WorldWideScience

Sample records for dependent biological functions

  1. Rate-dependence of 'wet' biological adhesives and the function of the pad secretion in insects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Labonte, David; Federle, Walter

    2015-11-28

    Many insects use soft adhesive footpads for climbing. The surface contact of these organs is mediated by small volumes of a liquid secretion, which forms thin films in the contact zone. Here, we investigate the role of viscous dissipation by this secretion and the 'bulk' pad cuticle by quantifying the rate-dependence of the adhesive force of individual pads. Adhesion increased with retraction speed, but this effect was independent of the amount of pad secretion present in the contact zone, suggesting that the secretion's viscosity did not play a significant role. Instead, the rate-dependence can be explained by relating the strain energy release rate to the speed of crack propagation, using an established empirical power law. The 'wet' pads' behaviour was akin to that of 'dry' elastomers, with an equilibrium energy release rate close to that of dry van-der-Waals contacts. We suggest that the secretion mainly serves as a 'release layer', minimising viscous dissipation and thereby reducing the time- and 'loading-history'-dependence of the adhesive pads. In contrast to many commercial adhesives which derive much of their strength from viscous dissipation, we show that the major modulator of adhesive strength in 'wet' biological adhesive pads is friction, exhibiting a much larger effect than retraction speed. A comparison between 'wet' and 'dry' biological adhesives, using both results from this study and the literature, revealed a striking lack of differences in attachment performance under varying experimental conditions. Together, these results suggest that 'wet' and 'dry' biological adhesives may be more similar than previously thought.

  2. The relativity of biological function.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

    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.

  3. A promising future for integrative biodiversity research: an increased role of scale-dependency and functional biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Price, S A; Schmitz, L

    2016-04-05

    Studies into the complex interaction between an organism and changes to its biotic and abiotic environment are fundamental to understanding what regulates biodiversity. These investigations occur at many phylogenetic, temporal and spatial scales and within a variety of biological and geological disciplines but often in relative isolation. This issue focuses on what can be achieved when ecological mechanisms are integrated into analyses of deep-time biodiversity patterns through the union of fossil and extant data and methods. We expand upon this perspective to argue that, given its direct relevance to the current biodiversity crisis, greater integration is needed across biodiversity research. We focus on the need to understand scaling effects, how lower-level ecological and evolutionary processes scale up and vice versa, and the importance of incorporating functional biology. Placing function at the core of biodiversity research is fundamental, as it establishes how an organism interacts with its abiotic and biotic environment and it is functional diversity that ultimately determines important ecosystem processes. To achieve full integration, concerted and ongoing efforts are needed to build a united and interactive community of biodiversity researchers, with education and interdisciplinary training at its heart.

  4. LDF (Lag Dependence Functions)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    2000-01-01

    LDF (Lag Dependence Functions) is an S-PLUS library for identification of non-linear dependencies in univariate time series. The methods can be considered generalizations of the tools applicable for linear time series.......LDF (Lag Dependence Functions) is an S-PLUS library for identification of non-linear dependencies in univariate time series. The methods can be considered generalizations of the tools applicable for linear time series....

  5. LDF (Lag Dependence Functions)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    2000-01-01

    LDF (Lag Dependence Functions) is an S-PLUS library for identification of non-linear dependencies in univariate time series. The methods can be considered generalizations of the tools applicable for linear time series.......LDF (Lag Dependence Functions) is an S-PLUS library for identification of non-linear dependencies in univariate time series. The methods can be considered generalizations of the tools applicable for linear time series....

  6. Functions in Biological Kind Classification

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lombrozo, Tania; Rehder, Bob

    2012-01-01

    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…

  7. Functions in Biological Kind Classification

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lombrozo, Tania; Rehder, Bob

    2012-01-01

    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…

  8. Functional morphology and evolutionary biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dullemeijer, P

    1980-01-01

    In this study the relationship between functional morpholoy and evolutionary biology is analysed by confronting the main concepts in both disciplines. Rather than only discussing this connection theoretically, the analysis is carried out by introducing important practical and experimental studies, which use aspects from both disciplines. The mentioned investigations are methodologically analysed and the consequences for extensions of the relationship are worked out. It can be shown that both disciplines have a large domain of their own and also share a large common ground. Many disagreements among evolutionary biologists can be reduced to differences in general philosophy (idealism vs. realism), selection of phenomenona (structure vs. function), definition of concepts (natural selection) and the position of the concept theory as an explaining factor (neutralists vs selectionist, random variation, determinate selection, etc.). The significance of functional morphology for evolutionary biology, and vice versa depends on these differences. For a neo-Darwinian evolutionary theory, contributions from functional and ecological morphology are indispensable. Of ultimate importance are the notions of internal selection and constraints in the constructions determining further development. In this context the concepts of random variation and natural selection need more detailed definition. The study ends with a recommendation for future research founded in a system-theoretical or structuralistic conception.

  9. The biological function of consciousness

    Science.gov (United States)

    Earl, Brian

    2014-01-01

    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

  10. Biological couplings: Function, characteristics and implementation mode

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2010-01-01

    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.

  11. Functional quantum biology in photosynthesis and magnetoreception

    CERN Document Server

    Lambert, Neill; Cheng, Yuan-Chung; Li, Che-Ming; Chen, Guang-Yin; Nori, Franco

    2012-01-01

    Is there a functional role for quantum mechanics or coherent quantum effects in biological processes? While this question is as old as quantum theory, only recently have measurements on biological systems on ultra-fast time-scales shed light on a possible answer. In this review we give an overview of the two main candidates for biological systems which may harness such functional quantum effects: photosynthesis and magnetoreception. We discuss some of the latest evidence both for and against room temperature quantum coherence, and consider whether there is truly a functional role for coherence in these biological mechanisms. Finally, we give a brief overview of some more speculative examples of functional quantum biology including the sense of smell, long-range quantum tunneling in proteins, biological photoreceptors, and the flow of ions across a cell membrane.

  12. Integrating Functional, Developmental and Evolutionary Biology into Biology Curricula

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haave, Neil

    2012-01-01

    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…

  13. Functional Translational Readthrough: A Systems Biology Perspective.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fabian Schueren

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Translational readthrough (TR has come into renewed focus because systems biology approaches have identified the first human genes undergoing functional translational readthrough (FTR. FTR creates functional extensions to proteins by continuing translation of the mRNA downstream of the stop codon. Here we review recent developments in TR research with a focus on the identification of FTR in humans and the systems biology methods that have spurred these discoveries.

  14. [Dependence on benzodiazepines. Clinical and biological aspects].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pelissolo, A; Bisserbe, J C

    1994-01-01

    The high rate of benzodiazepines (BZD) consumption has been repeatedly confirmed by epidemiological surveys in most major western world countries. In a recent french survey 7% of chronic users of BZD (use in 5/7 days for the last 12 months) were found the general population (17% in the population aged above 65). It has been suggested that the high BZD consumption rate could be related to dependence. The existence of BZD dependence was described in the early sixties with very high dose of chlordiazepoxide but it has become a real concern for the medical community since the late seventies with increasing number of reports of withdrawal symptoms. The extend of the actual rate of withdrawal symptoms at BZD tapering is still very controversial and according to the different studies it varies from 39 to 90%. The between studies difference in parameters such as: the patient populations (psychopathology, treatment duration), the type of tapering employed (duration, nature of the medical and psychological support) and the used operational criteria for withdrawal definition most likely explain this wide variation in the rate of occurrence of withdrawal manifestations. According to the American Psychiatric Association Task Force on Benzodiazepine Dependence, Toxicity and Abuse three type of pathological events can happen after treatment discontinuation: rebound, withdrawal syndrome and recurrence. The rebound consists in the early and transitory reappearance of the anxiety symptoms pre-existing to the treatment but in an exacerbated from; the withdrawal syndrome associates the resurgence of the pre-existing anxiety symptoms and new symptoms as sensory disturbances (metallic taste, hyperosmia, cutaneous exacerbated sensitivity, photophobia...) nausea, headache, motor disturbance in some rare cases depersonalization, paranoid reaction, confusion, convulsion. Rebound or withdrawal syndrome appearance delay varies from hours to few days according mostly to compounds elimination

  15. Metacognition: computation, biology and function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fleming, Stephen M.; Dolan, Raymond J.; Frith, Christopher D.

    2012-01-01

    Many complex systems maintain a self-referential check and balance. In animals, such reflective monitoring and control processes have been grouped under the rubric of metacognition. In this introductory article to a Theme Issue on metacognition, we review recent and rapidly progressing developments from neuroscience, cognitive psychology, computer science and philosophy of mind. While each of these areas is represented in detail by individual contributions to the volume, we take this opportunity to draw links between disciplines, and highlight areas where further integration is needed. Specifically, we cover the definition, measurement, neurobiology and possible functions of metacognition, and assess the relationship between metacognition and consciousness. We propose a framework in which level of representation, order of behaviour and access consciousness are orthogonal dimensions of the conceptual landscape. PMID:22492746

  16. Metacognition: computation, biology and function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fleming, Stephen M; Dolan, Raymond J; Frith, Christopher D

    2012-05-19

    Many complex systems maintain a self-referential check and balance. In animals, such reflective monitoring and control processes have been grouped under the rubric of metacognition. In this introductory article to a Theme Issue on metacognition, we review recent and rapidly progressing developments from neuroscience, cognitive psychology, computer science and philosophy of mind. While each of these areas is represented in detail by individual contributions to the volume, we take this opportunity to draw links between disciplines, and highlight areas where further integration is needed. Specifically, we cover the definition, measurement, neurobiology and possible functions of metacognition, and assess the relationship between metacognition and consciousness. We propose a framework in which level of representation, order of behaviour and access consciousness are orthogonal dimensions of the conceptual landscape.

  17. Functional model of biological neural networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lo, James Ting-Ho

    2010-12-01

    A functional model of biological neural networks, called temporal hierarchical probabilistic associative memory (THPAM), is proposed in this paper. THPAM comprises functional models of dendritic trees for encoding inputs to neurons, a first type of neuron for generating spike trains, a second type of neuron for generating graded signals to modulate neurons of the first type, supervised and unsupervised Hebbian learning mechanisms for easy learning and retrieving, an arrangement of dendritic trees for maximizing generalization, hardwiring for rotation-translation-scaling invariance, and feedback connections with different delay durations for neurons to make full use of present and past informations generated by neurons in the same and higher layers. These functional models and their processing operations have many functions of biological neural networks that have not been achieved by other models in the open literature and provide logically coherent answers to many long-standing neuroscientific questions. However, biological justifications of these functional models and their processing operations are required for THPAM to qualify as a macroscopic model (or low-order approximate) of biological neural networks.

  18. Understanding biological functions through molecular networks

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Jing-Dong Jackie Han

    2008-01-01

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

  19. Spin dependent proton structure functions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    de Florian, D.; Garcia Canal, C.A. [Laboratorio de Fisica Teorica, Departamento de Fisica, Universidad Nacional de La Plata C.C. 67-1900 La Plata (Argentina); Sassot, R. [Departamento de Fisica, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Ciudad Universitaria, Pab. 1 1428 Bs.As. (Argentina)

    1996-02-01

    We address the issue of gluon contributions to the polarized deep inelastic asymmetries. Particularly, of their effects in the scale dependence induced by the usual leading order Altarelli-Parisi evolution equations and those arising from fixed order {alpha}{sub {ital s}} and {alpha}{sup 2}{sub {ital s}} evolution approximations. {copyright} {ital 1996 American Institute of Physics.}

  20. Fuzzy Functional Dependencies and Bayesian Networks

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    LIU WeiYi(刘惟一); SONG Ning(宋宁)

    2003-01-01

    Bayesian networks have become a popular technique for representing and reasoning with probabilistic information. The fuzzy functional dependency is an important kind of data dependencies in relational databases with fuzzy values. The purpose of this paper is to set up a connection between these data dependencies and Bayesian networks. The connection is done through a set of methods that enable people to obtain the most information of independent conditions from fuzzy functional dependencies.

  1. Hartree potential dependent exchange functional

    CERN Document Server

    Constantin, L A; Della Sala, F

    2016-01-01

    We introduce a novel non-local ingredient for the construction of exchange density functionals: the reduced Hartree parameter, which is invariant under the uniform scaling of the density and represents the exact exchange enhancement factor for one- and two-electron systems. The reduced Hartree parameter is used together with the conventional meta-generalized gradient approximation (meta-GGA) semilocal ingredients (i.e. the electron density, its gradient and the kinetic energy density) to construct a new generation exchange functional, termed u-meta-GGA. This u-meta-GGA functional is exact for {the exchange of} any one- and two-electron systems, is size-consistent and non-empirical, satisfies the uniform density scaling relation, and recovers the modified gradient expansion derived from the semiclassical atom theory. For atoms, ions, jellium spheres, and molecules, it shows a good accuracy, being often better than meta-GGA exchange functionals. Our construction validates the use of the reduced Hartree ingredie...

  2. A functional overview of conservation biological control

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Begg, Graham S; Cook, Samantha M; Dye, Richard

    2017-01-01

    and their biological control function across local and regional scales, and consider the interactions, interdependencies and constraints that determine the outcome of CBC strategies. Conservation measures are often effective in supporting natural enemy populations but their success cannot be guaranteed; the greatest...... limitation to the development of effective CBC is due to a failure to adequately direct biological control services to achieve suppression of the target pests. By considering the performance of these and other components of CBC within the context of an integrated system, we believe that the limiting factors......Conservation biological control (CBC) is a sustainable approach to pest management that can contribute to a reduction in pesticide use as part of an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) strategy. CBC is based on the premise that countering habitat loss and environmental disturbance associated...

  3. From networks of protein interactions to networks of functional dependencies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luciani Davide

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background As protein-protein interactions connect proteins that participate in either the same or different functions, networks of interacting and functionally annotated proteins can be converted into process graphs of inter-dependent function nodes (each node corresponding to interacting proteins with the same functional annotation. However, as proteins have multiple annotations, the process graph is non-redundant, if only proteins participating directly in a given function are included in the related function node. Results Reasoning that topological features (e.g., clusters of highly inter-connected proteins might help approaching structured and non-redundant understanding of molecular function, an algorithm was developed that prioritizes inclusion of proteins into the function nodes that best overlap protein clusters. Specifically, the algorithm identifies function nodes (and their mutual relations, based on the topological analysis of a protein interaction network, which can be related to various biological domains, such as cellular components (e.g., peroxisome and cellular bud or biological processes (e.g., cell budding of the model organism S. cerevisiae. Conclusions The method we have described allows converting a protein interaction network into a non-redundant process graph of inter-dependent function nodes. The examples we have described show that the resulting graph allows researchers to formulate testable hypotheses about dependencies among functions and the underlying mechanisms.

  4. Imaging cellular and molecular biological functions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Shorte, S.L. [Institut Pasteur, 75 - Paris (France). Plateforme d' Imagerie Dynamique PFID-Imagopole; Frischknecht, F. (eds.) [Heidelberg Univ. Medical School (Germany). Dept. of Parasitology

    2007-07-01

    'Imaging cellular and molecular biological function' provides a unique selection of essays by leading experts, aiming at scientist and student alike who are interested in all aspects of modern imaging, from its application and up-scaling to its development. Indeed the philosophy of this volume is to provide student, researcher, PI, professional or provost the means to enter this applications field with confidence, and to construct the means to answer their own specific questions. (orig.)

  5. Biological Function of REE in Plants & Microbes

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2005-01-01

    Rare earth elements (REE) and their compounds are widely applied in agronomic and medical fields for many years. The bioinorganic chemical research of REE during the past few years indicates that REE play important roles in the promotion of photosynthetic rate as well as root absorption, regulation of hormone and nitrogen metabolism, and suppression of microbes, etc. The metallic or non-metallic targets of key biomolecule in various physiological processes can be chosen by REE for the chelation or replacement, which enables REE to regulate the biological functions or behaviors of those biomolecule and consequently leads to significant embodiment of biological function of REE in plants and microbes.Overdose of REE, however, shows an inhibitory effect on living organisms. Therefore, this paper proposes two suggestions that will be available in the extension of full use of REE's biological function. One is to obey the dose law of REE and control REE concentrations within a safe range. The other is to further test the bioaccumulation and long-period influence of REE on organisms.

  6. Functional and Dysfunctional rumination in alcohol dependence

    OpenAIRE

    Grynberg, Delphine; Briane, Yasmine; Timary, Philippe De; Maurage, Pierre; 16th International Society of Addiction Medicine Annual Meeting

    2014-01-01

    Previous findings have shown that rumination predicts alcohol abuse independently of depression. However, the literature does not inform about the relationships between alcohol dependence and functional and dysfunctional rumination. It has indeed been suggested that there exist a functional form of rumination(concrete thinking) and a dysfunctional form of rumination (abstract thinking). In this study, our aim is to evaluate if alcohol dependence is similarly associated with functional/constru...

  7. Functional biology of sympatric krill species

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Agersted, Mette Dalgaard; Nielsen, Torkel Gissel

    2016-01-01

    Here we compare the functional biology of the sympatric krill species, Meganyctiphanes norvegica and Thysanoessa inermis. For M. norvegica, we investigated functional responses on diatoms and copepods, together with prey size spectra on plankton ,400 mm and copepods in the size range 500–3220 mm....... For T. inermis, only prey size spectrum on plankton ,400 mm were investigated. The prey size ranges of both species include organisms ,400 mm, and they consequently graze on several trophic levels. However, T. inermis feed on cells ,10 mm equivalent spherical diameter (ESD), whereas M. norvegica only...... feed on cells .10 mm. Meganyctiphanes norvegica show maximum predation on 800–1600 mm sized copepods, corresponding to a predator:prey size ratio of 17.0+2.2. Functional response experiments with M. norvegica follow a Holling type III functional response, both when feeding on diatoms and copepods...

  8. Functionalized Nanodiamonds for Biological and Medical Applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lai, Lin; Barnard, Amanda S

    2015-02-01

    Nanodiamond is a promising material for biological and medical applications, owning to its relatively inexpensive and large-scale synthesis, unique structure, and superior optical properties. However, most biomedical applications, such as drug delivery and bio-imaging, are dependent upon the precise control of the surfaces, and can be significantly affected by the type, distribution and stability of chemical funtionalisations of the nanodiamond surface. In this paper, recent studies on nanodiamonds and their biomedical applications by conjugating with different chemicals are reviewed, while highlighting the critical importance of surface chemical states for various applications.

  9. Marine Carotenoids: Biological Functions and Commercial Applications

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    José M. Vega

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available Carotenoids are the most common pigments in nature and are synthesized by all photosynthetic organisms and fungi. Carotenoids are considered key molecules for life. Light capture, photosynthesis photoprotection, excess light dissipation and quenching of singlet oxygen are among key biological functions of carotenoids relevant for life on earth. Biological properties of carotenoids allow for a wide range of commercial applications. Indeed, recent interest in the carotenoids has been mainly for their nutraceutical properties. A large number of scientific studies have confirmed the benefits of carotenoids to health and their use for this purpose is growing rapidly. In addition, carotenoids have traditionally been used in food and animal feed for their color properties. Carotenoids are also known to improve consumer perception of quality; an example is the addition of carotenoids to fish feed to impart color to farmed salmon.

  10. Biological functions of decorin in cancer

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Xiu-Li Bi; Wancai Yang

    2013-01-01

    Decorin is a member of the extracellular matrix small leucine-rich proteoglycans family that exists and functions in stromal and epithelial cells.Accumulating evidence suggests that decorin affects the biology of various types of cancer by directly or indirectly targeting the signaling molecules involved in cell growth,survival,metastasis,and angiogenesis.More recent studies show that decorin plays important roles during tumor development and progression and is a potential cancer therapeutic agent.In this article,we summarize recent studies of decorin in cancer and discuss decorin's therapeutic and prognostic value.

  11. Discovery of functional and approximate functional dependencies in relational databases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ronald S. King

    2003-01-01

    Full Text Available This study develops the foundation for a simple, yet efficient method for uncovering functional and approximate functional dependencies in relational databases. The technique is based upon the mathematical theory of partitions defined over a relation's row identifiers. Using a levelwise algorithm the minimal non-trivial functional dependencies can be found using computations conducted on integers. Therefore, the required operations on partitions are both simple and fast. Additionally, the row identifiers provide the added advantage of nominally identifying the exceptions to approximate functional dependencies, which can be used effectively in practical data mining applications.

  12. Temperature Dependence of Biological Tissues Complex Permitivity at Microwave Frequencies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dagmar Faktorova

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available In the paper an universal overview of polarizing mechanisms with an emphasis on dipolar materials as the investigated tissues are regarded. Experimental apparatus is presented with giving its specificity as well as the method used at calculation of complex permittivity. The experimental part is aimed at temperature dependence of complex permittivity measurement of pig biological tissues with different properties. Experimental results are presented graphically with the commentary for courses of particular tissues.

  13. Temperature Dependence of Biological Tissues Complex Permitivity at Microwave Frequencies

    OpenAIRE

    Dagmar Faktorova

    2008-01-01

    In the paper an universal overview of polarizing mechanisms with an emphasis on dipolar materials as the investigated tissues are regarded. Experimental apparatus is presented with giving its specificity as well as the method used at calculation of complex permittivity. The experimental part is aimed at temperature dependence of complex permittivity measurement of pig biological tissues with different properties. Experimental results are presented graphically with the commentary for courses o...

  14. Flavonoids: biosynthesis, biological functions, and biotechnological applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Falcone Ferreyra, María L.; Rius, Sebastián P.; Casati, Paula

    2012-01-01

    Flavonoids are widely distributed secondary metabolites with different metabolic functions in plants. The elucidation of the biosynthetic pathways, as well as their regulation by MYB, basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH), and WD40-type transcription factors, has allowed metabolic engineering of plants through the manipulation of the different final products with valuable applications. The present review describes the regulation of flavonoid biosynthesis, as well as the biological functions of flavonoids in plants, such as in defense against UV-B radiation and pathogen infection, nodulation, and pollen fertility. In addition, we discuss different strategies and achievements through the genetic engineering of flavonoid biosynthesis with implication in the industry and the combinatorial biosynthesis in microorganisms by the reconstruction of the pathway to obtain high amounts of specific compounds. PMID:23060891

  15. Flavonoids: Biosynthesis, Biological functions and Biotechnological applications

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria Lorena eFalcone Ferreyra

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Flavonoids are widely distributed secondary metabolites with different metabolic functions in plants. The elucidation of the biosynthetic pathways, as well as their regulation by MYB, bHLH and WD40-type transcription factors, has allowed metabolic engineering of plants through the manipulation of the different final products with valuable applications. The present review describes the regulation of flavonoid biosynthesis, as well as the biological functions of flavonoids in plants, such as in defense against UV-B radiation and pathogen infection, nodulation, pollen fertility. In addition, we discuss different strategies and achievements through the genetic engineering of flavonoid biosynthesis with implication in the industry and the combinatorial biosynthesis in microorganisms by the reconstruction of the pathway to obtain high amounts of specific compounds.

  16. Perspective: Fundamental aspects of time-dependent density functional theory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maitra, Neepa T.

    2016-06-01

    In the thirty-two years since the birth of the foundational theorems, time-dependent density functional theory has had a tremendous impact on calculations of electronic spectra and dynamics in chemistry, biology, solid-state physics, and materials science. Alongside the wide-ranging applications, there has been much progress in understanding fundamental aspects of the functionals and the theory itself. This Perspective looks back to some of these developments, reports on some recent progress and current challenges for functionals, and speculates on future directions to improve the accuracy of approximations used in this relatively young theory.

  17. Positive temporal dependence of the biological clock implies hyperbolic discounting

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Debajyoti eRay

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Temporal preferences of animals and humans often exhibit inconsistencies, whereby an earlier, smaller reward may be preferred when it occurs immediately but not when it is delayed. Such choices reflect hyperbolic discounting of future rewards, rather than the exponential discounting required for temporal consistency. Simultaneously, however, evidence has emerged that suggests that animals and humans have an internal representation of time that often differs from the calendar time used in detection of temporal inconsistencies. Here, we prove that temporal inconsistencies emerge if fixed durations in calendar time are experienced as positively related (positive quadrant dependent. Hence, what are time-consistent choices within the time framework of the decision maker appear as time-inconsistent to an outsider who analyzes choices in calendar time. As the biological clock becomes more variable, the fit of the hyperbolic discounting model improves. A recent alternative explanation for temporal choice inconsistencies builds on persistent under-estimation of the length of distant time intervals. By increasing the expected speed of our stochastic biological clock for time farther into the future, we can emulate this explanation. Ours is therefore an encompassing theoretical framework that predicts context-dependent degrees of intertemporal choice inconsistencies, to the extent that context can generate changes in autocorrelation, variability, and expected speed of the biological clock. Our finding should lead to novel experiments that will clarify the role of time perception in impulsivity, with critical implications for, among others, our understanding of aging, drug abuse and pathological gambling.

  18. Strain-dependent internal parameters in hyperelastic biological materials

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giantesio, G.; Musesti, A.

    2017-10-01

    This paper concerns the behavior of hyperelastic energies depending on an internal parameter. First, the situation in which the internal parameter is a function of the gradient of the deformation is presented. Second, two models where the parameter describes the activation of skeletal muscle tissue are analyzed. In those models, the activation parameter depends on the strain and it is important to consider the derivative of the parameter with respect to the strain in order to capture the proper behavior of the stress.

  19. Frameworks for programming biological function through RNA parts and devices.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Win, Maung Nyan; Liang, Joe C; Smolke, Christina D

    2009-03-27

    One of the long-term goals of synthetic biology is to reliably engineer biological systems that perform human-defined functions. Currently, researchers face several scientific and technical challenges in designing and building biological systems, one of which is associated with our limited ability to access, transmit, and control molecular information through the design of functional biomolecules exhibiting novel properties. The fields of RNA biology and nucleic acid engineering, along with the tremendous interdisciplinary growth of synthetic biology, are fueling advances in the emerging field of RNA programming in living systems. Researchers are designing functional RNA molecules that exhibit increasingly complex functions and integrating these molecules into cellular circuits to program higher-level biological functions. The continued integration and growth of RNA design and synthetic biology presents exciting potential to transform how we interact with and program biology.

  20. The cell biology of T-dependent B cell activation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Owens, T; Zeine, R

    1989-01-01

    The requirement that CD4+ helper T cells recognize antigen in association with class II Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC) encoded molecules constrains T cells to activation through intercellular interaction. The cell biology of the interactions between CD4+ T cells and antigen-presenting cells...... includes multipoint intermolecular interactions that probably involve aggregation of both polymorphic and monomorphic T cell surface molecules. Such aggregations have been shown in vitro to markedly enhance and, in some cases, induce T cell activation. The production of T-derived lymphokines that have been...... implicated in B cell activation is dependent on the T cell receptor for antigen and its associated CD3 signalling complex. T-dependent help for B cell activation is therefore similarly MHC-restricted and involves T-B intercellular interaction. Recent reports that describe antigen-independent B cell...

  1. Structure and biological functions of fungal cerebrosides

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Barreto-Bergter Eliana

    2004-01-01

    Full Text Available Ceramide monohexosides (CMHs, cerebrosides are glycosphingolipids composed of a hydrophobic ceramide linked to one sugar unit. In fungal cells, CMHs are very conserved molecules consisting of a ceramide moiety containing 9-methyl-4,8-sphingadienine in amidic linkage to 2-hydroxyoctadecanoic or 2-hydroxyhexadecanoic acids, and a carbohydrate portion consisting of one residue of glucose or galactose. 9-Methyl 4,8-sphingadienine-containing ceramides are usually glycosylated to form fungal cerebrosides, but the recent description of a ceramide dihexoside (CDH presenting phytosphingosine in Magnaporthe grisea suggests the existence of alternative pathways of ceramide glycosylation in fungal cells. Along with their unique structural characteristics, fungal CMHs have a peculiar subcellular distribution and striking biological properties. In Pseudallescheria boydii, Candida albicans, Cryptococcus neoformans, Aspergillus nidulans, A. fumigatus, and Schizophyllum commune, CMHs are apparently involved in morphological transitions and fungal growth. The elucidation of structural and functional aspects of fungal cerebrosides may therefore contribute to the design of new antifungal agents inhibiting growth and differentiation of pathogenic species.

  2. The Structure and Function of Biological Networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Daniel Duanqing

    2010-01-01

    Biology has been revolutionized in recent years by an explosion in the availability of data. Transforming this new wealth of data into meaningful biological insights and clinical breakthroughs requires a complete overhaul both in the questions being asked and the methodologies used to answer them. A major challenge in organizing and understanding…

  3. Biological Functional Relevance of Asymmetric Dimethylarginine (ADMA in Cardiovascular Disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sara Franceschelli

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available There is growing evidence that increased levels of the endogenous NO synthase inhibitor asymmetric dimethylarginine (ADMA may contribute to endothelial dysfunction. Studies in animal models as well as in humans have suggested that the increase in ADMA occurs at a time when vascular disease has not yet become clinically evident. ADMA competitively inhibits NO elaboration by displacing L-arginine from NO synthase. In a concentration-dependent manner, it thereby interferes not only with endothelium-dependent, NO-mediated vasodilation, but also with other biological functions exerted by NO. The upshot may be a pro-atherogenic state. Recently, several studies have investigated the effect of various therapeutical interventions on ADMA plasma concentrations.

  4. Dynamics of biomolecules, ligand binding & biological functions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yi, Myunggi

    Proteins are flexible and dynamic. One static structure alone does not often completely explain biological functions of the protein, and some proteins do not even have high resolution structures. In order to provide better understanding to the biological functions of nicotinic acetylcholine receptor, Diphtheria toxin repressor and M2 proton channel, the dynamics of these proteins are investigated using molecular modeling and molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. With absence of high resolution structure of alpha7 receptor, the homology models of apo and cobra toxin bound forms have been built. From the MD simulations of these model structures, we observed one subunit of apo simulation moved away from other four subunits. With local movement of flexible loop regions, the whole subunit tilted clockwise. These conformational changes occurred spontaneously, and were strongly correlated with the conformational change when the channel is activated by agonists. Unlike other computational studies, we directly compared our model of open conformation with the experimental data. However, the subunits of toxin bound form were stable, and conformational change is restricted by the bound cobra toxin. These results provide activation and inhibition mechanisms of alpha7 receptors and a possible explanation for intermediate conductance of the channel. Intramolecular complex of SH3-like domain with a proline-rich (Pr) peptide segment in Diphtheria toxin repressor (DtxR) is stabilized in inactive state. Upon activation of DtxR by transition metal binding, this intramolecular complex should be dissociated. The dynamics of this intramolecular complex is investigated using MD simulations and NMR spectroscopy. We observed spontaneous opening and closing motions of the Pr segment binding pockets in both Pr-SH3 and SH3 simulations. The MD simulation results and NMR relaxation data suggest that the Pr segment exhibits a binding ↔ unbinding equilibrium. Despite a wealth of experimental

  5. Probing the Xenopus laevis inner ear transcriptome for biological function

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Powers TuShun R

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The senses of hearing and balance depend upon mechanoreception, a process that originates in the inner ear and shares features across species. Amphibians have been widely used for physiological studies of mechanotransduction by sensory hair cells. In contrast, much less is known of the genetic basis of auditory and vestibular function in this class of animals. Among amphibians, the genus Xenopus is a well-characterized genetic and developmental model that offers unique opportunities for inner ear research because of the amphibian capacity for tissue and organ regeneration. For these reasons, we implemented a functional genomics approach as a means to undertake a large-scale analysis of the Xenopus laevis inner ear transcriptome through microarray analysis. Results Microarray analysis uncovered genes within the X. laevis inner ear transcriptome associated with inner ear function and impairment in other organisms, thereby supporting the inclusion of Xenopus in cross-species genetic studies of the inner ear. The use of gene categories (inner ear tissue; deafness; ion channels; ion transporters; transcription factors facilitated the assignment of functional significance to probe set identifiers. We enhanced the biological relevance of our microarray data by using a variety of curation approaches to increase the annotation of the Affymetrix GeneChip® Xenopus laevis Genome array. In addition, annotation analysis revealed the prevalence of inner ear transcripts represented by probe set identifiers that lack functional characterization. Conclusions We identified an abundance of targets for genetic analysis of auditory and vestibular function. The orthologues to human genes with known inner ear function and the highly expressed transcripts that lack annotation are particularly interesting candidates for future analyses. We used informatics approaches to impart biologically relevant information to the Xenopus inner ear transcriptome

  6. Marine Carotenoids: Biological Functions and Commercial Applications

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vilchez, C.; Forján, E.; Cuaresma, M.; Bédmar, F.; Garbayo, I.; Vega, J.M.

    2011-01-01

    Carotenoids are the most common pigments in nature and are synthesized by all photosynthetic organisms and fungi. Carotenoids are considered key molecules for life. Light capture, photosynthesis photoprotection, excess light dissipation and quenching of singlet oxygen are among key biological

  7. Microgravity dependence of excitable biological and physicochemical media.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanke, W; Fernandes de Lima, V M; Wiedemann, M; Meissner, K

    2006-12-01

    Neuronal tissue and especially the central nervous system (CNS) is an excitable medium. Self-organisation, pattern formation, and propagating excitation waves as typical characteristics in excitable media consequently have been found in neuronal tissue. The properties of such phenomena in excitable media do critically depend on the parameters (i.e., electromagnetic fields, temperature, chemical drugs) of the system and on small external forces to which gravity belongs. The spreading depression, a propagating excitation depression wave of neuronal activity, is one of the best described of the those wave phenomena in the CNS. Especially in the retina as a true part of the CNS it can be easily observed with optical techniques due to the high intrinsic optical signal of this tissue. Another of such waves in neuronal tissue is the propagating action potential in nerve fibres. In this paper, data from our laboratories concerning the influence of gravity on the velocity of propagating waves in excitable media are summarized mainly in terms of the retinal spreading depression and propagating action potentials. Additionally, we have used waves in gels of the Belousov-Zhabotinsky reaction as the physicochemical model system of biological activity as the properties of these waves follow the same theories as the spreading depression and action potentials and they have some striking similarities in wave behavior. Thus propagating Belousov-Zhabotinsky waves are described by their gravity dependence.

  8. The Functions of RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerases in Arabidopsis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Willmann, Matthew R.; Endres, Matthew W.; Cook, Rebecca T.; Gregory, Brian D.

    2011-01-01

    One recently identified mechanism that regulates mRNA abundance is RNA silencing, and pioneering work in Arabidopsis thaliana and other genetic model organisms helped define this process. RNA silencing pathways are triggered by either self-complementary fold-back structures or the production of double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) that gives rise to small RNAs (smRNAs) known as microRNAs (miRNAs) or small-interfering RNAs (siRNAs). These smRNAs direct sequence-specific regulation of various gene transcripts, repetitive sequences, viruses, and mobile elements via RNA cleavage, translational inhibition, or transcriptional silencing through DNA methylation and heterochromatin formation. Early genetic screens in Arabidopsis were instrumental in uncovering numerous proteins required for these important regulatory pathways. Among the factors identified by these studies were RNA-dependent RNA polymerases (RDRs), which are proteins that synthesize siRNA-producing dsRNA molecules using a single-stranded RNA (ssRNA) molecule as a template. Recently, a growing body of evidence has implicated RDR-dependent RNA silencing in many different aspects of plant biology ranging from reproductive development to pathogen resistance. Here, we focus on the specific functions of the six Arabidopsis RDRs in RNA silencing, their ssRNA substrates and resulting RDR-dependent smRNAs, and the numerous biological functions of these proteins in plant development and stress responses. PMID:22303271

  9. Temperature dependence of thermal conductivity of biological tissues.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhattacharya, A; Mahajan, R L

    2003-08-01

    In this paper, we present our experimental results on the determination of the thermal conductivity of biological tissues using a transient technique based on the principles of the cylindrical hot-wire method. A novel, 1.45 mm diameter, 50 mm long hot-wire probe was deployed. Initial measurements were made on sponge, gelatin and Styrofoam insulation to test the accuracy of the probe. Subsequent experiments conducted on sheep collagen in the range of 25 degrees C temperature. Further, these changes in the thermal conductivity were found to be reversible. However, when the tissue was heated beyond 55 degrees C, irreversible changes in thermal conductivity were observed. Similar experiments were also conducted for determining the thermal conductivity of cow liver. In this case, the irreversible effects were found to set in much later at around 90 degrees C. Below this temperature, in the range of 25 degrees C temperature. In the second part of our study, in vivo measurements were taken on the different organs of a living pig. Comparison with reported values for dead tissues shows the thermal conductivities of living organs to be higher, indicating thereby the dominant role played by blood perfusion in enhancing the net heat transfer in living tissues. The degree of enhancement is different in different organs and shows a direct dependence on the blood flow rate.

  10. Biological effects of 6-formylindolo[3,2-b]carbazole (FICZ) in vivo are enhanced by loss of CYP1A function in an Ahr2-dependent manner.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wincent, Emma; Kubota, Akira; Timme-Laragy, Alicia; Jönsson, Maria E; Hahn, Mark E; Stegeman, John J

    2016-06-15

    6-Formylindolo[3,2-b]carbazole (FICZ) is a potent aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR) agonist that is efficiently metabolized by AHR-regulated cytochrome P4501 enzymes. FICZ is a proposed physiological AHR ligand that induces its own degradation as part of a regulatory negative feedback loop. In vitro studies in cells show that CYP1 inhibition in the presence of FICZ results in enhanced AHR activation, suggesting that FICZ accumulates in the cell when its metabolism is blocked. We used zebrafish (Danio rerio) embryos to investigate the in vivo effects of FICZ when CYP1A is knocked down or inhibited. Embryos were injected with morpholino antisense oligonucleotides targeting CYP1A (CYP1A-MO), Ahr2, or a combination of both. FICZ exposure of non-injected embryos or embryos injected with control morpholino had little effect. In CYP1A-MO-injected embryos, however, FICZ dramatically increased mortality, incidence and severity of pericardial edema and circulation failure, reduced hatching frequency, blocked swim bladder inflation, and strongly potentiated expression of Ahr2-regulated genes. These effects were substantially reduced in embryos with a combined knockdown of Ahr2 and CYP1A, indicating that the toxicity was mediated at least partly by Ahr2. Co-exposure to the CYP1 inhibitor alpha-naphthoflavone (αNF) and FICZ had similar effects as the combination of CYP1A-MO and FICZ. HPLC analysis of FICZ-exposed embryos showed increased levels of FICZ after concomitant CYP1A-MO injection or αNF co-exposure. Together, these results show that a functioning CYP1/AHR feedback loop is crucial for regulation of AHR signaling by a potential physiological ligand in vivo and further highlights the role of CYP1 enzymes in regulating biological effects of FICZ.

  11. Unbiased spin-dependent Parton Distribution Functions

    CERN Document Server

    Nocera, Emanuele Roberto

    2014-01-01

    We present the first unbiased determination of spin-dependent, or polarized, Parton Distribution Functions (PDFs) of the proton. A statistically sound representation of the corresponding uncertainties is achieved by means of the NNPDF methodology: this was formerly developed for unpolarized distributions and is now generalized to the polarized here for the first time. The features of the procedure, based on robust statistical tools (Monte Carlo sampling for error propagation, neural networks for PDF parametrization, genetic algorithm for their minimization, and possibly reweighting for including new data samples without refitting), are illustrated in detail. Different sets of polarized PDFs are obtained at next-to-leading order accuracy in perturbative quantum chromodynamics, based on both fixed-target inclusive deeply-inelastic scattering data and the most recent polarized collider data. A quantitative appraisal on the potential role of future measurements at an Electron-Ion Collider is also presented. We st...

  12. Functionalized nanoparticles for biological imaging and detection applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mei, Bing C.

    Semiconductor quantum dots (QDs) and gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) have gained tremendous attention in the last decade as a result of their size-dependent spectroscopic properties. These nanoparticles have been a subject of intense study to bridge the gap between macroscopic and atomic behavior, as well as to generate new materials for novel applications in therapeutics, biological sensing, light emitting devices, microelectronics, lasers, and solar cells. One of the most promising areas for the use of these nanoparticles is in biotechnology, where their size-dependent optical properties are harnessed for imaging and sensing applications. However, these nanoparticles, as synthesized, are often not stable in aqueous media and lack simple and reliable means of covalently linking to biomolecules. The focus of this work is to advance the progress of these nanomaterials for biotechnology by synthesizing them, characterizing their optical properties and rendering them water-soluble and functional while maintaining their coveted optical properties. QDs were synthesized by an organometallic chemical procedure that utilizes coordinating solvents to provide brightly luminescent nanoparticles. The optical interactions of these QDs were studied as a function of concentration to identify particle size-dependent optimal concentrations, where scattering and indirection excitation are minimized and the amount light observed per particle is maximized. Both QDs and AuNPs were rendered water-soluble and stable in a broad range of biologically relevant conditions by using a series of ligands composed of dihydrolipoic acid (DHLA) appended to poly(ethylene glycol) methyl ether. By studying the stability of the surface modified AuNPs, we revealed some interesting information regarding the role of the surface ligand on the nanoparticle stability (i.e. solubility in high salt concentration, resistance to dithiothreitol competition and cyanide decomposition). Furthermore, the nanoparticles

  13. Fibroblast Growth Factors: Biology, Function, and Application for Tissue Regeneration

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ye-Rang Yun

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Fibroblast growth factors (FGFs that signal through FGF receptors (FGFRs regulate a broad spectrum of biological functions, including cellular proliferation, survival, migration, and differentiation. The FGF signal pathways are the RAS/MAP kinase pathway, PI3 kinase/AKT pathway, and PLCγ pathway, among which the RAS/MAP kinase pathway is known to be predominant. Several studies have recently implicated the in vitro biological functions of FGFs for tissue regeneration. However, to obtain optimal outcomes in vivo, it is important to enhance the half-life of FGFs and their biological stability. Future applications of FGFs are expected when the biological functions of FGFs are potentiated through the appropriate use of delivery systems and scaffolds. This review will introduce the biology and cellular functions of FGFs and deal with the biomaterials based delivery systems and their current applications for the regeneration of tissues, including skin, blood vessel, muscle, adipose, tendon/ligament, cartilage, bone, tooth, and nerve tissues.

  14. BioFNet: biological functional network database for analysis and synthesis of biological systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kurata, Hiroyuki; Maeda, Kazuhiro; Onaka, Toshikazu; Takata, Takenori

    2014-09-01

    In synthetic biology and systems biology, a bottom-up approach can be used to construct a complex, modular, hierarchical structure of biological networks. To analyze or design such networks, it is critical to understand the relationship between network structure and function, the mechanism through which biological parts or biomolecules are assembled into building blocks or functional networks. A functional network is defined as a subnetwork of biomolecules that performs a particular function. Understanding the mechanism of building functional networks would help develop a methodology for analyzing the structure of large-scale networks and design a robust biological circuit to perform a target function. We propose a biological functional network database, named BioFNet, which can cover the whole cell at the level of molecular interactions. The BioFNet takes an advantage in implementing the simulation program for the mathematical models of the functional networks, visualizing the simulated results. It presents a sound basis for rational design of biochemical networks and for understanding how functional networks are assembled to create complex high-level functions, which would reveal design principles underlying molecular architectures.

  15. A multiwell platform for studying stiffness-dependent cell biology.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Justin D Mih

    Full Text Available Adherent cells are typically cultured on rigid substrates that are orders of magnitude stiffer than their tissue of origin. Here, we describe a method to rapidly fabricate 96 and 384 well platforms for routine screening of cells in tissue-relevant stiffness contexts. Briefly, polyacrylamide (PA hydrogels are cast in glass-bottom plates, functionalized with collagen, and sterilized for cell culture. The Young's modulus of each substrate can be specified from 0.3 to 55 kPa, with collagen surface density held constant over the stiffness range. Using automated fluorescence microscopy, we captured the morphological variations of 7 cell types cultured across a physiological range of stiffness within a 384 well plate. We performed assays of cell number, proliferation, and apoptosis in 96 wells and resolved distinct profiles of cell growth as a function of stiffness among primary and immortalized cell lines. We found that the stiffness-dependent growth of normal human lung fibroblasts is largely invariant with collagen density, and that differences in their accumulation are amplified by increasing serum concentration. Further, we performed a screen of 18 bioactive small molecules and identified compounds with enhanced or reduced effects on soft versus rigid substrates, including blebbistatin, which abolished the suppression of lung fibroblast growth at 1 kPa. The ability to deploy PA gels in multiwell plates for high throughput analysis of cells in tissue-relevant environments opens new opportunities for the discovery of cellular responses that operate in specific stiffness regimes.

  16. Distinguishing between "function" and "effect" in genome biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doolittle, W Ford; Brunet, Tyler D P; Linquist, Stefan; Gregory, T Ryan

    2014-05-09

    Much confusion in genome biology results from conflation of possible meanings of the word "function." We suggest that, in this connection, attention should be paid to evolutionary biologists and philosophers who have previously dealt with this problem. We need only decide that although all genomic structures have effects, only some of them should be said to have functions. Although it will very often be difficult or impossible to establish function (strictly defined), it should not automatically be assumed. We enjoin genomicists in particular to pay greater attention to parsing biological effects. © The Author(s) 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution.

  17. FUNCTION IN BIOLOGY: ETIOLOGICAL AND ORGANIZATIONAL PERSPECTIVES

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nunes Neto Nei Freitas Freitas

    2009-12-01

    -ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-fareast; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;}

    ABSTRACT. In this paper, we argue for a taxonomy of approaches to function based on different epistemological perspectives assumed with regard to the treatment of this central concept in the life sciences. We distinguish between etiological and organizational perspectives on function, analyzing two distinct theories related to each perspective: Wright’s selectionist etiological approach and Godfrey-Smith’s modern history theory of functions, in the case of the etiological perspective; and Cummins’ functional analysis and Collier’s interactivist approach to function, among organizational accounts. We explain differences and similarities between these theories and the broader perspectives on function, arguing for a particular way of understanding the consensus without unity in debates about function. While explaining the accounts of function, we also deal with the relationship between this concept and other important biological concepts, such as adaptation, selection, complexity, and autonomy. We also advance an argument for the limits and prospects of the explanatory role of function in evolution. By arguing that changes in functionality are always grounded on changes in systems’ organization, we show that function can never explain the origins of traits. Nevertheless, it can explain the spread of traits in populations, but only when we are dealing with functionally novel traits. Finally, we stress that organizational accounts of function are needed to understand how new functions appear by means of changes in systems

  18. Towards Integration of Biological and Physiological Functions at Multiple Levels

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Taishin eNomura

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available An aim of systems physiology today can be stated as to establish logical and quantitative bridges between phenomenological attributes of physiological entities such as cells and organs and physical attributes of biological entities, i.e., biological molecules, allowing us to describe and better understand physiological functions in terms of underlying biological functions. This article illustrates possible schema that can be used for promoting systems physiology by integrating quantitative knowledge of biological and physiological functions at multiple levels of time and space with the use of information technology infrastructure. Emphasis will be made for systematic, modular, hierarchical, and standardized descriptions of mathematical models of the functions and advantages for the use of them.

  19. Autofluorescence: Biological functions and technical applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    García-Plazaola, José Ignacio; Fernández-Marín, Beatriz; Duke, Stephen O; Hernández, Antonio; López-Arbeloa, Fernando; Becerril, José María

    2015-07-01

    Chlorophylls are the most remarkable examples of fluorophores, and their fluorescence has been intensively studied as a non-invasive tool for assessment of photosynthesis. Many other fluorophores occur in plants, such as alkaloids, phenolic compounds and porphyrins. Fluorescence could be more than just a physicochemical curiosity in the plant kingdom, as several functional roles in biocommunication occur or have been proposed. Besides, fluorescence emitted by secondary metabolites can convert damaging blue and UV into wavelengths potentially useful for photosynthesis. Detection of the fluorescence of some secondary phytochemicals may be a cue for some pollinators and/or seed dispersal organisms. Independently of their functions, plant fluorophores provide researchers with a tool that allows the visualization of some metabolites in plants and cells, complementing and overcoming some of the limitations of the use of fluorescent proteins and dyes to probe plant physiology and biochemistry. Some fluorophores are influenced by environmental interactions, allowing fluorescence to be also used as a specific stress indicator.

  20. Genomic Functionalization: The Next Revolution In Biology

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Anderson, Peter [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-CA), Livermore, CA (United States); Schoeniger, Joseph S. [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-CA), Livermore, CA (United States); Imbro, Paula M. [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-CA), Livermore, CA (United States)

    2014-07-01

    We have implemented a ligand-alignment algorithm into our developed computational pipeline for identifying specificity-determining features (SDFs) in protein-ligand complexes. Given a set of protein-ligand complex structures, the algorithm aligns the complexes by ligand rather than by the C -RMSD or standard approach, providing a single reference frame for extracting SDFs. We anticipate that this ligand-alignment capability will be highly useful for protein function prediction. We already have a database containing > 20 K ligand-protein complex crystal structures taken from the Protein Data Bank. By aligning these proteins to single reference frames using ligand alignment, we can submit the complexes to our pipeline for SDF extraction. The SDFs derived from this training procedure can be used as thumbprints that are hallmarks of individual enzyme classes. These SDF thumbprints may then serve as guides to the prediction of function of new unknown proteins.

  1. A substrate dependent biological containment systems for Pseudomonas putida based on the Escherichia coli gef gene

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Lars Bogø; Ramos, J. L.; Kaneva, Z.;

    1993-01-01

    A model substrate-dependent suicide system to biologically contain Pseudomonas putida KT2440 is reported. The system consists of two elements. One element carries a fusion between a synthetic lac promoter (PA1-04/03) and the gef gene, which encodes a killing function. This element is contained...... operon (Pm) and the lacI gene, encoding the Lac repressor, plus xylS2, coding for a positive regulator of Pm. In liquid culture under optimal growth conditions and in sterile and nonsterile soil microcosms, P. putida KT2440 (pWWO) bearing the containment system behaves as designed. In the presence...

  2. Evidence for a Role of Executive Functions in Learning Biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rhodes, Sinéad M.; Booth, Josephine N.; Campbell, Lorna Elise; Blythe, Richard A.; Wheate, Nial J.; Delibegovic, Mirela

    2014-01-01

    Research examining cognition and science learning has focused on working memory, but evidence implicates a broader set of executive functions. The current study examined executive functions and learning of biology in young adolescents. Fifty-six participants, aged 12-13?years, completed tasks of working memory (Spatial Working Memory), inhibition…

  3. Mimicking biological functionality with polymers for biomedical applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Green, Jordan J.; Elisseeff, Jennifer H.

    2016-12-01

    The vast opportunities for biomaterials design and functionality enabled by mimicking nature continue to stretch the limits of imagination. As both biological understanding and engineering capabilities develop, more sophisticated biomedical materials can be synthesized that have multifaceted chemical, biological and physical characteristics designed to achieve specific therapeutic goals. Mimicry is being used in the design of polymers for biomedical applications that are required locally in tissues, systemically throughout the body, and at the interface with tissues.

  4. Social inclusion enhances biological motion processing: a functional near-infrared spectroscopy study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bolling, Danielle Z; Pelphrey, Kevin A; Kaiser, Martha D

    2013-04-01

    Humans are especially tuned to the movements of other people. Neural correlates of this social attunement have been proposed to lie in and around the right posterior superior temporal sulcus (STS) region, which robustly responds to biological motion in contrast to a variety of non-biological motions. This response persists even when no form information is provided, as in point-light displays (PLDs). The aim of the current study was to assess the ability of functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) to reliably measure brain responses to PLDs of biological motion, and determine the sensitivity of these responses to interpersonal contextual factors. To establish reliability, we measured brain activation to biological motion with fNIRS and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) during two separate sessions in an identical group of 12 participants. To establish sensitivity, brain responses to biological motion measured with fNIRS were subjected to an additional social manipulation where participants were either socially included or excluded before viewing PLDs of biological motion. Results revealed comparable brain responses to biological motion using fMRI and fNIRS in the right supramarginal gyrus. Further, social inclusion increased brain responses to biological motion in right supramarginal gyrus and posterior STS. Thus, fNIRS can reliably measure brain responses to biological motion and can detect social experience-dependent modulations of these brain responses.

  5. Bounds on transverse momentum dependent distribution functions

    CERN Document Server

    Henneman, A A

    2001-01-01

    When more than one hadron takes part in a hard process, an extended set of quark distribution and fragmentation functions becomes relevant. In this talk, the derivation of Soffer-like bounds for these functions, in the case of a spin-1/2 target, is sketched and some of their aspects are discussed.

  6. Bounds on transverse momentum dependent distribution functions

    OpenAIRE

    Henneman, A.

    2000-01-01

    When more than one hadron takes part in a hard process, an extended set of quark distribution and fragmentation functions becomes relevant. In this talk, the derivation of Soffer-like bounds for these functions, in the case of a spin-1/2 target, is sketched and some of their aspects are discussed.

  7. Bounds on transverse momentum dependent distribution functions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henneman, A.

    2001-01-01

    When more than one hadron takes part in a hard process, an extended set of quark distribution and fragmentation functions becomes relevant. In this talk, the derivation of Soffer-like bounds for these functions, in the case of a spin-1/2 target [1], is sketched and some of their aspects are discussed.

  8. Cytosol-dependent membrane fusion in ER, nuclear envelope and nuclear pore assembly: biological implications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rafikova, Elvira R; Melikov, Kamran; Chernomordik, Leonid V

    2010-01-01

    Endoplasmic reticulum and nuclear envelope rearrangements after mitosis are often studied in the reconstitution system based on Xenopus egg extract. In our recent work we partially replaced the membrane vesicles in the reconstitution mix with protein-free liposomes to explore the relative contributions of cytosolic and transmembrane proteins. Here we discuss our finding that cytosolic proteins mediate fusion between membranes lacking functional transmembrane proteins and the role of membrane fusion in endoplasmic reticulum and nuclear envelope reorganization. Cytosol-dependent liposome fusion has allowed us to restore, without adding transmembrane nucleoporins, functionality of nuclear pores, their spatial distribution and chromatin decondensation in nuclei formed at insufficient amounts of membrane material and characterized by only partial decondensation of chromatin and lack of nuclear transport. Both the mechanisms and the biological implications of the discovered coupling between spatial distribution of nuclear pores, chromatin decondensation and nuclear transport are discussed.

  9. The cell biology of T-dependent B cell activation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Owens, T; Zeine, R

    1989-01-01

    The requirement that CD4+ helper T cells recognize antigen in association with class II Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC) encoded molecules constrains T cells to activation through intercellular interaction. The cell biology of the interactions between CD4+ T cells and antigen-presenting cells...... activation through coculture with T cells activated by anti-T-cell receptor or anti-CD3 antibodies suggest that cellular interaction with T cells, independent of antigen presentation or lymphokine secretion, induces or triggers B cells to become responsive to T-derived lymphokines, and that this may...

  10. The physical characteristics of human proteins in different biological functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Tengjiao; Tang, Hailin

    2017-01-01

    The physical properties of gene products are the foundation of their biological functions. In this study, we systematically explored relationships between physical properties and biological functions. The physical properties including origin time, evolution pressure, mRNA and protein stability, molecular weight, hydrophobicity, acidity/alkaline, amino acid compositions, and chromosome location. The biological functions are defined from 4 aspects: biological process, molecular function, cellular component and cell/tissue/organ expression. We found that the proteins associated with basic material and energy metabolism process originated earlier, while the proteins associated with immune, neurological system process etc. originated later. Tissues may have a strong influence on evolution pressure. The proteins associated with energy metabolism are double-stable. Immune and peripheral cell proteins tend to be mRNA stable/protein unstable. There are very few function items with double-unstable of mRNA and protein. The proteins involved in the cell adhesion tend to consist of large proteins with high proportion of small amino acids. The proteins of organic acid transport, neurological system process and amine transport have significantly high hydrophobicity. Interestingly, the proteins involved in olfactory receptor activity tend to have high frequency of aromatic, sulfuric and hydroxyl amino acids.

  11. Functional Dependencies and Its Axiom System in XML

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    ZHAO Xiangguo; WANG Guoren; HOU Huan; DING Dabin

    2007-01-01

    According to the analysis of existing complicated functional dependencies constraint, we conclude the conditions of defining functional dependency in XML, and then we introduce the concept of the node value equality. Anew path language and a new definition of functional dependencies in XML (XFD) are proposed.XFD includes the relative XFD and the absolute XFD, in which absolute key and relative key are the particular cases. We focus on the logical implication and the closure problems, and propose a group of inference rules. Finally, some proofs of the correctness and completeness are given. XFD is powerful on expressing functional dependencies in XML causing data redundancy, and has a complete axiom system.

  12. Age dependence of rat liver function measurements

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fischer-Nielsen, A; Poulsen, H E; Hansen, B A

    1989-01-01

    Changes in the galactose elimination capacity, the capacity of urea-N synthesis and antipyrine clearance were studied in male Wistar rats at the age of 8, 20 and 44 weeks. Further, liver tissue concentrations of microsomal cytochrome P-450, microsomal protein and glutathione were measured. All...... liver function measurements increased from the age of 8 to 44 weeks when expressed in absolute values. In relation to body weight, these function measurements were unchanged or reduced from week 8 to week 20. At week 44, galactose elimination capacity and capacity of urea-N synthesis related to body...... weight were increased by 10% and 36%, respectively, and antipyrine plasma clearance was reduced to 50%. Liver tissue concentrations of microsomal cytochrome P-450 and microsomal protein increased with age when expressed in absolute values, but were unchanged per g liver, i.e., closely related to liver...

  13. Uncovering Biological Network Function via Graphlet Degree Signatures

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nataša Pržulj

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available Motivation: Proteins are essential macromolecules of life and thus understanding their function is of great importance. The number of functionally unclassified proteins is large even for simple and well studied organisms such as baker’s yeast. Methods for determining protein function have shifted their focus from targeting specific proteins based solely on sequence homology to analyses of the entire proteome based on protein-protein interaction (PPI networks. Since proteins interact to perform a certain function, analyzing structural properties of PPI networks may provide useful clues about the biological function of individual proteins, protein complexes they participate in, and even larger subcellular machines.Results: We design a sensitive graph theoretic method for comparing local structures of node neighborhoods that demonstrates that in PPI networks, biological function of a node and its local network structure are closely related. The method summarizes a protein’s local topology in a PPI network into the vector of graphlet degrees called the signature of the protein and computes the signature similarities between all protein pairs. We group topologically similar proteins under this measure in a PPI network and show that these protein groups belong to the same protein complexes, perform the same biological functions, are localized in the same subcellular compartments, and have the same tissue expressions. Moreover, we apply our technique on a proteome-scale network data and infer biological function of yet unclassified proteins demonstrating that our method can provide valuable guidelines for future experimental research such as disease protein prediction.Availability: Data is available upon request.

  14. Functional and biological characteristics of asthma in cleaning workers.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vizcaya, D.; Mirabelli, M.C.; Orriols, R.; Antó, J.M.; Barreiro, E.; Burgos, F.; Arjona, L.; Gomez, F.; Zock, J.P.

    2013-01-01

    Objectives: Cleaning workers have an increased risk of asthma but the underlying mechanisms are largely unknown. We studied functional and biological characteristics in asthmatic cleaners and compared these to healthy cleaners. Methods: Forty-two cleaners with a history of asthma and/or recent

  15. Functional and biological characteristics of asthma in cleaning workers.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vizcaya, D.; Mirabelli, M.C.; Orriols, R.; Antó, J.M.; Barreiro, E.; Burgos, F.; Arjona, L.; Gomez, F.; Zock, J.P.

    2013-01-01

    Objectives: Cleaning workers have an increased risk of asthma but the underlying mechanisms are largely unknown. We studied functional and biological characteristics in asthmatic cleaners and compared these to healthy cleaners. Methods: Forty-two cleaners with a history of asthma and/or recent respi

  16. Biological ensilage of fish : optimization of stability, safety and functionality

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Enes Dapkevicius, M.L.N.

    2002-01-01

    This thesis deals with stability, safety, and functionality aspects of biological fish silage (BFS) obtained by lactic acid fermentation. BFS may provide an economically viable, environment friendly way of upgrading fish waste.

    BFS has been found advantageous when compared to the

  17. Biological ensilage of fish - optimization of stability, safety and functionality

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Enes Dapkevicius, M.L.N.

    2002-01-01

    This thesis deals with stability, safety, and functionality aspects of biological fish silage (BFS) obtained by lactic acid fermentation. BFS may provide an economically viable, environment friendly way of upgrading fish waste.BFS has been found advantageous when compared to the so-called acid proce

  18. Evolutionary cell biology: functional insight from "endless forms most beautiful".

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richardson, Elisabeth; Zerr, Kelly; Tsaousis, Anastasios; Dorrell, Richard G; Dacks, Joel B

    2015-12-15

    In animal and fungal model organisms, the complexities of cell biology have been analyzed in exquisite detail and much is known about how these organisms function at the cellular level. However, the model organisms cell biologists generally use include only a tiny fraction of the true diversity of eukaryotic cellular forms. The divergent cellular processes observed in these more distant lineages are still largely unknown in the general scientific community. Despite the relative obscurity of these organisms, comparative studies of them across eukaryotic diversity have had profound implications for our understanding of fundamental cell biology in all species and have revealed the evolution and origins of previously observed cellular processes. In this Perspective, we will discuss the complexity of cell biology found across the eukaryotic tree, and three specific examples of where studies of divergent cell biology have altered our understanding of key functional aspects of mitochondria, plastids, and membrane trafficking. © 2015 Richardson et al. This article is distributed by The American Society for Cell Biology under license from the author(s). Two months after publication it is available to the public under an Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike 3.0 Unported Creative Commons License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0).

  19. Milk protein tailoring to improve functional and biological properties

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    JEAN-MARC CHOBERT

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Proteins are involved in every aspects of life: structure, motion, catalysis, recognition and regulation. Today's highly sophisticated science of the modifications of proteins has ancient roots. The tailoring of proteins for food and medical uses precedes the beginning of what is called biochemistry. Chemical modification of proteins was pursued early in the twentieth century as an analytical procedure for side-chain amino acids. Later, methods were developed for specific inactivation of biologically active proteins and titration of their essential groups. Enzymatic modifications were mainly developed in the seventies when many more enzymes became economically available. Protein engineering has become a valuable tool for creating or improving proteins for practical use and has provided new insights into protein structure and function. The actual and potential use of milk proteins as food ingredients has been a popular topic for research over the past 40 years. With today's sophisticated analytical, biochemical and biological research tools, the presence of compounds with biological activity has been demonstrated. Improvements in separation techniques and enzyme technology have enabled efficient and economic isolation and modification of milk proteins, which has made possible their use as functional foods, dietary supplements, nutraceuticals and medical foods. In this review, some chemical and enzymatic modifications of milk proteins are described, with particular focus on their functional and biological properties.

  20. Applications of large-scale density functional theory in biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cole, Daniel J.; Hine, Nicholas D. M.

    2016-10-01

    Density functional theory (DFT) has become a routine tool for the computation of electronic structure in the physics, materials and chemistry fields. Yet the application of traditional DFT to problems in the biological sciences is hindered, to a large extent, by the unfavourable scaling of the computational effort with system size. Here, we review some of the major software and functionality advances that enable insightful electronic structure calculations to be performed on systems comprising many thousands of atoms. We describe some of the early applications of large-scale DFT to the computation of the electronic properties and structure of biomolecules, as well as to paradigmatic problems in enzymology, metalloproteins, photosynthesis and computer-aided drug design. With this review, we hope to demonstrate that first principles modelling of biological structure-function relationships are approaching a reality.

  1. Emergence of ratio-dependent and predator-dependent functional responses for pollination mutualism and seed parasitism

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeAngelis, Donald L.; Holland, J. Nathaniel

    2006-01-01

    Prey (N) dependence [g(N)], predator (P) dependence [g(P) or g(N,P)], and ratio dependence [f(P/N)] are often seen as contrasting forms of the predator's functional response describing predator consumption rates on prey resources in predator–prey and parasitoid–host interactions. Analogously, prey-, predator-, and ratio-dependent functional responses are apparently alternative functional responses for other types of consumer–resource interactions. These include, for example, the fraction of flowers pollinated or seeds parasitized in pollination (pre-dispersal) seed-parasitism mutualisms, such as those between fig wasps and fig trees or yucca moths and yucca plants. Here we examine the appropriate functional responses for how the fraction of flowers pollinated and seeds parasitized vary with the density of pollinators (predator dependence) or the ratio of pollinator and flower densities (ratio dependence). We show that both types of functional responses can emerge from minor, but biologically important variations on a single model. An individual-based model was first used to describe plant–pollinator interactions. Conditional upon on whether the number of flowers visited by the pollinator was limited by factors other than search time (e.g., by the number of eggs it had to lay, if it was also a seed parasite), and on whether the pollinator could directly find flowers on a plant, or had to search, the simulation results lead to either a predator-dependent or a ratio-dependent functional response. An analytic model was then used to show mathematically how these two cases can arise.

  2. Endogenous nitric oxide synthesis: biological functions and pathophysiology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bredt, D S

    1999-12-01

    Modern molecular biology has revealed vast numbers of large and complex proteins and genes that regulate body function. By contrast, discoveries over the past ten years indicate that crucial features of neuronal communication, blood vessel modulation and immune response are mediated by a remarkably simple chemical, nitric oxide (NO). Endogenous NO is generated from arginine by a family of three distinct calmodulin- dependent NO synthase (NOS) enzymes. NOS from endothelial cells (eNOS) and neurons (nNOS) are both constitutively expressed enzymes, whose activities are stimulated by increases in intracellular calcium. Immune functions for NO are mediated by a calcium-independent inducible NOS (iNOS). Expression of iNOS protein requires transcriptional activation, which is mediated by specific combinations of cytokines. All three NOS use NADPH as an electron donor and employ five enzyme cofactors to catalyze a five-electron oxidation of arginine to NO with stoichiometric formation of citrulline. The highest levels of NO throughout the body are found in neurons, where NO functions as a unique messenger molecule. In the autonomic nervous system NO functions NO functions as a major non-adrenergic non-cholinergic (NANC) neurotransmitter. This NANC pathway plays a particularly important role in producing relaxation of smooth muscle in the cerebral circulation and the gastrointestinal, urogenital and respiratory tracts. Dysregulation of NOS activity in autonomic nerves plays a major role in diverse pathophysiological conditions including migraine headache, hypertrophic pyloric stenosis and male impotence. In the brain, NO functions as a neuromodulator and appears to mediate aspects of learning and memory. Although endogenous NO was originally appreciated as a mediator of smooth muscle relaxation, NO also plays a major role in skeletal muscle. Physiologically muscle-derived NO regulates skeletal muscle contractility and exercise-induced glucose uptake. nNOS occurs at the

  3. Model selection in systems biology depends on experimental design.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silk, Daniel; Kirk, Paul D W; Barnes, Chris P; Toni, Tina; Stumpf, Michael P H

    2014-06-01

    Experimental design attempts to maximise the information available for modelling tasks. An optimal experiment allows the inferred models or parameters to be chosen with the highest expected degree of confidence. If the true system is faithfully reproduced by one of the models, the merit of this approach is clear - we simply wish to identify it and the true parameters with the most certainty. However, in the more realistic situation where all models are incorrect or incomplete, the interpretation of model selection outcomes and the role of experimental design needs to be examined more carefully. Using a novel experimental design and model selection framework for stochastic state-space models, we perform high-throughput in-silico analyses on families of gene regulatory cascade models, to show that the selected model can depend on the experiment performed. We observe that experimental design thus makes confidence a criterion for model choice, but that this does not necessarily correlate with a model's predictive power or correctness. Finally, in the special case of linear ordinary differential equation (ODE) models, we explore how wrong a model has to be before it influences the conclusions of a model selection analysis.

  4. Neuroscience in the era of functional genomics and systems biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Geschwind, Daniel H; Konopka, Genevieve

    2009-10-15

    Advances in genetics and genomics have fuelled a revolution in discovery-based, or hypothesis-generating, research that provides a powerful complement to the more directly hypothesis-driven molecular, cellular and systems neuroscience. Genetic and functional genomic studies have already yielded important insights into neuronal diversity and function, as well as disease. One of the most exciting and challenging frontiers in neuroscience involves harnessing the power of large-scale genetic, genomic and phenotypic data sets, and the development of tools for data integration and mining. Methods for network analysis and systems biology offer the promise of integrating these multiple levels of data, connecting molecular pathways to nervous system function.

  5. A structural biology perspective on NMDA receptor pharmacology and function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Regan, Michael C; Romero-Hernandez, Annabel; Furukawa, Hiro

    2015-08-01

    N-methyld-aspartate receptors (NMDARs) belong to the large family of ionotropic glutamate receptors (iGluRs), which are critically involved in basic brain functions as well as multiple neurological diseases and disorders. The NMDARs are large heterotetrameric membrane protein complexes. The extensive extracellular domains recognize neurotransmitter ligands and allosteric compounds and translate the binding information to regulate activity of the transmembrane ion channel. Here, we review recent advances in the structural biology of NMDARs with a focus on pharmacology and function. Structural analysis of the isolated extracellular domains in combination with the intact heterotetrameric NMDAR structure provides important insights into how this sophisticated ligand-gated ion channel may function.

  6. Morpho-chemistry and functionality of diseased biological tissues

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lange, Marta; Cicchi, Riccardo; Pavone, Francesco

    2014-09-01

    Heart and cardiovascular diseases are one of the most common in the world, in particular - arthrosclerosis. The aim of the research is to distinguish pathological and healthy tissue regions in biological samples, in this case - to distinguish collagen and lipid rich regions within the arterial wall. In the work a specific combination of such methods are used: FLIM and SHG in order to evaluate the biological tissue morphology and functionality, so that this research could give a contribution for creating a new biological tissue imaging standard in the closest future. During the study the most appropriate parameter for fluorescence lifetime decay was chosen in order to evaluate lifetime decay parameters and the isotropy of the arterial wall and deposition, using statistical methods FFT and GLCM. The research gives a contribution or the future investigations for evaluating lipid properties when it can de-attach from the arterial wall and cause clotting in the blood vessel or even a stroke.

  7. Caveat on the Boltzmann distribution function use in biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sevcik, Carlos

    2017-08-01

    Sigmoid semilogarithmic functions with shape of Boltzmann equations, have become extremely popular to describe diverse biological situations. Part of the popularity is due to the easy availability of software which fits Boltzmann functions to data, without much knowledge of the fitting procedure or the statistical properties of the parameters derived from the procedure. The purpose of this paper is to explore the plasticity of the Boltzmann function to fit data, some aspects of the optimization procedure to fit the function to data and how to use this plastic function to differentiate the effect of treatment on data and to attest the statistical significance of treatment effect on the data. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  8. Composite Structural Motifs of Binding Sites for Delineating Biological Functions of Proteins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kinjo, Akira R.; Nakamura, Haruki

    2012-01-01

    Most biological processes are described as a series of interactions between proteins and other molecules, and interactions are in turn described in terms of atomic structures. To annotate protein functions as sets of interaction states at atomic resolution, and thereby to better understand the relation between protein interactions and biological functions, we conducted exhaustive all-against-all atomic structure comparisons of all known binding sites for ligands including small molecules, proteins and nucleic acids, and identified recurring elementary motifs. By integrating the elementary motifs associated with each subunit, we defined composite motifs that represent context-dependent combinations of elementary motifs. It is demonstrated that function similarity can be better inferred from composite motif similarity compared to the similarity of protein sequences or of individual binding sites. By integrating the composite motifs associated with each protein function, we define meta-composite motifs each of which is regarded as a time-independent diagrammatic representation of a biological process. It is shown that meta-composite motifs provide richer annotations of biological processes than sequence clusters. The present results serve as a basis for bridging atomic structures to higher-order biological phenomena by classification and integration of binding site structures. PMID:22347478

  9. SU-E-T-54: Benefits of Biological Cost Functions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Demirag, N [Elekta CMS GmbH, Freiburg Im Breisgau, baden wurttemberg (Germany)

    2014-06-01

    Purpose: To verify the benefits of the biological cost functions. Methods: TG166 patients were used for the test case scenarios. Patients were planned using Monaco V5.0 (CMS/Elekta, St.Louis, MO) Monaco has 3 biological and 8 physical CFs. In this study the plans were optimized using 3 different scenarios. 1- Biological CFs only 2-Physical CFs only 3- Combination of Physical and Biological CFsMonaco has 3 biological CFs. Target EUD used for the targets, derived from the poisson cell kill model, has an α value that controls the cold spots inside the target. α values used in the optimization were 0.5 and 0.8. if cold spots needs to be penalized α value increased. Serial CF: it's called serial to mimic the behaviour of the serial organs, if a high k value like 12 or 14 is used it controls the maximum dose. Serial CF has a k parameter that is used to shape the whole dvh curve. K value ranges between 1–20. k:1 is used to control the mean dose, lower k value controls the mean dose, higher k value controls the higher dose, using 2 serial CFs with different k values controls the whole DVH. Paralel CF controls the percentage of the volume that tolerates higher doses than the reference dose to mimic the behaviour of the paralel organs. Results: It was possible to achive clinically accepted plans in all 3 scenarios. The benefit of the biological cost functions were to control the mean dose for target and OAR, to shape the DVH curve using one EUD value and one k value simplifies the optimization process. Using the biological CFs alone, it was hard to control the dose at a point. Conclusion: Biological CFs in Monaco doesn't require the ntcp/tcp values from the labs and useful to shape the whole dvh curve. I work as an applications support specialist for Elekta and I am a Ph.D. Student in Istanbul University for radiation therapy physics.

  10. Biological framework for soil aggregation: Implications for ecological functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ghezzehei, Teamrat; Or, Dani

    2016-04-01

    Soil aggregation is heuristically understood as agglomeration of primary particles bound together by biotic and abiotic cementing agents. The organization of aggregates is believed to be hierarchical in nature; whereby primary particles bond together to form secondary particles and subsequently merge to form larger aggregates. Soil aggregates are not permanent structures, they continuously change in response to internal and external forces and other drivers, including moisture, capillary pressure, temperature, biological activity, and human disturbances. Soil aggregation processes and the resulting functionality span multiple spatial and temporal scales. The intertwined biological and physical nature of soil aggregation, and the time scales involved precluded a universally applicable and quantifiable framework for characterizing the nature and function of soil aggregation. We introduce a biophysical framework of soil aggregation that considers the various modes and factors of the genesis, maturation and degradation of soil aggregates including wetting/drying cycles, soil mechanical processes, biological activity and the nature of primary soil particles. The framework attempts to disentangle mechanical (compaction and soil fragmentation) from in-situ biophysical aggregation and provides a consistent description of aggregate size, hierarchical organization, and life time. It also enables quantitative description of biotic and abiotic functions of soil aggregates including diffusion and storage of mass and energy as well as role of aggregates as hot spots of nutrient accumulation, biodiversity, and biogeochemical cycles.

  11. Deducing protein function by forensic integrative cell biology.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    William C Earnshaw

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Our ability to sequence genomes has provided us with near-complete lists of the proteins that compose cells, tissues, and organisms, but this is only the beginning of the process to discover the functions of cellular components. In the future, it's going to be crucial to develop computational analyses that can predict the biological functions of uncharacterised proteins. At the same time, we must not forget those fundamental experimental skills needed to confirm the predictions or send the analysts back to the drawing board to devise new ones.

  12. The biology, structure, and function of eyebrow hair.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nguyen, Jennifer V

    2014-01-01

    Eyebrow hair serves many important biologic and aesthetic functions. This article reviews the structure and function of the hair follicle, as well as hair follicle morphogenesis and cycling. Eyebrow hair follicles share the same basic structure as hair follicles elsewhere on the body, but are distinguished by their shorter anagen (growing) phase. Knowledge of the hair follicle structure and cycle is important for understanding the pathophysiology of alopecia, as diseases affecting the stem cell portion of the hair follicle in the bulge region may cause permanent hair loss. Furthermore, therapeutic agents that target distinct phases and hormones involved in the hair cycle may be useful for promoting hair growth.

  13. Deducing protein function by forensic integrative cell biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Earnshaw, William C

    2013-12-01

    Our ability to sequence genomes has provided us with near-complete lists of the proteins that compose cells, tissues, and organisms, but this is only the beginning of the process to discover the functions of cellular components. In the future, it's going to be crucial to develop computational analyses that can predict the biological functions of uncharacterised proteins. At the same time, we must not forget those fundamental experimental skills needed to confirm the predictions or send the analysts back to the drawing board to devise new ones.

  14. BALANCE FUNCTIONS : Multiplicity and transverse momentum dependence of the charge dependent correlations in ALICE

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rodriguez Manso, A.

    2015-01-01

    The measurement of charge-dependent correlations between positively and negatively charged particles as a function of pseudorapidity and azimuthal angle, known as the \\emph{balance functions}, provide insight to the properties of matter created in high-energy collisions. The balance functions are ar

  15. Generalization of Dielectric-Dependent Hybrid Functionals to Finite Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brawand, Nicholas P.; Vörös, Márton; Govoni, Marco; Galli, Giulia

    2016-10-01

    The accurate prediction of electronic and optical properties of molecules and solids is a persistent challenge for methods based on density functional theory. We propose a generalization of dielectric-dependent hybrid functionals to finite systems where the definition of the mixing fraction of exact and semilocal exchange is physically motivated, nonempirical, and system dependent. The proposed functional yields ionization potentials, and fundamental and optical gaps of many, diverse molecular systems in excellent agreement with experiments, including organic and inorganic molecules and semiconducting nanocrystals. We further demonstrate that this hybrid functional gives the correct alignment between energy levels of the exemplary TTF-TCNQ donor-acceptor system.

  16. Work function of elemental metals and its face dependence ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Journal of the Nigerian Association of Mathematical Physics. Journal Home ... Open Access DOWNLOAD FULL TEXT Subscription or Fee Access. Work function of elemental metals and its face dependence: Stabilized Jellium approach.

  17. Chemical and biological flocculation process to treat municipal sewage and analysis of biological function

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    XIA Si-qing; YANG Dian-hai; XU Bin; ZHAO Jian-fu

    2005-01-01

    The pilot-scale experimental apparatus and the procedure of the chemical and biological flocculation process to verify the feasibility in treating Shanghai municipal sewage were introduced in this paper. In addition, the biological function of the process was discussed. The results of optimal running showed that in the reaction tank, the concentration of mixed liquor suspended solid(MLSS) was2 g/L, hydraulic retention time(HRT) was 35 min, dosage of liquid polyaluminium chloride(PAC) was 60 mg/L, and the concentration of polyacrylamide(PAM) was 0.5 mg/L. The effluent average concentrations of CODcr, TP, SS and BOD5 were 50 mg/L, 0.62 mg/L, 18mg/L, and 17 mg/L, respectively. These were better than the designed demand. In addition, the existence of biological degradation in this system was proven by several methods. The removal efficiencies of the chemical and biological flocculation process were 20% higher than that of the chemical flocculation process above at the same coagulant dosage. The treatment process under different situations was evaluated on a pilot-scale experiment, and the results provided magnificent parameters and optimal condition for future operation of the plant.

  18. Chemical and biological flocculation process to treat municipal sewage and analysis of biological function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xia, Si-qing; Yang, Dian-hai; Xu, Bin; Zhao, Jian-fu

    2005-01-01

    The pilot-scale experimental apparatus and the procedure of the chemical and biological flocculation process to verify the feasibility in treating Shanghai municipal sewage were introduced in this paper. In addition, the biological function of the process was discussed. The results of optimal running showed that in the reaction tank, the concentration of mixed liquor suspended solid(MLSS) was 2 g/L, hydraulic retention time(HRT) was 35 min, dosage of liquid polyaluminium chloride(PAC) was 60 mg/L, and the concentration of polyacrylamide(PAM) was 0.5 mg/L. The effluent average concentrations of COD(Cr), TP, SS and BOD5 were 50 mg/L, 0.62 mg/L, 18 mg/L, and 17 mg/L, respectively. These were better than the designed demand. In addition, the existence of biological degradation in this system was proven by several methods. The removal efficiencies of the chemical and biological flocculation process were 20% higher than that of the chemical flocculation process above at the same coagulant dosage. The treatment process under different situations was evaluated on a pilot-scale experiment, and the results provided magnificent parameters and optimal condition for future operation of the plant.

  19. Mnk kinase pathway: Cellular functions and biological outcomes

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Sonali; Joshi; Leonidas; C; Platanias

    2014-01-01

    The mitogen-activated protein kinase(MAPK) interacting protein kinases 1 and 2(Mnk1 and Mnk2) play important roles in controlling signals involved in mRNA translation. In addition to the MAPKs(p38 or Erk), multiple studies suggest that the Mnk kinases can be regulated by other known kinases such as Pak2 and/or other unidentified kinases by phosphorylation of residues distinct from the sites phosphorylated by the MAPKs. Several studies have established multiple Mnk protein targets, including PSF, heterogenous nuclear ribonucleoprotein A1, Sprouty 2 and have lead to the identification of distinct biological functions and substrate specificity for the Mnk kinases. In this review we discuss the pathways regulating the Mnk kinases, their known substrates as well as the functional consequences of engagement of pathways controlled by Mnk kinases. These kinases play an important role in mRNA translation via their regulation of eukaryotic initiation factor 4E(eIF4E) and their functions have important implications in tumor biology as well as the regulation of drug resistance to anti-oncogenic therapies. Other studies have identified a role for the Mnk kinases in cap-independent mRNA translation, suggesting that the Mnk kinases can exert important functional effects independently of the phosphorylation of eIF4 E. The role of Mnk kinases in inflammation and inflammationinduced malignancies is also discussed.

  20. Biological properties of extracellular vesicles and their physiological functions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yáñez-Mó, María; Siljander, Pia R.-M.; Andreu, Zoraida; Zavec, Apolonija Bedina; Borràs, Francesc E.; Buzas, Edit I.; Buzas, Krisztina; Casal, Enriqueta; Cappello, Francesco; Carvalho, Joana; Colás, Eva; Silva, Anabela Cordeiro-da; Fais, Stefano; Falcon-Perez, Juan M.; Ghobrial, Irene M.; Giebel, Bernd; Gimona, Mario; Graner, Michael; Gursel, Ihsan; Gursel, Mayda; Heegaard, Niels H. H.; Hendrix, An; Kierulf, Peter; Kokubun, Katsutoshi; Kosanovic, Maja; Kralj-Iglic, Veronika; Krämer-Albers, Eva-Maria; Laitinen, Saara; Lässer, Cecilia; Lener, Thomas; Ligeti, Erzsébet; Linē, Aija; Lipps, Georg; Llorente, Alicia; Lötvall, Jan; Manček-Keber, Mateja; Marcilla, Antonio; Mittelbrunn, Maria; Nazarenko, Irina; Hoen, Esther N.M. Nolte-‘t; Nyman, Tuula A.; O'Driscoll, Lorraine; Olivan, Mireia; Oliveira, Carla; Pállinger, Éva; del Portillo, Hernando A.; Reventós, Jaume; Rigau, Marina; Rohde, Eva; Sammar, Marei; Sánchez-Madrid, Francisco; Santarém, N.; Schallmoser, Katharina; Ostenfeld, Marie Stampe; Stoorvogel, Willem; Stukelj, Roman; Van der Grein, Susanne G.; Vasconcelos, M. Helena; Wauben, Marca H. M.; De Wever, Olivier

    2015-01-01

    In the past decade, extracellular vesicles (EVs) have been recognized as potent vehicles of intercellular communication, both in prokaryotes and eukaryotes. This is due to their capacity to transfer proteins, lipids and nucleic acids, thereby influencing various physiological and pathological functions of both recipient and parent cells. While intensive investigation has targeted the role of EVs in different pathological processes, for example, in cancer and autoimmune diseases, the EV-mediated maintenance of homeostasis and the regulation of physiological functions have remained less explored. Here, we provide a comprehensive overview of the current understanding of the physiological roles of EVs, which has been written by crowd-sourcing, drawing on the unique EV expertise of academia-based scientists, clinicians and industry based in 27 European countries, the United States and Australia. This review is intended to be of relevance to both researchers already working on EV biology and to newcomers who will encounter this universal cell biological system. Therefore, here we address the molecular contents and functions of EVs in various tissues and body fluids from cell systems to organs. We also review the physiological mechanisms of EVs in bacteria, lower eukaryotes and plants to highlight the functional uniformity of this emerging communication system. PMID:25979354

  1. Biological properties of extracellular vesicles and their physiological functions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    María Yáñez-Mó

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available In the past decade, extracellular vesicles (EVs have been recognized as potent vehicles of intercellular communication, both in prokaryotes and eukaryotes. This is due to their capacity to transfer proteins, lipids and nucleic acids, thereby influencing various physiological and pathological functions of both recipient and parent cells. While intensive investigation has targeted the role of EVs in different pathological processes, for example, in cancer and autoimmune diseases, the EV-mediated maintenance of homeostasis and the regulation of physiological functions have remained less explored. Here, we provide a comprehensive overview of the current understanding of the physiological roles of EVs, which has been written by crowd-sourcing, drawing on the unique EV expertise of academia-based scientists, clinicians and industry based in 27 European countries, the United States and Australia. This review is intended to be of relevance to both researchers already working on EV biology and to newcomers who will encounter this universal cell biological system. Therefore, here we address the molecular contents and functions of EVs in various tissues and body fluids from cell systems to organs. We also review the physiological mechanisms of EVs in bacteria, lower eukaryotes and plants to highlight the functional uniformity of this emerging communication system.

  2. State dependent matrices and balanced energy functions for nonlinear systems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Scherpen, Jacquelien M.A.; Gray, W. Steven

    2000-01-01

    The nonlinear extension of the balancing procedure requires the case of state dependent quadratic forms for the energy functions, i.e., the nonlinear extensions of the linear Gramians are state dependent matrices. These extensions have some interesting ambiguities that do not occur in the linear cas

  3. Click Chemistry Mediated Functionalization of Vertical Nanowires for Biological Applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vutti, Surendra; Schoffelen, Sanne; Bolinsson, Jessica; Buch-Månson, Nina; Bovet, Nicolas; Nygård, Jesper; Martinez, Karen L; Meldal, Morten

    2016-01-11

    Semiconductor nanowires (NWs) are gaining significant importance in various biological applications, such as biosensing and drug delivery. Efficient and controlled immobilization of biomolecules on the NW surface is crucial for many of these applications. Here, we present for the first time the use of the Cu(I) -catalyzed alkyne-azide cycloaddition and its strain-promoted variant for the covalent functionalization of vertical NWs with peptides and proteins. The potential of the approach was demonstrated in two complementary applications of measuring enzyme activity and protein binding, which is of general interest for biological studies. The attachment of a peptide substrate provided NW arrays for the detection of protease activity. In addition, green fluorescent protein was immobilized in a site-specific manner and recognized by antibody binding to demonstrate the proof-of-concept for the use of covalently modified NWs for diagnostic purposes using minute amounts of material.

  4. IQGAP1 and its binding proteins control diverse biological functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    White, Colin D; Erdemir, Huseyin H; Sacks, David B

    2012-04-01

    IQGAP proteins have been identified in a wide spectrum of organisms, ranging from yeast to humans. The most extensively studied family member is the ubiquitously expressed scaffold protein IQGAP1, which participates in multiple essential aspects of mammalian biology. IQGAP1 mediates these effects by binding to and regulating the function of numerous interacting proteins. Over ninety proteins have been reported to associate with IQGAP1, either directly or as part of a larger complex. In this review, we summarise those IQGAP1 binding partners that have been identified in the last five years. The molecular mechanisms by which these interactions contribute to the functions of receptors and their signalling cascades, small GTPase function, cytoskeletal dynamics, neuronal regulation and intracellular trafficking are evaluated. The evidence that has accumulated recently validates the role of IQGAP1 as a scaffold protein and expands the repertoire of cellular activities in which it participates.

  5. Biomarkers of Aging: From Function to Molecular Biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wagner, Karl-Heinz; Cameron-Smith, David; Wessner, Barbara; Franzke, Bernhard

    2016-06-02

    Aging is a major risk factor for most chronic diseases and functional impairments. Within a homogeneous age sample there is a considerable variation in the extent of disease and functional impairment risk, revealing a need for valid biomarkers to aid in characterizing the complex aging processes. The identification of biomarkers is further complicated by the diversity of biological living situations, lifestyle activities and medical treatments. Thus, there has been no identification of a single biomarker or gold standard tool that can monitor successful or healthy aging. Within this short review the current knowledge of putative biomarkers is presented, focusing on their application to the major physiological mechanisms affected by the aging process including physical capability, nutritional status, body composition, endocrine and immune function. This review emphasizes molecular and DNA-based biomarkers, as well as recent advances in other biomarkers such as microRNAs, bilirubin or advanced glycation end products.

  6. Executive Functions in Tobacco Dependence: Importance of Inhibitory Capacities.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Valentin Flaudias

    Full Text Available Executive functions are linked to tobacco dependence and craving. In this cross-sectional study, we assessed the impact of three executive functions: updating, inhibition and shifting processes on tobacco craving and dependence.134 tobacco consumers were included in this study: 81 moderately (Fagerström score 7. Dependence was assessed with the Fagerström test and craving with the tobacco craving questionnaire (TCQ 12. We used the Stroop test and the Hayling test to measure inhibition, the Trail Making Test to measure shifting processes and the n-back test to measure updating processes. A multivariate logistic model was used to assess which variables explained best the level of nicotine dependence.Inhibition (p = 0.002 and updating (p = 0.014 processes, but not shifting processes, were associated with higher tobacco dependence. Inhibition capacity had a significant effect on the nicotine dependence level independently of age, education, time since last cigarette, intellectual quotient, craving, updating and shifting process.Nicotine dependence level seems better explained by inhibition capacities than by craving and updating effects. The capacity to inhibit our behaviours is a good predictor of the severity of tobacco dependence. Our results suggest a prefrontal cortex dysfunction affecting the inhibitory capacities of heavy tobacco dependent smokers. Further studies are needed to investigate the application of these findings in the treatment of tobacco dependence.

  7. [Ecological and biological characteristics of Drosophila melanogaster features depending on the dose of electromagnetic radiation of various types].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Babkina, V V; Chernova, G V; Allenova, E A; Endebera, O P; Naumkina, E N

    2013-01-01

    Biological effects of exposure to red light (lambda = 660 +/- 10 nm) on the viability and morphophysiological characteristics of Drosophila melanogaster have been studied. The ability of this physical agent to modify these features is shown. The degree of expression and impact of biological effects depend on the dose, functional and genetic status of the organism. The study of the life expectancy of the exposed to EHF and white light D. melanogaster has revealed that expression of the features depends on the radiation doses, genotype, sex, the nature of the position of wings and lighting conditions. It has been found that the dark mode (24 h-night) is more favorable than the artificial lighting. Individuals with the left wing at the top are more sensitive to the external factors.

  8. Sensitive Dependence of Mental Function on Prefrontal Cortex

    OpenAIRE

    Alen J Salerian

    2015-01-01

    This study offers evidence to suggest that both normalcy and psychiatric illness are sensitively dependent upon prefrontal cortex function. In general, the emergence of psychiatric symptoms coincide with diminished influence of prefrontal cortex function. The mediating influence of prefrontal cortex may be independent of molecular and regional brain dysfunctions contributory to psychiatric illness.

  9. Functionalization of polydopamine coated magnetic nanoparticles with biological entities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mǎgeruşan, Lidia; Mrówczyński, Radosław; Turcu, Rodica

    2015-12-01

    New hybrid materials, obtained through introduction of cysteine, lysine and folic acid as biological entities into polydopamine-coated magnetite nanoparticles, are reported. The syntheses are straight forward and various methods were applied for structural and morphological characterization of the resulting nanoparticles. XPS proved a very powerful tool for surface chemical analysis and it evidences the functionalization of polydopamine coated magnetite nanoparticles. The superparamagnetic behavior and the high values of saturation magnetization recommend all products for further application where magnetism is important for targeting, separation, or heating by alternative magnetic fields.

  10. Functionalization of hydroxyl terminated polybutadiene with biologically active fluorescent molecule

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    R Murali Sankar; Subhadeep Saha; K Seeni Meera; Tushar Jana

    2009-10-01

    A biologically active molecule, 2-chloro-4,6-bis(dimethylamino)-1,3,5-triazine (CBDT), has been covalently attached at the terminal carbon atoms of the hydroxyl terminated polybutadiene (HTPB) backbone. The modification of HTPB backbone by CBDT molecule does not affect the unique physico-chemical properties such as fluidity, hydroxyl value and microstructure of the parent HTPB. The formation of hydrogen bonding between the terminal hydroxyl groups and the nitrogen atoms of triazine moiety is the driving force for the terminal attachment chemistry. The functionalized HTPB (HTPB–CBDT) shows a strong fluorescence emission at 385 nm.

  11. Context dependence of students' views about the role of equations in understanding biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watkins, Jessica; Elby, Andrew

    2013-06-01

    Students' epistemological views about biology--their ideas about what "counts" as learning and understanding biology--play a role in how they approach their courses and respond to reforms. As introductory biology courses incorporate more physics and quantitative reasoning, student attitudes about the role of equations in biology become especially relevant. However, as documented in research in physics education, students' epistemologies are not always stable and fixed entities; they can be dynamic and context-dependent. In this paper, we examine an interview with an introductory student in which she discusses the use of equations in her reformed biology course. In one part of the interview, she expresses what sounds like an entrenched negative stance toward the role equations can play in understanding biology. However, later in the interview, when discussing a different biology topic, she takes a more positive stance toward the value of equations. These results highlight how a given student can have diverse ways of thinking about the value of bringing physics and math into biology. By highlighting how attitudes can shift in response to different tasks, instructional environments, and contextual cues, we emphasize the need to attend to these factors, rather than treating students' beliefs as fixed and stable.

  12. Survivability Specification Framework for Dependability- Functionality Codesign of ERTS

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    JIN Yong-xian

    2005-01-01

    In order to maintain the dependability of system and meet the functional need of users desire, this paper introduces a survivability mechanism into embedded real-time system, and proposes a general comprehensive approach based on a rigorous definition of survivability. This approach permits a trade-off between the function and the cost of system development. It emphasizes the ultradependable implementation of crucial function without demanding that of entire system.

  13. Superoxide-dependent consumption of nitric oxide in biological media may confound in vitro experiments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keynes, Robert G; Griffiths, Charmaine; Garthwaite, John

    2003-01-15

    NO functions ubiquitously as a biological messenger but has also been implicated in various pathologies, a role supported by many reports that exogenous or endogenous NO can kill cells in tissue culture. In the course of experiments aimed at examining the toxicity of exogenous NO towards cultured cells, we found that most of the NO delivered using a NONOate (diazeniumdiolate) donor was removed by reaction with the tissue-culture medium. Two NO-consuming ingredients were identified: Hepes buffer and, under laboratory lighting, the vitamin riboflavin. In each case, the loss of NO was reversed by the addition of superoxide dismutase. The effect of Hepes was observed over a range of NONOate concentrations (producing up to 1 microM NO). Furthermore, from measurements of soluble guanylate cyclase activity, Hepes-dependent NO consumption remained significant at the low nanomolar NO concentrations relevant to physiological NO signalling. The combination of Hepes and riboflavin (in the light) acted synergistically to the extent that, instead of a steady-state concentration of about 1 microM being generated, NO was undetectable (<10 nM). Again, the consumption could be inhibited by superoxide dismutase. A scheme is proposed whereby a "vicious cycle" of superoxide radical (O(2)(.-)) formation occurs as a result of oxidation of Hepes to its radical species, fuelled by the subsequent reaction of O(2)(.-) with NO to form peroxynitrite (ONOO(-)). The inadvertent production of ONOO(-) and other reactive species in biological media, or the associated loss of NO, may contribute to the adverse effects, or otherwise, of NO in vitro.

  14. Diffusion of innovations dynamics, biological growth and catenary function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guseo, Renato

    2016-12-01

    The catenary function has a well-known role in determining the shape of chains and cables supported at their ends under the force of gravity. This enables design using a specific static equilibrium over space. Its reflected version, the catenary arch, allows the construction of bridges and arches exploiting the dual equilibrium property under uniform compression. In this paper, we emphasize a further connection with well-known aggregate biological growth models over time and the related diffusion of innovation key paradigms (e.g., logistic and Bass distributions over time) that determine self-sustaining evolutionary growth dynamics in naturalistic and socio-economic contexts. Moreover, we prove that the 'local entropy function', related to a logistic distribution, is a catenary and vice versa. This special invariance may be explained, at a deeper level, through the Verlinde's conjecture on the origin of gravity as an effect of the entropic force.

  15. Current studies on physiological functions and biological production of lactosucrose.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mu, Wanmeng; Chen, Qiuming; Wang, Xiao; Zhang, Tao; Jiang, Bo

    2013-08-01

    Lactosucrose (O-β-D-galactopyranosyl-(1,4)-O-α-D-glucopyranosyl-(1,2)-β-D-fructofuranoside) is a trisaccharide formed from lactose and sucrose by enzymatic transglycosylation. This rare trisaccharide is a kind of indigestible carbohydrate, has good prebiotic effect, and promotes intestinal mineral absorption. It has been used as a functional ingredient in a range of food products which are approved as foods for specified health uses in Japan. Using lactose and sucrose as substrates, lactosucrose can be produced through transfructosylation by β-fructofuranosidase from Arthrobacter sp. K-1 or a range of levansucrases, or through transgalactosylation by β-galactosidase from Bacillus circulans. This article presented a review of recent studies on the physiological functions of lactosucrose and the biological production from lactose and sucrose by different enzymes.

  16. STAT6: its role in interleukin 4-mediated biological functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takeda, K; Kishimoto, T; Akira, S

    1997-05-01

    Interleukin (IL) 4 is known to be a cytokine which plays a central role in the regulation of immune response. Studies on cytokine signal transduction have clarified the mechanism by which IL4 exerts its functions. Two cytoplasmic proteins, signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT) 6 and IL4-induced phosphotyrosine substrate/insulin receptor substrate 2 (4PS/IRS2), are activated in IL4 signal transduction. Recent studies from STAT6-deficient mice have revealed the essential role of STAT6 in IL4-mediated biological actions. In addition, STAT6 has also been demonstrated to be important for the functions mediated by IL13, which is related to IL4. IL4 and IL13 have been shown to induce the production of IgE, which is a major mediator in an allergic response. These findings indicate that STAT6 activation is involved in IL4- and IL13-mediated disorders such as allergy.

  17. Information content-based Gene Ontology functional similarity measures: which one to use for a given biological data type?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gaston K Mazandu

    Full Text Available The current increase in Gene Ontology (GO annotations of proteins in the existing genome databases and their use in different analyses have fostered the improvement of several biomedical and biological applications. To integrate this functional data into different analyses, several protein functional similarity measures based on GO term information content (IC have been proposed and evaluated, especially in the context of annotation-based measures. In the case of topology-based measures, each approach was set with a specific functional similarity measure depending on its conception and applications for which it was designed. However, it is not clear whether a specific functional similarity measure associated with a given approach is the most appropriate, given a biological data set or an application, i.e., achieving the best performance compared to other functional similarity measures for the biological application under consideration. We show that, in general, a specific functional similarity measure often used with a given term IC or term semantic similarity approach is not always the best for different biological data and applications. We have conducted a performance evaluation of a number of different functional similarity measures using different types of biological data in order to infer the best functional similarity measure for each different term IC and semantic similarity approach. The comparisons of different protein functional similarity measures should help researchers choose the most appropriate measure for the biological application under consideration.

  18. Event-based text mining for biology and functional genomics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, Paul; Nawaz, Raheel; McNaught, John; Kell, Douglas B.

    2015-01-01

    The assessment of genome function requires a mapping between genome-derived entities and biochemical reactions, and the biomedical literature represents a rich source of information about reactions between biological components. However, the increasingly rapid growth in the volume of literature provides both a challenge and an opportunity for researchers to isolate information about reactions of interest in a timely and efficient manner. In response, recent text mining research in the biology domain has been largely focused on the identification and extraction of ‘events’, i.e. categorised, structured representations of relationships between biochemical entities, from the literature. Functional genomics analyses necessarily encompass events as so defined. Automatic event extraction systems facilitate the development of sophisticated semantic search applications, allowing researchers to formulate structured queries over extracted events, so as to specify the exact types of reactions to be retrieved. This article provides an overview of recent research into event extraction. We cover annotated corpora on which systems are trained, systems that achieve state-of-the-art performance and details of the community shared tasks that have been instrumental in increasing the quality, coverage and scalability of recent systems. Finally, several concrete applications of event extraction are covered, together with emerging directions of research. PMID:24907365

  19. Sucrose metabolism gene families and their biological functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Shu-Ye; Chi, Yun-Hua; Wang, Ji-Zhou; Zhou, Jun-Xia; Cheng, Yan-Song; Zhang, Bao-Lan; Ma, Ali; Vanitha, Jeevanandam; Ramachandran, Srinivasan

    2015-11-30

    Sucrose, as the main product of photosynthesis, plays crucial roles in plant development. Although studies on general metabolism pathway were well documented, less information is available on the genome-wide identification of these genes, their expansion and evolutionary history as well as their biological functions. We focused on four sucrose metabolism related gene families including sucrose synthase, sucrose phosphate synthase, sucrose phosphate phosphatase and UDP-glucose pyrophosphorylase. These gene families exhibited different expansion and evolutionary history as their host genomes experienced differentiated rates of the whole genome duplication, tandem and segmental duplication, or mobile element mediated gene gain and loss. They were evolutionarily conserved under purifying selection among species and expression divergence played important roles for gene survival after expansion. However, we have detected recent positive selection during intra-species divergence. Overexpression of 15 sorghum genes in Arabidopsis revealed their roles in biomass accumulation, flowering time control, seed germination and response to high salinity and sugar stresses. Our studies uncovered the molecular mechanisms of gene expansion and evolution and also provided new insight into the role of positive selection in intra-species divergence. Overexpression data revealed novel biological functions of these genes in flowering time control and seed germination under normal and stress conditions.

  20. Event-based text mining for biology and functional genomics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ananiadou, Sophia; Thompson, Paul; Nawaz, Raheel; McNaught, John; Kell, Douglas B

    2015-05-01

    The assessment of genome function requires a mapping between genome-derived entities and biochemical reactions, and the biomedical literature represents a rich source of information about reactions between biological components. However, the increasingly rapid growth in the volume of literature provides both a challenge and an opportunity for researchers to isolate information about reactions of interest in a timely and efficient manner. In response, recent text mining research in the biology domain has been largely focused on the identification and extraction of 'events', i.e. categorised, structured representations of relationships between biochemical entities, from the literature. Functional genomics analyses necessarily encompass events as so defined. Automatic event extraction systems facilitate the development of sophisticated semantic search applications, allowing researchers to formulate structured queries over extracted events, so as to specify the exact types of reactions to be retrieved. This article provides an overview of recent research into event extraction. We cover annotated corpora on which systems are trained, systems that achieve state-of-the-art performance and details of the community shared tasks that have been instrumental in increasing the quality, coverage and scalability of recent systems. Finally, several concrete applications of event extraction are covered, together with emerging directions of research.

  1. Novel ESCRT functions in cell biology: spiraling out of control?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campsteijn, Coen; Vietri, Marina; Stenmark, Harald

    2016-08-01

    The endosomal sorting complex required for transport (ESCRT), originally identified for its role in endosomal protein sorting and biogenesis of multivesicular endosomes (MVEs), has proven to be a versatile machinery for involution and scission of narrow membrane invaginations filled with cytosol. Budding of enveloped viruses and cytokinetic abscission were early described functions for the ESCRT machinery, and recently a number of new ESCRT functions have emerged. These include cytokinetic abscission checkpoint control, plasma membrane repair, exovesicle release, quality control of nuclear pore complexes, neuron pruning, and sealing of the newly formed nuclear envelope. Here we review these novel ESCRT mechanisms and discuss similarities and differences between the various ESCRT-dependent activities.

  2. Parametric dependence of ocean wave-radar modulation transfer functions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plant, W. J.; Keller, W. C.; Cross, A.

    1983-01-01

    Microwave techniques at X and L band were used to determine the dependence of ocean-wave radar modulation transfer functions (MTFs) on various environmental and radar parameters during the Marine Remote Sensing experiment of 1979 (MARSEN 79). These MIF are presented, as are coherence functions between the AM and FM parts of the backscattered microwave signal. It is shown that they both depend on several of these parameters. Besides confirming many of the properties of transfer functions reported by previous authors, indications are found that MTFs decrease with increasing angle between wave propagation and antenna-look directions but are essentially independent of small changes in air-sea temperature difference. However, coherence functions are much smaller when the antennas are pointed perpendicular to long waves. It is found that X band transfer functions measured with horizontally polarized microwave radiation have larger magnitudes than those obtained by using vertical polarization.

  3. Energy Dependence of String Fragmentation Function and φ Meson Production

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    SA Ben-Hao; CAI Xu; Chinorat Kobdaj; WANG Zhong-Qi; YAN Yu-Peng; ZHOU Dai-Mei

    2004-01-01

    The φ meson productions in A u+A u and/or P b+Pb collisions at AGS, SPS, RHIC, and LHC energies have been studied systematically with a hadron and string cascade model LUCIAE.After considering the energy dependence of the model parameter α in string fragmentation function and adjusting it to the experimental data of charged multiplicity to a certain extent, the model predictions for φ meson yield, rapidity, and transverse mass distributions are compatible with the experimental data at AGS, SPS and RHIC energies. A calculation for Pb+Pb collisions at LHC energy is given as well. The obtained fractional variable in string fragmentation function shows a saturation in energy dependence. It is discussed that the saturation of fractional variable in string fragmentation function might be a qualitative representation of the energy dependence of nuclear transparency.

  4. Fungal NRPS-dependent siderophores: From function to prediction

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sørensen, Jens Laurids; Knudsen, Michael; Hansen, Frederik Teilfeldt

    2014-01-01

    discuss the function of siderophores in relation to fungal iron uptake mechanisms and their importance for coexistence with host organisms. The chemical nature of the major groups of siderophores and their regulation is described along with the function and architecture of the large multi-domain enzymes...... responsible for siderophore synthesis, namely the non-ribosomal peptide synthetases (NRPSs). Finally, we present the most recent advances in our understanding of the structural biology of fungal NRPSs and discuss opportunities for the development of a fungal NRPS prediction server...

  5. Fungal NRPS-dependent siderophores: From function to prediction

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sørensen, Jens Laurids; Knudsen, Michael; Hansen, Frederik Teilfeldt

    2014-01-01

    discuss the function of siderophores in relation to fungal iron uptake mechanisms and their importance for coexistence with host organisms. The chemical nature of the major groups of siderophores and their regulation is described along with the function and architecture of the large multi-domain enzymes...... responsible for siderophore synthesis, namely the non-ribosomal peptide synthetases (NRPSs). Finally, we present the most recent advances in our understanding of the structural biology of fungal NRPSs and discuss opportunities for the development of a fungal NRPS prediction server...

  6. Exact response functions within the time-dependent Gutzwiller approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bünemann, J.; Wasner, S.; Oelsen, E. v.; Seibold, G.

    2015-02-01

    We investigate the applicability of the two existing versions of a time-dependent Gutzwiller approach (TDGA) beyond the frequently used limit of infinite spatial dimensions. To this end, we study the two-particle response functions of a two-site Hubbard model where we can compare the exact results and those derived from the TDGA. It turns out that only the more recently introduced version of the TDGA can be combined with a diagrammatic approach which allows for the evaluation of Gutzwiller wave functions in finite dimensions. For this TDGA method, we derive the time-dependent Lagrangian for general single-band Hubbard models.

  7. The transverse momentum dependent distribution functions in the bag model

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Avakian, Harut; Efremov, Anatoly; Schweitzer, Peter; Yuan, Feng

    2010-01-29

    Leading and subleading twist transverse momentum dependent parton distribution functions (TMDs) are studied in a quark model framework provided by the bag model. A complete set of relations among different TMDs is derived, and the question is discussed how model-(in)dependent such relations are. A connection of the pretzelosity distribution and quark orbital angular momentum is derived. Numerical results are presented, and applications for phenomenology discussed. In particular, it is shown that in the valence-x region the bag model supports a Gaussian Ansatz for the transverse momentum dependence of TMDs.

  8. Transverse momentum dependent distribution functions in the bag model

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Avakian, Harut A. [Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility (TJNAF), Newport News, VA (United States); Efremov, A. V. [Joint Inst. for Nuclear Research (JINR), Dubna (Russian Federation); Schweitzer, P. [Univ. of Connecticut, Storrs, CT (United States); Yuan, F. [Brookhaven National Lab. (BNL), Upton, NY (United States). RIKEN Research Center; Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)

    2010-04-01

    Leading and subleading twist transverse momentum dependent parton distribution functions (TMDs) are studied in a quark model framework provided by the bag model. A complete set of relations among different TMDs is derived, and the question is discussed how model-(in)dependent such relations are. A connection of the pretzelosity distribution and quark orbital angular momentum is derived. Numerical results are presented, and applications for phenomenology discussed. In particular, it is shown that in the valence-x region the bag model supports a Gaussian Ansatz for the transverse momentum dependence of TMDs.

  9. DMPD: Type I interferon receptors: biochemistry and biological functions. [Dynamic Macrophage Pathway CSML Database

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available 17502368 Type I interferon receptors: biochemistry and biological functions. de Wee...(.html) (.csml) Show Type I interferon receptors: biochemistry and biological functions. PubmedID 17502368 T...itle Type I interferon receptors: biochemistry and biological functions. Authors

  10. Time-dependent density functional theory: Causality and other problems

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ruggenthaler, Michael; Bauer, Dieter [Max-Planck-Inst. fuer Kernphysik, Heidelberg (Germany)

    2007-07-01

    Time-dependent density functional theory (TDDFT) is a reformulation of the time dependent many-body problem in quantum mechanics which is capable of reducing the computational cost to calculate, e.g., strongly driven many-electron systems enormously. Recent developments were able to overcome fundamental problems associated with ionization processes. Still vital issues have to be clarified. Besides the construction of the underlying functionals we investigate the causality problem of TDDFT by general considerations and by studying a exactly solvable system of two correlated electrons in an intense laser-pulse. For the latter system, the two alternative approaches to the construction of the action functional or a constrained functional derivative by van Leeuwen and Gal, respectively, are explored.

  11. Discoveries of rhythms in human biological functions: a historical review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lemmer, Björn

    2009-08-01

    Though there are very early and ancient observations on the daily variation in physiological and pathophysiological functions (e.g., bronchial asthma), more detailed and scientific reports were not published until the beginning of the 17th century. The aim of this review is to bring those reports to the attention of researchers of chronobiology and chronopharmacology. The ancient books and their contents, which constitute the basis for this review, are part of the personal library collection of the author; numerous observations and reports on biologic rhythms in man are presented here for the first time. The intent of this review is to demonstrate that the fields of chronobiology and chronopharmacology are not only a new and modern branch of science, but that it stands on the shoulders of wonderful and insightful observations and explanations made by our scientific forefathers. It is the hope that the reader will enjoy the richness of the ancient reports that contribute to our present knowledge achieved through astute early biologic rhythm research.

  12. Proteomic profiling of high risk medulloblastoma reveals functional biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Staal, Jerome A; Lau, Ling San; Zhang, Huizhen; Ingram, Wendy J; Hallahan, Andrew R; Northcott, Paul A; Pfister, Stefan M; Wechsler-Reya, Robert J; Rusert, Jessica M; Taylor, Michael D; Cho, Yoon-Jae; Packer, Roger J; Brown, Kristy J; Rood, Brian R

    2015-06-10

    Genomic characterization of medulloblastoma has improved molecular risk classification but struggles to define functional biological processes, particularly for the most aggressive subgroups. We present here a novel proteomic approach to this problem using a reference library of stable isotope labeled medulloblastoma-specific proteins as a spike-in standard for accurate quantification of the tumor proteome. Utilizing high-resolution mass spectrometry, we quantified the tumor proteome of group 3 medulloblastoma cells and demonstrate that high-risk MYC amplified tumors can be segregated based on protein expression patterns. We cross-validated the differentially expressed protein candidates using an independent transcriptomic data set and further confirmed them in a separate cohort of medulloblastoma tissue samples to identify the most robust proteogenomic differences. Interestingly, highly expressed proteins associated with MYC-amplified tumors were significantly related to glycolytic metabolic pathways via alternative splicing of pyruvate kinase (PKM) by heterogeneous ribonucleoproteins (HNRNPs). Furthermore, when maintained under hypoxic conditions, these MYC-amplified tumors demonstrated increased viability compared to non-amplified tumors within the same subgroup. Taken together, these findings highlight the power of proteomics as an integrative platform to help prioritize genetic and molecular drivers of cancer biology and behavior.

  13. Significance tests for functional data with complex dependence structure

    KAUST Repository

    Staicu, Ana-Maria

    2015-01-01

    We propose an L (2)-norm based global testing procedure for the null hypothesis that multiple group mean functions are equal, for functional data with complex dependence structure. Specifically, we consider the setting of functional data with a multilevel structure of the form groups-clusters or subjects-units, where the unit-level profiles are spatially correlated within the cluster, and the cluster-level data are independent. Orthogonal series expansions are used to approximate the group mean functions and the test statistic is estimated using the basis coefficients. The asymptotic null distribution of the test statistic is developed, under mild regularity conditions. To our knowledge this is the first work that studies hypothesis testing, when data have such complex multilevel functional and spatial structure. Two small-sample alternatives, including a novel block bootstrap for functional data, are proposed, and their performance is examined in simulation studies. The paper concludes with an illustration of a motivating experiment.

  14. A Synthetic Biology Framework for Programming Eukaryotic Transcription Functions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khalil, Ahmad S.; Lu, Timothy K.; Bashor, Caleb J.; Ramirez, Cherie L.; Pyenson, Nora C.; Joung, J. Keith; Collins, James J.

    2013-01-01

    SUMMARY Eukaryotic transcription factors (TFs) perform complex and combinatorial functions within transcriptional networks. Here, we present a synthetic framework for systematically constructing eukaryotic transcription functions using artificial zinc fingers, modular DNA-binding domains found within many eukaryotic TFs. Utilizing this platform, we construct a library of orthogonal synthetic transcription factors (sTFs) and use these to wire synthetic transcriptional circuits in yeast. We engineer complex functions, such as tunable output strength and transcriptional cooperativity, by rationally adjusting a decomposed set of key component properties, e.g., DNA specificity, affinity, promoter design, protein-protein interactions. We show that subtle perturbations to these properties can transform an individual sTF between distinct roles (activator, cooperative factor, inhibitory factor) within a transcriptional complex, thus drastically altering the signal processing behavior of multi-input systems. This platform provides new genetic components for synthetic biology and enables bottom-up approaches to understanding the design principles of eukaryotic transcriptional complexes and networks. PMID:22863014

  15. Linking biological soil crust diversity to ecological functions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glaser, Karin; Borchhardt, Nadine; Schulz, Karoline; Mikhailyuk, Tatiana; Baumann, Karen; Leinweber, Peter; Ulf, Karsten

    2016-04-01

    Biological soil crusts (BSCs) are an association of different microorganisms and soil particles in the top millimeters of the soil. They are formed by algae, cyanobacteria, microfungi, bacteria, bryophytes and lichens in various compositions. Our aim was to determine and compare the biodiversity of all occurring organisms in biogeographically different habitats, ranging from polar (both Arctic and Antarctic), subpolar (Scandinavia), temperate (Germany) to dry regions (Chile). The combination of microscopy and molecular techniques (next-generation sequencing) revealed highly diverse crust communities, whose composition clustered by region and correlates with habitat characteristics such as water content. The BSC biodiversity was then linked to the ecological function of the crusts. The functional role of the BSCs in the biogeochemical cycles of carbon, nitrogen and phosphorous is evaluated using an array of state of the art soil chemistry methods including Py-FIMS (pyrolysis field ionization mass spectrometry) and XANES (x-ray absorbance near edge structure). Total P as well as P fractions were quantified in all BSCs, adjacent soil underneath and comparable nearby soil of BSC-free areas revealing a remarkable accumulation of total phosphorous and a distinct pattern of P fractions in the crust. Further, we observed an indication of a different P-speciation composition in the crust compared with BSC-free soil. The data allow answering the question whether BSCs act as sink or source for these compounds, and how biodiversity controls the biogeochemical function of BSCs.

  16. Genome-wide survey for biologically functional pseudogenes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Orjan Svensson

    2006-05-01

    Full Text Available According to current estimates there exist about 20,000 pseudogenes in a mammalian genome. The vast majority of these are disabled and nonfunctional copies of protein-coding genes which, therefore, evolve neutrally. Recent findings that a Makorin1 pseudogene, residing on mouse Chromosome 5, is, indeed, in vivo vital and also evolutionarily preserved, encouraged us to conduct a genome-wide survey for other functional pseudogenes in human, mouse, and chimpanzee. We identify to our knowledge the first examples of conserved pseudogenes common to human and mouse, originating from one duplication predating the human-mouse species split and having evolved as pseudogenes since the species split. Functionality is one possible way to explain the apparently contradictory properties of such pseudogene pairs, i.e., high conservation and ancient origin. The hypothesis of functionality is tested by comparing expression evidence and synteny of the candidates with proper test sets. The tests suggest potential biological function. Our candidate set includes a small set of long-lived pseudogenes whose unknown potential function is retained since before the human-mouse species split, and also a larger group of primate-specific ones found from human-chimpanzee searches. Two processed sequences are notable, their conservation since the human-mouse split being as high as most protein-coding genes; one is derived from the protein Ataxin 7-like 3 (ATX7NL3, and one from the Spinocerebellar ataxia type 1 protein (ATX1. Our approach is comparative and can be applied to any pair of species. It is implemented by a semi-automated pipeline based on cross-species BLAST comparisons and maximum-likelihood phylogeny estimations. To separate pseudogenes from protein-coding genes, we use standard methods, utilizing in-frame disablements, as well as a probabilistic filter based on Ka/Ks ratios.

  17. Structure, Function, and Biology of the Enterococcus faecalis Cytolysin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daria Van Tyne

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available Enterococcus faecalis is a Gram-positive commensal member of the gut microbiota of a wide range of organisms. With the advent of antibiotic therapy, it has emerged as a multidrug resistant, hospital-acquired pathogen. Highly virulent strains of E. faecalis express a pore-forming exotoxin, called cytolysin, which lyses both bacterial and eukaryotic cells in response to quorum signals. Originally described in the 1930s, the cytolysin is a member of a large class of lanthionine-containing bacteriocins produced by Gram-positive bacteria. While the cytolysin shares some core features with other lantibiotics, it possesses unique characteristics as well. The current understanding of cytolysin biosynthesis, structure/function relationships, and contribution to the biology of E. faecalis are reviewed, and opportunities for using emerging technologies to advance this understanding are discussed.

  18. Twenty years of protein interaction studies for biological function deciphering.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Legrain, Pierre; Rain, Jean-Christophe

    2014-07-31

    Intensive methodological developments and technology innovation have been devoted to protein-protein interaction studies over 20years. Genetic indirect assays and sophisticated large scale biochemical analyses have jointly contributed to the elucidation of protein-protein interactions, still with a lot of drawbacks despite heavy investment in human resources and technologies. With the most recent developments in mass spectrometry and computational tools for studying protein content of complex samples, the initial goal of deciphering molecular bases of biological functions is now within reach. Here, we described the various steps of this process and gave examples of key milestones in this scientific story line. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: 20years of Proteomics in memory of Viatliano Pallini. Guest Editors: Luca Bini, Juan J. Calvete, Natacha Turck, Denis Hochstrasser and Jean-Charles Sanchez.

  19. Biological activity of lactoferrin-functionalized biomimetic hydroxyapatite nanocrystals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nocerino, Nunzia; Fulgione, Andrea; Iannaccone, Marco; Tomasetta, Laura; Ianniello, Flora; Martora, Francesca; Lelli, Marco; Roveri, Norberto; Capuano, Federico; Capparelli, Rosanna

    2014-01-01

    The emergence of bacterial strains resistant to antibiotics is a general public health problem. Progress in developing new molecules with antimicrobial properties has been made. In this study, we evaluated the biological activity of a hybrid nanocomposite composed of synthetic biomimetic hydroxyapatite surface-functionalized by lactoferrin (LF-HA). We evaluated the antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties of LF-HA and found that the composite was active against both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria, and that it modulated proinflammatory and anti-inflammatory responses and enhanced antioxidant properties as compared with LF alone. These results indicate the possibility of using LF-HA as an antimicrobial system and biomimetic hydroxyapatite as a candidate for innovative biomedical applications.

  20. Effective Maxwell Equations from Time-dependent Density Functional Theory

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Weinan E; Jianfeng LU; Xu YANG

    2011-01-01

    The behavior of interacting electrons in a perfect crystal under macroscopic external electric and magnetic fields is studied. Effective Maxwell equations for the macroscopic electric and magnetic fields are derived starting from time-dependent density functional theory. Effective permittivity and permeability coefficients are obtained.

  1. Bias-corrected estimation of stable tail dependence function

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Beirlant, Jan; Escobar-Bach, Mikael; Goegebeur, Yuri

    2016-01-01

    We consider the estimation of the stable tail dependence function. We propose a bias-corrected estimator and we establish its asymptotic behaviour under suitable assumptions. The finite sample performance of the proposed estimator is evaluated by means of an extensive simulation study where...

  2. Bias-corrected estimation of stable tail dependence function

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Beirlant, Jan; Escobar-Bach, Mikael; Goegebeur, Yuri

    2016-01-01

    We consider the estimation of the stable tail dependence function. We propose a bias-corrected estimator and we establish its asymptotic behaviour under suitable assumptions. The finite sample performance of the proposed estimator is evaluated by means of an extensive simulation study where...

  3. Cocaine dependence and thalamic functional connectivity: a multivariate pattern analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sheng Zhang

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Cocaine dependence is associated with deficits in cognitive control. Previous studies demonstrated that chronic cocaine use affects the activity and functional connectivity of the thalamus, a subcortical structure critical for cognitive functioning. However, the thalamus contains nuclei heterogeneous in functions, and it is not known how thalamic subregions contribute to cognitive dysfunctions in cocaine dependence. To address this issue, we used multivariate pattern analysis (MVPA to examine how functional connectivity of the thalamus distinguishes 100 cocaine-dependent participants (CD from 100 demographically matched healthy control individuals (HC. We characterized six task-related networks with independent component analysis of fMRI data of a stop signal task and employed MVPA to distinguish CD from HC on the basis of voxel-wise thalamic connectivity to the six independent components. In an unbiased model of distinct training and testing data, the analysis correctly classified 72% of subjects with leave-one-out cross-validation (p < 0.001, superior to comparison brain regions with similar voxel counts (p < 0.004, two-sample t test. Thalamic voxels that form the basis of classification aggregate in distinct subclusters, suggesting that connectivities of thalamic subnuclei distinguish CD from HC. Further, linear regressions provided suggestive evidence for a correlation of the thalamic connectivities with clinical variables and performance measures on the stop signal task. Together, these findings support thalamic circuit dysfunction in cognitive control as an important neural marker of cocaine dependence.

  4. Pay-as-you-go data integration using functional dependencies

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ayat, N.; Afsarmanesh, H.; Akbarinia, R.; Valduriez, P.

    2012-01-01

    Setting up a full data integration system for many application contexts, e.g. web and scientific data management, requires significant human effort which prevents it from being really scalable. In this paper, we propose IFD (Integration based on Functional Dependencies), a pay-as-you-go data integra

  5. Multicomponent density-functional theory for time-dependent systems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Butriy, O.; Ebadi, H.; de Boeij, P. L.; van Leeuwen, R.; Gross, E. K. U.

    2007-01-01

    We derive the basic formalism of density functional theory for time-dependent electron-nuclear systems. The basic variables of this theory are the electron density in body-fixed frame coordinates and the diagonal of the nuclear N-body density matrix. The body-fixed frame transformation is carried ou

  6. Linear-response thermal time-dependent density functional theory

    CERN Document Server

    Pribram-Jones, Aurora; Burke, Kieron

    2015-01-01

    The van Leeuwen proof of linear-response time-dependent density functional theory (TDDFT) is generalized to thermal ensembles. This allows generalization to finite temperatures of the Gross-Kohn relation, the exchange-correlation kernel of TDDFT, and fluctuation dissipation theorem for DFT. This produces a natural method for generating new thermal exchange-correlation (XC) approximations.

  7. Benchmarking natural-language parsers for biological applications using dependency graphs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clegg, Andrew B; Shepherd, Adrian J

    2007-01-25

    Interest is growing in the application of syntactic parsers to natural language processing problems in biology, but assessing their performance is difficult because differences in linguistic convention can falsely appear to be errors. We present a method for evaluating their accuracy using an intermediate representation based on dependency graphs, in which the semantic relationships important in most information extraction tasks are closer to the surface. We also demonstrate how this method can be easily tailored to various application-driven criteria. Using the GENIA corpus as a gold standard, we tested four open-source parsers which have been used in bioinformatics projects. We first present overall performance measures, and test the two leading tools, the Charniak-Lease and Bikel parsers, on subtasks tailored to reflect the requirements of a system for extracting gene expression relationships. These two tools clearly outperform the other parsers in the evaluation, and achieve accuracy levels comparable to or exceeding native dependency parsers on similar tasks in previous biological evaluations. Evaluating using dependency graphs allows parsers to be tested easily on criteria chosen according to the semantics of particular biological applications, drawing attention to important mistakes and soaking up many insignificant differences that would otherwise be reported as errors. Generating high-accuracy dependency graphs from the output of phrase-structure parsers also provides access to the more detailed syntax trees that are used in several natural-language processing techniques.

  8. Benchmarking natural-language parsers for biological applications using dependency graphs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shepherd Adrian J

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Interest is growing in the application of syntactic parsers to natural language processing problems in biology, but assessing their performance is difficult because differences in linguistic convention can falsely appear to be errors. We present a method for evaluating their accuracy using an intermediate representation based on dependency graphs, in which the semantic relationships important in most information extraction tasks are closer to the surface. We also demonstrate how this method can be easily tailored to various application-driven criteria. Results Using the GENIA corpus as a gold standard, we tested four open-source parsers which have been used in bioinformatics projects. We first present overall performance measures, and test the two leading tools, the Charniak-Lease and Bikel parsers, on subtasks tailored to reflect the requirements of a system for extracting gene expression relationships. These two tools clearly outperform the other parsers in the evaluation, and achieve accuracy levels comparable to or exceeding native dependency parsers on similar tasks in previous biological evaluations. Conclusion Evaluating using dependency graphs allows parsers to be tested easily on criteria chosen according to the semantics of particular biological applications, drawing attention to important mistakes and soaking up many insignificant differences that would otherwise be reported as errors. Generating high-accuracy dependency graphs from the output of phrase-structure parsers also provides access to the more detailed syntax trees that are used in several natural-language processing techniques.

  9. Density-functional perturbation theory goes time-dependent

    OpenAIRE

    Gebauer, Ralph; Rocca, Dario; Baroni, Stefano

    2009-01-01

    The scope of time-dependent density-functional theory (TDDFT) is limited to the lowest portion of the spectrum of rather small systems (a few tens of atoms at most). In the static regime, density-functional perturbation theory (DFPT) allows one to calculate response functions of systems as large as currently dealt with in ground-state simulations. In this paper we present an effective way of combining DFPT with TDDFT. The dynamical polarizability is first expressed as an off-diagonal matrix e...

  10. Functional genomics and structural biology in the definition of gene function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hrmova, Maria; Fincher, Geoffrey B

    2009-01-01

    By mid-2007, the three-dimensional (3D) structures of some 45,000 proteins have been solved, over a period where the linear structures of millions of genes have been defined. Technical challenges associated with X-ray crystallography are being overcome and high-throughput methods both for crystallization of proteins and for solving their 3D structures are under development. The question arises as to how structural biology can be integrated with and adds value to functional genomics programs. Structural biology will assist in the definition of gene function through the identification of the likely function of the protein products of genes. The 3D information allows protein sequences predicted from DNA sequences to be classified into broad groups, according to the overall 'fold', or 3D shape, of the protein. Structural information can be used to predict the preferred substrate of a protein, and thereby greatly enhance the accurate annotation of the corresponding gene. Furthermore, it will enable the effects of amino acid substitutions in enzymes to be better understood with respect to enzyme function and could thereby provide insights into natural variation in genes. If the molecular basis of transcription factor-DNA interactions were defined through precise 3D knowledge of the protein-DNA binding site, it would be possible to predict the effects of base substitutions within the motif on the specificity and/or kinetics of binding. In this chapter, we present specific examples of how structural biology can provide valuable information for functional genomics programs.

  11. Multifunctional surfaces with discrete functionalized regions for biological applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ghosh, Moniraj; Alves, Christina; Tong, Ziqiu; Tettey, Kwadwo; Konstantopoulos, Konstantinos; Stebe, Kathleen J

    2008-08-05

    In this paper we describe a method for creating multifunctional glass surfaces presenting discrete patches of different proteins on an inert PEG-functionalized background. Microcontact printing is used to stamp the substrate with octadecyltrichlorosilane to define the active regions. The substrate is then back-filled with PEG-silane {[[2-methoxypoly(ethyleneoxy)]propyl]trimethoxysilane} to define passive regions. A microfluidics device is subsequently affixed to the substrate to deliver proteins to the active regions, with as many channels as there are proteins to be patterned. Examples of trifunctional surfaces are given which present three terminating functional groups, i.e., protein 1, protein 2, and PEG. These surfaces should be broadly useful in biological studies, as patch size is well established to influence cell viability, growth, and differentiation. Three examples of cellular interactions with the surfaces are demonstrated, including the capture of cells from a single cell suspension, the selective sorting of cells from a mixed suspension, and the adhesion of cells to ligand micropatches at critical shear stresses. Within these examples, we demonstrate that the patterned immobilized proteins are active, as they retain their ability to interact with either antibodies in solution or receptors presented by cells. When appropriate (e.g., for E-selectin), proteins are patterned in their physiological orientations using a sandwich immobilization technique, which is readily accommodated within our method. The protein surface densities are highly reproducible in the patches, as supported by fluorescence intensity measurements. Potential applications include biosensors based on the interaction of cells or of marker proteins with protein patches, fundamental studies of cell adhesion as a function of patch size and shear stress, and studies of cell differentiation as a function of surface cues.

  12. Identifying microproduction inaccuracies with Knudsen number depending correction functions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Groll, R.; Gomez, J.

    2016-11-01

    The pressure drop of a transonic Laval nozzle depends on the rarefaction of the gas flow. So relative deviations of the numerical data are a measure for describing the influence of the rarefaction of the gas flow. This deviation is predicted by using a second-order modeling approximation for the Knudsen number depending correction function in the slip-flow regime. The production accuracy is able to be read in these deviation functions because of a deviation from the analytical solutions of the slip-flow influence. With the usage of experimental data the correction function can be calibrated through elimination of the error resulting from the accuracy. The investigated case is a micronozzle flow with Knudsen numbers of slip-flow regime near the nozzle throat in vacuum environment. Compared gases are neon, argon, krypton and xenon.

  13. Functional-dependent and size-dependent uptake of nanoparticles in PC12

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sakai, N; Matsui, Y; Nakayama, A; Yoneda, M [Department of Environment Engineering, Graduate School of Engineering, Kyoto University, 4 Kyotodaigaku Katsura, Nishikyo-ku, Kyoto 6158540 (Japan); Tsuda, A, E-mail: sakai@risk.env.kyoto-u.ac.jp [Department of Environmental Health, Harvard School of Public Health, 665 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02115 (United States)

    2011-07-06

    It is suggested that the uptake of nanoparticles is changed by the particle size or the surface modification. In this study, we quantified the uptake of nanoparticles in PC12 cells exposed Quantum Dots with different surface modification or fluorescent polystyrene particles with different particle size. The PC12 cells were exposed three types of the Quantum Dots (carboxyl base-functionalized, amino base-functionalized or non-base-functionalized) or three types of the fluorescent particles (22 nm, 100 nm or 1000 nm) for 3 hours. The uptake of the nanoparticles was quantified with a spectrofluorophotometer. The carboxyl base-functionalized Quantum Dots were considerably taken up by the cells than the non-base-functionalized Quantum Dots. Conversely, the amino base-functionalized Quantum Dots were taken up by the cells less frequently than the non-base-functionalized Quantum Dots. The particle number of the 22 nm-nanoparticles taken up by the cells was about 53 times higher than the 100 nm-particles. However, the particle weight of the 100 nm-particles taken up by the cells was higher than that of the 22 nm-nanoparticles. The 1000 nm-particles were adhered to the cell membrane, but they were little taken up by the cells. We concluded that nanoparticles can be taken up nerve cells in functional-dependent and size-dependent manners.

  14. Exploration of a modified density dependence in the Skyrme functional

    CERN Document Server

    Erler, J; Reinhard, P -G

    2010-01-01

    A variant of the basic Skyrme-Hartree-Fock (SHF) functional is considered dealing with a new form of density dependence. It employs only integer powers and thus will allow a more sound basis for projection schemes (particle number, angular momentum). We optimize the new functional with exactly the same adjustment strategy as used in an earlier study with a standard Skyrme functional. This allows direct comparisons of the performance of the new functional relative to the standard one. We discuss various observables: bulk properties of finite nuclei, nuclear matter, giant resonances, super-heavy elements, and energy systematics. The new functional performs at least as well as the standard one, but offers a wider range of applicability (e.g. for projection) and more flexibility in the regime of high densities.

  15. HDL abnormalities in familial hypercholesterolemia: Focus on biological functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ganjali, Shiva; Momtazi, Amir Abbas; Banach, Maciej; Kovanen, Petri T; Stein, Evan A; Sahebkar, Amirhossein

    2017-07-01

    Although a selective strong elevation in the plasma level of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol is the hallmark of familial hypercholesterolemia (FH), also other plasma lipoprotein and lipid subspecies are changed in these patients. Several studies in FH patients have pointed to the qualitative abnormalities of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) particles, including their triglyceride and sphingomyelin enrichment, reduced capacity to promote cholesterol efflux from macrophages, impaired anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant activities, and reduced plasma levels of miRs regulating HDL-dependent cholesterol efflux from macrophage foam cells, typical of atherosclerotic lesions. Thus, accurate understanding of HDL functionality and its disturbances in FH may serve a better estimation of the prognosis and also provide additional clues when searching for novel therapeutic choices in this disease. In spite of such a potential promise, there has been no prior comprehensive review focusing on indices of HDL function in FH patients. In the present review, we aim to fulfill this gap by identifying measures of HDL function that are impaired in FH, and by providing a concise summary on the impact of different lipid-modifying therapies on HDL functionality in FH. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Biosynthesis and biological functions of terpenoids in plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tholl, Dorothea

    2015-01-01

    Terpenoids (isoprenoids) represent the largest and most diverse class of chemicals among the myriad compounds produced by plants. Plants employ terpenoid metabolites for a variety of basic functions in growth and development but use the majority of terpenoids for more specialized chemical interactions and protection in the abiotic and biotic environment. Traditionally, plant-based terpenoids have been used by humans in the food, pharmaceutical, and chemical industries, and more recently have been exploited in the development of biofuel products. Genomic resources and emerging tools in synthetic biology facilitate the metabolic engineering of high-value terpenoid products in plants and microbes. Moreover, the ecological importance of terpenoids has gained increased attention to develop strategies for sustainable pest control and abiotic stress protection. Together, these efforts require a continuous growth in knowledge of the complex metabolic and molecular regulatory networks in terpenoid biosynthesis. This chapter gives an overview and highlights recent advances in our understanding of the organization, regulation, and diversification of core and specialized terpenoid metabolic pathways, and addresses the most important functions of volatile and nonvolatile terpenoid specialized metabolites in plants.

  17. Direction-dependent learning approach for radial basis function networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singla, Puneet; Subbarao, Kamesh; Junkins, John L

    2007-01-01

    Direction-dependent scaling, shaping, and rotation of Gaussian basis functions are introduced for maximal trend sensing with minimal parameter representations for input output approximation. It is shown that shaping and rotation of the radial basis functions helps in reducing the total number of function units required to approximate any given input-output data, while improving accuracy. Several alternate formulations that enforce minimal parameterization of the most general radial basis functions are presented. A novel "directed graph" based algorithm is introduced to facilitate intelligent direction based learning and adaptation of the parameters appearing in the radial basis function network. Further, a parameter estimation algorithm is incorporated to establish starting estimates for the model parameters using multiple windows of the input-output data. The efficacy of direction-dependent shaping and rotation in function approximation is evaluated by modifying the minimal resource allocating network and considering different test examples. The examples are drawn from recent literature to benchmark the new algorithm versus existing methods.

  18. Polymer biomaterial constructs for regenerative medicine and functional biological systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meng, Linghui

    The use of collagen as a biomaterial is currently undergoing a renaissance in the tissue engineering field. The excellent biocompatibility and safety due to its biological characteristics, such as biodegradability and weak antigenicity, make collagen a primary material resource in medical applications. Described herein is work towards the development of novel collagen-based matrices, with additional multi-functionality imparted through a novel in-situ crosslinking approach. The process of electrospinning has become a widely used technique for the creation of fibrous scaffolds for tissue engineering applications due to its ability to rapidly create structures composed of nano-scale polymer fibers closely resembling the architecture of the extracellular matrix (ECM). Collagen-PCL sheath-core bicomponent fibrous scaffolds were fabricated using a novel variation on traditional electrospinning, known as co-axial electrospinning. The results showed that the addition of a synthetic polymer core into collagen nanofibers remarkably increased the mechanical strength of collagen matrices spun from the benign solvent system. A novel single-step, in-situ collagen crosslink approach was developed in order to solve the problems dominating traditional collagen crosslinking methods, such as dimensional shrinking and loss of porous morphology, and to simplify the crosslinking procedure for electrospun collagen scaffolds. The excess amount of NHS present in the crosslinking mixture was found to delay the EDC/collagen coupling reaction in a controlled fashion. Fundamental investigations into the development and characterization of in-situ crosslinked collagen matrices such as fibrous scaffolds, gels and sponges, as well as their biomedical applications including cell culture substrates, wound dressings, drug delivery matrices and bone regeneration substitutes, were performed. The preliminary mice studies indicated that the in-situ crosslinked collagen matrices could be good candidates

  19. The minimal database size and resolution of the locally linear algorithm of direct dependence recovery in helio-biology studies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ozheredov, V. A.; Breus, T. K.

    2016-03-01

    Several problems can emerge in front of investigators, who take a detailed restoration of dependency. The key of them - is a mathematically rigorous formulation of the desired degree of details. Second in importance is the reliability problem of reproduction of these details. And the third problem is the evaluation of data collection efforts that will ensure the desired depending on the required details and results reliability. In this work the strict concept of spatial resolution of the locally linear algorithm of direct dependence recovery (DDR) is formulated mathematically. Such approach implies approximation of the system reaction (dependent variable) in the case of the assigned value of factors which only utilizes the data (precedents) from a spherical cluster surrounding those assigned value of factors. The concept of reliability of details is formalized through the noise attenuation coefficient. We derive a relationship between the size of the minimum required database, spatial resolution of the recovery algorithm, the number of influencing factors and the noise attenuation coefficient. Analytical findings are verified by numerical experiments. Maximum number of factors, functional dependence on which can be recovered via the database figuring in various helio-biological works published by many authors for several 10 of years, is estimated. It is shown that the minimum required size of the database depends on the number of influencing factors (dimension of space of the independent variable) as a power law. The analysis conducted in this study reveals that the majority of the dimensional potentials of helio-biological databases are significantly higher that dimensions, which are appear in the approaches of authors of these works.

  20. Comorbid functional shoulder pain and zolpidem dependence treated with pramipexole

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dhiraj Kandre

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Pramipexole is a dopamine agonist with higher affinity for D3 receptors. Treatment with pramipexole in clinical conditions such as restless legs syndrome, fibromyalgia, and parkinsonism has been found to significantly improve measures of pain and sleep along with the other symptoms. There is no research data available that explores the usefulness of pramipexole in somatoform/functional pain syndromes. We report a case of a 65-year-old male with bilateral functional shoulder pain associated with insomnia and zolpidem dependence effectively treated with pramipexole.

  1. Time-dependent density-functional theory concepts and applications

    CERN Document Server

    Ullrich, Carsten A

    2011-01-01

    Time-dependent density-functional theory (TDDFT) describes the quantum dynamics of interacting electronic many-body systems formally exactly and in a practical and efficient manner. TDDFT has become the leading method for calculating excitation energies and optical properties of large molecules, with accuracies that rival traditional wave-function based methods, but at a fraction of the computational cost.This book is the first graduate-level text on the concepts and applications of TDDFT, including many examples and exercises, and extensive coverage of the literature. The book begins with a s

  2. Time-dependent density functional theory for quantum transport.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zheng, Xiao; Chen, GuanHua; Mo, Yan; Koo, SiuKong; Tian, Heng; Yam, ChiYung; Yan, YiJing

    2010-09-21

    Based on our earlier works [X. Zheng et al., Phys. Rev. B 75, 195127 (2007); J. S. Jin et al., J. Chem. Phys. 128, 234703 (2008)], we propose a rigorous and numerically convenient approach to simulate time-dependent quantum transport from first-principles. The proposed approach combines time-dependent density functional theory with quantum dissipation theory, and results in a useful tool for studying transient dynamics of electronic systems. Within the proposed exact theoretical framework, we construct a number of practical schemes for simulating realistic systems such as nanoscopic electronic devices. Computational cost of each scheme is analyzed, with the expected level of accuracy discussed. As a demonstration, a simulation based on the adiabatic wide-band limit approximation scheme is carried out to characterize the transient current response of a carbon nanotube based electronic device under time-dependent external voltages.

  3. Measuring spin-dependent structure functions at CEBAF

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schaefer, A. [Universitaet Frankfurt (Germany)

    1994-04-01

    The author analyses whether CEBAF with a 10 GeV beam could contribute significantly to the understanding of spin-dependent deep-inelastic scattering as well as semi-inclusive reactions. The main advantage of CEBAF is the much better attainable statistics, its great disadvantage its comparably low energy, which limits the accessible x-range to about 0.15 to 0.7. Within these constraints CEBAF could provide (1) high precision data which would be very valuable to understand the Q{sup 2} dependence of the spin-dependent structure functions g{sub 1}(x) and G{sub 2}(x) and (2) the by far most precise determination of the third moments of g{sub 1}(x) and g{sub 2}(x) the latter of which the author argues to be related to a fundamental property of the nucleon.

  4. Time dependent density functional calculation of plasmon response in clusters

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Wang Feng(王锋); Zhang Feng-Shou(张丰收); Eric Suraud

    2003-01-01

    We have introduced a theoretical scheme for the efficient description of the optical response of a cluster based on the time-dependent density functional theory. The practical implementation is done by means of the fully fledged timedependent local density approximation scheme, which is solved directly in the time domain without any linearization.As an example we consider the simple Na2 cluster and compute its surface plasmon photoabsorption cross section, which is in good agreement with the experiments.

  5. Precision measurement of the neutron spin dependent structure functions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kolomensky, Y.G.

    1997-02-01

    In experiment E154 at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center the spin dependent structure function g{sub 1}{sup n} (x, Q{sup 2}) of the neutron was measured by scattering longitudinally polarized 48.3 GeV electrons off a longitudinally polarized {sup 3}He target. The high beam energy allowed the author to extend the kinematic coverage compared to the previous SLAC experiments to 0.014 {le} x {le} 0.7 with an average Q{sup 2} of 5 GeV{sup 2}. The author reports the integral of the spin dependent structure function in the measured range to be {integral}{sub 0.014}{sup 0.7} dx g{sub 1}{sup n}(x, 5 GeV{sup 2}) = {minus}0.036 {+-} 0.004(stat.) {+-} 0.005(syst.). The author observes relatively large values of g{sub 1}{sup n} at low x that call into question the reliability of data extrapolation to x {r_arrow} 0. Such divergent behavior disagrees with predictions of the conventional Regge theory, but is qualitatively explained by perturbative QCD. The author performs a Next-to-Leading Order perturbative QCD analysis of the world data on the nucleon spin dependent structure functions g{sub 1}{sup p} and g{sub 1}{sup n} paying careful attention to the experimental and theoretical uncertainties. Using the parameterizations of the helicity-dependent parton distributions obtained in the analysis, the author evolves the data to Q{sup 2} = 5 GeV{sup 2}, determines the first moments of the polarized structure functions of the proton and neutron, and finds agreement with the Bjorken sum rule.

  6. The origin of neutron biological effectiveness as a function of energy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baiocco, G.; Barbieri, S.; Babini, G.; Morini, J.; Alloni, D.; Friedland, W.; Kundrát, P.; Schmitt, E.; Puchalska, M.; Sihver, L.; Ottolenghi, A.

    2016-01-01

    The understanding of the impact of radiation quality in early and late responses of biological targets to ionizing radiation exposure necessarily grounds on the results of mechanistic studies starting from physical interactions. This is particularly true when, already at the physical stage, the radiation field is mixed, as it is the case for neutron exposure. Neutron Relative Biological Effectiveness (RBE) is energy dependent, maximal for energies ~1 MeV, varying significantly among different experiments. The aim of this work is to shed light on neutron biological effectiveness as a function of field characteristics, with a comprehensive modeling approach: this brings together transport calculations of neutrons through matter (with the code PHITS) and the predictive power of the biophysical track structure code PARTRAC in terms of DNA damage evaluation. Two different energy dependent neutron RBE models are proposed: the first is phenomenological and based only on the characterization of linear energy transfer on a microscopic scale; the second is purely ab-initio and based on the induction of complex DNA damage. Results for the two models are compared and found in good qualitative agreement with current standards for radiation protection factors, which are agreed upon on the basis of RBE data. PMID:27654349

  7. A comparison of dependence function estimators in multivariate extremes

    KAUST Repository

    Vettori, Sabrina

    2017-05-11

    Various nonparametric and parametric estimators of extremal dependence have been proposed in the literature. Nonparametric methods commonly suffer from the curse of dimensionality and have been mostly implemented in extreme-value studies up to three dimensions, whereas parametric models can tackle higher-dimensional settings. In this paper, we assess, through a vast and systematic simulation study, the performance of classical and recently proposed estimators in multivariate settings. In particular, we first investigate the performance of nonparametric methods and then compare them with classical parametric approaches under symmetric and asymmetric dependence structures within the commonly used logistic family. We also explore two different ways to make nonparametric estimators satisfy the necessary dependence function shape constraints, finding a general improvement in estimator performance either (i) by substituting the estimator with its greatest convex minorant, developing a computational tool to implement this method for dimensions $$D\\\\ge 2$$D≥2 or (ii) by projecting the estimator onto a subspace of dependence functions satisfying such constraints and taking advantage of Bernstein–Bézier polynomials. Implementing the convex minorant method leads to better estimator performance as the dimensionality increases.

  8. Toward total synthesis of cell function: Reconstituting cell dynamics with synthetic biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Allen K; DeRose, Robert; Ueno, Tasuku; Lin, Benjamin; Komatsu, Toru; Nakamura, Hideki; Inoue, Takanari

    2016-02-09

    Biological phenomena, such as cellular differentiation and phagocytosis, are fundamental processes that enable cells to fulfill important physiological roles in multicellular organisms. In the field of synthetic biology, the study of these behaviors relies on the use of a broad range of molecular tools that enable the real-time manipulation and measurement of key components in the underlying signaling pathways. This Review will focus on a subset of synthetic biology tools known as bottom-up techniques, which use technologies such as optogenetics and chemically induced dimerization to reconstitute cellular behavior in cells. These techniques have been crucial not only in revealing causal relationships within signaling networks but also in identifying the minimal signaling components that are necessary for a given cellular function. We discuss studies that used these systems in a broad range of cellular and molecular phenomena, including the time-dependent modulation of protein activity in cellular proliferation and differentiation, the reconstitution of phagocytosis, the reconstitution of chemotaxis, and the regulation of actin reorganization. Finally, we discuss the potential contribution of synthetic biology to medicine.

  9. Natural killer cells: Biology, functions and clinical relevance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vojvodić Svetlana

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Introduction. Natural Killer cells (NK cells represent the subset of peripheral lymphocytes that play critical role in the innate immune response to virus-infected and tumor transformed cells. Lysis of NK sensitive target cells could be mediated independently of antigen stimulation and without requirement of peptide presentation by the major histocompatibility complex (MHC molecules. NK cell activity and functions are controlled by a considerable number of cell surface receptors, which exist in both inhibitory and activating isoforms. There are several groups of NK cell surface receptors: 1 killer immunoglobulin like receptors-KIR, 2 C-type lectin receptors,3natural citotoxicity receptors-NCR and 4 Toll-like receptors-TLR. Functions of NK receptors. Defining the biology of NK cell surface receptors has contributed to the concept of the manner how NK cells selectively recognize and lyse tumor and virally infected cells while sparing normal cells. Further, identification of NK receptor ligands and their expression on the normal and transformed cells has led to the development of clinical approaches to manipulating receptor/ligand interactions that showed clinical benefit. NK cells are the first lymphocyte subset that reconstitute the peripheral blood following allogeneic HSCT and multiple roles for alloreactive donor NK cells have been demonstrated, in diminishing Graft vs. Host Disease (GvHD through selective killing recipient dendritic cells, prevention of graft rejection by killing recipient T cells and participation in Graft vs. Leukaemia (GvL effect through destruction of residual host tumor cells. Conclusion. Besides their role in HSCT, NK cell receptors have an important clinical relevance that reflects from the fact that they play a crucial role in the development of some diseases as well as in possibilities of managing all NK receptors through selective expansion and usage of NK cells in cancer immunotherapy.

  10. Charge transfer in time-dependent density functional theory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maitra, Neepa T.

    2017-10-01

    Charge transfer plays a crucial role in many processes of interest in physics, chemistry, and bio-chemistry. In many applications the size of the systems involved calls for time-dependent density functional theory (TDDFT) to be used in their computational modeling, due to its unprecedented balance between accuracy and efficiency. However, although exact in principle, in practise approximations must be made for the exchange-correlation functional in this theory, and the standard functional approximations perform poorly for excitations which have a long-range charge-transfer component. Intense progress has been made in developing more sophisticated functionals for this problem, which we review. We point out an essential difference between the properties of the exchange-correlation kernel needed for an accurate description of charge-transfer between open-shell fragments and between closed-shell fragments. We then turn to charge-transfer dynamics, which, in contrast to the excitation problem, is a highly non-equilibrium, non-perturbative, process involving a transfer of one full electron in space. This turns out to be a much more challenging problem for TDDFT functionals. We describe dynamical step and peak features in the exact functional evolving over time, that are missing in the functionals currently used. The latter underestimate the amount of charge transferred and manifest a spurious shift in the charge transfer resonance position. We discuss some explicit examples.

  11. Function and regulation of lipid biology in Caenorhabditis elegans aging

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicole Shangming Hou

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available Rapidly expanding aging populations and a concomitant increase in the prevalence of age-related diseases are global health problems today. Over the past three decades, a large body of work has led to the identification of genes and regulatory networks that affect longevity and health span, often benefitting from the tremendous power of genetics in vertebrate and invertebrate model organisms. Interestingly, many of these factors appear linked to lipids, important molecules that participate in cellular signaling, energy metabolism, and structural compartmentalization. Despite the putative link between lipids and longevity, the role of lipids in aging remains poorly understood. Emerging data from the model organism Caenorhabditis elegans suggest that lipid composition may change during aging, as several pathways that influence aging also regulate lipid metabolism enzymes; moreover, some of these enzymes apparently play key roles in the pathways that affect the rate of aging. By understanding how lipid biology is regulated during C. elegans aging, and how it impacts molecular, cellular and organismal function, we may gain insight into novel ways to delay aging using genetic or pharmacological interventions. In the present review we discuss recent insights into the roles of lipids in C. elegans aging, including regulatory roles played by lipids themselves, the regulation of lipid metabolic enzymes, and the roles of lipid metabolism genes in the pathways that affect aging.

  12. Function and Regulation of Lipid Biology in Caenorhabditis elegans Aging

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hou, Nicole Shangming; Taubert, Stefan

    2012-01-01

    Rapidly expanding aging populations and a concomitant increase in the prevalence of age-related diseases are global health problems today. Over the past three decades, a large body of work has led to the identification of genes and regulatory networks that affect longevity and health span, often benefiting from the tremendous power of genetics in vertebrate and invertebrate model organisms. Interestingly, many of these factors appear linked to lipids, important molecules that participate in cellular signaling, energy metabolism, and structural compartmentalization. Despite the putative link between lipids and longevity, the role of lipids in aging remains poorly understood. Emerging data from the model organism Caenorhabditis elegans suggest that lipid composition may change during aging, as several pathways that influence aging also regulate lipid metabolism enzymes; moreover, some of these enzymes apparently play key roles in the pathways that affect the rate of aging. By understanding how lipid biology is regulated during C. elegans aging, and how it impacts molecular, cellular, and organismal function, we may gain insight into novel ways to delay aging using genetic or pharmacological interventions. In the present review we discuss recent insights into the roles of lipids in C. elegans aging, including regulatory roles played by lipids themselves, the regulation of lipid metabolic enzymes, and the roles of lipid metabolism genes in the pathways that affect aging. PMID:22629250

  13. Sodium-dependent phosphate transporters in osteoclast differentiation and function.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Giuseppe Albano

    Full Text Available Osteoclasts are multinucleated bone degrading cells. Phosphate is an important constituent of mineralized bone and released in significant quantities during bone resorption. Molecular contributors to phosphate transport during the resorptive activity of osteoclasts have been controversially discussed. This study aimed at deciphering the role of sodium-dependent phosphate transporters during osteoclast differentiation and bone resorption. Our studies reveal RANKL-induced differential expression of sodium-dependent phosphate transport protein IIa (NaPi-IIa transcript and protein during osteoclast development, but no expression of the closely related NaPi-IIb and NaPi-IIc SLC34 family isoforms. In vitro studies employing NaPi-IIa-deficient osteoclast precursors and mature osteoclasts reveal that NaPi-IIa is dispensable for bone resorption and osteoclast differentiation. These results are supported by the analysis of structural bone parameters by high-resolution microcomputed tomography that yielded no differences between adult NaPi-IIa WT and KO mice. By contrast, both type III sodium-dependent phosphate transporters Pit-1 and Pit-2 were abundantly expressed throughout osteoclast differentiation, indicating that they are the relevant sodium-dependent phosphate transporters in osteoclasts and osteoclast precursors. We conclude that phosphate transporters of the SLC34 family have no role in osteoclast differentiation and function and propose that Pit-dependent phosphate transport could be pivotal for bone resorption and should be addressed in further studies.

  14. The Transverse Momentum Dependent Fragmentation Function at NNLO

    CERN Document Server

    Echevarria, Miguel G; Vladimirov, Alexey

    2016-01-01

    We calculate the unpolarized non-singlet transverse momentum dependent fragmentation function (TMDFF) at next-to-next-to-leading order (NNLO), evaluating separately TMD soft factor and TMD collinear correlator. For the first time the cancellation of spurious rapidity divergences in a properly defined individual TMD beyond the first non-trivial order is shown. This represents a strong check of the given TMD definition. We extract the matching coefficient necessary to perform the transverse momentum resummation at next-to-next-to-next-to-leading-logarithmic accuracy. The universal character of the soft function, which enters the definition of all (un)polarized TMD distribution/fragmentation functions, facilitates the future calculation of all the other TMDs and their coefficients at NNLO, pushing forward the accuracy of theoretical predictions for the current and next generation of high energy colliders.

  15. Biochemical and biological functions of class I phosphatidylinositol transfer proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cockcroft, Shamshad; Carvou, Nicolas

    2007-06-01

    Phosphoinositides function in a diverse array of cellular activities. They include a role as substrate for lipid kinases and phospholipases to generate second messengers, regulators of the cytoskeleton, of enzymes and of ion channels, and docking sites for reversible recruitment of proteins to membranes. Mammalian phosphatidylinositol transfer proteins, PITPalpha and PITPbeta are paralogs that share 77% sequence identity and contain a hydrophobic cavity that can sequester either phosphatidylinositol or phosphatidylcholine. A string of 11 amino acid residues at the C-terminal acts as a "lid" which shields the lipid from the aqueous environment. PITPs in vitro can facilitate inter-membrane lipid transfer and this requires the movement of the "lid" to allow the lipid cargo to be released. Thus PITPs are structurally designed for delivering lipid cargo and could thus participate in cellular events that are dependent on phosphatidylinositol or derivatives of phosphatidylinositol. Phosphatidylinositol, the precursor for all phosphoinositides is synthesised at the endoplasmic reticulum and its distribution to other organelles could be facilitated by PITPs. Here we highlight recent studies that report on the three-dimensional structures of the different PITP forms and suggest how PITPs are likely to dock at the membrane surface for lipid delivery and extraction. Additionally we discuss whether PITPs are important regulators of sphingomyelin metabolism, and finally describe recent studies that link the association of PITPs with diverse functions including membrane traffic at the Golgi, neurite outgrowth, cytokinesis and stem cell growth.

  16. Evaluation of sexual functions in Turkish alcohol-dependent males.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dişsiz, Melike; Oskay, Ümran Yeşiltepe

    2011-11-01

    It was reported that long-term and high amount of alcohol consumption cause sexual dysfunction in men. There is a lack of descriptive studies focusing on the sexual dysfunction of alcohol dependent men in Turkey. This study was conducted to evaluate sexual functions of alcohol dependent men. This descriptive study was performed at the Alcohol and Substance Research Treatment and Education Center (ASRTEC). The data was collected between 26 December 2007 and 26 December 2008. As research instruments, an interview form of 30 questions that questioned personal characteristics and was developed by researchers, and IIEF (International Index of Erectile Dysfunction) with 15 items that evaluated sexual dysfunction were used. Mean age of men was 41.22 ± 8.19; 36.5% of participants were graduated from primary school, and 57.5% were unemployed. Average daily alcohol consumption was 16.41 ± 4.90 standard alcohol. We found that 47% of alcohol-dependent men had their first sexual experience before they were 18 years old, 64.4% had multiple partners, 1.7% experienced a sexually transmitted disease, 7.7% had a chronic disease, and 18.3% had pain during intercourse. Mean total IIEF scores of alcohol-dependent men was 57 ± 9.23 (mean ED scores 23.41 ± 3.91). Therefore, 70.3% of participants had a mild (17-25), and 4.4% had a moderate (11-16) erectile dysfunction. With a multivariate analysis, predictors of erectile dysfunction in chronic alcohol dependent male were determined as age of subject, age of onset for alcohol, duration of alcoholism, and cigarette use. Chronic alcoholism affects sexual functions in men. Sexual dysfunction in alcohol addicted males is related with education level and unemployment and starting alcohol consumption at an early age and long-term cigarette smoking. © 2010 International Society for Sexual Medicine.

  17. The Universal Transverse Momentum Dependent Soft Function at NNLO

    CERN Document Server

    Echevarria, Miguel G; Vladimirov, Alexey

    2015-01-01

    All (un)polarized transverse momentum dependent functions (TMDs), both distribution and fragmentation functions, are defined with the same universal soft function, which cancels spurious rapidity divergences within an individual TMD and renders them well-defined hadronic quantities. Moreover, it is independent of the kinematics, whether it is Drell-Yan ($e^+e^-\\rightarrow 2$ hadrons) or deep inelastic scattering. In this paper we provide this soft function at next-to-next-to-leading order (NNLO), necessary for the calculation of all TMDs at the same order, and to perform the resummation of large logarithms at next-to-next-to-next-to-leading-logarithmic accuracy. From the results we obtain the $D$ function at NNLO, which governs the evolution of all TMDs. This work represents the first independent and direct calculation of this quantity. Given the all order relation through a Casimir scaling between the soft function relevant for gluon TMDs and the one for quark TMDs, we also obtain the first at NNLO. The used...

  18. Phytochrome from Green Plants: Properties and biological Function

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Quail, Peter H.

    2014-07-25

    Pfr conformer reverses this activity upon initial light exposure, inducing the switch to photomorphogenic development. This reversal involves light-triggered translocation of the photoactivated phy molecule into the nucleus where it interacts with PIF-family members, inducing rapid phosphorylation and degradation of the PIFs via the ubiquitin-proteasome system. This degradation in turn elicits rapid alterations in gene expression that drive the deetiolation transition. This project has made considerable progress in defining phy-PIF signaling activity in controlling the SAR. The biological functions of the multiple PIF-family members in controlling the SAR, including dissection of the relative contributions of the individual PIFs to this process, as well as to diurnal growth-control oscillations, have been investigated using higher-order pif-mutant combinations. Using microarray analysis of a quadruple pif mutant we have defined the shade-induced, PIF-regulated transcriptional network genome-wide. This has revealed that a dynamic antagonism between the phys and PIFs generates selective reciprocal responses during deetiolation and the SAR in a rapidly light-responsive transcriptional network. Using integrated RNA-seq and ChIP-seq analysis of higher order pif-mutant combinations, we have defined the direct gene-targets of PIF transcriptional regulation, and have obtained evidence that this regulation involves differential direct targeting of rapidly light-responsive genes by the individual PIF-family members. This project has provided significant advances in our understanding of the molecular mechanisms by which the phy-PIF photosensory signaling pathway regulates an important bioenergy-related plant response to the light environment. The identification of molecular targets in the primary transcriptional-regulatory circuitry of this pathway has the potential to enable genetic or reverse-genetic manipulation of the partitioning of carbon between reproductive and

  19. Balance functions: Multiplicity and transverse momentum dependence of the charge dependent correlations in ALICE

    CERN Document Server

    AUTHOR|(CDS)2078856; Snellings, Raimond; Christakoglou, Panos

    The measurement of charge-dependent correlations between positively and negatively charged particles as a function of pseudorapidity and azimuthal angle, known as the balance functions, provide insight to the properties of matter created in high-energy collisions. The balance functions are argued to probe the creation time of the particles and are also sensitive to the collective motion of the system. In this thesis, I present the results of the measured balance functions in p--Pb collisions at √sNN = 5.02~TeV obtained with the ALICE detector at the LHC. The results are compared with balance functions measured in pp and Pb--Pb collisions at √s=7~TeV and √sNN = 2.76~TeV$, respectively. The width of the balance functions in both pseudorapidity and azimuthal angle for non-identified charged particles decreases with increasing multiplicity in all three systems, for particles with low transverse momentum value pT < 2~GeV/c. For higher values of transverse momentum the balance functions become narrower and...

  20. Time-dependent density-functional theory for extended systems

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Botti, Silvana [European Theoretical Spectroscopy Facility (ETSF) (Country Unknown); Schindlmayr, Arno [European Theoretical Spectroscopy Facility (ETSF) (Country Unknown); Del Sole, Rodolfo [European Theoretical Spectroscopy Facility (ETSF) (Country Unknown); Reining, Lucia [European Theoretical Spectroscopy Facility (ETSF) (Country Unknown)

    2007-03-15

    For the calculation of neutral excitations, time-dependent density functional theory (TDDFT) is an exact reformulation of the many-body time-dependent Schroedinger equation, based on knowledge of the density instead of the many-body wavefunction. The density can be determined in an efficient scheme by solving one-particle non-interacting Schroedinger equations-the Kohn-Sham equations. The complication of the problem is hidden in the-unknown-time-dependent exchange and correlation potential that appears in the Kohn-Sham equations and for which it is essential to find good approximations. Many approximations have been suggested and tested for finite systems, where even the very simple adiabatic local-density approximation (ALDA) has often proved to be successful. In the case of solids, ALDA fails to reproduce optical absorption spectra, which are instead well described by solving the Bethe-Salpeter equation of many-body perturbation theory (MBPT). On the other hand, ALDA can lead to excellent results for loss functions (at vanishing and finite momentum transfer). In view of this and thanks to recent successful developments of improved linear-response kernels derived from MBPT, TDDFT is today considered a promising alternative to MBPT for the calculation of electronic spectra, even for solids. After reviewing the fundamentals of TDDFT within linear response, we discuss different approaches and a variety of applications to extended systems.

  1. Improved protein structure selection using decoy-dependent discriminatory functions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Levitt Michael

    2004-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background A key component in protein structure prediction is a scoring or discriminatory function that can distinguish near-native conformations from misfolded ones. Various types of scoring functions have been developed to accomplish this goal, but their performance is not adequate to solve the structure selection problem. In addition, there is poor correlation between the scores and the accuracy of the generated conformations. Results We present a simple and nonparametric formula to estimate the accuracy of predicted conformations (or decoys. This scoring function, called the density score function, evaluates decoy conformations by performing an all-against-all Cα RMSD (Root Mean Square Deviation calculation in a given decoy set. We tested the density score function on 83 decoy sets grouped by their generation methods (4state_reduced, fisa, fisa_casp3, lmds, lattice_ssfit, semfold and Rosetta. The density scores have correlations as high as 0.9 with the Cα RMSDs of the decoy conformations, measured relative to the experimental conformation for each decoy. We previously developed a residue-specific all-atom probability discriminatory function (RAPDF, which compiles statistics from a database of experimentally determined conformations, to aid in structure selection. Here, we present a decoy-dependent discriminatory function called self-RAPDF, where we compiled the atom-atom contact probabilities from all the conformations in a decoy set instead of using an ensemble of native conformations, with a weighting scheme based on the density scores. The self-RAPDF has a higher correlation with Cα RMSD than RAPDF for 76/83 decoy sets, and selects better near-native conformations for 62/83 decoy sets. Self-RAPDF may be useful not only for selecting near-native conformations from decoy sets, but also for fold simulations and protein structure refinement. Conclusions Both the density score and the self-RAPDF functions are decoy-dependent

  2. A Bayesian spatial model for neuroimaging data based on biologically informed basis functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huertas, Ismael; Oldehinkel, Marianne; van Oort, Erik S B; Garcia-Solis, David; Mir, Pablo; Beckmann, Christian F; Marquand, Andre F

    2017-08-04

    The dominant approach to neuroimaging data analysis employs the voxel as the unit of computation. While convenient, voxels lack biological meaning and their size is arbitrarily determined by the resolution of the image. Here, we propose a multivariate spatial model in which neuroimaging data are characterised as a linearly weighted combination of multiscale basis functions which map onto underlying brain nuclei or networks or nuclei. In this model, the elementary building blocks are derived to reflect the functional anatomy of the brain during the resting state. This model is estimated using a Bayesian framework which accurately quantifies uncertainty and automatically finds the most accurate and parsimonious combination of basis functions describing the data. We demonstrate the utility of this framework by predicting quantitative SPECT images of striatal dopamine function and we compare a variety of basis sets including generic isotropic functions, anatomical representations of the striatum derived from structural MRI, and two different soft functional parcellations of the striatum derived from resting-state fMRI (rfMRI). We found that a combination of ∼50 multiscale functional basis functions accurately represented the striatal dopamine activity, and that functional basis functions derived from an advanced parcellation technique known as Instantaneous Connectivity Parcellation (ICP) provided the most parsimonious models of dopamine function. Importantly, functional basis functions derived from resting fMRI were more accurate than both structural and generic basis sets in representing dopamine function in the striatum for a fixed model order. We demonstrate the translational validity of our framework by constructing classification models for discriminating parkinsonian disorders and their subtypes. Here, we show that ICP approach is the only basis set that performs well across all comparisons and performs better overall than the classical voxel-based approach

  3. Free flexural vibration of functionally graded size-dependent nanoplates

    CERN Document Server

    Natarajan, S; Thangavel, M

    2012-01-01

    In this paper, the linear free flexural vibration behaviour of functionally graded (FG) size-dependent nanoplates are investigated using the finite element method. The field variables are approximated by non-uniform rational B-splines. The size-dependent FG nanoplate is investigated by using Eringen's differential form of nonlocal elasticity theory. The material properties are assumed to vary only in the thickness direction and the effective properties for FG nanoplate are computed using Mori-Tanaka homogenization scheme. The accuracy of the present formulation is tested considering the problems for which solutions are available. A detailed numerical study is carried out to examine the effect of material gradient index, the characteristic internal length, the plate thickness, the plate aspect ratio and the boundary conditions on the global response of FG nanoplate.

  4. Nucleon effective mass and the A dependence of structure functions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Garcia Canal, C.A.; Santangelo, E.M.; Vucetich, H.

    1984-10-08

    The nucleon effective mass was successfully used, as the only free parameter, to adjust the ratio R(A) of structure functions measured in a nucleus of mass number A and in the deuteron, for each A value in the SLAC set of experimental data. The resulting A dependence of the effective mass, being linear in A/sup -1/3/, is consistent with the behavior expected from nuclear structure considerations. The extrapolated value of the effective mass for nuclear matter agrees with previous estimations.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Her, Minyoung; Kavanaugh, Arthur

    2016-01-01

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

  6. Time-dependent density-functional description of nuclear dynamics

    CERN Document Server

    Nakatsukasa, Takashi; Matsuo, Masayuki; Yabana, Kazuhiro

    2016-01-01

    We present the basic concepts and recent developments in the time-dependent density functional theory (TDDFT) for describing nuclear dynamics at low energy. The symmetry breaking is inherent in nuclear energy density functionals (EDFs), which provides a practical description of important correlations at the ground state. Properties of elementary modes of excitation are strongly influenced by the symmetry breaking and can be studied with TDDFT. In particular, a number of recent developments in the linear response calculation have demonstrated their usefulness in description of collective modes of excitation in nuclei. Unrestricted real-time calculations have also become available in recent years, with new developments for quantitative description of nuclear collision phenomena. There are, however, limitations in the real-time approach; for instance, it cannot describe the many-body quantum tunneling. Thus, we treat the quantum fluctuations associated with slow collective motions assuming that time evolution of...

  7. Towards understanding the biological function of hopanoids (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doughty, D. M.; Hunter, R.; Summons, R. E.; Newman, D. K.

    2010-12-01

    Rhodopseudomonas palustris TIE-1 expresses bacterial hopanoid lipids that are structurally similar and evolutionarily related to eukaryotic sterols. The genome of R. palustris TIE-1 contains two copies of the hpnN gene (hpnN1 and hpnN2) that are orthologs of genes encoding eukaryotic sterol and lipid transporters. Hopanoid localization to the outer membrane was found to be dependent upon hpnN1. Since the cell cycle of R. palustris TIE-1 is obligately bimodal with each cell division resulting in the generation of one mother and one swarmer cell, evidence was obtained that hopanoids where specifically localized to the outer membrane of mother cells. The sequestration of hopanoids to the mother cells was also disrupted by the deletion of the hpnN1 gene. Mutants lacking the hopanoid transporters were able to grow normally at 30 °C but showed decreased growth at 38 °C. The hopanoid transporter mutant formed cellular filaments when grown at elevated temperature. Because sedimentary steranes and hopanes comprise some of the earliest evidence for the emergence of distinct bacteria and eukaryotic phyla, a better appreciation of the function of hopanoids will improve our ability to interpret the evolution of life on Earth.

  8. Studies of Spuriously Time-dependent Resonances in Time-dependent Density Functional Theory

    CERN Document Server

    Luo, Kai; Maitra, Neepa T

    2016-01-01

    Adiabatic approximations in time-dependent density functional theory (TDDFT) will in general yield unphysical time-dependent shifts in the resonance positions of a system driven far from its ground-state. This spurious time-dependence is rationalized in [J. I. Fuks, K. Luo, E. D. Sandoval and N. T. Maitra, Phys. Rev. Lett. {\\bf 114}, 183002 (2015)] in terms of the violation of an exact condition by the non-equilibrium exchange-correlation kernel of TDDFT. Here we give details on the derivation and discuss reformulations of the exact condition that apply in special cases. In its most general form, the condition states that when a system is left in an arbitrary state, in the absence of time-dependent external fields nor ionic motion, the TDDFT resonance position for a given transition is independent of the state. Special cases include the invariance of TDDFT resonances computed with respect to any reference interacting stationary state of a fixed potential, and with respect to any choice of appropriate stationa...

  9. [Adipogenic function and other biologic effects of insulin].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pankov, Y A

    2016-01-01

    Studies on experimental animals with knockout of the insulin receptor gene Insr (in the whole body or in certain tissues) and/or related genes encoding proteins involved in realization of insulin signal transduction in target cells, have made an important contribution to the elucidation of insulin regulation of metabolism, particularly fat metabolism. Since the whole insulin secreted by b-cells, together with the products of gastrointestinal tract digestion of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates reach the liver, the latter is the first organ on which this hormone acts. The liver employs released amino acids for synthesis of proteins, including apoproteins for various lipoproteins. Glucose is used for synthesis of glycogen, fatty acids, and triglycerides, which enter all the organs in very low density lipoproteins (VLDL). The LIRKO mice with knockout of the Insr gene in the liver demonstrated inhibition of synthesis of macromolecular compounds from amino acids, glucose, and fatty acids. Low molecular weight substances demonstrated increased entry to circulation, and together with other disorders induced hyperglycemia. In LIRKO mice blood glucose levels and glucose tolerance demonstrated time-dependent normalization and at later stages the increase in glucose levels was replaced by hypoglycemia. These changes can be well explained if we take into consideration that one of the main functions of insulin consists in stimulation of energy accumulation by means of activation of triglyceride deposition in adipose tissue. FIRKO mice with selective knockout of adipose tissue Insr were characterized by decreased uptake of glucose in adipocytes, and its transformation into lipids. However, the level of body fat in animals remained normal, possibly due to preserved insulin receptor in the liver and insulin-induced activation of triglyceride production which maintained normal levels of body fat stores, the effective functioning of adipose tissue and secretion of leptin by

  10. Hippocampal-dependent learning requires a functional circadian system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruby, Norman F; Hwang, Calvin E; Wessells, Colin; Fernandez, Fabian; Zhang, Pei; Sapolsky, Robert; Heller, H Craig

    2008-10-01

    Decades of studies have shown that eliminating circadian rhythms of mammals does not compromise their health or longevity in the laboratory in any obvious way. These observations have raised questions about the functional significance of the mammalian circadian system, but have been difficult to address for lack of an appropriate animal model. Surgical ablation of the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) and clock gene knockouts eliminate rhythms, but also damage adjacent brain regions or cause developmental effects that may impair cognitive or other physiological functions. We developed a method that avoids these problems and eliminates rhythms by noninvasive means in Siberian hamsters (Phodopus sungorus). The present study evaluated cognitive function in arrhythmic animals by using a hippocampal-dependent learning task. Control hamsters exhibited normal circadian modulation of performance in a delayed novel-object recognition task. By contrast, arrhythmic animals could not discriminate a novel object from a familiar one only 20 or 60 min after training. Memory performance was not related to prior sleep history as sleep manipulations had no effect on performance. The GABA antagonist pentylenetetrazol restored learning without restoring circadian rhythms. We conclude that the circadian system is involved in memory function in a manner that is independent of sleep. Circadian influence on learning may be exerted via cyclic GABA output from the SCN to target sites involved in learning. Arrhythmic hamsters may have failed to perform this task because of chronic inhibitory signaling from the SCN that interfered with the plastic mechanisms that encode learning in the hippocampus.

  11. Implementation Strategies for Orbital-dependent Density Functionals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bento, Marsal E.; Vieira, Daniel

    2016-12-01

    The development of density functional theory (DFT) has been focused primarily on two main pillars: (1) the pursuit of more accurate exchange-correlation (XC) density functionals; (2) the feasibility of computational implementation when dealing with many-body systems. In this context, this work is aimed on using one-dimensional quantum systems as theoretical laboratories to investigate the implementation of orbital functionals (OFs) of density. By definition, OFs are those which depend only implicitly on the density, via an explicit formulation in terms of Kohn-Sham orbitals. Typical examples are the XC functionals arising from the Perdew-Zunger self-interaction correction (PZSIC). Formally, via Kohn-Sham equations, the implementation of OFs must be performed by means of the optimized effective potential method (OEP), which is known by requiring an excessive computational effort even when dealing with few electrons systems. Here, we proceed a systematical investigation aiming to simplify or avoid the OEP procedure, taking as reference the implementation of the PZSIC correction applied to one-dimensional Hubbard chains.

  12. Density-functional perturbation theory goes time-dependent

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gebauer, Ralph

    2008-05-01

    Full Text Available The scope of time-dependent density-functional theory (TDDFT is limited to the lowest portion of the spectrum of rather small systems (a few tens of atoms at most. In the static regime, density-functional perturbation theory (DFPT allows one to calculate response functions of systems as large as currently dealt with in ground-state simulations. In this paper we present an effective way of combining DFPT with TDDFT. The dynamical polarizability is first expressed as an off-diagonal matrix element of the resolvent of the Kohn-Sham Liouvillian super-operator. A DFPT representation of response functions allows one to avoid the calculation of unoccupied Kohn-Sham orbitals. The resolvent of the Liouvillian is finally conveniently evaluated using a newly developed non-symmetric Lanczos technique, which allows for the calculation of the entire spectrum with a single Lanczos recursion chain. Each step of the chain essentially requires twice as many operations as a single step of the iterative diagonalization of the unperturbed Kohn-Sham Hamiltonian or, for that matter, as a single time step of a Car-Parrinello molecular dynamics run. The method will be illustrated with a few case molecular applications.

  13. Implementation Strategies for Orbital-dependent Density Functionals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bento, Marsal E.; Vieira, Daniel

    2016-10-01

    The development of density functional theory (DFT) has been focused primarily on two main pillars: (1) the pursuit of more accurate exchange-correlation (XC) density functionals; (2) the feasibility of computational implementation when dealing with many-body systems. In this context, this work is aimed on using one-dimensional quantum systems as theoretical laboratories to investigate the implementation of orbital functionals (OFs) of density. By definition, OFs are those which depend only implicitly on the density, via an explicit formulation in terms of Kohn-Sham orbitals. Typical examples are the XC functionals arising from the Perdew-Zunger self-interaction correction (PZSIC). Formally, via Kohn-Sham equations, the implementation of OFs must be performed by means of the optimized effective potential method (OEP), which is known by requiring an excessive computational effort even when dealing with few electrons systems. Here, we proceed a systematical investigation aiming to simplify or avoid the OEP procedure, taking as reference the implementation of the PZSIC correction applied to one-dimensional Hubbard chains.

  14. Synthesis of Gold Nanoparticles with Buffer-Dependent Variations of Size and Morphology in Biological Buffers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahmed, Syed Rahin; Oh, Sangjin; Baba, Rina; Zhou, Hongjian; Hwang, Sungu; Lee, Jaebeom; Park, Enoch Y

    2016-12-01

    The demand for biologically compatible and stable noble metal nanoparticles (NPs) has increased in recent years due to their inert nature and unique optical properties. In this article, we present 11 different synthetic methods for obtaining gold nanoparticles (Au NPs) through the use of common biological buffers. The results demonstrate that the sizes, shapes, and monodispersity of the NPs could be varied depending on the type of buffer used, as these buffers acted as both a reducing agent and a stabilizer in each synthesis. Theoretical simulations and electrochemical experiments were performed to understand the buffer-dependent variations of size and morphology exhibited by these Au NPs, which revealed that surface interactions and the electrostatic energy on the (111) surface of Au were the determining factors. The long-term stability of the synthesized NPs in buffer solution was also investigated. Most NPs synthesized using buffers showed a uniquely wide range of pH stability and excellent cell viability without the need for further modifications.

  15. Synthesis of Gold Nanoparticles with Buffer-Dependent Variations of Size and Morphology in Biological Buffers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahmed, Syed Rahin; Oh, Sangjin; Baba, Rina; Zhou, Hongjian; Hwang, Sungu; Lee, Jaebeom; Park, Enoch Y.

    2016-02-01

    The demand for biologically compatible and stable noble metal nanoparticles (NPs) has increased in recent years due to their inert nature and unique optical properties. In this article, we present 11 different synthetic methods for obtaining gold nanoparticles (Au NPs) through the use of common biological buffers. The results demonstrate that the sizes, shapes, and monodispersity of the NPs could be varied depending on the type of buffer used, as these buffers acted as both a reducing agent and a stabilizer in each synthesis. Theoretical simulations and electrochemical experiments were performed to understand the buffer-dependent variations of size and morphology exhibited by these Au NPs, which revealed that surface interactions and the electrostatic energy on the (111) surface of Au were the determining factors. The long-term stability of the synthesized NPs in buffer solution was also investigated. Most NPs synthesized using buffers showed a uniquely wide range of pH stability and excellent cell viability without the need for further modifications.

  16. The relationship between the connecting peptide of recombined single chain insulin and its biological function

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    黄一丁; 梁镇和; 冯佑民

    2001-01-01

    To investigate the relationship between the biological activity of recombined single chain insulin and the length of the connecting peptide, we designed and prepared three single chain insulin molecules, namely, PIP, [A]5PIP and [A]10PIP, by site-directed mutagenesis, in which B30 and A1 were linked through dipeptide A-K, heptapeptide A-A-A-A-A-A-K, and dodecapeptide A-A-A-A-A-A-A-A-A-A-A-K, respectively. Their receptor binding capacities were 0.14%, 14.3% and 11.1% of that of insulin respectively and their in vivo biological activities were in consistence with their receptor binding capacity; whereas their growth promoting activities were 17%, 116.3% and 38% of that of insulin. These results suggested the following conclusions. (i) The recombined single chain insulin could also possess the same metabolic and mitogenic function as insulin. (ii) The receptor binding capacity of recombined single chain insulin to insulin receptor was closely related to the length and amino acid composition of the connecting peptide and could change from 0 to 100% of insulin depending on the different connecting peptides. This result further illustrated the necessity of B chain C-terminus swaying away from A chain N-terminus when insulin binds to its receptor. (iii) The mitogenic activity of recombined single chain insulin also depended on the length and the amino acid composition of the connecting peptide and was higher than its metabolic activity.

  17. Design of Functional Polyesters for Electronic and Biological Applications

    OpenAIRE

    Nelson, Ashley Marie

    2015-01-01

    Melt polymerization and novel monomers enabled the synthesis of polyesters for electronic and biological applications. Inspiration from nature and a passion for environmental preservation instigated an emphasis on the incorporation of renewable resources into polymeric materials. Critical analysis of current research surrounding bisphenol-A replacements and ion-containing segmented polyurethanes aided in identifying benchmark polymers, including limitations, challenges, and future needs. S...

  18. Oxidative metabolites of lycopene and their biological functions

    Science.gov (United States)

    To gain a better understanding of the beneficial biological activities of lycopene on cancer prevention, a greater knowledge of the metabolism of lycopene is needed. In particular, the identification of lycopene metabolites and oxidation products in vivo; the importance of tissue specific lycopene c...

  19. Click chemistry mediated functionalization of vertical nanowires for biological applications

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vutti, Surendra; Schoffelen, Sanne; Bolinsson, Jessica;

    2016-01-01

    is of general interest for biological studies. The attachment of a peptide substrate provided NW arrays for the detection of protease activity. In addition, green fluorescent protein was immobilized in a site-specific manner and recognized by antibody binding to demonstrate the proof-of-concept for the use...

  20. Cell biology and functional dynamics of the mammalian sperm surface

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gadella, B.M.; Luna, C.

    2014-01-01

    Theriogenology has now a 40-year rich history on covering sperm biological aspects with a special emphasis on farm and husbandry animals. The major and most influential of these contributions will be placed into an evolutionary perspective of ongoing and intriguing progresses made in this field. Alt

  1. World views: Their nature and function in the biology classroom

    Science.gov (United States)

    Armstrong, Kerri Lynn

    There has been sufficient research in the area of conceptual change that indicates that students' conceptions or alternative theories are much more resistant to change than was previously thought. The work of cultural anthropologists and, more recently science educators, points to the role of individual world views in the learning of science concepts. A world view is one's fundamental assumptions and presuppositions concerning perceptions of reality. The purpose of this ethnographic investigation was to shed light on the dynamic interaction of individual world views within the college biology classroom in relation to understanding key biological concepts in genetics, evolution and natural selection, and ecology and ecological relationships. The subjects for this study were 22 students enrolled in an introductory level non-majors biology class at the Community College of Philadelphia. Ten of these students participated in the interviews reported here. The outcomes of this investigation revealed that students do not view themselves as part of science or nature. The investigation also uncovered students' views of the self, nonself, relationship and causality that affect their learning and apprehension of key biological concepts. This investigation provides further demonstration of the influence of world views and the interplay of those views with the notion of scientific literacy.

  2. Functional and molecular characterization of the role of CTCF in human embryonic stem cell biology.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sri Kripa Balakrishnan

    Full Text Available The CCCTC-binding factor CTCF is the only known vertebrate insulator protein and has been shown to regulate important developmental processes such as imprinting, X-chromosome inactivation and genomic architecture. In this study, we examined the role of CTCF in human embryonic stem cell (hESC biology. We demonstrate that CTCF associates with several important pluripotency genes, including NANOG, SOX2, cMYC and LIN28 and is critical for hESC proliferation. CTCF depletion impacts expression of pluripotency genes and accelerates loss of pluripotency upon BMP4 induced differentiation, but does not result in spontaneous differentiation. We find that CTCF associates with the distal ends and internal sites of the co-regulated 160 kb NANOG-DPPA3-GDF3 locus. Each of these sites can function as a CTCF-dependent enhancer-blocking insulator in heterologous assays. In hESCs, CTCF exists in multisubunit protein complexes and can be poly(ADPribosylated. Known CTCF cofactors, such as Cohesin, differentially co-localize in the vicinity of specific CTCF binding sites within the NANOG locus. Importantly, the association of some cofactors and protein PARlation selectively changes upon differentiation although CTCF binding remains constant. Understanding how unique cofactors may impart specialized functions to CTCF at specific genomic locations will further illuminate its role in stem cell biology.

  3. Substrate chemistry influences the morphology and biological function of adsorbed extracellular matrix assemblies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sherratt, Michael J; Bax, Daniel V; Chaudhry, Shazia S; Hodson, Nigel; Lu, Jian R; Saravanapavan, Priya; Kielty, Cay M

    2005-12-01

    In addition to mediating cell signalling events, native extracellular matrix (ECM) assemblies interact with other ECM components, act as reservoirs for soluble signalling molecules and perform structural roles. The potential of native ECM assemblies in the manufacture of biomimetic materials has not been fully exploited due, in part, to the effects of substrate interactions on their morphology. We have previously demonstrated that the ECM components, fibrillin and type VI collagen microfibrils, exhibit substrate dependent morphologies on chemically and topographically variable heterogeneous surfaces. Using both cleaning and coating approaches on silicon wafers and glass coverslips we have produced chemically homogeneous, topographically similar substrates which cover a large amphiphilic range. Extremes of substrate amphiphilicity induced morphological changes in periodicity, curvature and lateral spreading which may mask binding sites or disrupt domain structure. Biological functionality, as assayed by the ability to support cell spreading, was significantly reduced for fibrillin microfibrils adsorbed on highly hydrophilic substrates (contact angle 20.7 degrees) compared with less hydrophilic (contact angle 38.3 degrees) and hydrophobic (contact angle 92.8 degrees) substrates. With an appropriate choice of surface chemistry, multifunctional ECM assemblies retain their native morphology and biological functionality.

  4. Relativistic Spin-Isospin Dependent Response Function of Nucleus

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    LIU Liang-Gang; CHEN Wei; AI Bao-Quan; ZHENG Xiao-Ping; Masahiro Nakano

    2000-01-01

    A full relativistic formalism is employed to derive the relativistic particle-hole and delta-hole excitation polariza tion insertion of pion propagator in nuclear matter. The spin-isospin-dependent response function of nucleus at high energy-momentum transfer is calculated with the nuclear matter approximation. The short range correlation effect, two-nucleon absorption and nucleus form factor effects are included in the calculation. The position and width of the resonance peak of the spin-isospin mode are reproduced and found to be coincident with experiment data. The position of the peak and its width is sensitive to Landau-Migdal parameter g' which is about 0.6.

  5. Transverse momentum-dependent parton distribution functions in lattice QCD

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Engelhardt, Michael G. [New Mexico State University; Musch, Bernhard U. [Tech. University Munich; Haegler, Philipp G. [Tech. University Munich; Negele, John W. [MIT; Schaefer, Andreas [Regensburg

    2013-08-01

    A fundamental structural property of the nucleon is the distribution of quark momenta, both parallel as well as perpendicular to its propagation. Experimentally, this information is accessible via selected processes such as semi-inclusive deep inelastic scattering (SIDIS) and the Drell-Yan process (DY), which can be parametrized in terms of transversemomentum-dependent parton distributions (TMDs). On the other hand, these distribution functions can be extracted from nucleon matrix elements of a certain class of bilocal quark operators in which the quarks are connected by a staple-shaped Wilson line serving to incorporate initial state (DY) or final state (SIDIS) interactions. A scheme for evaluating such matrix elements within lattice QCD is developed. This requires casting the calculation in a particular Lorentz frame, which is facilitated by a parametrization of the matrix elements in terms of invariant amplitudes. Exploratory results are presented for the time-reversal odd Sivers and Boer-Mulders transverse momentum shifts.

  6. In search of lipid translocases and their biological functions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hoekstra, D; van Ijzendoorn, SCD

    2003-01-01

    In plasma membranes, lipids distribute asymmetrically across the bilayer, a process that requires proteins. Recent work identified novel lipid translocators in yeast, and their activity was functionally correlated to endocytosis, thus boosting investigations on identity, mechanism, and function of l

  7. TonB-dependent transporters: regulation, structure, and function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noinaj, Nicholas; Guillier, Maude; Barnard, Travis J; Buchanan, Susan K

    2010-01-01

    TonB-dependent transporters (TBDTs) are bacterial outer membrane proteins that bind and transport ferric chelates, called siderophores, as well as vitamin B(12), nickel complexes, and carbohydrates. The transport process requires energy in the form of proton motive force and a complex of three inner membrane proteins, TonB-ExbB-ExbD, to transduce this energy to the outer membrane. The siderophore substrates range in complexity from simple small molecules such as citrate to large proteins such as serum transferrin and hemoglobin. Because iron uptake is vital for almost all bacteria, expression of TBDTs is regulated in a number of ways that include metal-dependent regulators, σ/anti-σ factor systems, small RNAs, and even a riboswitch. In recent years, many new structures of TBDTs have been solved in various states, resulting in a more complete understanding of siderophore selectivity and binding, signal transduction across the outer membrane, and interaction with the TonB-ExbB-ExbD complex. However, the transport mechanism is still unclear. In this review, we summarize recent progress in understanding regulation, structure, and function in TBDTs and questions remaining to be answered.

  8. Ubiquitination-dependent mechanisms regulate synaptic growth and function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    DiAntonio, A; Haghighi, A P; Portman, S L; Lee, J D; Amaranto, A M; Goodman, C S

    2001-07-26

    The covalent attachment of ubiquitin to cellular proteins is a powerful mechanism for controlling protein activity and localization. Ubiquitination is a reversible modification promoted by ubiquitin ligases and antagonized by deubiquitinating proteases. Ubiquitin-dependent mechanisms regulate many important processes including cell-cycle progression, apoptosis and transcriptional regulation. Here we show that ubiquitin-dependent mechanisms regulate synaptic development at the Drosophila neuromuscular junction (NMJ). Neuronal overexpression of the deubiquitinating protease fat facets leads to a profound disruption of synaptic growth control; there is a large increase in the number of synaptic boutons, an elaboration of the synaptic branching pattern, and a disruption of synaptic function. Antagonizing the ubiquitination pathway in neurons by expression of the yeast deubiquitinating protease UBP2 (ref. 5) also produces synaptic overgrowth and dysfunction. Genetic interactions between fat facets and highwire, a negative regulator of synaptic growth that has structural homology to a family of ubiquitin ligases, suggest that synaptic development may be controlled by the balance between positive and negative regulators of ubiquitination.

  9. Cerenkov Radiation: A Multi-functional Approach for Biological Sciences

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiaowei eMa

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Cerenkov radiation (CR has been used in various biological research fields, which has aroused lots of attention in recent years. Combining optical imaging instruments and most of nuclear medicine imaging or radiotherapy probes, the CR was developed as a new imaging modality for biology studies, called Cerenkov luminescence imaging (CLI. On the other hand, it was novelly used as an internal excitation source to activate some fluorophores for energy transfer imaging. However, it also has some shortages such as relatively weak luminescence intensity and low penetration in tissue. Thus some scientific groups demonstrated to optimize the CLI and demonstrated it to three-dimension tomography. In this article, we elaborate on its principle, history, and applications and discuss a number of directions for technical improvements. Then concluded some advantages and shortages of CR and discuss some prospects of it.

  10. Opposing Biological Functions of Tryptophan Catabolizing Enzymes During Intracellular Infection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Divanovic, Senad; Sawtell, Nancy M.; Trompette, Aurelien; Warning, Jamie I.; Dias, Alexandra; Cooper, Andrea M.; Yap, George S.; Arditi, Moshe; Shimada, Kenichi; DuHadaway, James B.; Prendergast, George C.; Basaraba, Randall J.; Mellor, Andrew L.; Munn, David H.; Aliberti, Julio

    2012-01-01

    Recent studies have underscored physiological and pathophysiological roles for the tryptophan-degrading enzyme indolamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO) in immune counterregulation. However, IDO was first recognized as an antimicrobial effector, restricting tryptophan availability to Toxoplasma gondii and other pathogens in vitro. The biological relevance of these findings came under question when infectious phenotypes were not forthcoming in IDO-deficient mice. The recent discovery of an IDO homolog, IDO-2, suggested that the issue deserved reexamination. IDO inhibition during murine toxoplasmosis led to 100% mortality, with increased parasite burdens and no evident effects on the immune response. Similar studies revealed a counterregulatory role for IDO during leishmaniasis (restraining effector immune responses and parasite clearance), and no evident role for IDO in herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) infection. Thus, IDO plays biologically important roles in the host response to diverse intracellular infections, but the dominant nature of this role—antimicrobial or immunoregulatory—is pathogen-specific. PMID:21990421

  11. Cerenkov Radiation: A Multi-functional Approach for Biological Sciences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ma, Xiaowei; Wang, Jing; Cheng, Zhen

    2014-02-01

    Cerenkov radiation (CR) has been used in various biological research fields, which has aroused lots of attention in recent years. Combining optical imaging instruments and most of nuclear medicine imaging or radiotherapy probes, the CR was developed as a new imaging modality for biology studies, called Cerenkov luminescence imaging (CLI). On the other hand, it was novelly used as an internal excitation source to activate some fluorophores for energy transfer imaging. However, it also has some shortages such as relatively weak luminescence intensity and low penetration in tissue. Thus some scientific groups demonstrated to optimize the CLI and demonstrated it to three-dimension tomography. In this article, we elaborate on its principle, history, and applications and discuss a number of directions for technical improvements. Then concluded some advantages and shortages of CR and discuss some prospects of it.

  12. Stochastic Time-Dependent Current-Density Functional Theory

    Science.gov (United States)

    D'Agosta, Roberto

    2008-03-01

    Static and dynamical density functional methods have been applied with a certain degree of success to a variety of closed quantum mechanical systems, i.e., systems that can be described via a Hamiltonian dynamics. However, the relevance of open quantum systems - those coupled to external environments, e.g., baths or reservoirs - cannot be overestimated. To investigate open quantum systems with DFT methods we have introduced a new theory, we have named Stochastic Time-Dependent Current Density Functional theory (S-TDCDFT) [1]: starting from a suitable description of the system dynamics via a stochastic Schrödinger equation [2], we have proven that given an initial quantum state and the coupling between the system and the environment, there is a one-to-one correspondence between the ensemble-averaged current density and the external vector potential applied to the system.In this talk, I will introduce the stochastic formalism needed for the description of open quantum systems, discuss in details the theorem of Stochastic TD-CDFT, and provide few examples of its applicability like the dissipative dynamics of excited systems, quantum-measurement theory and other applications relevant to charge and energy transport in nanoscale systems.[1] M. Di Ventra and R. D'Agosta, Physical Review Letters 98, 226403 (2007)[2] N.G. van Kampen, Stochastic processes in Physics and Chemistry, (North Holland, 2001), 2nd ed.

  13. Sex Dependence of Cognitive Functions in Bipolar Disorder

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aleksandra Suwalska

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The objective of the present study was to assess the performance of lithium treated euthymic bipolar patients in tests measuring spatial working memory (SWM, planning, and verbal fluency and to delineate the influence of gender on cognitive functioning. Fifty-nine euthymic bipolar patients, treated with lithium carbonate for at least 5 yr, were studied. Patients and controls underwent a neuropsychological assessment. Bipolar patients had significantly worse results than the healthy controls in the spatial memory and planning as well as verbal fluency tests. We detected a gender-related imbalance in the SWM results. Deficits in SWM were observed in male-only comparisons but not in female-only comparisons. The SWM scores were significantly poorer in male patients than in male controls. In female-only comparisons, female patients did not have significantly poorer SWM results in any category than their controls. Bipolar women scored worse in some other tests. The present study points to the different patterns of neuropsychological disturbances in female and male patients and suggests that sex-dependent differences should be taken into account in order to tailor the therapeutic intervention aimed at the improvement of cognitive functions.

  14. Function of parotid gland following irradiation and its relation to biological parameters

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sasaki, T. (Tohoku Univ., Sendai, Japan); Yamamoto, M.; Takeda, M.

    1980-09-01

    The function of the parotid gland in the mouse (synthesis and secretion of ..cap alpha..-amylase) following X irradiation was analyzed in relation to the parameters of surviving acinar cell fraction, DNA or protein content, and wet weight of the gland. Both synthesis and secretion of amylase in parotid were essentially unchanged when mice were irradiated with a dose of up to 3000 rad. When mice were irradiated and then given a proliferative stimulus of isoproterenol, latent lethal damage in the acinar cell population was expressed and resulted in cell degeneration in a dose-dependent manner. The mean value of amylase activity per gland in similarly treated parotids was, however, totally unaffected. The relationship between amylase activity per gland and the other biological parameters was analyzed by regression analysis. The results indicate that amylase activity per surviving acinar cell increased proportionately to compensate for the loss of acinar cells.

  15. Functional assessment of ubiquitin-depended processes under microgravity conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhabereva, Anastasia; Shenkman, Boris S.; Gainullin, Murat; Gurev, Eugeny; Kondratieva, Ekaterina; Kopylov, Arthur

    , were separated by SDS-PAGE and subjected for mass spectrometry-based analysis.With the described workflow, we identified more than 200 proteins including of 26S proteasome subunits, members of SUMO (Small Ubiquitin-like Modifier) family and ubiquitylated substrates. On the whole, our results provide an unbiased view of ubiquitylation state under microgravity conditions and thereby demonstrate the utility of proposed combination of analytical methods for functional assessment of ubiquitin-depended processes. Acknowledgment - We thank teams of Institute of Biomedical Problems of Russian Academy of Sciences and TsSKB “Progress” Samara for organization and preparation for spaceflight. This work is partially supported by the Russian Foundation for Basic Research (grant12-04-01836).

  16. Object-based attentional modulation of biological motion processing: spatiotemporal dynamics using functional magnetic resonance imaging and electroencephalography.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Safford, Ashley S; Hussey, Elizabeth A; Parasuraman, Raja; Thompson, James C

    2010-07-07

    Although it is well documented that the ability to perceive biological motion is mediated by the lateral temporal cortex, whether and when neural activity in this brain region is modulated by attention is unknown. In particular, it is unclear whether the processing of biological motion requires attention or whether such stimuli are processed preattentively. Here, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging, high-density electroencephalography, and cortically constrained source estimation methods to investigate the spatiotemporal effects of attention on the processing of biological motion. Directing attention to tool motion in overlapping movies of biological motion and tool motion suppressed the blood oxygenation level-dependent (BOLD) response of the right superior temporal sulcus (STS)/middle temporal gyrus (MTG), while directing attention to biological motion suppressed the BOLD response of the left inferior temporal sulcus (ITS)/MTG. Similarly, category-based modulation of the cortical current source density estimates from the right STS/MTG and left ITS was observed beginning at approximately 450 ms following stimulus onset. Our results indicate that the cortical processing of biological motion is strongly modulated by attention. These findings argue against preattentive processing of biological motion in the presence of stimuli that compete for attention. Our findings also suggest that the attention-based segregation of motion category-specific responses only emerges relatively late (several hundred milliseconds) in processing.

  17. Temperature-dependent phase transitions in zeptoliter volumes of a complex biological membrane

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nikiforov, Maxim P; Jesse, Stephen; Kalinin, Sergei V [Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN 37831 (United States); Hohlbauch, Sophia; Proksch, Roger [Asylum Research, Santa Barbara, CA 93117 (United States); King, William P [Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL 61801 (United States); Voitchovsky, Kislon [Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02139 (United States); Contera, Sonia Antoranz [Department of Physics, University of Oxford, Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3PU, Oxford (United Kingdom)

    2011-02-04

    Phase transitions in purple membrane have been a topic of debate for the past two decades. In this work we present studies of a reversible transition of purple membrane in the 50-60 deg. C range in zeptoliter volumes under different heating regimes (global heating and local heating). The temperature of the reversible phase transition is 52 {+-} 5 deg. C for both local and global heating, supporting the hypothesis that this transition is mainly due to a structural rearrangement of bR molecules and trimers. To achieve high resolution measurements of temperature-dependent phase transitions, a new scanning probe microscopy-based method was developed. We believe that our new technique can be extended to other biological systems and can contribute to the understanding of inhomogeneous phase transitions in complex systems.

  18. Temperature-dependent phase transitions of a complex biological membrane in zeptoliter volumes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nikiforov, Maxim [ORNL; Hohlbauch, Sophia [Asylum Research, Santa Barbara, CA; King, William P [University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign; Voitchovsky, K [Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT); Contera, S Antoranz [University of Oxford; Jesse, Stephen [ORNL; Kalinin, Sergei V [ORNL; Proksch, Roger [Asylum Research, Santa Barbara, CA

    2011-01-01

    Phase transitions in purple membrane have been a topic of debate for the past two decades. In this work we present studies of a reversible transition of purple membrane in the 50 60 C range in zeptoliter volumes under different heating regimes (global heating and local heating). The temperature of the reversible phase transition is 52 5 C for both local and global heating, supporting the hypothesis that this transition is mainly due to a structural rearrangement of bR molecules and trimers. To achieve high resolution measurements of temperature-dependent phase transitions, a new scanning probe microscopy-based method was developed. We believe that our new technique can be extended to other biological systems and can contribute to the understanding of inhomogeneous phase transitions in complex systems.

  19. Biological and behavioral aspects regarding combined systemic management of alcohol dependence

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexinschi Ovidiu

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Although there are numerous ideas on the management of alcohol dependence, ranging from various schemes of pharmacologic treatment to specific psychotherapeutic approaches, the reviews and meta-analyses reveal only modest effects of these approaches. Another approach regarding the problem of alcohol is based on the behavioral biology, specifying that consumption of alcohol is actually a type of behavior, a way of life. The results presented in this report provide evidence to support the idea that the systemic, ethological approach of alcohol-related and complex problems brings additional value when complementing the standard medicinal therapy, both in terms of achieving and maintaining abstinence, as well as in improving the quality of life for the patients.

  20. The biological response of cells to nanosecond pulsed electric fields is dependent on plasma membrane cholesterol.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cantu, Jody C; Tarango, Melissa; Beier, Hope T; Ibey, Bennett L

    2016-11-01

    Previous work from our laboratory demonstrated nanopore formation in cell membranes following exposure to nanosecond pulsed electric fields (nsPEF). We observed differences in sensitivity to nsPEF in both acute membrane injury and 24h lethality across multiple cells lines. Based on these data, we hypothesize that the biological response of cells to nsPEF is dependent on the physical properties of the plasma membrane (PM), including regional cholesterol content. Results presented in this paper show that depletion of membrane cholesterol disrupts the PM and increases the permeability of cells to small molecules, including propidium iodide and calcium occurring after fewer nsPEF. Additionally, cholesterol depletion concurrently decreases the "dose" of nsPEF required to induce lethality. In summary, the results of the current study suggest that the PM cholesterol composition is an important determinant in the cellular response to nsPEF. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  1. Melittin modulates keratinocyte function through P2 receptor-dependent ADAM activation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sommer, Anselm; Fries, Anja; Cornelsen, Isabell; Speck, Nancy; Koch-Nolte, Friedrich; Gimpl, Gerald; Andrä, Jörg; Bhakdi, Sucharit; Reiss, Karina

    2012-07-06

    Melittin, the major component of the bee venom, is an amphipathic, cationic peptide with a wide spectrum of biological properties that is being considered as an anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer agent. It modulates multiple cellular functions but the underlying mechanisms are not clearly understood. Here, we report that melittin activates disintegrin-like metalloproteases (ADAMs) and that downstream events likely contribute to the biological effects evoked by the peptide. Melittin stimulated the proteolysis of ADAM10 and ADAM17 substrates in human neutrophil granulocytes, endothelial cells and murine fibroblasts. In human HaCaT keratinocytes, melittin induced shedding of the adhesion molecule E-cadherin and release of TGF-α, which was accompanied by transactivation of the EGF receptor and ERK1/2 phosphorylation. This was followed by functional consequences such as increased keratinocyte proliferation and enhanced cell migration. Evidence is provided that ATP release and activation of purinergic P2 receptors are involved in melittin-induced ADAM activation. E-cadherin shedding and EGFR phosphorylation were dose-dependently reduced in the presence of ATPases or P2 receptor antagonists. The involvement of P2 receptors was underscored in experiments with HEK cells, which lack the P2X7 receptor and showed strikingly increased response to melittin stimulation after transfection with this receptor. Our study provides new insight into the mechanism of melittin function which should be of interest particularly in the context of its potential use as an anti-inflammatory or anti-cancer agent.

  2. Mining Functional Modules in Heterogeneous Biological Networks Using Multiplex PageRank Approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Jun; Zhao, Patrick X

    2016-01-01

    Identification of functional modules/sub-networks in large-scale biological networks is one of the important research challenges in current bioinformatics and systems biology. Approaches have been developed to identify functional modules in single-class biological networks; however, methods for systematically and interactively mining multiple classes of heterogeneous biological networks are lacking. In this paper, we present a novel algorithm (called mPageRank) that utilizes the Multiplex PageRank approach to mine functional modules from two classes of biological networks. We demonstrate the capabilities of our approach by successfully mining functional biological modules through integrating expression-based gene-gene association networks and protein-protein interaction networks. We first compared the performance of our method with that of other methods using simulated data. We then applied our method to identify the cell division cycle related functional module and plant signaling defense-related functional module in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana. Our results demonstrated that the mPageRank method is effective for mining sub-networks in both expression-based gene-gene association networks and protein-protein interaction networks, and has the potential to be adapted for the discovery of functional modules/sub-networks in other heterogeneous biological networks. The mPageRank executable program, source code, the datasets and results of the presented two case studies are publicly and freely available at http://plantgrn.noble.org/MPageRank/.

  3. Decay of autoionizing states in time-dependent density functional and reduced density matrix functional theory

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kapoor, Varun; Brics, Martins; Bauer, Dieter [Institut fuer Physik, Universitaet Rostock, 18051 Rostock (Germany)

    2013-07-01

    Autoionizing states are inaccessible to time-dependent density functional theory (TDDFT) using known, adiabatic Kohn-Sham (KS) potentials. We determine the exact KS potential for a numerically exactly solvable model Helium atom interacting with a laser field that is populating an autoionizing state. The exact single-particle density of the population in the autoionizing state corresponds to that of the energetically lowest quasi-stationary state in the exact KS potential. We describe how this exact potential controls the decay by a barrier whose height and width allows for the density to tunnel out and decay with the same rate as in the ab initio time-dependent Schroedinger calculation. However, devising a useful exchange-correlation potential that is capable of governing such a scenario in general and in more complex systems is hopeless. As an improvement over TDDFT, time-dependent reduced density matrix functional theory has been proposed. We are able to obtain for the above described autoionization process the exact time-dependent natural orbitals (i.e., the eigenfunctions of the exact, time-dependent one-body reduced density matrix) and study the potentials that appear in the equations of motion for the natural orbitals and the structure of the two-body density matrix expanded in them.

  4. The SHP-2 tyrosine phosphatase: Signaling mechanisms and biological functions

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2000-01-01

    Cellular biological activities are tightly controlled by intracellular signaling processes initiated by extracellular signals.Protein tyrosine phosphatases, which remove phosphate groups from phosphorylated signaling molecules, play equally important tyrosine roles as protein tyrosine kinases in signal transduction.SHP-2, a cytoplasmic SH2 domain containing protein tyrosine phosphatase, is involved in the signaling pathways of a variety of growth factors and cytokines. Recent studies have clearly demonstrated that this phosphatase plays an important role in transducing signal relay from the cell surface to the nucleus, and is a critical intracellular regulator in mediating cell proliferation and differentiation.

  5. Context Dependence of Students' Views about the Role of Equations in Understanding Biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watkins, Jessica; Elby, Andrew

    2013-01-01

    Students' epistemological views about biology--their ideas about what "counts" as learning and understanding biology--play a role in how they approach their courses and respond to reforms. As introductory biology courses incorporate more physics and quantitative reasoning, student attitudes about the role of equations in biology become…

  6. Context Dependence of Students' Views about the Role of Equations in Understanding Biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watkins, Jessica; Elby, Andrew

    2013-01-01

    Students' epistemological views about biology--their ideas about what "counts" as learning and understanding biology--play a role in how they approach their courses and respond to reforms. As introductory biology courses incorporate more physics and quantitative reasoning, student attitudes about the role of equations in biology become…

  7. Context Dependence of Students' Views about the Role of Equations in Understanding Biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watkins, Jessica; Elby, Andrew

    2013-01-01

    Students' epistemological views about biology--their ideas about what "counts" as learning and understanding biology--play a role in how they approach their courses and respond to reforms. As introductory biology courses incorporate more physics and quantitative reasoning, student attitudes about the role of equations in biology become especially…

  8. Inferring biological functions of guanylyl cyclases with computational methods

    KAUST Repository

    Alquraishi, May Majed

    2013-09-03

    A number of studies have shown that functionally related genes are often co-expressed and that computational based co-expression analysis can be used to accurately identify functional relationships between genes and by inference, their encoded proteins. Here we describe how a computational based co-expression analysis can be used to link the function of a specific gene of interest to a defined cellular response. Using a worked example we demonstrate how this methodology is used to link the function of the Arabidopsis Wall-Associated Kinase-Like 10 gene, which encodes a functional guanylyl cyclase, to host responses to pathogens. © Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013.

  9. RANTES/CCL5 mediated-biological effects depend on the syndecan-4/PKCα signaling pathway

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Loïc Maillard

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available The perpetuation of angiogenesis is involved in certain chronic inflammatory diseases. The accelerated neovascularisation may result from an inflammatory status with a response of both endothelial cells and monocytes to inflammatory mediators such as chemokines. We have previously described in vitro and in vivo the pro-angiogenic effects of the chemokine Regulated on Activation, Normal T Cell Expressed and Secreted (RANTES/CCL5. The effects of RANTES/CCL5 may be related to its binding to G protein-coupled receptors and to proteoglycans such as syndecan-1 and -4. The aim of this study was to evaluate the functionality of syndecan-4 as a co-receptor of RANTES/CCL5 by the use of mutated syndecan-4 constructs. Our data demonstrate that site-directed mutations in syndecan-4 modify RANTES/CCL5 biological activities in endothelial cells. The SDC4S179A mutant, associated with an induced protein kinase C (PKCα activation, leads to higher RANTES/CCL5 pro-angiogenic effects, whereas the SDC4L188QQ and the SDC4A198del mutants, leading to lower phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate (PIP2 binding or to lower PDZ protein binding respectively, are associated with reduced RANTES/CCL5 cellular effects. Moreover, our data highlight that the intracellular domain of SDC-4 is involved in RANTES/CCL5-induced activation of the PKCα signaling pathway and biological effect. As RANTES/CCL5 is involved in various physiopathological processes, the development of a new therapeutic strategy may be reliant on the mechanism by which RANTES/CCL5 exerts its biological activities, for example by targeting the binding of the chemokine to its proteoglycan receptor.

  10. Biological evaluation of 5-fluorouracil nanoparticles for cancer chemotherapy and its dependence on the carrier, PLGA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lekha Nair K

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available K Lekha Nair1, Sankar Jagadeeshan2, S Asha Nair2, GS Vinod Kumar11Chemical Biology, Molecular Medicine Division, 2Cancer Research, Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology, Poojappura, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, IndiaAbstract: Nanoscaled devices have great potential for drug delivery applications due to their small size. In the present study, we report for the first time the preparation and evaluation of antitumor efficacy of 5-fluorouracil (5-FU-entrapped poly (D, L-lactic-co-glycolic acid (PLGA nanoparticles with dependence on the lactide/glycolide combination of PLGA. 5-FU-loaded PLGA nanoparticles with two different monomer combinations, 50-50 and 90-10 were synthesized using a modified double emulsion method, and their biological evaluation was done in glioma (U87MG and breast adenocarcinoma (MCF7 cell lines. 5-FU-entrapped PLGA 50-50 nanoparticles showed smaller size with a high encapsulation efficiency of 66%, which was equivalent to that of PLGA 90-10 nanoparticles. Physicochemical characterization of nanoparticles using differential scanning calorimetry and X-ray diffraction suggested the presence of 5-FU in molecular dispersion form. In vitro release studies showed the prolonged and sustained release of 5-FU from nanoparticles with both the PLGA combinations, where PLGA 50-50 nanoparticles showed faster release. Nanoparticles with PLGA 50-50 combination exhibited better cytotoxicity than free drug in a dose- and time-dependent manner against both the tumor cell lines. The enhanced efficiency of PLGA 50-50 nanoparticles to induce apoptosis was indicated by acridine orange/ethidium bromide staining. Cell cycle perturbations studied using flow cytometer showed better S-phase arrest by nanoparticles in comparison with free 5-FU. All the results indicate that PLGA 50-50 nanoparticles possess better antitumor efficacy than PLGA 90-10 nanoparticles and free 5-FU. Since, studies have shown that long-term exposure of ailing tissues to moderate

  11. Identification of distinct biological functions for four 3′-5′ RNA polymerases

    Science.gov (United States)

    Long, Yicheng; Abad, Maria G.; Olson, Erik D.; Carrillo, Elisabeth Y.; Jackman, Jane E.

    2016-01-01

    The superfamily of 3′-5′ polymerases synthesize RNA in the opposite direction to all other DNA/RNA polymerases, and its members include eukaryotic tRNAHis guanylyltransferase (Thg1), as well as Thg1-like proteins (TLPs) of unknown function that are broadly distributed, with family members in all three domains of life. Dictyostelium discoideum encodes one Thg1 and three TLPs (DdiTLP2, DdiTLP3 and DdiTLP4). Here, we demonstrate that depletion of each of the genes results in a significant growth defect, and that each protein catalyzes a unique biological reaction, taking advantage of specialized biochemical properties. DdiTLP2 catalyzes a mitochondria-specific tRNAHis maturation reaction, which is distinct from the tRNAHis maturation reaction typically catalyzed by Thg1 enzymes on cytosolic tRNA. DdiTLP3 catalyzes tRNA repair during mitochondrial tRNA 5′-editing in vivo and in vitro, establishing template-dependent 3′-5′ polymerase activity of TLPs as a bona fide biological activity for the first time since its unexpected discovery more than a decade ago. DdiTLP4 is cytosolic and, surprisingly, catalyzes robust 3′-5′ polymerase activity on non-tRNA substrates, strongly implying further roles for TLP 3′-5′ polymerases in eukaryotes. PMID:27484477

  12. Identification of distinct biological functions for four 3'-5' RNA polymerases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Long, Yicheng; Abad, Maria G; Olson, Erik D; Carrillo, Elisabeth Y; Jackman, Jane E

    2016-09-30

    The superfamily of 3'-5' polymerases synthesize RNA in the opposite direction to all other DNA/RNA polymerases, and its members include eukaryotic tRNA(His) guanylyltransferase (Thg1), as well as Thg1-like proteins (TLPs) of unknown function that are broadly distributed, with family members in all three domains of life. Dictyostelium discoideum encodes one Thg1 and three TLPs (DdiTLP2, DdiTLP3 and DdiTLP4). Here, we demonstrate that depletion of each of the genes results in a significant growth defect, and that each protein catalyzes a unique biological reaction, taking advantage of specialized biochemical properties. DdiTLP2 catalyzes a mitochondria-specific tRNA(His) maturation reaction, which is distinct from the tRNA(His) maturation reaction typically catalyzed by Thg1 enzymes on cytosolic tRNA. DdiTLP3 catalyzes tRNA repair during mitochondrial tRNA 5'-editing in vivo and in vitro, establishing template-dependent 3'-5' polymerase activity of TLPs as a bona fide biological activity for the first time since its unexpected discovery more than a decade ago. DdiTLP4 is cytosolic and, surprisingly, catalyzes robust 3'-5' polymerase activity on non-tRNA substrates, strongly implying further roles for TLP 3'-5' polymerases in eukaryotes.

  13. Neuroscience in the era of functional genomics and systems biology

    OpenAIRE

    Geschwind, Daniel H.; Konopka, Genevieve

    2009-01-01

    Advances in genetics and genomics have fuelled a revolution in discovery-based, or hypothesis-generating, research that provides a powerful complement to the more directly hypothesis-driven molecular, cellular and systems neuroscience. Genetic and functional genomic studies have already yielded important insights into neuronal diversity and function, as well as disease. One of the most exciting and challenging frontiers in neuroscience involves harnessing the power of large-scale genetic, gen...

  14. Exosome Function: From Tumor Immunology to Pathogen Biology

    OpenAIRE

    Schorey, Jeffrey S; Bhatnagar, Sanchita

    2008-01-01

    Exosomes are the newest family member of ‘bioactive vesicles’ that function to promote intercellular communication. Exosomes are derived from the fusion of multi-vesicular bodies with the plasma membrane and extracellular release of the intraluminal vesicles. Recent studies have focused on the biogenesis and composition of exosomes as well as regulation of exosome release. Exosomes have been shown to be released by cells of hematopoietic and non-hematopoietic origin, yet their function remain...

  15. Functional Characterization of Pseudomonas Contact Dependent Growth Inhibition (CDI) Systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mercy, Chryslène; Ize, Bérengère; Salcedo, Suzana P; de Bentzmann, Sophie; Bigot, Sarah

    2016-01-01

    Contact-dependent inhibition (CDI) toxins, delivered into the cytoplasm of target bacterial cells, confer to host strain a significant competitive advantage. Upon cell contact, the toxic C-terminal region of surface-exposed CdiA protein (CdiA-CT) inhibits the growth of CDI- bacteria. CDI+ cells express a specific immunity protein, CdiI, which protects from autoinhibition by blocking the activity of cognate CdiA-CT. CdiA-CT are separated from the rest of the protein by conserved peptide motifs falling into two distinct classes, the "E. coli"- and "Burkholderia-type". CDI systems have been described in numerous species except in Pseudomonadaceae. In this study, we identified functional toxin/immunity genes linked to CDI systems in the Pseudomonas genus, which extend beyond the conventional CDI classes by the variability of the peptide motif that delimits the polymorphic CdiA-CT domain. Using P. aeruginosa PAO1 as a model, we identified the translational repressor RsmA as a negative regulator of CDI systems. Our data further suggest that under conditions of expression, P. aeruginosa CDI systems are implicated in adhesion and biofilm formation and provide an advantage in competition assays. All together our data imply that CDI systems could play an important role in niche adaptation of Pseudomonadaceae.

  16. Size Bounds for Conjunctive Queries with General Functional Dependencies

    CERN Document Server

    Valiant, Gregory

    2009-01-01

    This paper resolves the main open question left by Gottlob, Lee, and Valiant (PODS 2009)[GLV09], establishing tight worst-case bounds for the size of the result Q(D) of a conjunctive query Q to a database D given an arbitrary set of functional dependencies. We show that the lower bound presented in [GLV09] in which the variables of the query are "colored" so as to yield a coloring number C(Q) for each query Q is, in fact, also an upper bound. To show this, we formalize the original intuition that each color used represents some possible entropy of that variable, and express the maximum possible size increase as a linear program that seeks to maximize how much more entropy is in the result of the query than the input. Although this linear program has exponentially many variables, we also show that we can decide in polynomial time whether the result can be any larger than the input database.

  17. Functional Fixedness in Creative Thinking Tasks Depends on Stimulus Modality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chrysikou, Evangelia G; Motyka, Katharine; Nigro, Cristina; Yang, Song-I; Thompson-Schill, Sharon L

    2016-11-01

    Pictorial examples during creative thinking tasks can lead participants to fixate on these examples and reproduce their elements even when yielding suboptimal creative products. Semantic memory research may illuminate the cognitive processes underlying this effect. Here, we examined whether pictures and words differentially influence access to semantic knowledge for object concepts depending on whether the task is close- or open-ended. Participants viewed either names or pictures of everyday objects, or a combination of the two, and generated common, secondary, or ad hoc uses for them. Stimulus modality effects were assessed quantitatively through reaction times and qualitatively through a novel coding system, which classifies creative output on a continuum from top-down-driven to bottom-up-driven responses. Both analyses revealed differences across tasks. Importantly, for ad hoc uses, participants exposed to pictures generated more top-down-driven responses than those exposed to object names. These findings have implications for accounts of functional fixedness in creative thinking, as well as theories of semantic memory for object concepts.

  18. Simple preconditioning for time-dependent density functional perturbation theory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lehtovaara, Lauri; Marques, Miguel A. L.

    2011-07-01

    By far, the most common use of time-dependent density functional theory is in the linear-reponse regime, where it provides information about electronic excitations. Ideally, the linear-response equations should be solved by a method that avoids the use of the unoccupied Kohn-Sham states — such as the Sternheimer method — as this reduces the complexity and increases the precision of the calculation. However, the Sternheimer equation becomes ill-conditioned near and indefinite above the first resonant frequency, seriously hindering the use of efficient iterative solution methods. To overcome this serious limitation, and to improve the general convergence properties of the iterative techniques, we propose a simple preconditioning strategy. In our method, the Sternheimer equation is solved directly as a linear equation using an iterative Krylov subspace method, i.e., no self-consistent cycle is required. Furthermore, the preconditioner uses the information of just a few unoccupied states and requires simple and minimal modifications to existing implementations. In this way, convergence can be reached faster and in a considerably wider frequency range than the traditional approach.

  19. Quantum Drude friction for time-dependent density functional theory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neuhauser, Daniel; Lopata, Kenneth

    2008-10-01

    way to very simple finite grid description of scattering and multistage conductance using time-dependent density functional theory away from the linear regime, just as absorbing potentials and self-energies are useful for noninteracting systems and leads.

  20. A differential equation with state-dependent delay from cell population biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Getto, Philipp; Waurick, Marcus

    2016-04-01

    We analyze a differential equation, describing the maturation of a stem cell population, with a state-dependent delay, which is implicitly defined via the solution of an ODE. We elaborate smoothness conditions for the model ingredients, in particular vital rates, that guarantee the existence of a local semiflow and allow to specify the linear variational equation. The proofs are based on theoretical results of Hartung et al. combined with implicit function arguments in infinite dimensions. Moreover we elaborate a criterion for global existence for differential equations with state-dependent delay. To prove the result we adapt a theorem by Hale and Lunel to the C1-topology and use a result on metric spaces from Diekmann et al.

  1. Integrated omics for the identification of key functionalities in biological wastewater treatment microbial communities

    OpenAIRE

    Narayanasamy, Shaman; Muller, Emilie; Sheik, Abdul; Wilmes, Paul

    2015-01-01

    Biological wastewater treatment plants harbour diverse and complex microbial communities which prominently serve as models for microbial ecology and mixed culture biotechnological processes. Integrated omic analyses (combined metagenomics, metatranscriptomics, metaproteomics and metabolomics) are currently gaining momentum towards providing enhanced understanding of community structure, function and dynamics in situ as well as offering the potential to discover novel biological functionalitie...

  2. Molecular structure and biological function of proliferating cell nuclear antigen

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2007-01-01

    Proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) is the core component of replication complex in eukaryote.As a processive factor of DNA polymerase delta, PCNA coordinates the replication process by interacting with various replication proteins. PCNA appears to play an essential role in many cell events, such as DNA damage repair, cell cycle regulation, and apoptosis, through the coordination or organization of different partners. PCNA is an essential factor in cell proliferation, and has clinical significance in tumor research. In this article we review the functional structure of PCNA, which acts as a function switch in different cell events.

  3. The functionality of biological knowledge in the workplace. Integrating school and workplace learning about reproduction

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mazereeuw, M.

    2013-01-01

    This thesis reports on a design research project about a learning, supervising and teaching strategy to enable students in agricultural preparatory vocational secondary education (VMBO) to recognize the functionality of biological knowledge of reproduction in work placement sites. Although biologica

  4. Calibrating the measurement of wavelength-dependent second harmonic generation from biological tissues with a BaB₂O₄ crystal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shen, Mengzhe; Zhao, Jianhua; Zeng, Haishan; Tang, Shuo

    2013-03-01

    Although second harmonic generation (SHG) imaging has emerged as a powerful tool for imaging biological tissues with submicron resolution, the excitation wavelength dependence of SHG intensity in biological tissues is an optical property that is not fully understood so far. We first calibrate system factors which may potentially affect the accuracy of the wavelength-dependent SHG measurement. Then our calibration is validated by measuring the wavelength dependence of SHG signal from a BaB₂O₄ crystal under different focusing conditions and comparing with the theoretical calculations. The good agreement between the experimental results and theoretical calculations demonstrates that we have established a reliable method to validate wavelength-dependent SHG measurement over a broad wavelength range. We also investigate the wavelength dependence of a 10-μm thick mouse tendon tissue in both forward and backward directions. It is found that SHG of mouse tendon tissue decreases monotonically for excitation from 750 to 950 nm.

  5. The impact of biologic and conventional therapy on physical function in rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis

    OpenAIRE

    Callhoff, Johanna

    2015-01-01

    Objective: For patients with inflammatory rheumatic diseases, preservation of functional capacity is an important issue. This work investigates the effect on physical function of biologics in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients, the effect of TNFα inhibitors on patients with axial spondyloarthritis (axSpA) and that of oral prednisolone in ankylosing spondylitis (AS). Methods: Two meta-analyses were conducted to assess the efficacy of biologics resp. TNFα inhibitors in RA and axSpA. These co...

  6. TERT biology and function in cancer: beyond immortalisation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pestana, Ana; Vinagre, João; Sobrinho-Simões, Manuel; Soares, Paula

    2017-02-01

    Evasion of replicative senescence and proliferation without restriction, sometimes designated as immortalisation, is one of the hallmarks of cancer that may be attained through reactivation of telomerase in somatic cells. In contrast to most normal cells in which there is lack of telomerase activity, upregulation of TERT transcription/activity is detected in 80-90% of malignant tumours. In several types of cancer, there is a relationship between the presence of TERT promoter mutations, TERT mRNA expression and clinicopathological features, but the biological bridge between the occurrence of TERT promoter mutations and the aggressive/invasive features displayed by the tumours remains unidentified. We and others have associated the presence of TERT promoter mutations with metastisation/survival in several types of cancer. In follicular cell-derived thyroid cancer, such mutations are associated with worse prognostic features (age of patients, tumour size and tumour stage) as well as with distant metastases, worse response to treatment and poorer survival. In this review, we analyse the data reported in several studies that imply TERT transcription reactivation/activity with cell proliferation, tumour invasion and metastisation. A particular attention is given to the putative connections between TERT transcriptional reactivation and signalling pathways frequently altered in cancer, such as c-MYC, NF-κB and B-Catenin. © 2017 Society for Endocrinology.

  7. 3D Printing Polymers with Supramolecular Functionality for Biological Applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pekkanen, Allison M; Mondschein, Ryan J; Williams, Christopher B; Long, Timothy E

    2017-09-11

    Supramolecular chemistry continues to experience widespread growth, as fine-tuned chemical structures lead to well-defined bulk materials. Previous literature described the roles of hydrogen bonding, ionic aggregation, guest/host interactions, and π-π stacking to tune mechanical, viscoelastic, and processing performance. The versatility of reversible interactions enables the more facile manufacturing of molded parts with tailored hierarchical structures such as tissue engineered scaffolds for biological applications. Recently, supramolecular polymers and additive manufacturing processes merged to provide parts with control of the molecular, macromolecular, and feature length scales. Additive manufacturing, or 3D printing, generates customizable constructs desirable for many applications, and the introduction of supramolecular interactions will potentially increase production speed, offer a tunable surface structure for controlling cell/scaffold interactions, and impart desired mechanical properties through reinforcing interlayer adhesion and introducing gradients or self-assembled structures. This review details the synthesis and characterization of supramolecular polymers suitable for additive manufacture and biomedical applications as well as the use of supramolecular polymers in additive manufacturing for drug delivery and complex tissue scaffold formation. The effect of supramolecular assembly and its dynamic behavior offers potential for controlling the anisotropy of the printed objects with exquisite geometrical control. The potential for supramolecular polymers to generate well-defined parts, hierarchical structures, and scaffolds with gradient properties/tuned surfaces provides an avenue for developing next-generation biomedical devices and tissue scaffolds.

  8. Relativistic Adiabatic Time-Dependent Density Functional Theory Using Hybrid Functionals and Noncollinear Spin Magnetization

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bast, Radovan; Jensen, Hans Jørgen Aagaard; Saue, Trond

    2009-01-01

    We report an implementation of adiabatic time-dependent density functional theory based on the 4-component relativistic Dirac-Coulomb Hamiltonian and a closed-shell reference. The implementation includes noncollinear spin magnetization and full derivatives of functionals, including hybrid...... and time reversal symmetry on trial vectors to obtain even better reductions in terms of memory and run time, and without invoking approximations. Further reductions are obtained by exploiting point group symmetries for D2h and subgroups in a symmetry scheme where symmetry reductions translate...... into reduction of algebra from quaternion to complex or real. For hybrid GGAs with noncollinear spin magnetization we derive a new computationally advantageous equation for the full second variational derivatives of such exchange-correlation functionals. We apply our implementation to calculations on the ns2...

  9. Density functional theory across chemistry, physics and biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Mourik, Tanja; Bühl, Michael; Gaigeot, Marie-Pierre

    2014-03-13

    The past decades have seen density functional theory (DFT) evolve from a rising star in computational quantum chemistry to one of its major players. This Theme Issue, which comes half a century after the publication of the Hohenberg-Kohn theorems that laid the foundations of modern DFT, reviews progress and challenges in present-day DFT research. Rather than trying to be comprehensive, this Theme Issue attempts to give a flavour of selected aspects of DFT.

  10. Functional Nanostructured Platforms for Chemical and Biological Sensing

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Letant, S E

    2006-03-20

    The central goal of our work is to combine semiconductor nanotechnology and surface functionalization in order to build platforms for the selective detection of bio-organisms ranging in size from bacteria (micron range) down to viruses, as well as for the detection of chemical agents (nanometer range). We will show on three porous silicon platforms how pore geometry and pore wall chemistry can be combined and optimized to capture and detect specific targets. We developed a synthetic route allowing to directly anchor proteins on silicon surfaces and illustrated the relevance of this technique by immobilizing live enzymes onto electrochemically etched luminescent nano-porous silicon. The powerful association of the specific enzymes with the transducing matrix led to a selective hybrid platform for chemical sensing. We also used light-assisted electrochemistry to produce periodic arrays of through pores on pre-patterned silicon membranes with controlled diameters ranging from many microns down to tens of nanometers. We demonstrated the first covalently functionalized silicon membranes and illustrated their selective capture abilities with antibody-coated micro-beads. These engineered membranes are extremely versatile and could be adapted to specifically recognize the external fingerprints (size and coat composition) of target bio-organisms. Finally, we fabricated locally functionalized single nanopores using a combination of focused ion beam drilling and ion beam assisted oxide deposition. We showed how a silicon oxide ring can be grown around a single nanopore and how it can be functionalized with DNA probes to detect single viral-sized beads. The next step for this platform is the detection of whole viruses and bacteria.

  11. Biological factors of natural and artificial ecosystems stable (unstable) functioning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pechurkin, Nikolai S.

    The problem of sustainable development of humanity on Earth and the problem of supporting human life in space have the same scientific and methodological bases. The key to solve both problems is a long term maintenance of balanced material cycle. As a whole, natural or artificial ecosystems are to be more closed than open, but their elements (links of systems) are to be substantially open in interactions with each other. Prolonged stable interactions of different links have to have unique joint results - closed material cycling or biotic turnover. It is necessary to include, at least, three types of main links into any system to support real material cycling: producers, consumers, reducers. Producer links are now under studies in many laboratories. It is evident that the higher productivity of link, the lower link stability. Especially, it concerns with parasite impact to plants. As usual, artificial ecosystems are more simple (incomplete) than natural ecosystems, sometimes, they have not enough links for prolonged stable functioning. For example, life support system for space flight can be incomplete in consumer link, having only some crew persons, instead of interacting populations of consumers. As for reducer link, it is necessary to "organize" a special coordinated work of microbial biocenoses to fulfill proper cycling. Possible evolution of links, their self development is a matter of special attention for the maintenance of prolonged stable functioning. It's the most danger for systems with populations of quickly reproducing, so-called, R - strategists, according to symbols of logistic equation. From another side, quick reproduction of R - strategists is able to increase artificial ecosystems and their links functioning. After some damages of system, R - strategist's link can be quickly "self repaired" up to level of normal functioning. Some experimental data of this kind and mathematical models are to be discussed in the paper. This work is supported by

  12. Microenvironment Dependent Photobiomodulation on Function-Specific Signal Transduction Pathways

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Timon Cheng-Yi Liu

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Cellular photobiomodulation on a cellular function has been shown to be homeostatic. Its function-specific pathway mechanism would be further discussed in this paper. The signal transduction pathways maintaining a normal function in its function-specific homeostasis (FSH, resisting the activation of many other irrelative signal transduction pathways, are so sparse that it can be supposed that there may be normal function-specific signal transduction pathways (NSPs. A low level laser irradiation or monochromatic light may promote the activation of partially activated NSP and/or its redundant NSP so that it may induce the second-order phase transition of a function from its dysfunctional one far from its FSH to its normal one in a function-specific microenvironment and may also induce the first-order functional phase transition of the normal function from low level to high level.

  13. Developmental and functional biology of the primate fetal adrenal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mesiano, S; Jaffe, R B

    1997-06-01

    The unique characteristics of the primate (particularly human) fetal adrenal were first realized in the early 1900s when its morphology was examined in detail and compared with that of other species. The unusual architecture of the human fetal adrenal cortex, with its unique and disproportionately enlarged fetal zone, its compact definitive zone, and its dramatic remodeling soon after birth captured the interest of developmental anatomists. Many detailed anatomical studies describing the morphology of the developing human fetal adrenal were reported between 1920 and 1960, and these morphological descriptions have not changed significantly. More recently, it has become clear that fetal adrenal cortical growth involves cellular hypertrophy, hyperplasia, apoptosis, and migration and is best described by the migration theory, i.e. cells proliferate in the periphery, migrate centripetally, differentiate during their migration to form the functional cortical zones, and then likely undergo apoptosis in the center of the cortex. Consistent with this model, cells of intermediate phenotype, arranged in columnar cords typical of migration, have been identified between the definitive and fetal zones. This cortical area has been referred to as the transitional zone and, based on the expression of steroidogenic enzymes, we consider it to be a functionally distinct cortical zone. Elegant experiments during the 1950s and 1960s demonstrated the central role of the primate fetal adrenal cortex in establishing the estrogenic milieu of pregnancy. Those findings were among the first indications of the function and physiological role of the human fetal adrenal cortex and led Diczfalusy and co-workers to propose the concept of the feto-placental unit, in which DHEA-S produced by the fetal adrenal cortex is used by the placenta for estrogen synthesis. Tissue and cell culture techniques, together with improved steroid assays, revealed that the fetal zone is the primary source of DHEA

  14. State-dependent Jastrow correlation functions for $^{4}He$ nuclei

    CERN Document Server

    Guardiola, R

    1998-01-01

    We calculate the ground-state energy for the nucleus 4He with V4 nucleon interactions, making use of a Jastrow description of the corresponding wavefunction with state-dependent correlation factors. The effect related to the state dependence of the correlation is quite important, lowering the upper bound for the ground-state energy by some 2 MeV.

  15. From electron microscopy to molecular cell biology, molecular genetics and structural biology: intracellular transport and kinesin superfamily proteins, KIFs: genes, structure, dynamics and functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hirokawa, Nobutaka

    2011-01-01

    Cells transport and sort various proteins and lipids following synthesis as distinct types of membranous organelles and protein complexes to the correct destination at appropriate velocities. This intracellular transport is fundamental for cell morphogenesis, survival and functioning not only in highly polarized neurons but also in all types of cells in general. By developing quick-freeze electron microscopy (EM), new filamentous structures associated with cytoskeletons are uncovered. The characterization of chemical structures and functions of these new filamentous structures led us to discover kinesin superfamily molecular motors, KIFs. In this review, I discuss the identification of these new structures and characterization of their functions using molecular cell biology and molecular genetics. KIFs not only play significant roles by transporting various cargoes along microtubule rails, but also play unexpected fundamental roles on various important physiological processes such as learning and memory, brain wiring, development of central nervous system and peripheral nervous system, activity-dependent neuronal survival, development of early embryo, left-right determination of our body and tumourigenesis. Furthermore, by combining single-molecule biophysics with structural biology such as cryo-electrom microscopy and X-ray crystallography, atomic structures of KIF1A motor protein of almost all states during ATP hydrolysis have been determined and a common mechanism of motility has been proposed. Thus, this type of studies could be a good example of really integrative multidisciplinary life science in the twenty-first century.

  16. Biological functions of iduronic acid in chondroitin/dermatan sulfate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thelin, Martin A; Bartolini, Barbara; Axelsson, Jakob; Gustafsson, Renata; Tykesson, Emil; Pera, Edgar; Oldberg, Åke; Maccarana, Marco; Malmstrom, Anders

    2013-05-01

    The presence of iduronic acid in chondroitin/dermatan sulfate changes the properties of the polysaccharides because it generates a more flexible chain with increased binding potentials. Iduronic acid in chondroitin/dermatan sulfate influences multiple cellular properties, such as migration, proliferation, differentiation, angiogenesis and the regulation of cytokine/growth factor activities. Under pathological conditions such as wound healing, inflammation and cancer, iduronic acid has diverse regulatory functions. Iduronic acid is formed by two epimerases (i.e. dermatan sulfate epimerase 1 and 2) that have different tissue distribution and properties. The role of iduronic acid in chondroitin/dermatan sulfate is highlighted by the vast changes in connective tissue features in patients with a new type of Ehler-Danlos syndrome: adducted thumb-clubfoot syndrome. Future research aims to understand the roles of the two epimerases and their interplay with the sulfotransferases involved in chondroitin sulfate/dermatan sulfate biosynthesis. Furthermore, a better definition of chondroitin/dermatan sulfate functions using different knockout models is needed. In this review, we focus on the two enzymes responsible for iduronic acid formation, as well as the role of iduronic acid in health and disease.

  17. The Biological Function of the Prion Protein: A Cell Surface Scaffold of Signaling Modules

    Science.gov (United States)

    Linden, Rafael

    2017-01-01

    The prion glycoprotein (PrPC) is mostly located at the cell surface, tethered to the plasma membrane through a glycosyl-phosphatydil inositol (GPI) anchor. Misfolding of PrPC is associated with the transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs), whereas its normal conformer serves as a receptor for oligomers of the β-amyloid peptide, which play a major role in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s Disease (AD). PrPC is highly expressed in both the nervous and immune systems, as well as in other organs, but its functions are controversial. Extensive experimental work disclosed multiple physiological roles of PrPC at the molecular, cellular and systemic levels, affecting the homeostasis of copper, neuroprotection, stem cell renewal and memory mechanisms, among others. Often each such process has been heralded as the bona fide function of PrPC, despite restricted attention paid to a selected phenotypic trait, associated with either modulation of gene expression or to the engagement of PrPC with a single ligand. In contrast, the GPI-anchored prion protein was shown to bind several extracellular and transmembrane ligands, which are required to endow that protein with the ability to play various roles in transmembrane signal transduction. In addition, differing sets of those ligands are available in cell type- and context-dependent scenarios. To account for such properties, we proposed that PrPC serves as a dynamic platform for the assembly of signaling modules at the cell surface, with widespread consequences for both physiology and behavior. The current review advances the hypothesis that the biological function of the prion protein is that of a cell surface scaffold protein, based on the striking similarities of its functional properties with those of scaffold proteins involved in the organization of intracellular signal transduction pathways. Those properties are: the ability to recruit spatially restricted sets of binding molecules involved in specific signaling

  18. Evolution of transverse momentum dependent distribution and fragmentation functions

    CERN Document Server

    Henneman, A A; Mulders, P J; Boer, Daniel

    2002-01-01

    We use Lorentz invariance and the QCD equations of motion to study the evolution of functions that appear at leading order in a 1/Q expansion in azimuthal asymmetries. This includes the evolution equation of the Collins fragmentation function. The moments of these functions are matrix elements of known twist two and twist three operators. We present the evolution in the large N_c limit, restricting to non-singlet for the chiral-even functions.

  19. Evolution of transverse momentum dependent distribution and fragmentation functions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Henneman, A.A. E-mail: alex@nat.vu.nl; Boer, Danieel; Mulders, P.J

    2002-01-07

    We use Lorentz invariance and the QCD equations of motion to study the evolution of functions that appear at leading order in a 1/Q expansion in azimuthal asymmetries. This includes the evolution equation of the Collins fragmentation function. The moments of these functions are matrix elements of known twist two and twist three operators. We present the evolution in the large N{sub c} limit, restricting to non-singlet for the chiral-even functions.

  20. Evolution of transverse momentum dependent distribution and fragmentation functions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henneman, A. A.; Boer, Daniël; Mulders, P. J.

    2002-01-01

    We use Lorentz invariance and the QCD equations of motion to study the evolution of functions that appear at leading order in a 1/ Q expansion in azimuthal asymmetries. This includes the evolution equation of the Collins fragmentation function. The moments of these functions are matrix elements of known twist two and twist three operators. We present the evolution in the large Nc limit, restricting to non-singlet for the chiral-even functions.

  1. Evolution of transverse momentum dependent distribution and fragmentation functions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Henneman, AA; Boer, D; Mulders, PJ

    2002-01-01

    We use Lorentz invariance and the QCD equations of motion to study the evolution of functions that appear at leading order in a I / Q expansion in azimuthal asymmetries. This includes the evolution equation of the Collins fragmentation function. The moments of these functions are matrix elements of

  2. Candida albicans mannoprotein influences the biological function of dendritic cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pietrella, Donatella; Bistoni, Giovanni; Corbucci, Cristina; Perito, Stefano; Vecchiarelli, Anna

    2006-04-01

    Cell wall components of fungi involved in induction of host immune response are predominantly proteins and glycoproteins, the latter being mainly mannoproteins (MP). In this study we analyse the interaction of the MP from Candida albicans (MP65) with dendritic cells (DC) and demonstrate that MP65 stimulates DC and induces the release of TNF-alpha, IL-6 and the activation of IL-12 gene, with maximal value 6 h post treatment. MP65 induces DC maturation by increasing costimulatory molecules and decreasing CD14 and FcgammaR molecule expression. The latter effect is partly mediated by toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2) and TLR4, and the MyD88-dependent pathway is involved in the process. MP65 enables DC to activate T cell response, its protein core is essential for induction of T cell activation, while its glycosylated portion primarily promotes cytokine production. The mechanisms involved in induction of protective response against C. albicans could be mediated by the MP65 antigen, suggesting that MP65 may be a suitable candidate vaccine.

  3. Development of biological functional material and product from Nelumbo nucifera

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jeong, Il Yun; Park, Yong Dae; Jin, Chang Hyun; Choi, Dae Seong

    2008-01-15

    The solvent extracts of Nelumbo nucifera G. were investigated for the activities of antioxidant, whitening, anti-wrinkle and antimicrobial effects to apply as a functional ingredient for cosmetic products. The electron donating ability of irradiated NN-L extract was above 85% at the concentration of 50ppm. The superoxide dismutase(SOD)-like activity of irradiated NN-L extract was about 76% at 1,000ppm concentration. The xanthine oxidase inhibitory effect of irradiated NN-L extract was about 15% at 1,000ppm. The tyrosinase inhibitory effect of irradiated NN-L extract was about 18% at 1,000ppm. Anti-wrinkle effect, the elastase inhibition activity of irradiated NN-L extract was about 45% at 1,000ppm concentration. All these findings suggested that Nelumbo nucifera G. has a great potential as a cosmeceutical ingredient.

  4. The biology and function of exosomes in cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kalluri, Raghu

    2016-04-01

    Humans circulate quadrillions of exosomes at all times. Exosomes are a class of extracellular vesicles released by all cells, with a size range of 40-150 nm and a lipid bilayer membrane. Exosomes contain DNA, RNA, and proteins. Exosomes likely remove excess and/or unnecessary constituents from the cells, functioning like garbage bags, although their precise physiological role remains unknown. Additionally, exosomes may mediate specific cell-to-cell communication and activate signaling pathways in cells they fuse or interact with. Exosomes are detected in the tumor microenvironment, and emerging evidence suggests that they play a role in facilitating tumorigenesis by regulating angiogenesis, immunity, and metastasis. Circulating exosomes can be used as liquid biopsies and noninvasive biomarkers for early detection, diagnosis, and treatment of cancer patients.

  5. Biological function of activation-induced cytidine deaminase (AID

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ritu Kumar

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Activation-induced Cytidine Deaminase (AID is an essential regulator of B cell diversification, but its full range of action has until recently been an enigma. Based on homology, it was originally proposed to be an RNA-editing enzyme, but so far, no RNA substrates are known. Rather, it functions by deaminating cytidine, and in this manner, coupled with base-excision repair or mismatch repair machinery, it is a natural mutator. This allows it to play a central role in adaptive immunity, whereby it initiates the processes of class switch recombination and somatic hypermutation to help generate a diverse and high-affinity repertoire of immunoglobulin isotypes. More recently, it has been appreciated that methylated cytidine, already known as a key epigenetic mark on DNA controlling gene expression, can also be a target for AID modification. Coupled with repair machinery, this can facilitate the active removal of methylated DNA. This activity can impact the process of cellular reprogramming, including transition of a somatic cell to pluripotency, which requires major reshuffling of epigenetic memory. Thus, seemingly disparate roles for AID in controlling immune diversity and epigenetic memory have a common mechanistic basis. However, the very activity that is so useful for B cell diversity and cellular reprogramming is dangerous for the integrity of the genome. Thus, AID expression and activity is tightly regulated, and deregulation is associated with diseases including cancer. Here, we review the range of AID functions with a focus on its mechanisms of action and regulation. Major questions remain to be answered concerning how and when AID is targeted to specific loci and how this impacts development and disease.

  6. Biological function of activation-induced cytidine deaminase (AID).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumar, Ritu; DiMenna, Lauren J; Chaudhuri, Jayanta; Evans, Todd

    2014-01-01

    Activation-induced Cytidine Deaminase (AID) is an essential regulator of B cell diversification, but its full range of action has until recently been an enigma. Based on homology, it was originally proposed to be an RNA-editing enzyme, but so far, no RNA substrates are known. Rather, it functions by deaminating cytidine, and in this manner, coupled with base-excision repair or mismatch repair machinery, it is a natural mutator. This allows it to play a central role in adaptive immunity, whereby it initiates the processes of class switch recombination and somatic hypermutation to help generate a diverse and high-affinity repertoire of immunoglobulin isotypes. More recently, it has been appreciated that methylated cytidine, already known as a key epigenetic mark on DNA controlling gene expression, can also be a target for AID modification. Coupled with repair machinery, this can facilitate the active removal of methylated DNA. This activity can impact the process of cellular reprogramming, including transition of a somatic cell to pluripotency, which requires major reshuffling of epigenetic memory. Thus, seemingly disparate roles for AID in controlling immune diversity and epigenetic memory have a common mechanistic basis. However, the very activity that is so useful for B cell diversity and cellular reprogramming is dangerous for the integrity of the genome. Thus, AID expression and activity is tightly regulated, and deregulation is associated with diseases including cancer. Here, we review the range of AID functions with a focus on its mechanisms of action and regulation. Major questions remain to be answered concerning how and when AID is targeted to specific loci and how this impacts development and disease.

  7. GSK-3: functional insights from cell biology and animal models

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Oksana eKaidanovich-Beilin

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available Glycogen synthase kinase-3 (GSK-3 is a widely expressed and highly conserved serine/threonine protein kinase encoded in mammals by two genes that generate two related proteins: GSK-3α and GSK-3β. GSK-3 is active in cells under resting conditions and is primarily regulated through inhibition or diversion of its activity. While GSK-3 is one of the few protein kinases that can be inactivated by phosphorylation, the mechanisms of GSK-3 regulation are more varied and not fully understood. Precise control appears to be achieved by a combination of phosphorylation, localization, and sequestration by a number of GSK-3-binding proteins. GSK-3 lies downstream of several major signaling pathways including the phosphatidylinositol 3’ kinase pathway, the Wnt pathway, Hedgehog signaling and Notch. Specific pools of GSK-3, which differ in intracellular localization, binding partner affinity and relative amount are differentially sensitized to several distinct signaling pathways and these sequestration mechanisms contribute to pathway insulation and signal specificity. Dysregulation of signaling pathways involving GSK-3 is associated with the pathogenesis of numerous neurological and psychiatric disorders and there are data suggesting GSK-3 isoform-selective roles in several of these. Here, we review the current knowledge of GSK-3 regulation and targets and discuss the various animal models that have been employed to dissect the functions of GSK-3 in brain development and function through the use of conventional or conditional knock-out mice as well as transgenic mice. These studies have revealed fundamental roles for these protein kinases in memory, behavior and neuronal fate determination and provide insights into possible therapeutic interventions.

  8. Exact conditions on the temperature dependence of density functionals

    CERN Document Server

    Burke, Kieron; Grabowski, Paul E; Pribram-Jones, Aurora

    2015-01-01

    Universal exact conditions guided the construction of most ground-state density functional approximations in use today. We derive the relation between the entropy and Mermin free energy density functionals for thermal density functional theory. Both the entropy and sum of kinetic and electron-electron repulsion functionals are shown to be monotonically increasing with temperature, while the Mermin functional is concave downwards. Analogous relations are found for both exchange and correlation. The importance of these conditions is illustrated in two extremes: the Hubbard dimer and the uniform gas.

  9. Exact conditions on the temperature dependence of density functionals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burke, K.; Smith, J. C.; Grabowski, P. E.; Pribram-Jones, A.

    2016-05-01

    Universal exact conditions guided the construction of most ground-state density functional approximations in use today. We derive the relation between the entropy and Mermin free energy density functionals for thermal density functional theory. Both the entropy and sum of kinetic and electron-electron repulsion functionals are shown to be monotonically increasing with temperature, while the Mermin functional is concave downwards. Analogous relations are found for both exchange and correlation. The importance of these conditions is illustrated in two extremes: the Hubbard dimer and the uniform gas.

  10. The reflection of life functional entailment and imminence in relational biology

    CERN Document Server

    Louie, A H

    2013-01-01

    A. H. Louie’s The Reflection of Life: Functional Entailment and Imminence in Relational Biology is a continuation of the exploratory journey in relational biology which began with his 2009 monograph More Than Life Itself: A Synthetic Continuation in Relational Biology. The theme of his first book was ‘What is life?’; the theme of this sequel is “How do two life forms interact?” Biology is a subject concerned with organization of relations. Relational biology is the approach that advocates ‘function dictates structure”, rather than ‘structure implies function’. It is mathematics decoded into biological realizations. The book demonstrates some of the powers of the approach of relational biology, and illustrates how pertinent problems in biology can be better addressed this way. In the first volume the theory was developed by using partially ordered sets, lattices, simulations, models, Aristotle’s four causes, graphs, categories, simple and complex systems, anticipatory systems, and metabolis...

  11. Organic Composition and Morphology of Sea Spray Aerosols as a Function of Biological Life during IMPACTS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pham, D.; Moffet, R.; Fraund, M. W.; O'Brien, R.; Laskina, O.; Prather, K. A.; Grassian, V. H.; Beall, C.; Wang, X.; Forestieri, S.; Cappa, C. D.

    2015-12-01

    Aerosols influence climate by directly reflecting or absorbing sunlight, or indirectly by affecting clouds. A major source of aerosols is from oceanic wave breaking. Due to their complexity, the effects of marine aerosol on climate are uncertain. To provide more detailed measurements of the chemical composition of marine aerosols, Scanning Transmission X-Ray Microscopy coupled with Near Edge X-Ray Absorption Fine Structure (SXTM-NEXAFS) was used to give spatially resolved molecular information for carbon and oxygen. Application of STXM/NEXAFS to particles collected during a mesocosm study using a unique wave channel facility to generate aerosols shows that the organic volume fraction of aerosols at the aerodynamic diameter size range of 0.18-0.32 μm are a direct function of the biological activity in the sea water. Aerosol organic volume fraction increased from 0.32 for particles generated from seawater containing low biolife to 0.49 and 0.40 for particles produced during phytoplankton blooms. However, the organic volume fraction of aerosols at the aerodynamic diameter size range of 0.56-1 μm did not change with biological activity. Measurements also show that different types of organics can concentrate into aerosols depending on the enzyme activity expressed at the time. Enhanced spectral signatures for aliphatic hydrocarbons were observed during the first phytoplankton bloom compared to a second phytoplankton bloom occurring directly thereafter. The decreased signature of aliphatic organics in the second phytoplankton bloom was correlated with increased lipase activity from heterobacteria. Organic aggregates having similar morphology also differ in composition from their carbon spectra from the two blooms. For July 17, organic aggregates were much richer in hydrocarbons, which showed a remarkably intense C-H absorbance and a broad C-C absorbance. Organic aggregates observed for July 26-27, did not have the C-H and C-C signatures, but contained more polar

  12. Production and biological function of volatile esters in Saccharomyces cerevisiae

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saerens, Sofie M. G.; Delvaux, Freddy R.; Verstrepen, Kevin J.; Thevelein, Johan M.

    2010-01-01

    Summary The need to understand and control ester synthesis is driven by the fact that esters play a key role in the sensorial quality of fermented alcoholic beverages like beer, wine and sake. As esters are synthesized in yeast via several complex metabolic pathways, there is a need to gain a clear understanding of ester metabolism and its regulation. The individual genes involved, their functions and regulatory mechanisms have to be identified. In alcoholic beverages, there are two important groups of esters: the acetate esters and the medium‐chain fatty acid (MCFA) ethyl esters. For acetate ester synthesis, the genes involved have already been cloned and characterized. Also the biochemical pathways and the regulation of acetate ester synthesis are well defined. With respect to the molecular basis of MCFA ethyl ester synthesis, however, significant progress has only recently been made. Next to the characterization of the biochemical pathways and regulation of ester synthesis, a new and more important question arises: what is the advantage for yeast to produce these esters? Several hypotheses have been proposed in the past, but none was satisfactorily. This paper reviews the current hypotheses of ester synthesis in yeast in relation to the complex regulation of the alcohol acetyl transferases and the different factors that allow ester formation to be controlled during fermentation. PMID:21255318

  13. Biological catalysis of the hydrological cycle: life's thermodynamic function

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K. Michaelian

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Darwinian theory depicts life as being overwhelmingly consumed by a fight for survival in a hostile environment. However, from a thermodynamic perspective, life is a dynamic out of equilibrium process, stabilizing and coevolving in concert with its abiotic environment. The living component of the biosphere on the surface of the Earth of greatest biomass, the plants and cyanobacteria, are involved in the transpiration of a vast amount of water. Transpiration is part of the global water cycle, and it is this cycle that distinguishes Earth from its apparently life barren neighboring planets, Venus and Mars. The dissipation of sunlight into heat by organic molecules in the biosphere and its coupling to the water cycle (as well as other abiotic processes, is by far the greatest entropy producing process occurring on Earth. Life, from this perspective, can be viewed as performing an important thermodynamic function; acting as a dynamic catalyst by aiding irreversible abiotic process such as the water cycle, hurricanes, and ocean and wind currents to produce entropy. The role of animals in this view is that of unwitting but dedicated servants of the plants and cyanobacteria, helping them to grow and to spread into initially inhospitable areas.

  14. Functionalized diamond nanopowder for phosphopeptides enrichment from complex biological fluids

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hussain, Dilshad [Division of Analytical Chemistry, Institute of Chemical Sciences, Bahauddin Zakariya University, Multan 60800 (Pakistan); Najam-ul-Haq, Muhammad, E-mail: najamulhaq@bzu.edu.pk [Division of Analytical Chemistry, Institute of Chemical Sciences, Bahauddin Zakariya University, Multan 60800 (Pakistan); Institute of Analytical Chemistry and Radiochemistry, Leopold-Franzens University, Innrain 80-82, A-6020 Innsbruck (Austria); Jabeen, Fahmida; Ashiq, Muhammad N.; Athar, Muhammad [Division of Analytical Chemistry, Institute of Chemical Sciences, Bahauddin Zakariya University, Multan 60800 (Pakistan); Rainer, Matthias; Huck, Christian W.; Bonn, Guenther K. [Institute of Analytical Chemistry and Radiochemistry, Leopold-Franzens University, Innrain 80-82, A-6020 Innsbruck (Austria)

    2013-05-02

    Graphical abstract: -- Highlights: •Derivatization of diamond nanopowder as IMAC and RP. •Characterization with SEM, EDX and FT-IR. •Phosphopeptide enrichment from standard as well as real samples. •Desalting and human serum profiling with reproducible results. •MALDI-MS analysis with database identification. -- Abstract: Diamond is known for its high affinity and biocompatibility towards biomolecules and is used exclusively in separation sciences and life science research. In present study, diamond nanopowder is derivatized as Immobilized Metal Ion Affinity Chromatographic (IMAC) material for the phosphopeptides enrichment and as Reversed Phase (C-18) media for the desalting of complex mixtures and human serum profiling through MALDI-TOF-MS. Functionalized diamond nanopowder is characterized by Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and energy dispersive X-ray (EDX) spectroscopy. Diamond-IMAC is applied to the standard protein (β-casein), spiked human serum, egg yolk and non-fat milk for the phosphopeptides enrichment. Results show the selectivity of synthesized IMAC-diamond immobilized with Fe{sup 3+} and La{sup 3+} ions. To comprehend the elaborated use, diamond-IMAC is also applied to the serum samples from gall bladder carcinoma for the potential biomarkers. Database search is carried out by the Mascot program ( (www.matrixscience.com)) for the assignment of phosphorylation sites. Diamond nanopowder is thus a separation media with multifunctional use and can be applied to cancer protein profiling for the diagnosis and biomarker identification.

  15. Strigolactone biology: genes, functional genomics, epigenetics and applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Makhzoum, Abdullah; Yousefzadi, Morteza; Malik, Sonia; Gantet, Pascal; Tremouillaux-Guiller, Jocelyne

    2017-03-01

    Strigolactones (SLs) represent an important new plant hormone class marked by their multifunctional role in plant and rhizosphere interactions. These compounds stimulate hyphal branching in arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) and seed germination of root parasitic plants. In addition, they are involved in the control of plant architecture by inhibiting bud outgrowth as well as many other morphological and developmental processes together with other plant hormones such as auxins and cytokinins. The biosynthetic pathway of SLs that are derived from carotenoids was partially decrypted based on the identification of mutants from a variety of plant species. Only a few SL biosynthetic and regulated genes and related regulatory transcription factors have been identified. However, functional genomics and epigenetic studies started to give first elements on the modality of the regulation of SLs related genes. Since they control plant architecture and plant-rhizosphere interaction, SLs start to be used for agronomical and biotechnological applications. Furthermore, the genes involved in the SL biosynthetic pathway and genes regulated by SL constitute interesting targets for plant breeding. Therefore, it is necessary to decipher and better understand the genetic determinants of their regulation at different levels.

  16. The biological effect and medical functions of the Infrared Rays

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    PANG Xiao-feng

    2001-01-01

    The quantum vibrational energy-spectra including high excited states of the protein molecules have been calculated by new theory of bio-energy transport along the protein molecules and its dynamic equation, discrete nonlinear Schrodinger equation, appropriate to the protein molecules on the basis of the level of molecular structure. This energy-spectra obtained are basically consistent with the experimental values by infrared absorption and radiated measurement of person's hands and laser-Raman spectrum from metabolically active E. Coli.. From this energy-spectra we know that the infrared lights with (1-3)x1000nm and (5-7)x1000nm wavelength can be absorbed by the protein molecules in the living systems.In accordance with the non-linear theory of the bio-energy transport we know that the energy of the infrared light absorbed by the proteins can result in vibrations of amide-I in amino acids and can facilitate the bio-energy transport along the protein molecular chains from one place to other for the growth of living bodies. This processe is non-thermal. This is just non-thermal effect of the infrared lights. According to the mechanism we explained further the medical functions of the infrared lights absorbed.

  17. Biologic

    CERN Document Server

    Kauffman, L H

    2002-01-01

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

  18. Existence of time-dependent density-functional theory for open electronic systems: time-dependent holographic electron density theorem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zheng, Xiao; Yam, ChiYung; Wang, Fan; Chen, GuanHua

    2011-08-28

    We present the time-dependent holographic electron density theorem (TD-HEDT), which lays the foundation of time-dependent density-functional theory (TDDFT) for open electronic systems. For any finite electronic system, the TD-HEDT formally establishes a one-to-one correspondence between the electron density inside any finite subsystem and the time-dependent external potential. As a result, any electronic property of an open system in principle can be determined uniquely by the electron density function inside the open region. Implications of the TD-HEDT on the practicality of TDDFT are also discussed.

  19. Myeloperoxidase-mediated protein oxidation: its possible biological functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naskalski, Jerzy W; Marcinkiewicz, Janusz; Drozdz, Ryszard

    2002-05-01

    Oxidation of proteins occurs both as a side-effect of aerobic energy metabolism and as an effect of specific metabolism of phagocytic polymorphonuclear granulocytes producing O2- and H2O2. In contrast to other cells, which control their H2O2 level by degrading it to O2 and H2O, polymorphonuclear neutrophilic leukocytes (PMN) use H2O2 as a substrate for oxidizing chloride ions to HOCl which rapidly react with all neighboring thiol, disulfide and amino residues. Chloramines, which are the most abundant HOCl reaction products, react with proteins, modifying only certain exposed methionine and cysteine residues. This may account for selective inactivation of a number of enzymes, carrier proteins and peptide mediators, including the alpha1-proteinase inhibitor, alpha2-macroglobulin and plasminogen activator inhibitor. Inactivaton of plasma proteinase inhibitors protects PMN elastase, collagenase, cathepsin G and other serine proteases in the inflammatory foci. This promotes proteolytic degradation of damaged tissue, removal of bacterial debris and wound healing, as well as tissue remodeling related to the inflammatory processes. Oxidative control of protease-anti-protease balance affects the development of the inflammatory processes. Moreover, inactivation of plasma proteinase inhibitors facilitates primary antigen processing, upregulates lymphocyte proliferative response and activates the local immune response. Oxidation produces a specific protein tagging which attracts and stimulates immune active cells. Therefore, humoral response against oxidatively modified proteins occurs more effectively than that of the native proteins. The effect is dose-dependent with respect to the amount of oxidant employed. Glycol aldehyde, which is the serine chloramine spontaneous decay product, in mice immunized with glycol aldehyde-modified egg-white albumin, yields specific IgG production manifold higher than that in mice immunized with native albumin. Immunopotentiation is produced

  20. Transverse momentum dependence in gluon distribution and fragmentation functions

    CERN Document Server

    Mulders, P J

    2001-01-01

    We investigate the twist two gluon distribution functions for spin 1/2 hadrons, emphasizing intrinsic transverse momentum of the gluons. These functions are relevant in leading order in the inverse hard scale in scattering processes such as inclusive leptoproduction or Drell-Yan scattering, or more general in hard processes in which at least two hadrons are involved. They show up in azimuthal asymmetries. For future estimates of such observables, we discuss specific bounds on these functions.

  1. Estrogen Receptor-Dependent Regulation of Dendritic Cell Development and Function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laffont, Sophie; Seillet, Cyril; Guéry, Jean-Charles

    2017-01-01

    Autoimmunity, infectious diseases and cancer affect women and men differently. Because they tend to develop more vigorous adaptive immune responses than men, women are less susceptible to some infectious diseases but also at higher risk of autoimmunity. The regulation of immune responses by sex-dependent factors probably involves several non-redundant mechanisms. A privileged area of study, however, concerns the role of sex steroid hormones in the biology of innate immune cells, especially dendritic cells (DCs). In recent years, our understanding of the lineage origin of DC populations has expanded, and the lineage-committing transcription factors shaping peripheral DC subsets have been identified. Both progenitor cells and mature DC subsets express estrogen receptors (ERs), which are ligand-dependent transcription factors. This suggests that estrogens may contribute to the reported sex differences in immunity by regulating DC biology. Here, we review the recent literature and highlight evidence that estrogen-dependent activation of ERα regulates the development or the functional responses of particular DC subsets. The in vitro model of GM-CSF-induced DC differentiation shows that CD11c+ CD11bint Ly6cneg cells depend on ERα activation by estrogen for their development, and for the acquisition of competence to activate naive CD4+ T lymphocytes and mount a robust pro-inflammatory cytokine response to CD40 stimulation. In this model, estrogen signaling in conjunction with GM-CSF is necessary to promote early interferon regulatory factor (Irf)-4 expression in macrophage-DC progenitors and their subsequent differentiation into IRF-4hi CD11c+ CD11bint Ly6cneg cells, closely related to the cDC2 subset. The Flt3L-induced model of DC differentiation in turn shows that ERα signaling promotes the development of conventional DC (cDC) and plasmacytoid DC (pDC) with higher capability of pro-inflammatory cytokine production in response to TLR stimulation. Likewise, cell

  2. Melittin Modulates Keratinocyte Function through P2 Receptor-dependent ADAM Activation*

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sommer, Anselm; Fries, Anja; Cornelsen, Isabell; Speck, Nancy; Koch-Nolte, Friedrich; Gimpl, Gerald; Andrä, Jörg; Bhakdi, Sucharit; Reiss, Karina

    2012-01-01

    Melittin, the major component of the bee venom, is an amphipathic, cationic peptide with a wide spectrum of biological properties that is being considered as an anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer agent. It modulates multiple cellular functions but the underlying mechanisms are not clearly understood. Here, we report that melittin activates disintegrin-like metalloproteases (ADAMs) and that downstream events likely contribute to the biological effects evoked by the peptide. Melittin stimulated the proteolysis of ADAM10 and ADAM17 substrates in human neutrophil granulocytes, endothelial cells and murine fibroblasts. In human HaCaT keratinocytes, melittin induced shedding of the adhesion molecule E-cadherin and release of TGF-α, which was accompanied by transactivation of the EGF receptor and ERK1/2 phosphorylation. This was followed by functional consequences such as increased keratinocyte proliferation and enhanced cell migration. Evidence is provided that ATP release and activation of purinergic P2 receptors are involved in melittin-induced ADAM activation. E-cadherin shedding and EGFR phosphorylation were dose-dependently reduced in the presence of ATPases or P2 receptor antagonists. The involvement of P2 receptors was underscored in experiments with HEK cells, which lack the P2X7 receptor and showed strikingly increased response to melittin stimulation after transfection with this receptor. Our study provides new insight into the mechanism of melittin function which should be of interest particularly in the context of its potential use as an anti-inflammatory or anti-cancer agent. PMID:22613720

  3. Revealing complex function, process and pathway interactions with high-throughput expression and biological annotation data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, Nitesh Kumar; Ernst, Mathias; Liebscher, Volkmar; Fuellen, Georg; Taher, Leila

    2016-10-20

    The biological relationships both between and within the functions, processes and pathways that operate within complex biological systems are only poorly characterized, making the interpretation of large scale gene expression datasets extremely challenging. Here, we present an approach that integrates gene expression and biological annotation data to identify and describe the interactions between biological functions, processes and pathways that govern a phenotype of interest. The product is a global, interconnected network, not of genes but of functions, processes and pathways, that represents the biological relationships within the system. We validated our approach on two high-throughput expression datasets describing organismal and organ development. Our findings are well supported by the available literature, confirming that developmental processes and apoptosis play key roles in cell differentiation. Furthermore, our results suggest that processes related to pluripotency and lineage commitment, which are known to be critical for development, interact mainly indirectly, through genes implicated in more general biological processes. Moreover, we provide evidence that supports the relevance of cell spatial organization in the developing liver for proper liver function. Our strategy can be viewed as an abstraction that is useful to interpret high-throughput data and devise further experiments.

  4. Scale-dependent changes in the functional diversity of macrophytes in subtropical freshwater lakes in south China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fu, Hui; Zhong, Jiayou; Fang, Shaowen; Hu, Jianmin; Guo, Chunjing; Lou, Qian; Yuan, Guixiang; Dai, Taotao; Li, Zhongqiang; Zhang, Meng; Li, Wei; Xu, Jun; Cao, Te

    2017-08-15

    Ecological processes are generally scale-dependent and there is little consensus about the relative importance of deterministic versus stochastic processes in driving patterns of biological diversity. We investigated how the relationship between functional dispersion and environmental gradients changes with spatial scale in subtropical freshwater lakes. The functional alpha and beta dispersions of all the tested traits were significantly under-dispersed across spatial scales and along environmental gradients. Results showed more functional similarity within communities in leaf dry mass content and flowering duration but less functional turnover among communities in all the tested traits at regional scales (Yunnan-Guizhou plateau and the middle and low reaches of the Yangtze River). The strengths and directions of environmental effects on the functional alpha and beta dispersions depended on the selected traits, diversity metrics and spatial scales. Surprisingly, broad-scale factors - elevation and water transparency - decreased the functional turnover for most traits along the gradients, whereas fine-scale factors - water depth - produced the opposite patterns along the gradient, depending on the trait selected. Our study highlights the dominant role of deterministic assembly processes in structuring the local functional composition and governing the spatial functional turnover of macrophyte communities across multiple spatial scales.

  5. Density-dependent prophylaxis and condition-dependent immune function in Lepidopteran larvae: a multivariate approach

    OpenAIRE

    Cotter, Sheena; Hails, R. S.; Cory, J S; Wilson, K.

    2004-01-01

    1. The risk of parasitism and infectious disease is expected to increase with population density as a consequence of positive density-dependent transmission rates. Therefore, species that encounter large fluctuations in population density are predicted to exhibit plasticity in their immune system, such that investment in costly immune defences is adjusted to match the probability of exposure to parasites and pathogens (i.e. density-dependent prophylaxis).

  6. Esthetic-functional recovery of permanent posterior tooth using autogenous biological restoration

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A M Botelho

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Occlusal morphology and difficult access for cleaning permanent molars result in the buildup of bacterial plaque and the development of caries. One method known as biological restoration was carried out. This technique known as biological restoration, has as main restorative material a fragment obtained from a duly donated extracted human tooth. This case report describes the restoration of an extensively decayed molar through the bonding of a fragment obtained from a third molar extracted from the patient himself. Biological restoration is a low-cost option that offers satisfactory aesthetic, morphological and functional results.The morphological/functional reestablishment of posterior teeth can be obtained through biological restoration, which allows the recovery of properties inherent to the dental structure, offers satisfactory aesthetic results and low cost.

  7. Bioactive Components and Functional Properties of Biologically Activated Cereal Grains: A Bibliographic Review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, Arashdeep; Sharma, Savita

    2015-10-14

    Whole grains provide energy, nutrients, fibres and bioactive compounds that may synergistically contribute to their protective effects. A wide range of these compounds is affected by germination. While some compounds, such as β-glucans are degraded, others, like antioxidants and total phenolics are increased by means of biological activation of grains. The water and oil absorption capacity as well as emulsion and foaming capacity of biologically activated grains are also improved. Application of biological activation of grains is of emerging interest, which may significantly enhance the nutritional, functional and bioactive content of grains, as well as improve palatability of grain foods in a natural way. Therefore, biological activation of cereals can be a way to produce food grains enriched with health promoting compounds and enhanced functional attributes.

  8. Sharing Structure and Function in Biological Design with SBOL 2.0.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roehner, Nicholas; Beal, Jacob; Clancy, Kevin; Bartley, Bryan; Misirli, Goksel; Grünberg, Raik; Oberortner, Ernst; Pocock, Matthew; Bissell, Michael; Madsen, Curtis; Nguyen, Tramy; Zhang, Michael; Zhang, Zhen; Zundel, Zach; Densmore, Douglas; Gennari, John H; Wipat, Anil; Sauro, Herbert M; Myers, Chris J

    2016-06-17

    The Synthetic Biology Open Language (SBOL) is a standard that enables collaborative engineering of biological systems across different institutions and tools. SBOL is developed through careful consideration of recent synthetic biology trends, real use cases, and consensus among leading researchers in the field and members of commercial biotechnology enterprises. We demonstrate and discuss how a set of SBOL-enabled software tools can form an integrated, cross-organizational workflow to recapitulate the design of one of the largest published genetic circuits to date, a 4-input AND sensor. This design encompasses the structural components of the system, such as its DNA, RNA, small molecules, and proteins, as well as the interactions between these components that determine the system's behavior/function. The demonstrated workflow and resulting circuit design illustrate the utility of SBOL 2.0 in automating the exchange of structural and functional specifications for genetic parts, devices, and the biological systems in which they operate.

  9. Functional proteomics on zinc-dependent metalloproteinases using inhibitor probes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Klein, Theo; Geurink, Paul P.; Overkleeft, Hermen S.; Kauffman, Henk K.; Bischoff, Rainer

    2009-01-01

    Metzincins ore a family of zinc(II)-dependent metolloproteinases with well known members such as the matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) and A disintegrin and metalloproteinases (ADAMs). Metzincins are largely responsible for the modulation and regulation of the extracellular matrix by proteolytic degr

  10. Functional proteomics on zinc-dependent metalloproteinases using inhibitor probes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Klein, Theo; Geurink, Paul P.; Overkleeft, Hermen S.; Kauffman, Henk K.; Bischoff, Rainer

    Metzincins ore a family of zinc(II)-dependent metolloproteinases with well known members such as the matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) and A disintegrin and metalloproteinases (ADAMs). Metzincins are largely responsible for the modulation and regulation of the extracellular matrix by proteolytic

  11. Diurnal rhythmicity in biological processes involved in bioavailability of functional food factors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsurusaki, Takashi; Sakakibara, Hiroyuki; Aoshima, Yoshiki; Yamazaki, Shunsuke; Sakono, Masanobu; Shimoi, Kayoko

    2013-05-01

    In the past few decades, many types of functional factors have been identified in dietary foods; for example, flavonoids are major groups widely distributed in the plant kingdom. However, the absorption rates of the functional food factors are usually low, and many of these are difficult to be absorbed in the intact forms because of metabolization by biological processes during absorption. To gain adequate beneficial effects, it is therefore mandatory to know whether functional food factors are absorbed in sufficient quantity, and then reach target organs while maintaining beneficial effects. These are the reasons why the bioavailability of functional food factors has been well investigated using rodent models. Recently, many of the biological processes have been reported to follow diurnal rhythms recurring every 24 h. Therefore, absorption and metabolism of functional food factors influenced by the biological processes may vary with time of day. Consequently, the evaluation of the bioavailability of functional food factors using rodent models should take into consideration the timing of consumption. In this review, we provide a perspective overview of the diurnal rhythm of biological processes involved in the bioavailability of functional food factors, particularly flavonoids.

  12. N-acylation of phosphatidylethanolamine and its biological functions in mammals

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wellner, Niels; Diep, Thi Ai; Janfelt, Christian

    2013-01-01

    N-acylphosphatidylethanolamine (NAPE) and N-acylplasmenylethanolamine (pNAPE) are widely found phospholipids, and they are precursors for N-acylethanolamines, a group of compounds that has a variety of biological effects and encompasses the endocannabinoid anandamide. NAPE and pNAPE are synthesiz...... reviews the metabolism, occurrence and assay of NAPE and pNAPE, and discusses the putative biological functions in mammals of these phospholipids. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled Phospholipids and Phospholipid Metabolism....

  13. OXPHOS-Dependent Cells Identify Environmental Disruptors of Mitochondrial Function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitochondrial dysfunction is associated with numerous chronic diseases including metabolic syndrome. Environmental chemicals can impair mitochondrial function through numerous mechanisms such as membrane disruption, complex inhibition and electron transport chain uncoupling. Curr...

  14. Human embryonic stem cells : advancing biology and cardiogenesis towards functional applications l

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Braam, Stefan Robbert

    2010-01-01

    Human embryonic stem cells (hESC) hold great potential as a model for human development, disease pathology, drug discovery and safety pharmacology. All these applications will depend on comprehensive knowledge of their biology and control of their signaling mechanisms and fate choices. To begin to a

  15. Angle-dependent strong-field molecular ionization rates with tuned range-separated time-dependent density functional theory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sissay, Adonay; Abanador, Paul; Mauger, François; Gaarde, Mette; Schafer, Kenneth J; Lopata, Kenneth

    2016-09-07

    Strong-field ionization and the resulting electronic dynamics are important for a range of processes such as high harmonic generation, photodamage, charge resonance enhanced ionization, and ionization-triggered charge migration. Modeling ionization dynamics in molecular systems from first-principles can be challenging due to the large spatial extent of the wavefunction which stresses the accuracy of basis sets, and the intense fields which require non-perturbative time-dependent electronic structure methods. In this paper, we develop a time-dependent density functional theory approach which uses a Gaussian-type orbital (GTO) basis set to capture strong-field ionization rates and dynamics in atoms and small molecules. This involves propagating the electronic density matrix in time with a time-dependent laser potential and a spatial non-Hermitian complex absorbing potential which is projected onto an atom-centered basis set to remove ionized charge from the simulation. For the density functional theory (DFT) functional we use a tuned range-separated functional LC-PBE*, which has the correct asymptotic 1/r form of the potential and a reduced delocalization error compared to traditional DFT functionals. Ionization rates are computed for hydrogen, molecular nitrogen, and iodoacetylene under various field frequencies, intensities, and polarizations (angle-dependent ionization), and the results are shown to quantitatively agree with time-dependent Schrödinger equation and strong-field approximation calculations. This tuned DFT with GTO method opens the door to predictive all-electron time-dependent density functional theory simulations of ionization and ionization-triggered dynamics in molecular systems using tuned range-separated hybrid functionals.

  16. Angle-dependent strong-field molecular ionization rates with tuned range-separated time-dependent density functional theory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sissay, Adonay; Abanador, Paul; Mauger, François; Gaarde, Mette; Schafer, Kenneth J.; Lopata, Kenneth

    2016-09-01

    Strong-field ionization and the resulting electronic dynamics are important for a range of processes such as high harmonic generation, photodamage, charge resonance enhanced ionization, and ionization-triggered charge migration. Modeling ionization dynamics in molecular systems from first-principles can be challenging due to the large spatial extent of the wavefunction which stresses the accuracy of basis sets, and the intense fields which require non-perturbative time-dependent electronic structure methods. In this paper, we develop a time-dependent density functional theory approach which uses a Gaussian-type orbital (GTO) basis set to capture strong-field ionization rates and dynamics in atoms and small molecules. This involves propagating the electronic density matrix in time with a time-dependent laser potential and a spatial non-Hermitian complex absorbing potential which is projected onto an atom-centered basis set to remove ionized charge from the simulation. For the density functional theory (DFT) functional we use a tuned range-separated functional LC-PBE*, which has the correct asymptotic 1/r form of the potential and a reduced delocalization error compared to traditional DFT functionals. Ionization rates are computed for hydrogen, molecular nitrogen, and iodoacetylene under various field frequencies, intensities, and polarizations (angle-dependent ionization), and the results are shown to quantitatively agree with time-dependent Schrödinger equation and strong-field approximation calculations. This tuned DFT with GTO method opens the door to predictive all-electron time-dependent density functional theory simulations of ionization and ionization-triggered dynamics in molecular systems using tuned range-separated hybrid functionals.

  17. Classical Solutions of Path-Dependent PDEs and Functional Forward-Backward Stochastic Systems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shaolin Ji

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available In this paper we study the relationship between functional forward-backward stochastic systems and path-dependent PDEs. In the framework of functional Itô calculus, we introduce a path-dependent PDE and prove that its solution is uniquely determined by a functional forward-backward stochastic system.

  18. The biology and functional morphology of Macoma biota (Bivalvia: Tellinidae: Macominae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pedro Ribeiro Piffer

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available Macoma biota Arruda & Domaneschi, 2005, is a recently described species known only from the intertidal zone of Praia da Cidade, Caraguatatuba Bay, in the state of São Paulo, southeastern Brazil. The main purpose of the present paper is to describe the biology of M. biota, beginning with a detailed analysis of its anatomy and functional morphology and how these attributes are correlated with its habitat and life history. The morphology of the organs in the pallial cavity and their sorting devices indicate that this species has efficient mechanisms to process large amounts of particles that enter this cavity via the inhalant current. M. biota can rapidly select the material suitable for ingestion and direct the undesired excess to the rejection mantle tracts. These characteristics along with the siphon's behavior and the digestive tract configuration reveal that this species can be classified primarily as a deposit feeder, like other species of the genus; however, it can also behave as a suspension feeder, depending on the environmental conditions.

  19. Hydrologic and biologic influences on stream network nutrient concentrations: Interactions of hydrologic turnover and concentration-dependent nutrient uptake

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mallard, John; McGlynn, Brian; Covino, Tim

    2016-04-01

    Stream networks lie in a crucial landscape position between terrestrial ecosystems and downstream water bodies. As such, whether inferring terrestrial watershed processes from watershed outlet nutrient signals or predicting the effect of observed terrestrial processes on stream nutrient signals, it is requisite to understand how stream networks can modulate terrestrial nutrient inputs. To date integrated understanding and modeling of physical and biological influences on nutrient concentrations at the stream network scale have been limited. However, watershed scale groundwater - surface water exchange (hydrologic turnover), concentration-variable biological uptake, and the interaction between the two can strongly modify stream water nutrient concentrations. Stream water and associated nutrients are lost to and replaced from groundwater with distinct nutrient concentrations while in-stream nutrients can also be retained by biological processes at rates that vary with concentration. We developed an empirically based network scale model to simulate the interaction between hydrologic turnover and concentration-dependent nutrient uptake across stream networks. Exchange and uptake parameters were measured using conservative and nutrient tracer addition experiments in the Bull Trout Watershed, central Idaho. We found that the interaction of hydrologic turnover and concentration-dependent uptake combined to modify and subsequently stabilize in-stream concentrations, with specific concentrations dependent on the magnitude of hydrologic turnover, groundwater concentrations, and the shape of nutrient uptake kinetic curves. We additionally found that by varying these physical and biological parameters within measured ranges we were able to generate a spectrum of stream network concentration distributions representing a continuum of shifting magnitudes of physical and biological influences on in-stream concentrations. These findings elucidate the important and variable role of

  20. Calcium-dependent mitochondrial function and dysfunction in neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pivovarova, Natalia B; Andrews, S Brian

    2010-09-01

    Calcium is an extraordinarily versatile signaling ion, encoding cellular responses to a wide variety of external stimuli. In neurons, mitochondria can accumulate enormous amounts of calcium, with the consequence that mitochondrial calcium uptake, sequestration and release play pivotal roles in orchestrating calcium-dependent responses as diverse as gene transcription and cell death. In this review, we consider the basic chemistry of calcium as a 'sticky' cation, which leads to extremely high bound/free ratios, and discuss areas of current interest or controversy. Topics addressed include methodologies for measuring local intracellular calcium, mitochondrial calcium buffering and loading capacity, mitochondrially directed spatial calcium gradients, and the role of calcium overload-dependent mitochondrial dysfunction in glutamate-evoked excitotoxic injury and neurodegeneration. Finally, we consider the relationship between delayed calcium de-regulation, the mitochondrial permeability transition and the generation of reactive oxygen species, and propose a unified view of the 'source specificity' and 'calcium overload' models of N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptor-dependent excitotoxicity. Non-NMDA receptor mechanisms of excitotoxicity are discussed briefly. Journal compilation © 2010 FEBS. No claim to original US government works.

  1. Functionally diverse biotin-dependent enzymes with oxaloacetate decarboxylase activity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lietzan, Adam D; St Maurice, Martin

    2014-02-15

    Biotin-dependent enzymes catalyze carboxylation, decarboxylation and transcarboxylation reactions that participate in the primary metabolism of a wide range of organisms. In all cases, the overall reaction proceeds via two half reactions that take place in physically distinct active sites. In the first half-reaction, a carboxyl group is transferred to the 1-N' of a covalently tethered biotin cofactor. The tethered carboxybiotin intermediate subsequently translocates to a second active site where the carboxyl group is either transferred to an acceptor substrate or, in some bacteria and archaea, is decarboxylated to biotin and CO2 in order to power the export of sodium ions from the cytoplasm. A homologous carboxyltransferase domain is found in three enzymes that catalyze diverse overall reactions: carbon fixation by pyruvate carboxylase, decarboxylation and sodium transport by the biotin-dependent oxaloacetate decarboxylase complex, and transcarboxylation by transcarboxylase from Propionibacterium shermanii. Over the past several years, structural data have emerged which have greatly advanced the mechanistic description of these enzymes. This review assembles a uniform description of the carboxyltransferase domain structure and catalytic mechanism from recent studies of pyruvate carboxylase, oxaloacetate decarboxylase and transcarboxylase, three enzymes that utilize an analogous carboxyltransferase domain to catalyze the biotin-dependent decarboxylation of oxaloacetate.

  2. Priority of TCM in Regulating Gene Function as a Whole Through Development of Modern Biology

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Hu zuo-wei; zhou yan-ping; Shen zi-yin

    2004-01-01

    Molecular Biology based on the DNA Double-helix structure has made great progress in 20 century.After Human Genome Project (HGP) completed, Molecular Biology is faced upon more and more challenges, andtake changes from protion concept to integration concept, from linear thinking to complicated thinking. so post-genomics, including functional genomics, proteomics, is gradually established. Among them, System Biology is themost prominent. It is becoming to tend to integration, and infiltrate to each other for the two thinking of genomeand TCM in studying life science, which reflect the inevitablility and importance of integration of TCM and West-ern Medicine. The priority of TCM in treatment as a whole, and regulating functional gene and functional networkmay take greater achievement in post - genomic time.

  3. The functional central limit theorem for strong near-epoch dependent random variables

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    QIU Jin; LIN Zhengyan

    2004-01-01

    The functional central limit theorem for strong near-epoch dependent sequences of random variables is proved.The conditions given improve on previous results in the literature concerning dependence and heterogeneity.

  4. A-dependence of weak nuclear structure functions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Haider, H.; Athar, M. Sajjad [Department of Physics, Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh-202 002 (India); Simo, I. Ruiz [Dipartimento di Fisica, Universitá degli studi di Trento Via Sommarive 14, Povo (Trento) I-38123 (Italy)

    2015-05-15

    Effect of nuclear medium on the weak structure functions F{sub 2}{sup A}(x, Q{sup 2}) and F{sub 3}{sup A}(x, Q{sup 2}) have been studied using charged current (anti)neutrino deep inelastic scattering on various nuclear targets. Relativistic nuclear spectral function which incorporate Fermi motion, binding and nucleon correlations are used for the calculations. We also consider the pion and rho meson cloud contributions calculated from a microscopic model for meson-nucleus self-energies. Using these structure functions, F{sub i}{sup A}/F{sub i}{sup proton} and F{sub i}{sup A}/F{sub i}{sup deuteron}(i=2,3, A={sup 12}C, {sup 16}O, CH and H{sub 2}O) are obtained.

  5. The Morphological Type Dependence of K-band Luminosity Functions

    CERN Document Server

    Devereux, Nick; Willner, S P; Ashby, M L N; Willmer, C N A

    2009-01-01

    Differential 2.2um (K-band) luminosity functions are presented for a complete sample of 1570 nearby Vgsr < 3000 km/s, where Vgsr is the velocity measured with respect to the Galactic standard of rest), bright (K < 10 mag), galaxies segregated by visible morphology. The K-band luminosity function for late-type spirals follows a power law that rises towards low luminosities whereas the K-band luminosity functions for ellipticals, lenticulars and bulge-dominated spirals are peaked with a fall off at both high and low luminosities. However, each morphological type (E, S0, S0/a-Sab, Sb-Sbc, Sc-Scd) contributes approximately equally to the overall K-band luminosity density in the local universe, and by inference, the stellar mass density as well.

  6. Electromagnetic fields as structure-function zeitgebers in biological systems: environmental orchestrations of morphogenesis and consciousness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rouleau, Nicolas; Dotta, Blake T

    2014-01-01

    Within a cell system structure dictates function. Any interaction between cells, or a cell and its environment, has the potential to have long term implications on the function of a given cell and emerging cell aggregates. The structure and function of cells are continuously subjected to modification by electrical and chemical stimuli. However, biological systems are also subjected to an ever-present influence: the electromagnetic (EM) environment. Biological systems have the potential to be influenced by subtle energies which are exchanged at atomic and subatomic scales as EM phenomena. These energy exchanges have the potential to manifest at higher orders of discourse and affect the output (behavior) of a biological system. Here we describe theoretical and experimental evidence of EM influence on cells and the integration of whole systems. Even weak interactions between EM energies and biological systems display the potential to affect a developing system. We suggest the growing literature of EM effects on biological systems has significant implications to the cell and its functional aggregates.

  7. Problem Decomposition Method to Compute an Optimal Cover for a Set of Functional Dependencies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vitalie COTELEA

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available The paper proposes a problem decomposition method for building optimal cover for a set of functional dependencies to decrease the solving time. At the beginning, the paper includes an overview of the covers of functional dependencies. There are considered definitions and properties of non redundant covers for sets of functional dependencies, reduced and canonical covers as well as equivalence classes of functional dependencies, minimum and optimal covers. Then, a theoretical tool for inference of functional dependencies is proposed, which possesses the uniqueness property. And finally, the set of attributes of the relational schema is divided into equivalence classes of attributes that will serve as the basis for building optimal cover for a set of functional dependencies.

  8. Bounds on Transverse Momentum Dependent Distribution and Fragmentation Functions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bacchetta, A.; Boglione, M.; Henneman, A.; Mulders, P. J.

    2000-07-01

    We give bounds on the distribution and fragmentation functions that appear at leading order in deep inelastic one-particle inclusive leptoproduction or in Drell-Yan processes. These bounds simply follow from positivity of the defining matrix elements and are an important guidance in estimating the magnitude of the azimuthal and spin asymmetries in these processes.

  9. Bounds on transverse momentum dependent distribution and fragmentation functions

    CERN Document Server

    Bacchetta, A; Henneman, A A; Mulders, P J

    2000-01-01

    We give bounds on the distribution and fragmentation functions that appear at leading order in deep inelastic 1-particle inclusive leptoproduction or in Drell-Yan processes. These bounds simply follow from positivity of the defining matrix elements and are an important guidance in estimating the magnitude of the azimuthal and spin asymmetries in these processes.

  10. Lipid dependence of ABC transporter localization and function

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Klappe, Karin; Hummel, Ina; Hoekstra, Dick; Kok, Jan Willem

    2009-01-01

    Lipid rafts have been implicated in many cellular functions, including protein and lipid transport and signal transduction. ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporters have also been localized in these membrane domains. In this review the evidence for this specific localization will be evaluated and dis

  11. Lipid dependence of ABC transporter localization and function

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Klappe, Karin; Hummel, Ina; Hoekstra, Dick; Kok, Jan Willem

    2009-01-01

    Lipid rafts have been implicated in many cellular functions, including protein and lipid transport and signal transduction. ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporters have also been localized in these membrane domains. In this review the evidence for this specific localization will be evaluated and dis

  12. Lipid dependence of ABC transporter localization and function

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Klappe, Karin; Hummel, Ina; Hoekstra, Dick; Kok, Jan Willem

    2009-01-01

    Lipid rafts have been implicated in many cellular functions, including protein and lipid transport and signal transduction. ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporters have also been localized in these membrane domains. In this review the evidence for this specific localization will be evaluated and

  13. Density-dependence of functional spiking networks in vitro

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ham, Michael I [Los Alamos National Laboratory; Gintautuas, Vadas [Los Alamos National Laboratory; Rodriguez, Marko A [Los Alamos National Laboratory; Bettencourt, Luis M A [Los Alamos National Laboratory; Bennett, Ryan [UNIV OF NORTH TEXAS; Santa Maria, Cara L [UNIV OF NORTH TEXAS

    2008-01-01

    During development, the mammalian brain differentiates into specialized regions with unique functional abilities. While many factors contribute to this functional specialization, we explore the effect neuronal density can have on neuronal interactions. Two types of networks, dense (50,000 neurons and glia support cells) and sparse (12,000 neurons and glia support cells), are studied. A competitive first response model is applied to construct activation graphs that represent pairwise neuronal interactions. By observing the evolution of these graphs during development in vitro we observe that dense networks form activation connections earlier than sparse networks, and that link-!llltropy analysis of the resulting dense activation graphs reveals that balanced directional connections dominate. Information theoretic measures reveal in addition that early functional information interactions (of order 3) are synergetic in both dense and sparse networks. However, during development in vitro, such interactions become redundant in dense, but not sparse networks. Large values of activation graph link-entropy correlate strongly with redundant ensembles observed in the dense networks. Results demonstrate differences between dense and sparse networks in terms of informational groups, pairwise relationships, and activation graphs. These differences suggest that variations in cell density may result in different functional specialization of nervous system tissue also in vivo.

  14. Discovery of a new method for potent drug development using power function of stoichiometry ofhomomeric biocomplexes or biological nanomotors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pi, Fengmei; Vieweger, Mario; Zhao, Zhengyi; Wang, Shaoying; Guo, Peixuan

    2015-01-01

    Introduction Multidrug resistance and the appearance of incurable diseases inspire the quest for potent therapeutics. Areas Covered We review a new methodology in designing potent drugs by targeting multi-subunit homomeric biological motors, machines, or complexes with Z>1 and K=1, where Z is the stoichiometry of the target, and K is the number of drugged subunits required to block the function of the complex. The condition is similar to a series, electrical circuit of Christmas decorations; failure of one light bulb causes the entire lighting system to lose power. In most multisubunit, homomeric biological systems, a sequential coordination or cooperative action mechanism is utilized, thus K equals 1. Drug inhibition depends on the ratio of drugged to nondrugged complexes. When K=1, and Z>1, the inhibition effect follows a power law with respect to Z, leading to enhanced drug potency. The hypothesis that the potency of drug inhibition depends on the stoichiometry of the targeted biological complexes was recently quantified by Yang-Hui's Triangle (or binomial distribution), and proved using a highly sensitive in vitro phi29 viral DNA packaging system. Examples of targeting homomeric bio-complexes with high stoichiometry for potent drug discovery are discussed. Expert Opinion Biomotors with multiple subunits are widespread in viruses, bacteria, and cells, making this approach generally applicable in the development of inhibition drugs with high efficiency. PMID:26307193

  15. Discovery of a new method for potent drug development using power function of stoichiometry of homomeric biocomplexes or biological nanomotors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pi, Fengmei; Vieweger, Mario; Zhao, Zhengyi; Wang, Shaoying; Guo, Peixuan

    2016-01-01

    Multidrug resistance and the appearance of incurable diseases inspire the quest for potent therapeutics. We review a new methodology in designing potent drugs by targeting multi-subunit homomeric biological motors, machines or complexes with Z > 1 and K = 1, where Z is the stoichiometry of the target, and K is the number of drugged subunits required to block the function of the complex. The condition is similar to a series electrical circuit of Christmas decorations: failure of one light bulb causes the entire lighting system to lose power. In most multi-subunit, homomeric biological systems, a sequential coordination or cooperative action mechanism is utilized, thus K equals 1. Drug inhibition depends on the ratio of drugged to non-drugged complexes. When K = 1, and Z > 1, the inhibition effect follows a power law with respect to Z, leading to enhanced drug potency. The hypothesis that the potency of drug inhibition depends on the stoichiometry of the targeted biological complexes was recently quantified by Yang-Hui's Triangle (or binomial distribution), and proved using a highly sensitive in vitro phi29 viral DNA packaging system. Examples of targeting homomeric bio-complexes with high stoichiometry for potent drug discovery are discussed. Biomotors with multiple subunits are widespread in viruses, bacteria and cells, making this approach generally applicable in the development of inhibition drugs with high efficiency.

  16. DEPENDENCE OF THE SPECKLE-PATTERNS SIZE AND THEIR CONTRAST ON THE BIOPHYSICAL AND STRUCTURAL PARAMETERS OF BIOLOGICAL TISSUES

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N. D. Abramovich

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Speckle fields are widely used in optical diagnostics of biotissues and evaluation of the functional state of bioobjects. The speckle field is formed by laser radiation scattered from the object under study. It bears information about the average dimensions of the scatterers, the degree of surface roughness makes it possible to judge the structural and biophysical characteristics of individual tissue cells (particles, on the one hand, and the integral optical characteristics of the entire biological tissue. The aim of the study was – the determination of connections between the biophysical and structural characteristics of the biotissue and the light fields inside the biotissues.The model developed of the medium gives a direct relationship between the optical and biophysical parameters of the biotissue. Calculations were carried out using known solutions of the radiation transfer equation, taking into account the multilayer structure of the tissue, multiple scattering in the medium, and multiple reflection of irradiation between the layers.With the increase wavelength, the size of speckles formed by the non-scattered component (direct light of laser radiation increases by a factor of 2 from 400 to 800 μm in the stratum corneum and 5 times from 0.6 to 3 μm for the epidermis and from 0.27 to 1.4 μm to the dermis. Typical values of sizes of speckles formed by the diffraction component of laser radiation for the stratum corneum and epidermis range from 0.02 to 0.15 μm. For the dermis typical spot sizes are up to 0.03 μm. The speckle-spot size of the diffusion component in the dermis can vary from ±10 % at 400 nm and up to ±23 % for 800 nm when the volume concentration of blood capillaries changes. Characteristic dependencies are obtained and biophysical factors associated with the volume concentration of blood and the degree of it’s oxygenation that affect the contrast of the speckle structure in the dermis are discussed.The of speckles

  17. Renormalization Scheme Dependence and the Renormalization Group Beta Function

    OpenAIRE

    Chishtie, F. A.; McKeon, D. G. C.

    2016-01-01

    The renormalization that relates a coupling "a" associated with a distinct renormalization group beta function in a given theory is considered. Dimensional regularization and mass independent renormalization schemes are used in this discussion. It is shown how the renormalization $a^*=a+x_2a^2$ is related to a change in the mass scale $\\mu$ that is induced by renormalization. It is argued that the infrared fixed point is to be a determined in a renormalization scheme in which the series expan...

  18. BeeSpace Navigator: exploratory analysis of gene function using semantic indexing of biological literature.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sen Sarma, Moushumi; Arcoleo, David; Khetani, Radhika S; Chee, Brant; Ling, Xu; He, Xin; Jiang, Jing; Mei, Qiaozhu; Zhai, ChengXiang; Schatz, Bruce

    2011-07-01

    With the rapid decrease in cost of genome sequencing, the classification of gene function is becoming a primary problem. Such classification has been performed by human curators who read biological literature to extract evidence. BeeSpace Navigator is a prototype software for exploratory analysis of gene function using biological literature. The software supports an automatic analogue of the curator process to extract functions, with a simple interface intended for all biologists. Since extraction is done on selected collections that are semantically indexed into conceptual spaces, the curation can be task specific. Biological literature containing references to gene lists from expression experiments can be analyzed to extract concepts that are computational equivalents of a classification such as Gene Ontology, yielding discriminating concepts that differentiate gene mentions from other mentions. The functions of individual genes can be summarized from sentences in biological literature, to produce results resembling a model organism database entry that is automatically computed. Statistical frequency analysis based on literature phrase extraction generates offline semantic indexes to support these gene function services. The website with BeeSpace Navigator is free and open to all; there is no login requirement at www.beespace.illinois.edu for version 4. Materials from the 2010 BeeSpace Software Training Workshop are available at www.beespace.illinois.edu/bstwmaterials.php.

  19. Size dependence of complex refractive index function of growing nanoparticles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eremin, A.; Gurentsov, E.; Popova, E.; Priemchenko, K.

    2011-08-01

    The evidence of the change of the complex refractive index function E( m) of carbon and iron nanoparticles as a function of their size was found from two-color time-resolved laser-induced incandescence (TiRe-LII) measurements. Growing carbon particles were observed from acetylene pyrolysis behind a shock wave and iron particles were synthesized by pulse Kr-F excimer laser photo-dissociation of Fe(CO)5. The magnitudes of refractive index function were found through the fitting of two independently measured values of particle heat up temperature, determined by two-color pyrometry and from the known energy of the laser pulse and the E( m) variation. Small carbon particles of about 1-14 nm in diameter had a low value of E( m)˜0.05-0.07, which tends to increase up to a value of 0.2-0.25 during particle growth up to 20 nm. Similar behavior for iron particles resulted in E( m) rise from ˜0.1 for particles 1-3 nm in diameter up to ˜0.2 for particles >12 nm in diameter.

  20. Functional neuroanatomy in depressed patients with sexual dysfunction: blood oxygenation level dependent functional MR imaging

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yang, Jong Chul [Chonnam National Univ. Hospital, Kwangju (Korea, Republic of)

    2004-06-15

    To demonstrate the functional neuroanatomy associated with sexual arousal visually evoked in depressed males who have underlying sexual dysfunction using Blood Oxygenation Level Dependent-based fMRI. Ten healthy volunteers (age range 21-55: mean 32.5 years), and 10 depressed subjects (age range 23-51: mean 34.4 years, mean Beck Depression Inventory score of 39.6 {+-} 5.9, mean Hamilton Rating Scale Depression (HAMD)-17 score of 33.5 {+-} 6.0) with sexual arousal dysfunction viewed erotic and neutral video films during functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) with 1.5 T MR scanner (GE Signa Horizon). The fMRI data were obtained from 7 oblique planes using gradient-echo EPI (flip angle/TR/TE=90 .deg. /6000 ms/50 ms). The visual stimulation paradigm began with 60 sec of black screen, 150 sec of neutral stimulation with a documentary video film, 30 sec of black screen, 150 sec of sexual stimulation with an erotic video film followed by 30 sec of black screen. The brain activation maps and their quantification were analyzed by SPM99 program. There was a significant difference of brain activation between two groups during visual sexual stimulation. In depressed subjects, the level of activation during the visually evoked sexual arousal was significantly less than that of healthy volunteers, especially in the cerebrocortical areas of the hypothalamus, thalamus, caudate nucleus, and inferior and superior temporal gyri. On the other hand, the cerebral activation patterns during the neutral condition in both groups showed no significant differences ({rho} < 0.01). This study is the first demonstration of the functional neuroanatomy of the brain associated with sexual dysfunction in depressed patients using fMRI. In order to validate our physiological neuroscience results, further studies that would include patients with other disorders and sexual dysfunction, and depressed patients without sexual dysfunction and their treatment response are needed.

  1. Prefrontal response and frontostriatal functional connectivity to monetary reward in abstinent alcohol-dependent young adults

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Forbes, Erika E; Rodriguez, Eric E; Musselman, Samuel; Narendran, Rajesh

    2014-01-01

    ... function that are central to addiction. In addition, few studies have examined function in these regions during young adulthood, when exposure is less chronic than in typical samples of alcohol-dependent adults...

  2. Structural and functional characteristics of cGMP-dependent methionine oxidation in Arabidopsis thaliana proteins

    KAUST Repository

    Marondedze, Claudius

    2013-01-05

    Background: Increasing structural and biochemical evidence suggests that post-translational methionine oxidation of proteins is not just a result of cellular damage but may provide the cell with information on the cellular oxidative status. In addition, oxidation of methionine residues in key regulatory proteins, such as calmodulin, does influence cellular homeostasis. Previous findings also indicate that oxidation of methionine residues in signaling molecules may have a role in stress responses since these specific structural modifications can in turn change biological activities of proteins. Findings. Here we use tandem mass spectrometry-based proteomics to show that treatment of Arabidopsis thaliana cells with a non-oxidative signaling molecule, the cell-permeant second messenger analogue, 8-bromo-3,5-cyclic guanosine monophosphate (8-Br-cGMP), results in a time-dependent increase in the content of oxidised methionine residues. Interestingly, the group of proteins affected by cGMP-dependent methionine oxidation is functionally enriched for stress response proteins. Furthermore, we also noted distinct signatures in the frequency of amino acids flanking oxidised and un-oxidised methionine residues on both the C- and N-terminus. Conclusions: Given both a structural and functional bias in methionine oxidation events in response to a signaling molecule, we propose that these are indicative of a specific role of such post-translational modifications in the direct or indirect regulation of cellular responses. The mechanisms that determine the specificity of the modifications remain to be elucidated. 2013 Marondedze et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

  3. Electromagnetism and multiple-valued loop-dependent wave functionals

    CERN Document Server

    Leal, Lorenzo

    2009-01-01

    We quantize the Maxwell theory in the presence of a electric charge in a "dual" Loop Representation, i.e. a geometric representation of magnetic Faraday's lines. It is found that the theory can be seen as a theory without sources, except by the fact that the wave functional becomes multivalued. This can be seen as the dual counterpart of what occurs in Maxwell theory with a magnetic pole, when it is quantized in the ordinary Loop Representation. The multivaluedness can be seen as a result of the multiply-connectedness of the configuration space of the quantum theory.

  4. Trends in lipoplex physical properties dependent on cationic lipid structure, vehicle and complexation procedure do not correlate with biological activity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferrari, M E; Rusalov, D; Enas, J; Wheeler, C J

    2001-04-01

    Using a group of structurally related cytofectins, the effects of different vehicle constituents and mixing techniques on the physical properties and biological activity of lipoplexes were systematically examined. Physical properties were examined using a combination of dye accessibility assays, centrifugation, gel electrophoresis and dynamic light scattering. Biological activity was examined using in vitro transfection. Lipoplexes were formulated using two injection vehicles commonly used for in vivo delivery (PBS pH 7.2 and 0.9% saline), and a sodium phosphate vehicle previously shown to enhance the biological activity of naked pDNA and lipoplex formulations. Phosphate was found to be unique in its effect on lipoplexes. Specifically, the accessible pDNA in lipoplexes formulated with cytofectins containing a gamma-amine substitution in the headgroup was dependent on alkyl side chain length and sodium phosphate concentration, but the same effects were not observed when using cytofectins containing a beta-OH headgroup substitution. The physicochemical features of the phosphate anion, which give rise to this effect in gamma-amine cytofectins, were deduced using a series of phosphate analogs. The effects of the formulation vehicle on transfection were found to be cell type-dependent; however, of the formulation variables examined, the liposome/pDNA mixing method had the greatest effect on transgene expression in vitro. Thus, though predictive physical structure relationships involving the vehicle and cytofectin components of the lipoplex were uncovered, they did not extrapolate to trends in biological activity.

  5. Intracellular mediators of JAM-A-dependent epithelial barrier function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Monteiro, Ana C; Parkos, Charles A

    2012-06-01

    Junctional adhesion molecule-A (JAM-A) is a critical signaling component of the apical junctional complex, a structure composed of several transmembrane and scaffold molecules that controls the passage of nutrients and solutes across epithelial surfaces. Observations from JAM-A-deficient epithelial cells and JAM-A knockout animals indicate that JAM-A is an important regulator of epithelial paracellular permeability; however, the mechanism(s) linking JAM-A to barrier function are not understood. This review highlights recent findings relevant to JAM-A-mediated regulation of epithelial permeability, focusing on the role of upstream and downstream signaling candidates. We draw on what is known about proteins reported to associate with JAM-A in other pathways and on known modulators of barrier function to propose candidate effectors that may mediate JAM-A regulation of epithelial paracellular permeability. Further investigation of pathways highlighted in this review may provide ideas for novel therapeutics that target debilitating conditions associated with barrier dysfunction, such as inflammatory bowel disease.

  6. Loss of forebrain MTCH2 decreases mitochondria motility and calcium handling and impairs hippocampal-dependent cognitive functions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruggiero, Antonella; Aloni, Etay; Korkotian, Eduard; Zaltsman, Yehudit; Oni-Biton, Efrat; Kuperman, Yael; Tsoory, Michael; Shachnai, Liat; Levin-Zaidman, Smadar; Brenner, Ori; Segal, Menahem; Gross, Atan

    2017-01-01

    Mitochondrial Carrier Homolog 2 (MTCH2) is a novel regulator of mitochondria metabolism, which was recently associated with Alzheimer’s disease. Here we demonstrate that deletion of forebrain MTCH2 increases mitochondria and whole-body energy metabolism, increases locomotor activity, but impairs motor coordination and balance. Importantly, mice deficient in forebrain MTCH2 display a deficit in hippocampus-dependent cognitive functions, including spatial memory, long term potentiation (LTP) and rates of spontaneous excitatory synaptic currents. Moreover, MTCH2-deficient hippocampal neurons display a deficit in mitochondria motility and calcium handling. Thus, MTCH2 is a critical player in neuronal cell biology, controlling mitochondria metabolism, motility and calcium buffering to regulate hippocampal-dependent cognitive functions. PMID:28276496

  7. Functional genomics bridges the gap between quantitative genetics and molecular biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lappalainen, Tuuli

    2015-10-01

    Deep characterization of molecular function of genetic variants in the human genome is becoming increasingly important for understanding genetic associations to disease and for learning to read the regulatory code of the genome. In this paper, I discuss how recent advances in both quantitative genetics and molecular biology have contributed to understanding functional effects of genetic variants, lessons learned from eQTL studies, and future challenges in this field.

  8. Mapping biological soil crusts for understanding their functional relevance in dryland ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodriguez-Caballero, E.; Escribano, P.; Chamizo, S.; Canton, Y.

    2012-04-01

    Biological soil crusts (BSCs) are considered a key element in the functioning of arid and semiarid ecosystems as they modify numerous soil surface properties involved in primary ecosystem processes such as hydrological and erosion processes, and nutrient cycling.. It is known that arid and semiarid ecosystems are conformed by a complex matrix of vegetated and open ground patches usually covered by BSCs. Geomorphic evolution of drylands depends on the individual response of patches and also on the interactions and feedback-processes among patches. These interactions are controlled by patch spatial distribution. On this account, to understand the role of BSCs in the system, it is necessary to introduce their effect at coarser scales, and to have accurate and spatially continuous information of BSC distribution. The inherent complexity and the spatial heterogeneity of drylands make field survey methods very limited for BSC mapping. Images reported by remote sensors are presented as a powerful tool for mapping BSC spatial distribution. Remote sensors provide synoptic and spatially continuous information of the territory. Different indices for mapping BSCs have been published. These indices are based on distinctive spectral characteristic of BSCs and differ in nature and objectives. The aim of this work was to analyze the feasibility of some of these indices in a semiarid area characterized by sparse vegetation cover usually mixed at subpixel level with elements characterized by very similar spectral response (bare soil, BSCs and dry vegetation). These indices were: i) CRCIA, index applied for mapping BSCs from hyperspectral images. ii) CI, index developed for mapping of cyanobacteria-dominated BSCs and iii) BSCI, index for mapping of lichen-dominated BSCs. The multispectral indices (CI and BSCI) classified as BSCs 50% of the pixels dominated by BSCs. The CRCIA hyperspectral index, showed better results than those obtained with multispectral indices. This index

  9. Determining the impacts of trawling on benthic function in European waters : a biological traits approach

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bolam, Stefan; Kenny, Andrew; Garcia, Clement;

    on benthic ecosystem functioning over much larger spatial scales than previously undertaken. Biological traits information from 887 stations across European waters (Norwegian, UK, Belgian, Dutch, Danish waters, the Mediterranean and Black Sea) were analysed to: i) quantify the relationships between infaunal...

  10. Integrated omics for the identification of key functionalities in biological wastewater treatment microbial communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Narayanasamy, Shaman; Muller, Emilie E L; Sheik, Abdul R; Wilmes, Paul

    2015-05-01

    Biological wastewater treatment plants harbour diverse and complex microbial communities which prominently serve as models for microbial ecology and mixed culture biotechnological processes. Integrated omic analyses (combined metagenomics, metatranscriptomics, metaproteomics and metabolomics) are currently gaining momentum towards providing enhanced understanding of community structure, function and dynamics in situ as well as offering the potential to discover novel biological functionalities within the framework of Eco-Systems Biology. The integration of information from genome to metabolome allows the establishment of associations between genetic potential and final phenotype, a feature not realizable by only considering single 'omes'. Therefore, in our opinion, integrated omics will become the future standard for large-scale characterization of microbial consortia including those underpinning biological wastewater treatment processes. Systematically obtained time and space-resolved omic datasets will allow deconvolution of structure-function relationships by identifying key members and functions. Such knowledge will form the foundation for discovering novel genes on a much larger scale compared with previous efforts. In general, these insights will allow us to optimize microbial biotechnological processes either through better control of mixed culture processes or by use of more efficient enzymes in bioengineering applications.

  11. Finite element analysis (FEA): applying an engineering method to functional morphology in anthropology and human biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Panagiotopoulou, O

    2009-01-01

    A fundamental research question for morphologists is how morphological variation in the skeleton relates to function. Traditional approaches have advanced our understanding of form-function relationships considerably but have limitations. Strain gauges can only record strains on a surface, and the geometry of the structure can limit where they can be bonded. Theoretical approaches, such as geometric abstractions, work well on problems with simple geometries and material properties but biological structures typically have neither of these. Finite element analysis (FEA) is a method that overcomes these problems by reducing a complex geometry into a finite number of elements with simple geometries. In addition, FEA allows strain to be modelled across the entire surface of the structure and throughout the internal structure. With advances in the processing power of computers, FEA has become more accessible and as such is becoming an increasingly popular tool to address questions about form-function relationships in development and evolution, as well as human biology generally. This paper provides an introduction to FEA including a review of the sequence of steps needed for the generation of biologically accurate finite element models that can be used for the testing of biological and functional morphology hypotheses.

  12. Severe impingement of lumbar disc replacements increases the functional biological activity of polyethylene wear debris.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baxter, Ryan M; Macdonald, Daniel W; Kurtz, Steven M; Steinbeck, Marla J

    2013-06-05

    Wear, oxidation, and particularly rim impingement damage of ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene total disc replacement components have been observed following surgical revision. However, neither in vitro testing nor retrieval-based evidence has shown the effect(s) of impingement on the characteristics of polyethylene wear debris. Thus, we sought to determine (1) differences in polyethylene particle size, shape, number, or biological activity that correspond to mild or severe rim impingement and (2) in an analysis of all total disc replacements, regardless of impingement classification, whether there are correlations between the extent of regional damage and the characteristics of polyethylene wear debris. The extent of dome and rim damage was characterized for eleven retrieved polyethylene cores obtained at revision surgery after an average duration of implantation of 9.7 years (range, 4.6 to 16.1 years). Polyethylene wear debris was isolated from periprosthetic tissues with use of nitric acid and was imaged with use of environmental scanning electron microscopy. Subsequently, particle size, shape, number, biological activity, and chronic inflammation scores were determined. Grouping of particles by size ranges that represented high biological relevance (<0.1 to 1-μm particles), intermediate biological relevance (1 to 10-μm particles), and low biological relevance (>10-μm particles) revealed an increased volume fraction of particles in the <0.1 to 1-μm and 1 to 10-μm size ranges in the mild-impingement cohort as compared with the severe-impingement cohort. The increased volume fractions resulted in a higher specific biological activity per unit particle volume in the mild-impingement cohort than in the severe-impingement cohort. However, functional biological activity, which is normalized by particle volume (mm3/g of tissue), was significantly higher in the severe-impingement cohort. This increase was due to a larger volume of particles in all three size

  13. Functional annotation of the vlinc class of non-coding RNAs using systems biology approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    St Laurent, Georges; Vyatkin, Yuri; Antonets, Denis; Ri, Maxim; Qi, Yao; Saik, Olga; Shtokalo, Dmitry; de Hoon, Michiel J L; Kawaji, Hideya; Itoh, Masayoshi; Lassmann, Timo; Arner, Erik; Forrest, Alistair R R; Nicolas, Estelle; McCaffrey, Timothy A; Carninci, Piero; Hayashizaki, Yoshihide; Wahlestedt, Claes; Kapranov, Philipp

    2016-04-20

    Functionality of the non-coding transcripts encoded by the human genome is the coveted goal of the modern genomics research. While commonly relied on the classical methods of forward genetics, integration of different genomics datasets in a global Systems Biology fashion presents a more productive avenue of achieving this very complex aim. Here we report application of a Systems Biology-based approach to dissect functionality of a newly identified vast class of very long intergenic non-coding (vlinc) RNAs. Using highly quantitative FANTOM5 CAGE dataset, we show that these RNAs could be grouped into 1542 novel human genes based on analysis of insulators that we show here indeed function as genomic barrier elements. We show that vlinc RNAs genes likely function in cisto activate nearby genes. This effect while most pronounced in closely spaced vlinc RNA-gene pairs can be detected over relatively large genomic distances. Furthermore, we identified 101 vlinc RNA genes likely involved in early embryogenesis based on patterns of their expression and regulation. We also found another 109 such genes potentially involved in cellular functions also happening at early stages of development such as proliferation, migration and apoptosis. Overall, we show that Systems Biology-based methods have great promise for functional annotation of non-coding RNAs.

  14. Regarding the use and misuse of retinal protonated Schiff base photochemistry as a test case for time-dependent density-functional theory

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Valsson, O.; Filippi, C.; Casida, M.E.

    2015-01-01

    The excited-state relaxation of retinal protonated Schiff bases (PSBs) is an important test case for biological applications of time-dependent (TD) density-functional theory (DFT). While well-known shortcomings of approximate TD-DFT might seem discouraging for application to PSB relaxation, progress

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-03-01

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

  16. Socio-demographic factors related to functional limitations and care dependency among older Egyptians

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Boggatz, Thomas; Farid, Tamer; Mohammedin, Ahmed; Dijkstra, Ate; Lohrmann, Christa; Dassen, Theo

    P>Title. Socio-demographic factors related to functional limitations and care dependency among older Egyptians. Aim. This paper is a report of a study determining the relationship of socio-demographic factors to functional limitations and care dependency among older care recipients and non-care

  17. Fast Algorithms of Mining Probability Functional Dependency Rules in Relational Database

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    TAO Xiaopeng; ZHOU Aoying; HU Yunfa

    2000-01-01

    This paper defines a new kind of rule, probability functional dependency rule. The functional dependency degree can be depicted by this kind of rule. Five algorithms, from the simple to the complex, are presented to mine this kind of rule in different condition. The related theorems are proved to ensure the high efficiency and the correctness of the above algorithms.

  18. Effects of alcohol intake on brain structure and function in non-alcohol-dependent drinkers

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bruin, Eveline Astrid de

    2005-01-01

    About 85% of the adult population in the Netherlands regularly drinks alcohol. Chronic excessive alcohol intake in alcohol-dependent individuals is known to have damaging effects on brain structure and function. Relatives of alcohol-dependent individuals display differences in brain function that ar

  19. Socio-demographic factors related to functional limitations and care dependency among older Egyptians

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Boggatz, Thomas; Farid, Tamer; Mohammedin, Ahmed; Dijkstra, Ate; Lohrmann, Christa; Dassen, Theo

    2010-01-01

    P>Title. Socio-demographic factors related to functional limitations and care dependency among older Egyptians. Aim. This paper is a report of a study determining the relationship of socio-demographic factors to functional limitations and care dependency among older care recipients and non-care reci

  20. Effects of alcohol intake on brain structure and function in non-alcohol-dependent drinkers

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bruin, Eveline Astrid de

    2005-01-01

    About 85% of the adult population in the Netherlands regularly drinks alcohol. Chronic excessive alcohol intake in alcohol-dependent individuals is known to have damaging effects on brain structure and function. Relatives of alcohol-dependent individuals display differences in brain function that

  1. To be well - to function well. Health biology at Copenhagen University

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rosenkilde, Per

    1995-01-01

    Human Fysiologi, Health biology, Public health, Biology Curriculum, University curriculum, Health promotion.......Human Fysiologi, Health biology, Public health, Biology Curriculum, University curriculum, Health promotion....

  2. Functional Genomics Assistant (FUGA: a toolbox for the analysis of complex biological networks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ouzounis Christos A

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Cellular constituents such as proteins, DNA, and RNA form a complex web of interactions that regulate biochemical homeostasis and determine the dynamic cellular response to external stimuli. It follows that detailed understanding of these patterns is critical for the assessment of fundamental processes in cell biology and pathology. Representation and analysis of cellular constituents through network principles is a promising and popular analytical avenue towards a deeper understanding of molecular mechanisms in a system-wide context. Findings We present Functional Genomics Assistant (FUGA - an extensible and portable MATLAB toolbox for the inference of biological relationships, graph topology analysis, random network simulation, network clustering, and functional enrichment statistics. In contrast to conventional differential expression analysis of individual genes, FUGA offers a framework for the study of system-wide properties of biological networks and highlights putative molecular targets using concepts of systems biology. Conclusion FUGA offers a simple and customizable framework for network analysis in a variety of systems biology applications. It is freely available for individual or academic use at http://code.google.com/p/fuga.

  3. Calcium-Dependent Protein Kinase CPK21 Functions in Abiotic Stress Response in Arabidopsis thaliana

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Sandra Franz; Britta Ehlert; Anja Liese; Joachim Kurth; Anne-Claire Cazalé; Tina Romeis

    2011-01-01

    Calcium-dependent protein kinases(CDPKs)comprise a family of plant serine/threonine protein kinases in which the calcium sensing domain and the kinase effector domain are combined within one molecule.So far,a biological function in abiotic stress signaling has only been reported for few CDPK isoforms,whereas the underlying biochemical mechanism for these CDPKs is still mainly unknown.Here,we show that CPK21 from Arabidopsis thaliana is biochemically activated in vivo in response to hyperosmotic stress.Loss-of-function seedlings of cpk21 are more tolerant to hyperosmotic stress and mutant plants show increased stress responses with respect to marker gene expression and metabolite accumulation.In transgenic Arabidopsis complementation lines in the cpk21 mutant background,in which either CPK21 wildtype,or a full-length enzyme variant carrying an amino-acid substitution were stably expressed,stress responsitivity was restored by CPK21 but not with the kinase inactive variant.The biochemical characterization of in planta synthesized and purified CPK21 protein revealed that within the calcium-binding domain,N-terminal EF1- and EF2-motifs compared to C-terminal EF3- and EF4-motifs differ in their contribution to calcium-regulated kinase activity,suggesting a crucial role for the N-terminal EF-hand pair.Our data provide evidence for CPK21 contributing in abiotic stress signaling and suggest that the N-terminal EF-hand pair is a calcium-sensing determinant controlling specificity of CPK21 function.

  4. Canid progesterone receptors lack activation function 3 domain-dependent activity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gracanin, Ana; van Wolferen, Monique E; Sartorius, Carol A; Brenkman, Arjan B; Schoonen, Willem G; Mol, Jan A

    2012-12-01

    Progesterone regulates multiple behavioral, physiological, and pathological aspects of female reproductive biology through its two progesterone receptors (PRs), PR-B and the truncated PR-A. PR-B is necessary for mammary gland development in mice and, compared with PR-A, is overall a stronger transactivator of target genes due to an additional activation function 3 (AF3) domain. In dogs, known for their high sensitivity to progesterone-induced mammary cancer, the PR-B function was studied. Canine PR (cPR)-B appeared to contain multiple mutations within AF3 core sequence motifs and lacks N-terminal ligand-independent posttranslational modifications. Consequently, cPR-B has a weak transactivation potential on progesterone-responsive mouse mammary tumor virus-luc and progesterone response element 2-luc reporters transiently transfected in hamster, human, or canine cells and also on known target genes FKBP5 and SGK in doxycycline-inducible, stable transfected cPR-B in canine mammary cells. The cPR-B function was restored to the level of human PR-B by the replacement of canine AF3 domain with the human one. The lack of AF3 domain-dependent transcriptional activity was unique for canids (gray wolf, red fox, and raccoon dog) and not present in closely related caniform species (brown bear, gray seal, and domestic ferret). Despite the limited transactivation potential, canids develop normal mammary glands and frequently mammary tumors. Therefore, these results question the role of PR-B in breast cancer development and may explain unique features of canid reproduction.

  5. Functional loss of two ceramide synthases elicits autophagy-dependent lifespan extension in C. elegans.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mai-Britt Mosbech

    Full Text Available Ceramide and its metabolites constitute a diverse group of lipids, which play important roles as structural entities of biological membranes as well as regulators of cellular growth, differentiation, and development. The C. elegans genome comprises three ceramide synthase genes; hyl-1, hyl-2, and lagr-1. HYL-1 function is required for synthesis of ceramides and sphingolipids containing very long acyl-chains (≥C24, while HYL-2 is required for synthesis of ceramides and sphingolipids containing shorter acyl-chains (≤C22. Here we show that functional loss of HYL-2 decreases lifespan, while loss of HYL-1 or LAGR-1 does not affect lifespan. We show that loss of HYL-1 and LAGR-1 functions extend lifespan in an autophagy-dependent manner, as knock down of the autophagy-associated gene ATG-12 abolishes hyl-1;lagr-1 longevity. The transcription factors PHA-4/FOXA, DAF-16/FOXO, and SKN-1 are also required for the observed lifespan extension, as well as the increased number of autophagosomes in hyl-1;lagr-1 animals. Both autophagic events and the transcription factors PHA-4/FOXA, DAF-16, and SKN-1 have previously been associated with dietary restriction-induced longevity. Accordingly, we find that hyl-1;lagr-1 animals display reduced feeding, increased resistance to heat, and reduced reproduction. Collectively, our data suggest that specific sphingolipids produced by different ceramide synthases have opposing roles in determination of C. elegans lifespan. We propose that loss of HYL-1 and LAGR-1 result in dietary restriction-induced autophagy and consequently prolonged longevity.

  6. A biologically inspired psychometric function for accuracy of visual identification as a function of exposure duration

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Petersen, Anders; Andersen, Tobias

    The psychometric function of letter identification is typically described as a function of stimulus intensity. However, the effect of stimulus exposure duration on letter identification remains poorly described. This is surprising because the effect of exposure duration has played a central role ...

  7. Carbon Ion Irradiation of the Rat Spinal Cord: Dependence of the Relative Biological Effectiveness on Linear Energy Transfer

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Saager, Maria, E-mail: m.saager@dkfz.de [Department of Radiation Oncology, University Hospital of Heidelberg, Heidelberg (Germany); Department of Medical Physics in Radiation Oncology, German Cancer Research Center, Heidelberg (Germany); Glowa, Christin [Department of Radiation Oncology, University Hospital of Heidelberg, Heidelberg (Germany); Department of Medical Physics in Radiation Oncology, German Cancer Research Center, Heidelberg (Germany); Peschke, Peter [Clinical Cooperation Unit Molecular Radiooncology, German Cancer Research Center, Heidelberg (Germany); Brons, Stephan [Heidelberg Ion Beam Therapy Center (HIT), Heidelberg (Germany); Scholz, Michael [Department of Biophysics, Helmholtz Center for Heavy Ion Research (GSI), Darmstadt (Germany); Huber, Peter E. [Department of Radiation Oncology, University Hospital of Heidelberg, Heidelberg (Germany); Clinical Cooperation Unit Molecular Radiooncology, German Cancer Research Center, Heidelberg (Germany); Debus, Jürgen [Department of Radiation Oncology, University Hospital of Heidelberg, Heidelberg (Germany); Karger, Christian P. [Department of Medical Physics in Radiation Oncology, German Cancer Research Center, Heidelberg (Germany)

    2014-09-01

    Purpose: To measure the relative biological effectiveness (RBE) of carbon ions in the rat spinal cord as a function of linear energy transfer (LET). Methods and Materials: As an extension of a previous study, the cervical spinal cord of rats was irradiated with single doses of carbon ions at 6 positions of a 6-cm spread-out Bragg peak (16-99 keV/μm). The TD{sub 50} values (dose at 50% complication probability) were determined according to dose-response curves for the development of paresis grade 2 within an observation time of 300 days. The RBEs were calculated using TD{sub 50} for photons of our previous study. Results: Minimum latency time was found to be dose-dependent, but not significantly LET-dependent. The TD{sub 50} values for the onset of paresis grade 2 within 300 days were 19.5 ± 0.4 Gy (16 keV/μm), 18.4 ± 0.4 Gy (21 keV/μm), 17.7 ± 0.3 Gy (36 keV/μm), 16.1 ± 1.2 Gy (45 keV/μm), 14.6 ± 0.5 Gy (66 keV/μm), and 14.8 ± 0.5 Gy (99 keV/μm). The corresponding RBEs increased from 1.26 ± 0.05 (16 keV/μm) up to 1.68 ± 0.08 at 66 keV/μm. Unexpectedly, the RBE at 99 keV/μm was comparable to that at 66 keV/μm. Conclusions: The data suggest a linear relation between RBE and LET at high doses for late effects in the spinal cord. Together with additional data from ongoing fractionated irradiation experiments, these data will provide an extended database to systematically benchmark RBE models for further improvements of carbon ion treatment planning.

  8. A biologically inspired psychometric function for accuracy of visual identification as a function of exposure duration

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Petersen, Anders; Andersen, Tobias

    The psychometric function of letter identification is typically described as a function of stimulus intensity. However, the effect of stimulus exposure duration on letter identification remains poorly described. This is surprising because the effect of exposure duration has played a central role......-Z) was presented at the centre of the screen. Exposure duration was varied from 5 to 210 milliseconds. The letter was followed by a pattern mask. Three subjects each completed 54,080 trials in a 26-Alternative Forced Choice procedure. We compared the exponential, the gamma and the Weibull psychometric functions......, all of these having a temporal offset included, as well as the ex-Gaussian, and finally a new psychometric function, motivated from single-neuron studies by (Albrecht, Geisler, Frazor & Crane, 2002). The new psychometric function stands out by having a nonmonotonous hazard rate which is initially...

  9. Age-dependent change in biological characteristics of stem cells in radiation-induced mammary carcinogenesis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Shimada, Yoshiya; Nishimura, Mayumi; Kakinuma, Shizuko; Imaoka, Tatsuhiko [National Institute of Radiological Sciences, Anagawa, Chiba (Japan); Yasukawa-Barnes, Jane; Gould, Michael N.; Clifton, Kelly H. [Univ. of Wisconsin, Department of Human Oncology, Madison, WI (United States)

    2003-07-01

    If you ask what types of cells are the targets for carcinogenesis, a popular answer would be that cancer arises from stem cells. Stem cells are cells that are capable of both self-renewal and generation of differentiated progenies. If the hypothesis of 'cancer as stem cell disease' is correct, the risk of carcinogenesis should be a function of the number of stem cells and their responsiveness of carcinogen-induced damage. In the present study, we addressed the feasibility of this hypothesis using the rat mammary carcinogenesis model. One of the important conclusions emerging from studies on atomic bomb survivors concerns age-related changes in the susceptibility to breast cancer. The relative risk of breast cancer is very high among women exposed to ionizing radiation before or during puberty, and it decreases thereafter. Little information is available, however, on age-related changes in the radiobiological nature of mammary stem cells. We examined age-associated changes in the number of mammary stem-like cells (clonogens) and their susceptibility to radiation in terms of cell death and carcinogenic initiation frequency. The results were as follows. (1) During the prepubertal period, the total number of mammary clonogens per rat increased exponentially with a population doubling time of {approx}4 days. After puberty, the doubling time lengthened to {approx}30 days. The total number of clonogens in abdominal and inguinal mammary glands was {approx}200 in 2-week-old rats, while it was {approx}5600 in 8-week-old rats. (2) The survival curves of clonogenic cells after irradiation indicated that radiation sensitivity of the cells before and during puberty was much higher than after puberty. (3) The initiation frequency of the clonogens from prepubertal rats after 5 Gy irradiation was four times higher than that of the clonogens from post-pubertal rats. These results suggest that changes in the number of stem cells and their radiobiological characteristics

  10. Orbital-Dependent-Functionals within Density Functional Theory: Methodology and Applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Makmal, Adi

    I have designed and implemented a new numerical scheme for solving Kohn-Sham (KS) equations for diatomic systems, together with a full solution of the OEP equation. The equations are solved on a real-space prolate spheroidal coordinate grid, such that all the system's electrons are taken into account. The OEP equation is solved via the S-iteration scheme. This newly developed software package is called DARSEC (DiAtomic Real-Space Electronic structure Calculations). It involves no approximation except for the one inherent in the XC functional. Thus it is especially suitable for examining new functionals of any kind, and ODFs in particular. It is also an ideal tool for assessing the validity of commonly used approximations, for the same reasons. One case for which this uniqueness of DARSEC was exploited in this thesis is the examination of the validity of the pseudopotential approximation for KS gaps that are calculated with EXX OEP (xOEP). Before this study, use of the pseudopotential approximation in such calculations was called into question. I have shown that KS gaps obtained with pseudopotentials that have been constructed in a manner consistent with the exact-exchange functional agree with the all-electron results (i.e. without the pseudopotential approximation), for the cases studied. This confirmed the reliability of the pseudopotential approximation for ODFs such as EXX. Explicit density-dependent XC functionals traditionally fail to obtain atomization-energy as well as charge-dissociation curves that are, at least qualitatively, correct for diatomic systems. On the other hand, Hartree-Fock (HF) theory encounters no such problem. Hence, an additional goal of this research was to study the performances of the EXX functional (being the DFT counterpart of HF) in describing binding energies and charge dissociations for stretched diatomic molecules. Moreover, I wanted to investigate the special features of the resulting single and local EXX KS potential, as

  11. Solvent-dependent turn-on probe for dual monitoring of Ag{sup +} and Zn{sup 2+} in living biological samples

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yang, Zheng; She, Mengyao [Ministry of Education Key Laboratory of Synthetic and Natural Functional Molecule Chemistry, College of Chemistry & Materials Science, Northwest University, Xi’an, Shaanxi 710069 (China); Yin, Bing [Ministry of Education Key Laboratory of Synthetic and Natural Functional Molecule Chemistry, College of Chemistry & Materials Science, Northwest University, Xi’an, Shaanxi 710069 (China); College of Chemistry, Beijing Normal University, No. 19, XinJieKouWai St., HaiDian District, Beijing 100875 (China); Hao, Likai; Obst, Martin [Center for Applied Geoscience, Institute for Geoscience, Eberhard Karls University Tuebingen, Hoelderlinstr. 12, Tuebingen 72074 (Germany); Liu, Ping, E-mail: liuping@nwu.edu.cn [Ministry of Education Key Laboratory of Synthetic and Natural Functional Molecule Chemistry, College of Chemistry & Materials Science, Northwest University, Xi’an, Shaanxi 710069 (China); Li, Jianli, E-mail: lijianli@nwu.edu.cn [Ministry of Education Key Laboratory of Synthetic and Natural Functional Molecule Chemistry, College of Chemistry & Materials Science, Northwest University, Xi’an, Shaanxi 710069 (China)

    2015-04-08

    Highlights: • A solvent-dependent probe was presented for dual monitoring of Ag{sup +} and Zn{sup 2+}. • The probe exhibited special selectivity and sensitivity at physiological range. • The mechanism was investigated both experimentally and computationally. • The probe was highly suitable for mapping Ag{sup +} and Zn{sup 2+} in biological samples. - Abstract: A novel, solvent-dependent “off–on” probe with benzoylthiourea moiety as the functional receptor and fluorescein as the fluorophore was designed for monitoring of Ag{sup +} in EtOH–H{sub 2}O (2:8, v/v) solution and Zn{sup 2+} in CH{sub 3}CN–H{sub 2}O (2:8, v/v) solution at physiological range with sufficient selectivity and sensitivity. The Ag{sup +} promoted desulfurization of thiosemicarbazide functionality in formation of the 1,3,4-oxadiazole and the coordination of Zn{sup 2+} to the O atom and N atom of the spoirolactam moiety and the S atom of the benzoylthiourea moiety were investigated to be the power that promoted the fluorescent enhancement. This probe was tested highly suitable for mapping Ag{sup +} and Zn{sup 2+} in living human osteosarcoma MG-63 cells and microbial cell–EPS–mineral aggregates, thus, providing a wonderful candidate for tracking Ag{sup +} and Zn{sup 2+} in biological organisms and processes.

  12. A biomimetic functionalization approach to integration of carbon nanoutbes into biological systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Xing; Tam, Un Chong; Bertozzi, Carolyn; Zettl, Alex

    2006-03-01

    Due to their remarkable structural, electrical, and mechanical properties, carbon nanotubes (CNTs) have potential applications in biology ranging from imaging and tissue engineering. To realize these applications, however, new strategies for controlling the interaction between CNTs and biological systems such as proteins and cells are required. Here we describe a biomimetic approach to functionalize CNTs and therefore render them biocompatibility in order to facilitate their integration into biological systems. CNTs were coated with synthetic gycopolymers that mimic cell surface mucin gycoproteins. The functionalized CNTs were soluble in water, resisted non-specific protein binding and bound specifically to biomolecules. The coated CNTs could then be integrated onto mammalian cell surface by virtue of glycan-receptor interactions. Furthermore, the functionalized CNTs are non-toxic to cells. This strategy offers new opportunities for development of biosensor to probe biological processes. References: 1. X. Chen, G. S. Lee, A. Zettl, C. R. Bertozzi, Angewandte Chemie-International Edition 43, 6111 (2004). 2. X. Chen, U. C. Tam, J. L. Czlapanski, G. S. Lee, D. Rabuka, A. Zettl, C. R. Bertozzi, submitted.

  13. Which properties of a spanning network of hydration water enable biological functions?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brovchenko, Ivan; Oleinikova, Alla

    2008-12-22

    The central role of water in biological functions is well-recognized, but numerous questions concerning the physical mechanisms behind the importance of water for life remain unanswered. Water in biosystems exists mainly as hydration water. Analysis of the phase diagram of hydration water shows that biological functions are possible only when the surfaces of biomolecules are covered by spanning hydrogen-bonded networks of hydration water. The comparative studies of the various properties of hydrated biosystems in the presence and in the absence of a spanning water network should clarify its specific physical properties, which are crucial for biological functions. Herein, we summarize the recent progress in these studies. The biological activity of the living organisms is maximal in a narrow temperature interval, where the spanning network of hydration water breaks up with heating via a percolation transition. The entropy of the hydration water related to the diversity of cluster size diverges at this percolation threshold. The possible role of this phenomenon in life processes is discussed.

  14. The functional biology and trophic role of krill (Thysanoessa raschii) in a Greenlandic fjord

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Agersted, Mette Dalgaard; Nielsen, Torkel Gissel; Munk, Peter

    2011-01-01

    Despite being a key zooplankton group, knowledge on krill biology from the Arctic is inadequate. The present study examine the functional biology and evaluate the trophic role of krill in the GodthAyenbsfjord (64 degrees N, 51 degrees W) SW Greenland, through a combination of fieldwork...... ration of 1% body C d(-1). Furthermore, T. raschii was capable of exploiting plankton cells from 5 to 400 mu m, covering several trophic levels of the pelagic food web. The calculated grazing impact by T. raschii on the fjord plankton community was negligible. However, the schooling and migratory...

  15. Biological function of hpsh4590 localized in the plasticity zone of Helicobacter pylori.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gu, Yu-feng; Li, Yu; Song, Yu; Chang, Xin; Qu, Ye-Min; Wang, Ming-Yi; Gao, Xiao-Zhong

    2016-04-01

    The aim of this study was to determine the biological function of hpsh4590 in Helicobacter pylori. After Hpsh4590 was expressed using a prokaryotic expression system, the cytotoxic effects and IL-8 production of Hpsh4590 were analyzed by co-culturing with GES-1 cells. Meanwhile, the antibody of rHpsh4590, produced by immunizing rabbit, was used for localization and protein interaction studies. Hpsh4590 fusion protein was expressed successfully in Escherichia coli Rosetta (DE3), and the polyclonal antibody was produced at high titers. The MTT assay showed that the inhibition ratio of GES-1 cells cultured with 0.1 μg/mL rHpsh4590 (3.02% ± 0.02%) was significantly lower than that of 20 μg/mL rHpsh4590 (57.57% ± 0.03%, p < 0.01), while DAPI staining showed the cytotoxic effects of rHpsh4590 for GES-1 cells. The up-regulation of cleaved caspase-3 and cleaved PARP was observed after GES-1 cells co-cultured with rHpsh4590 by Western blot. Co-culturing of GES-1 cells with rHpsh0459 (20 μg/mL) led to significant production of IL-8 at 12 h(1097.74 ± 212.37 pg/mL) and 24 h (1379.55 ± 209.58 pg/mL) then at 6 h(134.68 ± 14.64 pg/mL, p < 0.01). These observations suggest that the cytotoxicity of Hpsh4590 occurred in a concentration dependent manner, which is related with IL-8 secretion from gastric mucosal epithelial cells. Hpsh4590 was found localized in the membrane and the periplasm of H. pylori, interacted with zinc finger protein and methionine ABC transporter ATP-binding protein, and potentially regulates DNA uptake or transfer.

  16. 2-Deoxy Glucose Modulates Expression and Biological Activity of VEGF in a SIRT-1 Dependent Mechanism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kunhiraman, Haritha; Edatt, Lincy; Thekkeveedu, Sruthi; Poyyakkara, Aswini; Raveendran, Viji; Kiran, Manikantan Syamala; Sudhakaran, Perumana; Kumar, Sameer V B

    2017-02-01

    Reprogramming of energy metabolism particularly switching over of cells to aerobic glycolysis leading to accumulation of lactate is a hallmark of cancer. Lactate can induce angiogenesis, an important process underlying tumor growth and metastasis. VEGF is one of the most important cytokines which regulate this process and the present study was designed to examine if blocking glycolytic pathway in tumor cells can affect its angiogenic potency with respect to VEGF. For this, the expression and biological activity of VEGF synthesized and secreted by tumor derived cell lines in the presence or absence of 2-deoxy glucose (2-DG), an inhibitor of glycolysis was determined. The results suggested that inhibition of glycolysis using sub-lethal doses of 2-DG down-regulated the expression of VEGF and also significantly reduced its biological activity. Further mechanistic studies revealed that the down regulation of VEGF gene expression by 2-DG was due to an increase in SIRT-1 activity and the reduced biological activity was found to be due to an increase in the PAR modification of VEGF. Activity of SIRT-1 and PAR modification of VEGF in turn, was found to be correlated to the cellular NAD(+) levels. The results presented here therefore suggest that treatment of cancer cells with 2-DG can significantly reduce its overall angiogenic potency through transcriptional and post-translational mechanisms. J. Cell. Biochem. 118: 252-262, 2017. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  17. Do biotic interactions modulate ecosystem functioning along stress gradients? Insights from semi-arid plant and biological soil crust communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maestre, Fernando T.; Bowker, Matthew A.; Escolar, Cristina; Puche, María D.; Soliveres, Santiago; Maltez-Mouro, Sara; García-Palacios, Pablo; Castillo-Monroy, Andrea P.; Martínez, Isabel; Escudero, Adrián

    2010-01-01

    Climate change will exacerbate the degree of abiotic stress experienced by semi-arid ecosystems. While abiotic stress profoundly affects biotic interactions, their potential role as modulators of ecosystem responses to climate change is largely unknown. Using plants and biological soil crusts, we tested the relative importance of facilitative–competitive interactions and other community attributes (cover, species richness and species evenness) as drivers of ecosystem functioning along stress gradients in semi-arid Mediterranean ecosystems. Biotic interactions shifted from facilitation to competition along stress gradients driven by water availability and temperature. These changes were, however, dependent on the spatial scale and the community considered. We found little evidence to suggest that biotic interactions are a major direct influence upon indicators of ecosystem functioning (soil respiration, organic carbon, water-holding capacity, compaction and the activity of enzymes related to the carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus cycles) along stress gradients. However, attributes such as cover and species richness showed a direct effect on ecosystem functioning. Our results do not agree with predictions emphasizing that the importance of plant–plant interactions will be increased under climate change in dry environments, and indicate that reductions in the cover of plant and biological soil crust communities will negatively impact ecosystems under future climatic conditions. PMID:20513714

  18. Virulent and avirulent strains of Toxoplasma gondii which differ in their glycosylphosphatidylinositol content induce similar biological functions in macrophages.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sebastian Niehus

    Full Text Available Glycosylphosphatidylinositols (GPIs from several protozoan parasites are thought to elicit a detrimental stimulation of the host innate immune system aside their main function to anchor surface proteins. Here we analyzed the GPI biosynthesis of an avirulent Toxoplasma gondii type 2 strain (PTG by metabolic radioactive labeling. We determined the biological function of individual GPI species in the PTG strain in comparison with previously characterized GPI-anchors of a virulent strain (RH. The GPI intermediates of both strains were structurally similar, however the abundance of two of six GPI intermediates was significantly reduced in the PTG strain. The side-by-side comparison of GPI-anchor content revealed that the PTG strain had only ∼ 34% of the protein-free GPIs as well as ∼ 70% of the GPI-anchored proteins with significantly lower rates of protein N-glycosylation compared to the RH strain. All mature GPIs from both strains induced comparable secretion levels of TNF-α and IL-12p40, and initiated TLR4/MyD88-dependent NF-κBp65 activation in macrophages. Taken together, these results demonstrate that PTG and RH strains differ in their GPI biosynthesis and possess significantly different GPI-anchor content, while individual GPI species of both strains induce similar biological functions in macrophages.

  19. Closure, function, emergence, semiosis, and life: the same idea? Reflections on the concrete and the abstract in theoretical biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Emmeche, C

    2000-01-01

    In this note epistemological problems in general theories about living systems are considered; in particular, the question of hidden connections between different areas of experience, such as folk biology and scientific biology, and hidden connections between central concepts of theoretical biology, such as function, semiosis, closure, and life.

  20. The bottom-up approach to defining life : deciphering the functional organization of biological cells via multi-objective representation of biological complexity from molecules to cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sathish ePeriyasamy

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available In silico representation of cellular systems needs to represent the adaptive dynamics of biological cells, recognizing a cell’s multi-objective topology formed by spatially and temporally cohesive intracellular structures. The design of these models needs to address the hierarchical and concurrent nature of cellular functions and incorporate the ability to self-organise in response to transitions between healthy and pathological phases, and adapt accordingly. The functions of biological systems are constantly evolving, due to the ever changing demands of their environment. Biological systems meet these demands by pursuing objectives, aided by their constituents, giving rise to biological functions. A biological cell is organised into an objective/task hierarchy. These objective hierarchy corresponds to the nested nature of temporally cohesive structures and representing them will facilitate in studying pleiotropy and polygeny by modeling causalities propagating across multiple interconnected intracellular processes. Although biological adaptations occur in physiological, developmental and reproductive timescales, the paper is focused on adaptations that occur within physiological timescales, where the biomolecular activities contributing to functional organisation, play a key role in cellular physiology. The paper proposes a multi-scale and multi-objective modelling approach from the bottom-up by representing temporally cohesive structures for multi-tasking of intracellular processes. Further the paper characterises the properties and constraints that are consequential to the organisational and adaptive dynamics in biological cells.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-14

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

  2. Biological data analysis as an information theory problem: multivariable dependence measures and the shadows algorithm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sakhanenko, Nikita A; Galas, David J

    2015-11-01

    Information theory is valuable in multiple-variable analysis for being model-free and nonparametric, and for the modest sensitivity to undersampling. We previously introduced a general approach to finding multiple dependencies that provides accurate measures of levels of dependency for subsets of variables in a data set, which is significantly nonzero only if the subset of variables is collectively dependent. This is useful, however, only if we can avoid a combinatorial explosion of calculations for increasing numbers of variables.  The proposed dependence measure for a subset of variables, τ, differential interaction information, Δ(τ), has the property that for subsets of τ some of the factors of Δ(τ) are significantly nonzero, when the full dependence includes more variables. We use this property to suppress the combinatorial explosion by following the "shadows" of multivariable dependency on smaller subsets. Rather than calculating the marginal entropies of all subsets at each degree level, we need to consider only calculations for subsets of variables with appropriate "shadows." The number of calculations for n variables at a degree level of d grows therefore, at a much smaller rate than the binomial coefficient (n, d), but depends on the parameters of the "shadows" calculation. This approach, avoiding a combinatorial explosion, enables the use of our multivariable measures on very large data sets. We demonstrate this method on simulated data sets, and characterize the effects of noise and sample numbers. In addition, we analyze a data set of a few thousand mutant yeast strains interacting with a few thousand chemical compounds.

  3. Colorimetric detection of biological hydrogen sulfide using fluorosurfactant functionalized gold nanorods.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Xuan; Zhou, Wenjuan; Yuan, Zhiqin; Lu, Chao

    2015-11-07

    As a well-known environmental pollutant but also an important gaseous transmitter, the specific detection of hydrogen sulfide (H2S) is significant in biological systems. In this study, fluorosurfactant functionalized gold nanorods (FSN-AuNRs) have been proposed to act as selective colorimetric nanoprobes for H2S. With the combination of strong gold-S interactions and small FSN bilayer interstices, FSN-AuNRs demonstrate favorable selectivity and sensitivity toward H2S over other anions and small biological molecules. The practical application of the present method in biological H2S detection was validated with human and mouse serum samples. Moreover, the proposed nanoprobe can also be used for evaluating the activity of H2S synthetase.

  4. Severe Impingement of Lumbar Disc Replacements Increases the Functional Biological Activity of Polyethylene Wear Debris

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baxter, Ryan M.; MacDonald, Daniel W.; Kurtz, Steven M.; Steinbeck, Marla J.

    2013-01-01

    Background: Wear, oxidation, and particularly rim impingement damage of ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene total disc replacement components have been observed following surgical revision. However, neither in vitro testing nor retrieval-based evidence has shown the effect(s) of impingement on the characteristics of polyethylene wear debris. Thus, we sought to determine (1) differences in polyethylene particle size, shape, number, or biological activity that correspond to mild or severe rim impingement and (2) in an analysis of all total disc replacements, regardless of impingement classification, whether there are correlations between the extent of regional damage and the characteristics of polyethylene wear debris. Methods: The extent of dome and rim damage was characterized for eleven retrieved polyethylene cores obtained at revision surgery after an average duration of implantation of 9.7 years (range, 4.6 to 16.1 years). Polyethylene wear debris was isolated from periprosthetic tissues with use of nitric acid and was imaged with use of environmental scanning electron microscopy. Subsequently, particle size, shape, number, biological activity, and chronic inflammation scores were determined. Results: Grouping of particles by size ranges that represented high biological relevance (10-μm particles) revealed an increased volume fraction of particles in the <0.1 to 1-μm and 1 to 10-μm size ranges in the mild-impingement cohort as compared with the severe-impingement cohort. The increased volume fractions resulted in a higher specific biological activity per unit particle volume in the mild-impingement cohort than in the severe-impingement cohort. However, functional biological activity, which is normalized by particle volume (mm3/g of tissue), was significantly higher in the severe-impingement cohort. This increase was due to a larger volume of particles in all three size ranges. In both cohorts, the functional biological activity correlated with the

  5. Polygenic risk for alcohol dependence associates with alcohol consumption, cognitive function and social deprivation in a population-based cohort.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clarke, Toni-Kim; Smith, Andrew H; Gelernter, Joel; Kranzler, Henry R; Farrer, Lindsay A; Hall, Lynsey S; Fernandez-Pujals, Ana M; MacIntyre, Donald J; Smith, Blair H; Hocking, Lynne J; Padmanabhan, Sandosh; Hayward, Caroline; Thomson, Pippa A; Porteous, David J; Deary, Ian J; McIntosh, Andrew M

    2016-03-01

    Alcohol dependence is frequently co-morbid with cognitive impairment. The relationship between these traits is complex as cognitive dysfunction may arise as a consequence of heavy drinking or exist prior to the onset of dependence. In the present study, we tested the genetic overlap between cognitive abilities and alcohol dependence using polygenic risk scores (PGRS). We created two independent PGRS derived from two recent genome-wide association studies (GWAS) of alcohol dependence (SAGE GWAS: n = 2750; Yale-Penn GWAS: n = 2377) in a population-based cohort, Generation Scotland: Scottish Family Health Study (GS:SFHS) (n = 9863). Data on alcohol consumption and four tests of cognitive function [Mill Hill Vocabulary (MHV), digit symbol coding, phonemic verbal fluency (VF) and logical memory] were available. PGRS for alcohol dependence were negatively associated with two measures of cognitive function: MHV (SAGE: P = 0.009, β = -0.027; Yale-Penn: P = 0.001, β = -0.034) and VF (SAGE: P = 0.0008, β = -0.036; Yale-Penn: P = 0.00005, β = -0.044). VF remained robustly associated after adjustment for education and social deprivation; however, the association with MHV was substantially attenuated. Shared genetic variants may account for some of the phenotypic association between cognitive ability and alcohol dependence. A significant negative association between PGRS and social deprivation was found (SAGE: P = 5.2 × 10(-7) , β = -0.054; Yale-Penn: P = 0.000012, β = -0.047). Individuals living in socially deprived regions were found to carry more alcohol dependence risk alleles which may contribute to the increased prevalence of problem drinking in regions of deprivation. Future work to identify genes which affect both cognitive impairment and alcohol dependence will help elucidate biological processes common to both disorders.

  6. The Widespread Prevalence and Functional Significance of Silk-Like Structural Proteins in Metazoan Biological Materials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McDougall, Carmel; Woodcroft, Ben J; Degnan, Bernard M

    2016-01-01

    In nature, numerous mechanisms have evolved by which organisms fabricate biological structures with an impressive array of physical characteristics. Some examples of metazoan biological materials include the highly elastic byssal threads by which bivalves attach themselves to rocks, biomineralized structures that form the skeletons of various animals, and spider silks that are renowned for their exceptional strength and elasticity. The remarkable properties of silks, which are perhaps the best studied biological materials, are the result of the highly repetitive, modular, and biased amino acid composition of the proteins that compose them. Interestingly, similar levels of modularity/repetitiveness and similar bias in amino acid compositions have been reported in proteins that are components of structural materials in other organisms, however the exact nature and extent of this similarity, and its functional and evolutionary relevance, is unknown. Here, we investigate this similarity and use sequence features common to silks and other known structural proteins to develop a bioinformatics-based method to identify similar proteins from large-scale transcriptome and whole-genome datasets. We show that a large number of proteins identified using this method have roles in biological material formation throughout the animal kingdom. Despite the similarity in sequence characteristics, most of the silk-like structural proteins (SLSPs) identified in this study appear to have evolved independently and are restricted to a particular animal lineage. Although the exact function of many of these SLSPs is unknown, the apparent independent evolution of proteins with similar sequence characteristics in divergent lineages suggests that these features are important for the assembly of biological materials. The identification of these characteristics enable the generation of testable hypotheses regarding the mechanisms by which these proteins assemble and direct the construction of

  7. The Widespread Prevalence and Functional Significance of Silk-Like Structural Proteins in Metazoan Biological Materials

    Science.gov (United States)

    McDougall, Carmel; Woodcroft, Ben J.

    2016-01-01

    In nature, numerous mechanisms have evolved by which organisms fabricate biological structures with an impressive array of physical characteristics. Some examples of metazoan biological materials include the highly elastic byssal threads by which bivalves attach themselves to rocks, biomineralized structures that form the skeletons of various animals, and spider silks that are renowned for their exceptional strength and elasticity. The remarkable properties of silks, which are perhaps the best studied biological materials, are the result of the highly repetitive, modular, and biased amino acid composition of the proteins that compose them. Interestingly, similar levels of modularity/repetitiveness and similar bias in amino acid compositions have been reported in proteins that are components of structural materials in other organisms, however the exact nature and extent of this similarity, and its functional and evolutionary relevance, is unknown. Here, we investigate this similarity and use sequence features common to silks and other known structural proteins to develop a bioinformatics-based method to identify similar proteins from large-scale transcriptome and whole-genome datasets. We show that a large number of proteins identified using this method have roles in biological material formation throughout the animal kingdom. Despite the similarity in sequence characteristics, most of the silk-like structural proteins (SLSPs) identified in this study appear to have evolved independently and are restricted to a particular animal lineage. Although the exact function of many of these SLSPs is unknown, the apparent independent evolution of proteins with similar sequence characteristics in divergent lineages suggests that these features are important for the assembly of biological materials. The identification of these characteristics enable the generation of testable hypotheses regarding the mechanisms by which these proteins assemble and direct the construction of

  8. The Widespread Prevalence and Functional Significance of Silk-Like Structural Proteins in Metazoan Biological Materials.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carmel McDougall

    Full Text Available In nature, numerous mechanisms have evolved by which organisms fabricate biological structures with an impressive array of physical characteristics. Some examples of metazoan biological materials include the highly elastic byssal threads by which bivalves attach themselves to rocks, biomineralized structures that form the skeletons of various animals, and spider silks that are renowned for their exceptional strength and elasticity. The remarkable properties of silks, which are perhaps the best studied biological materials, are the result of the highly repetitive, modular, and biased amino acid composition of the proteins that compose them. Interestingly, similar levels of modularity/repetitiveness and similar bias in amino acid compositions have been reported in proteins that are components of structural materials in other organisms, however the exact nature and extent of this similarity, and its functional and evolutionary relevance, is unknown. Here, we investigate this similarity and use sequence features common to silks and other known structural proteins to develop a bioinformatics-based method to identify similar proteins from large-scale transcriptome and whole-genome datasets. We show that a large number of proteins identified using this method have roles in biological material formation throughout the animal kingdom. Despite the similarity in sequence characteristics, most of the silk-like structural proteins (SLSPs identified in this study appear to have evolved independently and are restricted to a particular animal lineage. Although the exact function of many of these SLSPs is unknown, the apparent independent evolution of proteins with similar sequence characteristics in divergent lineages suggests that these features are important for the assembly of biological materials. The identification of these characteristics enable the generation of testable hypotheses regarding the mechanisms by which these proteins assemble and direct the

  9. Fundamental and functional aspects of mesoscopic architectures with examples in physics, cell biology, and chemistry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kalay, Ziya

    2011-08-01

    How small can a macroscopic object be made without losing its intended function? Obviously, the smallest possible size is determined by the size of an atom, but it is not so obvious how many atoms are required to assemble an object so small, and yet that performs the same function as its macroscopic counterpart. In this review, we are concerned with objects of intermediate nature, lying between the microscopic and the macroscopic world. In physics and chemistry literature, this regime in-between is often called mesoscopic, and is known to bear interesting and counterintuitive features. After a brief introduction to the concept of mesoscopic systems from the perspective of physics, we discuss the functional aspects of mesoscopic architectures in cell biology, and supramolecular chemistry through many examples from the literature. We argue that the biochemistry of the cell is largely regulated by mesoscopic functional architectures; however, the significance of mesoscopic phenomena seems to be quite underappreciated in biological sciences. With this motivation, one of our main purposes here is to emphasize the critical role that mesoscopic structures play in cell biology and biochemistry.

  10. Functionalized nanoporous silica for the removal of heavy metals from biological systems: adsorption and application.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yantasee, Wassana; Rutledge, Ryan D; Chouyyok, Wilaiwan; Sukwarotwat, Vichaya; Orr, Galya; Warner, Cynthia L; Warner, Marvin G; Fryxell, Glen E; Wiacek, Robert J; Timchalk, Charles; Addleman, R Shane

    2010-10-01

    Surface-functionalized nanoporous silica, often referred to as self-assembled monolayers on mesoporous supports (SAMMS), has previously demonstrated the ability to serve as very effective heavy metal sorbents in a range of aquatic and environmental systems, suggesting that they may be advantageously utilized for biomedical applications such as chelation therapy. Herein we evaluate surface chemistries for heavy metal capture from biological fluids, various facets of the materials' biocompatibility, and the suitability of these materials as potential therapeutics. Of the materials tested, thiol-functionalized SAMMS proved most capable of removing selected heavy metals from biological solutions (i.e., blood, urine, etc.) Consequentially, thiol-functionalized SAMMS was further analyzed to assess the material's performance under a number of different biologically relevant conditions (i.e., variable pH and ionic strength) to gauge any potentially negative effects resulting from interaction with the sorbent, such as cellular toxicity or the removal of essential minerals. Additionally, cellular uptake studies demonstrated no cell membrane permeation by the silica-based materials generally highlighting their ability to remain cellularly inert and thus nontoxic. The results show that organic ligand functionalized nanoporous silica could be a valuable material for a range of detoxification therapies and potentially other biomedical applications.

  11. High performance hybrid functional Petri net simulations of biological pathway models on CUDA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chalkidis, Georgios; Nagasaki, Masao; Miyano, Satoru

    2011-01-01

    Hybrid functional Petri nets are a wide-spread tool for representing and simulating biological models. Due to their potential of providing virtual drug testing environments, biological simulations have a growing impact on pharmaceutical research. Continuous research advancements in biology and medicine lead to exponentially increasing simulation times, thus raising the demand for performance accelerations by efficient and inexpensive parallel computation solutions. Recent developments in the field of general-purpose computation on graphics processing units (GPGPU) enabled the scientific community to port a variety of compute intensive algorithms onto the graphics processing unit (GPU). This work presents the first scheme for mapping biological hybrid functional Petri net models, which can handle both discrete and continuous entities, onto compute unified device architecture (CUDA) enabled GPUs. GPU accelerated simulations are observed to run up to 18 times faster than sequential implementations. Simulating the cell boundary formation by Delta-Notch signaling on a CUDA enabled GPU results in a speedup of approximately 7x for a model containing 1,600 cells.

  12. Synthesis, characterization and functionalization of silicon nanoparticle based hybrid nanomaterials for photovoltaic and biological applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Zejing

    Silicon nanoparticles are attractive candidates for biological, photovoltaic and energy storage applications due to their size dependent optoelectronic properties. These include tunable light emission, high brightness, and stability against photo-bleaching relative to organic dyes (see Chapter 1). The preparation and characterization of silicon nanoparticle based hybrid nanomaterials and their relevance to photovoltaic and biological applications are described. The surface-passivated silicon nanoparticles were produced in one step from the reactive high-energy ball milling (RHEBM) of silicon wafers with various organic ligands. The surface structure and optical properties of the passivated silicon nanoparticles were systematically characterized. Fast approaches for purifying and at the same time size separating the silicon nanoparticles using a gravity GPC column were developed. The hydrodynamic diameter and size distribution of these size-separated silicon nanoparticles were determined using GPC and Diffusion Ordered NMR Spectroscopy (DOSY) as fast, reliable alternative approaches to TEM. Water soluble silicon nanoparticles were synthesized by grafting PEG polymers onto functionalized silicon nanoparticles with distal alkyne or azide moieties. The surface-functionalized silicon nanoparticles were produced from the reactive high-energy ball milling (RHEBM) of silicon wafers with a mixture of either 5-chloro-1-pentyne in 1-pentyne or 1,7 octadiyne in 1-hexyne to afford air and water stable chloroalkyl or alkynyl terminated nanoparticles, respectively. Nanoparticles with the ω-chloroalkyl substituents were easily converted to ω-azidoalkyl groups through the reaction of the silicon nanoparticles with sodium azide in DMF. The azido terminated nanoparticles were then grafted with monoalkynyl-PEG polymers using a copper catalyzed alkyne-azide cycloaddition (CuAAC) reaction to afford core-shell silicon nanoparticles with a covalently attached PEG shell. Covalently

  13. Biological control of crystal texture: A widespread strategy for adapting crystal properties to function

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Berman, A.; Leiserowitz, L.; Weiner, S.; Addadi, L. (Weizmann Inst. of Science, Rehovot (Israel)); Hanson, J.; Koetzle, T.F. (Brookhaven National Lab., Upton, NY (United States))

    1993-02-05

    Textures of calcite crystals from a variety of mineralized tissues belong to organisms from four phyla were examined with high-resolution synchrotron x-ray radiation. Significant differences in coherence length and angular spread were observed between taxonomic groups. Crystals from polycrystalline skeletal ensembles were more perfect than those that function as single-crystal elements. Different anistropic effects on crystal texture were observed for sea urchin and mollusk calcite crystals, whereas none was found for the foraminifer, Patellina, and the control calcite crystals. These results show that the manipulation of crystal texture in different organisms is under biological control and that crystal textures in some tissues are adapted to function. A better understanding of this apparently widespread biological phenomenon may provide new insights for improving synthetic crystal-containing materials. 18 refs., 3 figs., 1 tab.

  14. Form and function: Perspectives on structural biology and resources for the future

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Vaughan, D. (ed.)

    1990-12-01

    The purpose of this study is largely to explore and expand on the thesis that biological structures and their functions are suited to. Form indeed follows function and if we are to understand the workings of a living system, with all that such an understanding promises, we must first seek to describe the structure of its parts. Descriptions of a few achievements of structural biology lay the groundwork, but the substance of this booklet is a discussion of important questions yet unanswered and opportunities just beyond our grasp. The concluding pages then outline a course of action in which the Department of Energy would exercise its responsibility to develop the major resources needed to extend our reach and to answer some of those unanswered questions. 22 figs.

  15. Mediating objects: scientific and public functions of models in nineteenth-century biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ludwig, David

    2013-01-01

    The aim of this article is to examine the scientific and public functions of two- and three-dimensional models in the context of three episodes from nineteenth-century biology. I argue that these models incorporate both data and theory by presenting theoretical assumptions in the light of concrete data or organizing data through theoretical assumptions. Despite their diverse roles in scientific practice, they all can be characterized as mediators between data and theory. Furthermore, I argue that these different mediating functions often reflect their different audiences that included specialized scientists, students, and the general public. In this sense, models in nineteenth-century biology can be understood as mediators between theory, data, and their diverse audiences.

  16. Biological Functionalities of Transglutaminase 2 and the Possibility of Its Compensation by Other Members of the Transglutaminase Family

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Benedict Onyekachi Odii

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Transglutaminase 2 (TG2 is the most widely distributed and most abundantly expressed member of the transglutaminase family of enzymes, a group of intracellular and extracellular proteins that catalyze the Ca2+-dependent posttranslational modification of proteins. It is a unique member of the transglutaminase family owing to its specialized biochemical, structural and functional elements, ubiquitous tissue distribution and subcellular localization, and substrate specificity. The broad substrate specificity of TG2 and its flexible interaction with numerous other gene products may account for its multiple biological functions. In addition to the classic Ca2+-dependent transamidation of proteins, which is a hallmark of transglutaminase enzymes, additional Ca2+-independent enzymatic and nonenzymatic activities of TG2 have been identified. Many such activities have been directly or indirectly implicated in diverse cellular physiological events, including cell growth and differentiation, cell adhesion and morphology, extracellular matrix stabilization, wound healing, cellular development, receptor-mediated endocytosis, apoptosis, and disease pathology. Given the wide range of activities of the transglutaminase gene family it has been suggested that, in the absence of active versions of TG2, its function could be compensated for by other members of the transglutaminase family. It is in the light of this assertion that we review, herein, TG2 activities and the possibilities and premises for compensation for its absence.

  17. Nanoelectromechanics of Inorganic and Biological Systems: From Structural Imaging to Local Functionalities

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rodriguez, Brian [University College, Dublin; Kalinin, Sergei V [ORNL; Jesse, Stephen [ORNL; Thompson, G. L. [Clemson University; Vertegel, Alexey [ORNL; Hohlbauch, Sophia [Asylum Research, Santa Barbara, CA; Proksch, Roger [Asylum Research, Santa Barbara, CA

    2008-01-01

    Coupling between electrical and mechanical phenomena is extremely common in inorganic materials, and nearly ubiquitous in biological systems, underpinning phenomena and devices ranging from SONAR to cardiac activity and hearing. This paper briefly summarizes the Scanning Probe Microscopy (SPM) approach, referred to as Piezoresponse Force Microscopy (PFM), for probing electromechanical coupling on the nanometer scales, and delineates some existing and emerging applications to probe local structure and functionality in inorganic ferroelectrics, calcified and connective tissues, and complex biosystems based on electromechanical detection.

  18. A bottom-up characterization of transfer functions for synthetic biology designs: lessons from enzymology

    OpenAIRE

    Carbonell-Ballestero, M.; Duran-Nebreda, S.; Montanez, R.; Sole, R.; Macia, J.; Rodriguez-Caso, C.

    2014-01-01

    Within the field of synthetic biology, a rational design of genetic parts should include a causal understanding of their input-output responses-the so-called transfer function-and how to tune them. However, a commonly adopted strategy is to fit data to Hill-shaped curves without considering the underlying molecular mechanisms. Here we provide a novel mathematical formalization that allows prediction of the global behavior of a synthetic device by considering the actual information from the in...

  19. A chemical approach to unraveling the biological function of the glycosylphosphatidylinositol anchor

    OpenAIRE

    Paulick, Margot G.; Forstner, Martin B.; Groves, Jay T.; Bertozzi, Carolyn R

    2007-01-01

    The glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI) anchor is a C-terminal posttranslational modification found on many eukaryotic proteins that reside in the outer leaflet of the cell membrane. The complex and diverse structures of GPI anchors suggest a rich spectrum of biological functions, but few have been confirmed experimentally because of the lack of appropriate techniques that allow for structural perturbation in a cellular context. We previously synthesized a series of GPI anchor analogs with sys...

  20. New insights in the biology of BDNF synthesis and release: implications in CNS function

    OpenAIRE

    Greenberg, Michael E.; Xu, Baoji; Lu, Bai; Hempstead, Barbara L.

    2009-01-01

    BDNF has pleiotrophic effects on neuronal development and synaptic plasticity that underlie circuit formation and cognitive function. Recent breakthroughs reveal that neuronal activity regulates BDNF cell biology, including Bdnf transcription, dendritic targeting and trafficking of BDNF mRNA and protein, and secretion and extracellular conversion of proBDNF to mature BDNF. Defects in these mechanisms contribute differentially to cognitive dysfunction and anxiety–like behaviors. Here we review...

  1. Validation of Procedures for Monitoring Crewmember Immune Function - Short Duration Biological Investigation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sams, Clarence; Crucian, Brian; Stowe, Raymond; Pierson, Duane; Mehta, Satish; Morukov, Boris; Uchakin, Peter; Nehlsen-Cannarella, Sandra

    2008-01-01

    Validation of Procedures for Monitoring Crew Member Immune Function - Short Duration Biological Investigation (Integrated Immune-SDBI) will assess the clinical risks resulting from the adverse effects of space flight on the human immune system and will validate a flightcompatible immune monitoring strategy. Immune system changes will be monitored by collecting and analyzing blood, urine and saliva samples from crewmembers before, during and after space flight.

  2. Biological roles and functional mechanisms of arenavirus Z protein in viral replication.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Jialong; Danzy, Shamika; Kumar, Naveen; Ly, Hinh; Liang, Yuying

    2012-09-01

    Arenaviruses can cause severe hemorrhagic fever diseases in humans, with limited prophylactic or therapeutic measures. A small RING-domain viral protein Z has been shown to mediate the formation of virus-like particles and to inhibit viral RNA synthesis, although its biological roles in an infectious viral life cycle have not been directly addressed. By taking advantage of the available reverse genetics system for a model arenavirus, Pichinde virus (PICV), we provide the direct evidence for the essential biological roles of the Z protein's conserved residues, including the G2 myristylation site, the conserved C and H residues of RING domain, and the poorly characterized C-terminal L79 and P80 residues. Dicodon substitutions within the late (L) domain (PSAPPYEP) of the PICV Z protein, although producing viable mutant viruses, have significantly reduced virus growth, a finding suggestive of an important role for the intact L domain in viral replication. Further structure-function analyses of both PICV and Lassa fever virus Z proteins suggest that arenavirus Z proteins have similar molecular mechanisms in mediating their multiple functions, with some interesting variations, such as the role of the G2 residue in blocking viral RNA synthesis. In summary, our studies have characterized the biological roles of the Z protein in an infectious arenavirus system and have shed important light on the distinct functions of its domains in virus budding and viral RNA regulation, the knowledge of which may lead to the development of novel antiviral drugs.

  3. Functionalized Nanoporous Silica for Removal of Heavy Metals from Biological Systems; Adsorption and Application

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yantasee, Wassana; Rutledge, Ryan D.; Chouyyok, Wilaiwan; Sukwarotwat, Vichaya; Orr, Galya; Warner, Cynthia L.; Warner, Marvin G.; Fryxell, Glen E.; Wiacek, Robert J.; Timchalk, Charles; Addleman, Raymond S.

    2010-10-01

    Functionalized nanoporous silica, often referred to as self-assembled monolayers on mesoporous supports (SAMMS) have previously demonstrated the ability to serve as very effective heavy metal sorbents in a range of aquatic and environmental systems suggesting they may be advantageously utilized for biomedical applications such as chelation therapy. Herein we evaluate surface chemistries for heavy metal capture from biological fluids, various facets of the materials biocompatibility and the suitability of these materials as potential therapeutics. Of the materials tested, thiol-functionalized SAMMS proved most capable of removing selected heavy metals from biological solutions (i.e. blood, urine, etc.) As a result, thiol SAMMS was further analyzed to assess the material’s performance under a number of different biologically relevant conditions (i.e. variable pH and ionic strength) as well to gauge any potentially negative cellular effects resulting from interaction with the sorbent, such as cellular toxicity or possible chelation of essential minerals. Additionally, cellular uptake studies demonstrated no cell membrane permeation by the silica-based materials generally highlighting their ability to remain cellularly inert and thus non-toxic. As a result, it has been determined that organic ligand-functionalized nanoporous silica materials could be a valuable material for detoxification therapeutics and potentially other biomedical applications as needed.

  4. Which visual functions depend on intermediate visual regions? Insights from a case of developmental visual form agnosia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilaie-Dotan, Sharon

    2016-03-01

    A key question in visual neuroscience is the causal link between specific brain areas and perceptual functions; which regions are necessary for which visual functions? While the contribution of primary visual cortex and high-level visual regions to visual perception has been extensively investigated, the contribution of intermediate visual areas (e.g. V2/V3) to visual processes remains unclear. Here I review more than 20 visual functions (early, mid, and high-level) of LG, a developmental visual agnosic and prosopagnosic young adult, whose intermediate visual regions function in a significantly abnormal fashion as revealed through extensive fMRI and ERP investigations. While expectedly, some of LG's visual functions are significantly impaired, some of his visual functions are surprisingly normal (e.g. stereopsis, color, reading, biological motion). During the period of eight-year testing described here, LG trained on a perceptual learning paradigm that was successful in improving some but not all of his visual functions. Following LG's visual performance and taking into account additional findings in the field, I propose a framework for how different visual areas contribute to different visual functions, with an emphasis on intermediate visual regions. Thus, although rewiring and plasticity in the brain can occur during development to overcome and compensate for hindering developmental factors, LG's case seems to indicate that some visual functions are much less dependent on strict hierarchical flow than others, and can develop normally in spite of abnormal mid-level visual areas, thereby probably less dependent on intermediate visual regions. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. The dimer interface of the membrane type 1 matrix metalloproteinase hemopexin domain: crystal structure and biological functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tochowicz, Anna; Goettig, Peter; Evans, Richard; Visse, Robert; Shitomi, Yasuyuki; Palmisano, Ralf; Ito, Noriko; Richter, Klaus; Maskos, Klaus; Franke, Daniel; Svergun, Dmitri; Nagase, Hideaki; Bode, Wolfram; Itoh, Yoshifumi

    2011-03-04

    Homodimerization is an essential step for membrane type 1 matrix metalloproteinase (MT1-MMP) to activate proMMP-2 and to degrade collagen on the cell surface. To uncover the molecular basis of the hemopexin (Hpx) domain-driven dimerization of MT1-MMP, a crystal structure of the Hpx domain was solved at 1.7 Å resolution. Two interactions were identified as potential biological dimer interfaces in the crystal structure, and mutagenesis studies revealed that the biological dimer possesses a symmetrical interaction where blades II and III of molecule A interact with blades III and II of molecule B. The mutations of amino acids involved in the interaction weakened the dimer interaction of Hpx domains in solution, and incorporation of these mutations into the full-length enzyme significantly inhibited dimer-dependent functions on the cell surface, including proMMP-2 activation, collagen degradation, and invasion into the three-dimensional collagen matrix, whereas dimer-independent functions, including gelatin film degradation and two-dimensional cell migration, were not affected. These results shed light on the structural basis of MT1-MMP dimerization that is crucial to promote cellular invasion.

  6. Emerging Molecular and Biological Functions of MBD2, a Reader of DNA Methylation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kathleen H Wood

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available DNA methylation is an epigenetic mark that is essential for many biological processes and is linked to diseases such as cancer. Methylation is usually associated with transcriptional silencing, but new research has challenged this model. Both transcriptional activation and repression have recently been found to be associated with DNA methylation in a context-specific manner. How DNA methylation patterns are interpreted into different functional output remains poorly understood. One mechanism involves the protein ‘readers’ of methylation, which includes the methyl-CpG binding domain (MBD family of proteins. This review examines the molecular and biological functions of MBD2, which binds to CpG methylation and is an integral part of the nucleosome remodeling and histone deacetylation (NuRD complex. MBD2 has been linked to immune system function and tumorigenesis, yet little is known about its functions in vivo. Recent studies have found the MBD2 protein is ubiquitously expressed, with relatively high levels in the lung, liver and colon. Mbd2 null mice surprisingly show relatively mild phenotypes compared to mice with loss of function of other MBD proteins. This evidence has previously been interpreted as functional redundancy between the MBD proteins. Here we examine and contextualize research that suggests MBD2 has unique properties and functions among the MBD proteins. These functions translate to recently described roles in the development and differentiation of multiple cell lineages, including pluripotent stem cells and various cell types of the immune system, as well as in tumorigenesis. We also consider possible models for the dynamic interactions between MBD2 and NuRD in different tissues in vivo. The functions of MBD2 may have direct therapeutic implications for several areas of human disease, including autoimmune conditions and cancer, in addition to providing insights into the actions of NuRD and chromatin regulation.

  7. Multiscale analysis of biological data by scale-dependent lyapunov exponent.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gao, Jianbo; Hu, Jing; Tung, Wen-Wen; Blasch, Erik

    2011-01-01

    Physiological signals often are highly non-stationary (i.e., mean and variance change with time) and multiscaled (i.e., dependent on the spatial or temporal interval lengths). They may exhibit different behaviors, such as non-linearity, sensitive dependence on small disturbances, long memory, and extreme variations. Such data have been accumulating in all areas of health sciences and rapid analysis can serve quality testing, physician assessment, and patient diagnosis. To support patient care, it is very desirable to characterize the different signal behaviors on a wide range of scales simultaneously. The Scale-Dependent Lyapunov Exponent (SDLE) is capable of such a fundamental task. In particular, SDLE can readily characterize all known types of signal data, including deterministic chaos, noisy chaos, random 1/f(α) processes, stochastic limit cycles, among others. SDLE also has some unique capabilities that are not shared by other methods, such as detecting fractal structures from non-stationary data and detecting intermittent chaos. In this article, we describe SDLE in such a way that it can be readily understood and implemented by non-mathematically oriented researchers, develop a SDLE-based consistent, unifying theory for the multiscale analysis, and demonstrate the power of SDLE on analysis of heart-rate variability (HRV) data to detect congestive heart failure and analysis of electroencephalography (EEG) data to detect seizures.

  8. Effective dielectric properties of biological cells: generalization of the spectral density function approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goncharenko, Anatoliy V; Chang, Yia-Chung

    2009-07-23

    We suggest an extension of the spectral density function approach to describe the complex dielectric response of suspensions of arbitrarily shaped particles having a thin shell, in particular, biological cells. The approach is shown to give analytical results in some simple but practically important cases. In the general case, for the 3-phase systems it reduces to determination of the spectral density function for the suspension of a certain kind. Prospects and limitations of the approach, as well as practical examples, are also considered.

  9. Functionalization and microfluidic integration of silicon nanowire biologically gated field effect transistors

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pfreundt, Andrea

    with nanowire sensors functionalized using different modification schemes. To facilitate functionalization and measurement and as a first step towards integration into a point-of-care device, several microfluidic tools were developed for sample delivery to the sensor surface and as a modular platform......This thesis deals with the development of a novel biosensor for the detection of biomolecules based on a silicon nanowire biologically gated field-effect transistor and its integration into a point-of-care device. The sensor and electrical on-chip integration was developed in a different project...

  10. On asymptotically optimal wavelet estimation of trend functions under long-range dependence

    CERN Document Server

    Beran, Jan; 10.3150/10-BEJ332

    2012-01-01

    We consider data-adaptive wavelet estimation of a trend function in a time series model with strongly dependent Gaussian residuals. Asymptotic expressions for the optimal mean integrated squared error and corresponding optimal smoothing and resolution parameters are derived. Due to adaptation to the properties of the underlying trend function, the approach shows very good performance for smooth trend functions while remaining competitive with minimax wavelet estimation for functions with discontinuities. Simulations illustrate the asymptotic results and finite-sample behavior.

  11. Metagenomic Analysis of Streptomyces lividans Reveals Host-Dependent Functional Expression

    OpenAIRE

    2012-01-01

    Most functional metagenomic studies have been limited by the poor expression of many genes derived from metagenomic DNA in Escherichia coli, which has been the predominant surrogate host to date. To expand the range of expressed genes, we developed tools for construction and functional screening of metagenomic libraries in Streptomyces lividans. We expanded on previously published protocols by constructing a system that enables retrieval and characterization of the metagenomic DNA from biolog...

  12. Association between insulin and executive functioning in alcohol dependence: a pilot study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, Changwoo; Bae, Hwallip; Won, Sung-Doo; Lim, Jaeyoung; Kim, Dai-Jin

    2015-01-01

    Alcohol dependence is a disorder ascribable to multiple factors and leads to cognitive impairment. Given that insulin dysregulation can cause cognitive impairment, patients with alcohol dependence are likely to develop insulin dysregulation such as that in diabetes. The purposes of this study are to identify an association between cognitive functioning and insulin and to investigate insulin as the biomarker of cognitive functioning in alcohol-dependent patients. Serum insulin levels were measured and cognitive functions were assessed in 45 patients with chronic alcoholism. The Korean version of the Consortium to Establish a Registry for Alzheimer's Disease (CERAD-K), a battery of cognitive function tests, was used to assess cognitive functioning. Serum insulin levels were not significantly correlated with most CERAD-K scores, but there was a significant negative correlation with scores on the Trail Making Test B, which is designed to measure executive functioning. Lower serum insulin levels were associated with slower executive functioning responses on the Trail Making Test B, suggesting that executive functioning may be in proportion to serum insulin levels. Thus, in patients with alcohol dependence, insulin level is associated with cognitive functioning. In addition, the present findings suggest that insulin level is a potential biomarker for determining cognitive functioning.

  13. The Swine Plasma Metabolome Chronicles "Many Days" Biological Timing and Functions Linked to Growth.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Timothy G Bromage

    Full Text Available The paradigm of chronobiology is based almost wholly upon the daily biological clock, or circadian rhythm, which has been the focus of intense molecular, cellular, pharmacological, and behavioral, research. However, the circadian rhythm does not explain biological timings related to fundamental aspects of life history such as rates of tissue/organ/body size development and control of the timing of life stages such as gestation length, age at maturity, and lifespan. This suggests that another biological timing mechanism is at work. Here we focus on a "many days" (multidien chronobiological period first observed as enigmatic recurring growth lines in developing mammalian tooth enamel that is strongly associate with all adult tissue, organ, and body masses as well as life history attributes such as gestation length, age at maturity, weaning, and lifespan, particularly among the well studied primates. Yet, knowledge of the biological factors regulating the patterning of mammalian life, such as the development of body size and life history structure, does not exist. To identify underlying molecular mechanisms we performed metabolome and genome analyses from blood plasma in domestic pigs. We show that blood plasma metabolites and small non-coding RNA (sncRNA drawn from 33 domestic pigs over a two-week period strongly oscillate on a 5-day multidien rhythm, as does the pig enamel rhythm. Metabolomics and genomics pathway analyses actually reveal two 5-day rhythms, one related to growth in which biological functions include cell proliferation, apoptosis, and transcription regulation/protein synthesis, and another 5-day rhythm related to degradative pathways that follows three days later. Our results provide experimental confirmation of a 5-day multidien rhythm in the domestic pig linking the periodic growth of enamel with oscillations of the metabolome and genome. This association reveals a new class of chronobiological rhythm and a snapshot of the

  14. The Swine Plasma Metabolome Chronicles "Many Days" Biological Timing and Functions Linked to Growth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bromage, Timothy G.; Idaghdour, Youssef; Lacruz, Rodrigo S.; Crenshaw, Thomas D.; Ovsiy, Olexandra; Rotter, Björn; Hoffmeier, Klaus; Schrenk, Friedemann

    2016-01-01

    The paradigm of chronobiology is based almost wholly upon the daily biological clock, or circadian rhythm, which has been the focus of intense molecular, cellular, pharmacological, and behavioral, research. However, the circadian rhythm does not explain biological timings related to fundamental aspects of life history such as rates of tissue/organ/body size development and control of the timing of life stages such as gestation length, age at maturity, and lifespan. This suggests that another biological timing mechanism is at work. Here we focus on a "many days" (multidien) chronobiological period first observed as enigmatic recurring growth lines in developing mammalian tooth enamel that is strongly associate with all adult tissue, organ, and body masses as well as life history attributes such as gestation length, age at maturity, weaning, and lifespan, particularly among the well studied primates. Yet, knowledge of the biological factors regulating the patterning of mammalian life, such as the development of body size and life history structure, does not exist. To identify underlying molecular mechanisms we performed metabolome and genome analyses from blood plasma in domestic pigs. We show that blood plasma metabolites and small non-coding RNA (sncRNA) drawn from 33 domestic pigs over a two-week period strongly oscillate on a 5-day multidien rhythm, as does the pig enamel rhythm. Metabolomics and genomics pathway analyses actually reveal two 5-day rhythms, one related to growth in which biological functions include cell proliferation, apoptosis, and transcription regulation/protein synthesis, and another 5-day rhythm related to degradative pathways that follows three days later. Our results provide experimental confirmation of a 5-day multidien rhythm in the domestic pig linking the periodic growth of enamel with oscillations of the metabolome and genome. This association reveals a new class of chronobiological rhythm and a snapshot of the biological bases that

  15. The Swine Plasma Metabolome Chronicles "Many Days" Biological Timing and Functions Linked to Growth.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bromage, Timothy G; Idaghdour, Youssef; Lacruz, Rodrigo S; Crenshaw, Thomas D; Ovsiy, Olexandra; Rotter, Björn; Hoffmeier, Klaus; Schrenk, Friedemann

    2016-01-01

    The paradigm of chronobiology is based almost wholly upon the daily biological clock, or circadian rhythm, which has been the focus of intense molecular, cellular, pharmacological, and behavioral, research. However, the circadian rhythm does not explain biological timings related to fundamental aspects of life history such as rates of tissue/organ/body size development and control of the timing of life stages such as gestation length, age at maturity, and lifespan. This suggests that another biological timing mechanism is at work. Here we focus on a "many days" (multidien) chronobiological period first observed as enigmatic recurring growth lines in developing mammalian tooth enamel that is strongly associate with all adult tissue, organ, and body masses as well as life history attributes such as gestation length, age at maturity, weaning, and lifespan, particularly among the well studied primates. Yet, knowledge of the biological factors regulating the patterning of mammalian life, such as the development of body size and life history structure, does not exist. To identify underlying molecular mechanisms we performed metabolome and genome analyses from blood plasma in domestic pigs. We show that blood plasma metabolites and small non-coding RNA (sncRNA) drawn from 33 domestic pigs over a two-week period strongly oscillate on a 5-day multidien rhythm, as does the pig enamel rhythm. Metabolomics and genomics pathway analyses actually reveal two 5-day rhythms, one related to growth in which biological functions include cell proliferation, apoptosis, and transcription regulation/protein synthesis, and another 5-day rhythm related to degradative pathways that follows three days later. Our results provide experimental confirmation of a 5-day multidien rhythm in the domestic pig linking the periodic growth of enamel with oscillations of the metabolome and genome. This association reveals a new class of chronobiological rhythm and a snapshot of the biological bases that

  16. Temperature-dependent structural and functional features of a hyperthermostable enzyme using elastic neutron scattering

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Koutsopoulos, S; van der Oost, J; Norde, W

    2005-01-01

    The dynamic behavior of an endoglucanase from the hyperthermophilic microorganism Pyrococcus furiosus was investigated using elastic neutron scattering. The temperature dependence of the atomic motions was correlated with conformational. and functional characteristics of the enzyme. The onset of

  17. Temperature-dependent structural and functional features of a hyperthermostable enzyme using elastic neutron scattering

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Koutsopoulos, S.; Oost, van der J.; Norde, W.

    2005-01-01

    The dynamic behavior of an endoglucanase from the hyperthermophilic microorganism Pyrococcus furiosus was investigated using elastic neutron scattering. The temperature dependence of the atomic motions was correlated with conformational and functional characteristics of the enzyme. The onset of

  18. The Determining Method about the Conflict between the Null Constraints and the Set of Functional Dependencies

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    刘惟一

    1989-01-01

    In this paper the conflict between the null constraints and the set of functional dependencies is defined.Some rules for determining the conflicts and a method for processing the conflicts are obtained.

  19. Ficolin-2 reveals different analytical and biological properties dependent on different sample handling procedures

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hein, Estrid; Bay, Jakob T; Munthe-Fog, Lea;

    2013-01-01

    Ficolin-2 (L-ficolin) is a germ line encoded pattern recognition molecule circulating in the blood, and functions as a recognition molecule in the lectin complement pathway. However, consistent and reliable measurements of Ficolin-2 concentration and activity have been difficult to achieve. After...

  20. The biological effect of asbestos exposure is dependent on changes in iron homeostasis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abstract Functional groups on the surface of fibrous silicates can complex iron. We tested the postulate that 1) asbestos complexes and sequesters host cell iron resulting in a disruption of metal homeostasis and 2) this loss of essential metal results in an oxidative stress and...

  1. The biological effect of asbestos exposure is dependent on changes in iron homeostasis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abstract Functional groups on the surface of fibrous silicates can complex iron. We tested the postulate that 1) asbestos complexes and sequesters host cell iron resulting in a disruption of metal homeostasis and 2) this loss of essential metal results in an oxidative stress and...

  2. Phase-Space Explorations in Time-Dependent Density Functional Theory

    OpenAIRE

    Rajam, Arun K.; Hessler, Paul; Gaun, Christian; Maitra, Neepa T.

    2009-01-01

    We discuss two problems which are particularly challenging for approximations in time-dependent density functional theory (TDDFT) to capture: momentum-distributions in ionization processes, and memory-dependence in real-time dynamics. We propose an extension of TDDFT to phase-space densities, discuss some formal aspects of such a "phase-space density functional theory" and explain why it could ameliorate the problems in both cases. For each problem, a two-electron model system is exactly nume...

  3. Time-dependent density functional theory for strong-field ionization by circularly polarized pulses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chirilă, Ciprian C.; Lein, Manfred

    2017-03-01

    By applying time-dependent density functional theory to a two-dimensional multielectron atom subject to strong circularly polarized light pulses, we confirm that the ionization of p orbitals with defined angular momentum depends on the sense of rotation of the applied field. A simple ad-hoc modification of the adiabatic local-density exchange-correlation functional is proposed to remedy its unphysical behavior under orbital depletion.

  4. Spinless relativistic particle in energy-dependent potential and normalization of the wave function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benchikha, Amar; Chetouani, Lyazid

    2014-06-01

    The problem of normalization related to a Klein-Gordon particle subjected to vector plus scalar energy-dependent potentials is clarified in the context of the path integral approach. In addition the correction relating to the normalizing constant of wave functions is exactly determined. As examples, the energy dependent linear and Coulomb potentials are considered. The wave functions obtained via spectral decomposition, were found exactly normalized.

  5. The regulation of SIRT2 function by cyclin-dependent kinases affects cell motility.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pandithage, R.; Lilischkis, R.; Harting, K.; Wolf, A.; Jedamzik, B.; Luscher-Firzlaff, J.; Vervoorts, J.; Lasonder, E.; Kremmer, E.; Knoll, B.; Luscher, B.

    2008-01-01

    Cyclin-dependent kinases (Cdks) fulfill key functions in many cellular processes, including cell cycle progression and cytoskeletal dynamics. A limited number of Cdk substrates have been identified with few demonstrated to be regulated by Cdk-dependent phosphorylation. We identify on protein express

  6. Time-dependent effects of ultraviolet and nonthermal atmospheric pressure plasma on the biological activity of titanium

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choi, Sung-Hwan; Jeong, Won-Seok; Cha, Jung-Yul; Lee, Jae-Hoon; Yu, Hyung-Seog; Choi, Eun-Ha; Kim, Kwang-Mahn; Hwang, Chung-Ju

    2016-09-01

    Here, we evaluated time-dependent changes in the effects of ultraviolet (UV) and nonthermal atmospheric pressure plasma (NTAPPJ) on the biological activity of titanium compared with that of untreated titanium. Grade IV machined surface titanium discs (12-mm diameter) were used immediately and stored up to 28 days after 15-min UV or 10-min NTAPPJ treatment. Changes of surface characteristics over time were evaluated using scanning electron microscopy, surface profiling, contact angle analysis, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, and surface zeta-potential. Changes in biological activity over time were as determined by analysing bovine serum albumin adsorption, MC3T3-E1 early adhesion and morphometry, and alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity between groups. We found no differences in the effects of treatment on titanium between UV or NTAPPJ over time; both treatments resulted in changes from negatively charged hydrophobic (bioinert) to positively charged hydrophilic (bioactive) surfaces, allowing enhancement of albumin adsorption, osteoblastic cell attachment, and cytoskeleton development. Although this effect may not be prolonged for promotion of cell adhesion until 4 weeks, the effects were sufficient to maintain ALP activity after 7 days of incubation. This positive effect of UV and NTAPPJ treatment can enhance the biological activity of titanium over time.

  7. Origin of the Q^2-dependence of the DIS structure functions

    CERN Document Server

    Ermolaev, B I; Troyan, S I

    2012-01-01

    We consider in detail the Q^2 -dependence of the DIS structure functions, with Q being the virtual photon momentum. Quite often this dependence is claimed to be originated by the Q^2-dependence of the QCD coupling. This leads to the small-x asymptotics of the structure functions with Q^2 -dependent intercepts. We demonstrate that the DGLAP parametrization alpha_s = alpha_s (Q^2) is an approximation valid in the region of large x (where 2pq can be approximated by Q^2) only, providing the factorization scale is also large. Outside this region, the DGLAP parametrization fails, so alpha_s should be replaced by an effective coupling which is independent of Q^2 at small x. As a consequence, intercepts of the structure functions are independent of Q^2. Nevertheless, the small-x asymptotics of the structure functions explicitly depend on Q^2, even when the coupling does not depend on it. We also consider the structure functions at small Q^2 and give a comment on power-Q^2 corrections to the structure functions at lar...

  8. Chemical variability and biological activities of Brassica rapa var. rapifera parts essential oils depending on geographic variation and extraction technique.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saka, Boualem; Djouahri, Abderrahmane; Djerrad, Zineb; Souhila, Terfi; Aberrane, Sihem; Sabaou, Nasserdine; Baaliouamer, Aoumeur; Boudarene, Lynda

    2017-02-01

    In the present work, the Brassica rapa var. rapifera parts essential oils and their antioxidant and antimicrobial activities were investigated for the first time depending on geographic origin and extraction technique. GC and GC-MS analyses showed several constituents, including alcohols, aldehydes, esters, ketones, norisoprenoids, terpenic, nitrogen and sulphur compounds, totalizing 38 and 41 compounds in leaves and root essential oils, respectively. Nitrogen compounds were the main volatiles in leaves essential oils and sulphur compounds were the main volatiles in root essential oils. Qualitative and quantitative differences were found among B. rapa var. rapifera parts essential oils collected from different locations and extracted by hydrodistillation (HD) and microwave-assisted hydrodistillation (MAHD) techniques. Furthermore, our findings showed a high variability for both antioxidant and antimicrobial activities. The highlighted variability reflects the high impact of plant part, geographic variation and extraction technique on chemical composition and biological activities, which led to conclude that we should select essential oils to be investigated carefully depending on these factors, in order to isolate the bioactive components or to have the best quality of essential oil in terms of biological activities and preventive effects in food. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

  9. Applications of post-translational modifications of FoxO family proteins in biological functions

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Ying Zhao; Yachen Wang; Wei-Guo Zhu

    2011-01-01

    The functions of the FoxO family proteins, in particular their transcriptional activities, are modulated by post-translational modifications (PTMs), including phosphorylation, acetylation, ubiquitination, methylation and glycosylation. These PTMs occur in response to different cellular stresses, which in turn regulate the subcellular localization of FoxO family proteins, as well as their half-life, DNA binding, transcriptional activity and ability to interact with other cellular proteins. In this review, we summarize the role of PTMs of FoxO family proteins in linking their biological and functional relevance with various diseases.%The functions of the FoxO family proteins,in particular their transcriptional activities,are modulated by post-translational modifications (PTMs),including phosphorylation,acetylation,ubiquitination,methylation and glycosylation.These PTMs occur in response to different cellular stresses,which in turn regulate the subceilular localization of FoxO family proteins,as well as their half-life,DNA binding,transcriptional activity and ability to interact with other cellular proteins.In this review,we summarize the role of PTMs of FoxO family proteins in linking their biological and functional relevance with various diseases.

  10. The dose-dependence biological effect of laser fluence on rabbit fibroblasts derived from urethral scar.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Yong; Yu, Bo; Sun, Dongchong; Wu, Yuanyi; Xiao, Yi

    2015-04-01

    Two-micrometer laser vaporization resection has been used in clinic for years, but some patients received the treatment are still faced with excessive and abnormal wound repair which leads to the recurrent of urethral stricture eventually. Fibroblasts play a key role in the processes of "narrow-expansion/operation-restenosis" recurring problems. Here, we investigated the effect of laser fluence biomodulation on urethral scar fibroblasts as well as the underlying mechanism. Urethral scar fibroblasts were isolated and cultured, and laser irradiation (2 μm) was applied at different laser fluence or doses (0, 0.125, 0.5, 2, 8, 32 J/cm(2)) with a single exposure in 1 day. The effect of 2-μm laser irradiation on cell proliferation, viability, and expression of scar formation related genes were investigated. Two-micrometer laser irradiation with intermediate dose (8 J/cm(2)) promoted scar fibroblasts proliferation and reactive oxygen species (ROS) production, while higher doses of 32 J/cm(2) are suppressive as it decreased the survival rate, viability, and proliferation of fibroblasts. In addition, qRT-PCR and Western blotting results both proven that collagen type I, collagen IV, MMP9, and CTGF display significant increase, yet the TGF-β1 expression was severely reduced at intermediate dose (8 J/cm(2)) group when compared with the others groups. Our findings suggest the scar formation-related genes are sensitive to intermediate laser irradiation dose, the most in scar fibroblasts. We revealed the bioeffect and molecular mechanism of 2-μm laser irradiation on rabbit urethral scar fibroblasts. Our study provides new insights into the mechanisms which involved in the excessive and abnormal wound repair of 2-μm laser vaporization resection. These results could potentially contribute to further study on biological effects and application of 2-μm laser irradiation in urethral stricture therapy.

  11. Association between insulin and executive functioning in alcohol dependence: a pilot study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Han C

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Changwoo Han,1 Hwallip Bae,2 Sung-Doo Won,3 Jaeyoung Lim,3 Dai-Jin Kim41Department of Psychiatry, Ansan Hospital, College of Medicine, Korea University, Ansan, 2Department of Psychiatry, Myongji Hospital, College of Medicine, Seonam University, Goyang, 3Department of Clinical Psychology, Keyo Hospital, Keyo Medical Foundation, Uiwang, 4Department of Psychiatry, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Republic of KoreaAbstract: Alcohol dependence is a disorder ascribable to multiple factors and leads to cognitive impairment. Given that insulin dysregulation can cause cognitive impairment, patients with alcohol dependence are likely to develop insulin dysregulation such as that in diabetes. The purposes of this study are to identify an association between cognitive functioning and insulin and to investigate insulin as the biomarker of cognitive functioning in alcohol-dependent patients. Serum insulin levels were measured and cognitive functions were assessed in 45 patients with chronic alcoholism. The Korean version of the Consortium to Establish a Registry for Alzheimer’s Disease (CERAD-K, a battery of cognitive function tests, was used to assess cognitive functioning. Serum insulin levels were not significantly correlated with most CERAD-K scores, but there was a significant negative correlation with scores on the Trail Making Test B, which is designed to measure executive functioning. Lower serum insulin levels were associated with slower executive functioning responses on the Trail Making Test B, suggesting that executive functioning may be in proportion to serum insulin levels. Thus, in patients with alcohol dependence, insulin level is associated with cognitive functioning. In addition, the present findings suggest that insulin level is a potential biomarker for determining cognitive functioning.Keywords: insulin, alcohol dependence, executive function, trail making test

  12. Structure of the gap junction channel and its implications for its biological functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maeda, Shoji; Tsukihara, Tomitake

    2011-04-01

    Gap junctions consist of arrays of intercellular channels composed of integral membrane proteins called connexin in vertebrates. Gap junction channels regulate the passage of ions and biological molecules between adjacent cells and, therefore, are critically important in many biological activities, including development, differentiation, neural activity, and immune response. Mutations in connexin genes are associated with several human diseases, such as neurodegenerative disease, skin disease, deafness, and developmental abnormalities. The activity of gap junction channels is regulated by the membrane voltage, intracellular microenvironment, interaction with other proteins, and phosphorylation. Each connexin channel has its own property for conductance and molecular permeability. A number of studies have tried to reveal the molecular architecture of the channel pore that should confer the connexin-specific permeability/selectivity properties and molecular basis for the gating and regulation. In this review, we give an overview of structural studies and describe the structural and functional relationship of gap junction channels.

  13. The importance of species identity and interactions for multifunctionality depends on how ecosystem functions are valued.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Slade, Eleanor M; Kirwan, Laura; Bell, Thomas; Philipson, Christopher D; Lewis, Owen T; Roslin, Tomas

    2017-10-01

    overall multifunctionality depended on the weight given to individual functions. Optimal multifunctionality was context-dependent, and sensitive to the valuation of services. This combination of methodological approaches allowed us to resolve the interactions and indirect effects among species that drive ecosystem functioning, revealing how multiple aspects of biodiversity can simultaneously drive ecosystem functioning. Our results highlight the importance of a multifunctionality perspective for a complete assessment of species' functional contributions. © 2017 by the Ecological Society of America.

  14. Time-dependent current-density-functional theory for the metallic response of solids

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Romaniello, P; de Boeij, PL

    2005-01-01

    We extend the formulation of time-dependent current-density-functional theory for the linear response properties of dielectric and semi-metallic solids [Kootstra , J. Chem. Phys. 112, 6517 (2000)] to treat metals as well. To achieve this, the Kohn-Sham response functions have to include both interba

  15. Time-dependent current-density-functional theory for the metallic response of solids

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Romaniello, P; de Boeij, PL

    We extend the formulation of time-dependent current-density-functional theory for the linear response properties of dielectric and semi-metallic solids [Kootstra , J. Chem. Phys. 112, 6517 (2000)] to treat metals as well. To achieve this, the Kohn-Sham response functions have to include both

  16. The Keldysh formalism applied to time-dependent current-density-functional theory

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gidopoulos, NI; Wilson, S

    2003-01-01

    In this work we demonstrate how to derive the Kohn-Sham equations of time-dependent current-density functional theory from a generating action functional defined on a Keldysh time contour. These Kohn-Sham equations contain an exchange-correlation contribution to the vector potential. For this

  17. Transverse-momentum-dependent parton distribution/fragmentation functions at an electron-ion collider

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Anselmino, M.; Avakian, H.; Boer, Daniël; Bradamante, F.; Burkardt, M.; Chen, J.P.; Cisbani, E.; Contalbrigo, M.; Crabb, D.; Dutta, D.; Gamberg, L.; Gao, H.; Hasch, D.; Huang, J.; Huang, M.; Kang, Z.; Keppel, C.; Laskaris, G.; Liang, Z.-T.; Liu, M.X.; Makins, N.; McKeown, R.D.; Metz, A.; Meziani, Z.-E.; Musch, B.; Peng, J.-C.; Prokudin, A.; Qian, X.; Qiang, Y.; Qiu, J.W.; Rossi, P.; SCHWEITZER, C.; Soffer, J.; Sulkosky, V.; Wang, Ying; Xiao, B.; Ye, Q.; Ye, Q.-J.; Yuan, F.; Zhan, X.; Zhang, Y.; Zheng, W.; Zhou, J.

    2011-01-01

    We present a summary of a recent workshop held at Duke University on Partonic Transverse Momentum in Hadrons: Quark Spin-Orbit Correlations and Quark-Gluon Interactions. The transverse-momentum-dependent parton distribution functions (TMDs), parton-to-hadron fragmentation functions, and multi-parton

  18. Interpersonal Attraction and Dependence as a Function of Self-Esteem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fortin, Joseph A.; Sesi, Maher S.

    This experiment tested the hypotheses that interpersonal dependence would be an inverse function of the individual's chronic and situational levels of self-esteem, and that interpersonal attraction would be an inverse function of the individual's induced/situational level of self-esteem, but would be unaffected by her chronic level. Subjects were…

  19. Functional results after repair of large hiatal hernia by use of a biologic mesh

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Filimon eAntonakis

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Background: The aim of this observational study is to analyze the results of patients with large hiatal hernia and upside-down stomach after surgical closure with a biologic mesh (Permacol®, Covidien, Neustadt an der Donau, Germany. Biologic mesh is used to prevent long-term detrimental effects of artificial meshes and to reduce recurrence rates. Methods: A total of 13 patients with a large hiatal hernia and endothoracic stomach, who underwent surgery between 2010 and 2014, were included. Interviews and upper endoscopy were conducted to determine recurrence, lifestyle restrictions and current complaints. Results: After a mean follow-up of 26+18 months (range 3-58 months 10 patients (three men, mean age 73+13, range 26-81 years were evaluated. A small recurrent axial hernia was found in one patient postoperatively. Dysphagia was the most common complaint (four cases, while in one case the problem was solved after endoscopic dilatation. In three cases bloat and postprandial pain were documented. In one case explantation of the mesh was necessary due to mesh migration and painful adhesions. In one further case with gastroparesis pyloroplasty was performed without success.Conclusion: Recurrence was rare after hernia repair with the biologic mesh Permacol®. Dysphagia, gas bloat and intraabdominal pain were frequent complaints. Despite the small number of patients it can be concluded that a biologic mesh may be an alternative to synthetic meshes to reduce recurrences. Long-term results should be studied in the future in order to assess the potential of biologic meshes to preserve esophageal function as well. This is important since artificial meshes are known to erode the esophagus after 5–10 years.

  20. Gauge-fixing parameter dependence of two-point gauge variant correlation functions

    CERN Document Server

    Zhai, C

    1996-01-01

    The gauge-fixing parameter \\xi dependence of two-point gauge variant correlation functions is studied for QED and QCD. We show that, in three Euclidean dimensions, or for four-dimensional thermal gauge theories, the usual procedure of getting a general covariant gauge-fixing term by averaging over a class of covariant gauge-fixing conditions leads to a nontrivial gauge-fixing parameter dependence in gauge variant two-point correlation functions (e.g. fermion propagators). This nontrivial gauge-fixing parameter dependence modifies the large distance behavior of the two-point correlation functions by introducing additional exponentially decaying factors. These factors are the origin of the gauge dependence encountered in some perturbative evaluations of the damping rates and the static chromoelectric screening length in a general covariant gauge. To avoid this modification of the long distance behavior introduced by performing the average over a class of covariant gauge-fixing conditions, one can either choose ...

  1. Parameter-dependent Lyapunov functional for systems with multiple time delays

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Min WU; Yong HE

    2004-01-01

    The separation of the Lyapunov matrices and system matrices plays an important role when one uses parameter-dependent Lyapunov functional handling systems with polytopic type uncertainties.The delay-dependent robust stability problem for systems with polytopic type uncertainties is discussed by using parameter-dependent Lyapunov functional.The derivative term in the derivative of Lyapunov functional is reserved and the free weighting matrices are employed to express the relationship between the terms in the system equation such that the Lyapunov matrices are not involved in any product terms with the system matrices.In addition,the relationships between the terms in the Leibniz Newton formula are also described by some free weighting matrices and some delay-dependent stability conditions are derived.Numerical examples demonstrate that the proposed criteria are more effective than the previous results.

  2. Γ-CONVERGENCE OF INTEGRAL FUNCTIONALS DEPENDING ON VECTOR-VALUED FUNCTIONS OVER PARABOLIC DOMAINS

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2000-01-01

    This paper studies Γ-convergence for a sequence of parabolic functionals, Fε(u) =∫TO∫Ωf(x/ε, t,Δu)dxdt as ε→ 0, where the integrand f is nonconvex, and periodic on the first variable. The author obtains the representation formula of the Γ-limit. The results in this paper support a conclusion which relates Γ-convergence of parabolic functionals to the associated gradient flows and confirms one of De Giorgi's conjectures partially.

  3. A biological measure of stress levels in patients with functional movement disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maurer, Carine W; LaFaver, Kathrin; Ameli, Rezvan; Toledo, Ryan; Hallett, Mark

    2015-09-01

    While the presence of co-existing psychological stressors has historically been used as a supportive factor in the diagnosis of functional neurological disorders, many patients with functional neurological disorders deny the presence of these stressors. The stress response circuitry in these patients remains largely unexplored. We performed an observational study examining biological stress levels in patients with functional movement disorders as compared with matched healthy controls. Specifically, we compared levels of circulating cortisol, the end-product of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis. Salivary cortisol samples were collected from patients with "clinically definite" functional movement disorders (n = 33) and their age- and sex-matched controls (n = 33). Collections were performed at five standardized time points, reflecting participants' diurnal cortisol cycles. To rule out confounders, participants also underwent extensive psychological assessment including Structured Clinical Interview for Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale, and Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression. Patients with functional movement disorders did not differ from matched controls with respect to levels of circulating cortisol. We demonstrate that current stress levels are not altered in patients with functional movement disorders. Our results warrant careful review of current management of patients with functional neurological symptoms, and suggest that the insistence on heightened stress levels in these patients is unjustified. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  4. A Critical Role for Cysteine 57 in the Biological Functions of Selenium Binding Protein-1

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qi Ying

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available The concentration of selenium-binding protein1 (SBP1 is often lower in tumors than in the corresponding tissue and lower levels have been associated with poor clinical outcomes. SBP1 binds tightly selenium although what role selenium plays in its biological functions remains unknown. Previous studies indicated that cysteine 57 is the most likely candidate amino acid for selenium binding. In order to investigate the role of cysteine 57 in SBP1, this amino acid was altered to a glycine and the mutated protein was expressed in human cancer cells. The SBP1 half-life, as well as the cellular response to selenite cytotoxicity, was altered by this change. The ectopic expression of SBP1GLY also caused mitochondrial damage in HCT116 cells. Taken together, these results indicated that cysteine 57 is a critical determinant of SBP1 function and may play a significant role in mitochondrial function.

  5. Functional profiles reveal unique ecological roles of various biological soil crust organisms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bowker, M.A.; Mau, R.L.; Maestre, F.T.; Escolar, C.; Castillo-Monroy, A. P.

    2011-01-01

    1. At the heart of the body of research on biodiversity effects on ecosystem function is the debate over whether different species tend to be functionally singular or redundant. When we consider ecosystem multi-function, the provision of multiple ecosystem functions simultaneously, we may find that seemingly redundant species may in fact play unique roles in ecosystems. 2. Over the last few decades, the significance of biological soil crusts (BSCs) as ecological boundaries and ecosystem engineers, and their multi-functional nature, has become increasingly well documented. We compiled 'functional profiles' of the organisms in this understudied community, to determine whether functional singularity emerges when multiple ecosystem functions are considered. 3. In two data sets, one representing multiple sites around the semi-arid regions of Spain (regional scale), and another from a single site in central Spain (local scale), we examined correlations between the abundance or frequency of BSC species in a community, and multiple surrogates of ecosystem functioning. There was a wide array of apparent effects of species on specific functions. 4. Notably, in gypsiferous soils and at regional scale, we found that indicators of carbon (C) and phosphorus cycling were apparently suppressed and promoted by the lichens Diploschistes diacapsis and Squamarina lentigera, respectively. The moss Pleurochaete squarrosa appears to promote C cycling in calcareous soils at this spatial scale. At the local scale in gypsiferous soils, D. diacapsis positively correlated with carbon cycling, but negatively with nitrogen cycling, whereas numerous lichens exhibited the opposite profile. 5. We found a high degree of functional singularity, i.e. that species were highly individualistic in their effects on multiple functions. Many functional attributes were not easily predictable from existing functional grouping systems based primarily on morphology. 6. Our results suggest that maintaining

  6. Vibrationally resolved UV/Vis spectroscopy with time-dependent density functional based tight binding

    CERN Document Server

    Rüger, Robert; van Lenthe, Erik; Heine, Thomas; Visscher, Lucas

    2016-01-01

    We report a time-dependent density functional based tight-binding (TD-DFTB) scheme for the calculation of UV/Vis spectra, explicitly taking into account the excitation of nuclear vibrations via the harmonic approximation. The theory of vibrationally resolved UV/Vis spectroscopy is first summarized from the viewpoint of TD-DFTB. The method is benchmarked against time-dependent density functional theory (TD-DFT) calculations for strongly dipole allowed excitations in various aromatic and polar molecules. Using the recent 3ob:freq parameter set of Elstner's group, excellent agreement with TD-DFT calculations using local functionals was achieved.

  7. Modeling on the size dependent properties of InP quantum dots: a hybrid functional study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cho, Eunseog; Jang, Hyosook; Lee, Junho; Jang, Eunjoo

    2013-05-01

    Theoretical calculations based on density functional theory were performed to provide better understanding of the size dependent electronic properties of InP quantum dots (QDs). Using a hybrid functional approach, we suggest a reliable analytical equation to describe the change of energy band gap as a function of size. Synthesizing colloidal InP QDs with 2-4 nm diameter and measuring their optical properties was also carried out. It was found that the theoretical band gaps showed a linear dependence on the inverse size of QDs and gave energy band gaps almost identical to the experimental values.

  8. Cell biological mechanisms of activity-dependent synapse to nucleus translocation of CRTC1 in neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ch'ng, Toh Hean; DeSalvo, Martina; Lin, Peter; Vashisht, Ajay; Wohlschlegel, James A.; Martin, Kelsey C.

    2015-01-01

    Previous studies have revealed a critical role for CREB-regulated transcriptional coactivator (CRTC1) in regulating neuronal gene expression during learning and memory. CRTC1 localizes to synapses but undergoes activity-dependent nuclear translocation to regulate the transcription of CREB target genes. Here we investigate the long-distance retrograde transport of CRTC1 in hippocampal neurons. We show that local elevations in calcium, triggered by activation of glutamate receptors and L-type voltage-gated calcium channels, initiate active, dynein-mediated retrograde transport of CRTC1 along microtubules. We identify a nuclear localization signal within CRTC1, and characterize three conserved serine residues whose dephosphorylation is required for nuclear import. Domain analysis reveals that the amino-terminal third of CRTC1 contains all of the signals required for regulated nucleocytoplasmic trafficking. We fuse this region to Dendra2 to generate a reporter construct and perform live-cell imaging coupled with local uncaging of glutamate and photoconversion to characterize the dynamics of stimulus-induced retrograde transport and nuclear accumulation. PMID:26388727

  9. Liquid marbles for high-throughput biological screening of anchorage-dependent cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oliveira, Nuno M; Correia, Clara R; Reis, Rui L; Mano, João F

    2015-01-28

    Stable liquid marbles (LM) are produced by coating liquid droplets with a hydrophobic powder. The used hydrophobic powder is produced by fluorosi-lanization of diatomaceous earth, used before to produce superhydrophobic structures. Here, the use of LM is proposed for high-throughput drug screening on anchorage-dependent cells. To provide the required cell adhesion sites inside the liquid environment of LM, surface-modified poly(l-lactic acid) microparticles are used. A simple method that takes advantage from LM appealing features is presented, such as the ability to inject liquid on LM without disrupting (self-healing ability), and to monitor color changes inside of LM. After promoting cell adhesion, a cytotoxic screening test is performed as a proof of concept. Fe(3+) is used as a model cytotoxic agent and is injected on LM. After incubation, AlamarBlue reagent is injected and used to assess the presence of viable cells, by monitoring color change from blue to red. Color intensity is measured by image processing and the analysis of pictures takes using an ordinary digital camera. The proposed method is fully validated in counterpoint to an MTS (3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-5-(3-carbo​xymethoxyphenyl)-2-(4-sulfophenyl)-2H-te​trazolium) colorimetric assay, a well-known method used for the cytotoxicity assessment.

  10. Cell Biological Mechanisms of Activity-Dependent Synapse to Nucleus Translocation of CRTC1 in Neurons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Toh Hean eCh'ng

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Previous studies have revealed a critical role for CREB-regulated transcriptional coactivator (CRTC1 in regulating neuronal gene expression during learning and memory. CRTC1 localizes to synapses but undergoes activity-dependent nuclear translocation to regulate the transcription of CREB target genes. Here we investigate the long-distance retrograde transport of CRTC1 in hippocampal neurons. We show that local elevations in calcium, triggered by activation of synaptic glutamate receptors and L-type voltage-gated calcium channels, initiate active, dynein-mediated retrograde transport of CRTC1 along microtubules. We identify a nuclear localization signal within CRTC1, and characterize three conserved serine residues whose dephosphorylation is required for nuclear import. Domain analysis reveals that the amino-terminal third of CRTC1 contains all of the signals required for regulated nucleocytoplasmic trafficking. We fuse this region to Dendra2 to generate a reporter construct and perform live-cell imaging coupled with local uncaging of glutamate and photoconversion to characterize the dynamics of stimulus-induced retrograde transport and nuclear accumulation.

  11. Cyclin-dependent kinase 5, a node protein in diminished tauopathy: a systems biology approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John Fredy Castro-Alvarez

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Alzheimer's disease (AD is the most common cause of dementia worldwide. One of the main pathological changes that occurs in AD is the intracellular accumulation of hyperphosphorylated Tau protein in neurons. Cyclin-dependent kinase 5 (CDK5 is one of the major kinases involved in Tau phosphorylation, directly phosphorylating various residues and simultaneously regulating various substrates such as kinases and phosphatases that influence Tau phosphorylation in a synergistic and antagonistic way. It remains unknown how the interaction between CDK5 and its substrates promotes Tau phosphorylation, and systemic approaches are needed that allow an analysis of all the proteins involved. In this review, the role of the CDK5 signaling pathway in Tau hyperphosphorylation is described, an in silico model of the CDK5 signaling pathway is presented. The relationship among these theoretical and computational models shows that the regulation of Tau phosphorylation by PP2A and GSK3β is essential under basal conditions and also describes the leading role of CDK5 under excitotoxic conditions, where silencing of CDK5 can generate changes in these enzymes to reverse a pathological condition that simulates AD.

  12. Using synthetic biology to distinguish and overcome regulatory and functional barriers related to nitrogen fixation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Xia; Yang, Jian-Guo; Chen, Li; Wang, Ji-Long; Cheng, Qi; Dixon, Ray; Wang, Yi-Ping

    2013-01-01

    Biological nitrogen fixation is a complex process requiring multiple genes working in concert. To date, the Klebsiella pneumoniae nif gene cluster, divided into seven operons, is one of the most studied systems. Its nitrogen fixation capacity is subject to complex cascade regulation and physiological limitations. In this report, the entire K. pneumoniae nif gene cluster was reassembled as operon-based BioBrick parts in Escherichia coli. It provided ~100% activity of native K. pneumoniae system. Based on the expression levels of these BioBrick parts, a T7 RNA polymerase-LacI expression system was used to replace the σ(54)-dependent promoters located upstream of nif operons. Expression patterns of nif operons were critical for the maximum activity of the recombinant system. By mimicking these expression levels with variable-strength T7-dependent promoters, ~42% of the nitrogenase activity of the σ(54)-dependent nif system was achieved in E. coli. When the newly constructed T7-dependent nif system was challenged with different genetic and physiological conditions, it bypassed the original complex regulatory circuits, with minor physiological limitations. Therefore, we have successfully replaced the nif regulatory elements with a simple expression system that may provide the first step for further research of introducing nif genes into eukaryotic organelles, which has considerable potentials in agro-biotechnology.

  13. Using synthetic biology to distinguish and overcome regulatory and functional barriers related to nitrogen fixation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xia Wang

    Full Text Available Biological nitrogen fixation is a complex process requiring multiple genes working in concert. To date, the Klebsiella pneumoniae nif gene cluster, divided into seven operons, is one of the most studied systems. Its nitrogen fixation capacity is subject to complex cascade regulation and physiological limitations. In this report, the entire K. pneumoniae nif gene cluster was reassembled as operon-based BioBrick parts in Escherichia coli. It provided ~100% activity of native K. pneumoniae system. Based on the expression levels of these BioBrick parts, a T7 RNA polymerase-LacI expression system was used to replace the σ(54-dependent promoters located upstream of nif operons. Expression patterns of nif operons were critical for the maximum activity of the recombinant system. By mimicking these expression levels with variable-strength T7-dependent promoters, ~42% of the nitrogenase activity of the σ(54-dependent nif system was achieved in E. coli. When the newly constructed T7-dependent nif system was challenged with different genetic and physiological conditions, it bypassed the original complex regulatory circuits, with minor physiological limitations. Therefore, we have successfully replaced the nif regulatory elements with a simple expression system that may provide the first step for further research of introducing nif genes into eukaryotic organelles, which has considerable potentials in agro-biotechnology.

  14. Integrative Functional Genomics of Hepatitis C Virus Infection Identifies Host Dependencies in Complete Viral Replication Cycle

    OpenAIRE

    Qisheng Li; Yong-Yuan Zhang; Stephan Chiu; Zongyi Hu; Keng-Hsin Lan; Helen Cha; Catherine Sodroski; Fang Zhang; Ching-Sheng Hsu; Emmanuel Thomas; T Jake Liang

    2014-01-01

    Recent functional genomics studies including genome-wide small interfering RNA (siRNA) screens demonstrated that hepatitis C virus (HCV) exploits an extensive network of host factors for productive infection and propagation. How these co-opted host functions interact with various steps of HCV replication cycle and exert pro- or antiviral effects on HCV infection remains largely undefined. Here we present an unbiased and systematic strategy to functionally interrogate HCV host dependencies unc...

  15. Changes in bird functional diversity across multiple land uses: interpretations of functional redundancy depend on functional group identity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luck, Gary W; Carter, Andrew; Smallbone, Lisa

    2013-01-01

    Examinations of the impact of land-use change on functional diversity link changes in ecological community structure driven by land modification with the consequences for ecosystem function. Yet, most studies have been small-scale, experimental analyses and primarily focussed on plants. There is a lack of research on fauna communities and at large-scales across multiple land uses. We assessed changes in the functional diversity of bird communities across 24 land uses aligned along an intensification gradient. We tested the hypothesis that functional diversity is higher in less intensively used landscapes, documented changes in diversity using four diversity metrics, and examined how functional diversity varied with species richness to identify levels of functional redundancy. Functional diversity, measured using a dendogram-based metric, increased from high to low intensity land uses, but observed values did not differ significantly from randomly-generated expected values. Values for functional evenness and functional divergence did not vary consistently with land-use intensification, although higher than expected values were mostly recorded in high intensity land uses. A total of 16 land uses had lower than expected values for functional dispersion and these were mostly low intensity native vegetation sites. Relations between functional diversity and bird species richness yielded strikingly different patterns for the entire bird community vs. particular functional groups. For all birds and insectivores, functional evenness, divergence and dispersion showed a linear decline with increasing species richness suggesting substantial functional redundancy across communities. However, for nectarivores, frugivores and carnivores, there was a significant hump-shaped or non-significant positive linear relationship between these functional measures and species richness indicating less redundancy. Hump-shaped relationships signify that the most functionally diverse

  16. Nanomaterial-dependent immunoregulation of dendritic cells and its effects on biological activities of contraceptive nanovaccines.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Pingping; Tang, Shuai; Jiang, Luping; Yang, Lihua; Zhang, Dinglin; Feng, Shibin; Zhao, Tingting; Dong, Yajun; He, Wei; Wang, Ruibing; Zhang, Jianxiang; Liang, Zhiqing

    2016-03-10

    Nanovehicles are promising delivery systems for various vaccines. Nevertheless, different biophysicochemical properties of nanoparticles (NPs), dominating their in vitro and in vivo performances for vaccination, remain unclear. We attempted to elucidate the effects of NPs and their pH-sensitivity on in vitro and in vivo efficacy of resulting prophylactic nanovaccines containing a contraceptive peptide (FSHR). To this end, pH-responsive and non-responsive nanovaccines were produced using acetalated β-cyclodextrin (Ac-bCD) and poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA), respectively. Meanwhile, FSHR derived from an epitope of the follicle-stimulating hormone receptor was used as the model antigen. FSHR-containing Ac-bCD and PLGA NPs were successfully prepared by a nanoemulsion technique, leading to well-shaped nanovaccines with high loading efficiency. The pH-sensitivity of Ac-bCD and PLGA nanovaccines was examined by in vitro hydrolysis and antigen release studies. Nanovaccines could be effectively engulfed by dendritic cells (DCs) via endocytosis in both dose and time dependent manners, and their intracellular trafficking was closely related to the pH-sensitivity of the carrier materials. Furthermore, nanovaccines could induce the secretion of inflammatory cytokines by DCs and T cells co-cultured with the stimulated DCs. In vivo evaluations demonstrated that nanovaccines were more potent than that based on the complete Freund's adjuvant, with respect to inducing anti-FSHR antibody, reducing the sperm count, inhibiting the sperm motility, and increasing the teratosperm rate. Immunization of male mice with nanovaccines notably decreased the parturition incidence of the mated females. Consequently, both in vitro and in vivo activities of FSHR could be considerably augmented by NPs. More importantly, our studies indicated that the pH-responsive nanovaccine was not superior over the non-responsive counterpart for the examined peptide antigen.

  17. Correlating novel variable and conserved motifs in the Hemagglutinin protein with significant biological functions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Werner Mark

    2008-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Variations in the influenza Hemagglutinin protein contributes to antigenic drift resulting in decreased efficiency of seasonal influenza vaccines and escape from host immune response. We performed an in silico study to determine characteristics of novel variable and conserved motifs in the Hemagglutinin protein from previously reported H3N2 strains isolated from Hong Kong from 1968–1999 to predict viral motifs involved in significant biological functions. Results 14 MEME blocks were generated and comparative analysis of the MEME blocks identified blocks 1, 2, 3 and 7 to correlate with several biological functions. Analysis of the different Hemagglutinin sequences elucidated that the single block 7 has the highest frequency of amino acid substitution and the highest number of co-mutating pairs. MEME 2 showed intermediate variability and MEME 1 was the most conserved. Interestingly, MEME blocks 2 and 7 had the highest incidence of potential post-translational modifications sites including phosphorylation sites, ASN glycosylation motifs and N-myristylation sites. Similarly, these 2 blocks overlap with previously identified antigenic sites and receptor binding sites. Conclusion Our study identifies motifs in the Hemagglutinin protein with different amino acid substitution frequencies over a 31 years period, and derives relevant functional characteristics by correlation of these motifs with potential post-translational modifications sites, antigenic and receptor binding sites.

  18. Correlating novel variable and conserved motifs in the Hemagglutinin protein with significant biological functions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gendoo, Deena MA; El-Hefnawi, Mahmoud M; Werner, Mark; Siam, Rania

    2008-01-01

    Background Variations in the influenza Hemagglutinin protein contributes to antigenic drift resulting in decreased efficiency of seasonal influenza vaccines and escape from host immune response. We performed an in silico study to determine characteristics of novel variable and conserved motifs in the Hemagglutinin protein from previously reported H3N2 strains isolated from Hong Kong from 1968–1999 to predict viral motifs involved in significant biological functions. Results 14 MEME blocks were generated and comparative analysis of the MEME blocks identified blocks 1, 2, 3 and 7 to correlate with several biological functions. Analysis of the different Hemagglutinin sequences elucidated that the single block 7 has the highest frequency of amino acid substitution and the highest number of co-mutating pairs. MEME 2 showed intermediate variability and MEME 1 was the most conserved. Interestingly, MEME blocks 2 and 7 had the highest incidence of potential post-translational modifications sites including phosphorylation sites, ASN glycosylation motifs and N-myristylation sites. Similarly, these 2 blocks overlap with previously identified antigenic sites and receptor binding sites. Conclusion Our study identifies motifs in the Hemagglutinin protein with different amino acid substitution frequencies over a 31 years period, and derives relevant functional characteristics by correlation of these motifs with potential post-translational modifications sites, antigenic and receptor binding sites. PMID:18681973

  19. Engineering multiple biological functional motifs into a blank collagen-like protein template from Streptococcus pyogenes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peng, Yong Y; Stoichevska, Violet; Schacht, Kristin; Werkmeister, Jerome A; Ramshaw, John A M

    2014-07-01

    Bacterially derived triple-helical, collagen-like proteins are attractive as potential biomedical materials. The collagen-like domain of the Scl2 protein from S. pyogenes lacks any specific binding sites for mammalian cells yet possesses the inherent structural integrity of the collagen triple-helix of animal collagens. It can, therefore, be considered as a structurally-stable "blank slate" into which various defined, biological sequences, derived from animal collagens, can be added by substitutions or insertions, to enable production of novel designed materials to fit specific functional requirements. In the present study, we have used site directed mutagenesis to substitute two functional sequences, one for heparin binding and the other for integrin binding, into different locations in the triple-helical structure. This provided three new constructs, two containing the single substitutions and one containing both substitutions. The stability of these constructs was marginally reduced when compared to the unmodified sequence. When compared to the unmodified bacterial collagen, both the modified collagens that contain the heparin binding site showed marked binding of fluorescently labeled heparin. Similarly, the modified collagens from both constructs containing the integrin binding site showed significant adhesion of L929 cells that are known to possess the appropriate integrin receptor. C2C12 cells that lack any appropriate integrins did not bind. These data show that bacterial collagen-like sequences can be modified to act like natural extracellular matrix collagens by inserting one or more unique biological domains with defined function.

  20. A Gaussian mixture model based cost function for parameter estimation of chaotic biological systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shekofteh, Yasser; Jafari, Sajad; Sprott, Julien Clinton; Hashemi Golpayegani, S. Mohammad Reza; Almasganj, Farshad

    2015-02-01

    As we know, many biological systems such as neurons or the heart can exhibit chaotic behavior. Conventional methods for parameter estimation in models of these systems have some limitations caused by sensitivity to initial conditions. In this paper, a novel cost function is proposed to overcome those limitations by building a statistical model on the distribution of the real system attractor in state space. This cost function is defined by the use of a likelihood score in a Gaussian mixture model (GMM) which is fitted to the observed attractor generated by the real system. Using that learned GMM, a similarity score can be defined by the computed likelihood score of the model time series. We have applied the proposed method to the parameter estimation of two important biological systems, a neuron and a cardiac pacemaker, which show chaotic behavior. Some simulated experiments are given to verify the usefulness of the proposed approach in clean and noisy conditions. The results show the adequacy of the proposed cost function.

  1. A primer on molecular biology for imagers: III. Proteins: structure and function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pandit, Sunil D; Li, King C P

    2004-04-01

    This article along with the first 2 in this series (4,12) completes the discussion on the key molecules and process inside the cell namely, DNA, RNA, and proteins. These 3 articles provide a very basic foundation for understanding molecular biology concepts and summarize some of the work of numerous scientists over the past century. We understand these processes far better now than we did in the past, but clearly this knowledge is by no means complete and a number of basic scientists are working hard to elucidate and understand the fundamental mechanisms that operate within a cell. Genes and gene products work with each other in complex, interconnected pathways, and in perfect harmony to make a functional cell, tissue, and an organism as a whole. There is a lot of cross-talk that happens between different proteins that interact with various other proteins, DNA, and RNA to establish pathways, networks, and molecular systems as a team working to perfection. The past 15 years have seen the rapid development of systems biology approaches. We live in an era that emphasizes multi-disciplinary, cross-functional teams to perform science rather than individual researchers working on the bench on a very specific problem. Global approaches have become more common and the amount of data generated must be managed by trained bioinformatics personnel and large computers. In our subsequent articles, we will discuss these global approaches and the areas of genomics, functional genomics, and proteomics that have revolutionized the way we perform science.

  2. The Role of Soil Biological Function in Regulating Agroecosystem Services and Sustainability in the Quesungual Agroforestry System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fonte, S.; Pauli, N.; Rousseau, L.; SIX, J. W. U. A.; Barrios, E.

    2014-12-01

    The Quesungual agroforestry system from western Honduras has been increasingly promoted as a promising alternative to traditional slash-and-burn agriculture in tropical dry forest regions of the Americas. Improved residue management and the lack of burning in this system can greatly impact soil biological functioning and a number of key soil-based ecosystem services, yet our understanding of these processes has not been thoroughly integrated to understand system functionality as a whole that can guide improved management. To address this gap, we present a synthesis of various field studies conducted in Central America aimed at: 1) quantifying the influence of the Quesungual agroforestry practices on soil macrofauna abundance and diversity, and 2) understanding how these organisms influence key soil-based ecosystem services that ultimately drive the success of this system. A first set of studies examined the impact of agroecosystem management on soil macrofauna populations, soil fertility and key soil processes. Results suggest that residue inputs (derived from tree biomass pruning), a lack of burning, and high tree densities, lead to conditions that support abundant, diverse soil macrofauna communities under agroforestry, with soil organic carbon content comparable to adjacent forest. Additionally, there is great potential in working with farmers to develop refined soil quality indicators for improved land management. A second line of research explored interactions between residue management and earthworms in the regulation of soil-based ecosystem services. Earthworms are the most prominent ecosystem engineers in these soils. We found that earthworms are key drivers of soil structure maintenance and the stabilization of soil organic matter within soil aggregates, and also had notable impacts on soil nutrient dynamics. However, the impact of earthworms appears to depend on residue management practices, thus indicating the need for an integrated approach for

  3. A dependent stress-strength interference model based on mixed copula function

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gao, Jian Xiong; An, Zong Wen; Liu, Bo [School of Mechatronics Engineering, Lanzhou University of Technology, Lanzhou (China)

    2016-10-15

    In the traditional Stress-strength interference (SSI) model, stress and strength must satisfy the basic assumption of mutual independence. However, a complex dependence between stress and strength exists in practical engineering. To evaluate structural reliability under the case that stress and strength are dependent, a mixed copula function is introduced to a new dependent SSI model. This model can fully characterize the dependence between stress and strength. The residual square sum method and genetic algorithm are also used to estimate the unknown parameters of the model. Finally, the validity of the proposed model is demonstrated via a practical case. Results show that traditional SSI model ignoring the dependence between stress and strength more easily overestimates product reliability than the new dependent SSI model.

  4. Communication: Exciton analysis in time-dependent density functional theory: How functionals shape excited-state characters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mewes, Stefanie A; Plasser, Felix; Dreuw, Andreas

    2015-11-01

    Excited-state descriptors based on the one-particle transition density matrix referring to the exciton picture have been implemented for time-dependent density functional theory. State characters such as local, extended ππ(∗), Rydberg, or charge transfer can be intuitively classified by simple comparison of these descriptors. Strong effects of the choice of the exchange-correlation kernel on the physical nature of excited states can be found and decomposed in detail leading to a new perspective on functional performance and the design of new functionals.

  5. BIOLOGICALLY ACTIVE SUBSTANCES OF METHANOL EXTRACTS OF DRIED Lactarius quetus AND Lactarius volemus BASIDIOMES MUSHROOMS: IDENTIFICATION AND POTENTIAL FUNCTION

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. V. Tsivinska

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this investigation was to study chemical composition and biological effects of substances present in methanol extract of dried basidiocarps of Lactarius quetus and L. volemus and the action of substances of milky juice isolated from these fungi on the mammalian cells and invertebrate organisms. It was found that fresh juice of Lactarius quetus mushrooms reduced the viability of transformed mouse fibroblasts of L929 line and caused the death of the crustaceans (Cyclops plankton. The extract from dried basidiocarps was fractionated by various organic solvents under the scheme described above for Lactarius pergamenus mushrooms. Obtained fractions were analyzed by gas chromatography combined with mass spectrometry. The largest range of compounds was present in the first (hexane fraction containing substances whose analysis required additional separation on a silica gel column. The obtained fractions contained large amount of saturated and unsaturated higher fatty acids and their esters, phthalates and sesquiterpene compounds. Their composition and content in studied mushroom species differed significantly. The results of chemical analysis of mushroom basidiocarps allowed one to conclude that primary protective function in L. quetus, probably, was dependent on several sesquiterpene compounds of the azulene series - lactarorufin A and B. Since in L. volemus fungus the content of azulene and its derivatives is rather low, the biological activity of its milky juice towards the mammalian cells and small crustaceans is poorly studied.

  6. Synthesis, characterization, and in vitro biological evaluation of highly stable diversely functionalized superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bhattacharya, Dipsikha; Sahu, Sumanta K. [Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur, Department of Chemistry (India); Banerjee, Indranil [Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur, Department of Biotechnology (India); Das, Manasmita [Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur, Department of Chemistry (India); Mishra, Debashish; Maiti, Tapas K. [Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur, Department of Biotechnology (India); Pramanik, Panchanan, E-mail: dipsikha.chem@gmail.com [Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur, Department of Chemistry (India)

    2011-09-15

    In this article, we report the design and synthesis of a series of well-dispersed superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPIONs) using chitosan as a surface modifying agent to develop a potential T{sub 2} contrast probe for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The amine, carboxyl, hydroxyl, and thiol functionalities were introduced on chitosan-coated magnetic probe via simple reactions with small reactive organic molecules to afford a series of biofunctionalized nanoparticles. Physico-chemical characterizations of these functionalized nanoparticles were performed by TEM, XRD, DLS, FTIR, and VSM. The colloidal stability of these functionalized iron oxide nanoparticles was investigated in presence of phosphate buffer saline, high salt concentrations and different cell media for 1 week. MRI analysis of human cervical carcinoma (HeLa) cell lines treated with nanoparticles elucidated that the amine-functionalized nanoparticles exhibited higher amount of signal darkening and lower T{sub 2} relaxation in comparison to the others. The cellular internalization efficacy of these functionalized SPIONs was also investigated with HeLa cancer cell line by magnetically activated cell sorting (MACS) and fluorescence microscopy and results established selectively higher internalization efficacy of amine-functionalized nanoparticles to cancer cells. These positive attributes demonstrated that these nanoconjugates can be used as a promising platform for further in vitro and in vivo biological evaluations.

  7. Late-stage functionalization of biologically active heterocycles through photoredox catalysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dirocco, Daniel A; Dykstra, Kevin; Krska, Shane; Vachal, Petr; Conway, Donald V; Tudge, Matthew

    2014-05-05

    The direct CH functionalization of heterocycles has become an increasingly valuable tool in modern drug discovery. However, the introduction of small alkyl groups, such as methyl, by this method has not been realized in the context of complex molecule synthesis since existing methods rely on the use of strong oxidants and elevated temperatures to generate the requisite radical species. Herein, we report the use of stable organic peroxides activated by visible-light photoredox catalysis to achieve the direct methyl-, ethyl-, and cyclopropylation of a variety of biologically active heterocycles. The simple protocol, mild reaction conditions, and unique tolerability of this method make it an important tool for drug discovery.

  8. Systems biology: Functional analysis of natural microbial consortia using community proteomics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    VerBerkmoes, Nathan C; Denef, Vincent J; Hettich, Robert L; Banfield, Jillian F

    2009-03-01

    We know very little about the metabolic functioning and evolutionary dynamics of microbial communities. Recent advances in comprehensive, sequencing-based methods, however, are laying a molecular foundation for new insights into how microbial communities shape the Earth's biosphere. Here we explore the convergence of microbial ecology, genomics, biological mass spectrometry and informatics that form the new field of microbial community proteogenomics. We discuss the first applications of proteogenomics and its potential for studying the physiology, ecology and evolution of microbial populations and communities.

  9. New insights in the biology of BDNF synthesis and release: implications in CNS function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greenberg, Michael E; Xu, Baoji; Lu, Bai; Hempstead, Barbara L

    2009-10-14

    BDNF has pleiotropic effects on neuronal development and synaptic plasticity that underlie circuit formation and cognitive function. Recent breakthroughs reveal that neuronal activity regulates BDNF cell biology, including Bdnf transcription, dendritic targeting and trafficking of BDNF mRNA and protein, and secretion and extracellular conversion of proBDNF to mature BDNF. Defects in these mechanisms contribute differentially to cognitive dysfunction and anxiety-like behaviors. Here we review recent studies, presented at a symposium at Neuroscience 2009, that describe regulatory mechanisms that permit rapid and dynamic refinement of BDNF actions in neurons.

  10. Functional Effects of Delivering Human Mesenchymal Stem Cell-Seeded Biological Sutures to an Infarcted Heart

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katrina J. Hansen

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Stem cell therapy has the potential to improve cardiac function after myocardial infarction (MI; however, existing methods to deliver cells to the myocardium, including intramyocardial injection, suffer from low engraftment rates. In this study, we used a rat model of acute MI to assess the effects of human mesenchymal stem cell (hMSC-seeded fibrin biological sutures on cardiac function at 1 week after implant. Biological sutures were seeded with quantum dot (Qdot-loaded hMSCs for 24 h before implantation. At 1 week postinfarct, the heart was imaged to assess mechanical function in the infarct region. Regional parameters assessed were regional stroke work (RSW and systolic area of contraction (SAC and global parameters derived from the pressure waveform. MI (n = 6 significantly decreased RSW (0.026 ± 0.011 and SAC (0.022 ± 0.015 when compared with sham operation (RSW: 0.141 ± 0.009; SAC: 0.166 ± 0.005, n = 6 (p  0.05; however, there was a trend toward improved function with the addition of either unseeded or seeded biological suture. Histology demonstrated that Qdot-loaded hMSCs remained present in the infarcted myocardium after 1 week. Analysis of serial sections of Masson's trichrome staining revealed that the greatest infarct size was in the infarct group (7.0% ± 2.2%, where unseeded (3.8% ± 0.6% and hMSC-seeded (3.7% ± 0.8% suture groups maintained similar infarct sizes. Furthermore, the remaining suture area was significantly decreased in the unseeded group compared with that in the hMSC-seeded group (p < 0.05. This study demonstrated that hMSC-seeded biological sutures are a method to deliver cells to the infarcted myocardium and have treatment potential.

  11. Insights into the biological functions of Dock family guanine nucleotide exchange factors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laurin, Mélanie; Côté, Jean-François

    2014-03-15

    Rho GTPases play key regulatory roles in many aspects of embryonic development, regulating processes such as differentiation, proliferation, morphogenesis, and migration. Two families of guanine nucleotide exchange factors (GEFs) found in metazoans, Dbl and Dock, are responsible for the spatiotemporal activation of Rac and Cdc42 proteins and their downstream signaling pathways. This review focuses on the emerging roles of the mammalian DOCK family in development and disease. We also discuss, when possible, how recent discoveries concerning the biological functions of these GEFs might be exploited for the development of novel therapeutic strategies.

  12. Temperature-Dependent Biological and Demographic Parameters of Coleomegilla maculata (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morales-Ramos, Juan A; Rojas, M Guadalupe

    2017-01-01

    Knowledge of the most suitable environmental conditions for an organism growth and development is a prerequisite for developing mass rearing technology. The temperature requirements for development and the optimal range of temperatures for growth and reproduction of Coleomegilla maculata De Geer were studied. The development time of individual C. maculata larvae was determined at 18, 21, 24, 27, 30, 33, and 36 °C. Development times were converted to development rates and fitted to a nonlinear temperature-dependent model and to the linear day-degree model. Life and fertility table analysis was used to determine the optimal temperature for population growth within a range of favorable temperatures including 24, 25, 26, 27, and 28 °C. Nonlinear estimates of thermal maximum (TM) for the postembryonic development of C. maculata was 35.09 ± 10.35 °C. Estimation of TM based on pupal development was much lower at 27.23 ± 1.52 °C. Linear and nonlinear estimates of low temperature development threshold were 13.13 ± and 4.77 ± 3.03 °C for the whole postembryonic development and 10.95 and 9.18 ± 1.36 °C for the pupal stage alone, respectively. The most favorable temperature for population growth was 25 °C, where C. maculata showed significantly higher intrinsic rate of increase (rm = 0.066) and significantly lower doubling time (10.57 d) than the other favorable temperatures tested. A negative value of rm was obtained at 28 °C, indicating population decline occurring at this temperature making it unfavorable for C. maculata. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Entomological Society of America 2017. This work is written by US Government employees and is in the public domain in the US.

  13. Arctigenin inhibits osteoclast differentiation and function by suppressing both calcineurin-dependent and osteoblastic cell-dependent NFATc1 pathways.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamashita, Teruhito; Uehara, Shunsuke; Udagawa, Nobuyuki; Li, Feng; Kadota, Shigetoshi; Esumi, Hiroyasu; Kobayashi, Yasuhiro; Takahashi, Naoyuki

    2014-01-01

    -forming activity of osteoclast-like cells cultured on dentin slices. These results suggest that arctigenin induces a dominant negative species of NFATc1, which inhibits osteoclast differentiation and function by suppressing both calcineurin-dependent and osteoblastic cell-dependent NFATc1 pathways.

  14. Arctigenin Inhibits Osteoclast Differentiation and Function by Suppressing Both Calcineurin-Dependent and Osteoblastic Cell-Dependent NFATc1 Pathways

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamashita, Teruhito; Uehara, Shunsuke; Udagawa, Nobuyuki; Li, Feng; Kadota, Shigetoshi; Esumi, Hiroyasu; Kobayashi, Yasuhiro; Takahashi, Naoyuki

    2014-01-01

    -forming activity of osteoclast-like cells cultured on dentin slices. These results suggest that arctigenin induces a dominant negative species of NFATc1, which inhibits osteoclast differentiation and function by suppressing both calcineurin-dependent and osteoblastic cell-dependent NFATc1 pathways. PMID:24465763

  15. Arctigenin inhibits osteoclast differentiation and function by suppressing both calcineurin-dependent and osteoblastic cell-dependent NFATc1 pathways.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Teruhito Yamashita

    pit-forming activity of osteoclast-like cells cultured on dentin slices. These results suggest that arctigenin induces a dominant negative species of NFATc1, which inhibits osteoclast differentiation and function by suppressing both calcineurin-dependent and osteoblastic cell-dependent NFATc1 pathways.

  16. Functional knowledge transfer for high-accuracy prediction of under-studied biological processes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christopher Y Park

    Full Text Available A key challenge in genetics is identifying the functional roles of genes in pathways. Numerous functional genomics techniques (e.g. machine learning that predict protein function have been developed to address this question. These methods generally build from existing annotations of genes to pathways and thus are often unable to identify additional genes participating in processes that are not already well studied. Many of these processes are well studied in some organism, but not necessarily in an investigator's organism of interest. Sequence-based search methods (e.g. BLAST have been used to transfer such annotation information between organisms. We demonstrate that functional genomics can complement traditional sequence similarity to improve the transfer of gene annotations between organisms. Our method transfers annotations only when functionally appropriate as determined by genomic data and can be used with any prediction algorithm to combine transferred gene function knowledge with organism-specific high-throughput data to enable accurate function prediction. We show that diverse state-of-art machine learning algorithms leveraging functional knowledge transfer (FKT dramatically improve their accuracy in predicting gene-pathway membership, particularly for processes with little experimental knowledge in an organism. We also show that our method compares favorably to annotation transfer by sequence similarity. Next, we deploy FKT with state-of-the-art SVM classifier to predict novel genes to 11,000 biological processes across six diverse organisms and expand the coverage of accurate function predictions to processes that are often ignored because of a dearth of annotated genes in an organism. Finally, we perform in vivo experimental investigation in Danio rerio and confirm the regulatory role of our top predicted novel gene, wnt5b, in leftward cell migration during heart development. FKT is immediately applicable to many bioinformatics

  17. Frequency-dependent dielectric function of semiconductors with application to physisorption

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zheng, Fan; Tao, Jianmin; Rappe, Andrew M.

    2017-01-01

    The dielectric function is one of the most important quantities that describes the electrical and optical properties of solids. Accurate modeling of the frequency-dependent dielectric function has great significance in the study of the long-range van der Waals (vdW) interaction for solids and adsorption. In this work we calculate the frequency-dependent dielectric functions of semiconductors and insulators using the G W method with and without exciton effects, as well as efficient semilocal density functional theory (DFT), and compare these calculations with a model frequency-dependent dielectric function. We find that for semiconductors with moderate band gaps, the model dielectric functions, G W values, and DFT calculations all agree well with each other. However, for insulators with strong exciton effects, the model dielectric functions have a better agreement with accurate G W values than the DFT calculations, particularly in high-frequency region. To understand this, we repeat the DFT calculations with scissors correction, by shifting the DFT Kohn-Sham energy levels to match the experimental band gap. We find that scissors correction only moderately improves the DFT dielectric function in the low-frequency region. Based on the dielectric functions calculated with different methods, we make a comparative study by applying these dielectric functions to calculate the vdW coefficients (C3 and C5) for adsorption of rare-gas atoms on a variety of surfaces. We find that the vdW coefficients obtained with the nearly free electron gas-based model dielectric function agree quite well with those obtained from the G W dielectric function, in particular for adsorption on semiconductors, leading to an overall error of less than 7% for C3 and 5% for C5. This demonstrates the reliability of the model dielectric function for the study of physisorption.

  18. Effects of Moderate and Subsequent Progressive Weight Loss on Metabolic Function and Adipose Tissue Biology in Humans with Obesity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Magkos, Faidon; Fraterrigo, Gemma; Yoshino, Jun; Luecking, Courtney; Kirbach, Kyleigh; Kelly, Shannon C; de Las Fuentes, Lisa; He, Songbing; Okunade, Adewole L; Patterson, Bruce W; Klein, Samuel

    2016-04-12

    Although 5%-10% weight loss is routinely recommended for people with obesity, the precise effects of 5% and further weight loss on metabolic health are unclear. We conducted a randomized controlled trial that evaluated the effects of 5.1% ± 0.9% (n = 19), 10.8% ± 1.3% (n = 9), and 16.4% ± 2.1% (n = 9) weight loss and weight maintenance (n = 14) on metabolic outcomes. 5% weight loss improved adipose tissue, liver and muscle insulin sensitivity, and β cell function, without a concomitant change in systemic or subcutaneous adipose tissue markers of inflammation. Additional weight loss further improved β cell function and insulin sensitivity in muscle and caused stepwise changes in adipose tissue mass, intrahepatic triglyceride content, and adipose tissue expression of genes involved in cholesterol flux, lipid synthesis, extracellular matrix remodeling, and oxidative stress. These results demonstrate that moderate 5% weight loss improves metabolic function in multiple organs simultaneously, and progressive weight loss causes dose-dependent alterations in key adipose tissue biological pathways. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. Away from generalized gradient approximation: orbital-dependent exchange-correlation functionals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baerends, E J; Gritsenko, O V

    2005-08-08

    The local-density approximation of density functional theory (DFT) is remarkably accurate, for instance, for geometries and frequencies, and the generalized gradient approximations have also made bond energies quite reliable. Sometimes, however, one meets with failure in individual cases. One of the possible routes towards better functionals would be the incorporation of orbital dependence (which is an implicit density dependency) in the functionals. We discuss this approach both for energies and for response properties. One possibility is the use of the Hartree-Fock-type exchange energy expression as orbital-dependent functional. We will argue that in spite of the increasing popularity of this approach, it does not offer any advantage over Hartree-Fock for energies. We will advocate not to apply the separation of exchange and correlation, which is so ingrained in quantum chemistry, but to model both simultaneously. For response properties the energies and shapes of the virtual orbitals are crucial. We will discuss the benefits that Kohn-Sham potentials can offer which are derived from either an orbital-dependent energy functional, including the exact-exchange functional, or which can be obtained directly as orbital-dependent functional. We highlight the similarity of the Hartree-Fock and Kohn-Sham occupied orbitals and orbital energies, and the essentially different meanings the virtual orbitals and orbital energies have in these two models. We will show that these differences are beneficial for DFT in the case of localized excitations (in a small molecule or in a fragment), but are detrimental for charge-transfer excitations. Again, orbital dependency, in this case in the exchange-correlation kernel, offers a solution.

  20. Life with (or without) father: the benefits of living with two biological parents depend on the father's antisocial behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jaffee, Sara R; Moffitt, Terrie E; Caspi, Avshalom; Taylor, Alan

    2003-01-01

    The salutary effects of being raised by two married, biological parents depend on the quality of care parents can provide. Using data from an epidemiological sample of 1,116 5-year-old twin pairs and their parents, this study found that the less time fathers lived with their children, the more conduct problems their children had, but only if the fathers engaged in low levels of antisocial behavior. In contrast, when fathers engaged in high levels of antisocial behavior, the more time they lived with their children, the more conduct problems their children had. Behavioral genetic analyses showed that children who resided with antisocial fathers received a "double whammy" of genetic and environmental risk for conduct problems. Marriage may not be the answer to the problems faced by some children living in single-parent families unless their fathers can become reliable sources of emotional and economic support.

  1. Automated methods of predicting the function of biological sequences using GO and BLAST

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Baumann Ute

    2005-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background With the exponential increase in genomic sequence data there is a need to develop automated approaches to deducing the biological functions of novel sequences with high accuracy. Our aim is to demonstrate how accuracy benchmarking can be used in a decision-making process evaluating competing designs of biological function predictors. We utilise the Gene Ontology, GO, a directed acyclic graph of functional terms, to annotate sequences with functional information describing their biological context. Initially we examine the effect on accuracy scores of increasing the allowed distance between predicted and a test set of curator assigned terms. Next we evaluate several annotator methods using accuracy benchmarking. Given an unannotated sequence we use the Basic Local Alignment Search Tool, BLAST, to find similar sequences that have already been assigned GO terms by curators. A number of methods were developed that utilise terms associated with the best five matching sequences. These methods were compared against a benchmark method of simply using terms associated with the best BLAST-matched sequence (best BLAST approach. Results The precision and recall of estimates increases rapidly as the amount of distance permitted between a predicted term and a correct term assignment increases. Accuracy benchmarking allows a comparison of annotation methods. A covering graph approach performs poorly, except where the term assignment rate is high. A term distance concordance approach has a similar accuracy to the best BLAST approach, demonstrating lower precision but higher recall. However, a discriminant function method has higher precision and recall than the best BLAST approach and other methods shown here. Conclusion Allowing term predictions to be counted correct if closely related to a correct term decreases the reliability of the accuracy score. As such we recommend using accuracy measures that require exact matching of predicted

  2. Enzymes for ecdysteroid biosynthesis: their biological functions in insects and beyond.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niwa, Ryusuke; Niwa, Yuko S

    2014-01-01

    Steroid hormones are responsible for the coordinated regulation of many aspects of biological processes in multicellular organisms. Since the last century, many studies have identified and characterized steroidogenic enzymes in vertebrates, including mammals. However, much less is known about invertebrate steroidogenic enzymes. In the last 15 years, a number of steroidogenic enzymes and their functions have been characterized in ecdysozoan animals, especially in the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster. In this review, we summarize the latest knowledge of enzymes crucial for synthesizing ecdysteroids, the principal insect steroid hormones. We also discuss the functional conservation and diversity of ecdysteroidogenic enzymes in other insects and even non-insect species, such as nematodes, vertebrates, and lower eukaryotes.

  3. Biological Sensitivity to Family Income: Differential Effects on Early Executive Functioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Obradović, Jelena; Portilla, Ximena A; Ballard, Parissa J

    2016-01-01

    The study examined how the interplay between children's cortisol response and family income is related to executive function (EF) skills. The sample included one hundred and two 5- to 6-year-olds (64% minority). EF skills were measured using laboratory tasks and observer ratings. Physiological reactivity was assessed via cortisol response during a laboratory visit. A consistent, positive association between family income and EF skills emerged only for children who showed high cortisol response, a marker of biological sensitivity to context. In contrast, family income was not related to EF skills in children who displayed low cortisol response. Follow-up analyses revealed a disordinal interaction, suggesting that differential susceptibility can be detected at the level of basic cognitive and self-regulatory skills that support adaptive functioning.

  4. Importance of N-Glycosylation on CD147 for Its Biological Functions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yang Bai

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Glycosylation of glycoproteins is one of many molecular changes that accompany malignant transformation. Post-translational modifications of proteins are closely associated with the adhesion, invasion, and metastasis of tumor cells. CD147, a tumor-associated antigen that is highly expressed on the cell surface of various tumors, is a potential target for cancer diagnosis and therapy. A significant biochemical property of CD147 is its high level of glycosylation. Studies on the structure and function of CD147 glycosylation provide valuable clues to the development of targeted therapies for cancer. Here, we review current understanding of the glycosylation characteristics of CD147 and the glycosyltransferases involved in the biosynthesis of CD147 N-glycans. Finally, we discuss proteins regulating CD147 glycosylation and the biological functions of CD147 glycosylation.

  5. The RNAi Universe in Fungi: A Varied Landscape of Small RNAs and Biological Functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Torres-Martínez, Santiago; Ruiz-Vázquez, Rosa M

    2017-09-08

    RNA interference (RNAi) is a conserved eukaryotic mechanism that uses small RNA molecules to suppress gene expression through sequence-specific messenger RNA degradation, translational repression, or transcriptional inhibition. In filamentous fungi, the protective function of RNAi in the maintenance of genome integrity is well known. However, knowledge of the regulatory role of RNAi in fungi has had to wait until the recent identification of different endogenous small RNA classes, which are generated by distinct RNAi pathways. In addition, RNAi research on new fungal models has uncovered the role of small RNAs and RNAi pathways in the regulation of diverse biological functions. In this review, we give an up-to-date overview of the different classes of small RNAs and RNAi pathways in fungi and their roles in the defense of genome integrity and regulation of fungal physiology and development, as well as in the interaction of fungi with biotic and abiotic environments.

  6. Importance of N-glycosylation on CD147 for its biological functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bai, Yang; Huang, Wan; Ma, Li-Tian; Jiang, Jian-Li; Chen, Zhi-Nan

    2014-04-15

    Glycosylation of glycoproteins is one of many molecular changes that accompany malignant transformation. Post-translational modifications of proteins are closely associated with the adhesion, invasion, and metastasis of tumor cells. CD147, a tumor-associated antigen that is highly expressed on the cell surface of various tumors, is a potential target for cancer diagnosis and therapy. A significant biochemical property of CD147 is its high level of glycosylation. Studies on the structure and function of CD147 glycosylation provide valuable clues to the development of targeted therapies for cancer. Here, we review current understanding of the glycosylation characteristics of CD147 and the glycosyltransferases involved in the biosynthesis of CD147 N-glycans. Finally, we discuss proteins regulating CD147 glycosylation and the biological functions of CD147 glycosylation.

  7. Dielectric-dependent Density Functionals for Accurate Electronic Structure Calculations of Molecules and Solids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skone, Jonathan; Govoni, Marco; Galli, Giulia

    Dielectric-dependent hybrid [DDH] functionals have recently been shown to yield highly accurate energy gaps and dielectric constants for a wide variety of solids, at a computational cost considerably less than standard GW calculations. The fraction of exact exchange included in the definition of DDH functionals depends (self-consistently) on the dielectric constant of the material. In the present talk we introduce a range-separated (RS) version of DDH functionals where short and long-range components are matched using material dependent, non-empirical parameters. Comparing with state of the art GW calculations and experiment, we show that such RS hybrids yield accurate electronic properties of both molecules and solids, including energy gaps, photoelectron spectra and absolute ionization potentials. This work was supported by NSF-CCI Grant Number NSF-CHE-0802907 and DOE-BES.

  8. Transverse Momentum Dependent Parton Distribution Functions through SIDIS and Drell-Yan at COMPASS

    CERN Document Server

    AUTHOR|(CDS)2079419; Ramos, Sérgio; Quintans, Catarina

    The spin structure of the nucleon has been studied at the COMPASS experiment at CERN. The Semi-Inclusive Deep Inelastic Scattering (SIDIS) measurements are a powerful tool to access the Parton Distribution Functions (PDFs) and the Transverse Momentum Dependent Parton Distribution Functions (TMD PDFs). The COMPASS polarised target gives the opportunity to measure the azimuthal modulations depending on the spin orientation and the extraction of the transverse spin asymmetries, which are convolutions of TMD PDFs of the nucleon and Fragmentation Functions (FF). The analysis of these data is done in several kinematic bins, which provides a vast input for the theoreticians to extract the TMDs and the FFs and their kinematic dependence. The TMD PDFs are also accessible through the measurement of the Drell-Yan process, in this case the transverse spin asymmetries are convolutions of two TMD PDFs, one corresponding to the annihilating quark from the beam hadron and the other to the annihilating quark from the target h...

  9. Abnormal intrinsic functional hubs in alcohol dependence: evidence from a voxelwise degree centrality analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luo, Xiaoping; Guo, Linghong; Dai, Xi-Jian; Wang, Qinglai; Zhu, Wenzhong; Miao, Xinjun; Gong, Honghan

    2017-01-01

    To explore the abnormal intrinsic functional hubs in alcohol dependence using voxelwise degree centrality analysis approach, and their relationships with clinical features. Twenty-four male alcohol dependence subjects free of medicine (mean age, 50.21±9.62 years) and 24 age- and education-matched male healthy controls (mean age, 50.29±8.92 years) were recruited. The alcohol use disorders identification test and the severity of alcohol dependence questionnaire (SADQ) were administered to assess the severity of alcohol craving. Voxelwise degree centrality approach was used to assess the abnormal intrinsic functional hubs features in alcohol dependence. Simple linear regression analysis was performed to investigate the relationships between the clinical features and abnormal intrinsic functional hubs. Compared with healthy controls, alcohol dependence subjects exhibited significantly different degree centrality values in widespread left lateralization brain areas, including higher degree centrality values in the left precentral gyrus (BA 6), right hippocampus (BA 35, 36), and left orbitofrontal cortex (BA 11) and lower degree centrality values in the left cerebellum posterior lobe, bilateral secondary visual network (BA 18), and left precuneus (BA 7, 19). SADQ revealed a negative linear correlation with the degree centrality value in the left precentral gyrus (R(2)=0.296, P=0.006). The specific abnormal intrinsic functional hubs appear to be disrupted by alcohol intoxication, which implicates at least three principal neural systems: including cerebellar, executive control, and visual cortex, which may further affect the normal motor behavior such as an explicit type of impaired driving behavior. These findings expand our understanding of the functional characteristics of alcohol dependence and may provide a new insight into the understanding of the dysfunction and pathophysiology of alcohol dependence.

  10. Towards efficient orbital-dependent density functionals for weak and strong correlation

    CERN Document Server

    Zhang, Igor Ying; Perdew, John P; Scheffler, Matthias

    2016-01-01

    We present a new paradigm for the design of exchange-correlation functionals in density-functional theory. Electron pairs are correlated explicitly by means of the recently developed second order Bethe-Goldstone equation (BGE2) approach. Here we propose a screened BGE2 (sBGE2) variant that efficiently regulates the coupling of a given electron pair. sBGE2 correctly dissociates H$_2$ and H$_2^+$, a problem that has been regarded as a great challenge in density-functional theory for a long time. The sBGE2 functional is then taken as a building block for an orbital-dependent functional, termed ZRPS, which is a natural extension of the PBE0 hybrid functional. While worsening the good performance of sBGE2 in H$_2$ and H$_2^{+}$, ZRPS yields a remarkable and consistent improvement over other density functionals across various chemical environments from weak to strong correlation.

  11. Differential Function of Lip Residues in the Mechanism and Biology of an Anthrax Hemophore

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ekworomadu, MarCia T.; Poor, Catherine B.; Owens, Cedric P.; Balderas, Miriam A.; Fabian, Marian; Olson, John S.; Murphy, Frank; Balkabasi, Erol; Honsa, Erin S.; He, Chuan; Goulding, Celia W.; Maresso, Anthony W. (Baylor); (UCI); (Cornell); (Rice); (UC)

    2014-10-02

    To replicate in mammalian hosts, bacterial pathogens must acquire iron. The majority of iron is coordinated to the protoporphyrin ring of heme, which is further bound to hemoglobin. Pathogenic bacteria utilize secreted hemophores to acquire heme from heme sources such as hemoglobin. Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax disease, secretes two hemophores, IsdX1 and IsdX2, to acquire heme from host hemoglobin and enhance bacterial replication in iron-starved environments. Both proteins contain NEAr-iron Transporter (NEAT) domains, a conserved protein module that functions in heme acquisition in Gram-positive pathogens. Here, we report the structure of IsdX1, the first of a Gram-positive hemophore, with and without bound heme. Overall, IsdX1 forms an immunoglobin-like fold that contains, similar to other NEAT proteins, a 3{sub 10}-helix near the heme-binding site. Because the mechanistic function of this helix in NEAT proteins is not yet defined, we focused on the contribution of this region to hemophore and NEAT protein activity, both biochemically and biologically in cultured cells. Site-directed mutagenesis of amino acids in and adjacent to the helix identified residues important for heme and hemoglobin association, with some mutations affecting both properties and other mutations affecting only heme stabilization. IsdX1 with mutations that reduced the ability to associate with hemoglobin and bind heme failed to restore the growth of a hemophore-deficient strain of B. anthracis on hemoglobin as the sole iron source. These data indicate that not only is the 3{sub 10}-helix important for NEAT protein biology, but also that the processes of hemoglobin and heme binding can be both separate as well as coupled, the latter function being necessary for maximal heme-scavenging activity. These studies enhance our understanding of NEAT domain and hemophore function and set the stage for structure-based inhibitor design to block NEAT domain interaction with

  12. Structural characteristics and biological functions of the HIV-1 gp120 V3 region

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2002-01-01

    Recent studies demonstrate that the V3 loop of HIV-1 gp120 plays an important role in the attachment of HIV-1 to the target cells. Several amino acids in this domain are involved in the interaction of gp120 with the co-receptors. The V3 loop elicits one of the earliest antiviral antibody responses in HIV-1 infection and has been identified as the principal neutralizing determinant (PND). A subset of antibodies to V3 loop show a broad range of neutralizing activity. Unfortunately, this loop undergoes broad mutation and is one of the hypervariable regions. Mutations of some amino acids in this PND could affect syncytium formation, virus infectivity and neutralization. Knowing the structural characteristics and biological functions of the V3 region could help us to understand mechanism of HIV infection and to develop new strategy against HIV-1. In this review, the structural characteristics, variation and biological functions of the V3 loop as well as immunological responses to the V3 loop are discussed.

  13. Biological performance of functionalized biomedical polymers for potential applications as intraocular lens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zheng, Zhiwen; Wang, Yingjun; Jiao, Yan; Zhai, Zhichen

    2016-08-01

    To study the biological performance of surface-modified biomedical polymer materials, a model of the functional mechanism of nonspecific adsorption resistance was constructed. Cell behavior on the surface and in vivo transplantation features of intraocular lens (IOL) materials, such as hydrophobic acrylic ester and polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA), were investigated. The results of cell adhesion and proliferation studies showed that the addition of hirudin can significantly resist epithelial cell adhesion, better than the pure amination process, and thereby inhibit excessive proliferation on the surface. Experiments on the eyes of rabbits indicated that the IOL surfaces with hirudin modification reduced the incidence of cell aggregation and inflammation. Combined with a study of protein-resistant layer construction with recombinant hirudin on the material surface, the mechanism of surface functionalization was determined. The biological performance indicated that nonspecific adsorption is greatly decreased due to the existence of amphiphilic ions or hydration layers, which lead to stability and long-term resistance to nonspecific adsorption. These results offer a theoretical basis for the use of traditional biomedical polymer materials in long-term clinical applications. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Biomed Mater Res Part A: 104A: 1961-1967, 2016.

  14. Biology of bone and how it orchestrates the form and function of the skeleton

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sommerfeldt, D. W.; Rubin, C. T.

    2001-01-01

    The principal role of the skeleton is to provide structural support for the body. While the skeleton also serves as the body's mineral reservoir, the mineralized structure is the very basis of posture, opposes muscular contraction resulting in motion, withstands functional load bearing, and protects internal organs. Although the mass and morphology of the skeleton is defined, to some extent, by genetic determinants, it is the tissue's ability to remodel--the local resorption and formation of bone--which is responsible for achieving this intricate balance between competing responsibilities. The aim of this review is to address bone's form-function relationship, beginning with extensive research in the musculoskeletal disciplines, and focusing on several recent cellular and molecular discoveries which help understand the complex interdependence of bone cells, growth factors, physical stimuli, metabolic demands, and structural responsibilities. With a clinical and spine-oriented audience in mind, the principles of bone cell and molecular biology and physiology are presented, and an attempt has been made to incorporate epidemiologic data and therapeutic implications. Bone research remains interdisciplinary by nature, and a deeper understanding of bone biology will ultimately lead to advances in the treatment of diseases and injuries to bone itself.

  15. Biological adaptations for functional features of language in the face of cultural evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christiansen, Morten H; Reali, Florencia; Chater, Nick

    2011-04-01

    Although there may be no true language universals, it is nonetheless possible to discern several family resemblance patterns across the languages of the world. Recent work on the cultural evolution of language indicates the source of these patterns is unlikely to be an innate universal grammar evolved through biological adaptations for arbitrary linguistic features. Instead, it has been suggested that the patterns of resemblance emerge because language has been shaped by the brain, with individual languages representing different but partially overlapping solutions to the same set of nonlinguistic constraints. Here, we use computational simulations to investigate whether biological adaptation for functional features of language, deriving from cognitive and communicative constraints, may nonetheless be possible alongside rapid cultural evolution. Specifically, we focus on the Baldwin effect as an evolutionary mechanism by which previously learned linguistic features might become innate through natural selection across many generations of language users. The results indicate that cultural evolution of language does not necessarily prevent functional features of language from becoming genetically fixed, thus potentially providing a particularly informative source of constraints on cross-linguistic resemblance patterns.

  16. A bottom-up characterization of transfer functions for synthetic biology designs: lessons from enzymology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carbonell-Ballestero, Max; Duran-Nebreda, Salva; Montañez, Raúl; Solé, Ricard; Macía, Javier; Rodríguez-Caso, Carlos

    2014-12-16

    Within the field of synthetic biology, a rational design of genetic parts should include a causal understanding of their input-output responses-the so-called transfer function-and how to tune them. However, a commonly adopted strategy is to fit data to Hill-shaped curves without considering the underlying molecular mechanisms. Here we provide a novel mathematical formalization that allows prediction of the global behavior of a synthetic device by considering the actual information from the involved biological parts. This is achieved by adopting an enzymology-like framework, where transfer functions are described in terms of their input affinity constant and maximal response. As a proof of concept, we characterize a set of Lux homoserine-lactone-inducible genetic devices with different levels of Lux receptor and signal molecule. Our model fits the experimental results and predicts the impact of the receptor's ribosome-binding site strength, as a tunable parameter that affects gene expression. The evolutionary implications are outlined.

  17. Strategies for the chemical and biological functionalization of scaffolds for cardiac tissue engineering: a review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tallawi, Marwa; Rosellini, Elisabetta; Barbani, Niccoletta; Cascone, Maria Grazia; Rai, Ranjana; Saint-Pierre, Guillaume; Boccaccini, Aldo R

    2015-07-06

    The development of biomaterials for cardiac tissue engineering (CTE) is challenging, primarily owing to the requirement of achieving a surface with favourable characteristics that enhances cell attachment and maturation. The biomaterial surface plays a crucial role as it forms the interface between the scaffold (or cardiac patch) and the cells. In the field of CTE, synthetic polymers (polyglycerol sebacate, polyethylene glycol, polyglycolic acid, poly-l-lactide, polyvinyl alcohol, polycaprolactone, polyurethanes and poly(N-isopropylacrylamide)) have been proven to exhibit suitable biodegradable and mechanical properties. Despite the fact that they show the required biocompatible behaviour, most synthetic polymers exhibit poor cell attachment capability. These synthetic polymers are mostly hydrophobic and lack cell recognition sites, limiting their application. Therefore, biofunctionalization of these biomaterials to enhance cell attachment and cell material interaction is being widely investigated. There are numerous approaches for functionalizing a material, which can be classified as mechanical, physical, chemical and biological. In this review, recent studies reported in the literature to functionalize scaffolds in the context of CTE, are discussed. Surface, morphological, chemical and biological modifications are introduced and the results of novel promising strategies and techniques are discussed.

  18. The biology of cancer testis antigens: putative function, regulation and therapeutic potential.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fratta, Elisabetta; Coral, Sandra; Covre, Alessia; Parisi, Giulia; Colizzi, Francesca; Danielli, Riccardo; Nicolay, Hugues Jean Marie; Sigalotti, Luca; Maio, Michele

    2011-04-01

    Cancer testis antigens (CTA) are a large family of tumor-associated antigens expressed in human tumors of different histological origin, but not in normal tissues except for testis and placenta. This tumor-restricted pattern of expression, together with their strong in vivo immunogenicity, identified CTA as ideal targets for tumor-specific immunotherapeutic approaches, and prompted the development of several clinical trials of CTA-based vaccine therapy. Driven by this practical clinical interest, a more detailed characterization of CTA biology has been recently undertaken. So far, at least 70 families of CTA, globally accounting for about 140 members, have been identified. Most of these CTA are expressed during spermatogenesis, but their function is still largely unknown. Epigenetic events, particularly DNA methylation, appear to be the primary mechanism regulating CTA expression in both normal and transformed cells, as well as in cancer stem cells. In view of the growing interest in CTA biology, the aim of this review is to provide the most recent information on their expression, regulation and function, together with a brief summary of the major clinical trials involving CTA as therapeutic agents. The pharmacologic modulation of CTA expression profiles on neoplastic cells by DNA hypomethylating drugs will also be discussed as a feasible approach to design new combination therapies potentially able to improve the clinical efficacy of currently adopted CTA-based immunotherapeutic regimens in cancer patients.

  19. Biology of bone and how it orchestrates the form and function of the skeleton

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sommerfeldt, D. W.; Rubin, C. T.

    2001-01-01

    The principal role of the skeleton is to provide structural support for the body. While the skeleton also serves as the body's mineral reservoir, the mineralized structure is the very basis of posture, opposes muscular contraction resulting in motion, withstands functional load bearing, and protects internal organs. Although the mass and morphology of the skeleton is defined, to some extent, by genetic determinants, it is the tissue's ability to remodel--the local resorption and formation of bone--which is responsible for achieving this intricate balance between competing responsibilities. The aim of this review is to address bone's form-function relationship, beginning with extensive research in the musculoskeletal disciplines, and focusing on several recent cellular and molecular discoveries which help understand the complex interdependence of bone cells, growth factors, physical stimuli, metabolic demands, and structural responsibilities. With a clinical and spine-oriented audience in mind, the principles of bone cell and molecular biology and physiology are presented, and an attempt has been made to incorporate epidemiologic data and therapeutic implications. Bone research remains interdisciplinary by nature, and a deeper understanding of bone biology will ultimately lead to advances in the treatment of diseases and injuries to bone itself.

  20. Executive functions and risky decision-making in patients with opiate dependence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brand, Matthias; Roth-Bauer, Martina; Driessen, Martin; Markowitsch, Hans J

    2008-09-01

    Recent evidence suggests that individuals with opiate dependence may have cognitive dysfunctions particularly within the spectrum of executive functioning and emotional processing. Such dysfunctions can also compromise daily decisions associated with risk-taking behaviors. However, it remains unclear whether patients addicted to opiates show impaired decision-making on gambling tasks that specify explicit rules for rewards and punishments and provide information about probabilities associated with different long-term outcomes. In this study, we examined 18 individuals with opiate dependence and 18 healthy comparison subjects, matched for age, gender, and education with the Game of Dice Task (GDT). The GDT is a gambling task with explicit rules for gains and losses and fix winning probabilities. In addition, all subjects completed a neuropsychological test battery that primarily focused on executive functions and a personality questionnaire. On the GDT, patients chose the risky alternatives more frequently than the control group. Patients' GDT performance was related to executive functioning but not to other neuropsychological constructs, personality or dependence specific variables with one exception that is the number of days of abstinence. Thus, patients with opiate dependence demonstrate abnormalities in decision-making that might be neuropsychologically associated with dysfunctional behavior in patients' daily lives. Decision-making and other neuropsychological functioning should be considered in the treatment of opiate dependence.

  1. Reduced Density Matrix Functional Theory (RDMFT) and Linear Response Time-Dependent RDMFT (TD-RDMFT).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pernal, Katarzyna; Giesbertz, Klaas J H

    2016-01-01

    Recent advances in reduced density matrix functional theory (RDMFT) and linear response time-dependent reduced density matrix functional theory (TD-RDMFT) are reviewed. In particular, we present various approaches to develop approximate density matrix functionals which have been employed in RDMFT. We discuss the properties and performance of most available density matrix functionals. Progress in the development of functionals has been paralleled by formulation of novel RDMFT-based methods for predicting properties of molecular systems and solids. We give an overview of these methods. The time-dependent extension, TD-RDMFT, is a relatively new theory still awaiting practical and generally useful functionals which would work within the adiabatic approximation. In this chapter we concentrate on the formulation of TD-RDMFT response equations and various adiabatic approximations. None of the adiabatic approximations is fully satisfactory, so we also discuss a phase-dependent extension to TD-RDMFT employing the concept of phase-including-natural-spinorbitals (PINOs). We focus on applications of the linear response formulations to two-electron systems, for which the (almost) exact functional is known.

  2. Use of functioning-disability and dependency for case-mix and subtyping of schizophrenia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Susana Ochoa

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Background and Objectives: To evaluate the utility of the constructs functioning and disability (F & D and dependency for case-mix and subtyping of patients with schizophrenia by psychosocial, clinical, use of services and attention received from informal carers. Methods: A randomly selected total of 205 people with schizophrenia, and their careers were evaluated through PANSS, DAS-sv, Objective and Subjective Burden Scale (ECFOS-II and use of services. Results: Two groups and Four profiles were identified according to levels of Dependency: The non-dependent group was made of two profiles: independent (I, and persons with disability in the community (DiC. The dependent group included persons with dependency in the community (DeC and persons with dependency in hospital care (DeH. There are clinical and psychosocial differences between these profiles being the dependent the most severe. Regarding use of services, DeC use the most resources, with the exception DeH (more hospitalization resources. The DeC profile generate greater family burden in the following areas; taking medication, being accompanied to appointments, and management than the DiC, despite both groups showing a high need for support. Conclusions: Dependency is a relevant construct for case-mix and subtyping in schizophrenia, and it is related to severity both at the social and clinical level. DeC generate more family burden than the other profiles, followed by DiC (patients with schizophrenia with disability but non-dependent.

  3. Time-dependent density functional theory study on direction-dependent electron and hole transfer processes in molecular systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Partovi-Azar, Pouya; Kaghazchi, Payam

    2017-04-15

    We report on real-time time-dependent density functional theory calculations on direction-dependent electron and hole transfer processes in molecular systems. As a model system, we focus on α-sulfur. It is shown that time scale of the electron transfer process from a negatively charged S8 molecule to a neighboring neutral monomer is comparable to that of a strong infrared-active molecular vibrations of the dimer with one negatively charged monomer. This results in a strong coupling between the electrons and the nuclei motion which eventually leads to S8 ring opening before the electron transfer process is completed. The open-ring structure is found to be stable. The similar infrared-active peak in the case of hole transfer, however, is shown to be very weak and hence no significant scattering by the nuclei is possible. The presented approach to study the charge transfer processes in sulfur has direct applications in the increasingly growing research field of charge transport in molecular systems. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  4. Vibrationally resolved UV/Vis spectroscopy with time-dependent density functional based tight binding

    OpenAIRE

    Rüger, Robert; Niehaus, Thomas; van Lenthe, Erik; Heine, Thomas; Visscher, Lucas

    2016-01-01

    We report a time-dependent density functional based tight-binding (TD-DFTB) scheme for the calculation of UV/Vis spectra, explicitly taking into account the excitation of nuclear vibrations via the adiabatic Hessian Franck-Condon (AH|FC) method with a harmonic approximation for the nuclear wavefunction. The theory of vibrationally resolved UV/Vis spectroscopy is first summarized from the viewpoint of TD-DFTB. The method is benchmarked against time-dependent density functional theory (TD-DFT) ...

  5. Decreased serum level of NGF in alcohol-dependent patients with declined executive function

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bae H

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Hwallip Bae,1 Youngsun Ra,1 Changwoo Han,2 Dai-Jin Kim3 1Department of Psychiatry, Myongji Hospital, Goyang, 2Department of Psychiatry, Keyo Hospital, Uiwang, 3Department of Psychiatry, Seoul St Mary’s Hospital, College of Medicine, Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, South Korea Abstract: The role of neurotrophic factors has been highlighted as a cause of decline in the cognitive function of alcohol-dependent patients. It is known that nerve-growth factor (NGF, one of the neurotrophins, is related to the growth and differentiation of nerve cells, as well as to a decline in cognitive function. The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between decreased NGF levels and cognitive decline in alcohol-dependent patients. The serum concentration of NGF was measured in 38 patients with chronic alcohol dependence, and several neuropsychological tests were also performed for cognitive function assessment. The results indicated a significant correlation between serum NGF level and the trail-making test part B, which evaluates executive function, but did not show a significant correlation with other cognitive function tests. An increased serum level of NGF was associated with a decreased completion time in the trail-making test B, and this finding indicates that a high serum level of NGF is related to greater executive function. This finding may imply a protective role of NGF in preventing neuron damage among patients with alcohol dependence. Larger controlled studies will be necessary in the future to investigate this issue further. Keywords: nerve-growth factor, alcohol dependence, executive function, trail-making test

  6. Linear-response time-dependent density-functional theory with pairing fields.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peng, Degao; van Aggelen, Helen; Yang, Yang; Yang, Weitao

    2014-05-14

    Recent development in particle-particle random phase approximation (pp-RPA) broadens the perspective on ground state correlation energies [H. van Aggelen, Y. Yang, and W. Yang, Phys. Rev. A 88, 030501 (2013), Y. Yang, H. van Aggelen, S. N. Steinmann, D. Peng, and W. Yang, J. Chem. Phys. 139, 174110 (2013); D. Peng, S. N. Steinmann, H. van Aggelen, and W. Yang, J. Chem. Phys. 139, 104112 (2013)] and N ± 2 excitation energies [Y. Yang, H. van Aggelen, and W. Yang, J. Chem. Phys. 139, 224105 (2013)]. So far Hartree-Fock and approximated density-functional orbitals have been utilized to evaluate the pp-RPA equation. In this paper, to further explore the fundamentals and the potential use of pairing matrix dependent functionals, we present the linear-response time-dependent density-functional theory with pairing fields with both adiabatic and frequency-dependent kernels. This theory is related to the density-functional theory and time-dependent density-functional theory for superconductors, but is applied to normal non-superconducting systems for our purpose. Due to the lack of the proof of the one-to-one mapping between the pairing matrix and the pairing field for time-dependent systems, the linear-response theory is established based on the representability assumption of the pairing matrix. The linear response theory justifies the use of approximated density-functionals in the pp-RPA equation. This work sets the fundamentals for future density-functional development to enhance the description of ground state correlation energies and N ± 2 excitation energies.

  7. The mediating effect of psychological distress on functional dependence in stroke patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Hui-Chuan; Huang, Li-Kai; Hu, Chaur-Jong; Chang, Chien-Hung; Lee, Hsin-Chien; Chi, Nai-Fang; Shyu, Meei-Ling; Chang, Hsiu-Ju

    2014-12-01

    To explore varied forms of psychological distress and to determine the mediating influence of psychological distress on functional outcomes in stroke patients. Previous studies attest to the influence of depression on poststroke functional recovery. While there is evidence for neuropathological deficits that occur after stroke to be associated with psychological distress, few studies have explored the effect of various types of psychological distress on functional recovery. A cross-sectional study was used. Data were collected from 178 first-time stroke patients. Study variables included demographic and disease characteristics (stroke location and stroke syndrome classification), psychological distress (the Chinese language version of the Emotional and Social Dysfunction Questionnaire) and functional outcome (Barthel index). Regression and mediation models were used to evaluate the effect of psychological distress on functional outcome. Results revealed that stroke patients experience various forms of mild psychological distress, including anger, helplessness, emotional dyscontrol, indifference, inertia and euphoria, after stroke. Regression and mediation analyses further confirmed that various forms of psychological distress significantly mediated the effect of severe stroke syndromes on functional dependence. The various forms of psychological distress after stroke might play a mediating role in functional recovery and explain how stroke severity affects functional dependence. By understanding the nature of various forms of psychological distress, healthcare professionals should adopt appropriate assessment instruments and design effective interventions to help improve mental and physical function of stroke patients. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  8. Translating Lung Function Genome-Wide Association Study (GWAS) Findings: New Insights for Lung Biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kheirallah, A K; Miller, S; Hall, I P; Sayers, I

    2016-01-01

    Chronic respiratory diseases are a major cause of worldwide mortality and morbidity. Although hereditary severe deficiency of α1 antitrypsin (A1AD) has been established to cause emphysema, A1AD accounts for only ∼ 1% of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) cases. Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have been successful at detecting multiple loci harboring variants predicting the variation in lung function measures and risk of COPD. However, GWAS are incapable of distinguishing causal from noncausal variants. Several approaches can be used for functional translation of genetic findings. These approaches have the scope to identify underlying alleles and pathways that are important in lung function and COPD. Computational methods aim at effective functional variant prediction by combining experimentally generated regulatory information with associated region of the human genome. Classically, GWAS association follow-up concentrated on manipulation of a single gene. However association data has identified genetic variants in >50 loci predicting disease risk or lung function. Therefore there is a clear precedent for experiments that interrogate multiple candidate genes in parallel, which is now possible with genome editing technology. Gene expression profiling can be used for effective discovery of biological pathways underpinning gene function. This information may be used for informed decisions about cellular assays post genetic manipulation. Investigating respiratory phenotypes in human lung tissue and specific gene knockout mice is a valuable in vivo approach that can complement in vitro work. Herein, we review state-of-the-art in silico, in vivo, and in vitro approaches that may be used to accelerate functional translation of genetic findings. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Role of soil biology and soil functions in relation to land use intensity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bondi, Giulia; Wall, David; Bacher, Matthias; Emmet-Booth, Jeremy; Graça, Jessica; Marongiu, Irene; Creamer, Rachel

    2017-04-01

    The delivery of the ecosystem's functions is predominantly controlled by soil biology. The biology found in a gram of soil contains more than ten thousand individual species of bacteria and fungi (Torsvik et al., 1990). Understanding the role and the requirements of these organisms is essential for the protection and the sustainable use of soils. Soil biology represents the engine of all the processes occurring in the soil and it supports the ecosystem services such as: 1) nutrient mineralisation 2) plant production 3) water purification and regulation and 4) carbon cycling and storage. During the last years land management type and intensity have been identified as major drivers for microbial performance in soil. For this reason land management needs to be appropriately studied to understand the role of soil biology within this complex interplay of functions. We aimed to study whether and how land management drives soil biological processes and related functions. To reach this objective we built a land use intensity index (LUI) able to quantify the impact of the common farming practices carried out in Irish grassland soils. The LUI is derived from a detailed farmer questionnaire on grassland management practices at 38 farms distributed in the five major agro-climatic regions of Ireland defined by Holden and Brereton (2004). Soils were classified based on their drainage status according to the Irish Soil Information System by Creamer et al. (2014). This detailed questionnaire is then summarised into 3 management intensity components: (i) intensity of Fertilisation (Fi), (ii) frequency of Mowing (Mi) and (iii) intensity of Livestock Grazing (Gi). Sites were sampled to assess the impact of land management intensity on microbial community structure and enzyme behaviour in relation to nitrogen, phosphorus and carbon cycling. Preliminary results for enzymes linked to C and N cycles showed higher activity in relation to low grazing pressure (low Gi). Enzymes linked to P

  10. Time-dependent density functional theory for many-electron systems interacting with cavity photons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tokatly, I V

    2013-06-07

    Time-dependent (current) density functional theory for many-electron systems strongly coupled to quantized electromagnetic modes of a microcavity is proposed. It is shown that the electron-photon wave function is a unique functional of the electronic (current) density and the expectation values of photonic coordinates. The Kohn-Sham system is constructed, which allows us to calculate the above basic variables by solving self-consistent equations for noninteracting particles. We suggest possible approximations for the exchange-correlation potentials and discuss implications of this approach for the theory of open quantum systems. In particular we show that it naturally leads to time-dependent density functional theory for systems coupled to the Caldeira-Leggett bath.

  11. Efficient temperature-dependent Green's function methods for realistic systems: using cubic spline interpolation to approximate Matsubara Green's functions

    CERN Document Server

    Kananenka, Alexei A; Lan, Tran Nguyen; Gull, Emanuel; Zgid, Dominika

    2016-01-01

    The popular, stable, robust and computationally inexpensive cubic spline interpolation algorithm is adopted and used for finite temperature Green's function calculations of realistic systems. We demonstrate that with appropriate modifications the temperature dependence can be preserved while the Green's function grid size can be reduced by about two orders of magnitude by replacing the standard Matsubara frequency grid with a sparser grid and a set of interpolation coefficients. We benchmarked the accuracy of our algorithm as a function of a single parameter sensitive to the shape of the Green's function. Through numerous examples, we confirmed that our algorithm can be utilized in a systematically improvable, controlled, and black-box manner and highly accurate one- and two-body energies and one-particle density matrices can be obtained using only around 5% of the original grid points. Additionally, we established that to improve accuracy by an order of magnitude, the number of grid points needs to be double...

  12. Orientation-dependent backbone-only residue pair scoring functions for fixed backbone protein design

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bordner Andrew J

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Empirical scoring functions have proven useful in protein structure modeling. Most such scoring functions depend on protein side chain conformations. However, backbone-only scoring functions do not require computationally intensive structure optimization and so are well suited to protein design, which requires fast score evaluation. Furthermore, scoring functions that account for the distinctive relative position and orientation preferences of residue pairs are expected to be more accurate than those that depend only on the separation distance. Results Residue pair scoring functions for fixed backbone protein design were derived using only backbone geometry. Unlike previous studies that used spherical harmonics to fit 2D angular distributions, Gaussian Mixture Models were used to fit the full 3D (position only and 6D (position and orientation distributions of residue pairs. The performance of the 1D (residue separation only, 3D, and 6D scoring functions were compared by their ability to identify correct threading solutions for a non-redundant benchmark set of protein backbone structures. The threading accuracy was found to steadily increase with increasing dimension, with the 6D scoring function achieving the highest accuracy. Furthermore, the 3D and 6D scoring functions were shown to outperform side chain-dependent empirical potentials from three other studies. Next, two computational methods that take advantage of the speed and pairwise form of these new backbone-only scoring functions were investigated. The first is a procedure that exploits available sequence data by averaging scores over threading solutions for homologs. This was evaluated by applying it to the challenging problem of identifying interacting transmembrane alpha-helices and found to further improve prediction accuracy. The second is a protein design method for determining the optimal sequence for a backbone structure by applying Belief Propagation

  13. Analysis of Time-Dependent Density Functional Theory of Transition Wavelengths of Thioaldehydes and Thioketones

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    HE Xiang; WANG Fan

    2006-01-01

    @@ Thioaldehydes and thioketones are candidates of new photoluminescence materials. The time-dependent density functional theory is applied to calculate the absorption and emission wavelengths of ten thiocarbonyl compounds using both B3LYP and PBE0 functionals. The theoretical results are in agreement with the measurable ones.Furthermore, it is found that the maximum absorption and emission wavelengths are linearly correlated to the C-S bond lengths.

  14. Optical Absorption in Molecular Crystals from Time-Dependent Density Functional Theory

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-04-23

    quantitatively and non-empirically within the framework of time-dependent density functional theory (TDDFT), using the recently-developed optimally-tuned...showing that fundamental gaps and optical spectra of molecular solids can be predicted quantitatively and non-empirically within the framework of...II. THEORETICAL AND COMPUTATIONAL APPROACH A. Optimally-tuned range-separated hybrid functionals In the range-separated hybrid (RSH) method, the

  15. Brain functional connectivity in stimulant drug dependence and obsessive-compulsive disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meunier, David; Ersche, Karen D; Craig, Kevin J; Fornito, Alex; Merlo-Pich, Emilio; Fineberg, Naomi A; Shabbir, Shaila S; Robbins, Trevor W; Bullmore, Edward T

    2012-01-16

    There are reasons for thinking that obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and drug dependence, although conventionally distinct diagnostic categories, might share important cognitive and neurobiological substrates. We tested this hypothesis directly by comparing brain functional connectivity measures between patients with OCD, stimulant dependent individuals (SDIs; many of whom were non-dependent users of other recreational drugs) and healthy volunteers. We measured functional connectivity between each possible pair of 506 brain regional functional MRI time series representing low frequency (0.03-0.06 Hz) spontaneous brain hemodynamics in healthy volunteers (N=18), patients with OCD (N=18) and SDIs (N=18). We used permutation tests to identify i) brain regions where strength of connectivity was significantly different in both patient groups compared to healthy volunteers; and ii) brain regions and connections which had significantly different functional connectivity between patient groups. We found that functional connectivity of right inferior and superior orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) was abnormally reduced in both disorders. Whether diagnosed as OCD or SDI, patients with higher scores on measures of compulsive symptom severity showed greater reductions of right orbitofrontal connectivity. Functional connections specifically between OFC and dorsal medial pre-motor and cingulate cortex were attenuated in both patient groups. However, patients with OCD demonstrated more severe and extensive reductions of functional connectivity compared to SDIs. OCD and stimulant dependence are not identical at the level of brain functional systems but they have some important abnormalities in common compared with healthy volunteers. Orbitofrontal connectivity may serve as a human brain systems biomarker for compulsivity across diagnostic categories.

  16. Treadmill Exercise Improves Memory Function Depending on Circadian Rhythm Changes in Mice

    OpenAIRE

    Hwang, Dong Sup; Kwak, Hyo Bum; Ko, Il Gyu; Kim, Sung Eun; Jin, Jun Jang; Ji, Eun Sang; Choi, Hyun Hee; Kwon, Oh Young

    2016-01-01

    Purpose Exercise enhances memory function by increasing neurogenesis in the hippocampus, and circadian rhythms modulate synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus. The circadian rhythm-dependent effects of treadmill exercise on memory function in relation with neurogenesis were investigated using mice. Methods The step-down avoidance test was used to evaluate short-term memory, the 8-arm maze test was used to test spatial learning ability, and 5-bromo-2’-deoxyuridine immunofluorescence was used t...

  17. How biological soil crusts became recognized as a functional unit: a selective history

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lange, Otto L.; Belnap, Jayne

    2016-01-01

    It is surprising that despite the world-wide distribution and general importance of biological soil crusts (biocrusts), scientific recognition and functional analysis of these communities is a relatively young field of science. In this chapter, we sketch the historical lines that led to the recognition of biocrusts as a community with important ecosystem functions. The idea of biocrusts as a functional ecological community has come from two main scientific branches: botany and soil science. For centuries, botanists have long recognized that multiple organisms colonize the soil surface in the open and often dry areas occurring between vascular plants. Much later, after the initial taxonomic and phyto-sociological descriptions were made, soil scientists and agronomists observed that these surface organisms interacted with soils in ways that changed the soil structure. In the 1970’s, research on these communities as ecological units that played an important functional role in drylands began in earnest, and these studies have continued to this day. Here, we trace the history of these studies from the distant past until 1990, when biocrusts became well-known to scientists and the public.

  18. Abnormal intrinsic functional hubs in alcohol dependence: evidence from a voxelwise degree centrality analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luo X

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Xiaoping Luo,1,2 Linghong Guo,1 Xi-Jian Dai,3 Qinglai Wang,2 Wenzhong Zhu,2 Xinjun Miao,2 Honghan Gong1 1Department of Radiology, The First Affiliated Hospital of Nanchang University, Nangchang, Jiangxi, People’s Republic of China; 2Department of Radiology, Wenzhou Chinese Medicine Hospital, Wenzhou, Zhejiang, People’s Republic of China; 3Department of Medical Imaging, Jinling Hospital, Medical School of Nanjing University, Nanjing, Jiangsu, People’s Republic of China Objective: To explore the abnormal intrinsic functional hubs in alcohol dependence using voxelwise degree centrality analysis approach, and their relationships with clinical features.Materials and methods: Twenty-four male alcohol dependence subjects free of medicine (mean age, 50.21±9.62 years and 24 age- and education-matched male healthy controls (mean age, 50.29±8.92 years were recruited. The alcohol use disorders identification test and the severity of alcohol dependence questionnaire (SADQ were administered to assess the severity of alcohol craving. Voxelwise degree centrality approach was used to assess the abnormal intrinsic functional hubs features in alcohol dependence. Simple linear regression analysis was performed to investigate the relationships between the clinical features and abnormal intrinsic functional hubs.Results: Compared with healthy controls, alcohol dependence subjects exhibited significantly different degree centrality values in widespread left lateralization brain areas, including higher degree centrality values in the left precentral gyrus (BA 6, right hippocampus (BA 35, 36, and left orbitofrontal cortex (BA 11 and lower degree centrality values in the left cerebellum posterior lobe, bilateral secondary visual network (BA 18, and left precuneus (BA 7, 19. SADQ revealed a negative linear correlation with the degree centrality value in the left precentral gyrus (R2=0.296, P=0.006.Conclusion: The specific abnormal intrinsic functional hubs appear

  19. Efficacy of Regulated 12-Session Matrix Model on restraining methamphetamine-dependence: Biological evidence and self-reports

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zahra Amiri

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Introduction: Substance abuse is accompanied by a wide range of psychological, social, and economic adverse outcomes and damages. Methamphetamine (abuse is dangerous because of its wide range adverse outcomes and hazardous sustaining side effects. Moreover, Methamphetamine-dependence is usually treatment-resistant. This study evaluated the Regulated 12-Session Matrix Model in treatment of outpatient ethamphetamine-dependent individuals. Method: 24 individuals were chosen according to inclusion/exclusion criteria of the study and randomly assigned to equal experimental (age range 19-41; mean age: 46.9 and control groups (age range: 21-42; mean age: 27.8. Experimental group members partook Regulated 12-Session Matrix Model once a week in 12 consecutive weeks, while control group members remained at waitlist. Results:Independent t-test in 12th week showed that experimental group had lower methamphetamine use, comparing to control group (p<.05.Phillai’s Trace, Wilk’sLambda,Hotelling-Lawley's trace, and Roy's largest root showed that there are significant association between experimental and control groups in reduction of methamphetamine-use lapse (p<.05.Within-subject F ratio revealed that “methamphetamine use” was significantly reduced in experimental group after clinical intervention (p<.001. Urine test showed significant difference in results of negative responses by the end of intervention (p<.05 in experimental group, compared to control group, which was also significant from the results of both groups in pre-test (p<.001. Discussion and conclusion: Efficacy of Regulated 12-Session Matrix Model in craving control and reduction of lapse and substance (abuse in methamphetamine-dependent patients was approved with self-reports and biological indicators. Regulated 12-Session Matrix Model has been proved to be beneficial in methamphetaminedependencetreatment in Iran and other alike cultural and social atmospheres. Limitations and future

  20. turboTDDFT 2.0 - Hybrid functionals and new algorithms within time-dependent density-functional perturbation theory

    CERN Document Server

    Ge, Xiaochuan; Rocca, Dario; Gebauer, Ralph; Baroni, Stefano

    2014-01-01

    We present a new release of the turboTDDFT code featuring an implementation of hybrid functionals, a recently introduced pseudo-Hermitian variant of the Liouville-Lanczos approach to time-dependent density-functional perturbation theory, and a newly developed Davidson-like algorithm to compute selected interior eigenvalues/vectors of the Liouvillian super-operator. Our implementation is thoroughly validated against benchmark calculations performed on the cyanin (C$_{21}$O$_{11}$H$_{21}$) molecule using the Gaussian09 and turboTDDFT 1.0 codes.