated that there are two distinct types of thermogenic fat cells, termed brown and beige adipocytes. In addition to these distinct properties of fat cells, adipocytes exist within adipose tissue, where they are in dynamic communication with immune cells and closely influenced by innervation and blood supply. This review is intended to serve as an introduction to adipose cell biology and to familiarize the reader with how these cell types play a role in metabolic disease and, perhaps, as targets for therapeutic development.

  9. [Network structures in biological systems]. (United States)

    Oleskin, A V


    Network structures (networks) that have been extensively studied in the humanities are characterized by cohesion, a lack of a central control unit, and predominantly fractal properties. They are contrasted with structures that contain a single centre (hierarchies) as well as with those whose elements predominantly compete with one another (market-type structures). As far as biological systems are concerned, their network structures can be subdivided into a number of types involving different organizational mechanisms. Network organization is characteristic of various structural levels of biological systems ranging from single cells to integrated societies. These networks can be classified into two main subgroups: (i) flat (leaderless) network structures typical of systems that are composed of uniform elements and represent modular organisms or at least possess manifest integral properties and (ii) three-dimensional, partly hierarchical structures characterized by significant individual and/or intergroup (intercaste) differences between their elements. All network structures include an element that performs structural, protective, and communication-promoting functions. By analogy to cell structures, this element is denoted as the matrix of a network structure. The matrix includes a material and an immaterial component. The material component comprises various structures that belong to the whole structure and not to any of its elements per se. The immaterial (ideal) component of the matrix includes social norms and rules regulating network elements' behavior. These behavioral rules can be described in terms of algorithms. Algorithmization enables modeling the behavior of various network structures, particularly of neuron networks and their artificial analogs.

  10. Astrobiology and the Biological Universe (United States)

    Dick, S. J.


    Four hundred years ago two astronomical world views hung in the balance: the geocentric and the heliocentric. Today astronomy faces a similar choice between two grand world views: a purely physical universe, in which cosmic evolution commonly ends in planets, stars and galaxies, and a biological universe, in which cosmic evolution routinely results in life, mind and intelligence. Astrobiology is the science providing the data to make this critical choice. This 20th century overview shows how we have arrived at the view that cosmic evolution may have resulted in life and intelligence in the universe. It examines how our astronomical world view has changed over the last century, recalls the opinions of astronomical pioneers like Russell, Shapley, and Struve on life in the universe, and shows how planetary science, planetary systems science, origins of life studies and SETI have combined to form a new discipline. Astrobiology now commands \\$50 million in direct funding from NASA, funds 15 Astrobiology Institute members around the country and four affiliates around the world, and seeks to answer one of astronomy's oldest questions. Whether we live in a mostly physical universe, as exemplified in Isaac Asimov's Foundation series, or in a biological universe, as portrayed in Arthur C. Clarke's works, this reality will have profound consequences, no less than the Copernican theory. Astrobiology also looks to the future of life; taking a long-term ``Stapledonian" view, it is possible we may live in a postbiological universe.

  11. Control theory meets synthetic biology. (United States)

    Del Vecchio, Domitilla; Dy, Aaron J; Qian, Yili


    The past several years have witnessed an increased presence of control theoretic concepts in synthetic biology. This review presents an organized summary of how these control design concepts have been applied to tackle a variety of problems faced when building synthetic biomolecular circuits in living cells. In particular, we describe success stories that demonstrate how simple or more elaborate control design methods can be used to make the behaviour of synthetic genetic circuits within a single cell or across a cell population more reliable, predictable and robust to perturbations. The description especially highlights technical challenges that uniquely arise from the need to implement control designs within a new hardware setting, along with implemented or proposed solutions. Some engineering solutions employing complex feedback control schemes are also described, which, however, still require a deeper theoretical analysis of stability, performance and robustness properties. Overall, this paper should help synthetic biologists become familiar with feedback control concepts as they can be used in their application area. At the same time, it should provide some domain knowledge to control theorists who wish to enter the rising and exciting field of synthetic biology.

  12. Systems biology of fungal infection

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fabian eHorn


    Full Text Available Elucidation of pathogenicity mechanisms of the most important human pathogenic fungi, Aspergillus fumigatus and Candida albicans, has gained great interest in the light of the steadily increasing number of cases of invasive fungal infections.A key feature of these infections is the interaction of the different fungal morphotypes with epithelial and immune effector cells in the human host. Because of the high level of complexity, it is necessary to describe and understand invasive fungal infection by taking a systems biological approach, i.e., by a comprehensive quantitative analysis of the non-linear and selective interactions of a large number of functionally diverse, and frequently multifunctional, sets of elements, e.g., genes, proteins, metabolites, which produce coherent and emergent behaviours in time and space. The recent advances in systems biology will now make it possible to uncover the structure and dynamics of molecular and cellular cause-effect relationships within these pathogenic interactions.We review current efforts to integrate omics and image-based data of host-pathogen interactions into network and spatio-temporal models. The modelling will help to elucidate pathogenicity mechanisms and to identify diagnostic biomarkers and potential drug targets for therapy and could thus pave the way for novel intervention strategies based on novel antifungal drugs and cell therapy.

  13. Focused ion beams in biology. (United States)

    Narayan, Kedar; Subramaniam, Sriram


    A quiet revolution is under way in technologies used for nanoscale cellular imaging. Focused ion beams, previously restricted to the materials sciences and semiconductor fields, are rapidly becoming powerful tools for ultrastructural imaging of biological samples. Cell and tissue architecture, as preserved in plastic-embedded resin or in plunge-frozen form, can be investigated in three dimensions by scanning electron microscopy imaging of freshly created surfaces that result from the progressive removal of material using a focused ion beam. The focused ion beam can also be used as a sculpting tool to create specific specimen shapes such as lamellae or needles that can be analyzed further by transmission electron microscopy or by methods that probe chemical composition. Here we provide an in-depth primer to the application of focused ion beams in biology, including a guide to the practical aspects of using the technology, as well as selected examples of its contribution to the generation of new insights into subcellular architecture and mechanisms underlying host-pathogen interactions.

  14. Time lags in biological models

    CERN Document Server

    MacDonald, Norman


    In many biological models it is necessary to allow the rates of change of the variables to depend on the past history, rather than only the current values, of the variables. The models may require discrete lags, with the use of delay-differential equations, or distributed lags, with the use of integro-differential equations. In these lecture notes I discuss the reasons for including lags, especially distributed lags, in biological models. These reasons may be inherent in the system studied, or may be the result of simplifying assumptions made in the model used. I examine some of the techniques available for studying the solution of the equations. A large proportion of the material presented relates to a special method that can be applied to a particular class of distributed lags. This method uses an extended set of ordinary differential equations. I examine the local stability of equilibrium points, and the existence and frequency of periodic solutions. I discuss the qualitative effects of lags, and how these...

  15. 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)


    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.

  16. 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)


    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.

  17. Rapid classification of biological components

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Thompson, Vicki S.; Barrett, Karen B.; Key, Diane E.


    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.

  18. The biological function of consciousness (United States)

    Earl, Brian


    This research is an investigation of whether consciousness—one's ongoing experience—influences one's behavior and, if so, how. Analysis of the components, structure, properties, and temporal sequences of consciousness has established that, (1) contrary to one's intuitive understanding, consciousness does not have an active, executive role in determining behavior; (2) consciousness does have a biological function; and (3) consciousness is solely information in various forms. Consciousness is associated with a flexible response mechanism (FRM) for decision-making, planning, and generally responding in nonautomatic ways. The FRM generates responses by manipulating information and, to function effectively, its data input must be restricted to task-relevant information. The properties of consciousness correspond to the various input requirements of the FRM; and when important information is missing from consciousness, functions of the FRM are adversely affected; both of which indicate that consciousness is the input data to the FRM. Qualitative and quantitative information (shape, size, location, etc.) are incorporated into the input data by a qualia array of colors, sounds, and so on, which makes the input conscious. This view of the biological function of consciousness provides an explanation why we have experiences; why we have emotional and other feelings, and why their loss is associated with poor decision-making; why blindsight patients do not spontaneously initiate responses to events in their blind field; why counter-habitual actions are only possible when the intended action is in mind; and the reason for inattentional blindness. PMID:25140159

  19. Rapid classification of biological components (United States)

    Thompson, Vicki S.; Barrett, Karen B.; Key, Diane E.


    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.

  20. Hybrid Lipid as Biological Surfactants (United States)

    Brewster, Robert; Pincus, Phil; Safran, Sam


    Systems capable of forming finite-sized, equilibrium domains are of biological interest in the context of membrane rafts where it has been observed that certain cellular functions are mediated by small (nanometric to tens of nanometers) domains with specific lipid composition that differs from the average composition of the membrane. These small domains are composed mainly of lipids with completely saturated hydrocarbon tails that show good orientational order in the membrane. The surrounding phase consists mostly of lipids with at least one unsaturated bond in the hydrocarbon tails which forces a ``kink'' in the chain and inhibits ordering. In vitro, this phase separation can be replicated; however, the finite domains coarsen into macroscopic domains with time. We have extended a model for the interactions of lipids in the membrane, akin to that developed in the group of Schick (Elliott et al., PRL 2006 and Garbes Putzel and Schick, Biophys. J. 2008), which depends entirely on the local ordering of hydrocarbon tails. We generalize this model to an additional species and identify a biologically relevant component, a lipid with one fully saturated hydrocarbon chain and one chain with at least one unsaturated bond, that may serve as a line-active component, capable of reducing the line tension between domains to zero, thus stabilizing finite sized domains in equilibrium.

  1. Towards developing algal synthetic biology. (United States)

    Scaife, Mark Aden; Smith, Alison Gail


    The genetic, physiological and metabolic diversity of microalgae has driven fundamental research into photosynthesis, flagella structure and function, and eukaryotic evolution. Within the last 10 years these organisms have also been investigated as potential biotechnology platforms, for example to produce high value compounds such as long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids, pigments and antioxidants, and for biodiesel precursors, in particular triacylglycerols (TAGs). Transformation protocols, molecular tools and genome sequences are available for a number of model species including the green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii and the diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum, although for both species there are bottlenecks to be overcome to allow rapid and predictable genetic manipulation. One approach to do this would be to apply the principles of synthetic biology to microalgae, namely the cycle of Design-Build-Test, which requires more robust, predictable and high throughput methods. In this mini-review we highlight recent progress in the areas of improving transgene expression, genome editing, identification and design of standard genetic elements (parts), and the use of microfluidics to increase throughput. We suggest that combining these approaches will provide the means to establish algal synthetic biology, and that application of standard parts and workflows will avoid parallel development and capitalize on lessons learned from other systems.

  2. Quantum Effects in Biological Systems (United States)

    Roy, Sisir


    The debates about the trivial and non-trivial effects in biological systems have drawn much attention during the last decade or so. What might these non-trivial sorts of quantum effects be? There is no consensus so far among the physicists and biologists regarding the meaning of "non-trivial quantum effects". However, there is no doubt about the implications of the challenging research into quantum effects relevant to biology such as coherent excitations of biomolecules and photosynthesis, quantum tunneling of protons, van der Waals forces, ultrafast dynamics through conical intersections, and phonon-assisted electron tunneling as the basis for our sense of smell, environment assisted transport of ions and entanglement in ion channels, role of quantum vacuum in consciousness. Several authors have discussed the non-trivial quantum effects and classified them into four broad categories: (a) Quantum life principle; (b) Quantum computing in the brain; (c) Quantum computing in genetics; and (d) Quantum consciousness. First, I will review the above developments. I will then discuss in detail the ion transport in the ion channel and the relevance of quantum theory in brain function. The ion transport in the ion channel plays a key role in information processing by the brain.

  3. An Automated Biological Dosimetry System (United States)

    Lorch, T.; Bille, J.; Frieben, M.; Stephan, G.


    The scoring of structural chromosome aberrations in peripheral human blood lymphocytes can be used in biological dosimetry to estimate the radiation dose which an individual has received. Especially the dicentric chromosome is a rather specific indicator for an exposure to ionizing radiation. For statistical reasons, in the low dose range a great number of cells must be analysed, which is a very tedious task. The resulting high cost of a biological dose estimation limits the application of this method to cases of suspected irradiation for which physical dosimetry is not possible or not sufficient. Therefore an automated system has been designed to do the major part of the routine work. It uses a standard light microscope with motorized scanning stage, a Plumbicon TV-camera, a real-time hardware preprocessor, a binary and a grey level image buffer system. All computations are performed by a very powerful multi-microprocessor-system (POLYP) based on a MIMD-architecture. The task of the automated system can be split in finding the metaphases (see Figure 1) at low microscope magnification and scoring dicentrics at high magnification. The metaphase finding part has been completed and is now in routine use giving good results. The dicentric scoring part is still under development.

  4. Developmental biology and tissue engineering. (United States)

    Marga, Francoise; Neagu, Adrian; Kosztin, Ioan; Forgacs, Gabor


    Morphogenesis implies the controlled spatial organization of cells that gives rise to tissues and organs in early embryonic development. While morphogenesis is under strict genetic control, the formation of specialized biological structures of specific shape hinges on physical processes. Tissue engineering (TE) aims at reproducing morphogenesis in the laboratory, i.e., in vitro, to fabricate replacement organs for regenerative medicine. The classical approach to generate tissues/organs is by seeding and expanding cells in appropriately shaped biocompatible scaffolds, in the hope that the maturation process will result in the desired structure. To accomplish this goal more naturally and efficiently, we set up and implemented a novel TE method that is based on principles of developmental biology and employs bioprinting, the automated delivery of cellular composites into a three-dimensional (3D) biocompatible environment. The novel technology relies on the concept of tissue liquidity according to which multicellular aggregates composed of adhesive and motile cells behave in analogy with liquids: in particular, they fuse. We emphasize the major role played by tissue fusion in the embryo and explain how the parameters (surface tension, viscosity) that govern tissue fusion can be used both experimentally and theoretically to control and simulate the self-assembly of cellular spheroids into 3D living structures. The experimentally observed postprinting shape evolution of tube- and sheet-like constructs is presented. Computer simulations, based on a liquid model, support the idea that tissue liquidity may provide a mechanism for in vitro organ building.

  5. Biology relevant to space radiation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fry, R.J.M. [Oak Ridge National Lab., TN (United States)


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

  6. Has Modern Biology Entered the Mouth? The Clinical Impact of Biological Research. (United States)

    Baum, Bruce J.


    Three areas of biological research that are beginning to have an impact on clinical medicine are examined, including molecular biology, cell biology, and biotechnology. It is concluded that oral biologists and educators must work cooperatively to bring rapid biological and biomedical advances into dental training in a meaningful way. (MSE)

  7. Network dynamics and systems biology (United States)

    Norrell, Johannes A.

    The physics of complex systems has grown considerably as a field in recent decades, largely due to improved computational technology and increased availability of systems level data. One area in which physics is of growing relevance is molecular biology. A new field, systems biology, investigates features of biological systems as a whole, a strategy of particular importance for understanding emergent properties that result from a complex network of interactions. Due to the complicated nature of the systems under study, the physics of complex systems has a significant role to play in elucidating the collective behavior. In this dissertation, we explore three problems in the physics of complex systems, motivated in part by systems biology. The first of these concerns the applicability of Boolean models as an approximation of continuous systems. Studies of gene regulatory networks have employed both continuous and Boolean models to analyze the system dynamics, and the two have been found produce similar results in the cases analyzed. We ask whether or not Boolean models can generically reproduce the qualitative attractor dynamics of networks of continuously valued elements. Using a combination of analytical techniques and numerical simulations, we find that continuous networks exhibit two effects---an asymmetry between on and off states, and a decaying memory of events in each element's inputs---that are absent from synchronously updated Boolean models. We show that in simple loops these effects produce exactly the attractors that one would predict with an analysis of the stability of Boolean attractors, but in slightly more complicated topologies, they can destabilize solutions that are stable in the Boolean approximation, and can stabilize new attractors. Second, we investigate ensembles of large, random networks. Of particular interest is the transition between ordered and disordered dynamics, which is well characterized in Boolean systems. Networks at the

  8. Synergistic Synthetic Biology: Units in Concert. (United States)

    Trosset, Jean-Yves; Carbonell, Pablo


    Synthetic biology aims at translating the methods and strategies from engineering into biology in order to streamline the design and construction of biological devices through standardized parts. Modular synthetic biology devices are designed by means of an adequate elimination of cross-talk that makes circuits orthogonal and specific. To that end, synthetic constructs need to be adequately optimized through in silico modeling by choosing the right complement of genetic parts and by experimental tuning through directed evolution and craftsmanship. In this review, we consider an additional and complementary tool available to the synthetic biologist for innovative design and successful construction of desired circuit functionalities: biological synergies. Synergy is a prevalent emergent property in biological systems that arises from the concerted action of multiple factors producing an amplification or cancelation effect compared with individual actions alone. Synergies appear in domains as diverse as those involved in chemical and protein activity, polypharmacology, and metabolic pathway complementarity. In conventional synthetic biology designs, synergistic cross-talk between parts and modules is generally attenuated in order to verify their orthogonality. Synergistic interactions, however, can induce emergent behavior that might prove useful for synthetic biology applications, like in functional circuit design, multi-drug treatment, or in sensing and delivery devices. Synergistic design principles are therefore complementary to those coming from orthogonal design and may provide added value to synthetic biology applications. The appropriate modeling, characterization, and design of synergies between biological parts and units will allow the discovery of yet unforeseeable, novel synthetic biology applications.

  9. Ecological perspectives on synthetic biology: insights from microbial population biology (United States)

    Escalante, Ana E.; Rebolleda-Gómez, María; Benítez, Mariana; Travisano, Michael


    The metabolic capabilities of microbes are the basis for many major biotechnological advances, exploiting microbial diversity by selection or engineering of single strains. However, there are limits to the advances that can be achieved with single strains, and attention has turned toward the metabolic potential of consortia and the field of synthetic ecology. The main challenge for the synthetic ecology is that consortia are frequently unstable, largely because evolution by constituent members affects their interactions, which are the basis of collective metabolic functionality. Current practices in modeling consortia largely consider interactions as fixed circuits of chemical reactions, which greatly increases their tractability. This simplification comes at the cost of essential biological realism, stripping out the ecological context in which the metabolic actions occur and the potential for evolutionary change. In other words, evolutionary stability is not engineered into the system. This realization highlights the necessity to better identify the key components that influence the stable coexistence of microorganisms. Inclusion of ecological and evolutionary principles, in addition to biophysical variables and stoichiometric modeling of metabolism, is critical for microbial consortia design. This review aims to bring ecological and evolutionary concepts to the discussion on the stability of microbial consortia. In particular, we focus on the combined effect of spatial structure (connectivity of molecules and cells within the system) and ecological interactions (reciprocal and non-reciprocal) on the persistence of microbial consortia. We discuss exemplary cases to illustrate these ideas from published studies in evolutionary biology and biotechnology. We conclude by making clear the relevance of incorporating evolutionary and ecological principles to the design of microbial consortia, as a way of achieving evolutionarily stable and sustainable systems. PMID

  10. Synthetic biology - the state of play. (United States)

    Kitney, Richard; Freemont, Paul


    Just over two years ago there was an article in Nature entitled "Five Hard Truths for Synthetic Biology". Since then, the field has moved on considerably. A number of economic commentators have shown that synthetic biology very significant industrial potential. This paper addresses key issues in relation to the state of play regarding synthetic biology. It first considers the current background to synthetic biology, whether it is a legitimate field and how it relates to foundational biological sciences. The fact that synthetic biology is a translational field is discussed and placed in the context of the industrial translation process. An important aspect of synthetic biology is platform technology, this topic is also discussed in some detail. Finally, examples of application areas are described.

  11. Mapping biological systems to network systems

    CERN Document Server

    Rathore, Heena


    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 ...

  12. A Converter from the Systems Biology Markup Language to the Synthetic Biology Open Language. (United States)

    Nguyen, Tramy; Roehner, Nicholas; Zundel, Zach; Myers, Chris J


    Standards are important to synthetic biology because they enable exchange and reproducibility of genetic designs. This paper describes a procedure for converting between two standards: the Systems Biology Markup Language (SBML) and the Synthetic Biology Open Language (SBOL). SBML is a standard for behavioral models of biological systems at the molecular level. SBOL describes structural and basic qualitative behavioral aspects of a biological design. Converting SBML to SBOL enables a consistent connection between behavioral and structural information for a biological design. The conversion process described in this paper leverages Systems Biology Ontology (SBO) annotations to enable inference of a designs qualitative function.

  13. Integrating Quantitative Thinking into an Introductory Biology Course Improves Students’ Mathematical Reasoning in Biological Contexts


    Hester, Susan; Buxner, Sanlyn; Elfring, Lisa; Nagy, Lisa


    Recent calls for improving undergraduate biology education have emphasized the importance of students learning to apply quantitative skills to biological problems. Motivated by students’ apparent inability to transfer their existing quantitative skills to biological contexts, we designed and taught an introductory molecular and cell biology course in which we integrated application of prerequisite mathematical skills with biology content and reasoning throughout all aspects of the course. In ...

  14. Development of the biology card sorting task to measure conceptual expertise in biology. (United States)

    Smith, Julia I; Combs, Elijah D; Nagami, Paul H; Alto, Valerie M; Goh, Henry G; Gourdet, Muryam A A; Hough, Christina M; Nickell, Ashley E; Peer, Adrian G; Coley, John D; Tanner, Kimberly D


    There are widespread aspirations to focus undergraduate biology education on teaching students to think conceptually like biologists; however, there is a dearth of assessment tools designed to measure progress from novice to expert biological conceptual thinking. We present the development of a novel assessment tool, the Biology Card Sorting Task, designed to probe how individuals organize their conceptual knowledge of biology. While modeled on tasks from cognitive psychology, this task is unique in its design to test two hypothesized conceptual frameworks for the organization of biological knowledge: 1) a surface feature organization focused on organism type and 2) a deep feature organization focused on fundamental biological concepts. In this initial investigation of the Biology Card Sorting Task, each of six analytical measures showed statistically significant differences when used to compare the card sorting results of putative biological experts (biology faculty) and novices (non-biology major undergraduates). Consistently, biology faculty appeared to sort based on hypothesized deep features, while non-biology majors appeared to sort based on either surface features or nonhypothesized organizational frameworks. Results suggest that this novel task is robust in distinguishing populations of biology experts and biology novices and may be an adaptable tool for tracking emerging biology conceptual expertise.

  15. Beam-time for biology

    CERN Multimedia

    Jordan Juras


    There's no question that playing with mercury or handling radioactive cadmium with your bare hands is a risky business. But understanding how these and other toxic metals interact with biomolecules within the body is a challenging feat; one for which the ISOLDE IS488 collaboration hopes to provide valuable insight.   General view of the ISOLDE experimental area. Unlike most of the facilities at CERN's accelerator complex, ISOLDE is not targeted mainly at particle physics. Rather, it produces radioactive nuclei during proton bombardment to study, among other things, physical and biological chemistry. At ISOLDE, the 1.4 GeV proton beam of the PS Booster (an early stage in CERN's accelerator complex) produces nuclear reactions in a thick target, creating a large variety of radioactive nuclei, which are mass-separated for use in experiments. In the case of the IS488 collaboration, the ion beam is directed into ice. "We implant radioactive metal ions into ice", explains Monika Stac...

  16. Cell biology of neuronal endocytosis. (United States)

    Parton, R G; Dotti, C G


    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.

  17. Method for detecting biological toxins

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ligler, F.S.; Campbell, J.R.


    Biological toxins are indirectly detected by using polymerase chain reaction to amplify unique nucleic acid sequences coding for the toxins or enzymes unique to toxin synthesis. Buffer, primers coding for the unique nucleic acid sequences and an amplifying enzyme are added to a sample suspected of containing the toxin. The mixture is then cycled thermally to exponentially amplify any of these unique nucleic acid sequences present in the sample. The amplified sequences can be detected by various means, including fluorescence. Detection of the amplified sequences is indicative of the presence of toxin in the original sample. By using more than one set of labeled primers, the method can be used to simultaneously detect several toxins in a sample.

  18. Biological Chemistry of Hydrogen Selenide. (United States)

    Cupp-Sutton, Kellye A; Ashby, Michael T


    There are no two main-group elements that exhibit more similar physical and chemical properties than sulfur and selenium. Nonetheless, Nature has deemed both essential for life and has found a way to exploit the subtle unique properties of selenium to include it in biochemistry despite its congener sulfur being 10,000 times more abundant. Selenium is more easily oxidized and it is kinetically more labile, so all selenium compounds could be considered to be "Reactive Selenium Compounds" relative to their sulfur analogues. What is furthermore remarkable is that one of the most reactive forms of selenium, hydrogen selenide (HSe(-) at physiologic pH), is proposed to be the starting point for the biosynthesis of selenium-containing molecules. This review contrasts the chemical properties of sulfur and selenium and critically assesses the role of hydrogen selenide in biological chemistry.

  19. Biological Chemistry of Hydrogen Selenide

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kellye A. Cupp-Sutton


    Full Text Available There are no two main-group elements that exhibit more similar physical and chemical properties than sulfur and selenium. Nonetheless, Nature has deemed both essential for life and has found a way to exploit the subtle unique properties of selenium to include it in biochemistry despite its congener sulfur being 10,000 times more abundant. Selenium is more easily oxidized and it is kinetically more labile, so all selenium compounds could be considered to be “Reactive Selenium Compounds” relative to their sulfur analogues. What is furthermore remarkable is that one of the most reactive forms of selenium, hydrogen selenide (HSe− at physiologic pH, is proposed to be the starting point for the biosynthesis of selenium-containing molecules. This review contrasts the chemical properties of sulfur and selenium and critically assesses the role of hydrogen selenide in biological chemistry.

  20. Molecular characteristics versus biological activity (United States)

    Applegate, Vernon C.; Smith, Manning A.; Willeford, Bennett R.


    The molecular characteristics of mononitrophenols containing halogens not only play a key role in their biological activity but provide a novel example of selective toxicity among vertebrate animals. It has been reported that efforts to control the parasitic sea lamprey in the Great Lakes are directed at present to the applications of a selective toxicant to streams inhabited by lamprey larvae. Since 1961, the larvicide that has been used almost exclusively in the control program has been 3-trifluoromethyl-4-nitrophenol (TFM). However, this is only one of about 15 closely related compounds, all halogen-containing mononitrophenols, that display a selectively toxic action upon lampreys. Although not all of the halogenated mononitrophenols are selectively toxic to lampreys (in fact, fewer than half of those tested), no other group of related compounds has displayed any useful larvicidal activity except for the substituted nitrosalicylanilides.

  1. Biological upgrading of coal liquids

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)


    Culture screening and performance studies were performed with a variety of cultures in removing nitrogen compounds from coal liquid. Two cultures were shown to be effective in removing 17 and 26 percent of the nitrogen in coal liquid as determined by elemental analysis. Experiments will continue in an effort to find additional cultures and isolates able to degrade nitrogen, as well as oxygen and sulfur as heteroatom compounds, from coal liquids. A biological process for upgrading of coal liquids would offer significant advantages, such as operation at ordinary temperature and pressure with better energy efficiency. Of greater importance is the fact that microorganisms do not require an external supply of hydrogen for heteroatom removal, obtaining required hydrogen from water. Furthermore, the biocatalysts are continuously regenerated by growth on the heteroatom compounds. Ring structures are degraded as the heteroatoms are removed. The heteroatoms are in an inocuous form, such as NH[sub 3], SO[sub 4][sup 2[minus

  2. The Imperatives of Cosmic Biology

    CERN Document Server

    Gibson, Carl H


    The transformation of organic molecules into the simplest self-replicating living system,a microorganism, is accomplished from a unique event or rare events that occurred early in the Universe. The subsequent dispersal on cosmic scales and evolution of life is guaranteed, being determined by well-understood processes of physics and biology. Entire galaxies and clusters of galaxies can be considered as connected biospheres, with lateral gene transfers, as initially theorized by Joseph (2000), providing for genetic mixing and Darwinian evolution on a cosmic scale. Big bang cosmology modified by modern fluid mechanics suggests the beginning and wide intergalactic dispersal of life occurred immediately after the end of the plasma epoch when the gas of protogalaxies in clusters fragmented into clumps of planets. Stars are born from binary mergers of such planets within such clumps. When stars devour their surrounding planets to excess they explode, distributing necessary fertilizing chemicals created only in stars...

  3. Biological Markers and Salivary Cortisol

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hansen, Åse Marie; Gunnarsson, Lars-Gunnar; Harris, Anette


    This chapter focuses on salivary cortisol in relation to biological markers. Specifically, associations with conventional cardiovascular risk factors and metabolic abnormalities (body mass index, waist circumference, waist/hip ratio, lipid status, glucose, blood pressure, heart rate and heart rate...... variations and pharmacological interventions were also excluded. After meeting all exclusion criteria, 42 papers remained. In total, 273 associations between salivary cortisol and any of the markers mentioned were studied, comprising 241 associations on metabolic abnormalities, 30 on inflammation, and 2...... on stress hormones. Of the salivary cortisol measures reported for evaluations of all markers tested were 136 (49%) single time points, 100 (37%) deviations, 36 (13%) AUC, and 1 (1%) dexamethasone test. Of these, 72 (26%) were statistically significant, and 201 (74%) indicated non-significant findings...

  4. The future of zoo biology. (United States)

    Wharton, Dan


    The science of zoo biology and the journal of the same name are appropriately perceived as central to the issues that zoological gardens must address in managing large collections of hundreds of different species of animals. However, zoos are also cultural institutions that are seeking relevance in wildlife conservation by reaching out to their enormous audiences collectively numbered in the hundreds of millions worldwide. This article suggests that if zoos are to be effective in realizing significant conservation outcomes, they will need to engage the much broader range of sciences in developing institutionally compatible conservation agendas that do not rest on untested assumptions. Some of the research questions that zoos might ask themselves are provided as examples. Zoo Biol 27:498-504, 2008. (c) 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  5. Biological adhesion of Parthenocissus tricuspidata

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    He Tianxian


    Full Text Available Parthenocissus tricuspidata is a climbing plant of the grape family. It can climb with its adhesive discs on different substrates such as stone mountains, roadside stone banks, exterior walls of buildings, thereby withstanding strong winds and storms without detachment. The details about the adhesion process of Parthenocissus tricuspidata are not yet entirely understood. We studied the component-structure-property relationship of the adhesive discs in detail and propose a twostage model to describe the biological adhesion: (i structural contact and (ii adhesive action. These two stages and their variations play an important role for the attaching of the adhesive disc to different structural surfaces. We believe that in Parthenocissus tricuspidata different mechanisms work together to allow the adhesive disc to climb on various vertical substrates and reveal strong adhesive properties.

  6. Development of radiation biological dosimetry

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cho, Chul Koo; Kim, Tae Hwan; Lee, Yun Sil; Son, Young Sook; Kim, Soo Kwan; Jang, Won Suk; Le, Sun Joo; Jee, Young Heun; Jung, Woo Jung


    Up until now, only a few methods have been developed for radiation biological dosimetry such as conventional chromosome aberration and micronucleus in peripheral blood cell. However, because these methods not only can be estimated by the expert, but also have a little limitation due to need high technique and many times in the case of radiation accident, it is very difficult to evaluate the absorbed dose of victims. Therefore, we should develop effective, easy, simple and rapid biodosimetry and its guideline (triage) to be able to be treated the victims as fast as possible. We established the premature chromosome condensation assay and apoptotic fragment assay which was the significant relationship between dose and cell damages to evaluate the irradiation dose as correct and rapid as possible using lymphocytes and crypt cells, and compared with conventional chromosome aberration assay and micronuclei assay.

  7. Matrix metalloproteinases in lung biology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Parks William C


    Full Text Available Abstract Despite much information on their catalytic properties and gene regulation, we actually know very little of what matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs do in tissues. The catalytic activity of these enzymes has been implicated to function in normal lung biology by participating in branching morphogenesis, homeostasis, and repair, among other events. Overexpression of MMPs, however, has also been blamed for much of the tissue destruction associated with lung inflammation and disease. Beyond their role in the turnover and degradation of extracellular matrix proteins, MMPs also process, activate, and deactivate a variety of soluble factors, and seldom is it readily apparent by presence alone if a specific proteinase in an inflammatory setting is contributing to a reparative or disease process. An important goal of MMP research will be to identify the actual substrates upon which specific enzymes act. This information, in turn, will lead to a clearer understanding of how these extracellular proteinases function in lung development, repair, and disease.

  8. Autoregressive description of biological phenomena

    CERN Document Server

    Morariu, Vasile V; Pop, Alexadru; Soltuz, Stefan M; Buimaga-Iarinca, Luiza; Zainea, Oana


    Many natural phenomena can be described by power-laws. A closer look at various experimental data reveals more or less significant deviations from a 1/f spectrum. We exemplify such cases with phenomena offered by molecular biology, cell biophysics, and cognitive psychology. Some of these cases can be described by first order autoregressive (AR) models or by higher order AR models which are short range correlation models. The calculations are checked against astrophysical data which were fitted to a an AR model by a different method. We found that our fitting method of the data give similar results for the astrhophysical data and therefore applied the method for examples mentioned above. Our results show that such phenomena can be described by first or higher order of AR models. Therefore such examples are described by short range correlation properties while they can be easily confounded with long range correlation phenomena.

  9. Biological hydrogen production from phytomass

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bartacek, J.; Zabranska, J. [Inst. of Chemical Technology, Prague (Czech Republic). Dept. of Water Technology and Environmental Engineering


    Renewable sources of energy have received wide attention lately. One candidate is hydrogen which has the added advantage of involving no greenhouse gases. Biological hydrogen production from wastewater or biowastes is a very attractive production technique. So far, most studies have concentrated on the use of photosynthetic bacteria. However, dark fermentation has recently become a popular topic of research as it has the advantage of not requiring light energy input, something that limits the performance of the photosynthetic method. While pure cultures have been used in most of the investigations to date, in industrial situations mixed cultures will probably be the norm because of unavoidable contamination. In this investigation the phytomass of amaranth (Amaranthus cruentus L) was used to produce hydrogen. Specific organic loading, organic loading, and pH were varied to study the effect on hydrogen production. 18 refs., 1 tab., 6 figs.

  10. Fluorescent Sensors for Biological Applications

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hui-wang Ai


    Full Text Available Fluorescence is one of the most important analytical methods used in biological studies. In the past decade or two, instrumentation in this field has greatly advanced, and now it is possible to detect single photons or fluorescent molecules [1,2], or break the Abbe diffraction limit to distinguish two points spaced less than 50 nm apart [3]. Concurrently, the development of improved fluorescent probes, which can be coupled with state-of-the-art instruments, has been equally important. This special issue on “fluorescent biosensors” in Sensors reports recent results from eight research groups in the field of sensor development. It includes three review articles, and six research articles reporting original results. [...

  11. Synthetic biology: a utilitarian perspective. (United States)

    Smith, Kevin


    I examine the positive and negative features of synthetic biology ('SynBio') from a utilitarian ethical perspective. The potential beneficial outcomes from SynBio in the context of medicine are substantial; however it is not presently possible to predict precise outcomes due to the nascent state of the field. Potential negative outcomes from SynBio also exist, including iatrogenesis and bioterrorism; however it is not yet possible to quantify these risks. I argue that the application of a 'precautionary' approach to SynBio is ethically fraught, as is the notion that SynBio-associated knowledge ought to be restricted. I conclude that utilitarians ought to support a broadly laissez-faire stance in respect of SynBio.

  12. Mechanical Instabilities of Biological Tubes

    CERN Document Server

    Hannezo, Edouard; Prost, Jacques; 10.1103/PhysRevLett.109.018101


    We study theoretically the shapes of biological tubes affected by various pathologies. When epithelial cells grow at an uncontrolled rate, the negative tension produced by their division provokes a buckling instability. Several shapes are investigated : varicose, enlarged, sinusoidal or sausage-like, all of which are found in pathologies of tracheal, renal tubes or arteries. The final shape depends crucially on the mechanical parameters of the tissues : Young modulus, wall-to-lumen ratio, homeostatic pressure. We argue that since tissues must be in quasistatic mechanical equilibrium, abnormal shapes convey information as to what causes the pathology. We calculate a phase diagram of tubular instabilities which could be a helpful guide for investigating the underlying genetic regulation.

  13. Cell biology of mitotic recombination

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lisby, Michael; Rothstein, Rodney


    Homologous recombination provides high-fidelity DNA repair throughout all domains of life. Live cell fluorescence microscopy offers the opportunity to image individual recombination events in real time providing insight into the in vivo biochemistry of the involved proteins and DNA molecules...... of this review include the stoichiometry and dynamics of recombination complexes in vivo, the choreography of assembly and disassembly of recombination proteins at sites of DNA damage, the mobilization of damaged DNA during homology search, and the functional compartmentalization of the nucleus with respect...... as well as the cellular organization of the process of homologous recombination. Herein we review the cell biological aspects of mitotic homologous recombination with a focus on Saccharomyces cerevisiae and mammalian cells, but will also draw on findings from other experimental systems. Key topics...

  14. Basic statistics in cell biology. (United States)

    Vaux, David L


    The physicist Ernest Rutherford said, "If your experiment needs statistics, you ought to have done a better experiment." Although this aphorism remains true for much of today's research in cell biology, a basic understanding of statistics can be useful to cell biologists to help in monitoring the conduct of their experiments, in interpreting the results, in presenting them in publications, and when critically evaluating research by others. However, training in statistics is often focused on the sophisticated needs of clinical researchers, psychologists, and epidemiologists, whose conclusions depend wholly on statistics, rather than the practical needs of cell biologists, whose experiments often provide evidence that is not statistical in nature. This review describes some of the basic statistical principles that may be of use to experimental biologists, but it does not cover the sophisticated statistics needed for papers that contain evidence of no other kind.

  15. 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


    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)

  16. The character of biological tissue's SHG spectrum (United States)

    Tian, Long; Guo, Zhouyi; Deng, Xiaoyuan; Zhai, Juan; Zhuang, Zhengfei


    In biological tissue, the relative strongly SHG (second-harmonic Generation) will be shown in the collagen and the cell membrane with dye molecules under the irradiation of laser. The SHG has a broad prospect in detecting and imaging of the biological tissue for its non-phototoxicity and non-photobleaching. In biological tissue, not only the SHG intensity and emission angle will have more obvious change, but also the spectrum of the SHG will be subject to certain changes when the temperature in the outside world and its structure got a obviously change. According to Kuzyk and Kruhlak's dipole-free sum-over-states theory which gives a introduction for the nonlinear susceptibilities, the relationship between hyperpolarizability of biological tissue, environment temperature and biological tissue's structure is shown in mathematics. In the conditions of control the temperature in experiments, the biological tissue's structure shift can be detected by analyze the SHG spectrum of biological. Also diverse biological tissues' differences in structure can be demonstrated in the spectrum. The change of SHG spectrum for the same biological tissue with environment temperature is discussed. Therefore, SHG spectroscopy analysis provides a new technology for the process of biological tissue lesions. Beside, this research gives a theory results provided by environment temperature which give an explanation for experiment result.

  17. Synthetic biology: programming cells for biomedical applications. (United States)

    Hörner, Maximilian; Reischmann, Nadine; Weber, Wilfried


    The emerging field of synthetic biology is a novel biological discipline at the interface between traditional biology, chemistry, and engineering sciences. Synthetic biology aims at the rational design of complex synthetic biological devices and systems with desired properties by combining compatible, modular biological parts in a systematic manner. While the first engineered systems were mainly proof-of-principle studies to demonstrate the power of the modular engineering approach of synthetic biology, subsequent systems focus on applications in the health, environmental, and energy sectors. This review describes recent approaches for biomedical applications that were developed along the synthetic biology design hierarchy, at the level of individual parts, of devices, and of complex multicellular systems. It describes how synthetic biological parts can be used for the synthesis of drug-delivery tools, how synthetic biological devices can facilitate the discovery of novel drugs, and how multicellular synthetic ecosystems can give insight into population dynamics of parasites and hosts. These examples demonstrate how this new discipline could contribute to novel solutions in the biopharmaceutical industry.

  18. Synthetic biology: a challenge to mechanical explanations in biology? (United States)

    Morange, Michel


    In their plans to modify organisms, synthetic biologists have contrasted engineering and tinkering. By drawing this contrast between their endeavors and what has happened during the evolution of organisms by natural selection, they underline the novelty of their projects and justify their ambitions. Synthetic biologists are at odds with a long tradition that has considered organisms as "perfect machines." This tradition had already been questioned by Stephen Jay Gould in the 1970s and received a major blow with the comparison made by François Jacob between organisms and the results of "bricolage" (tinkering). These contrasts between engineering and tinkering, synthetic biology and evolution, have no raison d'être. Machines built by humans are increasingly inspired by observations made on organisms. This is not a simple reversal of the previous trend-the mechanical conception of organisms-in which the characteristics of the latter were explained by comparison with human-built machines. Relations between organisms and machines have always been complex and ambiguous.

  19. Spatial Aspects in Biological System Simulations

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Resat, Haluk; Costa, Michelle N.; Shankaran, Harish


    Mathematical models of the dynamical properties of biological systems aim to improve our understanding of the studied system with the ultimate goal of being able to predict system responses in the absence of experimentation. Despite the enormous advances that have been made in biological modeling and simulation, the inherently multiscale character of biological systems and the stochasticity of biological processes continue to present significant computational and conceptual challenges. Biological systems often consist of well-organized structural hierarchies, which inevitably lead to multiscale problems. This chapter introduces and discusses the advantages and shortcomings of several simulation methods that are being used by the scientific community to investigate the spatio-temporal properties of model biological systems. We first describe the foundations of the methods and then describe their relevance and possible application areas with illustrative examples from our own research. Possible ways to address the encountered computational difficulties are also discussed.

  20. Mathematical methods in biology and neurobiology

    CERN Document Server

    Jost, Jürgen


    Mathematical models can be used to meet many of the challenges and opportunities offered by modern biology. The description of biological phenomena requires a range of mathematical theories. This is the case particularly for the emerging field of systems biology. Mathematical Methods in Biology and Neurobiology introduces and develops these mathematical structures and methods in a systematic manner. It studies:   • discrete structures and graph theory • stochastic processes • dynamical systems and partial differential equations • optimization and the calculus of variations.   The biological applications range from molecular to evolutionary and ecological levels, for example:   • cellular reaction kinetics and gene regulation • biological pattern formation and chemotaxis • the biophysics and dynamics of neurons • the coding of information in neuronal systems • phylogenetic tree reconstruction • branching processes and population genetics • optimal resource allocation • sexual recombi...