WorldWideScience

Sample records for evolution cell biology

  1. Towards physical principles of biological evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Katsnelson, Mikhail I.; Wolf, Yuri I.; Koonin, Eugene V.

    2018-03-01

    Biological systems reach organizational complexity that far exceeds the complexity of any known inanimate objects. Biological entities undoubtedly obey the laws of quantum physics and statistical mechanics. However, is modern physics sufficient to adequately describe, model and explain the evolution of biological complexity? Detailed parallels have been drawn between statistical thermodynamics and the population-genetic theory of biological evolution. Based on these parallels, we outline new perspectives on biological innovation and major transitions in evolution, and introduce a biological equivalent of thermodynamic potential that reflects the innovation propensity of an evolving population. Deep analogies have been suggested to also exist between the properties of biological entities and processes, and those of frustrated states in physics, such as glasses. Such systems are characterized by frustration whereby local state with minimal free energy conflict with the global minimum, resulting in ‘emergent phenomena’. We extend such analogies by examining frustration-type phenomena, such as conflicts between different levels of selection, in biological evolution. These frustration effects appear to drive the evolution of biological complexity. We further address evolution in multidimensional fitness landscapes from the point of view of percolation theory and suggest that percolation at level above the critical threshold dictates the tree-like evolution of complex organisms. Taken together, these multiple connections between fundamental processes in physics and biology imply that construction of a meaningful physical theory of biological evolution might not be a futile effort. However, it is unrealistic to expect that such a theory can be created in one scoop; if it ever comes to being, this can only happen through integration of multiple physical models of evolutionary processes. Furthermore, the existing framework of theoretical physics is unlikely to suffice

  2. A comparison of biological and cultural evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Portin, Petter

    2015-03-01

    This review begins with a definition of biological evolution and a description of its general principles. This is followed by a presentation of the biological basis of culture, specifically the concept of social selection. Further, conditions for cultural evolution are proposed, including a suggestion for language being the cultural replicator corresponding to the concept of the gene in biological evolution. Principles of cultural evolution are put forward and compared to the principles of biological evolution. Special emphasis is laid on the principle of selection in cultural evolution, including presentation of the concept of cultural fitness. The importance of language as a necessary condition for cultural evolution is stressed. Subsequently, prime differences between biological and cultural evolution are presented, followed by a discussion on interaction of our genome and our culture. The review aims at contributing to the present discussion concerning the modern development of the general theory of evolution, for example by giving a tentative formulation of the necessary and sufficient conditions for cultural evolution, and proposing that human creativity and mind reading or theory of mind are motors specific for it. The paper ends with the notion of the still ongoing coevolution of genes and culture.

  3. Academic Preparation in Biology and Advocacy for Teaching Evolution: Biology versus Non-Biology Teachers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nehm, Ross H.; Kim, Sun Young; Sheppard, Keith

    2009-01-01

    Despite considerable focus on evolution knowledge-belief relationships, little research has targeted populations with strong content backgrounds, such as undergraduate degrees in biology. This study (1) measured precertified biology and non-biology teachers' (n = 167) knowledge of evolution and the nature of science; (2) quantified teacher…

  4. ''La Grande Galerie de l'Evolution'' of Paris: The only museum in the world entirely devoted to biological evolution

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Raulin Cerceau, F.

    1995-01-01

    The new building called ''Grande Galerie de l'Evolution'' of the national Museum of natural History, in Paris-France, is the first museum in the world exclusively devoted to biological evolution. The Museum is divided in 3 parts (named ''Acts''): The aim of Act 1 is to sensibilize the visitor to the results of 4 billions years of biological evolution. This act shows some examples of biological diversity through few terrestrial and marine environments (deserts, tropical forests, polar habitats, abyssal zones ...). Act 2 is the principal part of the Museum explaining the main processes of evolution. This part shows also the story of life from the first living cells to man. Act 3, the last part offers to visitors a vision of the interactions between man and nature, and of their consequences along millions of years. A special Gallery is entirely devoted to vanished and threatened species, as a nefast consequence of human interaction on biological diversity particularly since the beginning of this century. (Abstract only)

  5. A comparison of biological and cultural evolution

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    the intellectual and moral characters of man have emerged as results of biological ..... tural selection is at least partly based on conscious action. In cultural evolution .... Transfer of information in biological and cultural evolution. In biological.

  6. The Biological Big Bang model for the major transitions in evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koonin, Eugene V

    2007-08-20

    concepts of the emergence of protein folds by recombination of small structural units and origin of viruses and cells from a pre-cellular compartmentalized pool of recombining genetic elements. The model is extended to encompass other major transitions. It is proposed that bacterial and archaeal phyla emerged independently from two distinct populations of primordial cells that, originally, possessed leaky membranes, which made the cells prone to rampant gene exchange; and that the eukaryotic supergroups emerged through distinct, secondary endosymbiotic events (as opposed to the primary, mitochondrial endosymbiosis). This biphasic model of evolution is substantially analogous to the scenario of the origin of universes in the eternal inflation version of modern cosmology. Under this model, universes like ours emerge in the infinite multiverse when the eternal process of exponential expansion, known as inflation, ceases in a particular region as a result of false vacuum decay, a first order phase transition process. The result is the nucleation of a new universe, which is traditionally denoted Big Bang, although this scenario is radically different from the Big Bang of the traditional model of an expanding universe. Hence I denote the phase transitions at the end of each inflationary epoch in the history of life Biological Big Bangs (BBB). A Biological Big Bang (BBB) model is proposed for the major transitions in life's evolution. According to this model, each transition is a BBB such that new classes of biological entities emerge at the end of a rapid phase of evolution (inflation) that is characterized by extensive exchange of genetic information which takes distinct forms for different BBBs. The major types of new forms emerge independently, via a sampling process, from the pool of recombining entities of the preceding generation. This process is envisaged as being qualitatively different from tree-pattern cladogenesis.

  7. Quantum mechanics formalism for biological evolution

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bianconi, Ginestra; Rahmede, Christoph

    2012-01-01

    Highlights: ► Biological evolution is an off-equilibrium process described by path integrals over phylogenies. ► The phylogenies are sums of linear lineages for asexual populations. ► For sexual populations, each lineage is a tree and the path integral is given by a sum over these trees. ► Quantum statistics describe the stationary state of biological populations in simple cases. - Abstract: We study the evolution of sexual and asexual populations in fitness landscapes compatible with epistatic interactions. We find intriguing relations between the mathematics of biological evolution and quantum mechanics formalism. We give the general structure of the evolution of sexual and asexual populations which is in general an off-equilibrium process that can be expressed by path integrals over phylogenies. These phylogenies are the sum of linear lineages for asexual populations. For sexual populations, instead, each lineage is a tree of branching ratio two and the path integral describing the evolving population is given by a sum over these trees. Finally we show that the Bose–Einstein and the Fermi–Dirac distributions describe the stationary state of biological populations in simple cases.

  8. Nothing in Evolution Makes Sense Except in the Light of Genomics: Read–Write Genome Evolution as an Active Biological Process

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James A. Shapiro

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available The 21st century genomics-based analysis of evolutionary variation reveals a number of novel features impossible to predict when Dobzhansky and other evolutionary biologists formulated the neo-Darwinian Modern Synthesis in the middle of the last century. These include three distinct realms of cell evolution; symbiogenetic fusions forming eukaryotic cells with multiple genome compartments; horizontal organelle, virus and DNA transfers; functional organization of proteins as systems of interacting domains subject to rapid evolution by exon shuffling and exonization; distributed genome networks integrated by mobile repetitive regulatory signals; and regulation of multicellular development by non-coding lncRNAs containing repetitive sequence components. Rather than single gene traits, all phenotypes involve coordinated activity by multiple interacting cell molecules. Genomes contain abundant and functional repetitive components in addition to the unique coding sequences envisaged in the early days of molecular biology. Combinatorial coding, plus the biochemical abilities cells possess to rearrange DNA molecules, constitute a powerful toolbox for adaptive genome rewriting. That is, cells possess “Read–Write Genomes” they alter by numerous biochemical processes capable of rapidly restructuring cellular DNA molecules. Rather than viewing genome evolution as a series of accidental modifications, we can now study it as a complex biological process of active self-modification.

  9. Student Teachers' Approaches to Teaching Biological Evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borgerding, Lisa A.; Klein, Vanessa A.; Ghosh, Rajlakshmi; Eibel, Albert

    2015-01-01

    Evolution is fundamental to biology and scientific literacy, but teaching high school evolution is often difficult. Evolution teachers face several challenges including limited content knowledge, personal conflicts with evolution, expectations of resistance, concerns about students' conflicts with religion, and curricular constraints. Evolution…

  10. The Biological Big Bang model for the major transitions in evolution

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Koonin Eugene V

    2007-08-01

    of evolution incorporates the previously developed concepts of the emergence of protein folds by recombination of small structural units and origin of viruses and cells from a pre-cellular compartmentalized pool of recombining genetic elements. The model is extended to encompass other major transitions. It is proposed that bacterial and archaeal phyla emerged independently from two distinct populations of primordial cells that, originally, possessed leaky membranes, which made the cells prone to rampant gene exchange; and that the eukaryotic supergroups emerged through distinct, secondary endosymbiotic events (as opposed to the primary, mitochondrial endosymbiosis. This biphasic model of evolution is substantially analogous to the scenario of the origin of universes in the eternal inflation version of modern cosmology. Under this model, universes like ours emerge in the infinite multiverse when the eternal process of exponential expansion, known as inflation, ceases in a particular region as a result of false vacuum decay, a first order phase transition process. The result is the nucleation of a new universe, which is traditionally denoted Big Bang, although this scenario is radically different from the Big Bang of the traditional model of an expanding universe. Hence I denote the phase transitions at the end of each inflationary epoch in the history of life Biological Big Bangs (BBB. Conclusion A Biological Big Bang (BBB model is proposed for the major transitions in life's evolution. According to this model, each transition is a BBB such that new classes of biological entities emerge at the end of a rapid phase of evolution (inflation that is characterized by extensive exchange of genetic information which takes distinct forms for different BBBs. The major types of new forms emerge independently, via a sampling process, from the pool of recombining entities of the preceding generation. This process is envisaged as being qualitatively different from tree

  11. Biology Teachers' Professional Development Needs for Teaching Evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Friedrichsen, Patricia J.; Linke, Nicholas; Barnett, Ellen

    2016-01-01

    The social controversy surrounding the teaching of evolution puts pressure on secondary biology teachers to deemphasize or omit evolution from their curriculum. In this growing pressure, professional development can offer support to biology teachers. In this study, we surveyed secondary biology teachers in Missouri and report the data from…

  12. Concise Review: Stem Cell Population Biology: Insights from Hematopoiesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacLean, Adam L; Lo Celso, Cristina; Stumpf, Michael P H

    2017-01-01

    Stem cells are fundamental to human life and offer great therapeutic potential, yet their biology remains incompletely-or in cases even poorly-understood. The field of stem cell biology has grown substantially in recent years due to a combination of experimental and theoretical contributions: the experimental branch of this work provides data in an ever-increasing number of dimensions, while the theoretical branch seeks to determine suitable models of the fundamental stem cell processes that these data describe. The application of population dynamics to biology is amongst the oldest applications of mathematics to biology, and the population dynamics perspective continues to offer much today. Here we describe the impact that such a perspective has made in the field of stem cell biology. Using hematopoietic stem cells as our model system, we discuss the approaches that have been used to study their key properties, such as capacity for self-renewal, differentiation, and cell fate lineage choice. We will also discuss the relevance of population dynamics in models of stem cells and cancer, where competition naturally emerges as an influential factor on the temporal evolution of cell populations. Stem Cells 2017;35:80-88. © 2016 AlphaMed Press.

  13. Selection platforms for directed evolution in synthetic biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tizei, Pedro A G; Csibra, Eszter; Torres, Leticia; Pinheiro, Vitor B

    2016-08-15

    Life on Earth is incredibly diverse. Yet, underneath that diversity, there are a number of constants and highly conserved processes: all life is based on DNA and RNA; the genetic code is universal; biology is limited to a small subset of potential chemistries. A vast amount of knowledge has been accrued through describing and characterizing enzymes, biological processes and organisms. Nevertheless, much remains to be understood about the natural world. One of the goals in Synthetic Biology is to recapitulate biological complexity from simple systems made from biological molecules-gaining a deeper understanding of life in the process. Directed evolution is a powerful tool in Synthetic Biology, able to bypass gaps in knowledge and capable of engineering even the most highly conserved biological processes. It encompasses a range of methodologies to create variation in a population and to select individual variants with the desired function-be it a ligand, enzyme, pathway or even whole organisms. Here, we present some of the basic frameworks that underpin all evolution platforms and review some of the recent contributions from directed evolution to synthetic biology, in particular methods that have been used to engineer the Central Dogma and the genetic code. © 2016 The Author(s).

  14. Biological evolution: Some genetic considerations

    OpenAIRE

    Salem, Mohammad Saad Zaghloul

    2014-01-01

    Background: The concept of biological evolution has long been accepted as a palatable theory aiming at explaining how life began and how creatures diverged so widely along the life span of the earth. Meticulous analysis and criticism of the different postulations of this concept, however, reveals that evolution is an illogic concept based on theoretical hypotheses that can never be tested. Creation, on the other hand, represents the other side of the coin, and up till now debates confronting ...

  15. Cultural and biological evolution of phonemic speech

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Boer, B.; Freitas, A.A.; Capcarrere, M.S.; Bentley, Peter J.; Johnson, Colin G.; Timmis, Jon

    2005-01-01

    This paper investigates the interaction between cultural evolution and biological evolution in the emergence of phonemic coding in speech. It is observed that our nearest relatives, the primates, use holistic utterances, whereas humans use phonemic utterances. It can therefore be argued that our

  16. A mechano-biological model of multi-tissue evolution in bone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frame, Jamie; Rohan, Pierre-Yves; Corté, Laurent; Allena, Rachele

    2017-12-01

    Successfully simulating tissue evolution in bone is of significant importance in predicting various biological processes such as bone remodeling, fracture healing and osseointegration of implants. Each of these processes involves in different ways the permanent or transient formation of different tissue types, namely bone, cartilage and fibrous tissues. The tissue evolution in specific circumstances such as bone remodeling and fracturing healing is currently able to be modeled. Nevertheless, it remains challenging to predict which tissue types and organization can develop without any a priori assumptions. In particular, the role of mechano-biological coupling in this selective tissue evolution has not been clearly elucidated. In this work, a multi-tissue model has been created which simultaneously describes the evolution of bone, cartilage and fibrous tissues. The coupling of the biological and mechanical factors involved in tissue formation has been modeled by defining two different tissue states: an immature state corresponding to the early stages of tissue growth and representing cell clusters in a weakly neo-formed Extra Cellular Matrix (ECM), and a mature state corresponding to well-formed connective tissues. This has allowed for the cellular processes of migration, proliferation and apoptosis to be described simultaneously with the changing ECM properties through strain driven diffusion, growth, maturation and resorption terms. A series of finite element simulations were carried out on idealized cantilever bending geometries. Starting from a tissue composition replicating a mid-diaphysis section of a long bone, a steady-state tissue formation was reached over a statically loaded period of 10,000 h (60 weeks). The results demonstrated that bone formation occurred in regions which are optimally physiologically strained. In two additional 1000 h bending simulations both cartilaginous and fibrous tissues were shown to form under specific geometrical and loading

  17. Elastic Multi-scale Mechanisms: Computation and Biological Evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diaz Ochoa, Juan G

    2018-01-01

    Explanations based on low-level interacting elements are valuable and powerful since they contribute to identify the key mechanisms of biological functions. However, many dynamic systems based on low-level interacting elements with unambiguous, finite, and complete information of initial states generate future states that cannot be predicted, implying an increase of complexity and open-ended evolution. Such systems are like Turing machines, that overlap with dynamical systems that cannot halt. We argue that organisms find halting conditions by distorting these mechanisms, creating conditions for a constant creativity that drives evolution. We introduce a modulus of elasticity to measure the changes in these mechanisms in response to changes in the computed environment. We test this concept in a population of predators and predated cells with chemotactic mechanisms and demonstrate how the selection of a given mechanism depends on the entire population. We finally explore this concept in different frameworks and postulate that the identification of predictive mechanisms is only successful with small elasticity modulus.

  18. Discovering local patterns of co - evolution: computational aspects and biological examples

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tuller Tamir

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Co-evolution is the process in which two (or more sets of orthologs exhibit a similar or correlative pattern of evolution. Co-evolution is a powerful way to learn about the functional interdependencies between sets of genes and cellular functions and to predict physical interactions. More generally, it can be used for answering fundamental questions about the evolution of biological systems. Orthologs that exhibit a strong signal of co-evolution in a certain part of the evolutionary tree may show a mild signal of co-evolution in other branches of the tree. The major reasons for this phenomenon are noise in the biological input, genes that gain or lose functions, and the fact that some measures of co-evolution relate to rare events such as positive selection. Previous publications in the field dealt with the problem of finding sets of genes that co-evolved along an entire underlying phylogenetic tree, without considering the fact that often co-evolution is local. Results In this work, we describe a new set of biological problems that are related to finding patterns of local co-evolution. We discuss their computational complexity and design algorithms for solving them. These algorithms outperform other bi-clustering methods as they are designed specifically for solving the set of problems mentioned above. We use our approach to trace the co-evolution of fungal, eukaryotic, and mammalian genes at high resolution across the different parts of the corresponding phylogenetic trees. Specifically, we discover regions in the fungi tree that are enriched with positive evolution. We show that metabolic genes exhibit a remarkable level of co-evolution and different patterns of co-evolution in various biological datasets. In addition, we find that protein complexes that are related to gene expression exhibit non-homogenous levels of co-evolution across different parts of the fungi evolutionary line. In the case of mammalian evolution

  19. Biological information systems: Evolution as cognition-based information management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, William B

    2018-05-01

    An alternative biological synthesis is presented that conceptualizes evolutionary biology as an epiphenomenon of integrated self-referential information management. Since all biological information has inherent ambiguity, the systematic assessment of information is required by living organisms to maintain self-identity and homeostatic equipoise in confrontation with environmental challenges. Through their self-referential attachment to information space, cells are the cornerstone of biological action. That individualized assessment of information space permits self-referential, self-organizing niche construction. That deployment of information and its subsequent selection enacted the dominant stable unicellular informational architectures whose biological expressions are the prokaryotic, archaeal, and eukaryotic unicellular forms. Multicellularity represents the collective appraisal of equivocal environmental information through a shared information space. This concerted action can be viewed as systematized information management to improve information quality for the maintenance of preferred homeostatic boundaries among the varied participants. When reiterated in successive scales, this same collaborative exchange of information yields macroscopic organisms as obligatory multicellular holobionts. Cognition-Based Evolution (CBE) upholds that assessment of information precedes biological action, and the deployment of information through integrative self-referential niche construction and natural cellular engineering antecedes selection. Therefore, evolutionary biology can be framed as a complex reciprocating interactome that consists of the assessment, communication, deployment and management of information by self-referential organisms at multiple scales in continuous confrontation with environmental stresses. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Consciousness and biological evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindahl, B I

    1997-08-21

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

  1. Time rescaling and pattern formation in biological evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Igamberdiev, Abir U

    2014-09-01

    Biological evolution is analyzed as a process of continuous measurement in which biosystems interpret themselves in the environment resulting in changes of both. This leads to rescaling of internal time (heterochrony) followed by spatial reconstructions of morphology (heterotopy). The logical precondition of evolution is the incompleteness of biosystem's internal description, while the physical precondition is the uncertainty of quantum measurement. The process of evolution is based on perpetual changes in interpretation of information in the changing world. In this interpretation the external biospheric gradients are used for establishment of new features of organization. It is concluded that biological evolution involves the anticipatory epigenetic changes in the interpretation of genetic symbolism which cannot generally be forecasted but can provide canalization of structural transformations defined by the existing organization and leading to predictable patterns of form generation. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. The evolution of bacterial cell size: the internal diffusion-constraint hypothesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gallet, Romain; Violle, Cyrille; Fromin, Nathalie; Jabbour-Zahab, Roula; Enquist, Brian J; Lenormand, Thomas

    2017-07-01

    Size is one of the most important biological traits influencing organismal ecology and evolution. However, we know little about the drivers of body size evolution in unicellulars. A long-term evolution experiment (Lenski's LTEE) in which Escherichia coli adapts to a simple glucose medium has shown that not only the growth rate and the fitness of the bacterium increase over time but also its cell size. This increase in size contradicts prominent 'external diffusion' theory (EDC) predicting that cell size should have evolved toward smaller cells. Among several scenarios, we propose and test an alternative 'internal diffusion-constraint' (IDC) hypothesis for cell size evolution. A change in cell volume affects metabolite concentrations in the cytoplasm. The IDC states that a higher metabolism can be achieved by a reduction in the molecular traffic time inside of the cell, by increasing its volume. To test this hypothesis, we studied a population from the LTEE. We show that bigger cells with greater growth and CO 2 production rates and lower mass-to-volume ratio were selected over time in the LTEE. These results are consistent with the IDC hypothesis. This novel hypothesis offers a promising approach for understanding the evolutionary constraints on cell size.

  3. 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).

  4. Student Teachers' Approaches to Teaching Biological Evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borgerding, Lisa A.; Klein, Vanessa A.; Ghosh, Rajlakshmi; Eibel, Albert

    2015-06-01

    Evolution is fundamental to biology and scientific literacy, but teaching high school evolution is often difficult. Evolution teachers face several challenges including limited content knowledge, personal conflicts with evolution, expectations of resistance, concerns about students' conflicts with religion, and curricular constraints. Evolution teaching can be particularly challenging for student teachers who are just beginning to gain pedagogical knowledge and pedagogical content knowledge related to evolution teaching and who seek approval from university supervisors and cooperating teachers. Science teacher educators need to know how to best support student teachers as they broach the sometimes daunting task of teaching evolution within student teaching placements. This multiple case study report documents how three student teachers approached evolution instruction and what influenced their approaches. Data sources included student teacher interviews, field note observations for 4-5 days of evolution instruction, and evolution instructional artifacts. Data were analyzed using grounded theory approaches to develop individual cases and a cross-case analysis. Seven influences (state exams and standards, cooperating teacher, ideas about teaching and learning, concerns about evolution controversy, personal commitment to evolution, knowledge and preparation for teaching evolution, and own evolution learning experiences) were identified and compared across cases. Implications for science teacher preparation and future research are provided.

  5. A Powerful Toolkit for Synthetic Biology: Over 3.8 Billion Years of Evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rothschild, Lynn J.

    2010-01-01

    The combination of evolutionary with engineering principles will enhance synthetic biology. Conversely, synthetic biology has the potential to enrich evolutionary biology by explaining why some adaptive space is empty, on Earth or elsewhere. Synthetic biology, the design and construction of artificial biological systems, substitutes bio-engineering for evolution, which is seen as an obstacle. But because evolution has produced the complexity and diversity of life, it provides a proven toolkit of genetic materials and principles available to synthetic biology. Evolution operates on the population level, with the populations composed of unique individuals that are historical entities. The source of genetic novelty includes mutation, gene regulation, sex, symbiosis, and interspecies gene transfer. At a phenotypic level, variation derives from regulatory control, replication and diversification of components, compartmentalization, sexual selection and speciation, among others. Variation is limited by physical constraints such as diffusion, and chemical constraints such as reaction rates and membrane fluidity. While some of these tools of evolution are currently in use in synthetic biology, all ought to be examined for utility. A hybrid approach of synthetic biology coupled with fine-tuning through evolution is suggested

  6. Factors which influence Texas biology teachers' decisions to emphasize fundamental concepts of evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bilica, Kimberly Lynn

    The teaching of biological evolution in public science classrooms has been mitigated by a lingering and historic climate of controversy (Skoog, 1984; Skoog, 1979). This controversy has successfully stalled attempts to bring authentic science literacy to the American public (Bybee, 1997). The first encouraging signs of the abatement of this controversy occurred during the early 1990s when several prominent science organizations promoted evolution to its appropriate status as a central and unifying concept in biology (National Science Teachers Association, 1992; National Research Council, 1996; American Association for the Advancement of Science, 1990, 1993). The organizations acknowledged that not only should biological evolution be taught, evolution should stand as one of a select group of essential concepts upon which biology curricula should be built. Bandura's Social Learning theory (Bandura, 1997; Lumpe, Haney, & Czerniak, 2000) and Helms' Model of Identity (Helms, 1998) provide the theoretical basis for this study. Both Bandura and Helms explain the actions of teachers by examining the beliefs and values that influence their decisions. The models distinguish between two types of belief systems: capacity beliefs and context beliefs (Lumpe, et al, 2000; Helms, 1998). Both belief types influence and are influenced by individual actions. In this study, the action to be described is the decision that teachers make about the degree of emphasis on evolution in the classroom. The capacity beliefs that will be examined are teachers' beliefs about their capability to teach evolution. The contextual beliefs in this study are perceptions about students' capabilities to learn evolution, the status of evolution in science, the place of evolution in the biology classroom, the influence of textbooks, time, and community/school values. This study contributes to and extends the knowledge base established by studies of evolution education by exploring the relative amount of

  7. Biological evolution: Some genetic considerations | Salem ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Conclusion: Natural selection might be observed in nature but not in life. The concept of biological evolution is an illogic and insensible hypothesis since it stands in direct contradiction with our current knowledge regarding the behavior as well as the structural and functional characteristics of the human genome and human ...

  8. Unravelling biology and shifting paradigms in cancer with single-cell sequencing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baslan, Timour; Hicks, James

    2017-08-24

    The fundamental operative unit of a cancer is the genetically and epigenetically innovative single cell. Whether proliferating or quiescent, in the primary tumour mass or disseminated elsewhere, single cells govern the parameters that dictate all facets of the biology of cancer. Thus, single-cell analyses provide the ultimate level of resolution in our quest for a fundamental understanding of this disease. Historically, this quest has been hampered by technological shortcomings. In this Opinion article, we argue that the rapidly evolving field of single-cell sequencing has unshackled the cancer research community of these shortcomings. From furthering an elemental understanding of intra-tumoural genetic heterogeneity and cancer genome evolution to illuminating the governing principles of disease relapse and metastasis, we posit that single-cell sequencing promises to unravel the biology of all facets of this disease.

  9. Evolution Acceptance and Epistemological Beliefs of College Biology Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borgerding, Lisa A.; Deniz, Hasan; Anderson, Elizabeth Shevock

    2017-01-01

    Evolutionary theory is central to biology, and scientifically accurate evolution instruction is promoted within national and state standards documents. Previous literature has identified students' epistemological beliefs as potential predictors of evolution acceptance. The present work seeks to explore more directly how student views of evolution…

  10. Harlow Shapley's Biological Universe: Cosmic Evolution and its Uses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palmeri, J.

    2002-12-01

    Harlow Shapley was an astronomer with a lifelong interest in biological questions. An early fascination with ants acquired at Mount Wilson became a continuing avocation. During his years in California, Shapley made frequent trips to La Jolla biological station and interacted with prominent biologists. At Harvard in the 1920s Shapley initiated a series of interdisciplinary seminars, one of which was on "The Origin of Life." At this time he also displayed an interest in the question of life in the universe. In response to an inquiry from Charles Abbot of the Smithsonian, Shapley identified "life in the universe" as one of the most important scientific questions of the day. Shapley's continuing interest in these questions found expression in his many popularizations - articles, books, lectures, and other media. (A decade before Sagan's memorable appearances on the Johnny Carson show, Shapley was engaging in his own dialogue with the American public on life in the universe, through Tonight Show host Jack Paar). Evolution was the idea that underlay Shapley's discussions of these biological themes and the vehicle through which he popularized science as well as his own vision of the wider significance of science for humanity. As an astronomer with a profound interest in biological subjects, Shapley was uniquely positioned to popularize cosmic evolution, and to use this theme to promote his belief that science could serve as a kind of "stellar theology." Shapley's case illustrates how cosmic evolution, like biological evolution, has served as more than a scientific account of nature; it has become an idea invested with moral and cultural significance. Shapley's promotion of cosmic evolution throughout the 1950s and 1960s can be understood against the backdrop of developments in the sciences as well as the historical and personal factors that shaped his career as a spokesman for science. This research was supported by grants from the American Institute of Physics and the

  11. An analysis of factors influencing the teaching of biological evolution in Louisiana public secondary schools

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aguillard, Donald Wayne

    Louisiana public school biology teachers were surveyed to investigate their attitudes toward biological evolution. A mixed method investigation was employed using a questionnaire and open-ended interviews. Results obtained from 64 percent of the sample receiving the questionnaire indicate that although teachers endorse the study of evolution as important, instructional time allocated to evolution is disproportionate with its status as a unifying concept of science. Two variables, number of college courses specifically devoted to evolution and number of semester credit hours in biology, produced a significant correlation with emphasis placed on evolution. The data suggest that teachers' knowledge base emerged as the most significant factor in determining degree of classroom emphasis on evolution. The data suggest a need for substantive changes in the training of biology teachers. Thirty-five percent of teachers reported pursuing fewer than 20 semester credit hours in biology and 68 percent reported fewer than three college courses in which evolution was specifically discussed. Fifty percent reported a willingness to undergo additional training about evolution. In spite of the fact that evolution has been identified as a major conceptual theme across all of the sciences, there is strong evidence that Louisiana biology teachers de-emphasize evolutionary theory. Even when biology teachers allocate instructional time to evolutionary theory, many avoid discussion of human evolution. The research data show that only ten percent of teachers reported allocating more than sixty minutes of instructional time to human evolution. Louisiana biology teachers were found to hold extreme views on the subject of creationism as a component of the biology curriculum. Twenty-nine percent indicated that creationism should be taught in high school biology and 25--35 percent allocated instructional time to discussions of creationism. Contributing to the de-emphasis of evolutionary theory

  12. Cell–cell signaling drives the evolution of complex traits: introduction—lung evo-devo

    Science.gov (United States)

    Torday, John S.; Rehan, V. K.

    2009-01-01

    Physiology integrates biology with the environment through cell–cell interactions at multiple levels. The evolution of the respiratory system has been “deconvoluted” (Torday and Rehan in Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol 31:8–12, 2004) through Gene Regulatory Networks (GRNs) applied to cell–cell communication for all aspects of lung biology development, homeostasis, regeneration, and aging. Using this approach, we have predicted the phenotypic consequences of failed signaling for lung development, homeostasis, and regeneration based on evolutionary principles. This cell–cell communication model predicts other aspects of vertebrate physiology as adaptational responses. For example, the oxygen-induced differentiation of alveolar myocytes into alveolar adipocytes was critical for the evolution of the lung in land dwelling animals adapting to fluctuating Phanarezoic oxygen levels over the past 500 million years. Adipocytes prevent lung injury due to oxygen radicals and facilitate the rise of endothermy. In addition, they produce the class I cytokine leptin, which augments pulmonary surfactant activity and alveolar surface area, increasing selection pressure for both respiratory oxygenation and metabolic demand initially constrained by high-systemic vascular pressure, but subsequently compensated by the evolution of the adrenomedullary beta-adrenergic receptor mechanism. Conserted positive selection for the lung and adrenals created further selection pressure for the heart, which becomes progressively more complex phylogenetically in tandem with the lung. Developmentally, increasing heart complexity and size impinges precociously on the gut mesoderm to induce the liver. That evolutionary-developmental interaction is significant because the liver provides regulated sources of glucose and glycogen to the evolving physiologic system, which is necessary for the evolution of the neocortex. Evolution of neocortical control furthers integration of physiologic systems. Such

  13. Worldviews and evolution in the biology classroom

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schilders, M.; Sloep, P.; Peled, E.; Boersma, K.T.

    2009-01-01

    This study examined what worldviews are present among Dutch students and teachers and how the students cope with scientific knowledge acquired in the biology classroom. Furthermore, we investigated what learning and teaching strategies teachers adopt when they teach about evolution and worldviews.

  14. Biological evolution: Some genetic considerations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohammad Saad Zaghloul Salem

    2014-01-01

    Conclusion: Natural selection might be observed in nature but not in life. The concept of biological evolution is an illogic and insensible hypothesis since it stands in direct contradiction with our current knowledge regarding the behavior as well as the structural and functional characteristics of the human genome and human proteome. Additionally, almost all basic postulations of this concept can neither be tested nor imitated for experimentation, which is a prerequisite for acceptance and validation of any scientific hypotheses.

  15. Developmental biology, the stem cell of biological disciplines

    OpenAIRE

    Gilbert, Scott F.

    2017-01-01

    Developmental biology (including embryology) is proposed as "the stem cell of biological disciplines.” Genetics, cell biology, oncology, immunology, evolutionary mechanisms, neurobiology, and systems biology each has its ancestry in developmental biology. Moreover, developmental biology continues to roll on, budding off more disciplines, while retaining its own identity. While its descendant disciplines differentiate into sciences with a restricted set of paradigms, examples, and techniques, ...

  16. On the transition period from chemical to biological evolution

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chela-Flores, J.

    1991-06-01

    We discuss the consequences of the hypothesis that biological evolution was contemporary with an important event in chemical evolution, namely, the induction of a small chiral bias by the electroweak neutral interaction, amplified by the Salam enhancement factor, which we discuss in terms of familiar crystallographic terms. (author). 18 refs, 3 tabs

  17. Germ Cells are Made Semiotically Competent During Evolution

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Giorgi, Franco; Bruni, Luis Emilio

    2016-01-01

    Germ cells are cross-roads of development and evolution. They define the origin of every new generation and, at the same time, represent the biological end-product of any mature organism. Germ cells are endowed with the following capacities: (1) to store a self-descriptive program, (2......) to accumulate a protein-synthesizing machinery (ribosomes), and (3) to incorporate enough nourishment to sustain embryonic development (yolk). To accomplish this goal, germ cells do not simply unfold a pre-determined program or realize a sole instructive role. On the contrary, due to the complexity...... milieu and experience the compatibility of selected developmental sequences. The question of which signaling pathways are activated at each developmental stage does not result from a strictly predetermined program instructing germ cell stemness. Rather, each developmental sequence is an open...

  18. Biology Students' and Teachers' Religious Beliefs and Attitudes towards Theory of Evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ozay Kose, Esra

    2010-01-01

    Evolution has not being well addressed in schools partly because it is a controversial topic in religious views. In the present study, it is explored to what extent Turkish secondary school biology teachers and students accommodate the theory of biological evolution with their religious beliefs. Two-hundred fifty secondary school students and…

  19. Nanoscopical dissection of ancestral nucleoli in Archaea: a case of study in Evolutionary Cell Biology

    KAUST Repository

    Islas Morales, Parsifal

    2018-04-01

    Is the nucleolus a sine qua non condition of eukaryotes? The present project starts from this central question to contribute to our knowledge about the origin and the evolution of the cells. The nucleolus is a cryptic organelle that plays a central role in cell function. It is responsible for the orchestration of ribosomal RNA expression, maturation and modification in the regulatory context of cellular homeostasis. Ribosomal expression is undoubtedly the greatest transcriptional and regulatory activity of any cell. The nucleolus is not just a conventional organelle –membrane-limited-, but a magnificent transcriptional puff: a dichotomy between structure and process, form and function. What is the minimum nucleolus? Evolution should bring some light into these questions. Evolutionary cell biology (ECB) has raised increasing attention in the last decades. Is this a new discipline and an historical opportunity to combine functional and evolutionary biology towards the insight that cell evolution underlies organismic complexity? In the post-genomic era, we have developed the potential of combining high throughput acquisition of data with functional in situ and in sillico approaches: integration understood as omics approaches. Can this provide a real consilience between evolutionary and functional approaches? The reduced number of model organisms and cultivation techniques still excludes the majority of the extant diversity of cells from the scope of experimental inquiry. Furthermore, at the conceptual level, the simplification of evolutionary processes in biosciences still limits the conformation of a successful disciplinary link between functional and evolutionary biology. This limits the formulation of questions and experiments that properly address the mechanistic nature of cellular events that underlie microbial and organismic diversity and evolution. Here we provide a critical and comparative review to the historical background of ECB. This project takes the

  20. Translational environmental biology: cell biology informing conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Traylor-Knowles, Nikki; Palumbi, Stephen R

    2014-05-01

    Typically, findings from cell biology have been beneficial for preventing human disease. However, translational applications from cell biology can also be applied to conservation efforts, such as protecting coral reefs. Recent efforts to understand the cell biological mechanisms maintaining coral health such as innate immunity and acclimatization have prompted new developments in conservation. Similar to biomedicine, we urge that future efforts should focus on better frameworks for biomarker development to protect coral reefs. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Developmental biology, the stem cell of biological disciplines.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilbert, Scott F

    2017-12-01

    Developmental biology (including embryology) is proposed as "the stem cell of biological disciplines." Genetics, cell biology, oncology, immunology, evolutionary mechanisms, neurobiology, and systems biology each has its ancestry in developmental biology. Moreover, developmental biology continues to roll on, budding off more disciplines, while retaining its own identity. While its descendant disciplines differentiate into sciences with a restricted set of paradigms, examples, and techniques, developmental biology remains vigorous, pluripotent, and relatively undifferentiated. In many disciplines, especially in evolutionary biology and oncology, the developmental perspective is being reasserted as an important research program.

  2. Limits in the evolution of biological form: a theoretical morphologic perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGhee, George R

    2015-12-06

    Limits in the evolution of biological form can be empirically demonstrated by using theoretical morphospace analyses, and actual analytic examples are given for univalved ammonoid shell form, bivalved brachiopod shell form and helical bryozoan colony form. Limits in the evolution of form in these animal groups can be shown to be due to functional and developmental constraints on possible evolutionary trajectories in morphospace. Future evolutionary-limit research is needed to analyse the possible existence of temporal constraint in the evolution of biological form on Earth, and in the search for the possible existence of functional alien life forms on Titan and Triton that are developmentally impossible for Earth life.

  3. Evolution of apoptosis-like programmed cell death in unicellular protozoan parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaczanowski, Szymon; Sajid, Mohammed; Reece, Sarah E

    2011-03-25

    Apoptosis-like programmed cell death (PCD) has recently been described in multiple taxa of unicellular protists, including the protozoan parasites Plasmodium, Trypanosoma and Leishmania. Apoptosis-like PCD in protozoan parasites shares a number of morphological features with programmed cell death in multicellular organisms. However, both the evolutionary explanations and mechanisms involved in parasite PCD are poorly understood. Explaining why unicellular organisms appear to undergo 'suicide' is a challenge for evolutionary biology and uncovering death executors and pathways is a challenge for molecular and cell biology. Bioinformatics has the potential to integrate these approaches by revealing homologies in the PCD machinery of diverse taxa and evaluating their evolutionary trajectories. As the molecular mechanisms of apoptosis in model organisms are well characterised, and recent data suggest similar mechanisms operate in protozoan parasites, key questions can now be addressed. These questions include: which elements of apoptosis machinery appear to be shared between protozoan parasites and multicellular taxa and, have these mechanisms arisen through convergent or divergent evolution? We use bioinformatics to address these questions and our analyses suggest that apoptosis mechanisms in protozoan parasites and other taxa have diverged during their evolution, that some apoptosis factors are shared across taxa whilst others have been replaced by proteins with similar biochemical activities.

  4. Formation of dominant mode by evolution in biological systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Furusawa, Chikara; Kaneko, Kunihiko

    2018-04-01

    A reduction in high-dimensional phenotypic states to a few degrees of freedom is essential to understand biological systems. Here, we show evolutionary robustness causes such reduction which restricts possible phenotypic changes in response to a variety of environmental conditions. First, global protein expression changes in Escherichia coli after various environmental perturbations were shown to be proportional across components, across different types of environmental conditions. To examine if such dimension reduction is a result of evolution, we analyzed a cell model—with a huge number of components, that reproduces itself via a catalytic reaction network—and confirmed that common proportionality in the concentrations of all components is shaped through evolutionary processes. We found that the changes in concentration across all components in response to environmental and evolutionary changes are constrained to the changes along a one-dimensional major axis, within a huge-dimensional state space. On the basis of these observations, we propose a theory in which such constraints in phenotypic changes are achieved both by evolutionary robustness and plasticity and formulate this proposition in terms of dynamical systems. Accordingly, broad experimental and numerical results on phenotypic changes caused by evolution and adaptation are coherently explained.

  5. Fostering synergy between cell biology and systems biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-08-01

    In the shared pursuit of elucidating detailed mechanisms of cell function, systems biology presents a natural complement to ongoing efforts in cell biology. Systems biology aims to characterize biological systems through integrated and quantitative modeling of cellular information. The process of model building and analysis provides value through synthesizing and cataloging information about cells and molecules, predicting mechanisms and identifying generalizable themes, generating hypotheses and guiding experimental design, and highlighting knowledge gaps and refining understanding. In turn, incorporating domain expertise and experimental data is crucial for building towards whole cell models. An iterative cycle of interaction between cell and systems biologists advances the goals of both fields and establishes a framework for mechanistic understanding of the genome-to-phenome relationship. Crown Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Evolution of approaches to viral safety issues for biological products.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lubiniecki, Anthony S

    2011-01-01

    CONFERENCE PROCEEDING Proceedings of the PDA/FDA Adventitious Viruses in Biologics: Detection and Mitigation Strategies Workshop in Bethesda, MD, USA; December 1-3, 2010 Guest Editors: Arifa Khan (Bethesda, MD), Patricia Hughes (Bethesda, MD) and Michael Wiebe (San Francisco, CA) Approaches to viral safety issues for biological products have evolved during the past 50+ years. The first cell culture products (viral vaccines) relied largely on the use of in vitro and in vivo virus screening assays that were based upon infectivity of adventitious viral agents. The use of Cohn fractionation and pasteurization by manufacturers of plasma derivatives introduced the concepts that purification and treatment with physical and chemical agents could greatly reduce the risk of viral contamination of human albumin and immunoglobulin products. But the limitations of such approaches became clear for thermolabile products that were removed early in fractionation such as antihemophilic factors, which transmitted hepatitis viruses and HIV-1 to some product recipients. These successes and limitations were taken into account by the early developers of recombinant DNA (rDNA)-derived cell culture products and by regulatory agencies, leading to the utilization of cloning technology to reduce/eliminate contamination due to human viruses and purification technologies to physically remove and inactivate adventitious and endogenous viruses, along with cell banking and cell bank characterization for adventitious and endogenous viruses, viral screening of biological raw materials, and testing of cell culture harvests, to ensure virus safety. Later development and incorporation of nanofiltration technology in the manufacturing process provided additional assurance of viral clearance for safety of biotechnology products. These measures have proven very effective at preventing iatrogenic infection of recipients of biotechnology products; however, viral contamination of production cell cultures has

  7. Experimental evolution in budding yeast

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murray, Andrew

    2012-02-01

    I will discuss our progress in analyzing evolution in the budding yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae. We take two basic approaches. The first is to try and examine quantitative aspects of evolution, for example by determining how the rate of evolution depends on the mutation rate and the population size or asking whether the rate of mutation is uniform throughout the genome. The second is to try to evolve qualitatively novel, cell biologically interesting phenotypes and track the mutations that are responsible for the phenotype. Our efforts include trying to alter cell morphology, evolve multicellularity, and produce a biological oscillator.

  8. High-dimensional single-cell cancer biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Irish, Jonathan M; Doxie, Deon B

    2014-01-01

    Cancer cells are distinguished from each other and from healthy cells by features that drive clonal evolution and therapy resistance. New advances in high-dimensional flow cytometry make it possible to systematically measure mechanisms of tumor initiation, progression, and therapy resistance on millions of cells from human tumors. Here we describe flow cytometry techniques that enable a "single-cell " view of cancer. High-dimensional techniques like mass cytometry enable multiplexed single-cell analysis of cell identity, clinical biomarkers, signaling network phospho-proteins, transcription factors, and functional readouts of proliferation, cell cycle status, and apoptosis. This capability pairs well with a signaling profiles approach that dissects mechanism by systematically perturbing and measuring many nodes in a signaling network. Single-cell approaches enable study of cellular heterogeneity of primary tissues and turn cell subsets into experimental controls or opportunities for new discovery. Rare populations of stem cells or therapy-resistant cancer cells can be identified and compared to other types of cells within the same sample. In the long term, these techniques will enable tracking of minimal residual disease (MRD) and disease progression. By better understanding biological systems that control development and cell-cell interactions in healthy and diseased contexts, we can learn to program cells to become therapeutic agents or target malignant signaling events to specifically kill cancer cells. Single-cell approaches that provide deep insight into cell signaling and fate decisions will be critical to optimizing the next generation of cancer treatments combining targeted approaches and immunotherapy.

  9. Evolution of egg coats: linking molecular biology and ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shu, Longfei; Suter, Marc J-F; Räsänen, Katja

    2015-08-01

    One central goal of evolutionary biology is to explain how biological diversity emerges and is maintained in nature. Given the complexity of the phenotype and the multifaceted nature of inheritance, modern evolutionary ecological studies rely heavily on the use of molecular tools. Here, we show how molecular tools help to gain insight into the role of egg coats (i.e. the extracellular structures surrounding eggs and embryos) in evolutionary diversification. Egg coats are maternally derived structures that have many biological functions from mediating fertilization to protecting the embryo from environmental hazards. They show great molecular, structural and functional diversity across species, but intraspecific variability and the role of ecology in egg coat evolution have largely been overlooked. Given that much of the variation that influences egg coat function is ultimately determined by their molecular phenotype, cutting-edge molecular tools (e.g. proteomics, glycomics and transcriptomics), combined with functional assays, are needed for rigorous inferences on their evolutionary ecology. Here, we identify key research areas and highlight emerging molecular techniques that can increase our understanding of the role of egg coats in the evolution of biological diversity, from adaptation to speciation. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  10. Introductory Biology Labs... They Just Aren't Sexy Enough!

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cotner, Sehoya; Gallup, Gordon G., Jr.

    2011-01-01

    The typical introductory biology curriculum includes the nature of science, evolution and genetics. Laboratory activities are designed to engage students in typical subject areas ranging from cell biology and physiology, to ecology and evolution. There are few, if any, laboratory classes exploring the biology and evolution of human sexual…

  11. Networks in Cell Biology

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-05-01

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

  12. Perception analysis of undergraduate students in the health field about the topic Cell Biology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carlos Alberto Andrade Monerat

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available The Brazilian education has been changing over time, especially with the increased offer on the various levels of education. In undergraduate courses, in the health area, the cell biology becomes an essential discipline, because various sectors are directly influenced by their recent discoveries and research. This work aimed to analyze, with undergraduate students, perceptions about the themes at Cell Biology, revealing, with its results, pertinent aspects, as insufficient knowledge about the proposed theme. The definition of a concept of cell, considered a basic aspect, however relevant in this context, exemplifies this situation, because it showed a considerable rate of unsatisfactory answers. On the other hand, was verified the recognition of Cell Biology as an area that presents important contents in the training of these students, due the numerous scientific researches that show its constant evolution in association with themes of medicine and public health.

  13. A MODELING AND SIMULATION LANGUAGE FOR BIOLOGICAL CELLS WITH COUPLED MECHANICAL AND CHEMICAL PROCESSES.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Somogyi, Endre; Glazier, James A

    2017-04-01

    Biological cells are the prototypical example of active matter. Cells sense and respond to mechanical, chemical and electrical environmental stimuli with a range of behaviors, including dynamic changes in morphology and mechanical properties, chemical uptake and secretion, cell differentiation, proliferation, death, and migration. Modeling and simulation of such dynamic phenomena poses a number of computational challenges. A modeling language describing cellular dynamics must naturally represent complex intra and extra-cellular spatial structures and coupled mechanical, chemical and electrical processes. Domain experts will find a modeling language most useful when it is based on concepts, terms and principles native to the problem domain. A compiler must then be able to generate an executable model from this physically motivated description. Finally, an executable model must efficiently calculate the time evolution of such dynamic and inhomogeneous phenomena. We present a spatial hybrid systems modeling language, compiler and mesh-free Lagrangian based simulation engine which will enable domain experts to define models using natural, biologically motivated constructs and to simulate time evolution of coupled cellular, mechanical and chemical processes acting on a time varying number of cells and their environment.

  14. Using synthetic biology to make cells tomorrow's test tubes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garcia, Hernan G; Brewster, Robert C; Phillips, Rob

    2016-04-18

    The main tenet of physical biology is that biological phenomena can be subject to the same quantitative and predictive understanding that physics has afforded in the context of inanimate matter. However, the inherent complexity of many of these biological processes often leads to the derivation of complex theoretical descriptions containing a plethora of unknown parameters. Such complex descriptions pose a conceptual challenge to the establishment of a solid basis for predictive biology. In this article, we present various exciting examples of how synthetic biology can be used to simplify biological systems and distill these phenomena down to their essential features as a means to enable their theoretical description. Here, synthetic biology goes beyond previous efforts to engineer nature and becomes a tool to bend nature to understand it. We discuss various recent and classic experiments featuring applications of this synthetic approach to the elucidation of problems ranging from bacteriophage infection, to transcriptional regulation in bacteria and in developing embryos, to evolution. In all of these examples, synthetic biology provides the opportunity to turn cells into the equivalent of a test tube, where biological phenomena can be reconstituted and our theoretical understanding put to test with the same ease that these same phenomena can be studied in the in vitro setting.

  15. Molecular biology of the cell

    CERN Document Server

    Alberts, Bruce; Lewis, Julian

    2000-01-01

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

  16. Emotional and Spiritual Quotient Approach Improve Biology Education Students’ Acceptance of Evolution Theory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Darussyamsu, R.; Fadilah, M.; Putri, D. H.

    2018-04-01

    Emotional and spiritual aspect is one of main factors that influence students’ acceptance of a theory. This study aim to measure university students’ acceptance of evolution by learns evolution using emotional and spiritual quotient (ESQ) approach. This is a quasi-experimental research using one shot case study design with the subject 36 biology educational students at Biology Department, Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Science, Universitas Negeri Padang. Data collected using the MATE instrument by Rutledge and Warden (2000) after the students learn evolution for eight meetings since January until March 2017. The result showed that by learning evolution theory combine with ESQ aspects increase students acceptance from very low become moderate acceptance. It concluded that ESQ aspects can improve students’ acceptance of evolution. Any criteria depend on it are discussed.

  17. [Analysis on property of meridian supramolecules by biological evolution path].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deng, Kaiwen; Tao, Yeqin; Tang, Wenhan; He, Fuyuan; Liu, Wenlong; Shi, Jilian; Yang, Yantao; Zhou, Yiqun; Chang, Xiaorong

    2017-03-12

    With human placed in the whole nature, by following the biologic evolution path, the property of channel structure for "imprinting template" in meridian and zang-fu was explored with supramolecular chemistry. In the history of biologic evolution, each molecule in "molecule society" gradually developed into various highly-ordered supramolecular bodies based on self-identification, self-assembly, self-organization, self-replicating of"imprinting template", and thereby the original biochemical system was established, and finally evolved into human. In the forming process of supramolecular bodies, the channel structure of"imprinting template" in guest supramolecular bodies would be kept by host supramolecular bodies, and communicate with the outside to exchange materials, energy, information, otherwise life phenomenon could not continue, for which it was the chemical nature of biolo-gical supramolecular bodies for body to develop meridian. Therefore, the human was a gigantic and complicated supramolecules body in biological nature, and possessed the supramolecules "imprinting template" at each stage of evolution, for which the meridians were formed. When meridians converged, acupoints appeared; when acupointsconverged, zang-fu appeared. With the promotion of the blood from heart, according to"imprinting template", the guest supramolecular bodies and host meridian produced qi -analysis, which was the qi -phenomenon of guest in meridian. It presented as zang-fu image of physiology and pathology as well as action regularities of medication and acupuncture tolerance, by which current various meridian viewpoints could be explained and propose the hypothesis of meridian supramolecular bodies. The meridian and its phenomenon was decide by its "imprinting template" of supramolecular bodies and self-reaction regularities, which abided through the living nature. This was the substance for meridian biology.

  18. A critical analysis of the new biology and the biological revolution: their impact - from medicine to evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dev, Sukhendu B

    2010-01-01

    In this article, I critically analyze the impact of the new biology and the biological revolution. I argue that indiscriminate use of the words such as 'interdisciplinary,' 'integrative,' and 'revolution' has caused only confusion when applied to biology. The recent debate, especially after the exploding field of systems biology, has brought back the controversy whether molecular biology is reductionist or holistic. I look at the issues involved critically. I discuss the problem of defining the word 'gene' and argue that recent attempts to redefine the central dogma of molecular biology about the information flow from DNA to RNA to protein are not justified. I support my view with comments from the scientist who discovered RNA splicing. Several aspects of evo-devo, a new branch of biology, are discussed. I give examples from this evolution-developmental biology to show how some of Darwin's inspired guesses have had resounding victory when it was found that specific genes during embryonic development of the Galapagos finches decided the size and shape of their beaks. I discuss the recent publications which show that the conditions in the island, such as wet to dry to wet season, can bring about evolutionary changes from year to year. Thus it is essential to monitor both short and long-term evolutionary changes to get the full picture of evolution.

  19. The Evolution of the Stem Cell Theory for Heart Failure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silvestre, Jean-Sébastien; Menasché, Philippe

    2015-12-01

    Various stem cell-based approaches for cardiac repair have achieved encouraging results in animal experiments, often leading to their rapid proceeding to clinical testing. However, freewheeling evolutionary developments of the stem cell theory might lead to dystopian scenarios where heterogeneous sources of therapeutic cells could promote mixed clinical outcomes in un-stratified patient populations. This review focuses on the lessons that should be learnt from the first generation of stem cell-based strategies and emphasizes the absolute requirement to better understand the basic mechanisms of stem cell biology and cardiogenesis. We will also discuss about the unexpected "big bang" in the stem cell theory, "blasting" the therapeutic cells to their unchallenged ability to release paracrine factors such as extracellular membrane vesicles. Paradoxically, the natural evolution of the stem cell theory for cardiac regeneration may end with the development of cell-free strategies with multiple cellular targets including cardiomyocytes but also other infiltrating or resident cardiac cells.

  20. The Evolution of the Stem Cell Theory for Heart Failure

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jean-Sébastien Silvestre

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Various stem cell-based approaches for cardiac repair have achieved encouraging results in animal experiments, often leading to their rapid proceeding to clinical testing. However, freewheeling evolutionary developments of the stem cell theory might lead to dystopian scenarios where heterogeneous sources of therapeutic cells could promote mixed clinical outcomes in un-stratified patient populations. This review focuses on the lessons that should be learnt from the first generation of stem cell-based strategies and emphasizes the absolute requirement to better understand the basic mechanisms of stem cell biology and cardiogenesis. We will also discuss about the unexpected “big bang” in the stem cell theory, “blasting” the therapeutic cells to their unchallenged ability to release paracrine factors such as extracellular membrane vesicles. Paradoxically, the natural evolution of the stem cell theory for cardiac regeneration may end with the development of cell-free strategies with multiple cellular targets including cardiomyocytes but also other infiltrating or resident cardiac cells.

  1. Biological fuel cells and their applications

    OpenAIRE

    Shukla, AK; Suresh, P; Berchmans, S; Rajendran, A

    2004-01-01

    One type of genuine fuel cell that does hold promise in the long-term is the biological fuel cell. Unlike conventional fuel cells, which employ hydrogen, ethanol and methanol as fuel, biological fuel cells use organic products produced by metabolic processes or use organic electron donors utilized in the growth processes as fuels for current generation. A distinctive feature of biological fuel cells is that the electrode reactions are controlled by biocatalysts, i.e. the biological redox-reac...

  2. Markov Chain-Like Quantum Biological Modeling of Mutations, Aging, and Evolution

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ivan B. Djordjevic

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Recent evidence suggests that quantum mechanics is relevant in photosynthesis, magnetoreception, enzymatic catalytic reactions, olfactory reception, photoreception, genetics, electron-transfer in proteins, and evolution; to mention few. In our recent paper published in Life, we have derived the operator-sum representation of a biological channel based on codon basekets, and determined the quantum channel model suitable for study of the quantum biological channel capacity. However, this model is essentially memoryless and it is not able to properly model the propagation of mutation errors in time, the process of aging, and evolution of genetic information through generations. To solve for these problems, we propose novel quantum mechanical models to accurately describe the process of creation spontaneous, induced, and adaptive mutations and their propagation in time. Different biological channel models with memory, proposed in this paper, include: (i Markovian classical model, (ii Markovian-like quantum model, and (iii hybrid quantum-classical model. We then apply these models in a study of aging and evolution of quantum biological channel capacity through generations. We also discuss key differences of these models with respect to a multilevel symmetric channel-based Markovian model and a Kimura model-based Markovian process. These models are quite general and applicable to many open problems in biology, not only biological channel capacity, which is the main focus of the paper. We will show that the famous quantum Master equation approach, commonly used to describe different biological processes, is just the first-order approximation of the proposed quantum Markov chain-like model, when the observation interval tends to zero. One of the important implications of this model is that the aging phenotype becomes determined by different underlying transition probabilities in both programmed and random (damage Markov chain-like models of aging, which

  3. Biological Evolution and the History of the Earth Are Foundations of Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-01-01

    AGU affirms the central importance of including scientific theories of Earth history and biological evolution in science education. Within the scientific community, the theory of biological evolution is not controversial, nor have ``alternative explanations'' been found. This is why no competing theories are required by the U.S. National Science Education Standards. Explanations of natural phenomena that appeal to the supernatural or are based on religious doctrine-and therefore cannot be tested through scientific inquiry-are not scientific, and have no place in the science classroom.

  4. Proceedings of Synthetic Biology: Engineering, Evolution and Design (SEED) Conference 2015

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Silver, Pamela [Harvard Univ., Cambridge, MA (United States); SEED 2015 Conference Chair; Flach, Evan [American Institute of Chemical Engineers; SEED 2015 Conference Organizer

    2016-10-27

    Synthetic Biology is an emerging discipline that seeks to accelerate the process of engineering biology. As such, the tools are broadly applicable to application areas, including chemicals and biofuels, materials, medicine and agriculture. A characteristic of the field is to look holistically at cellular design, from sensing and genetic circuitry to the manipulation of cellular processes and actuators, to controlling metabolism, to programming multicellular behaviors. Further, the types of cells that are manipulated are broad, from in vitro systems to microbes and fungi to mammalian and plant cells and living animals. Many of the projects in synthetic biology seek to move biochemical functions across organisms. The field is highly interdisciplinary with faculty and students spread across departments that focus on engineering (biological, chemical, electrical, mechanical, civil, computer science) and basic science (biology and systems biology, chemistry, physics). While there have been many one-off workshops and meeting on synthetic biology, the 2014 Synthetic Biology: Engineering, Evolution and Design (SEED) was the first of an annual conference series that serves as a reliable place to pull together the involved disciplines in order to organize and exchange advances in the science and technology in the field. Further, the SEED conferences have a strong focus on industry, with many companies represented and actively participating. A number of these companies have started major efforts in synthetic biology including large companies (e.g., Pfizer, Novartis, Dow, Dupont, BP, Total), smaller companies have recently gone public (e.g., Amyris, Gevo, Intrexon), and many start-ups (e.g., Teslagen, Refactored Materials, Pivot, Genomatica). There are a number of loosely affiliated Synthetic Biology Centers, including ones at MIT, Boston University, UCSD, UCSF, UC-Berkeley, Imperial College, Oxford, and ETH. SEED 2015 will serve as the primary meeting at which international

  5. Human evolution, life history theory, and the end of biological reproduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Last, Cadell

    2014-01-01

    Throughout primate history there have been three major life history transitions towards increasingly delayed sexual maturation and biological reproduction, as well as towards extended life expectancy. Monkeys reproduce later and live longer than do prosimians, apes reproduce later and live longer than do monkeys, and humans reproduce later and live longer than do apes. These life history transitions are connected to increased encephalization. During the last life history transition from apes to humans, increased encephalization co-evolved with increased dependence on cultural knowledge for energy acquisition. This led to a dramatic pressure for more energy investment in growth over current biological reproduction. Since the industrial revolution socioeconomic development has led to even more energy being devoted to growth over current biological reproduction. I propose that this is the beginning of an ongoing fourth major primate life history transition towards completely delayed biological reproduction and an extension of the evolved human life expectancy. I argue that the only fundamental difference between this primate life history transition and previous life history transitions is that this transition is being driven solely by cultural evolution, which may suggest some deeper evolutionary transition away from biological evolution is already in the process of occurring.

  6. Cell Division and Evolution of Biological Tissues

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rivier, Nicolas; Arcenegui-Siemens, Xavier; Schliecker, Gudrun

    A tissue is a geometrical, space-filling, random cellular network; it remains in this steady state while individual cells divide. Cell division (fragmentation) is a local, elementary topological transformation which establishes statistical equilibrium of the structure. Statistical equilibrium is characterized by observable relations (Lewis, Aboav) between cell shapes, sizes and those of their neighbours, obtained through maximum entropy and topological correlation extending to nearest neighbours only, i.e. maximal randomness. For a two-dimensional tissue (epithelium), the distribution of cell shapes and that of mother and daughter cells can be obtained from elementary geometrical and physical arguments, except for an exponential factor favouring division of larger cells, and exponential and combinatorial factors encouraging a most symmetric division. The resulting distributions are very narrow, and stationarity severely restricts the range of an adjustable structural parameter

  7. Factors Potentially Influencing Student Acceptance of Biological Evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiles, Jason R.

    This investigation explored scientific, religious, and otherwise nonscientific factors that may influence student acceptance of biological evolution and related concepts, how students perceived these factors to have influenced their levels of acceptance of evolution and changes therein, and what patterns arose among students' articulations of how their levels of acceptance of evolution may have changed. This exploration also measured the extent to which students' levels of acceptance changed following a treatment designed to address factors identified as potentially affecting student acceptance of evolution. Acceptance of evolution was measured using the MATE instrument (Rutledge and Warden, 1999; Rutledge and Sadler, 2007) among participants enrolled in a secondary-level academic program during the summer prior to their final year of high school and as they transitioned to the post-secondary level. Student acceptance of evolution was measured to be significantly higher than pre-treatment levels both immediately following and slightly over one year after treatment. Qualitative data from informal questionnaires, from formal course evaluations, and from semi-structured interviews of students engaged in secondary level education and former students at various stages of post-secondary education confirmed that the suspected factors were perceived by participants to have influenced their levels of acceptance of evolution. Furthermore, participant reports provided insight regarding the relative effects they perceived these factors to have had on their evolution acceptance levels. Additionally, many participants reported that their science teachers in public schools had avoided, omitted, or denigrated evolution during instruction, and several of these students expressed frustration regarding what they perceived to have been a lack of education of an important scientific principle. Finally, no students expressed feelings of being offended by having been taught about

  8. Systems Biology and Stem Cell Pluripotency

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mashayekhi, Kaveh; Hall, Vanessa Jane; Freude, Kristine

    2016-01-01

    Recent breakthroughs in stem cell biology have accelerated research in the area of regenerative medicine. Over the past years, it has become possible to derive patient-specific stem cells which can be used to generate different cell populations for potential cell therapy. Systems biological...... modeling of stem cell pluripotency and differentiation have largely been based on prior knowledge of signaling pathways, gene regulatory networks, and epigenetic factors. However, there is a great need to extend the complexity of the modeling and to integrate different types of data, which would further...... improve systems biology and its uses in the field. In this chapter, we first give a general background on stem cell biology and regenerative medicine. Stem cell potency is introduced together with the hierarchy of stem cells ranging from pluripotent embryonic stem cells (ESCs) and induced pluripotent stem...

  9. Studying cell biology in the skin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morrow, Angel; Lechler, Terry

    2015-11-15

    Advances in cell biology have often been driven by studies in diverse organisms and cell types. Although there are technical reasons for why different cell types are used, there are also important physiological reasons. For example, ultrastructural studies of vesicle transport were aided by the use of professional secretory cell types. The use of tissues/primary cells has the advantage not only of using cells that are adapted to the use of certain cell biological machinery, but also of highlighting the physiological roles of this machinery. Here we discuss advantages of the skin as a model system. We discuss both advances in cell biology that used the skin as a driving force and future prospects for use of the skin to understand basic cell biology. A unique combination of characteristics and tools makes the skin a useful in vivo model system for many cell biologists. © 2015 Morrow and Lechler. 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).

  10. Evolution of microbes and viruses: A paradigm shift in evolutionary biology?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eugene V. Koonin

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available When Charles Darwin formulated the central principles of evolutionary biology in the Origin of Species in 1859 and the architects of the Modern Synthesis integrated these principles with population genetics almost a century later, the principal if not the sole objects of evolutionary biology were multicellular eukaryotes, primarily animals and plants. Before the advent of efficient gene sequencing, all attempts to extend evolutionary studies to bacteria have been futile. Sequencing of the rRNA genes in thousands of microbes allowed the construction of the three- domain ‘ribosomal Tree of Life’ that was widely thought to have resolved the evolutionary relationships between the cellular life forms. However, subsequent massive sequencing of numerous, complete microbial genomes revealed novel evolutionary phenomena, the most fundamental of these being: i pervasive horizontal gene transfer (HGT, in large part mediated by viruses and plasmids, that shapes the genomes of archaea and bacteria and call for a radical revision (if not abandonment of the Tree of Life concept, ii Lamarckian-type inheritance that appears to be critical for antivirus defense and other forms of adaptation in prokaryotes, and iii evolution of evolvability, i.e. dedicated mechanisms for evolution such as vehicles for HGT and stress-induced mutagenesis systems. In the non-cellular part of the microbial world, phylogenomics and metagenomics of viruses and related selfish genetic elements revealed enormous genetic and molecular diversity and extremely high abundance of viruses that come across as the dominant biological entities on earth. Furthermore, the perennial arms race between viruses and their hosts is one of the defining factors of evolution. Thus, microbial phylogenomics adds new dimensions to the fundamental picture of evolution even as the principle of descent with modification discovered by Darwin and the laws of population genetics remain at the core of evolutionary

  11. Mammalian cell biology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Elkind, M.M.

    1979-01-01

    This section contains summaries of research on mechanisms of lethality and radioinduced changes in mammalian cell properties, new cell systems for the study of the biology of mutation and neoplastic transformation, and comparative properties of ionizing radiations

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-12-02

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

  13. Fusion of biological membranes

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Home; Journals; Pramana – Journal of Physics; Volume 64; Issue 6. Fusion of biological membranes. K Katsov M Müller M Schick. Invited Talks:- Topic 11. Biologically motivated problems (protein-folding models, dynamics at the scale of the cell; biological networks, evolution models, etc.) Volume 64 Issue 6 June 2005 pp ...

  14. Evolution and Personal Religious Belief: Christian University Biology-Related Majors' Search for Reconciliation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winslow, Mark W.; Staver, John R.; Scharmann, Lawrence C.

    2011-01-01

    The goal of this study was to explore Christian biology-related majors' perceptions of conflicts between evolution and their religious beliefs. This naturalistic study utilized a case study design of 15 undergraduate biology-related majors at or recent biology-related graduates from a mid-western Christian university. The broad sources of data…

  15. Lack of Evolution Acceptance Inhibits Students' Negotiation of Biology-Based Socioscientific Issues

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fowler, S. R.; Zeidler, D. L.

    2016-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to explore science content used during college students' negotiation of biology-based socioscientific issues (SSI) and examine how it related to students' conceptual understanding and acceptance of biological evolution. The Socioscientific Issues Questionnaire (SSI-Q) was developed to measure depth of evolutionary…

  16. Does the nature of science influence college students' learning of biological evolution?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Butler, Wilbert, Jr.

    This quasi-experimental, mixed-methods study assessed the influence of the nature of science (NOS) instruction on college students' learning of biological evolution. In this research, conducted in two introductory biology courses, in each course the same instruction was employed, with one important exception: in the experimental section students were involved in an explicit, reflective treatment of the nature of science (Explicit, reflective NOS), in the traditional treatment section, NOS was implicitly addressed (traditional treatment). In both sections, NOS aspects of science addressed included is tentative, empirically based, subjective, inferential, and based on relationship between scientific theories and laws. Students understanding of evolution, acceptance of evolution, and understanding of the nature of science were assessed before, during and after instruction. Data collection entailed qualitative and quantitative methods including Concept Inventory for Natural Selection (CINS), Measure of Acceptance of the Theory of Evolution (MATE) survey, Views of nature of Science (VNOS-B survey), as well as interviews, classroom observations, and journal writing to address understand students' views of science and understanding and acceptance of evolution. The quantitative data were analyzed via inferential statistics and the qualitative data were analyzed using grounded theory. The data analysis allowed for the construction and support for four assertions: Assertion 1: Students engaged in explicit and reflective NOS specific instruction significantly improved their understanding of the nature of science concepts. Alternatively, students engaged in instruction using an implicit approach to the nature of science did not improve their understanding of the nature of science to the same degree. The VNOS-B results indicated that students in the explicit, reflective NOS class showed the better understanding of the NOS after the course than students in the implicit NOS class

  17. Quantum information and the problem of mechanisms of biological evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Melkikh, Alexey V

    2014-01-01

    One of the most important conditions for replication in early evolution is the de facto elimination of the conformational degrees of freedom of the replicators, the mechanisms of which remain unclear. In addition, realistic evolutionary timescales can be established based only on partially directed evolution, further complicating this issue. A division of the various evolutionary theories into two classes has been proposed based on the presence or absence of a priori information about the evolving system. A priori information plays a key role in solving problems in evolution. Here, a model of partially directed evolution, based on the learning automata theory, which includes a priori information about the fitness space, is proposed. A potential repository of such prior information is the states of biologically important molecules. Thus, the need for extended evolutionary synthesis is discussed. Experiments to test the hypothesis of partially directed evolution are proposed. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Microbial production of natural and non-natural flavonoids: Pathway engineering, directed evolution and systems/synthetic biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pandey, Ramesh Prasad; Parajuli, Prakash; Koffas, Mattheos A G; Sohng, Jae Kyung

    2016-01-01

    In this review, we address recent advances made in pathway engineering, directed evolution, and systems/synthetic biology approaches employed in the production and modification of flavonoids from microbial cells. The review is divided into two major parts. In the first, various metabolic engineering and system/synthetic biology approaches used for production of flavonoids and derivatives are discussed broadly. All the manipulations/engineering accomplished on the microorganisms since 2000 are described in detail along with the biosynthetic pathway enzymes, their sources, structures of the compounds, and yield of each product. In the second part of the review, post-modifications of flavonoids by four major reactions, namely glycosylations, methylations, hydroxylations and prenylations using recombinant strains are described. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. Feedback dynamics and cell function: Why systems biology is called Systems Biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolkenhauer, Olaf; Mesarovic, Mihajlo

    2005-05-01

    A new paradigm, like Systems Biology, should challenge the way research has been conducted previously. This Opinion article aims to present Systems Biology, not as the application of engineering principles to biology but as a merger of systems- and control theory with molecular- and cell biology. In our view, the central dogma of Systems Biology is that it is system dynamics that gives rise to the functioning and function of cells. The concepts of feedback regulation and control of pathways and the coordination of cell function are emphasized as an important area of Systems Biology research. The hurdles and risks for this area are discussed from the perspective of dynamic pathway modelling. Most of all, the aim of this article is to promote mathematical modelling and simulation as a part of molecular- and cell biology. Systems Biology is a success if it is widely accepted that there is nothing more practical than a good theory.

  20. Colloquium paper: uniquely human evolution of sialic acid genetics and biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Varki, Ajit

    2010-05-11

    Darwinian evolution of humans from our common ancestors with nonhuman primates involved many gene-environment interactions at the population level, and the resulting human-specific genetic changes must contribute to the "Human Condition." Recent data indicate that the biology of sialic acids (which directly involves less than 60 genes) shows more than 10 uniquely human genetic changes in comparison with our closest evolutionary relatives. Known outcomes are tissue-specific changes in abundant cell-surface glycans, changes in specificity and/or expression of multiple proteins that recognize these glycans, and novel pathogen regimes. Specific events include Alu-mediated inactivation of the CMAH gene, resulting in loss of synthesis of the Sia N-glycolylneuraminic acid (Neu5Gc) and increase in expression of the precursor N-acetylneuraminic acid (Neu5Ac); increased expression of alpha2-6-linked Sias (likely because of changed expression of ST6GALI); and multiple changes in SIGLEC genes encoding Sia-recognizing Ig-like lectins (Siglecs). The last includes binding specificity changes (in Siglecs -5, -7, -9, -11, and -12); expression pattern changes (in Siglecs -1, -5, -6, and -11); gene conversion (SIGLEC11); and deletion or pseudogenization (SIGLEC13, SIGLEC14, and SIGLEC16). A nongenetic outcome of the CMAH mutation is human metabolic incorporation of foreign dietary Neu5Gc, in the face of circulating anti-Neu5Gc antibodies, generating a novel "xeno-auto-antigen" situation. Taken together, these data suggest that both the genes associated with Sia biology and the related impacts of the environment comprise a relative "hot spot" of genetic and physiological changes in human evolution, with implications for uniquely human features both in health and disease.

  1. Evolution in health and medicine Sackler colloquium: Making evolutionary biology a basic science for medicine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nesse, Randolph M; Bergstrom, Carl T; Ellison, Peter T; Flier, Jeffrey S; Gluckman, Peter; Govindaraju, Diddahally R; Niethammer, Dietrich; Omenn, Gilbert S; Perlman, Robert L; Schwartz, Mark D; Thomas, Mark G; Stearns, Stephen C; Valle, David

    2010-01-26

    New applications of evolutionary biology in medicine are being discovered at an accelerating rate, but few physicians have sufficient educational background to use them fully. This article summarizes suggestions from several groups that have considered how evolutionary biology can be useful in medicine, what physicians should learn about it, and when and how they should learn it. Our general conclusion is that evolutionary biology is a crucial basic science for medicine. In addition to looking at established evolutionary methods and topics, such as population genetics and pathogen evolution, we highlight questions about why natural selection leaves bodies vulnerable to disease. Knowledge about evolution provides physicians with an integrative framework that links otherwise disparate bits of knowledge. It replaces the prevalent view of bodies as machines with a biological view of bodies shaped by evolutionary processes. Like other basic sciences, evolutionary biology needs to be taught both before and during medical school. Most introductory biology courses are insufficient to establish competency in evolutionary biology. Premedical students need evolution courses, possibly ones that emphasize medically relevant aspects. In medical school, evolutionary biology should be taught as one of the basic medical sciences. This will require a course that reviews basic principles and specific medical applications, followed by an integrated presentation of evolutionary aspects that apply to each disease and organ system. Evolutionary biology is not just another topic vying for inclusion in the curriculum; it is an essential foundation for a biological understanding of health and disease.

  2. Trace elements at the intersection of marine biological and geochemical evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robbins, Leslie J.; Lalonde, Stefan V.; Planavsky, Noah J.; Partin, Camille A.; Reinhard, Christopher T.; Kendall, Brian; Scott, Clinton T.; Hardisty, Dalton S.; Gill, Benjamin C.; Alessi, Daniel S.; Dupont, Christopher L.; Saito, Mak A.; Crowe, Sean A.; Poulton, Simon W.; Bekker, Andrey; Lyons, Timothy W.; Konhauser, Kurt O.

    2016-01-01

    Life requires a wide variety of bioessential trace elements to act as structural components and reactive centers in metalloenzymes. These requirements differ between organisms and have evolved over geological time, likely guided in some part by environmental conditions. Until recently, most of what was understood regarding trace element concentrations in the Precambrian oceans was inferred by extrapolation, geochemical modeling, and/or genomic studies. However, in the past decade, the increasing availability of trace element and isotopic data for sedimentary rocks of all ages has yielded new, and potentially more direct, insights into secular changes in seawater composition – and ultimately the evolution of the marine biosphere. Compiled records of many bioessential trace elements (including Ni, Mo, P, Zn, Co, Cr, Se, and I) provide new insight into how trace element abundance in Earth's ancient oceans may have been linked to biological evolution. Several of these trace elements display redox-sensitive behavior, while others are redox-sensitive but not bioessential (e.g., Cr, U). Their temporal trends in sedimentary archives provide useful constraints on changes in atmosphere-ocean redox conditions that are linked to biological evolution, for example, the activity of oxygen-producing, photosynthetic cyanobacteria. In this review, we summarize available Precambrian trace element proxy data, and discuss how temporal trends in the seawater concentrations of specific trace elements may be linked to the evolution of both simple and complex life. We also examine several biologically relevant and/or redox-sensitive trace elements that have yet to be fully examined in the sedimentary rock record (e.g., Cu, Cd, W) and suggest several directions for future studies.

  3. [Around biological evolution. Reflections of a physicist].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanchez-Palencia, Evariste

    2016-01-01

    This text is the written version of a talk at the Société de Biologie on February 17, 2016. It contains reflections of a non-biologist scientist on general problems of biological evolution, including the kind of causality involved, the ideas emerging from it, in particular the constructive and structuring character of phenomena such as predation, the role of stability and attractors. This leads to a larger reflection on dialectics, the general framework of evolving processes, which overpasses formal logic and instantaneousness. © Société de Biologie, 2016.

  4. Three Southern high school biology teachers' perspectives on teaching evolution: Sociocultural influences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kyzer, Peggy Mckewen

    Organizations in science and science education call for students to have a thorough understanding of the theory of evolution. Yet many high school biology teachers do not teach evolution and/or include creationism in their instruction (National Academy of Science, 1998). Historically, the controversy surrounding evolution has created tension for teachers. This case study explored the sociocultural influences related to teaching evolution in three Southern 10th-grade public high school biology classrooms. It also explored the socially and culturally embedded influences on teachers' instructional goals and personal perspectives toward evolution as well as modification of instruction when evolution is taught. Theoretically framed using symbolic interactionism and sociocultural theory, data were collected between October 2003 and April 2004 and included classroom observations two to three times per week, artifacts, and in-depth interviews of the participating teachers, their science department chairpersons, their students, and a Protestant minister. The classroom teachers were unaware of the focus of the study until after evolution was taught. The analysis used in this study was an inductive, interpretative approach that allowed exploration of the sociocultural influences that affect how teachers teach evolution. The sociocultural influences and the lived experiences of each teacher created a continuum for teaching evolution. One of the participating teachers who was heavily involved in the community and one of its fundamentalist churches elected to avoid teaching evolution. Another participating teacher at the same school integrated the theory of evolution in every unit. The third teacher who taught in another school elected to teach evolution in a superficial manner to avoid conflict. The data revealed that the participating teachers' sociocultural situatedness influenced their decisions and instruction on evolution. The influence of strong religious beliefs within

  5. Learning Cell Biology as a Team: A Project-Based Approach to Upper-Division Cell Biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wright, Robin; Boggs, James

    2002-01-01

    To help students develop successful strategies for learning how to learn and communicate complex information in cell biology, we developed a quarter-long cell biology class based on team projects. Each team researches a particular human disease and presents information about the cellular structure or process affected by the disease, the cellular…

  6. Teaching Cell Biology in Primary Schools

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francele de Abreu Carlan

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Basic concepts of cell biology are essential for scientific literacy. However, because many aspects of cell theory and cell functioning are quite abstract, students experience difficulties understanding them. In this study, we investigated whether diverse teaching resources such as the use of replicas of Leeuwenhoek’s microscope, visualization of cells using an optical microscope, construction of three-dimensional cell models, and reading of a comic book about cells could mitigate the difficulties encountered when teaching cell biology to 8th-grade primary school students. The results suggest that these didactic activities improve students’ ability to learn concrete concepts about cell biology, such as the composition of living beings, growth, and cicatrization. Also, the development of skills was observed, as, for example, the notion of cell size. However, no significant improvements were observed in students’ ability to learn about abstract topics, such as the structures of subcellular organelles and their functions. These results suggest that many students in this age have not yet concluded Piaget’s concrete operational stage, indicating that the concepts required for the significant learning of abstract subjects need to be explored more thoroughly in the process of designing programs that introduce primary school students to cell biology.

  7. Computational Tools for Stem Cell Biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bian, Qin; Cahan, Patrick

    2016-12-01

    For over half a century, the field of developmental biology has leveraged computation to explore mechanisms of developmental processes. More recently, computational approaches have been critical in the translation of high throughput data into knowledge of both developmental and stem cell biology. In the past several years, a new subdiscipline of computational stem cell biology has emerged that synthesizes the modeling of systems-level aspects of stem cells with high-throughput molecular data. In this review, we provide an overview of this new field and pay particular attention to the impact that single cell transcriptomics is expected to have on our understanding of development and our ability to engineer cell fate. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Biological and genetic evolution of HIV type 1 in two siblings with different patterns of disease progression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ripamonti, Chiara; Leitner, Thomas; Laurén, Anna; Karlsson, Ingrid; Pastore, Angela; Cavarelli, Mariangela; Antonsson, Liselotte; Plebani, Anna; Fenyö, Eva Maria; Scarlatti, Gabriella

    2007-12-01

    To investigate the immunological and virological factors that may lead to different patterns of disease progression characteristic of HIV-1-infected children, two HIV-1-infected siblings, a slow and a fast progressor, were followed prospectively before the onset of highly active antiretroviral therapy. Viral coreceptor usage, including the use of CCR5/CXCR4 chimeric receptors, macrophage tropism, and sensitivity to the CC-chemokine RANTES, has been studied. An autologous and heterologous neutralizing antibody response has been documented using peripheral blood mononuclear cells- and GHOST(3) cell line-based assays. Viral evolution was investigated by env C2-V3 region sequence analysis. Although both siblings were infected with HIV-1 of the R5 phenotype, their viruses showed important biological differences. In the fast progressor there was a higher RANTES sensitivity of the early virus, an increased trend to change the mode of CCR5 receptor use, and a larger genetic evolution. Both children developed an autologous neutralizing antibody response starting from the second year with evidence of the continuous emergence of resistant variants. A marked viral genetic and phenotypic evolution was documented in the fast progressor sibling, which is accompanied by a high viral RANTES sensitivity and persistent neutralizing antibodies.

  9. Integrating cell biology and proteomic approaches in plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takáč, Tomáš; Šamajová, Olga; Šamaj, Jozef

    2017-10-03

    Significant improvements of protein extraction, separation, mass spectrometry and bioinformatics nurtured advancements of proteomics during the past years. The usefulness of proteomics in the investigation of biological problems can be enhanced by integration with other experimental methods from cell biology, genetics, biochemistry, pharmacology, molecular biology and other omics approaches including transcriptomics and metabolomics. This review aims to summarize current trends integrating cell biology and proteomics in plant science. Cell biology approaches are most frequently used in proteomic studies investigating subcellular and developmental proteomes, however, they were also employed in proteomic studies exploring abiotic and biotic stress responses, vesicular transport, cytoskeleton and protein posttranslational modifications. They are used either for detailed cellular or ultrastructural characterization of the object subjected to proteomic study, validation of proteomic results or to expand proteomic data. In this respect, a broad spectrum of methods is employed to support proteomic studies including ultrastructural electron microscopy studies, histochemical staining, immunochemical localization, in vivo imaging of fluorescently tagged proteins and visualization of protein-protein interactions. Thus, cell biological observations on fixed or living cell compartments, cells, tissues and organs are feasible, and in some cases fundamental for the validation and complementation of proteomic data. Validation of proteomic data by independent experimental methods requires development of new complementary approaches. Benefits of cell biology methods and techniques are not sufficiently highlighted in current proteomic studies. This encouraged us to review most popular cell biology methods used in proteomic studies and to evaluate their relevance and potential for proteomic data validation and enrichment of purely proteomic analyses. We also provide examples of

  10. Taiwan High School Biology Teachers' Acceptance and Understanding of Evolution and the Nature of Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Li-Hua

    2015-01-01

    Evolution is the cornerstone of biological sciences, but anti-evolution teaching has become a global controversy since the introduction of evolutionary ideas into the United States high school science curricula in 1914. It is suggested that teachers' attitude toward and acceptance of the theory of evolution will influence their effect of teaching…

  11. The emerging age of cell-free synthetic biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Mark Thomas; Wilding, Kristen M; Hunt, Jeremy M; Bennett, Anthony M; Bundy, Bradley C

    2014-08-25

    The engineering of and mastery over biological parts has catalyzed the emergence of synthetic biology. This field has grown exponentially in the past decade. As increasingly more applications of synthetic biology are pursued, more challenges are encountered, such as delivering genetic material into cells and optimizing genetic circuits in vivo. An in vitro or cell-free approach to synthetic biology simplifies and avoids many of the pitfalls of in vivo synthetic biology. In this review, we describe some of the innate features that make cell-free systems compelling platforms for synthetic biology and discuss emerging improvements of cell-free technologies. We also select and highlight recent and emerging applications of cell-free synthetic biology. Copyright © 2014 Federation of European Biochemical Societies. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. Characterization and Evolution of the Cell Cycle-Associated Mob Domain-Containing Proteins in Eukaryotes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicola Vitulo

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available The MOB family includes a group of cell cycle-associated proteins highly conserved throughout eukaryotes, whose founding members are implicated in mitotic exit and co-ordination of cell cycle progression with cell polarity and morphogenesis. Here we report the characterization and evolution of the MOB domain-containing proteins as inferred from the 43 eukaryotic genomes so far sequenced. We show that genes for Mob-like proteins are present in at least 41 of these genomes, confi rming the universal distribution of this protein family and suggesting its prominent biological function. The phylogenetic analysis reveals fi ve distinct MOB domain classes, showing a progressive expansion of this family from unicellular to multicellular organisms, reaching the highest number in mammals. Plant Mob genes appear to have evolved from a single ancestor, most likely after the loss of one or more genes during the early stage of Viridiplantae evolutionary history. Three of the Mob classes are widespread among most of the analyzed organisms. The possible biological and molecular function of Mob proteins and their role in conserved signaling pathways related to cell proliferation, cell death and cell polarity are also presented and critically discussed.

  13. The quest for a new modelling framework in mathematical biology. Comment on "On the interplay between mathematics and biology: Hallmarks towards a new systems biology" by N. Bellomo et al.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eftimie, Raluca

    2015-03-01

    One of the main unsolved problems of modern physics is finding a "theory of everything" - a theory that can explain, with the help of mathematics, all physical aspects of the universe. While the laws of physics could explain some aspects of the biology of living systems (e.g., the phenomenological interpretation of movement of cells and animals), there are other aspects specific to biology that cannot be captured by physics models. For example, it is generally accepted that the evolution of a cell-based system is influenced by the activation state of cells (e.g., only activated and functional immune cells can fight diseases); on the other hand, the evolution of an animal-based system can be influenced by the psychological state (e.g., distress) of animals. Therefore, the last 10-20 years have seen also a quest for a "theory of everything"-approach extended to biology, with researchers trying to propose mathematical modelling frameworks that can explain various biological phenomena ranging from ecology to developmental biology and medicine [1,2,6]. The basic idea behind this approach can be found in a few reviews on ecology and cell biology [6,7,9-11], where researchers suggested that due to the parallel between the micro-scale dynamics and the emerging macro-scale phenomena in both cell biology and in ecology, many mathematical methods used for ecological processes could be adapted to cancer modelling [7,9] or to modelling in immunology [11]. However, this approach generally involved the use of different models to describe different biological aspects (e.g., models for cell and animal movement, models for competition between cells or animals, etc.).

  14. Analysis of undergraduate cell biology contents in Brazilian public universities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mermelstein, Claudia; Costa, Manoel Luis

    2017-04-01

    The enormous amount of information available in cell biology has created a challenge in selecting the core concepts we should be teaching our undergraduates. One way to define a set of essential core ideas in cell biology is to analyze what a specific cell biology community is teaching their students. Our main objective was to analyze the cell biology content currently being taught in Brazilian universities. We collected the syllabi of cell biology courses from public universities in Brazil and analyzed the frequency of cell biology topics in each course. We also compared the Brazilian data with the contents of a major cell biology textbook. Our analysis showed that while some cell biology topics such as plasma membrane and cytoskeleton was present in ∼100% of the Brazilian curricula analyzed others such as cell signaling and cell differentiation were present in only ∼35%. The average cell biology content taught in the Brazilian universities is quite different from what is presented in the textbook. We discuss several possible explanations for these observations. We also suggest a list with essential cell biology topics for any biological or biomedical undergraduate course. The comparative discussion of cell biology topics presented here could be valuable in other educational contexts. © 2017 The Authors. Cell Biology International Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of International Federation of Cell Biology.

  15. Reconstructing Anaximander's biological model unveils a theory of evolution akin to Darwin's, though centuries before the birth of science.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trevisanato, Siro Igino

    2016-08-01

    Anaximander's fragments on biology report a theory of evolution, which, unlike the development of other biological systems in the ancient Aegean, is naturalistic and is not based on metaphysics. According to Anaximander, evolution affected all living beings, including humans. The first biological systems formed in an aquatic environment, and were encased in a rugged and robust envelope. Evolution progressed with modifications that enabled the formation of more dynamic biological systems. For instance, after reaching land, the robust armors around aquatic beings dried up, and became brittle, This led to the loss of the armor and the development of more mobile life forms. Anaximander's theory combines observations of animals with speculations, and as such mirrors the more famous theory of evolution by Charles Darwin expressed 24 centuries later. The poor reception received by Anaximander's model in his time, illustrates a zeitgeist that would explain the contemporary lag phase in the development of biology and, as a result, medicine, in the ancient western world.

  16. Breeding biology and the evolution of dynamic sexual dichromatism in frogs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bell, R C; Webster, G N; Whiting, M J

    2017-12-01

    Dynamic sexual dichromatism is a temporary colour change between the sexes and has evolved independently in a wide range of anurans, many of which are explosive breeders wherein males physically compete for access to females. Behavioural studies in a few species indicate that dynamic dichromatism functions as a visual signal in large breeding aggregations; however, the prevalence of this trait and the social and environmental factors underlying its expression are poorly understood. We compiled a database of 178 anurans with dynamic dichromatism that include representatives from 15 families and subfamilies. Dynamic dichromatism is common in two of the three subfamilies of hylid treefrogs. Phylogenetic comparative analyses of 355 hylid species (of which 95 display dynamic dichromatism) reveal high transition rates between dynamic dichromatism, ontogenetic (permanent) dichromatism and monochromatism reflecting the high evolutionary lability of this trait. Correlated evolution in hylids between dynamic dichromatism and forming large breeding aggregations indicates that the evolution of large breeding aggregations precedes the evolution of dynamic dichromatism. Multivariate phylogenetic logistic regression recovers the interaction between biogeographic distribution and forming breeding aggregations as a significant predictor of dynamic dichromatism in hylids. Accounting for macroecological differences between temperate and tropical regions, such as seasonality and the availability of breeding sites, may improve our understanding of ecological contexts in which dynamic dichromatism is likely to arise in tropical lineages and why it is retained in some temperate species and lost in others. © 2017 European Society For Evolutionary Biology. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2017 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  17. Without it no music: cognition, biology and evolution of musicality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Honing, Henkjan; ten Cate, Carel; Peretz, Isabelle; Trehub, Sandra E.

    2015-01-01

    Musicality can be defined as a natural, spontaneously developing trait based on and constrained by biology and cognition. Music, by contrast, can be defined as a social and cultural construct based on that very musicality. One critical challenge is to delineate the constituent elements of musicality. What biological and cognitive mechanisms are essential for perceiving, appreciating and making music? Progress in understanding the evolution of music cognition depends upon adequate characterization of the constituent mechanisms of musicality and the extent to which they are present in non-human species. We argue for the importance of identifying these mechanisms and delineating their functions and developmental course, as well as suggesting effective means of studying them in human and non-human animals. It is virtually impossible to underpin the evolutionary role of musicality as a whole, but a multicomponent perspective on musicality that emphasizes its constituent capacities, development and neural cognitive specificity is an excellent starting point for a research programme aimed at illuminating the origins and evolution of musical behaviour as an autonomous trait. PMID:25646511

  18. Molecular Evolution of Two Distinct dmrt1 Promoters for Germ and Somatic Cells in Vertebrate Gonads.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mawaribuchi, Shuuji; Musashijima, Masato; Wada, Mikako; Izutsu, Yumi; Kurakata, Erina; Park, Min Kyun; Takamatsu, Nobuhiko; Ito, Michihiko

    2017-03-01

    The transcription factor DMRT1 has important functions in two distinct processes, somatic-cell masculinization and germ-cell development in mammals. However, it is unknown whether the functions are conserved during evolution, and what mechanism underlies its expression in the two cell lineages. Our analysis of the Xenopus laevis and Silurana tropicalis dmrt1 genes indicated the presence of two distinct promoters: one upstream of the noncoding first exon (ncEx1), and one within the first intron. In contrast, only the ncEx1-upstream promoter was detected in the dmrt1 gene of the agnathan sand lamprey, which expressed dmrt1 exclusively in the germ cells. In X. laevis, the ncEx1- and exon 2-upstream promoters were predominantly used for germ-cell and somatic-cell transcription, respectively. Importantly, knockdown of the ncEx1-containing transcript led to reduced germ-cell numbers in X. laevis gonads. Intriguingly, two genetically female individuals carrying the knockdown construct developed testicles. Analysis of the reptilian leopard gecko dmrt1 revealed the absence of ncEx1. We propose that dmrt1 regulated germ-cell development in the vertebrate ancestor, then acquired another promoter in its first intron to regulate somatic-cell masculinization during gnathostome evolution. In the common ancestor of reptiles and mammals, only one promoter got function for both the two cell lineages, accompanied with the loss of ncEx1. In addition, we found a conserved noncoding sequence (CNS) in the dmrt1 5'-flanking regions only among amniote species, and two CNSs in the introns among most vertebrates except for agnathans. Finally, we discuss relationships between these CNSs and the promoters of dmrt1 during vertebrate evolution. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  19. Rewiring cells: synthetic biology as a tool to interrogate the organizational principles of living systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bashor, Caleb J; Horwitz, Andrew A; Peisajovich, Sergio G; Lim, Wendell A

    2010-01-01

    The living cell is an incredibly complex entity, and the goal of predictively and quantitatively understanding its function is one of the next great challenges in biology. Much of what we know about the cell concerns its constituent parts, but to a great extent we have yet to decode how these parts are organized to yield complex physiological function. Classically, we have learned about the organization of cellular networks by disrupting them through genetic or chemical means. The emerging discipline of synthetic biology offers an additional, powerful approach to study systems. By rearranging the parts that comprise existing networks, we can gain valuable insight into the hierarchical logic of the networks and identify the modular building blocks that evolution uses to generate innovative function. In addition, by building minimal toy networks, one can systematically explore the relationship between network structure and function. Here, we outline recent work that uses synthetic biology approaches to investigate the organization and function of cellular networks, and describe a vision for a synthetic biology toolkit that could be used to interrogate the design principles of diverse systems.

  20. On the interplay between mathematics and biology: hallmarks toward a new systems biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bellomo, Nicola; Elaiw, Ahmed; Althiabi, Abdullah M; Alghamdi, Mohammed Ali

    2015-03-01

    This paper proposes a critical analysis of the existing literature on mathematical tools developed toward systems biology approaches and, out of this overview, develops a new approach whose main features can be briefly summarized as follows: derivation of mathematical structures suitable to capture the complexity of biological, hence living, systems, modeling, by appropriate mathematical tools, Darwinian type dynamics, namely mutations followed by selection and evolution. Moreover, multiscale methods to move from genes to cells, and from cells to tissue are analyzed in view of a new systems biology approach. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  1. Human NKG2D-ligands: cell biology strategies to ensure immune recognition

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lola eFernández-Messina

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Immune recognition mediated by the activating receptor NKG2D plays an important role for the elimination of stressed cells, including tumours and virus-infected cells. On the other hand, the ligands for NKG2D can also be shed into the sera of cancer patients where they weaken the immune response by downmodulating the receptor on effector cells, mainly NK and T cells. Although both families of NKG2D-ligands, MICA/B and ULBPs, are related to MHC molecules and their expression is increased after stress, many differences are observed in terms of their biochemical properties and cell trafficking. In this paper, we summarise the variety of NKG2D-ligands and propose that selection pressure has driven evolution of diversity in their trafficking and shedding, but not receptor binding affinity. However, it is also possible to identify functional properties common to individual ULBP molecules and MICA/B alleles, but not generally conserved within the MIC or ULBP families. These characteristics likely represent examples of convergent evolution for efficient immune recognition, but are also attractive targets for pathogen immune evasion strategies. Categorization of NKG2D-ligands according to their biological features, rather than their genetic family, may help to achieve a better understanding of NKG2D-ligand association with disease.

  2. Natural Selection in Cancer Biology: From Molecular Snowflakes to Trait Hallmarks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fortunato, Angelo; Boddy, Amy; Mallo, Diego; Aktipis, Athena; Maley, Carlo C.; Pepper, John W.

    2017-01-01

    Evolution by natural selection is the conceptual foundation for nearly every branch of biology and increasingly also for biomedicine and medical research. In cancer biology, evolution explains how populations of cells in tumors change over time. It is a fundamental question whether this evolutionary process is driven primarily by natural selection and adaptation or by other evolutionary processes such as founder effects and drift. In cancer biology, as in organismal evolutionary biology, there is controversy about this question and also about the use of adaptation through natural selection as a guiding framework for research. In this review, we discuss the differences and similarities between evolution among somatic cells versus evolution among organisms. We review what is known about the parameters and rate of evolution in neoplasms, as well as evidence for adaptation. We conclude that adaptation is a useful framework that accurately explains the defining characteristics of cancer. Further, convergent evolution through natural selection provides the only satisfying explanation both for how a group of diverse pathologies have enough in common to usefully share the descriptive label of “cancer” and for why this convergent condition becomes life-threatening. PMID:28148564

  3. Natural Selection in Cancer Biology: From Molecular Snowflakes to Trait Hallmarks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fortunato, Angelo; Boddy, Amy; Mallo, Diego; Aktipis, Athena; Maley, Carlo C; Pepper, John W

    2017-02-01

    Evolution by natural selection is the conceptual foundation for nearly every branch of biology and increasingly also for biomedicine and medical research. In cancer biology, evolution explains how populations of cells in tumors change over time. It is a fundamental question whether this evolutionary process is driven primarily by natural selection and adaptation or by other evolutionary processes such as founder effects and drift. In cancer biology, as in organismal evolutionary biology, there is controversy about this question and also about the use of adaptation through natural selection as a guiding framework for research. In this review, we discuss the differences and similarities between evolution among somatic cells versus evolution among organisms. We review what is known about the parameters and rate of evolution in neoplasms, as well as evidence for adaptation. We conclude that adaptation is a useful framework that accurately explains the defining characteristics of cancer. Further, convergent evolution through natural selection provides the only satisfying explanation both for how a group of diverse pathologies have enough in common to usefully share the descriptive label of "cancer" and for why this convergent condition becomes life-threatening. Copyright © 2017 Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press; all rights reserved.

  4. Biological radiolesions and repair

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Laskowski, W.

    1981-01-01

    In 7 chapters, the book answers the following questions: 1) What reactions are induced in biological matter by absorption of radiation energy. 2) In what parts of the cell do the radiation-induced reactions with detectable biological effects occur. 3) In which way are these cell components changed by different qualities of radiation. 4) What are the cell mechanisms by which radiation-induced changes can be repaired. 5) What is the importance of these repair processes for man, his life and evolution. At the end of each chapter, there is a bibliography of relevant publications in this field. (orig./MG) [de

  5. Mammalian synthetic biology for studying the cell.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mathur, Melina; Xiang, Joy S; Smolke, Christina D

    2017-01-02

    Synthetic biology is advancing the design of genetic devices that enable the study of cellular and molecular biology in mammalian cells. These genetic devices use diverse regulatory mechanisms to both examine cellular processes and achieve precise and dynamic control of cellular phenotype. Synthetic biology tools provide novel functionality to complement the examination of natural cell systems, including engineered molecules with specific activities and model systems that mimic complex regulatory processes. Continued development of quantitative standards and computational tools will expand capacities to probe cellular mechanisms with genetic devices to achieve a more comprehensive understanding of the cell. In this study, we review synthetic biology tools that are being applied to effectively investigate diverse cellular processes, regulatory networks, and multicellular interactions. We also discuss current challenges and future developments in the field that may transform the types of investigation possible in cell biology. © 2017 Mathur et al.

  6. Darwin's legacy: why biology is not physics, or why evolution has not become a common sense.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, Rama S

    2011-10-01

    Cosmology and evolution together have enabled us to look deep into the past and comprehend evolution-from the big bang to the cosmos, from molecules to humans. Here, I compare the nature of theories in biology and physics and ask why physical theories get accepted by the public without necessarily comprehending them but biological theories do not. Darwin's theory of natural selection, utterly simple in its premises but profound in its consequences, is not accepted widely. Organized religions, and creationists in particularly, have been the major critic of evolution, but not all opposition to evolution comes from organized religions. A great many people, between evolutionary biologists on one hand and creationists on the other, many academics included, who may not be logically opposed to evolution nevertheless do not accept it. This is because the process of and the evidence for evolution are invisible to a nonspecialist, or the theory may look too simple to explain complex traits to some, or because people compare evolution against God and find evolutionary explanations threatening to their beliefs. Considering how evolution affects our lives, including health and the environment to give just two examples, a basic course in evolution should become a required component of all our college and university educational systems.

  7. Plant Systems Biology at the Single-Cell Level.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Libault, Marc; Pingault, Lise; Zogli, Prince; Schiefelbein, John

    2017-11-01

    Our understanding of plant biology is increasingly being built upon studies using 'omics and system biology approaches performed at the level of the entire plant, organ, or tissue. Although these approaches open new avenues to better understand plant biology, they suffer from the cellular complexity of the analyzed sample. Recent methodological advances now allow plant scientists to overcome this limitation and enable biological analyses of single-cells or single-cell-types. Coupled with the development of bioinformatics and functional genomics resources, these studies provide opportunities for high-resolution systems analyses of plant phenomena. In this review, we describe the recent advances, current challenges, and future directions in exploring the biology of single-cells and single-cell-types to enhance our understanding of plant biology as a system. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Evolution of meanings of the concept of gen in students of higher education in the teaching of biology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dalia Diez de Tancredi

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available The aim of the study was to identify initial meanings of the concept of the gene among 50 students from the career training of teachers of biology at the University Pedagogical Experimental Libertador (UPEL, Pedagogical Institute of Caracas, who enrolled in Cell Biology (BC and General Genetics (GG, as well as those built from a didactic intervention that formed part of Participatory Action Research (PAR. The work is based on the Theory of Meaningful Learning of Ausubel, on the principles of critical meaningful learning facilitators of Moreira, and on elements of the educational act of Novak. To investigate the evolution of meaning of this concept were used: questionnaires, interviews, maps and graphic representations of concepts developed by students. The data analysis provides a differentiated evolution of the meaning of the gene in the students, which corresponds to the didactic intervention and teachers, actions in both courses. It shows the importance of organizing the teaching in a potentially meaningful way to reflect on the content and learning, so that abstract concepts such as gene, must be presented with a critical and reflexive epistemology.

  9. Review on thin-film transistor technology, its applications, and possible new applications to biological cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tixier-Mita, Agnès; Ihida, Satoshi; Ségard, Bertrand-David; Cathcart, Grant A.; Takahashi, Takuya; Fujita, Hiroyuki; Toshiyoshi, Hiroshi

    2016-04-01

    This paper presents a review on state-of-the-art of thin-film transistor (TFT) technology and its wide range of applications, not only in liquid crystal displays (TFT-LCDs), but also in sensing devices. The history of the evolution of the technology is first given. Then the standard applications of TFT-LCDs, and X-ray detectors, followed by state-of-the-art applications in the field of chemical and biochemical sensing are presented. TFT technology allows the fabrication of dense arrays of independent and transparent microelectrodes on large glass substrates. The potential of these devices as electrical substrates for biological cell applications is then described. The possibility of using TFT array substrates as new tools for electrical experiments on biological cells has been investigated for the first time by our group. Dielectrophoresis experiments and impedance measurements on yeast cells are presented here. Their promising results open the door towards new applications of TFT technology.

  10. Molecular biology: Self-sustaining chemistry

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wrede Paul

    2007-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Molecular biology is an established interdisciplinary field within biology that deals fundamentally with the function of any nucleic acid in the cellular context. The molecular biology section in Chemistry Central Journal focusses on the genetically determined chemistry and biochemistry occuring in the cell. How can thousands of chemical reactions interact smoothly to maintain the life of cells, even in a variable environment? How is this self-sustaining system achieved? These are questions that should be answered in the light of molecular biology and evolution, but with the application of biophysical, physico-chemical, analytical and preparative technologies. As the Section Editor for the molecular biology section in Chemistry Central Journal, I hope to receive manuscripts that present new approaches aimed at better answering and shedding light upon these fascinating questions related to the chemistry of livings cells.

  11. Branching processes in biology

    CERN Document Server

    Kimmel, Marek

    2015-01-01

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

  12. Without it no music: cognition, biology and evolution of musicality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Honing, Henkjan; ten Cate, Carel; Peretz, Isabelle; Trehub, Sandra E

    2015-03-19

    Musicality can be defined as a natural, spontaneously developing trait based on and constrained by biology and cognition. Music, by contrast, can be defined as a social and cultural construct based on that very musicality. One critical challenge is to delineate the constituent elements of musicality. What biological and cognitive mechanisms are essential for perceiving, appreciating and making music? Progress in understanding the evolution of music cognition depends upon adequate characterization of the constituent mechanisms of musicality and the extent to which they are present in non-human species. We argue for the importance of identifying these mechanisms and delineating their functions and developmental course, as well as suggesting effective means of studying them in human and non-human animals. It is virtually impossible to underpin the evolutionary role of musicality as a whole, but a multicomponent perspective on musicality that emphasizes its constituent capacities, development and neural cognitive specificity is an excellent starting point for a research programme aimed at illuminating the origins and evolution of musical behaviour as an autonomous trait. © 2015 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loew, L M; Schaff, J C

    2001-10-01

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

  14. Use of the "Tree" Analogy in Evolution Teaching by Biology Teachers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marcelos, Maria Fatima; Nagem, Ronaldo Luiz

    2012-01-01

    This work discusses the use of Darwin's "Tree of Life" as a didactic analogy and metaphor in teaching evolution. It investigates whether biology teachers of pupils from 17 to 18 years old know Darwin's text "Tree of Life". In addition, it examines whether those teachers systematically employ either the analogies present in that…

  15. MBEToolbox: a Matlab toolbox for sequence data analysis in molecular biology and evolution

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xia Xuhua

    2005-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background MATLAB is a high-performance language for technical computing, integrating computation, visualization, and programming in an easy-to-use environment. It has been widely used in many areas, such as mathematics and computation, algorithm development, data acquisition, modeling, simulation, and scientific and engineering graphics. However, few functions are freely available in MATLAB to perform the sequence data analyses specifically required for molecular biology and evolution. Results We have developed a MATLAB toolbox, called MBEToolbox, aimed at filling this gap by offering efficient implementations of the most needed functions in molecular biology and evolution. It can be used to manipulate aligned sequences, calculate evolutionary distances, estimate synonymous and nonsynonymous substitution rates, and infer phylogenetic trees. Moreover, it provides an extensible, functional framework for users with more specialized requirements to explore and analyze aligned nucleotide or protein sequences from an evolutionary perspective. The full functions in the toolbox are accessible through the command-line for seasoned MATLAB users. A graphical user interface, that may be especially useful for non-specialist end users, is also provided. Conclusion MBEToolbox is a useful tool that can aid in the exploration, interpretation and visualization of data in molecular biology and evolution. The software is publicly available at http://web.hku.hk/~jamescai/mbetoolbox/ and http://bioinformatics.org/project/?group_id=454.

  16. Use of the "Tree" Analogy in Evolution Teaching by Biology Teachers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marcelos, Maria Fátima; Nagem, Ronaldo Luiz

    2012-04-01

    This work discusses the use of Darwin's `Tree of Life' as a didactic analogy and metaphor in teaching evolution. It investigates whether biology teachers of pupils from 17 to 18 years old know Darwin's text `Tree of Life'. In addition, it examines whether those teachers systematically employ either the analogies present in that text or other analogies between the tree and evolution, and whether they adopt a specific methodology for teaching with analogies and metaphors (A&M). The academic training of teachers regarding use of A&M is review briefly. A diagnostic study was carried out with biology teachers in a public school in the town of Contagem in the state of Minas Gerais in Brazil. The data were obtained through direct observation, questionnaires and a focus group. The teachers pointed out in the questionnaires that some details of Darwin's analogy are utilized as a resource. However, analysis of the data indicates that the `Tree of Life' text is not known or utilized in class. At the same time, the teachers state that they use aspects of the tree as a didactic resource to teach evolution and that its use facilitates the learning of content. The teachers have little knowledge of specific methodologies of teaching with analogies and metaphors, revealing that their training is incomplete in this area.

  17. Essential role of Bmp signaling and its positive feedback loop in the early cell fate evolution of chordates

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Kozmiková, Iryna; Candiani, S.; Fabian, Peter; Gurská, Daniela; Kozmik, Zbyněk

    2013-01-01

    Roč. 382, č. 2 (2013), s. 538-554 ISSN 0012-1606 R&D Projects: GA ČR GCP305/10/J064; GA MŠk EE2.3.30.0027 Institutional support: RVO:68378050 Keywords : Bmp signaling * axial patterning * cell fate * chordates * evolution Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology Impact factor: 3.637, year: 2013

  18. Industrial systems biology and its impact on synthetic biology of yeast cell factories.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fletcher, Eugene; Krivoruchko, Anastasia; Nielsen, Jens

    2016-06-01

    Engineering industrial cell factories to effectively yield a desired product while dealing with industrially relevant stresses is usually the most challenging step in the development of industrial production of chemicals using microbial fermentation processes. Using synthetic biology tools, microbial cell factories such as Saccharomyces cerevisiae can be engineered to express synthetic pathways for the production of fuels, biopharmaceuticals, fragrances, and food flavors. However, directing fluxes through these synthetic pathways towards the desired product can be demanding due to complex regulation or poor gene expression. Systems biology, which applies computational tools and mathematical modeling to understand complex biological networks, can be used to guide synthetic biology design. Here, we present our perspective on how systems biology can impact synthetic biology towards the goal of developing improved yeast cell factories. Biotechnol. Bioeng. 2016;113: 1164-1170. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  19. 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.

  20. [Historic and functional biology: the inadequacy of a system theory of evolution].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Regelmann, J P

    1982-01-01

    In the first half of the 20th century neo-Kantianism in a broad sense proved itself the main conceptual and methodological background of the central European biology. As such it contributed much to the victory on the typological, idealistic-morphological and psycho-vitalistic interpretations of life. On the other hand it could not give tools to the biologists for working out a strictly darwinian evolution theory. Kant's theory of organism was conceived without evolution as a theory of the internal functionality of the organism. There was only some 'play' with the evolutionary differentiation of the species. Since then the disputes around the work of August Weismann, a synthetical evolution theory which is now behind time, arose. This theory developed from coinciding claims, elaborated by geneticists, mathematicians, and by biologists studying development, natural history and systematics. This was done under a strong influence of marxist ideas. Through the interweaving of such different approaches it was possible for this evolutionary synthesis to influence successfully the development of evolution research during more than 40 years. Philosophically speaking modern evolution theory means therefore an aversion, even a positive abolition of Kantian positions. A number of biologists however--as L. von Bertalanffy--refused to adhere to a misinterpreted Kantian methodology and oriented themselves to an approach via system theory, which obtained a place in evolution research. In fact this is a Kantian approach as well. They only repeated the Kantian dilemma of the evolution which can also be found in Lamarck and Hegel. The system theory of the functionality of the organism never reaches to the level of the evolving species, but remains always on the level of epigenetic thinking, because of its philosophical origin. This paper points out the consequences of this still current dilemma. At the same time an all-enclosing reflection on the methodological, epistemological and

  1. Artificial cell mimics as simplified models for the study of cell biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salehi-Reyhani, Ali; Ces, Oscar; Elani, Yuval

    2017-07-01

    Living cells are hugely complex chemical systems composed of a milieu of distinct chemical species (including DNA, proteins, lipids, and metabolites) interconnected with one another through a vast web of interactions: this complexity renders the study of cell biology in a quantitative and systematic manner a difficult task. There has been an increasing drive towards the utilization of artificial cells as cell mimics to alleviate this, a development that has been aided by recent advances in artificial cell construction. Cell mimics are simplified cell-like structures, composed from the bottom-up with precisely defined and tunable compositions. They allow specific facets of cell biology to be studied in isolation, in a simplified environment where control of variables can be achieved without interference from a living and responsive cell. This mini-review outlines the core principles of this approach and surveys recent key investigations that use cell mimics to address a wide range of biological questions. It will also place the field in the context of emerging trends, discuss the associated limitations, and outline future directions of the field. Impact statement Recent years have seen an increasing drive to construct cell mimics and use them as simplified experimental models to replicate and understand biological phenomena in a well-defined and controlled system. By summarizing the advances in this burgeoning field, and using case studies as a basis for discussion on the limitations and future directions of this approach, it is hoped that this minireview will spur others in the experimental biology community to use artificial cells as simplified models with which to probe biological systems.

  2. Introducing Mammalian Cell Culture and Cell Viability Techniques in the Undergraduate Biology Laboratory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bowey-Dellinger, Kristen; Dixon, Luke; Ackerman, Kristin; Vigueira, Cynthia; Suh, Yewseok K; Lyda, Todd; Sapp, Kelli; Grider, Michael; Crater, Dinene; Russell, Travis; Elias, Michael; Coffield, V McNeil; Segarra, Verónica A

    2017-01-01

    Undergraduate students learn about mammalian cell culture applications in introductory biology courses. However, laboratory modules are rarely designed to provide hands-on experience with mammalian cells or teach cell culture techniques, such as trypsinization and cell counting. Students are more likely to learn about cell culture using bacteria or yeast, as they are typically easier to grow, culture, and manipulate given the equipment, tools, and environment of most undergraduate biology laboratories. In contrast, the utilization of mammalian cells requires a dedicated biological safety cabinet and rigorous antiseptic techniques. For this reason, we have devised a laboratory module and method herein that familiarizes students with common cell culture procedures, without the use of a sterile hood or large cell culture facility. Students design and perform a time-efficient inquiry-based cell viability experiment using HeLa cells and tools that are readily available in an undergraduate biology laboratory. Students will become familiar with common techniques such as trypsinizing cells, cell counting with a hemocytometer, performing serial dilutions, and determining cell viability using trypan blue dye. Additionally, students will work with graphing software to analyze their data and think critically about the mechanism of death on a cellular level. Two different adaptations of this inquiry-based lab are presented-one for non-biology majors and one for biology majors. Overall, these laboratories aim to expose students to mammalian cell culture and basic techniques and help them to conceptualize their application in scientific research.

  3. Prion potency in stem cells biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lopes, Marilene H; Santos, Tiago G

    2012-01-01

    Prion protein (PrP) can be considered a pivotal molecule because it interacts with several partners to perform a diverse range of critical biological functions that might differ in embryonic and adult cells. In recent years, there have been major advances in elucidating the putative role of PrP in the basic biology of stem cells in many different systems. Here, we review the evidence indicating that PrP is a key molecule involved in driving different aspects of the potency of embryonic and tissue-specific stem cells in self-perpetuation and differentiation in many cell types. It has been shown that PrP is involved in stem cell self-renewal, controlling pluripotency gene expression, proliferation, and neural and cardiomyocyte differentiation. PrP also has essential roles in distinct processes that regulate tissue-specific stem cell biology in nervous and hematopoietic systems and during muscle regeneration. Results from our own investigations have shown that PrP is able to modulate self-renewal and proliferation in neural stem cells, processes that are enhanced by PrP interactions with stress inducible protein 1 (STI1). Thus, the available data reveal the influence of PrP in acting upon the maintenance of pluripotent status or the differentiation of stem cells from the early embryogenesis through adulthood.

  4. Biomimicry, Biofabrication, and Biohybrid Systems: The Emergence and Evolution of Biological Design.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raman, Ritu; Bashir, Rashid

    2017-10-01

    The discipline of biological design has a relatively short history, but has undergone very rapid expansion and development over that time. This Progress Report outlines the evolution of this field from biomimicry to biofabrication to biohybrid systems' design, showcasing how each subfield incorporates bioinspired dynamic adaptation into engineered systems. Ethical implications of biological design are discussed, with an emphasis on establishing responsible practices for engineering non-natural or hypernatural functional behaviors in biohybrid systems. This report concludes with recommendations for implementing biological design into educational curricula, ensuring effective and responsible practices for the next generation of engineers and scientists. © 2017 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  5. Cell biology experiments conducted in space

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taylor, G. R.

    1977-01-01

    A review of cell biology experiments conducted during the first two decades of space flight is provided. References are tabulated for work done with six types of living test system: isolated viruses, bacteriophage-host, bacteria, yeasts and filamentous fungi, protozoans, and small groups of cells (such as hamster cell tissue and fertilized frog eggs). The general results of studies involving the survival of cells in space, the effect of space flight on growing cultures, the biological effects of multicharged high-energy particles, and the effects of space flight on the genetic apparatus of microorganisms are summarized. It is concluded that cell systems remain sufficiently stable during space flight to permit experimentation with models requiring a fixed cell line during the space shuttle era.

  6. Spatial Modeling Tools for Cell Biology

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Przekwas, Andrzej; Friend, Tom; Teixeira, Rodrigo; Chen, Z. J; Wilkerson, Patrick

    2006-01-01

    .... Scientific potentials and military relevance of computational biology and bioinformatics have inspired DARPA/IPTO's visionary BioSPICE project to develop computational framework and modeling tools for cell biology...

  7. Hydrogen, metals, bifurcating electrons, and proton gradients: the early evolution of biological energy conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, William F

    2012-03-09

    Life is a persistent, self-specified set of far from equilibrium chemical reactions. In modern microbes, core carbon and energy metabolism are what keep cells alive. In very early chemical evolution, the forerunners of carbon and energy metabolism were the processes of generating reduced carbon compounds from CO(2) and the mechanisms of harnessing energy as compounds capable of doing some chemical work. The process of serpentinization at alkaline hydrothermal vents holds promise as a model for the origin of early reducing power, because Fe(2+) in the Earth's crust reduces water to H(2) and inorganic carbon to methane. The overall geochemical process of serpentinization is similar to the biochemical process of methanogenesis, and methanogenesis is similar to acetogenesis in that both physiologies allow energy conservation from the reduction of CO(2) with electrons from H(2). Electron bifurcation is a newly recognized cytosolic process that anaerobes use generate low potential electrons, it plays an important role in some forms of methanogenesis and, via speculation, possibly in acetogenesis. Electron bifurcation likely figures into the early evolution of biological energy conservation. Copyright © 2011. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  8. Cell-free synthetic biology: thinking outside the cell.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hodgman, C Eric; Jewett, Michael C

    2012-05-01

    Cell-free synthetic biology is emerging as a powerful approach aimed to understand, harness, and expand the capabilities of natural biological systems without using intact cells. Cell-free systems bypass cell walls and remove genetic regulation to enable direct access to the inner workings of the cell. The unprecedented level of control and freedom of design, relative to in vivo systems, has inspired the rapid development of engineering foundations for cell-free systems in recent years. These efforts have led to programmed circuits, spatially organized pathways, co-activated catalytic ensembles, rational optimization of synthetic multi-enzyme pathways, and linear scalability from the micro-liter to the 100-liter scale. It is now clear that cell-free systems offer a versatile test-bed for understanding why nature's designs work the way they do and also for enabling biosynthetic routes to novel chemicals, sustainable fuels, and new classes of tunable materials. While challenges remain, the emergence of cell-free systems is poised to open the way to novel products that until now have been impractical, if not impossible, to produce by other means. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Chemistry and biology by new multiple choice

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Seo, Hyeong Seok; Kim, Seong Hwan

    2003-02-01

    This book is divided into two parts, the first part is about chemistry, which deals with science of material, atom structure and periodic law, chemical combination and power between molecule, state of material and solution, chemical reaction and an organic compound. The second part give description of biology with molecule and cell, energy in cells and chemical synthesis, molecular biology and heredity, function on animal, function on plant and evolution and ecology. This book has explanation of chemistry and biology with new multiple choice.

  10. Evolutionary Cell Biology of Proteins from Protists to Humans and Plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plattner, Helmut

    2018-03-01

    During evolution, the cell as a fine-tuned machine had to undergo permanent adjustments to match changes in its environment, while "closed for repair work" was not possible. Evolution from protists (protozoa and unicellular algae) to multicellular organisms may have occurred in basically two lineages, Unikonta and Bikonta, culminating in mammals and angiosperms (flowering plants), respectively. Unicellular models for unikont evolution are myxamoebae (Dictyostelium) and increasingly also choanoflagellates, whereas for bikonts, ciliates are preferred models. Information accumulating from combined molecular database search and experimental verification allows new insights into evolutionary diversification and maintenance of genes/proteins from protozoa on, eventually with orthologs in bacteria. However, proteins have rarely been followed up systematically for maintenance or change of function or intracellular localization, acquirement of new domains, partial deletion (e.g. of subunits), and refunctionalization, etc. These aspects are discussed in this review, envisaging "evolutionary cell biology." Protozoan heritage is found for most important cellular structures and functions up to humans and flowering plants. Examples discussed include refunctionalization of voltage-dependent Ca 2+ channels in cilia and replacement by other types during evolution. Altogether components serving Ca 2+ signaling are very flexible throughout evolution, calmodulin being a most conservative example, in contrast to calcineurin whose catalytic subunit is lost in plants, whereas both subunits are maintained up to mammals for complex functions (immune defense and learning). Domain structure of R-type SNAREs differs in mono- and bikonta, as do Ca 2+ -dependent protein kinases. Unprecedented selective expansion of the subunit a which connects multimeric base piece and head parts (V0, V1) of H + -ATPase/pump may well reflect the intriguing vesicle trafficking system in ciliates, specifically in

  11. Biology of Schwann cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

    The fundamental roles of Schwann cells during peripheral nerve formation and regeneration have been recognized for more than 100 years, but the cellular and molecular mechanisms that integrate Schwann cell and axonal functions continue to be elucidated. Derived from the embryonic neural crest, Schwann cells differentiate into myelinating cells or bundle multiple unmyelinated axons into Remak fibers. Axons dictate which differentiation path Schwann cells follow, and recent studies have established that axonal neuregulin1 signaling via ErbB2/B3 receptors on Schwann cells is essential for Schwann cell myelination. Extracellular matrix production and interactions mediated by specific integrin and dystroglycan complexes are also critical requisites for Schwann cell-axon interactions. Myelination entails expansion and specialization of the Schwann cell plasma membrane over millimeter distances. Many of the myelin-specific proteins have been identified, and transgenic manipulation of myelin genes have provided novel insights into myelin protein function, including maintenance of axonal integrity and survival. Cellular events that facilitate myelination, including microtubule-based protein and mRNA targeting, and actin based locomotion, have also begun to be understood. Arguably, the most remarkable facet of Schwann cell biology, however, is their vigorous response to axonal damage. Degradation of myelin, dedifferentiation, division, production of axonotrophic factors, and remyelination all underpin the substantial regenerative capacity of the Schwann cells and peripheral nerves. Many of these properties are not shared by CNS fibers, which are myelinated by oligodendrocytes. Dissecting the molecular mechanisms responsible for the complex biology of Schwann cells continues to have practical benefits in identifying novel therapeutic targets not only for Schwann cell-specific diseases but other disorders in which axons degenerate. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights

  12. TinkerCell: modular CAD tool for synthetic biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chandran, Deepak; Bergmann, Frank T; Sauro, Herbert M

    2009-01-01

    Background Synthetic biology brings together concepts and techniques from engineering and biology. In this field, computer-aided design (CAD) is necessary in order to bridge the gap between computational modeling and biological data. Using a CAD application, it would be possible to construct models using available biological "parts" and directly generate the DNA sequence that represents the model, thus increasing the efficiency of design and construction of synthetic networks. Results An application named TinkerCell has been developed in order to serve as a CAD tool for synthetic biology. TinkerCell is a visual modeling tool that supports a hierarchy of biological parts. Each part in this hierarchy consists of a set of attributes that define the part, such as sequence or rate constants. Models that are constructed using these parts can be analyzed using various third-party C and Python programs that are hosted by TinkerCell via an extensive C and Python application programming interface (API). TinkerCell supports the notion of a module, which are networks with interfaces. Such modules can be connected to each other, forming larger modular networks. TinkerCell is a free and open-source project under the Berkeley Software Distribution license. Downloads, documentation, and tutorials are available at . Conclusion An ideal CAD application for engineering biological systems would provide features such as: building and simulating networks, analyzing robustness of networks, and searching databases for components that meet the design criteria. At the current state of synthetic biology, there are no established methods for measuring robustness or identifying components that fit a design. The same is true for databases of biological parts. TinkerCell's flexible modeling framework allows it to cope with changes in the field. Such changes may involve the way parts are characterized or the way synthetic networks are modeled and analyzed computationally. TinkerCell can readily

  13. TinkerCell: modular CAD tool for synthetic biology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bergmann Frank T

    2009-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Synthetic biology brings together concepts and techniques from engineering and biology. In this field, computer-aided design (CAD is necessary in order to bridge the gap between computational modeling and biological data. Using a CAD application, it would be possible to construct models using available biological "parts" and directly generate the DNA sequence that represents the model, thus increasing the efficiency of design and construction of synthetic networks. Results An application named TinkerCell has been developed in order to serve as a CAD tool for synthetic biology. TinkerCell is a visual modeling tool that supports a hierarchy of biological parts. Each part in this hierarchy consists of a set of attributes that define the part, such as sequence or rate constants. Models that are constructed using these parts can be analyzed using various third-party C and Python programs that are hosted by TinkerCell via an extensive C and Python application programming interface (API. TinkerCell supports the notion of a module, which are networks with interfaces. Such modules can be connected to each other, forming larger modular networks. TinkerCell is a free and open-source project under the Berkeley Software Distribution license. Downloads, documentation, and tutorials are available at http://www.tinkercell.com. Conclusion An ideal CAD application for engineering biological systems would provide features such as: building and simulating networks, analyzing robustness of networks, and searching databases for components that meet the design criteria. At the current state of synthetic biology, there are no established methods for measuring robustness or identifying components that fit a design. The same is true for databases of biological parts. TinkerCell's flexible modeling framework allows it to cope with changes in the field. Such changes may involve the way parts are characterized or the way synthetic networks are modeled

  14. Student world view as a framework for learning genetics and evolution in high school biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCoy, Roger Wesley

    Statement of the problem. Few studies in biology education have examined the underlying presuppositions which guide thinking and concept learning in adolescents. The purpose of this study was to describe and understand the biological world views of a variety of high school students before they take biology courses. Specifically, the study examined student world views in the domains of Classification, Relationship and Causation related to the concepts of heredity, evolution and biotechnology. The following served as guiding questions: (1) What are the personal world views of high school students entering biology classes, related to the domain of Classification, Relationship and Causality? (2) How do these student world views confound or enhance the learning of basic concepts in genetics and evolution? Methods. An interpretive method was chosen for this study. The six student participants were ninth graders and represented a wide range of world view backgrounds. A series of three interviews was conducted with each participant, with a focus group used for triangulation of data. The constant comparative method was used to categorize the data and facilitate the search for meaningful patterns. The analysis included a thick description of each student's personal views of classification, evolution and the appropriate use of biotechnology. Results. The study demonstrates that world view is the basis upon which students build knowledge in biology. The logic of their everyday thinking may not match that of scientists. The words they use are sometimes inconsistent with scientific terminology. This study provides evidence that students voice different opinions depending on the social situation, since they are strongly influenced by peers. Students classify animals based on behaviors. They largely believe that the natural world is unpredictable, and that humans are not really part of that world. Half are unlikely to accept the evolution of humans, but may accept it in other

  15. A Novel Application of Synthetic Biology and Directed Evolution to Engineer Phage-based Antibiotics

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wu, Meiye [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-CA), Livermore, CA (United States)

    2014-09-01

    The emergence of multiple drug resistant bacteria poses threats to human health, agriculture and food safety. Annually over 100,000 deaths and up to $20 billion loss to the U.S. economy are attributed to multiple drug resistant bacteria. With only four new chemical antibiotics in the drug development pipeline, we are in dire need of new solutions to address the emerging threat of multiple drug resistance. We propose a paradigm-changing approach to address the multi-drug resistant bacteria problem by utilizing Synthetic Biology (SynBio) methodologies to create and evolve “designer” bacteriophages or phages – viruses that specifically infect bacteria – to infect and kill newly emerging pathogenic bacterial strains WITHOUT the need for chemical antibiotics. A major advantage of using phage to combat pathogenic bacteria is that phages can co-evolve with their bacterial host, and Sandia can be the first in the world to establish an industrial scale Synthetic Biology pipeline for phage directed evolution for safe, targeted, customizable solution to bacterial drug resistance. Since there is no existing phage directed evolution effort within or outside of Sandia, this proposal is suitable as a high-risk LDRD effort to create the first pipeline for such an endeavor. The high potential reward nature of this proposal will be the immediate impact in decontamination and restoration of surfaces and infrastructure, with longer term impact in human or animal therapeutics. The synthetic biology and screening approaches will lead to fundamental knowledge of phage/bacteria co-evolution, making Sandia a world leader in directed evolution of bacteriophages.

  16. Laboratory of Cell and Molecular Biology

    Data.gov (United States)

    Federal Laboratory Consortium — The Laboratory of Cell and Molecular Biology investigates the organization, compartmentalization, and biochemistry of eukaryotic cells and the pathology associated...

  17. Life’s a Gas: A Thermodynamic Theory of Biological Evolution

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Keith R. Skene

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available This paper outlines a thermodynamic theory of biological evolution. Beginning with a brief summary of the parallel histories of the modern evolutionary synthesis and thermodynamics, we use four physical laws and processes (the first and second laws of thermodynamics, diffusion and the maximum entropy production principle to frame the theory. Given that open systems such as ecosystems will move towards maximizing dispersal of energy, we expect biological diversity to increase towards a level, Dmax, representing maximum entropic production (Smax. Based on this theory, we develop a mathematical model to predict diversity over the last 500 million years. This model combines diversification, post-extinction recovery and likelihood of discovery of the fossil record. We compare the output of this model with that of the observed fossil record. The model predicts that life diffuses into available energetic space (ecospace towards a dynamic equilibrium, driven by increasing entropy within the genetic material. This dynamic equilibrium is punctured by extinction events, which are followed by restoration of Dmax through diffusion into available ecospace. Finally we compare and contrast our thermodynamic theory with the MES in relation to a number of important characteristics of evolution (progress, evolutionary tempo, form versus function, biosphere architecture, competition and fitness.

  18. Industrial systems biology and its impact on synthetic biology of yeast cell factories

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fletcher, Eugene; Krivoruchko, Anastasia; Nielsen, Jens

    2016-01-01

    Engineering industrial cell factories to effectively yield a desired product while dealing with industrially relevant stresses is usually the most challenging step in the development of industrial production of chemicals using microbial fermentation processes. Using synthetic biology tools......, microbial cell factories such as Saccharomyces cerevisiae can be engineered to express synthetic pathways for the production of fuels, biopharmaceuticals, fragrances, and food flavors. However, directing fluxes through these synthetic pathways towards the desired product can be demanding due to complex...... regulation or poor gene expression. Systems biology, which applies computational tools and mathematical modeling to understand complex biological networks, can be used to guide synthetic biology design. Here, we present our perspective on how systems biology can impact synthetic biology towards the goal...

  19. Glycoengineering in CHO cells: Advances in systems biology

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tejwani, Vijay; Andersen, Mikael Rørdam; Nam, Jong Hyun

    2018-01-01

    are not well understood. A systems biology approach combining different technologies is needed for complete understanding of the molecular processes accounting for this variability and to open up new venues in cell line development. In this review, we describe several advances in genetic manipulation, modeling......For several decades, glycoprotein biologics have been successfully produced from Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells. The therapeutic efficacy and potency of glycoprotein biologics are often dictated by their post translational modifications, particularly glycosylation, which unlike protein synthesis....... Recently, CHO cells have also been explored for production of therapeutic glycosaminoglycans (e.g. heparin), which presents similar challenges as producing glycoproteins biologics. Approaches to controlling heterogeneity in CHO cells and directing the biosynthetic process toward desired glycoforms...

  20. Computer-aided design of biological circuits using TinkerCell.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chandran, Deepak; Bergmann, Frank T; Sauro, Herbert M

    2010-01-01

    Synthetic biology is an engineering discipline that builds on modeling practices from systems biology and wet-lab techniques from genetic engineering. As synthetic biology advances, efficient procedures will be developed that will allow a synthetic biologist to design, analyze, and build biological networks. In this idealized pipeline, computer-aided design (CAD) is a necessary component. The role of a CAD application would be to allow efficient transition from a general design to a final product. TinkerCell is a design tool for serving this purpose in synthetic biology. In TinkerCell, users build biological networks using biological parts and modules. The network can be analyzed using one of several functions provided by TinkerCell or custom programs from third-party sources. Since best practices for modeling and constructing synthetic biology networks have not yet been established, TinkerCell is designed as a flexible and extensible application that can adjust itself to changes in the field. © 2010 Landes Bioscience

  1. The Origin and Evolution of Complex Enough Systems in Biology

    OpenAIRE

    Brändas, Erkki

    2017-01-01

    Recent criticisms of Neo-Darwinism are considered and disputed within the setting of recent advances in chemical physics. A related query, viz., the ontological thesis, that everything is physical, confronts a crucial test on the validity of reductionism as a fundamental approach to science.  While traditional ‘physicalism’ interprets evolution as a sequence of physical accidents governed by the second law of thermodynamics, the concepts of biology concern processes that owe their goal-direct...

  2. Stable States of Biological Organisms

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-04-01

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

  3. Lipid Cell Biology: A Focus on Lipids in Cell Division.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Storck, Elisabeth M; Özbalci, Cagakan; Eggert, Ulrike S

    2018-06-20

    Cells depend on hugely diverse lipidomes for many functions. The actions and structural integrity of the plasma membrane and most organelles also critically depend on membranes and their lipid components. Despite the biological importance of lipids, our understanding of lipid engagement, especially the roles of lipid hydrophobic alkyl side chains, in key cellular processes is still developing. Emerging research has begun to dissect the importance of lipids in intricate events such as cell division. This review discusses how these structurally diverse biomolecules are spatially and temporally regulated during cell division, with a focus on cytokinesis. We analyze how lipids facilitate changes in cellular morphology during division and how they participate in key signaling events. We identify which cytokinesis proteins are associated with membranes, suggesting lipid interactions. More broadly, we highlight key unaddressed questions in lipid cell biology and techniques, including mass spectrometry, advanced imaging, and chemical biology, which will help us gain insights into the functional roles of lipids.

  4. Science for Survival: The Modern Synthesis of Evolution and The Biological Sciences Curriculum Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Green, Lisa Anne

    In this historical dissertation, I examined the process of curriculum development in the Biological Sciences Curriculum Study (BSCS) in the United States during the period 1959-1963. The presentation of evolution in the high school texts was based on a more robust form of Darwinian evolution which developed during the 1930s and 1940s called "the modern synthesis of evolution." Building primarily on the work of historians Vassiliki Smocovitis and John L. Rudolph, I used the archival papers and published writings of the four architects of the modern synthesis and the four most influential leaders of the BSCS in regards to evolution to investigate how the modern synthetic theory of evolution shaped the BSCS curriculum. The central question was "Why was evolution so important to the BSCS to make it the central theme of the texts?" Important answers to this question had already been offered in the historiography, but it was still not clear why every citizen in the world needed to understand evolution. I found that the emphasis on natural selection in the modern synthesis shifted the focus away from humans as passive participants to the recognition that humans are active agents in their own cultural and biological evolution. This required re-education of the world citizenry, which was accomplished in part by the BSCS textbooks. I also found that BSCS leaders Grobman, Glass, and Muller had serious concerns regarding the effects of nuclear radiation on the human gene pool, and were actively involved in informing th public. Lastly, I found that concerns of 1950s reform eugenicists were addressed in the BSCS textbooks, without mentioning eugenics by name. I suggest that the leaders of the BSCS, especially Bentley Glass and Hermann J. Muller, thought that students needed to understand genetics and evolution to be able to make some of the tough choices they might be called on to make as the dominant species on earth and the next reproductive generation in the nuclear age. This

  5. Biological restoration of central nervous system architecture and function: part 3-stem cell- and cell-based applications and realities in the biological management of central nervous system disorders: traumatic, vascular, and epilepsy disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farin, Azadeh; Liu, Charles Y; Langmoen, Iver A; Apuzzo, Michael L J

    2009-11-01

    STEM CELL THERAPY has emerged as a promising novel therapeutic endeavor for traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, stroke, and epilepsy in experimental studies. A few preliminary clinical trials have further supported its safety and early efficacy after transplantation into humans. Although not yet clinically available for central nervous system disorders, stem cell technology is expected to evolve into one of the most powerful tools in the biological management of complex central nervous system disorders, many of which currently have limited treatment modalities. The identification of stem cells, discovery of neurogenesis, and application of stem cells to treat central nervous system disorders represent a dramatic evolution and expansion of the neurosurgeon's capabilities into the neurorestoration and neuroregeneration realms. In Part 3 of a 5-part series on stem cells, we discuss the theory, experimental evidence, and clinical data pertaining to the use of stem cells for the treatment of traumatic, vascular, and epileptic disorders.

  6. The ancient Virus World and evolution of cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dolja Valerian V

    2006-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Recent advances in genomics of viruses and cellular life forms have greatly stimulated interest in the origins and evolution of viruses and, for the first time, offer an opportunity for a data-driven exploration of the deepest roots of viruses. Here we briefly review the current views of virus evolution and propose a new, coherent scenario that appears to be best compatible with comparative-genomic data and is naturally linked to models of cellular evolution that, from independent considerations, seem to be the most parsimonious among the existing ones. Results Several genes coding for key proteins involved in viral replication and morphogenesis as well as the major capsid protein of icosahedral virions are shared by many groups of RNA and DNA viruses but are missing in cellular life forms. On the basis of this key observation and the data on extensive genetic exchange between diverse viruses, we propose the concept of the ancient virus world. The virus world is construed as a distinct contingent of viral genes that continuously retained its identity throughout the entire history of life. Under this concept, the principal lineages of viruses and related selfish agents emerged from the primordial pool of primitive genetic elements, the ancestors of both cellular and viral genes. Thus, notwithstanding the numerous gene exchanges and acquisitions attributed to later stages of evolution, most, if not all, modern viruses and other selfish agents are inferred to descend from elements that belonged to the primordial genetic pool. In this pool, RNA viruses would evolve first, followed by retroid elements, and DNA viruses. The Virus World concept is predicated on a model of early evolution whereby emergence of substantial genetic diversity antedates the advent of full-fledged cells, allowing for extensive gene mixing at this early stage of evolution. We outline a scenario of the origin of the main classes of viruses in conjunction

  7. Micro/nano-fabrication technologies for cell biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qian, Tongcheng; Wang, Yingxiao

    2010-10-01

    Micro/nano-fabrication techniques, such as soft lithography and electrospinning, have been well-developed and widely applied in many research fields in the past decade. Due to the low costs and simple procedures, these techniques have become important and popular for biological studies. In this review, we focus on the studies integrating micro/nano-fabrication work to elucidate the molecular mechanism of signaling transduction in cell biology. We first describe different micro/nano-fabrication technologies, including techniques generating three-dimensional scaffolds for tissue engineering. We then introduce the application of these technologies in manipulating the physical or chemical micro/nano-environment to regulate the cellular behavior and response, such as cell life and death, differentiation, proliferation, and cell migration. Recent advancement in integrating the micro/nano-technologies and live cell imaging are also discussed. Finally, potential schemes in cell biology involving micro/nano-fabrication technologies are proposed to provide perspectives on the future research activities.

  8. The relative importance of physical and biological energy in landscape evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turowski, J. M.; Schwanghart, W.

    2017-12-01

    Landscapes are formed by the interplay of uplift and geomorphic processes, including interacting and competing physical and biological processes. For example, roots re-inforce soil and thereby stabilize hillslopes and the canopy cover of the forest may mediate the impact of precipitation. Furthermore, plants and animals act as geomorphic agents, directly altering landscape response and dynamics by their actions: tree roots may crack rocks, thus changing subsurface water flows and exposing fresh material for denudation; fungi excrete acids that accelerate rates of chemical weathering, and burrowing animals displace soil and rocks while digging holes for shelter or in search of food. Energetically, landscapes can be viewed as open systems in which topography stores potential energy above a base level. Tectonic processes add energy to the system by uplift and mechanically altering rock properties. Especially in unvegetated regions, erosion and transport by wind can be an important geomorphic process. Advection of atmospheric moisture in high altitudes provides potential energy that is converted by water fluxes through catchments. At the same time, the conversion of solar energy through atmospheric and biological processes drives primary production of living organisms. If we accept that biota influence geomorphic processes, then what is their energetic contribution to landscape evolution relative to physical processes? Using two case studies, we demonstrate that all components of energy input are negligible apart from biological production, quantified by net primary productivity (NPP) and potential energy conversion by water that is placed high up in the landscape as rainfall and leaves it as runoff. Assuming that the former is representative for biological energy and the latter for physical energy, we propose that the ratio of these two values can be used as a proxy for the relative importance of biological and physical processes in landscape evolution. All necessary

  9. Evolution of Excited Convective Cells in Plasmas

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pécseli, Hans; Juul Rasmussen, Jens; Sugai, H.

    1984-01-01

    Convective cells are excited externally in a fully ionized magnetized plasma and their space-time evolution is investigated by two-dimensional potential measurements. A positive cell is excited externally by control of the end losses in the 'scrape off' layer of a plasma column produced by surface...

  10. A system for studying evolution of life-like virtual organisms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Baranova Natalya N

    2006-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Fitness landscapes, the dependences of fitness on the genotype, are of critical importance for the evolution of living beings. Unfortunately, fitness landscapes that are relevant to the evolution of complex biological functions are very poorly known. As a result, the existing theory of evolution is mostly based on postulated fitness landscapes, which diminishes its usefulness. Attempts to deduce fitness landscapes from models of actual biological processes led, so far, to only limited success. Results We present a model system for studying the evolution of biological function, which makes it possible to attribute fitness to genotypes in a natural way. The system mimics a very simple cell and takes into account the basic properties of gene regulation and enzyme kinetics. A virtual cell contains only two small molecules, an organic nutrient A and an energy carrier X, and proteins of five types – two transcription factors, two enzymes, and a membrane transporter. The metabolism of the cell consists of importing A from the environment and utilizing it in order to produce X and an unspecified end product. The genome may carry an arbitrary number of genes, each one encoding a protein of one of the five types. Both major mutations that affect whole genes and minor mutations that affect individual characteristics of genes are possible. Fitness is determined by the ability of the cell to maintain homeostasis when its environment changes. The system has been implemented as a computer program, and several numerical experiments have been performed on it. Evolution of the virtual cells usually involves a rapid initial increase of fitness, which eventually slows down, until a fitness plateau is reached. The origin of a wide variety of genetic networks is routinely observed in independent experiments performed under the same conditions. These networks can have different, including very high, levels of complexity and often include large

  11. Synthetic biology approaches to engineer T cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Chia-Yung; Rupp, Levi J; Roybal, Kole T; Lim, Wendell A

    2015-08-01

    There is rapidly growing interest in learning how to engineer immune cells, such as T lymphocytes, because of the potential of these engineered cells to be used for therapeutic applications such as the recognition and killing of cancer cells. At the same time, our knowhow and capability to logically engineer cellular behavior is growing rapidly with the development of synthetic biology. Here we describe how synthetic biology approaches are being used to rationally alter the behavior of T cells to optimize them for therapeutic functions. We also describe future developments that will be important in order to construct safe and precise T cell therapeutics. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Biological evolution of replicator systems: towards a quantitative approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, Osmel; Horvath, J E

    2013-04-01

    The aim of this work is to study the features of a simple replicator chemical model of the relation between kinetic stability and entropy production under the action of external perturbations. We quantitatively explore the different paths leading to evolution in a toy model where two independent replicators compete for the same substrate. To do that, the same scenario described originally by Pross (J Phys Org Chem 17:312-316, 2004) is revised and new criteria to define the kinetic stability are proposed. Our results suggest that fast replicator populations are continually favored by the effects of strong stochastic environmental fluctuations capable to determine the global population, the former assumed to be the only acting evolution force. We demonstrate that the process is continually driven by strong perturbations only, and that population crashes may be useful proxies for these catastrophic environmental fluctuations. As expected, such behavior is particularly enhanced under very large scale perturbations, suggesting a likely dynamical footprint in the recovery patterns of new species after mass extinction events in the Earth's geological past. Furthermore, the hypothesis that natural selection always favors the faster processes may give theoretical support to different studies that claim the applicability of maximum principles like the Maximum Metabolic Flux (MMF) or Maximum Entropy Productions Principle (MEPP), seen as the main goal of biological evolution.

  13. HEK293 in cell biology and cancer research: phenotype, karyotype, tumorigenicity, and stress-induced genome-phenotype evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stepanenko, A A; Dmitrenko, V V

    2015-09-15

    293 cell line (widely known as the Human Embryonic Kidney 293 cells) and its derivatives were the most used cells after HeLa in cell biology studies and after CHO in biotechnology as a vehicle for the production of adenoviral vaccines and recombinant proteins, for analysis of the neuronal synapse formation, in electrophysiology and neuropharmacology. Despite the historically long-term productive exploitation, the origin, phenotype, karyotype, and tumorigenicity of 293 cells are still debated. 293 cells were considered the kidney epithelial cells or even fibroblasts. However, 293 cells demonstrate no evident tissue-specific gene expression signature and express the markers of renal progenitor cells, neuronal cells and adrenal gland. This complicates efforts to reveal the authentic cell type/tissue of origin. On the other hand, the potential to propagate the highly neurotropic viruses, inducible synaptogenesis, functionality of the endogenous neuron-specific voltage-gated channels, and response to the diverse agonists implicated in neuronal signaling give credibility to consider 293 cells of neuronal lineage phenotype. The compound phenotype of 293 cells can be due to heterogeneous, unstable karyotype. The mean chromosome number and chromosome aberrations differ between 293 cells and derivatives as well as between 293 cells from the different cell banks/labs. 293 cells are tumorigenic, whereas acute changes of expression of the cancer-associated genes aggravate tumorigenicity by promoting chromosome instability. Importantly, the procedure of a stable empty vector transfection can also impact karyotype and phenotype. The discussed issues caution against misinterpretations and pitfalls during the different experimental manipulations with 293 cells. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. Electromagnetic effects - From cell biology to medicine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Funk, Richard H W; Monsees, Thomas; Ozkucur, Nurdan

    2009-01-01

    In this review we compile and discuss the published plethora of cell biological effects which are ascribed to electric fields (EF), magnetic fields (MF) and electromagnetic fields (EMF). In recent years, a change in paradigm took place concerning the endogenously produced static EF of cells and tissues. Here, modern molecular biology could link the action of ion transporters and ion channels to the "electric" action of cells and tissues. Also, sensing of these mainly EF could be demonstrated in studies of cell migration and wound healing. The triggers exerted by ion concentrations and concomitant electric field gradients have been traced along signaling cascades till gene expression changes in the nucleus. Far more enigmatic is the way of action of static MF which come in most cases from outside (e.g. earth magnetic field). All systems in an organism from the molecular to the organ level are more or less in motion. Thus, in living tissue we mostly find alternating fields as well as combination of EF and MF normally in the range of extremely low-frequency EMF. Because a bewildering array of model systems and clinical devices exits in the EMF field we concentrate on cell biological findings and look for basic principles in the EF, MF and EMF action. As an outlook for future research topics, this review tries to link areas of EF, MF and EMF research to thermodynamics and quantum physics, approaches that will produce novel insights into cell biology.

  15. Cell physiology at the Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory: a brief look back and forward

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-01-01

    The Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory (MDIBL) has played important roles in the development of modern physiological concepts and tools, particularly in the fields of kidney and epithelial cell physiology. Over the last decade, MDIBL has undergone remarkable growth and evolution. This article will briefly review MDIBL's past and outline its future directions. It is hoped that this overview will renew and stimulate interest in MDIBL and, in particular, will encourage an even wider community of physiologists to participate in its ongoing growth and development. PMID:21068363

  16. Towards a Universal Biology: Is the Origin and Evolution of Life Predictable?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rothschild, Lynn J.

    2017-01-01

    The origin and evolution of life seems an unpredictable oddity, based on the quirks of contingency. Celebrated by the late Stephen Jay Gould in several books, "evolution by contingency" has all the adventure of a thriller, but lacks the predictive power of the physical sciences. Not necessarily so, replied Simon Conway Morris, for convergence reassures us that certain evolutionary responses are replicable. The outcome of this debate is critical to Astrobiology. How can we understand where we came from on Earth without prophesy? Further, we cannot design a rational strategy for the search for life elsewhere - or to understand what the future will hold for life on Earth and beyond - without extrapolating from pre-biotic chemistry and evolution. There are several indirect approaches to understanding, and thus describing, what life must be. These include philosophical approaches to defining life (is there even a satisfactory definition of life?), using what we know of physics, chemistry and life to imagine alternate scenarios, using different approaches that life takes as pseudoreplicates (e.g., ribosomal vs non-ribosomal protein synthesis), and experimental approaches to understand the art of the possible. Given that: (1) Life is a process based on physical components rather than simply an object; (2). Life is likely based on organic carbon and needs a solvent for chemistry, most likely water, and (3) Looking for convergence in terrestrial evolution we can predict certain tendencies, if not quite "laws", that provide predictive power. Biological history must obey the laws of physics and chemistry, the principles of natural selection, the constraints of an evolutionary past, genetics, and developmental biology. This amalgam creates a surprising amount of predictive power in the broad outline. Critical is the apparent prevalence of organic chemistry, and uniformity in the universe of the laws of chemistry and physics. Instructive is the widespread occurrence of

  17. Seeing Cells: Teaching the Visual/Verbal Rhetoric of Biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dinolfo, John; Heifferon, Barbara; Temesvari, Lesly A.

    2007-01-01

    This pilot study obtained baseline information on verbal and visual rhetorics to teach microscopy techniques to college biology majors. We presented cell images to students in cell biology and biology writing classes and then asked them to identify textual, verbal, and visual cues that support microscopy learning. Survey responses suggest that…

  18. Mammalian cell biology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Anon.

    1976-01-01

    Progress is reported on studies of the molecular biology and functional changes in cultured mammalian cells following exposure to x radiation, uv radiation, fission neutrons, or various chemical environmental pollutants alone or in combinations. Emphasis was placed on the separate and combined effects of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons released during combustion of fossil fuels and ionizing and nonionizing radiations. Sun lamps, which emit a continuous spectrum of near ultraviolet light of 290 nm to 315 nm were used for studies of predictive cell killing due to sunlight. Results showed that exposure to uv light (254 nm) may not be adequate to predict effects produced by sunlight. Data are included from studies on single-strand breaks and repair in DNA of cultured hamster cells exposed to uv or nearultraviolet light. The possible interactions of the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon 7,12-dimethylbenz(a)-anthracene (DmBA) alone or combined with exposure to x radiation, uv radiation (254 nm) or near ultraviolet simulating sunlight were compared for effects on cell survival

  19. Quantum selfish gene (biological evolution in terms of quantum mechanics)

    OpenAIRE

    Ozhigov, Yuri I.

    2013-01-01

    I propose to treat the biological evolution of genoms by means of quantum mechanical tools. We start with the concept of meta- gene, which specifies the "selfish gene" of R.Dawkins. Meta- gene encodes the abstract living unity, which can live relatively independently of the others, and can contain a few real creatures. Each population of living creatures we treat as the wave function on meta- genes, which module squared is the total number of creatures with the given meta-gene, and the phase ...

  20. Cell biology of the Koji mold Aspergillus oryzae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kitamoto, Katsuhiko

    2015-01-01

    Koji mold, Aspergillus oryzae, has been used for the production of sake, miso, and soy sauce for more than one thousand years in Japan. Due to the importance, A. oryzae has been designated as the national micro-organism of Japan (Koku-kin). A. oryzae has been intensively studied in the past century, with most investigations focusing on breeding techniques and developing methods for Koji making for sake brewing. However, the understanding of fundamental biology of A. oryzae remains relatively limited compared with the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Therefore, we have focused on studying the cell biology including live cell imaging of organelles, protein vesicular trafficking, autophagy, and Woronin body functions using the available genomic information. In this review, I describe essential findings of cell biology of A. oryzae obtained in our study for a quarter of century. Understanding of the basic biology will be critical for not its biotechnological application, but also for an understanding of the fundamental biology of other filamentous fungi.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-09-01

    Single-cell biology is considered a new approach to identify and validate disease-specific biomarkers. However, the concern raised by clinicians is how to apply single-cell measurements for clinical practice, translate the message of single-cell systems biology into clinical phenotype or explain alterations of single-cell gene sequencing and function in patient response to therapies. This study is to address the importance and necessity of single-cell gene sequencing in the identification and development of disease-specific biomarkers, the definition and significance of single-cell biology and single-cell systems biology in the understanding of single-cell full picture, the development and establishment of whole-cell models in the validation of targeted biological function and the figure and meaning of single-molecule imaging in single cell to trace intra-single-cell molecule expression, signal, interaction and location. We headline the important role of single-cell biology in the discovery and development of disease-specific biomarkers with a special emphasis on understanding single-cell biological functions, e.g. mechanical phenotypes, single-cell biology, heterogeneity and organization of genome function. We have reason to believe that such multi-dimensional, multi-layer, multi-crossing and stereoscopic single-cell biology definitely benefits the discovery and development of disease-specific biomarkers. © 2016 The Authors. Journal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd and Foundation for Cellular and Molecular Medicine.

  2. The genome sequence of taurine cattle: A window to ruminant biology and evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    To understand the biology and evolution of ruminants, the cattle genome was sequenced to about sevenfold coverage. The cattle genome contains a minimum of 22,000 genes, with a core set of 14,345 orthologs shared among seven mammalian species of which 1217 are absent or undetected in noneutherian (ma...

  3. Synthetic biology for the directed evolution of protein biocatalysts: navigating sequence space intelligently

    Science.gov (United States)

    Currin, Andrew; Swainston, Neil; Day, Philip J.

    2015-01-01

    The amino acid sequence of a protein affects both its structure and its function. Thus, the ability to modify the sequence, and hence the structure and activity, of individual proteins in a systematic way, opens up many opportunities, both scientifically and (as we focus on here) for exploitation in biocatalysis. Modern methods of synthetic biology, whereby increasingly large sequences of DNA can be synthesised de novo, allow an unprecedented ability to engineer proteins with novel functions. However, the number of possible proteins is far too large to test individually, so we need means for navigating the ‘search space’ of possible protein sequences efficiently and reliably in order to find desirable activities and other properties. Enzymologists distinguish binding (K d) and catalytic (k cat) steps. In a similar way, judicious strategies have blended design (for binding, specificity and active site modelling) with the more empirical methods of classical directed evolution (DE) for improving k cat (where natural evolution rarely seeks the highest values), especially with regard to residues distant from the active site and where the functional linkages underpinning enzyme dynamics are both unknown and hard to predict. Epistasis (where the ‘best’ amino acid at one site depends on that or those at others) is a notable feature of directed evolution. The aim of this review is to highlight some of the approaches that are being developed to allow us to use directed evolution to improve enzyme properties, often dramatically. We note that directed evolution differs in a number of ways from natural evolution, including in particular the available mechanisms and the likely selection pressures. Thus, we stress the opportunities afforded by techniques that enable one to map sequence to (structure and) activity in silico, as an effective means of modelling and exploring protein landscapes. Because known landscapes may be assessed and reasoned about as a whole

  4. Molecular biology of the cell

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Alberts, Bruce; Walter, Peter; Raff, Martin; Roberts, Keith; Lewis, Julian; Johnson, Alexander

    2007-01-01

    .... By extracting fundamental concepts and meaning from this enormous and ever-growing field, the authors tell the story of cell biology, and create a coherent framework through which non-expert readers...

  5. PANTHER version 6: protein sequence and function evolution data with expanded representation of biological pathways

    OpenAIRE

    Mi, Huaiyu; Guo, Nan; Kejariwal, Anish; Thomas, Paul D.

    2006-01-01

    PANTHER is a freely available, comprehensive software system for relating protein sequence evolution to the evolution of specific protein functions and biological roles. Since 2005, there have been three main improvements to PANTHER. First, the sequences used to create evolutionary trees are carefully selected to provide coverage of phylogenetic as well as functional information. Second, PANTHER is now a member of the InterPro Consortium, and the PANTHER hidden markov Models (HMMs) are distri...

  6. Time-evolution of the entropy of fluctuations in some biological systems as investigated by NMR

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lenk, R.

    1979-01-01

    A simple expression for the entropy of fluctuations has been developed, using the tunnelling-effect model. This gives the possibility to estimate the changes and evolution of entropy in non-crystalline and biological samples by NMR investigations. On the other hand, the oscillatory character of the time-evolution of some properties, experimentally found in the investigated samples of plants, is interpreted in terms of the generalized master equation with an exponential memory function. (Auth.)

  7. Anthropic principle in biology and radiation biology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Akif'ev, A. P.; Degtyarev, S.V.

    1999-01-01

    It was suggested to add the anthropic principle of the Universe according to which the physical constants of fundamental particles of matter and the laws of their counteraction are those that an appearance of man and mind becomes possible and necessary, with some biological constants to the set of fundamental constants. With reparation of DNA as an example it was shown how a cell ran some parameters of Watson-Crick double helix. It was pointed that the concept of the anthropic principle of the Universe in its full body including biological constants was a key to developing of a unified theory of evolution of the Universe within the limits of scientific creationism [ru

  8. Cell-free synthetic biology for environmental sensing and remediation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karig, David K

    2017-06-01

    The fields of biosensing and bioremediation leverage the phenomenal array of sensing and metabolic capabilities offered by natural microbes. Synthetic biology provides tools for transforming these fields through complex integration of natural and novel biological components to achieve sophisticated sensing, regulation, and metabolic function. However, the majority of synthetic biology efforts are conducted in living cells, and concerns over releasing genetically modified organisms constitute a key barrier to environmental applications. Cell-free protein expression systems offer a path towards leveraging synthetic biology, while preventing the spread of engineered organisms in nature. Recent efforts in the areas of cell-free approaches for sensing, regulation, and metabolic pathway implementation, as well as for preserving and deploying cell-free expression components, embody key steps towards realizing the potential of cell-free systems for environmental sensing and remediation. Copyright © 2017 The Author. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  9. Biologic relativity: Who is the observer and what is observed?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Torday, John S; Miller, William B

    2016-05-01

    When quantum physics and biological phenomena are analogously explored, it emerges that biologic causation must also be understood independently of its overt appearance. This is similar to the manner in which Bohm characterized the explicate versus the implicate order as overlapping frames of ambiguity. Placed in this context, the variables affecting epigenetic inheritance can be properly assessed as a key mechanistic principle of evolution that significantly alters our understanding of homeostasis, pleiotropy, and heterochrony, and the purposes of sexual reproduction. Each of these become differing manifestations of a new biological relativity in which biologic space-time becomes its own frame. In such relativistic cellular contexts, it is proper to question exactly who has observer status, and who and what are being observed. Consideration within this frame reduces biology to cellular information sharing through cell-cell communication to resolve ambiguities at every scope and scale. In consequence, it becomes implicit that eukaryotic evolution derives from the unicellular state, remaining consistently adherent to it in a continuous evolutionary arc based upon elemental, non-stochastic physiologic first principles. Furthermore, the entire cell including its cytoskeletal apparatus and membranes that participate in the resolution of biological uncertainties must be considered as having equivalent primacy with genomes in evolutionary terms. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. The evolution of fairness in a biological market.

    Science.gov (United States)

    André, Jean-Baptiste; Baumard, Nicolas

    2011-05-01

    Human beings universally express a concern for the fairness of social interactions, and it remains an open question that which ultimate factors led to the evolution of this preference. Here, we present a model accounting for the evolution of fairness on the basis of individual selection alone. We consider a simple social interaction based on the Dictator Game. Two individuals, a "proposer" and a "responder," have an opportunity to split a resource. When they have no choice but to interact together, the most powerful (here the proposer) reaps all the profits and fairness cannot evolve. Partner choice is the key lever to overcome this difficulty. Rather than just two individuals, we consider a population composed of two classes of individuals (either proposers or responders), and we allow the responders to choose their partner. In such a "biological market," fairness evolves as an "equilibrium price," resulting from an ecological equivalent of the law of supply and demand. If a class is disadvantaged by the chosen resource partition (i.e., if it frequently receives less than half of the resource), it is outcompeted by the other one, and automatically becomes rarer. This rarity grants it an advantage on the market, which yields in turn to the evolution of a more favorable partition. Splitting the resource into two identical halves, or more generally in a way that equalizes the payoffs of the two classes, is then the only evolutionarily stable outcome. Beyond human fairness, this mechanism also opens up new ways of explaining the distribution of benefits in many mutualistic interactions. No Claim to original U.S. government works.

  11. Biological interaction of living cells with COSAN-based synthetic vesicles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tarrés, Màrius; Canetta, Elisabetta; Paul, Eleanor; Forbes, Jordan; Azzouni, Karima; Viñas, Clara; Teixidor, Francesc; Harwood, Adrian J

    2015-01-15

    Cobaltabisdicarbollide (COSAN) [3,3'-Co(1,2-C2B9H11)2](-), is a complex boron-based anion that has the unusual property of self-assembly into membranes and vesicles. These membranes have similar dimensions to biological membranes found in cells, and previously COSAN has been shown to pass through synthetic lipid membranes and those of living cells without causing breakdown of membrane barrier properties. Here, we investigate the interaction of this inorganic membrane system with living cells. We show that COSAN has no immediate effect on cell viability, and cells fully recover when COSAN is removed following exposure for hours to days. COSAN elicits a range of cell biological effects, including altered cell morphology, inhibition of cell growth and, in some cases, apoptosis. These observations reveal a new biology at the interface between inorganic, synthetic COSAN membranes and naturally occurring biological membranes.

  12. Symbiosis in cell evolution: Life and its environment on the early earth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Margulis, L.

    1981-01-01

    The book treats cell evolution from the viewpoint of the serial endosymbiosis theory of the origin of organelles. Following a brief outline of the symbiotic theory, which holds that eukaryotes evolved by the association of free-living bacteria with a host prokaryote, the diversity of life is considered, and five kingdoms of organisms are distinguished: the prokaryotic Monera and the eukaryotic Protoctista, Animalia, Fungi and Plantae. Symbiotic and traditional direct filiation theories of cell evolution are compared. Recent observations of cell structure and biochemistry are reviewed in relation to early cell evolution, with attention given to the geological context for the origin of eukaryotic cells, the origin of major bacterial anaerobic pathways, the relationship between aerobic metabolism and atmospheric oxygen, criteria for distinguishing symbiotic organelles from those that originated by differentiation, and the major classes of eukaryotic organelles: mitochondria, cilia, microtubules, the mitotic and meiotic apparatuses, and pastids. Cell evolution during the Phanerozoic is also discussed with emphasis on the effects of life on the biosphere

  13. Stochastic processes in cell biology

    CERN Document Server

    Bressloff, Paul C

    2014-01-01

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

  14. Evolution of the cell wall components during terrestrialization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alicja Banasiak

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Colonization of terrestrial ecosystems by the first land plants, and their subsequent expansion and diversification, were crucial for the life on the Earth. However, our understanding of these processes is still relatively poor. Recent intensification of studies on various plant organisms have identified the plant cell walls are those structures, which played a key role in adaptive processes during the evolution of land plants. Cell wall as a structure protecting protoplasts and showing a high structural plasticity was one of the primary subjects to changes, giving plants the new properties and capabilities, which undoubtedly contributed to the evolutionary success of land plants. In this paper, the current state of knowledge about some main components of the cell walls (cellulose, hemicelluloses, pectins and lignins and their evolutionary alterations, as preadaptive features for the land colonization and the plant taxa diversification, is summarized. Some aspects related to the biosynthesis and modification of the cell wall components, with particular emphasis on the mechanism of transglycosylation, are also discussed. In addition, new surprising discoveries related to the composition of various cell walls, which change how we perceive their evolution, are presented, such as the presence of lignin in red algae or MLG (1→3,(1→4-β-D-glucan in horsetails. Currently, several new and promising projects, regarding the cell wall, have started, deciphering its structure, composition and metabolism in the evolutionary context. That additional information will allow us to better understand the processes leading to the terrestrialization and the evolution of extant land plants.

  15. Modeling Protein Evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goldstein, Richard; Pollock, David

    The study of biology is fundamentally different from many other scientific pursuits, such as geology or astrophysics. This difference stems from the ubiquitous questions that arise about function and purpose. These are questions concerning why biological objects operate the way they do: what is the function of a polymerase? What is the role of the immune system? No one, aside from the most dedicated anthropist or interventionist theist, would attempt to determine the purpose of the earth's mantle or the function of a binary star. Among the sciences, it is only biology in which the details of what an object does can be said to be part of the reason for its existence. This is because the process of evolution is capable of improving an object to better carry out a function; that is, it adapts an object within the constraints of mechanics and history (i.e., what has come before). Thus, the ultimate basis of these biological questions is the process of evolution; generally, the function of an enzyme, cell type, organ, system, or trait is the thing that it does that contributes to the fitness (i.e., reproductive success) of the organism of which it is a part or characteristic. Our investigations cannot escape the simple fact that all things in biology (including ourselves) are, ultimately, the result of an evolutionary process.

  16. Mast cells: potential positive and negative roles in tumor biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marichal, Thomas; Tsai, Mindy; Galli, Stephen J

    2013-11-01

    Mast cells are immune cells that reside in virtually all vascularized tissues. Upon activation by diverse mechanisms, mast cells can secrete a broad array of biologically active products that either are stored in the cytoplasmic granules of the cells (e.g., histamine, heparin, various proteases) or are produced de novo upon cell stimulation (e.g., prostaglandins, leukotrienes, cytokines, chemokines, and growth factors). Mast cells are best known for their effector functions during anaphylaxis and acute IgE-associated allergic reactions, but they also have been implicated in a wide variety of processes that maintain health or contribute to disease. There has been particular interest in the possible roles of mast cells in tumor biology. In vitro studies have shown that mast cells have the potential to influence many aspects of tumor biology, including tumor development, tumor-induced angiogenesis, and tissue remodeling, and the shaping of adaptive immune responses to tumors. Yet, the actual contributions of mast cells to tumor biology in vivo remain controversial. Here, we review some basic features of mast cell biology with a special emphasis on those relevant to their potential roles in tumors. We discuss how using in vivo tumor models in combination with models in which mast cell function can be modulated has implicated mast cells in the regulation of host responses to tumors. Finally, we summarize data from studies of human tumors that suggest either beneficial or detrimental roles for mast cells in tumors. ©2013 AACR.

  17. Emergent Stratification in Solid Tumors Selects for Reduced Cohesion of Tumor Cells: A Multi-Cell, Virtual-Tissue Model of Tumor Evolution Using CompuCell3D.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maciej H Swat

    Full Text Available Tumor cells and structure both evolve due to heritable variation of cell behaviors and selection over periods of weeks to years (somatic evolution. Micro-environmental factors exert selection pressures on tumor-cell behaviors, which influence both the rate and direction of evolution of specific behaviors, especially the development of tumor-cell aggression and resistance to chemotherapies. In this paper, we present, step-by-step, the development of a multi-cell, virtual-tissue model of tumor somatic evolution, simulated using the open-source CompuCell3D modeling environment. Our model includes essential cell behaviors, microenvironmental components and their interactions. Our model provides a platform for exploring selection pressures leading to the evolution of tumor-cell aggression, showing that emergent stratification into regions with different cell survival rates drives the evolution of less cohesive cells with lower levels of cadherins and higher levels of integrins. Such reduced cohesivity is a key hallmark in the progression of many types of solid tumors.

  18. Positioning genomics in biology education: content mapping of undergraduate biology textbooks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wernick, Naomi L B; Ndung'u, Eric; Haughton, Dominique; Ledley, Fred D

    2014-12-01

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

  19. Evolution of bow-tie architectures in biology.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tamar Friedlander

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Bow-tie or hourglass structure is a common architectural feature found in many biological systems. A bow-tie in a multi-layered structure occurs when intermediate layers have much fewer components than the input and output layers. Examples include metabolism where a handful of building blocks mediate between multiple input nutrients and multiple output biomass components, and signaling networks where information from numerous receptor types passes through a small set of signaling pathways to regulate multiple output genes. Little is known, however, about how bow-tie architectures evolve. Here, we address the evolution of bow-tie architectures using simulations of multi-layered systems evolving to fulfill a given input-output goal. We find that bow-ties spontaneously evolve when the information in the evolutionary goal can be compressed. Mathematically speaking, bow-ties evolve when the rank of the input-output matrix describing the evolutionary goal is deficient. The maximal compression possible (the rank of the goal determines the size of the narrowest part of the network-that is the bow-tie. A further requirement is that a process is active to reduce the number of links in the network, such as product-rule mutations, otherwise a non-bow-tie solution is found in the evolutionary simulations. This offers a mechanism to understand a common architectural principle of biological systems, and a way to quantitate the effective rank of the goals under which they evolved.

  20. Mesangial cell biology

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Abboud, Hanna E., E-mail: Abboud@uthscsa.edu

    2012-05-15

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

  1. Mesangial cell biology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Abboud, Hanna E.

    2012-01-01

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

  2. Bioinformatics approaches to single-cell analysis in developmental biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yalcin, Dicle; Hakguder, Zeynep M; Otu, Hasan H

    2016-03-01

    Individual cells within the same population show various degrees of heterogeneity, which may be better handled with single-cell analysis to address biological and clinical questions. Single-cell analysis is especially important in developmental biology as subtle spatial and temporal differences in cells have significant associations with cell fate decisions during differentiation and with the description of a particular state of a cell exhibiting an aberrant phenotype. Biotechnological advances, especially in the area of microfluidics, have led to a robust, massively parallel and multi-dimensional capturing, sorting, and lysis of single-cells and amplification of related macromolecules, which have enabled the use of imaging and omics techniques on single cells. There have been improvements in computational single-cell image analysis in developmental biology regarding feature extraction, segmentation, image enhancement and machine learning, handling limitations of optical resolution to gain new perspectives from the raw microscopy images. Omics approaches, such as transcriptomics, genomics and epigenomics, targeting gene and small RNA expression, single nucleotide and structural variations and methylation and histone modifications, rely heavily on high-throughput sequencing technologies. Although there are well-established bioinformatics methods for analysis of sequence data, there are limited bioinformatics approaches which address experimental design, sample size considerations, amplification bias, normalization, differential expression, coverage, clustering and classification issues, specifically applied at the single-cell level. In this review, we summarize biological and technological advancements, discuss challenges faced in the aforementioned data acquisition and analysis issues and present future prospects for application of single-cell analyses to developmental biology. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the European

  3. Ultrastructure, macromolecules, and evolution

    CERN Document Server

    Dillon, Lawrence S

    1981-01-01

    Thus far in the history of biology, two, and only two, fundamental principles have come to light that pervade and unify the entire science-the cell theory and the concept of evolution. While it is true that recently opened fields of inves­ tigation have given rise to several generalizations of wide impact, such as the universality of DNA and the energetic dynamics of ecology, closer inspection reveals them to be part and parcel of either of the first two mentioned. Because in the final analysis energy can act upon an organism solely at the cellular level, its effects may be perceived basically to represent one facet of cell me­ tabolism. Similarly, because the DNA theory centers upon the means by which cells build proteins and reproduce themselves, it too proves to be only one more, even though an exciting, aspect of the cell theory. In fact, if the matter is given closer scrutiny, evolution itself can be viewed as being a fundamental portion of the cell concept, for its effects arise only as a consequence ...

  4. Quantitative stem cell biology: the threat and the glory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pollard, Steven M

    2016-11-15

    Major technological innovations over the past decade have transformed our ability to extract quantitative data from biological systems at an unprecedented scale and resolution. These quantitative methods and associated large datasets should lead to an exciting new phase of discovery across many areas of biology. However, there is a clear threat: will we drown in these rivers of data? On 18th July 2016, stem cell biologists gathered in Cambridge for the 5th annual Cambridge Stem Cell Symposium to discuss 'Quantitative stem cell biology: from molecules to models'. This Meeting Review provides a summary of the data presented by each speaker, with a focus on quantitative techniques and the new biological insights that are emerging. © 2016. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  5. Learning bias, cultural evolution of language, and the biological evolution of the language faculty.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Kenny

    2011-04-01

    The biases of individual language learners act to determine the learnability and cultural stability of languages: learners come to the language learning task with biases which make certain linguistic systems easier to acquire than others. These biases are repeatedly applied during the process of language transmission, and consequently should effect the types of languages we see in human populations. Understanding the cultural evolutionary consequences of particular learning biases is therefore central to understanding the link between language learning in individuals and language universals, common structural properties shared by all the world’s languages. This paper reviews a range of models and experimental studies which show that weak biases in individual learners can have strong effects on the structure of socially learned systems such as language, suggesting that strong universal tendencies in language structure do not require us to postulate strong underlying biases or constraints on language learning. Furthermore, understanding the relationship between learner biases and language design has implications for theories of the evolution of those learning biases: models of gene-culture coevolution suggest that, in situations where a cultural dynamic mediates between properties of individual learners and properties of language in this way, biological evolution is unlikely to lead to the emergence of strong constraints on learning.

  6. cellPACK: a virtual mesoscope to model and visualize structural systems biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Graham T; Autin, Ludovic; Al-Alusi, Mostafa; Goodsell, David S; Sanner, Michel F; Olson, Arthur J

    2015-01-01

    cellPACK assembles computational models of the biological mesoscale, an intermediate scale (10-100 nm) between molecular and cellular biology scales. cellPACK's modular architecture unites existing and novel packing algorithms to generate, visualize and analyze comprehensive three-dimensional models of complex biological environments that integrate data from multiple experimental systems biology and structural biology sources. cellPACK is available as open-source code, with tools for validation of models and with 'recipes' and models for five biological systems: blood plasma, cytoplasm, synaptic vesicles, HIV and a mycoplasma cell. We have applied cellPACK to model distributions of HIV envelope protein to test several hypotheses for consistency with experimental observations. Biologists, educators and outreach specialists can interact with cellPACK models, develop new recipes and perform packing experiments through scripting and graphical user interfaces at http://cellPACK.org/.

  7. Noninvasive Assessment of Cell Fate and Biology in Transplanted Mesenchymal Stem Cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Franchi, Federico; Rodriguez-Porcel, Martin

    2017-01-01

    Recently, molecular imaging has become a conditio sine qua non for cell-based regenerative medicine. Developments in molecular imaging techniques, such as reporter gene technology, have increasingly enabled the noninvasive assessment of the fate and biology of cells after cardiovascular applications. In this context, bioluminescence imaging is the most commonly used imaging modality in small animal models of preclinical studies. Here, we present a detailed protocol of a reporter gene imaging approach for monitoring the viability and biology of Mesenchymal Stem Cells transplanted in a mouse model of myocardial ischemia reperfusion injury.

  8. 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...

  9. A Course in Evolutionary Biology: Engaging Students in the "Practice" of Evolution. Research Report.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Passmore, Cynthia; Stewart, James

    Recent education reform documents emphasize the need for students to develop a rich understanding of evolution's power to integrate knowledge of the natural world. This paper describes a nine-week high school course designed to help students understand evolutionary biology by engaging them in developing, elaborating, and using Charles Darwin's…

  10. Uncovering the underlying physical mechanisms of biological systems via quantification of landscape and flux

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Xu Li; Chu Xiakun; Yan Zhiqiang; Zheng Xiliang; Zhang Kun; Zhang Feng; Yan Han; Wu Wei; Wang Jin

    2016-01-01

    In this review, we explore the physical mechanisms of biological processes such as protein folding and recognition, ligand binding, and systems biology, including cell cycle, stem cell, cancer, evolution, ecology, and neural networks. Our approach is based on the landscape and flux theory for nonequilibrium dynamical systems. This theory provides a unifying principle and foundation for investigating the underlying mechanisms and physical quantification of biological systems. (topical review)

  11. Automatic detection of biological cells

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Alves Da Costa, Caiuby

    1983-01-01

    The present research work has dealt with the analysis of biological cell images in general, and more specially with the cervical cells. This work was carried out in order to develop an automaton leading to a better prevention of cancer through automated mass screening. The device has been implemented on Motorola 68.000 microprocessor system. The automaton carries out cell nucleus analysis in several steps. The main steps are: - First: the automaton focuses on an individual cell nucleus among the smear's cell (about 10.000), - Second: it process each nucleus image. The digital processing yields geometrical of the nucleus (area and perimeter) for each cell. These data are stored in a local memory for further discriminant analysis by a microcomputer. In this way smears are classed in two groups: hale smears and uncertain smears. The automaton uses a wired logic for image acquisition and its software algorithms provide image reconstruction. The reconstruction algorithms are general purpose. Tests have proved that they can reconstruct any two dimensional images independently of its geometrical form. Moreover they can make the reconstruction of any image among the several images present in observation field. The processing times registered during the tests (for different cases) were situated, all of them, below three minutes for 10,000 images (each of them formed by an average of 450 pixels). The interest of the method is generality and speed. The only restriction is the primary device sensor (CCD linear array) length. Thus the automaton application can be extended beyond the biological image field. (author) [fr

  12. A Diagnostic Assessment for Introductory Molecular and Cell Biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shi, Jia; Wood, William B.; Martin, Jennifer M.; Guild, Nancy A.; Vicens, Quentin; Knight, Jennifer K.

    2010-01-01

    We have developed and validated a tool for assessing understanding of a selection of fundamental concepts and basic knowledge in undergraduate introductory molecular and cell biology, focusing on areas in which students often have misconceptions. This multiple-choice Introductory Molecular and Cell Biology Assessment (IMCA) instrument is designed…

  13. Evolution algebras generated by Gibbs measures

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rozikov, Utkir A.; Tian, Jianjun Paul

    2009-03-01

    In this article we study algebraic structures of function spaces defined by graphs and state spaces equipped with Gibbs measures by associating evolution algebras. We give a constructive description of associating evolution algebras to the function spaces (cell spaces) defined by graphs and state spaces and Gibbs measure μ. For finite graphs we find some evolution subalgebras and other useful properties of the algebras. We obtain a structure theorem for evolution algebras when graphs are finite and connected. We prove that for a fixed finite graph, the function spaces have a unique algebraic structure since all evolution algebras are isomorphic to each other for whichever Gibbs measures are assigned. When graphs are infinite graphs then our construction allows a natural introduction of thermodynamics in studying of several systems of biology, physics and mathematics by theory of evolution algebras. (author)

  14. Can Man Control His Biological Evolution? A Symposium on Genetic Engineering. Man's Responsibility to His Future

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoagland, Hudson

    1972-01-01

    Biological evolution can be carried out in the laboratory. With new knowledge available in genetics, possibilities are raised that genetic characters can be transferred in the future to embryos according to a predetermined plan. (PS)

  15. Glial cell biology in the Great Lakes region.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feinstein, Douglas L; Skoff, Robert P

    2016-03-31

    We report on the tenth bi-annual Great Lakes Glial meeting, held in Traverse City, Michigan, USA, September 27-29 2015. The GLG meeting is a small conference that focuses on current research in glial cell biology. The array of functions that glial cells (astrocytes, microglia, oligodendrocytes, Schwann cells) play in health and disease is constantly increasing. Despite this diversity, GLG meetings bring together scientists with common interests, leading to a better understanding of these cells. This year's meeting included two keynote speakers who presented talks on the regulation of CNS myelination and the consequences of stress on Schwann cell biology. Twenty-two other talks were presented along with two poster sessions. Sessions covered recent findings in the areas of microglial and astrocyte activation; age-dependent changes to glial cells, Schwann cell development and pathology, and the role of stem cells in glioma and neural regeneration.

  16. Molecular biology of mycoplasmas: from the minimum cell concept to the artificial cell.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cordova, Caio M M; Hoeltgebaum, Daniela L; Machado, Laís D P N; Santos, Larissa Dos

    2016-01-01

    Mycoplasmas are a large group of bacteria, sorted into different genera in the Mollicutes class, whose main characteristic in common, besides the small genome, is the absence of cell wall. They are considered cellular and molecular biology study models. We present an updated review of the molecular biology of these model microorganisms and the development of replicative vectors for the transformation of mycoplasmas. Synthetic biology studies inspired by these pioneering works became possible and won the attention of the mainstream media. For the first time, an artificial genome was synthesized (a minimal genome produced from consensus sequences obtained from mycoplasmas). For the first time, a functional artificial cell has been constructed by introducing a genome completely synthesized within a cell envelope of a mycoplasma obtained by transformation techniques. Therefore, this article offers an updated insight to the state of the art of these peculiar organisms' molecular biology.

  17. Programming cells by multiplex genome engineering and accelerated evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Harris H; Isaacs, Farren J; Carr, Peter A; Sun, Zachary Z; Xu, George; Forest, Craig R; Church, George M

    2009-08-13

    The breadth of genomic diversity found among organisms in nature allows populations to adapt to diverse environments. However, genomic diversity is difficult to generate in the laboratory and new phenotypes do not easily arise on practical timescales. Although in vitro and directed evolution methods have created genetic variants with usefully altered phenotypes, these methods are limited to laborious and serial manipulation of single genes and are not used for parallel and continuous directed evolution of gene networks or genomes. Here, we describe multiplex automated genome engineering (MAGE) for large-scale programming and evolution of cells. MAGE simultaneously targets many locations on the chromosome for modification in a single cell or across a population of cells, thus producing combinatorial genomic diversity. Because the process is cyclical and scalable, we constructed prototype devices that automate the MAGE technology to facilitate rapid and continuous generation of a diverse set of genetic changes (mismatches, insertions, deletions). We applied MAGE to optimize the 1-deoxy-D-xylulose-5-phosphate (DXP) biosynthesis pathway in Escherichia coli to overproduce the industrially important isoprenoid lycopene. Twenty-four genetic components in the DXP pathway were modified simultaneously using a complex pool of synthetic DNA, creating over 4.3 billion combinatorial genomic variants per day. We isolated variants with more than fivefold increase in lycopene production within 3 days, a significant improvement over existing metabolic engineering techniques. Our multiplex approach embraces engineering in the context of evolution by expediting the design and evolution of organisms with new and improved properties.

  18. METABOLIC MODELLING IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF CELL FACTORIES BY SYNTHETIC BIOLOGY

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paula Jouhten

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Cell factories are commonly microbial organisms utilized for bioconversion of renewable resources to bulk or high value chemicals. Introduction of novel production pathways in chassis strains is the core of the development of cell factories by synthetic biology. Synthetic biology aims to create novel biological functions and systems not found in nature by combining biology with engineering. The workflow of the development of novel cell factories with synthetic biology is ideally linear which will be attainable with the quantitative engineering approach, high-quality predictive models, and libraries of well-characterized parts. Different types of metabolic models, mathematical representations of metabolism and its components, enzymes and metabolites, are useful in particular phases of the synthetic biology workflow. In this minireview, the role of metabolic modelling in synthetic biology will be discussed with a review of current status of compatible methods and models for the in silico design and quantitative evaluation of a cell factory.

  19. Integrative systems and synthetic biology of cell-matrix adhesion sites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zamir, Eli

    2016-09-02

    The complexity of cell-matrix adhesion convolves its roles in the development and functioning of multicellular organisms and their evolutionary tinkering. Cell-matrix adhesion is mediated by sites along the plasma membrane that anchor the actin cytoskeleton to the matrix via a large number of proteins, collectively called the integrin adhesome. Fundamental challenges for understanding how cell-matrix adhesion sites assemble and function arise from their multi-functionality, rapid dynamics, large number of components and molecular diversity. Systems biology faces these challenges in its strive to understand how the integrin adhesome gives rise to functional adhesion sites. Synthetic biology enables engineering intracellular modules and circuits with properties of interest. In this review I discuss some of the fundamental questions in systems biology of cell-matrix adhesion and how synthetic biology can help addressing them.

  20. Definition and evolution of quantum cellular automata with two qubits per cell

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Karafyllidis, Ioannis G.

    2004-01-01

    Studies of quantum computer implementations suggest cellular quantum computer architectures. These architectures can simulate the evolution of quantum cellular automata, which can possibly simulate both quantum and classical physical systems and processes. It is however known that except for the trivial case, unitary evolution of one-dimensional homogeneous quantum cellular automata with one qubit per cell is not possible. Quantum cellular automata that comprise two qubits per cell are defined and their evolution is studied using a quantum computer simulator. The evolution is unitary and its linearity manifests itself as a periodic structure in the probability distribution patterns

  1. The changing world of modern cell biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Misteli, Tom

    2009-01-12

    Change is always ambiguous. There is the enticing prospect of novelty and better times ahead, but at the same time the concern of losing the good of the past. It is with these sentiments that I take over as the Editor-in-Chief from Ira Mellman who for a decade has cleverly and effectively lead the JCB. During this time he directed and oversaw an extensive modernization of the journal and guided it through dramatic changes in the publishing world. Ira lead the journal with unyielding dedication and enthusiasm and we in the cell biology community must thank him profoundly for his service. It is his work, together with the invaluable contribution of the best editorial board and the most dedicated professional editorial staff in the scientific publishing business, that allows me to now take over the stewardship of the JCB with a tremendous sense of excitement and determination to continue and expand the JCB's role as the leading journal in the cell biology community and as a trendsetter in the rapidly changing world of modern cell biology.

  2. Investigating the role of retinal Müller cells with approaches in genetics and cell biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fu, Suhua; Zhu, Meili; Ash, John D; Wang, Yunchang; Le, Yun-Zheng

    2014-01-01

    Müller cells are major macroglia and play many essential roles as a supporting cell in the retina. As Müller cells only constitute a small portion of retinal cells, investigating the role of Müller glia in retinal biology and diseases is particularly challenging. To overcome this problem, we first generated a Cre/lox-based conditional gene targeting system that permits the genetic manipulation and functional dissection of gene of interests in Müller cells. To investigate diabetes-induced alteration of Müller cells, we recently adopted methods to analyze Müller cells survival/death in vitro and in vivo. We also used normal and genetically altered primary cell cultures to reveal the mechanistic insights for Müller cells in biological and disease processes. In this article, we will discuss the applications and limitations of these methodologies, which may be useful for research in retinal Müller cell biology and pathophysiology.

  3. Cell evolution and Earth history: stasis and revolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cavalier-Smith, Thomas

    2006-06-29

    This synthesis has three main parts. The first discusses the overall tree of life and nature of the last common ancestor (cenancestor). I emphasize key steps in cellular evolution important for ordering and timing the major evolutionary innovations in the history of the biosphere, explaining especially the origins of the eukaryote cell and of bacterial flagella and cell envelope novelties. Second, I map the tree onto the fossil record and discuss dates of key events and their biogeochemical impact. Finally, I present a broad synthesis, discussing evidence for a three-phase history of life. The first phase began perhaps ca 3.5 Gyr ago, when the origin of cells and anoxic photosynthesis generated the arguably most primitive prokaryote phylum, Chlorobacteria (= Chloroflexi), the first negibacteria with cells bounded by two acyl ester phospholipid membranes. After this 'chlorobacterial age' of benthic anaerobic evolution protected from UV radiation by mineral grains, two momentous quantum evolutionary episodes of cellular innovation and microbial radiation dramatically transformed the Earth's surface: the glycobacterial revolution initiated an oxygenic 'age of cyanobacteria' and, as the ozone layer grew, the rise of plankton; immensely later, probably as recently as ca 0.9 Gyr ago, the neomuran revolution ushered in the 'age of eukaryotes', Archaebacteria (arguably the youngest bacterial phylum), and morphological complexity. Diversification of glycobacteria ca 2.8 Gyr ago, predominantly inhabiting stratified benthic mats, I suggest caused serial depletion of 13C by ribulose 1,5-bis-phosphate caboxylase/oxygenase (Rubisco) to yield ultralight late Archaean organic carbon formerly attributed to methanogenesis plus methanotrophy. The late origin of archaebacterial methanogenesis ca 720 Myr ago perhaps triggered snowball Earth episodes by slight global warming increasing weathering and reducing CO2 levels, to yield runaway cooling; the origin of anaerobic methane

  4. Eduard Strasburger (1844-1912): founder of modern plant cell biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Volkmann, Dieter; Baluška, František; Menzel, Diedrik

    2012-10-01

    Eduard Strasburger, director of the Botany Institute and the Botanical Garden at the University of Bonn from 1881 to 1912, was one of the most admirable scientists in the field of plant biology, not just as the founder of modern plant cell biology but in addition as an excellent teacher who strongly believed in "education through science." He contributed to plant cell biology by discovering the discrete stages of karyokinesis and cytokinesis in algae and higher plants, describing cytoplasmic streaming in different systems, and reporting on the growth of the pollen tube into the embryo sac and guidance of the tube by synergides. Strasburger raised many problems which are hot spots in recent plant cell biology, e.g., structure and function of the plasmodesmata in relation to phloem loading (Strasburger cells) and signaling, mechanisms of cell plate formation, vesicle trafficking as a basis for most important developmental processes, and signaling related to fertilization.

  5. Uniparental Inheritance Promotes Adaptive Evolution in Cytoplasmic Genomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christie, Joshua R; Beekman, Madeleine

    2017-03-01

    Eukaryotes carry numerous asexual cytoplasmic genomes (mitochondria and plastids). Lacking recombination, asexual genomes should theoretically suffer from impaired adaptive evolution. Yet, empirical evidence indicates that cytoplasmic genomes experience higher levels of adaptive evolution than predicted by theory. In this study, we use a computational model to show that the unique biology of cytoplasmic genomes-specifically their organization into host cells and their uniparental (maternal) inheritance-enable them to undergo effective adaptive evolution. Uniparental inheritance of cytoplasmic genomes decreases competition between different beneficial substitutions (clonal interference), promoting the accumulation of beneficial substitutions. Uniparental inheritance also facilitates selection against deleterious cytoplasmic substitutions, slowing Muller's ratchet. In addition, uniparental inheritance generally reduces genetic hitchhiking of deleterious substitutions during selective sweeps. Overall, uniparental inheritance promotes adaptive evolution by increasing the level of beneficial substitutions relative to deleterious substitutions. When we assume that cytoplasmic genome inheritance is biparental, decreasing the number of genomes transmitted during gametogenesis (bottleneck) aids adaptive evolution. Nevertheless, adaptive evolution is always more efficient when inheritance is uniparental. Our findings explain empirical observations that cytoplasmic genomes-despite their asexual mode of reproduction-can readily undergo adaptive evolution. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution.

  6. Adaptive laboratory evolution – principles and applications for biotechnology

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-01

    Adaptive laboratory evolution is a frequent method in biological studies to gain insights into the basic mechanisms of molecular evolution and adaptive changes that accumulate in microbial populations during long term selection under specified growth conditions. Although regularly performed for more than 25 years, the advent of transcript and cheap next-generation sequencing technologies has resulted in many recent studies, which successfully applied this technique in order to engineer microbial cells for biotechnological applications. Adaptive laboratory evolution has some major benefits as compared with classical genetic engineering but also some inherent limitations. However, recent studies show how some of the limitations may be overcome in order to successfully incorporate adaptive laboratory evolution in microbial cell factory design. Over the last two decades important insights into nutrient and stress metabolism of relevant model species were acquired, whereas some other aspects such as niche-specific differences of non-conventional cell factories are not completely understood. Altogether the current status and its future perspectives highlight the importance and potential of adaptive laboratory evolution as approach in biotechnological engineering. PMID:23815749

  7. Synthetic Biology Outside the Cell: Linking Computational Tools to Cell-Free Systems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lewis, Daniel D.; Villarreal, Fernando D.; Wu, Fan; Tan, Cheemeng

    2014-01-01

    As mathematical models become more commonly integrated into the study of biology, a common language for describing biological processes is manifesting. Many tools have emerged for the simulation of in vivo synthetic biological systems, with only a few examples of prominent work done on predicting the dynamics of cell-free synthetic systems. At the same time, experimental biologists have begun to study dynamics of in vitro systems encapsulated by amphiphilic molecules, opening the door for the development of a new generation of biomimetic systems. In this review, we explore both in vivo and in vitro models of biochemical networks with a special focus on tools that could be applied to the construction of cell-free expression systems. We believe that quantitative studies of complex cellular mechanisms and pathways in synthetic systems can yield important insights into what makes cells different from conventional chemical systems.

  8. Synthetic Biology Outside the Cell: Linking Computational Tools to Cell-Free Systems

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lewis, Daniel D. [Integrative Genetics and Genomics, University of California Davis, Davis, CA (United States); Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of California Davis, Davis, CA (United States); Villarreal, Fernando D.; Wu, Fan; Tan, Cheemeng, E-mail: cmtan@ucdavis.edu [Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of California Davis, Davis, CA (United States)

    2014-12-09

    As mathematical models become more commonly integrated into the study of biology, a common language for describing biological processes is manifesting. Many tools have emerged for the simulation of in vivo synthetic biological systems, with only a few examples of prominent work done on predicting the dynamics of cell-free synthetic systems. At the same time, experimental biologists have begun to study dynamics of in vitro systems encapsulated by amphiphilic molecules, opening the door for the development of a new generation of biomimetic systems. In this review, we explore both in vivo and in vitro models of biochemical networks with a special focus on tools that could be applied to the construction of cell-free expression systems. We believe that quantitative studies of complex cellular mechanisms and pathways in synthetic systems can yield important insights into what makes cells different from conventional chemical systems.

  9. Single-cell protein secretomic signatures as potential correlates to tumor cell lineage evolution and cell-cell interaction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Minsuk eKwak

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available Secreted proteins including cytokines, chemokines and growth factors represent important functional regulators mediating a range of cellular behavior and cell-cell paracrine/autocrine signaling, e.g. in the immunological system, tumor microenvironment or stem cell niche. Detection of these proteins is of great value not only in basic cell biology but also for diagnosis and therapeutic monitoring of human diseases such as cancer. However, due to co-production of multiple effector proteins from a single cell, referred to as polyfunctionality, it is biologically informative to measure a panel of secreted proteins, or secretomic signature, at the level of single cells. Recent evidence further indicates that a genetically-identical cell population can give rise to diverse phenotypic differences. It is known that cytokines, for example, in the immune system define the effector functions and lineage differentiation of immune cells. In this Perspective Article, we hypothesize that protein secretion profile may represent a universal measure to identify the definitive correlate in the larger context of cellular functions to dissect cellular heterogeneity and evolutionary lineage relationship in human cancer.

  10. The Effect of Using Evolution Textbook Based on ICT and Metacognitive on Cognitive Competence of Biology Students at State University of Padang

    Science.gov (United States)

    Helendra, H.; Fadilah, M.; Arsih, F.

    2018-04-01

    Implementation of evolution lectures at Biology Department Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences State University of Padang has been considered not optimal. The reasons are the limited availability of textbooks and students' learning attitudes. Because currently the students are very familiar with the internet and even has become a necessity, it has developed textbooks of evolution based on ICT and metacognitive. Selection of ICT based is in order to optimize the utilization of multimedia, and this is very compatible with the development of learning technology. While metacognitive based is in order to train students' learning attitudes to be able to think analysis, creative and evaluative. The aim of this study is to determine the effect of the use of evolution textbooks based on ICT and metacognitive to the cognitive competence of students of Biology Department State University of Padang. The data of this research is students' cognitive competence obtained from the implementation of effectiveness test of evolution textbook in the form of student learning outcomes. The research instrument is a learning result test designed to determine students’ cognitive competence. The subject of the study is a group of students in evolution course consisting of 33 students. Lectures are conducted through face-to-face and online lectures on Edmodo’s platform. The result of data analysis shows that there is an increase of cognitive competence of biology students after learning using ICT and metacognitive based evolution textbook, where average achievement is 77.72 with Percentage of achievement of criteria mastery is 81.25%. Therefore, it can be concluded that the evolution textbook based on ICT and metacognitive is effective in improving cognitive competence of students of Biology Department, Universitas Negeri Padang.

  11. Mutation rules and the evolution of sparseness and modularity in biological systems.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tamar Friedlander

    Full Text Available Biological systems exhibit two structural features on many levels of organization: sparseness, in which only a small fraction of possible interactions between components actually occur; and modularity--the near decomposability of the system into modules with distinct functionality. Recent work suggests that modularity can evolve in a variety of circumstances, including goals that vary in time such that they share the same subgoals (modularly varying goals, or when connections are costly. Here, we studied the origin of modularity and sparseness focusing on the nature of the mutation process, rather than on connection cost or variations in the goal. We use simulations of evolution with different mutation rules. We found that commonly used sum-rule mutations, in which interactions are mutated by adding random numbers, do not lead to modularity or sparseness except for in special situations. In contrast, product-rule mutations in which interactions are mutated by multiplying by random numbers--a better model for the effects of biological mutations--led to sparseness naturally. When the goals of evolution are modular, in the sense that specific groups of inputs affect specific groups of outputs, product-rule mutations also lead to modular structure; sum-rule mutations do not. Product-rule mutations generate sparseness and modularity because they tend to reduce interactions, and to keep small interaction terms small.

  12. Probing the biology of cell boundary conditions through confinement of Xenopus cell-free cytoplasmic extracts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bermudez, Jessica G; Chen, Hui; Einstein, Lily C; Good, Matthew C

    2017-01-01

    Cell-free cytoplasmic extracts prepared from Xenopus eggs and embryos have for decades provided a biochemical system with which to interrogate complex cell biological processes in vitro. Recently, the application of microfabrication and microfluidic strategies in biology has narrowed the gap between in vitro and in vivo studies by enabling formation of cell-size compartments containing functional cytoplasm. These approaches provide numerous advantages over traditional biochemical experiments performed in a test tube. Most notably, the cell-free cytoplasm is confined using a two- or three-dimensional boundary, which mimics the natural configuration of a cell. This strategy enables characterization of the spatial organization of a cell, and the role that boundaries play in regulating intracellular assembly and function. In this review, we describe the marriage of Xenopus cell-free cytoplasm and confinement technologies to generate synthetic cell-like systems, the recent biological insights they have enabled, and the promise they hold for future scientific discovery. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  13. CellNet: Network Biology Applied to Stem Cell Engineering

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cahan, Patrick; Li, Hu; Morris, Samantha A.; da Rocha, Edroaldo Lummertz; Daley, George Q.; Collins, James J.

    2014-01-01

    SUMMARY Somatic cell reprogramming, directed differentiation of pluripotent stem cells, and direct conversions between differentiated cell lineages represent powerful approaches to engineer cells for research and regenerative medicine. We have developed CellNet, a network biology platform that more accurately assesses the fidelity of cellular engineering than existing methodologies and generates hypotheses for improving cell derivations. Analyzing expression data from 56 published reports, we found that cells derived via directed differentiation more closely resemble their in vivo counterparts than products of direct conversion, as reflected by the establishment of target cell-type gene regulatory networks (GRNs). Furthermore, we discovered that directly converted cells fail to adequately silence expression programs of the starting population, and that the establishment of unintended GRNs is common to virtually every cellular engineering paradigm. CellNet provides a platform for quantifying how closely engineered cell populations resemble their target cell type and a rational strategy to guide enhanced cellular engineering. PMID:25126793

  14. CellNet: network biology applied to stem cell engineering.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cahan, Patrick; Li, Hu; Morris, Samantha A; Lummertz da Rocha, Edroaldo; Daley, George Q; Collins, James J

    2014-08-14

    Somatic cell reprogramming, directed differentiation of pluripotent stem cells, and direct conversions between differentiated cell lineages represent powerful approaches to engineer cells for research and regenerative medicine. We have developed CellNet, a network biology platform that more accurately assesses the fidelity of cellular engineering than existing methodologies and generates hypotheses for improving cell derivations. Analyzing expression data from 56 published reports, we found that cells derived via directed differentiation more closely resemble their in vivo counterparts than products of direct conversion, as reflected by the establishment of target cell-type gene regulatory networks (GRNs). Furthermore, we discovered that directly converted cells fail to adequately silence expression programs of the starting population and that the establishment of unintended GRNs is common to virtually every cellular engineering paradigm. CellNet provides a platform for quantifying how closely engineered cell populations resemble their target cell type and a rational strategy to guide enhanced cellular engineering. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. A muscle stem cell for every muscle: variability of satellite cell biology among different muscle groups

    Science.gov (United States)

    Randolph, Matthew E.; Pavlath, Grace K.

    2015-01-01

    The human body contains approximately 640 individual skeletal muscles. Despite the fact that all of these muscles are composed of striated muscle tissue, the biology of these muscles and their associated muscle stem cell populations are quite diverse. Skeletal muscles are affected differentially by various muscular dystrophies (MDs), such that certain genetic mutations specifically alter muscle function in only a subset of muscles. Additionally, defective muscle stem cells have been implicated in the pathology of some MDs. The biology of muscle stem cells varies depending on the muscles with which they are associated. Here we review the biology of skeletal muscle stem cell populations of eight different muscle groups. Understanding the biological variation of skeletal muscles and their resident stem cells could provide valuable insight into mechanisms underlying the susceptibility of certain muscles to myopathic disease. PMID:26500547

  16. The Emerging Cell Biology of Thyroid Stem Cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Latif, Rauf; Minsky, Noga C.; Ma, Risheng

    2011-01-01

    Context: Stem cells are undifferentiated cells with the property of self-renewal and give rise to highly specialized cells under appropriate local conditions. The use of stem cells in regenerative medicine holds great promise for the treatment of many diseases, including those of the thyroid gland. Evidence Acquisition: This review focuses on the progress that has been made in thyroid stem cell research including an overview of cellular and molecular events (most of which were drawn from the period 1990–2011) and discusses the remaining problems encountered in their differentiation. Evidence Synthesis: Protocols for the in vitro differentiation of embryonic stem cells, based on normal developmental processes, have generated thyroid-like cells but without full thyrocyte function. However, agents have been identified, including activin A, insulin, and IGF-I, which are able to stimulate the generation of thyroid-like cells in vitro. In addition, thyroid stem/progenitor cells have been identified within the normal thyroid gland and within thyroid cancers. Conclusions: Advances in thyroid stem cell biology are providing not only insight into thyroid development but may offer therapeutic potential in thyroid cancer and future thyroid cell replacement therapy. PMID:21778219

  17. Systems-biology dissection of eukaryotic cell growth

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrews Justen

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract A recent article in BMC Biology illustrates the use of a systems-biology approach to integrate data across the transcriptome, proteome and metabolome of budding yeast in order to dissect the relationship between nutrient conditions and cell growth. See research article http://jbiol.com/content/6/2/4 and http://www.biomedcentral.com/1741-7007/8/68

  18. Illuminating Cell Biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    2002-01-01

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

  19. Multiway modeling and analysis in stem cell systems biology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vandenberg Scott L

    2008-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Systems biology refers to multidisciplinary approaches designed to uncover emergent properties of biological systems. Stem cells are an attractive target for this analysis, due to their broad therapeutic potential. A central theme of systems biology is the use of computational modeling to reconstruct complex systems from a wealth of reductionist, molecular data (e.g., gene/protein expression, signal transduction activity, metabolic activity, etc.. A number of deterministic, probabilistic, and statistical learning models are used to understand sophisticated cellular behaviors such as protein expression during cellular differentiation and the activity of signaling networks. However, many of these models are bimodal i.e., they only consider row-column relationships. In contrast, multiway modeling techniques (also known as tensor models can analyze multimodal data, which capture much more information about complex behaviors such as cell differentiation. In particular, tensors can be very powerful tools for modeling the dynamic activity of biological networks over time. Here, we review the application of systems biology to stem cells and illustrate application of tensor analysis to model collagen-induced osteogenic differentiation of human mesenchymal stem cells. Results We applied Tucker1, Tucker3, and Parallel Factor Analysis (PARAFAC models to identify protein/gene expression patterns during extracellular matrix-induced osteogenic differentiation of human mesenchymal stem cells. In one case, we organized our data into a tensor of type protein/gene locus link × gene ontology category × osteogenic stimulant, and found that our cells expressed two distinct, stimulus-dependent sets of functionally related genes as they underwent osteogenic differentiation. In a second case, we organized DNA microarray data in a three-way tensor of gene IDs × osteogenic stimulus × replicates, and found that application of tensile strain to a

  20. Evolution across the Curriculum: Microbiology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burmeister, Alita R.; Smith, James J.

    2016-01-01

    An integrated understanding of microbiology and evolutionary biology is essential for students pursuing careers in microbiology and healthcare fields. In this Perspective, we discuss the usefulness of evolutionary concepts and an overall evolutionary framework for students enrolled in microbiology courses. Further, we propose a set of learning goals for students studying microbial evolution concepts. We then describe some barriers to microbial evolution teaching and learning and encourage the continued incorporation of evidence-based teaching practices into microbiology courses at all levels. Next, we review the current status of microbial evolution assessment tools and describe some education resources available for teaching microbial evolution. Successful microbial evolution education will require that evolution be taught across the undergraduate biology curriculum, with a continued focus on applications and applied careers, while aligning with national biology education reform initiatives. Journal of Microbiology & Biology Education PMID:27158306

  1. The Genome Sequence of Taurine Cattle: A Window to Ruminant Biology and Evolution

    OpenAIRE

    Elsik, Christine G.; Tellam, Ross L.; Worley, Kim C.; Gibbs, Richard A.; Abatepaulo, Antonio R. R.; Abbey, Colette A.; Adelson, David L.; Aerts, Jan; Ahola, Virpi; Alexander, Lee; Alioto, Tyler; Almeida, Iassudara G.; Amadio, Ariel F.; Anatriello, Elen; Antonarakis, Stylianos E.

    2009-01-01

    To understand the biology and evolution of ruminants, the cattle genome was sequenced to about sevenfold coverage. The cattle genome contains a minimum of 22,000 genes, with a core set of 14,345 orthologs shared among seven mammalian species of which 1217 are absent or undetected in noneutherian (marsupial or monotreme) genomes. Cattle-specific evolutionary breakpoint regions in chromosomes have a higher density of segmental duplications, enrichment of repetitive elements, and species-specifi...

  2. Influence of cell printing on biological characters of chondrocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qu, Miao; Gao, Xiaoyan; Hou, Yikang; Shen, Congcong; Xu, Yourong; Zhu, Ming; Wang, Hengjian; Xu, Haisong; Chai, Gang; Zhang, Yan

    2015-01-01

    To establish a two-dimensional biological printing technique of chondrocytes and compare the difference of related biological characters between printed chondrocytes and unprinted cells so as to control the cell transfer process and keep cell viability after printing. Primary chondrocytes were obtained from human mature and fetal cartilage tissues and then were regularly sub-cultured to harvest cells at passage 2 (P2), which were adjusted to the single cell suspension at a density of 1×10(6)/mL. The experiment was divided into 2 groups: experimental group P2 chondrocytes were transferred by rapid prototype biological printer (driving voltage value 50 V, interval in x-axis 300 μm, interval in y-axis 1500 μm). Afterwards Live/Dead viability Kit and flow cytometry were respectively adopted to detect cell viability; CCK-8 Kit was adopted to detect cell proliferation viability; immunocytochemistry, immunofluorescence and RT-PCR was employed to identify related markers of chondrocytes; control group steps were the same as the printing group except that cell suspension received no printing. Fluorescence microscopy and flow cytometry analyses showed that there was no significant difference between experimental group and control group in terms of cell viability. After 7-day in vitro culture, control group exhibited higher O.D values than experimental group from 2nd day to 7th day but there was no distinct difference between these two groups (P>0.05). Inverted microscope observation demonstrated that the morphology of these two groups had no significant difference either. Similarly, Immunocytochemistry, immunofluorescence and RT-PCR assays also showed that there was no significant difference in the protein and gene expression of type II collagen and aggrecan between these two groups (P>0.05). Conclusion Cell printing has no distinctly negative effect on cell vitality, proliferation and phenotype of chondrocytes. Biological printing technique may provide a novel approach

  3. Genome Annotation in a Community College Cell Biology Lab

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beagley, C. Timothy

    2013-01-01

    The Biology Department at Salt Lake Community College has used the IMG-ACT toolbox to introduce a genome mapping and annotation exercise into the laboratory portion of its Cell Biology course. This project provides students with an authentic inquiry-based learning experience while introducing them to computational biology and contemporary learning…

  4. THE EVOLUTION OF THE KREBS CYCLE: A PROMISING THEME FOR MEANINGFUL BIOCHEMISTRY LEARNING IN BIOLOGY

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. Costa

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available INTRODUCTION: Evolution has been recognized as a key concept for biologists. In order to motivate biology undergraduates for contents of central energetic metabolism, we addressed the Krebs cycle structure and functions to an evolutionary view. To this end, we created a study guide which contextualizes the emergence of the cyclic pathway, in light of the prokaryotic influence since early Earth anaerobic condition to oxygen rise in atmosphere. OBJECTIVES: The main goal is to highlight the educational potential of the material whose subject is scarcely covered in biochemistry textbooks. MATERIALS AND METHODS: The study guide is composed by three interrelated sections, the problem (Section 1, designed to arouse curiosity, inform and motivate students; an introductory text (Section 2 about life evolution, including early micro-organisms and Krebs cycle emergence, and questions (Section 3 for debate. The activity consisted on a peer discussion session, with instructors tutoring. The questions were designed to foster exchange of ideas in an ever-increasing level of complexity, and cover subjects from early atmospheric conditions to organization of the metabolism along the subsequent geological ages. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION: We noticed that students were engaged and motivated by the task, especially during group discussion. Based on students’ feedbacks and class observations, we learned that the material raised curiosity and stimulated discussion among peers. It brought a historical and purposeful way of dealing with difficult biochemical concepts. CONCLUSIONS: The whole experience suggests that the study guide was a stimulus for broadening comprehension of the Krebs cycle, reinforcing the evolutionary stance as an important theme for biology and biochemistry understanding. On the other hand, we do not underestimate the fact that approaching Krebs cycle from an evolutionary standpoint is a quite complex discussion for the majority of students

  5. Tiny cells meet big questions: a closer look at bacterial cell biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goley, Erin D

    2013-04-01

    While studying actin assembly as a graduate student with Matt Welch at the University of California at Berkeley, my interest was piqued by reports of surprising observations in bacteria: the identification of numerous cytoskeletal proteins, actin homologues fulfilling spindle-like functions, and even the presence of membrane-bound organelles. Curiosity about these phenomena drew me to Lucy Shapiro's lab at Stanford University for my postdoctoral research. In the Shapiro lab, and now in my lab at Johns Hopkins, I have focused on investigating the mechanisms of bacterial cytokinesis. Spending time as both a eukaryotic cell biologist and a bacterial cell biologist has convinced me that bacterial cells present the same questions as eukaryotic cells: How are chromosomes organized and accurately segregated? How is force generated for cytokinesis? How is polarity established? How are signals transduced within and between cells? These problems are conceptually similar between eukaryotes and bacteria, although their solutions can differ significantly in specifics. In this Perspective, I provide a broad view of cell biological phenomena in bacteria, the technical challenges facing those of us who peer into bacterial cells, and areas of common ground as research in eukaryotic and bacterial cell biology moves forward.

  6. Controversy in Biology Classrooms—Citizen Science Approaches to Evolution and Applications to Climate Change Discussions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rachel A. Yoho

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available The biological sciences encompass topics considered controversial by the American public, such as evolution and climate change. We believe that the development of climate change education in the biology classroom is better informed by an understanding of the history of the teaching of evolution. A common goal for science educators should be to engender a greater respect for and appreciation of science among students while teaching specific content knowledge. Citizen science has emerged as a viable yet underdeveloped method for engaging students of all ages in key scientific issues that impact society through authentic data-driven scientific research. Where successful, citizen science may open avenues of communication and engagement with the scientific process that would otherwise be more difficult to achieve. Citizen science projects demonstrate versatility in education and the ability to test hypotheses by collecting large amounts of often publishable data. We find a great possibility for science education research in the incorporation of citizen science projects in curriculum, especially with respect to “hot topics” of socioscientific debate based on our review of the findings of other authors.

  7. Knowledge Gaps in Rodent Pancreas Biology: Taking Human Pluripotent Stem Cell-Derived Pancreatic Beta Cells into Our Own Hands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santosa, Munirah Mohamad; Low, Blaise Su Jun; Pek, Nicole Min Qian; Teo, Adrian Kee Keong

    2015-01-01

    In the field of stem cell biology and diabetes, we and others seek to derive mature and functional human pancreatic β cells for disease modeling and cell replacement therapy. Traditionally, knowledge gathered from rodents is extended to human pancreas developmental biology research involving human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs). While much has been learnt from rodent pancreas biology in the early steps toward Pdx1(+) pancreatic progenitors, much less is known about the transition toward Ngn3(+) pancreatic endocrine progenitors. Essentially, the later steps of pancreatic β cell development and maturation remain elusive to date. As a result, the most recent advances in the stem cell and diabetes field have relied upon combinatorial testing of numerous growth factors and chemical compounds in an arbitrary trial-and-error fashion to derive mature and functional human pancreatic β cells from hPSCs. Although this hit-or-miss approach appears to have made some headway in maturing human pancreatic β cells in vitro, its underlying biology is vaguely understood. Therefore, in this mini-review, we discuss some of these late-stage signaling pathways that are involved in human pancreatic β cell differentiation and highlight our current understanding of their relevance in rodent pancreas biology. Our efforts here unravel several novel signaling pathways that can be further studied to shed light on unexplored aspects of rodent pancreas biology. New investigations into these signaling pathways are expected to advance our knowledge in human pancreas developmental biology and to aid in the translation of stem cell biology in the context of diabetes treatments.

  8. Biology and flow cytometry of proangiogenic hematopoietic progenitors cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rose, Jonathan A; Erzurum, Serpil; Asosingh, Kewal

    2015-01-01

    During development, hematopoiesis and neovascularization are closely linked to each other via a common bipotent stem cell called the hemangioblast that gives rise to both hematopoietic cells and endothelial cells. In postnatal life, this functional connection between the vasculature and hematopoiesis is maintained by a subset of hematopoietic progenitor cells endowed with the capacity to differentiate into potent proangiogenic cells. These proangiogenic hematopoietic progenitors comprise a specific subset of bone marrow (BM)-derived cells that homes to sites of neovascularization and possess potent paracrine angiogenic activity. There is emerging evidence that this subpopulation of hematopoietic progenitors plays a critical role in vascular health and disease. Their angiogenic activity is distinct from putative "endothelial progenitor cells" that become structural cells of the endothelium by differentiation into endothelial cells. Proangiogenic hematopoietic progenitor cell research requires multidisciplinary expertise in flow cytometry, hematology, and vascular biology. This review provides a comprehensive overview of proangiogenic hematopoietic progenitor cell biology and flow cytometric methods to detect these cells in the peripheral blood circulation and BM. © 2014 International Society for Advancement of Cytometry.

  9. The evolution of the Faculty of Language from a Chomskyan perspective: bridging linguistics and biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Longa, Victor Manuel

    2013-01-01

    While language was traditionally considered a purely cultural trait, the advent of Noam Chomsky's Generative Grammar in the second half of the twentieth century dramatically challenged that view. According to that theory, language is an innate feature, part of the human biological endowment. If language is indeed innate, it had to biologically evolve. This review has two main objectives: firstly, it characterizes from a Chomskyan perspective the evolutionary processes by which language could have come into being. Secondly, it proposes a new method for interpreting the archaeological record that radically differs from the usual types of evidence Paleoanthropology has concentrated on when dealing with language evolution: while archaeological remains have usually been regarded from the view of the behavior they could be associated with, the paper will consider archaeological remains from the view of the computational processes and capabilities at work for their production. This computational approach, illustrated with a computational analysis of prehistoric geometric engravings, will be used to challenge the usual generative thinking on language evolution, based on the high specificity of language. The paper argues that the biological machinery of language is neither specifically linguistic nor specifically human, although language itself can still be considered a species-specific innate trait. From such a view, language would be one of the consequences of a slight modification operated on an ancestral architecture shared with vertebrates.

  10. Cell adhesive ability of a biological foam ceramic with surface modification

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhang Yong; Li Xiaoyu; Feng Fan; Lin Yunfeng; Liao Yunmao; Tian, Weidong; Liu Lei

    2008-01-01

    Biological foam ceramic is a promising material for tissue engineering scaffold because of its biocompatibility, biodegradation and adequate pores measured from micrometer to nanometers. The aim of this study was to evaluate the adhesion and proliferation of adipose-derived stromal cells (ADSCs) on the biological foam ceramic coated with fibronectin. ADSCs were harvested from SD rats and passaged three times prior to seeding onto biological foam surface modified with fibronectin (50 μg/ml). Scaffold without surface modification served as control. To characterize cellular attachment, cells were incubated on the scaffold for 1 h and 3 h and then the cells attached onto the scaffold were counted. The difference of proliferation was appraised using MTT assay at day 1, 3, 5 and 7 before the cells reached confluence. After 7 days of culture, scanning electron microscope (SEM) was chosen to assess cell morphology and attachment of ADSCs on the biological foam ceramic. Attachment of ADSCs on the biological foam ceramic surface modified with fibronectin at 1 h or 3 h was substantially greater than that in control. MTT assay revealed that ADSCs proliferation tendency of the experimental group was nearly parallel to that of control. SEM view showed that ADSCs in the experimental groups connected more tightly and excreted more collagen than that in control. The coating of fibronectin could improve the cell adhesive ability of biological foam ceramics without evident effect on proliferation

  11. Compact Electro-Permeabilization System for Controlled Treatment of Biological Cells and Cell Medium Conductivity Change Measurement

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Novickij Vitalij

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Subjection of biological cells to high intensity pulsed electric field results in the permeabilization of the cell membrane. Measurement of the electrical conductivity change allows an analysis of the dynamics of the process, determination of the permeabilization thresholds, and ion efflux influence. In this work a compact electro-permeabilization system for controlled treatment of biological cells is presented. The system is capable of delivering 5 μs - 5 ms repetitive square wave electric field pulses with amplitude up to 1 kV. Evaluation of the cell medium conductivity change is implemented in the setup, allowing indirect measurement of the ion concentration changes occurring due to the cell membrane permeabilization. The simulation model using SPICE and the experimental data of the proposed system are presented in this work. Experimental data with biological cells is also overviewed

  12. Virtual Reconstruction and Three-Dimensional Printing of Blood Cells as a Tool in Cell Biology Education.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Augusto, Ingrid; Monteiro, Douglas; Girard-Dias, Wendell; Dos Santos, Thaisa Oliveira; Rosa Belmonte, Simone Letícia; Pinto de Oliveira, Jairo; Mauad, Helder; da Silva Pacheco, Marcos; Lenz, Dominik; Stefanon Bittencourt, Athelson; Valentim Nogueira, Breno; Lopes Dos Santos, Jorge Roberto; Miranda, Kildare; Guimarães, Marco Cesar Cunegundes

    2016-01-01

    The cell biology discipline constitutes a highly dynamic field whose concepts take a long time to be incorporated into the educational system, especially in developing countries. Amongst the main obstacles to the introduction of new cell biology concepts to students is their general lack of identification with most teaching methods. The introduction of elaborated figures, movies and animations to textbooks has given a tremendous contribution to the learning process and the search for novel teaching methods has been a central goal in cell biology education. Some specialized tools, however, are usually only available in advanced research centers or in institutions that are traditionally involved with the development of novel teaching/learning processes, and are far from becoming reality in the majority of life sciences schools. When combined with the known declining interest in science among young people, a critical scenario may result. This is especially important in the field of electron microscopy and associated techniques, methods that have greatly contributed to the current knowledge on the structure and function of different cell biology models but are rarely made accessible to most students. In this work, we propose a strategy to increase the engagement of students into the world of cell and structural biology by combining 3D electron microscopy techniques and 3D prototyping technology (3D printing) to generate 3D physical models that accurately and realistically reproduce a close-to-the native structure of the cell and serve as a tool for students and teachers outside the main centers. We introduce three strategies for 3D imaging, modeling and prototyping of cells and propose the establishment of a virtual platform where different digital models can be deposited by EM groups and subsequently downloaded and printed in different schools, universities, research centers and museums, thereby modernizing teaching of cell biology and increasing the accessibility to

  13. Muscle Satellite Cells: Exploring the Basic Biology to Rule Them.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Almeida, Camila F; Fernandes, Stephanie A; Ribeiro Junior, Antonio F; Keith Okamoto, Oswaldo; Vainzof, Mariz

    2016-01-01

    Adult skeletal muscle is a postmitotic tissue with an enormous capacity to regenerate upon injury. This is accomplished by resident stem cells, named satellite cells, which were identified more than 50 years ago. Since their discovery, many researchers have been concentrating efforts to answer questions about their origin and role in muscle development, the way they contribute to muscle regeneration, and their potential to cell-based therapies. Satellite cells are maintained in a quiescent state and upon requirement are activated, proliferating, and fusing with other cells to form or repair myofibers. In addition, they are able to self-renew and replenish the stem pool. Every phase of satellite cell activity is highly regulated and orchestrated by many molecules and signaling pathways; the elucidation of players and mechanisms involved in satellite cell biology is of extreme importance, being the first step to expose the crucial points that could be modulated to extract the optimal response from these cells in therapeutic strategies. Here, we review the basic aspects about satellite cells biology and briefly discuss recent findings about therapeutic attempts, trying to raise questions about how basic biology could provide a solid scaffold to more successful use of these cells in clinics.

  14. Plasma cell leukemia: update on biology and therapy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mina, Roberto; D'Agostino, Mattia; Cerrato, Chiara; Gay, Francesca; Palumbo, Antonio

    2017-07-01

    Plasma cell leukemia (PCL) is a rare, but very aggressive, plasma cell dyscrasia, representing a distinct clinicopathological entity as compared to multiple myeloma (MM), with peculiar biological and clinical features. A hundred times rarer than MM, the disease course is characterized by short remissions and poor survival. PCL is defined by an increased percentage (>20%) and absolute number (>2 × 10 9 /l) of plasma cells in the peripheral blood. PCL is defined as 'primary' when peripheral plasmacytosis is detected at diagnosis, 'secondary' when leukemization occurs in a patient with preexisting MM. Novel agents have revolutionized the outcomes of MM patients and have been introduced also for the treatment of PCL. Here, we provide an update on biology and treatment options for PCL.

  15. Directed evolution of enzymes using microfluidic chips

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pilát, Zdeněk.; Ježek, Jan; Šmatlo, Filip; Kaůka, Jan; Zemánek, Pavel

    2016-12-01

    Enzymes are highly versatile and ubiquitous biological catalysts. They can greatly accelerate large variety of reactions, while ensuring appropriate catalytic activity and high selectivity. These properties make enzymes attractive biocatalysts for a wide range of industrial and biomedical applications. Over the last two decades, directed evolution of enzymes has transformed the field of protein engineering. We have devised microfluidic systems for directed evolution of haloalkane dehalogenases in emulsion droplets. In such a device, individual bacterial cells producing mutated variants of the same enzyme are encapsulated in microdroplets and supplied with a substrate. The conversion of a substrate by the enzyme produced by a single bacterium changes the pH in the droplet which is signalized by pH dependent fluorescence probe. The droplets with the highest enzymatic activity can be separated directly on the chip by dielectrophoresis and the resultant cell lineage can be used for enzyme production or for further rounds of directed evolution. This platform is applicable for fast screening of large libraries in directed evolution experiments requiring mutagenesis at multiple sites of a protein structure.

  16. Multispectral optical tweezers for molecular diagnostics of single biological cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Butler, Corey; Fardad, Shima; Sincore, Alex; Vangheluwe, Marie; Baudelet, Matthieu; Richardson, Martin

    2012-03-01

    Optical trapping of single biological cells has become an established technique for controlling and studying fundamental behavior of single cells with their environment without having "many-body" interference. The development of such an instrument for optical diagnostics (including Raman and fluorescence for molecular diagnostics) via laser spectroscopy with either the "trapping" beam or secondary beams is still in progress. This paper shows the development of modular multi-spectral imaging optical tweezers combining Raman and Fluorescence diagnostics of biological cells.

  17. "Known Unknowns": Current Questions in Muscle Satellite Cell Biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cornelison, Ddw

    2018-01-01

    Our understanding of satellite cells, now known to be the obligate stem cells of skeletal muscle, has increased dramatically in recent years due to the introduction of new molecular, genetic, and technical resources. In addition to their role in acute repair of damaged muscle, satellite cells are of interest in the fields of aging, exercise, neuromuscular disease, and stem cell therapy, and all of these applications have driven a dramatic increase in our understanding of the activity and potential of satellite cells. However, many fundamental questions of satellite cell biology remain to be answered, including their emergence as a specific lineage, the degree and significance of heterogeneity within the satellite cell population, the roles of their interactions with other resident and infiltrating cell types during homeostasis and regeneration, and the relative roles of intrinsic vs extrinsic factors that may contribute to satellite cell dysfunction in the context of aging or disease. This review will address the current state of these open questions in satellite cell biology. © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. A hypothesis on the biological origins and social evolution of music and dance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tianyan eWang

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available The origins of music and musical emotions is still an enigma, here I propose a comprehensive hypothesis on the origins and evolution of music, dance and speech from a biological and sociological perspective. I suggest that every pitch interval between neighboring notes in music represents corresponding movement pattern through interpreting the Doppler effect of sound, which not only provides a possible explanation to the transposition invariance of music, but also integrates music and dance into a common form—rhythmic movements. Accordingly, investigating the origins of music poses the question: why do humans appreciate rhythmic movements? I suggest that human appreciation of rhythmic movements and rhythmic events developed from the natural selection of organisms adapting to the internal and external rhythmic environments. The perception and production of, as well as synchronization with external and internal rhythms are so vital for an organism’s survival and reproduction, that animals have a rhythm-related reward and emotion (RRRE system. The RRRE system enables the appreciation of rhythmic movements and events, and is integral to the origination of music, dance and speech. The first type of rewards and emotions (rhythm-related rewards and emotions, RRREs are evoked by music and dance, and have biological and social functions, which in turn, promote the evolution of music, dance and speech. These functions also evoke a second type of rewards and emotions, which I name society-related rewards and emotions (SRREs. The neural circuits of RRREs and SRREs develop in species formation and personal growth, with congenital and acquired characteristics, respectively, namely music is the combination of nature and culture. This hypothesis provides probable selection pressures and outlines the evolution of music, dance and speech. The links between the Doppler effect and the RRREs and SRREs can be empirically tested, making the current hypothesis

  19. A hypothesis on the biological origins and social evolution of music and dance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Tianyan

    2015-01-01

    The origins of music and musical emotions is still an enigma, here I propose a comprehensive hypothesis on the origins and evolution of music, dance, and speech from a biological and sociological perspective. I suggest that every pitch interval between neighboring notes in music represents corresponding movement pattern through interpreting the Doppler effect of sound, which not only provides a possible explanation for the transposition invariance of music, but also integrates music and dance into a common form-rhythmic movements. Accordingly, investigating the origins of music poses the question: why do humans appreciate rhythmic movements? I suggest that human appreciation of rhythmic movements and rhythmic events developed from the natural selection of organisms adapting to the internal and external rhythmic environments. The perception and production of, as well as synchronization with external and internal rhythms are so vital for an organism's survival and reproduction, that animals have a rhythm-related reward and emotion (RRRE) system. The RRRE system enables the appreciation of rhythmic movements and events, and is integral to the origination of music, dance and speech. The first type of rewards and emotions (rhythm-related rewards and emotions, RRREs) are evoked by music and dance, and have biological and social functions, which in turn, promote the evolution of music, dance and speech. These functions also evoke a second type of rewards and emotions, which I name society-related rewards and emotions (SRREs). The neural circuits of RRREs and SRREs develop in species formation and personal growth, with congenital and acquired characteristics, respectively, namely music is the combination of nature and culture. This hypothesis provides probable selection pressures and outlines the evolution of music, dance, and speech. The links between the Doppler effect and the RRREs and SRREs can be empirically tested, making the current hypothesis scientifically

  20. Adaptability and evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bateson, Patrick

    2017-10-06

    The capacity of organisms to respond in their own lifetimes to new challenges in their environments probably appeared early in biological evolution. At present few studies have shown how such adaptability could influence the inherited characteristics of an organism's descendants. In part, this has been because organisms have been treated as passive in evolution. Nevertheless, their effects on biological evolution are likely to have been important and, when they occurred, accelerated the pace of evolution. Ways in which this might have happened have been suggested many times since the 1870s. I review these proposals and discuss their relevance to modern thought.

  1. Mobile Applications in Cell Biology Present New Approaches for Cell Modelling

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Oliveira, Mayara Lustosa; Galembeck, Eduardo

    2016-01-01

    Cell biology apps were surveyed in order to identify whether there are new approaches for modelling cells allowed by the new technologies implemented in tablets and smartphones. A total of 97 apps were identified in 3 stores surveyed (Apple, Google Play and Amazon), they are presented as: education 48.4%, games 26.8% and medicine 15.4%. The apps…

  2. Directed evolution combined with synthetic biology strategies expedite semi-rational engineering of genes and genomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kang, Zhen; Zhang, Junli; Jin, Peng; Yang, Sen

    2015-01-01

    Owing to our limited understanding of the relationship between sequence and function and the interaction between intracellular pathways and regulatory systems, the rational design of enzyme-coding genes and de novo assembly of a brand-new artificial genome for a desired functionality or phenotype are difficult to achieve. As an alternative approach, directed evolution has been widely used to engineer genomes and enzyme-coding genes. In particular, significant developments toward DNA synthesis, DNA assembly (in vitro or in vivo), recombination-mediated genetic engineering, and high-throughput screening techniques in the field of synthetic biology have been matured and widely adopted, enabling rapid semi-rational genome engineering to generate variants with desired properties. In this commentary, these novel tools and their corresponding applications in the directed evolution of genomes and enzymes are discussed. Moreover, the strategies for genome engineering and rapid in vitro enzyme evolution are also proposed.

  3. Quantum evolution life in the multiverse

    CERN Document Server

    McFadden, Johnjoe

    2000-01-01

    Quantum Evolution presents a revolutionary new scientific theory by asking: is there a force of will behind evolution? In his astonishing first book, Johnjoe McFadden shows that there is. 'McFadden's bold hypothesis that quantum physics plays a key role in the origin and evolution of life looks increasingly plausible. The weird behaviour of matter and information at the quantum level could be just what is needed to explain life's astonishing properties. If these ideas are right, they will transform our understanding of the relationship between physics and biology.' PAUL DAVIES In this brilliant debut, Johnjoe McFadden puts forward a theory of quantum evolution. He shows how living organisms have the ability to will themselves into action. Indeed, such an ability may be life's most fundamental attribute. This has radical implications. Evolution may not be random at all, as recent evolutionary theories have taught: rather, cells may, in certain circumstances, be able to choose to mutate particular genes that pr...

  4. Nanobiotechnology meets plant cell biology: Carbon nanotubes as organelle targeting nanocarriers

    KAUST Repository

    Serag, Maged F.; Kaji, Noritada; Habuchi, Satoshi; Bianco, Alberto; Baba, Yoshinobu

    2013-01-01

    For years, nanotechnology has shown great promise in the fields of biomedical and biotechnological sciences and medical research. In this review, we demonstrate its versatility and applicability in plant cell biology studies. Specifically, we discuss the ability of functionalized carbon nanotubes to penetrate the plant cell wall, target specific organelles, probe protein-carrier activity and induce organelle recycling in plant cells. We also, shed light on prospective applications of carbon nanomaterials in cell biology and plant cell transformation. © 2013 The Royal Society of Chemistry.

  5. Pancreatic cancer stromal biology and therapy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xie, Dacheng; Xie, Keping

    2015-01-01

    Pancreatic cancer is one of the most lethal malignancies. Significant progresses have been made in understanding of pancreatic cancer pathogenesis, including appreciation of precursor lesions or premalignant pancreatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PanINs), description of sequential transformation from normal pancreatic tissue to invasive pancreatic cancer and identification of major genetic and epigenetic events and the biological impact of those events on malignant behavior. However, the currently used therapeutic strategies targeting tumor epithelial cells, which are potent in cell culture and animal models, have not been successful in the clinic. Presumably, therapeutic resistance of pancreatic cancer is at least in part due to its drastic desmoplasis, which is a defining hallmark for and circumstantially contributes to pancreatic cancer development and progression. Improved understanding of the dynamic interaction between cancer cells and the stroma is important to better understanding pancreatic cancer biology and to designing effective intervention strategies. This review focuses on the origination, evolution and disruption of stromal molecular and cellular components in pancreatic cancer, and their biological effects on pancreatic cancer pathogenesis. PMID:26114155

  6. Plant cell walls throughout evolution: towards a molecular understanding of their design principles

    OpenAIRE

    Sarkar, Purbasha

    2009-01-01

    Throughout their life, plants typically remain in one location utilizing sunlight for the synthesis of carbohydrates, which serve as their sole source of energy as well as building blocks of a protective extracellular matrix, called the cell wall. During the course of evolution, plants have repeatedly adapted to their respective niche,which is reflected in the changes of their body plan and the specific design of cell walls. Cell walls not only changed throughout evolution but also are consta...

  7. Nanomaterials modulate stem cell differentiation: biological interaction and underlying mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wei, Min; Li, Song; Le, Weidong

    2017-10-25

    Stem cells are unspecialized cells that have the potential for self-renewal and differentiation into more specialized cell types. The chemical and physical properties of surrounding microenvironment contribute to the growth and differentiation of stem cells and consequently play crucial roles in the regulation of stem cells' fate. Nanomaterials hold great promise in biological and biomedical fields owing to their unique properties, such as controllable particle size, facile synthesis, large surface-to-volume ratio, tunable surface chemistry, and biocompatibility. Over the recent years, accumulating evidence has shown that nanomaterials can facilitate stem cell proliferation and differentiation, and great effort is undertaken to explore their possible modulating manners and mechanisms on stem cell differentiation. In present review, we summarize recent progress in the regulating potential of various nanomaterials on stem cell differentiation and discuss the possible cell uptake, biological interaction and underlying mechanisms.

  8. Synthetic Biology: Engineering, Evolution and Design (SEED) Conference 2014

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Voigt, Christopher [Massachusetts Institute of Technology

    2014-07-01

    SEED2014 focused on advances in the science and technology emerging from the field of synthetic biology. We broadly define this as technologies that accelerate the process of genetic engineering. It highlighted new tool development, as well as the application of these tools to diverse problems in biotechnology, including therapeutics, industrial chemicals and fuels, natural products, and agriculture. Systems spanned from in vitro experiments and viruses, through diverse bacteria, to eukaryotes (yeast, mammalian cells, plants).

  9. Developing biology teachers' pedagogical content knowledge through learning study: the case of teaching human evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bravo, Paulina; Cofré, Hernán

    2016-11-01

    This work explores how pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) on evolution was modified by two biology teachers who participated in a professional development programme (PDP) that included a subsequent follow-up in the classroom. The PDP spanned a semester and included activities such as content updates, collaborative lesson planning, and the presentation of planned lessons. In the follow-up part, the lessons were videotaped and analysed, identifying strategies, activities, and conditions based on student learning about the theory of evolution. Data were collected in the first round with an interview before the training process, identifying these teachers' initial content representation (CoRe) for evolution. Then, a group interview was conducted after the lessons, and, finally, an interview of stimulated recall with each teacher was conducted regarding the subject taught to allow teachers to reflect on their practice (final CoRe). This information was analysed by the teachers and the researchers, reflecting on the components of the PCK, possible changes, and the rationale behind their actions. The results show that teachers changed their beliefs and knowledge about the best methods and strategies to teach evolution, and about students' learning obstacles and misconceptions on evolution. They realised how a review of their own practices promotes this transformation.

  10. Programmed evolution for optimization of orthogonal metabolic output in bacteria.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Todd T Eckdahl

    Full Text Available Current use of microbes for metabolic engineering suffers from loss of metabolic output due to natural selection. Rather than combat the evolution of bacterial populations, we chose to embrace what makes biological engineering unique among engineering fields - evolving materials. We harnessed bacteria to compute solutions to the biological problem of metabolic pathway optimization. Our approach is called Programmed Evolution to capture two concepts. First, a population of cells is programmed with DNA code to enable it to compute solutions to a chosen optimization problem. As analog computers, bacteria process known and unknown inputs and direct the output of their biochemical hardware. Second, the system employs the evolution of bacteria toward an optimal metabolic solution by imposing fitness defined by metabolic output. The current study is a proof-of-concept for Programmed Evolution applied to the optimization of a metabolic pathway for the conversion of caffeine to theophylline in E. coli. Introduced genotype variations included strength of the promoter and ribosome binding site, plasmid copy number, and chaperone proteins. We constructed 24 strains using all combinations of the genetic variables. We used a theophylline riboswitch and a tetracycline resistance gene to link theophylline production to fitness. After subjecting the mixed population to selection, we measured a change in the distribution of genotypes in the population and an increased conversion of caffeine to theophylline among the most fit strains, demonstrating Programmed Evolution. Programmed Evolution inverts the standard paradigm in metabolic engineering by harnessing evolution instead of fighting it. Our modular system enables researchers to program bacteria and use evolution to determine the combination of genetic control elements that optimizes catabolic or anabolic output and to maintain it in a population of cells. Programmed Evolution could be used for applications in

  11. Programmed Evolution for Optimization of Orthogonal Metabolic Output in Bacteria

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eckdahl, Todd T.; Campbell, A. Malcolm; Heyer, Laurie J.; Poet, Jeffrey L.; Blauch, David N.; Snyder, Nicole L.; Atchley, Dustin T.; Baker, Erich J.; Brown, Micah; Brunner, Elizabeth C.; Callen, Sean A.; Campbell, Jesse S.; Carr, Caleb J.; Carr, David R.; Chadinha, Spencer A.; Chester, Grace I.; Chester, Josh; Clarkson, Ben R.; Cochran, Kelly E.; Doherty, Shannon E.; Doyle, Catherine; Dwyer, Sarah; Edlin, Linnea M.; Evans, Rebecca A.; Fluharty, Taylor; Frederick, Janna; Galeota-Sprung, Jonah; Gammon, Betsy L.; Grieshaber, Brandon; Gronniger, Jessica; Gutteridge, Katelyn; Henningsen, Joel; Isom, Bradley; Itell, Hannah L.; Keffeler, Erica C.; Lantz, Andrew J.; Lim, Jonathan N.; McGuire, Erin P.; Moore, Alexander K.; Morton, Jerrad; Nakano, Meredith; Pearson, Sara A.; Perkins, Virginia; Parrish, Phoebe; Pierson, Claire E.; Polpityaarachchige, Sachith; Quaney, Michael J.; Slattery, Abagael; Smith, Kathryn E.; Spell, Jackson; Spencer, Morgan; Taye, Telavive; Trueblood, Kamay; Vrana, Caroline J.; Whitesides, E. Tucker

    2015-01-01

    Current use of microbes for metabolic engineering suffers from loss of metabolic output due to natural selection. Rather than combat the evolution of bacterial populations, we chose to embrace what makes biological engineering unique among engineering fields – evolving materials. We harnessed bacteria to compute solutions to the biological problem of metabolic pathway optimization. Our approach is called Programmed Evolution to capture two concepts. First, a population of cells is programmed with DNA code to enable it to compute solutions to a chosen optimization problem. As analog computers, bacteria process known and unknown inputs and direct the output of their biochemical hardware. Second, the system employs the evolution of bacteria toward an optimal metabolic solution by imposing fitness defined by metabolic output. The current study is a proof-of-concept for Programmed Evolution applied to the optimization of a metabolic pathway for the conversion of caffeine to theophylline in E. coli. Introduced genotype variations included strength of the promoter and ribosome binding site, plasmid copy number, and chaperone proteins. We constructed 24 strains using all combinations of the genetic variables. We used a theophylline riboswitch and a tetracycline resistance gene to link theophylline production to fitness. After subjecting the mixed population to selection, we measured a change in the distribution of genotypes in the population and an increased conversion of caffeine to theophylline among the most fit strains, demonstrating Programmed Evolution. Programmed Evolution inverts the standard paradigm in metabolic engineering by harnessing evolution instead of fighting it. Our modular system enables researchers to program bacteria and use evolution to determine the combination of genetic control elements that optimizes catabolic or anabolic output and to maintain it in a population of cells. Programmed Evolution could be used for applications in energy

  12. 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.

  13. Cells from icons to symbols: molecularizing cell biology in the 1980s.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Serpente, Norberto

    2011-12-01

    Over centuries cells have been the target of optical and electronic microscopes as well as others technologies, with distinctive types of visual output. Whilst optical technologies produce images 'evident to the eye', the electronic and especially the molecular create images that are more elusive to conceptualization and assessment. My study applies the semiotic approach to the production of images in cell biology to capture the shift from microscopic images to non-traditional visual technologies around 1980. Here I argue that the visual shift that coincides with the growing dominance of molecular biology involves a change from iconic to symbolic forms. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. The central dogma of cell biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cooper, S

    1981-06-01

    The Continuum Model proposes that preparations for DNA synthesis occur continuously during all phases of the division cycle. Various stimuli activate cell proliferation by changing the rate of initiator (protein) synthesis. Cell division does not initiate any process regulating cell proliferation. Cell division is the end of a process and the beginning of nothing. The alternative model which has cell proliferation regulated in the G1 phase of the division cycle is reexamined and the two types of evidence for this model, G1-variability and G1-arrest are shown to be compatible with the Continuum Model. Here, the Continuum Model is generalized to produce a new look at the logic of the division cycle in prokaryotes and eukaryotes. This new view, the Central Dogma of Cell Biology, is presented and two predictions are made. I propose that (i) cell division does not have any regulatory function, and (ii) that DNA synthesis may, indeed, have some affect on the synthesis of initiator.

  15. Discovery of HeLa Cell Contamination in HES Cells: Call for Cell Line Authentication in Reproductive Biology Research.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kniss, Douglas A; Summerfield, Taryn L

    2014-08-01

    Continuous cell lines are used frequently in reproductive biology research to study problems in early pregnancy events and parturition. It has been recognized for 50 years that many mammalian cell lines contain inter- or intraspecies contaminations with other cells. However, most investigators do not routinely test their culture systems for cross-contamination. The most frequent contributor to cross-contamination of cell lines is the HeLa cell isolated from an aggressive cervical adenocarcinoma. We report on the discovery of HeLa cell contamination of the human endometrial epithelial cell line HES isolated in our laboratory. Short tandem repeat analysis of 9 unique genetic loci demonstrated molecular identity between HES and HeLa cells. In addition, we verified that WISH cells, isolated originally from human amnion epithelium, were also contaminated with HeLa cells. Inasmuch as our laboratory did not culture HeLa cells at the time of HES cell derivations, the source of contamination was the WISH cell line. These data highlight the need for continued diligence in authenticating cell lines used in reproductive biology research. © The Author(s) 2014.

  16. Biophysical mechanisms complementing "classical" cell biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Funk, Richard H W

    2018-01-01

    This overview addresses phenomena in cell- and molecular biology which are puzzling by their fast and highly coordinated way of organization. Generally, it appears that informative processes probably involved are more on the biophysical than on the classical biochemical side. The coordination problem is explained within the first part of the review by the topic of endogenous electrical phenomena. These are found e.g. in fast tissue organization and reorganization processes like development, wound healing and regeneration. Here, coupling into classical biochemical signaling and reactions can be shown by modern microscopy, electronics and bioinformatics. Further, one can follow the triggered reactions seamlessly via molecular biology till into genetics. Direct observation of intracellular electric processes is very difficult because of e.g. shielding through the cell membrane and damping by other structures. Therefore, we have to rely on photonic and photon - phonon coupling phenomena like molecular vibrations, which are addressed within the second part. Molecules normally possess different charge moieties and thus small electromagnetic (EMF) patterns arise during molecular vibration. These patterns can now be measured best within the optical part of the spectrum - much less in the lower terahertz till kHz and lower Hz part (third part of this review). Finally, EMFs facilitate quantum informative processes in coherent domains of molecular, charge and electron spin motion. This helps to coordinate such manifold and intertwined processes going on within cells, tissues and organs (part 4). Because the phenomena described in part 3 and 4 of the review still await really hard proofs we need concerted efforts and a combination of biophysics, molecular biology and informatics to unravel the described mysteries in "physics of life".

  17. The phylogenetic analysis of tetraspanins projects the evolution of cell-cell interactions from unicellular to multicellular organisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Shengfeng; Yuan, Shaochun; Dong, Meiling; Su, Jing; Yu, Cuiling; Shen, Yang; Xie, Xiaojin; Yu, Yanhong; Yu, Xuesong; Chen, Shangwu; Zhang, Shicui; Pontarotti, Pierre; Xu, Anlong

    2005-12-01

    In animals, the tetraspanins are a large superfamily of membrane proteins that play important roles in organizing various cell-cell and matrix-cell interactions and signal pathways based on such interactions. However, their origin and evolution largely remain elusive and most of the family's members are functionally unknown or less known due to difficulties of study, such as functional redundancy. In this study, we rebuilt the family's phylogeny with sequences retrieved from online databases and our cDNA library of amphioxus. We reveal that, in addition to in metazoans, various tetraspanins are extensively expressed in protozoan amoebae, fungi, and plants. We also discuss the structural evolution of tetraspanin's major extracellular domain and the relation between tetraspanin's duplication and functional redundancy. Finally, we elucidate the coevolution of tetraspanins and eukaryotes and suggest that tetraspanins play important roles in the unicell-to-multicell transition. In short, the study of tetraspanin in a phylogenetic context helps us understand the evolution of intercellular interactions.

  18. Getting the measure of things: the physical biology of stem cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lowell, Sally

    2013-10-01

    In July 2013, the diverse fields of biology, physics and mathematics converged to discuss 'The Physical Biology of Stem Cells', the subject of the third annual symposium of the Cambridge Stem Cell Institute, UK. Two clear themes resonated throughout the meeting: the new insights gained from advances in the acquisition and interpretation of quantitative data; and the importance of 'thinking outside the nucleus' to consider physical influences on cell fate.

  19. Tensegrity I. Cell structure and hierarchical systems biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ingber, Donald E.

    2003-01-01

    In 1993, a Commentary in this journal described how a simple mechanical model of cell structure based on tensegrity architecture can help to explain how cell shape, movement and cytoskeletal mechanics are controlled, as well as how cells sense and respond to mechanical forces (J. Cell Sci. 104, 613-627). The cellular tensegrity model can now be revisited and placed in context of new advances in our understanding of cell structure, biological networks and mechanoregulation that have been made over the past decade. Recent work provides strong evidence to support the use of tensegrity by cells, and mathematical formulations of the model predict many aspects of cell behavior. In addition, development of the tensegrity theory and its translation into mathematical terms are beginning to allow us to define the relationship between mechanics and biochemistry at the molecular level and to attack the larger problem of biological complexity. Part I of this two-part article covers the evidence for cellular tensegrity at the molecular level and describes how this building system may provide a structural basis for the hierarchical organization of living systems--from molecule to organism. Part II, which focuses on how these structural networks influence information processing networks, appears in the next issue.

  20. Evolution across the Curriculum: Microbiology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alita R. Burmeister

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available An integrated understanding of microbiology and evolutionary biology is essential for students pursuing careers in microbiology and healthcare fields. In this Perspective, we discuss the usefulness of evolutionary concepts and an overall evolutionary framework for students enrolled in microbiology courses. Further, we propose a set of learning goals for students studying microbial evolution concepts. We then describe some barriers to microbial evolution teaching and learning and encourage the continued incorporation of evidence-based teaching practices into microbiology courses at all levels. Next, we review the current status of microbial evolution assessment tools and describe some education resources available for teaching microbial evolution. Successful microbial evolution education will require that evolution be taught across the undergraduate biology curriculum, with a continued focus on applications and applied careers, while aligning with national biology education reform initiatives.

  1. Synthetic biology in mammalian cells: Next generation research tools and therapeutics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lienert, Florian; Lohmueller, Jason J; Garg, Abhishek; Silver, Pamela A

    2014-01-01

    Recent progress in DNA manipulation and gene circuit engineering has greatly improved our ability to programme and probe mammalian cell behaviour. These advances have led to a new generation of synthetic biology research tools and potential therapeutic applications. Programmable DNA-binding domains and RNA regulators are leading to unprecedented control of gene expression and elucidation of gene function. Rebuilding complex biological circuits such as T cell receptor signalling in isolation from their natural context has deepened our understanding of network motifs and signalling pathways. Synthetic biology is also leading to innovative therapeutic interventions based on cell-based therapies, protein drugs, vaccines and gene therapies. PMID:24434884

  2. Progenitor cells in the kidney: biology and therapeutic perspectives

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rookmaaker, M.B.; Verhaar, M.C.; Zonneveld, A.J. van; Rabelink, T.J.

    2004-01-01

    Progenitor cells in the kidney: Biology and therapeutic perspectives. The stem cell may be viewed as an engineer who can read the blue print and become the building. The role of this fascinating cell in physiology and pathophysiology has recently attracted a great deal of interest. The archetype of

  3. Rates of molecular evolution in tree ferns are associated with body size, environmental temperature, and biological productivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barrera-Redondo, Josué; Ramírez-Barahona, Santiago; Eguiarte, Luis E

    2018-05-01

    Variation in rates of molecular evolution (heterotachy) is a common phenomenon among plants. Although multiple theoretical models have been proposed, fundamental questions remain regarding the combined effects of ecological and morphological traits on rate heterogeneity. Here, we used tree ferns to explore the correlation between rates of molecular evolution in chloroplast DNA sequences and several morphological and environmental factors within a Bayesian framework. We revealed direct and indirect effects of body size, biological productivity, and temperature on substitution rates, where smaller tree ferns living in warmer and less productive environments tend to have faster rates of molecular evolution. In addition, we found that variation in the ratio of nonsynonymous to synonymous substitution rates (dN/dS) in the chloroplast rbcL gene was significantly correlated with ecological and morphological variables. Heterotachy in tree ferns may be influenced by effective population size associated with variation in body size and productivity. Macroevolutionary hypotheses should go beyond explaining heterotachy in terms of mutation rates and instead, should integrate population-level factors to better understand the processes affecting the tempo of evolution at the molecular level. © 2018 The Author(s). Evolution © 2018 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  4. Alkali-treated titanium selectively regulating biological behaviors of bacteria, cancer cells and mesenchymal stem cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Jinhua; Wang, Guifang; Wang, Donghui; Wu, Qianju; Jiang, Xinquan; Liu, Xuanyong

    2014-12-15

    Many attentions have been paid to the beneficial effect of alkali-treated titanium to bioactivity and osteogenic activity, but few to the other biological effect. In this work, hierarchical micro/nanopore films were prepared on titanium surface by acid etching and alkali treatment and their biological effects on bacteria, cancer cells and mesenchymal stem cells were investigated. Gram-positive Staphylococcus aureus, Gram-negative Escherichia coli, and human cholangiocarcinoma cell line RBE were used to investigate whether alkali-treated titanium can influence behaviors of bacteria and cancer cells. Responses of bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (BMMSCs) to alkali-treated titanium were also subsequently investigated. The alkali-treated titanium can potently reduce bacterial adhesion, inhibit RBE and BMMSCs proliferation, while can better promote BMMSCs osteogenesis and angiogenesis than acid-etched titanium. The bacteriostatic ability of the alkali-treated titanium is proposed to result from the joint effect of micro/nanotopography and local pH increase at bacterium/material interface due to the hydrolysis of alkali (earth) metal titanate salts. The inhibitory action of cell proliferation is thought to be the effect of local pH increase at cell/material interface which causes the alkalosis of cells. This alkalosis model reported in this work will help to understand the biologic behaviors of various cells on alkali-treated titanium surface and design the intended biomedical applications. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. AFM Nanotools for Surgery of Biological Cells

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Beard, J D; Gordeev, S N [Department of Physics, Claverton Down, University of Bath, Bath, BA2 7AY (United Kingdom); Guy, R H, E-mail: jdb28@bath.ac.uk [Department of Pharmacy and Pharmacology, Claverton Down, University of Bath, Bath, BA2 7AY (United Kingdom)

    2011-03-01

    Using a method of electron-beam induced deposition, we have been able to fabricate specialized AFM probes with application as 'nanotools' for the manipulation of biological structures ('nanosurgery'). We describe several such tools, including a 'nanoscalpel', 'nanoneedles' for probing intracellular structures, and a 'nanotome' which can separate surface layers from a biological structure. These applications are demonstrated by performing nanomanipulation on corneocyte cells from the outer layer of human skin.

  6. Implications of Big Data for cell biology

    OpenAIRE

    Dolinski, Kara; Troyanskaya, Olga G.

    2015-01-01

    “Big Data” has surpassed “systems biology” and “omics” as the hottest buzzword in the biological sciences, but is there any substance behind the hype? Certainly, we have learned about various aspects of cell and molecular biology from the many individual high-throughput data sets that have been published in the past 15–20 years. These data, although useful as individual data sets, can provide much more knowledge when interrogated with Big Data approaches, such as applying integrative methods ...

  7. Fluid models and simulations of biological cell phenomena

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greenspan, H. P.

    1982-01-01

    The dynamics of coated droplets are examined within the context of biofluids. Of specific interest is the manner in which the shape of a droplet, the motion within it as well as that of aggregates of droplets can be controlled by the modulation of surface properties and the extent to which such fluid phenomena are an intrinsic part of cellular processes. From the standpoint of biology, an objective is to elucidate some of the general dynamical features that affect the disposition of an entire cell, cell colonies and tissues. Conventionally averaged field variables of continuum mechanics are used to describe the overall global effects which result from the myriad of small scale molecular interactions. An attempt is made to establish cause and effect relationships from correct dynamical laws of motion rather than by what may have been unnecessary invocation of metabolic or life processes. Several topics are discussed where there are strong analogies droplets and cells including: encapsulated droplets/cell membranes; droplet shape/cell shape; adhesion and spread of a droplet/cell motility and adhesion; and oams and multiphase flows/cell aggregates and tissues. Evidence is presented to show that certain concepts of continuum theory such as suface tension, surface free energy, contact angle, bending moments, etc. are relevant and applicable to the study of cell biology.

  8. A decade of molecular cell biology: achievements and challenges.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Akhtar, Asifa; Fuchs, Elaine; Mitchison, Tim; Shaw, Reuben J; St Johnston, Daniel; Strasser, Andreas; Taylor, Susan; Walczak, Claire; Zerial, Marino

    2011-09-23

    Nature Reviews Molecular Cell Biology celebrated its 10-year anniversary during this past year with a series of specially commissioned articles. To complement this, here we have asked researchers from across the field for their insights into how molecular cell biology research has evolved during this past decade, the key concepts that have emerged and the most promising interfaces that have developed. Their comments highlight the broad impact that particular advances have had, some of the basic understanding that we still require, and the collaborative approaches that will be essential for driving the field forward.

  9. Molecular biological features of male germ cell differentiation

    Science.gov (United States)

    HIROSE, MIKA; TOKUHIRO, KEIZO; TAINAKA, HITOSHI; MIYAGAWA, YASUSHI; TSUJIMURA, AKIRA; OKUYAMA, AKIHIKO; NISHIMUNE, YOSHITAKE

    2007-01-01

    Somatic cell differentiation is required throughout the life of a multicellular organism to maintain homeostasis. In contrast, germ cells have only one specific function; to preserve the species by conveying the parental genes to the next generation. Recent studies of the development and molecular biology of the male germ cell have identified many genes, or isoforms, that are specifically expressed in the male germ cell. In the present review, we consider the unique features of male germ cell differentiation. (Reprod Med Biol 2007; 6: 1–9) PMID:29699260

  10. Synthetic Biology Outside the Cell: Linking Computational Tools to Cell-Free Systems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel eLewis

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available As mathematical models become more commonly integrated into the study of biology, a common language for describing biological processes is manifesting. Many tools have emerged for the simulation of in vivo systems, with only a few examples of prominent work done on predicting the dynamics of cell-free systems. At the same time, experimental biologists have begun to study dynamics of in vitro systems encapsulated by amphiphilic molecules, opening the door for the development of a new generation of biomimetic systems. In this review, we explore both in vivo and in vitro models of biochemical networks with a special focus on tools that could be applied to the construction of cell-free expression systems. We believe that quantitative studies of complex cellular mechanisms and pathways in synthetic systems can yield important insights into what makes cells different from conventional chemical systems.

  11. Recent advances in hematopoietic stem cell biology

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bonde, Jesper; Hess, David A; Nolta, Jan A

    2004-01-01

    PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Exciting advances have been made in the field of hematopoietic stem cell biology during the past year. This review summarizes recent progress in the identification, culture, and in vivo tracking of hematopoietic stem cells. RECENT FINDINGS: The roles of Wnt and Notch proteins...... in regulating stem cell renewal in the microenvironment, and how these molecules can be exploited in ex vivo stem cell culture, are reviewed. The importance of identification of stem cells using functional as well as phenotypic markers is discussed. The novel field of nanotechnology is then discussed...... in the context of stem cell tracking in vivo. This review concludes with a section on the unexpected potential of bone marrow-derived stem cells to contribute to the repair of damaged tissues. The contribution of cell fusion to explain the latter phenomenon is discussed. SUMMARY: Because of exciting discoveries...

  12. Neutral Evolution in a Biological Population as Diffusion in Phenotype Space: Reproduction with Local Mutation but without Selection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lawson, Daniel John; Jensen, Henrik Jeldtoft

    2007-03-01

    The process of “evolutionary diffusion,” i.e., reproduction with local mutation but without selection in a biological population, resembles standard diffusion in many ways. However, evolutionary diffusion allows the formation of localized peaks that undergo drift, even in the infinite population limit. We relate a microscopic evolution model to a stochastic model which we solve fully. This allows us to understand the large population limit, relates evolution to diffusion, and shows that independent local mutations act as a diffusion of interacting particles taking larger steps.

  13. Cell-free synthetic biology for in vitro prototype engineering.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, Simon J; MacDonald, James T; Freemont, Paul S

    2017-06-15

    Cell-free transcription-translation is an expanding field in synthetic biology as a rapid prototyping platform for blueprinting the design of synthetic biological devices. Exemplar efforts include translation of prototype designs into medical test kits for on-site identification of viruses (Zika and Ebola), while gene circuit cascades can be tested, debugged and re-designed within rapid turnover times. Coupled with mathematical modelling, this discipline lends itself towards the precision engineering of new synthetic life. The next stages of cell-free look set to unlock new microbial hosts that remain slow to engineer and unsuited to rapid iterative design cycles. It is hoped that the development of such systems will provide new tools to aid the transition from cell-free prototype designs to functioning synthetic genetic circuits and engineered natural product pathways in living cells. © 2017 The Author(s).

  14. Highly Resolved Sub-Terahertz Vibrational Spectroscopy of Biological Macromolecules and Bacteria Cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-07-01

    HIGHLY RESOLVED SUB-TERAHERTZ VIBRATIONAL SPECTROSCOPY OF BIOLOGICAL MACROMOLECULES AND BACTERIA CELLS ECBC...SUBTITLE Highly Resolved Sub-Terahertz Vibrational Spectroscopy of Biological Macromolecules and Bacteria Cells 5a. CONTRACT NUMBER W911SR-14-P...22 4.3 Bacteria THz Study

  15. Should We Add History of Science to Provide Nature of Science into Vietnamese Biology Textbook: A Case of Evolution and Genetics Teaching?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diem, Huynh Thi Thuy; Yuenyong, Chokchai

    2018-01-01

    History of science (HOS) plays a substantial role in the enhancement of rooted understanding in science teaching and learning. HOS of evolution and genetics has not been included in Vietnamese biology textbooks. This study aims to investigate the necessity of introducing evolution and genetics HOS into Vietnamese textbooks. A case study approach…

  16. Biological evolution: Some genetic considerations

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Mohammad Saad Zaghloul Salem

    2013-12-08

    Dec 8, 2013 ... cept of evolution, viz. genetic memory and evolutionary variations, genomic adaptations to stress .... or codons, along the transcript without giving attention to whether they are ... They do not affect the genome in a straightfor-.

  17. A Checklist for Successful Quantitative Live Cell Imaging in Systems Biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sung, Myong-Hee

    2013-01-01

    Mathematical modeling of signaling and gene regulatory networks has provided unique insights about systems behaviors for many cell biological problems of medical importance. Quantitative single cell monitoring has a crucial role in advancing systems modeling of molecular networks. However, due to the multidisciplinary techniques that are necessary for adaptation of such systems biology approaches, dissemination to a wide research community has been relatively slow. In this essay, I focus on some technical aspects that are often under-appreciated, yet critical in harnessing live cell imaging methods to achieve single-cell-level understanding and quantitative modeling of molecular networks. The importance of these technical considerations will be elaborated with examples of successes and shortcomings. Future efforts will benefit by avoiding some pitfalls and by utilizing the lessons collectively learned from recent applications of imaging in systems biology. PMID:24709701

  18. Homeostasis as the Mechanism of Evolution

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John S. Torday

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Homeostasis is conventionally thought of merely as a synchronic (same time servo-mechanism that maintains the status quo for organismal physiology. However, when seen from the perspective of developmental physiology, homeostasis is a robust, dynamic, intergenerational, diachronic (across-time mechanism for the maintenance, perpetuation and modification of physiologic structure and function. The integral relationships generated by cell-cell signaling for the mechanisms of embryogenesis, physiology and repair provide the needed insight to the scale-free universality of the homeostatic principle, offering a novel opportunity for a Systems approach to Biology. Starting with the inception of life itself, with the advent of reproduction during meiosis and mitosis, moving forward both ontogenetically and phylogenetically through the evolutionary steps involved in adaptation to an ever-changing environment, Biology and Evolution Theory need no longer default to teleology.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Kyung-Ho; Kim, Dong-Myung

    2013-11-01

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

  20. A comparison of biological and cultural evolution

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    2016-08-26

    Aug 26, 2016 ... fitness; information; language; learning; teaching. ... Further, conditions for cultural evolution are proposed, including a suggestion for language being the cultural replicator corresponding to the concept of the gene in ... The importance of language as a necessary condition for cultural evolution is stressed.

  1. New frontiers in human cell biology and medicine: can pluripotent stem cells deliver?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goldstein, Lawrence S B

    2012-11-12

    Human pluripotent stem cells provide enormous opportunities to treat disease using cell therapy. But human stem cells can also drive biomedical and cell biological discoveries in a human model system, which can be directly linked to understanding disease or developing new therapies. Finally, rigorous scientific studies of these cells can and should inform the many science and medical policy issues that confront the translation of these technologies to medicine. In this paper, I discuss these issues using amyotrophic lateral sclerosis as an example.

  2. Stability-based sorting: The forgotten process behind (not only) biological evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toman, Jan; Flegr, Jaroslav

    2017-12-21

    Natural selection is considered to be the main process that drives biological evolution. It requires selected entities to originate dependent upon one another by the means of reproduction or copying, and for the progeny to inherit the qualities of their ancestors. However, natural selection is a manifestation of a more general persistence principle, whose temporal consequences we propose to name "stability-based sorting" (SBS). Sorting based on static stability, i.e., SBS in its strict sense and usual conception, favours characters that increase the persistence of their holders and act on all material and immaterial entities. Sorted entities could originate independently from each other, are not required to propagate and need not exhibit heredity. Natural selection is a specific form of SBS-sorting based on dynamic stability. It requires some form of heredity and is based on competition for the largest difference between the speed of generating its own copies and their expiration. SBS in its strict sense and selection thus have markedly different evolutionary consequences that are stressed in this paper. In contrast to selection, which is opportunistic, SBS is able to accumulate even momentarily detrimental characters that are advantageous for the long-term persistence of sorted entities. However, it lacks the amplification effect based on the preferential propagation of holders of advantageous characters. Thus, it works slower than selection and normally is unable to create complex adaptations. From a long-term perspective, SBS is a decisive force in evolution-especially macroevolution. SBS offers a new explanation for numerous evolutionary phenomena, including broad distribution and persistence of sexuality, altruistic behaviour, horizontal gene transfer, patterns of evolutionary stasis, planetary homeostasis, increasing ecosystem resistance to disturbances, and the universal decline of disparity in the evolution of metazoan lineages. SBS acts on all levels in

  3. Cancer stem cells in hepatocellular carcinoma: Therapeutic implications based on stem cell biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chiba, Tetsuhiro; Iwama, Atsushi; Yokosuka, Osamu

    2016-01-01

    Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the sixth most common cancer and the third most frequent cause of cancer-related death worldwide. Despite advances in its diagnosis and treatment, the prognosis of patients with advanced HCC remains unfavorable. Recent advances in stem cell biology and associated technologies have enabled the identification of minor components of tumorigenic cells, termed cancer stem cells (CSC) or tumor-initiating cells, in cancers such as HCC. Furthermore, because CSC play a central role in tumor development, metastasis and recurrence, they are considered to be a therapeutic target in cancer treatment. Hepatic CSC have been successfully identified using functional and cell surface markers. The analysis of purified hepatic CSC has revealed the molecular machinery and signaling pathways involved in their maintenance. In addition, epigenetic transcriptional regulation has been shown to be important in the development and maintenance of CSC. Although inhibitors of CSC show promise as CSC-targeting drugs, novel therapeutic approaches for the eradication of CSC are yet to be established. In this review, we describe recent progress in hepatic CSC research and provide a perspective on the available therapeutic approaches based on stem cell biology. © 2015 The Japan Society of Hepatology.

  4. The Relationship between Biology Teachers' Understanding of the Nature of Science and the Understanding and Acceptance of the Theory of Evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cofré, Hernán; Cuevas, Emilia; Becerra, Beatriz

    2017-01-01

    Despite the importance of the theory of evolution (TE) to scientific knowledge, a number of misconceptions continue to be found among biology teachers. In this context, the first objective of this study was to identify the impact of professional development programme (PDP) on teachers' understanding of nature of science (NOS) and evolution and on…

  5. Multidisciplinary approaches to understanding collective cell migration in developmental biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schumacher, Linus J; Kulesa, Paul M; McLennan, Rebecca; Baker, Ruth E; Maini, Philip K

    2016-06-01

    Mathematical models are becoming increasingly integrated with experimental efforts in the study of biological systems. Collective cell migration in developmental biology is a particularly fruitful application area for the development of theoretical models to predict the behaviour of complex multicellular systems with many interacting parts. In this context, mathematical models provide a tool to assess the consistency of experimental observations with testable mechanistic hypotheses. In this review, we showcase examples from recent years of multidisciplinary investigations of neural crest cell migration. The neural crest model system has been used to study how collective migration of cell populations is shaped by cell-cell interactions, cell-environmental interactions and heterogeneity between cells. The wide range of emergent behaviours exhibited by neural crest cells in different embryonal locations and in different organisms helps us chart out the spectrum of collective cell migration. At the same time, this diversity in migratory characteristics highlights the need to reconcile or unify the array of currently hypothesized mechanisms through the next generation of experimental data and generalized theoretical descriptions. © 2016 The Authors.

  6. The biologic effects of cigarette smoke on cancer cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sobus, Samantha L; Warren, Graham W

    2014-12-01

    Smoking is one of the largest preventable risk factors for developing cancer, and continued smoking by cancer patients is associated with increased toxicity, recurrence, risk of second primary cancer, and mortality. Cigarette smoke (CS) contains thousands of chemicals, including many known carcinogens. The carcinogenic effects of CS are well established, but relatively little work has been done to evaluate the effects of CS on cancer cells. In this review of the literature, the authors demonstrate that CS induces a more malignant tumor phenotype by increasing proliferation, migration, invasion, and angiogenesis and by activating prosurvival cellular pathways. Significant work is needed to understand the biologic effect of CS on cancer biology, including the development of model systems and the identification of critical biologic mediators of CS-induced changes in cancer cell physiology. © 2014 American Cancer Society.

  7. Special Issue: International Congress of Cell Biology 2016, Prague

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Stick, R.; Dráber, Pavel

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 254, č. 3 (2017), s. 1141-1142 ISSN 0033-183X R&D Projects: GA ČR GA16-25159S Institutional support: RVO:68378050 Keywords : cellular structures and functions, ,, , * tubulin isotypes * actin * transcription regulation * signaling pathways Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology OBOR OECD: Cell biology Impact factor: 2.870, year: 2016

  8. Synthetic biology in cell-based cancer immunotherapy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chakravarti, Deboki; Wong, Wilson W

    2015-08-01

    The adoptive transfer of genetically engineered T cells with cancer-targeting receptors has shown tremendous promise for eradicating tumors in clinical trials. This form of cellular immunotherapy presents a unique opportunity to incorporate advanced systems and synthetic biology approaches to create cancer therapeutics with novel functions. We first review the development of synthetic receptors, switches, and circuits to control the location, duration, and strength of T cell activity against tumors. In addition, we discuss the cellular engineering and genome editing of host cells (or the chassis) to improve the efficacy of cell-based cancer therapeutics, and to reduce the time and cost of manufacturing. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. Tumor necrosis factor (TNF) biology and cell death.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bertazza, Loris; Mocellin, Simone

    2008-01-01

    Tumor necrosis factor (TNF) was the first cytokine to be used in humans for cancer therapy. However, its role in the treatment of cancer patients is debated. Most uncertainties in this field stem from the knowledge that the pathways directly activated or indirectly affected upon TNF engagement with its receptors can ultimately lead to very different outcomes in terms of cell survival. In this article, we summarize the fundamental molecular biology aspects of this cytokine. Such a basis is a prerequisite to critically approach the sometimes conflicting preclinical and clinical findings regarding the relationship between TNF, tumor biology and anticancer therapy. Although the last decade has witnessed remarkable advances in this field, we still do not know in detail how cells choose between life and death after TNF stimulation. Understanding this mechanism will not only shed new light on the physiological significance of TNF-driven programmed cell death but also help investigators maximize the anticancer potential of this cytokine.

  10. Unleashing the potential of the root hair cell as a single plant cell type model in root systems biology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhenzhen eQiao

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available Plant root is an organ composed of multiple cell types with different functions. This multicellular complexity limits our understanding of root biology because –omics studies performed at the level of the entire root reflect the average responses of all cells composing the organ. To overcome this difficulty and allow a more comprehensive understanding of root cell biology, an approach is needed that would focus on one single cell type in the plant root. Because of its biological functions (i.e. uptake of water and various nutrients; primary site of infection by nitrogen-fixing bacteria in legumes, the root hair cell is an attractive single cell model to study root cell response to various stresses and treatments. To fully study their biology, we have recently optimized procedures in obtaining root hair cell samples. We culture the plants using an ultrasound aeroponic system maximizing root hair cell density on the entire root systems and allowing the homogeneous treatment of the root system. We then isolate the root hair cells in liquid nitrogen. Isolated root hair yields could be up to 800 to 1000 mg of plant cells from 60 root systems. Using soybean as a model, the purity of the root hair was assessed by comparing the expression level of genes previously identified as soybean root hair specific between preparations of isolated root hair cells and stripped roots, roots devoid in root hairs. Enlarging our tests to include other plant species, our results support the isolation of large quantities of highly purified root hair cells which is compatible with a systems biology approach.

  11. Experimental evolution of protozoan traits in response to interspecific competition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    terHorst, C P

    2011-01-01

    Decades of experiments have demonstrated the ecological effect of competition, but experimental evidence for competitive effects on trait evolution is rare. I measured the evolution of six protozoan traits in response to competitors from the inquiline community of pitcher plants. Replicate populations of Colpoda, a ciliated protozoan, were allowed to evolve in response to intra- and interspecific competition for 20 days (approximately 100 generations), before traits were measured in two common garden environments. Populations that evolved with interspecific competition had smaller cell sizes, produced fewer cysts and had higher population growth rates relative to populations grown in monoculture. The presence of interspecific competitors led to differential lineage sorting, most likely by increasing the strength of selection. These results are the first to demonstrate protozoan evolution in response to competition and may have implications for species coexistence in this system. © 2010 The Author. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2010 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  12. Measurement Frontiers in Molecular Biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laderman, Stephen

    2009-03-01

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

  13. Heavy ion induced DNA transfer in biological cells

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vilaithong, T.; Yu, L.D.; Apavatjrut, P.; Phanchaisri, B.; Sangyuenyongpipat, S.; Anuntalabhochai, S.; Brown, I.G.

    2004-01-01

    Low-energy ion beam bombardment of biological materials for genetic modification purposes has experienced rapid growth in the last decade, particularly for the direct DNA transfer into living organisms including both plants and bacteria. Attempts have been made to understand the mechanisms involved in ion-bombardment-induced direct gene transfer into biological cells. Here we summarize the present status of the application of low-energy ions for genetic modification of living sample materials

  14. Plant cell walls throughout evolution: towards a molecular understanding of their design principles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sarkar, Purbasha; Bosneaga, Elena; Auer, Manfred

    2009-01-01

    Throughout their life, plants typically remain in one location utilizing sunlight for the synthesis of carbohydrates, which serve as their sole source of energy as well as building blocks of a protective extracellular matrix, called the cell wall. During the course of evolution, plants have repeatedly adapted to their respective niche, which is reflected in the changes of their body plan and the specific design of cell walls. Cell walls not only changed throughout evolution but also are constantly remodelled and reconstructed during the development of an individual plant, and in response to environmental stress or pathogen attacks. Carbohydrate-rich cell walls display complex designs, which together with the presence of phenolic polymers constitutes a barrier for microbes, fungi, and animals. Throughout evolution microbes have co-evolved strategies for efficient breakdown of cell walls. Our current understanding of cell walls and their evolutionary changes are limited as our knowledge is mainly derived from biochemical and genetic studies, complemented by a few targeted yet very informative imaging studies. Comprehensive plant cell wall models will aid in the re-design of plant cell walls for the purpose of commercially viable lignocellulosic biofuel production as well as for the timber, textile, and paper industries. Such knowledge will also be of great interest in the context of agriculture and to plant biologists in general. It is expected that detailed plant cell wall models will require integrated correlative multimodal, multiscale imaging and modelling approaches, which are currently underway.

  15. Plant cell walls throughout evolution: towards a molecular understanding of their design principles

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sarkar, Purbasha; Bosneaga, Elena; Auer, Manfred

    2009-02-16

    Throughout their life, plants typically remain in one location utilizing sunlight for the synthesis of carbohydrates, which serve as their sole source of energy as well as building blocks of a protective extracellular matrix, called the cell wall. During the course of evolution, plants have repeatedly adapted to their respective niche,which is reflected in the changes of their body plan and the specific design of cell walls. Cell walls not only changed throughout evolution but also are constantly remodelled and reconstructed during the development of an individual plant, and in response to environmental stress or pathogen attacks. Carbohydrate-rich cell walls display complex designs, which together with the presence of phenolic polymers constitutes a barrier for microbes, fungi, and animals. Throughout evolution microbes have co-evolved strategies for efficient breakdown of cell walls. Our current understanding of cell walls and their evolutionary changes are limited as our knowledge is mainly derived from biochemical and genetic studies, complemented by a few targeted yet very informative imaging studies. Comprehensive plant cell wall models will aid in the re-design of plant cell walls for the purpose of commercially viable lignocellulosic biofuel production as well as for the timber, textile, and paper industries. Such knowledge will also be of great interest in the context of agriculture and to plant biologists in general. It is expected that detailed plant cell wall models will require integrated correlative multimodal, multiscale imaging and modelling approaches, which are currently underway.

  16. Teaching evolution (and all of biology) more effectively: Strategies for engagement, critical reasoning, and confronting misconceptions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nelson, Craig E

    2008-08-01

    The strength of the evidence supporting evolution has increased markedly since the discovery of DNA but, paradoxically, public resistance to accepting evolution seems to have become stronger. A key dilemma is that science faculty have often continued to teach evolution ineffectively, even as the evidence that traditional ways of teaching are inferior has become stronger and stronger. Three pedagogical strategies that together can make a large difference in students' understanding and acceptance of evolution are extensive use of interactive engagement, a focus on critical thinking in science (especially on comparisons and explicit criteria) and using both of these in helping the students actively compare their initial conceptions (and publicly popular misconceptions) with more fully scientific conceptions. The conclusion that students' misconceptions must be dealt with systematically can be difficult for faculty who are teaching evolution since much of the students' resistance is framed in religious terms and one might be reluctant to address religious ideas in class. Applications to teaching evolution are illustrated with examples that address criteria and critical thinking, standard geology versus flood geology, evolutionary developmental biology versus organs of extreme perfection, and the importance of using humans as a central example. It is also helpful to bridge the false dichotomy, seen by many students, between atheistic evolution versus religious creationism. These applications are developed in detail and are intended to be sufficient to allow others to use these approaches in their teaching. Students and other faculty were quite supportive of these approaches as implemented in my classes.

  17. Micro and nano-platforms for biological cell analysis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Svendsen, Winnie Edith; Castillo, Jaime; Moresco, Jacob Lange

    2011-01-01

    In this paper some technological platforms developed for biological cell analysis will be presented and compared to existing systems. In brief, we present a novel micro cell culture chamber based on diffusion feeding of cells, into which cells can be introduced and extracted after culturing using...... from the cells, while passive modifications involve the presence of a peptide nanotube based scaffold for the cell culturing that mimics the in vivo environment. Two applications involving fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) analysis and cancer cell sorting are presented, as examples of further...... analysis that can be done after cell culturing. A platform able to automate the entire process from cell culturing to cell analysis by means of simple plug and play of various self-contained, individually fabricated modules is finally described....

  18. Analysis of a vinculin homolog in a sponge (phylum Porifera) reveals that vertebrate-like cell adhesions emerged early in animal evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Phillip W; Pokutta, Sabine; Mitchell, Jennyfer M; Chodaparambil, Jayanth V; Clarke, D Nathaniel; Nelson, William; Weis, William I; Nichols, Scott A

    2018-06-07

    The evolution of cell adhesion mechanisms in animals facilitated the assembly of organized multicellular tissues. Studies in traditional animal models have revealed two predominant adhesion structures, the adherens junction (AJ) and focal adhesions (FAs), which are involved in the attachment of neighboring cells to each other and to the secreted extracellular matrix (ECM), respectively. The AJ (containing cadherins and catenins) and FAs (comprising integrins, talin, and paxillin) differ in protein composition, but both junctions contain the actin-binding protein vinculin. The near ubiquity of these structures in animals suggests that AJ and FAs evolved early, possibly coincident with multicellularity. However, a challenge to this perspective is that previous studies of sponges-a divergent animal lineage-indicate that their tissues are organized primarily by an alternative, sponge-specific cell adhesion mechanism called "aggregation factor." In this study, we examined the structure, biochemical properties, and tissue localization of a vinculin ortholog in the sponge Oscarella pearsei ( Op ). Our results indicate that Op vinculin localizes to both cell-cell and cell-ECM contacts and has biochemical and structural properties similar to those of vertebrate vinculin. We propose that Op vinculin played a role in cell adhesion and tissue organization in the last common ancestor of sponges and other animals. These findings provide compelling evidence that sponge tissues are indeed organized like epithelia in other animals and support the notion that AJ- and FA-like structures extend to the earliest periods of animal evolution. Published under license by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

  19. Origin and evolution of SINEs in eukaryotic genomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kramerov, D A; Vassetzky, N S

    2011-12-01

    Short interspersed elements (SINEs) are one of the two most prolific mobile genomic elements in most of the higher eukaryotes. Although their biology is still not thoroughly understood, unusual life cycle of these simple elements amplified as genomic parasites makes their evolution unique in many ways. In contrast to most genetic elements including other transposons, SINEs emerged de novo many times in evolution from available molecules (for example, tRNA). The involvement of reverse transcription in their amplification cycle, huge number of genomic copies and modular structure allow variation mechanisms in SINEs uncommon or rare in other genetic elements (module exchange between SINE families, dimerization, and so on.). Overall, SINE evolution includes their emergence, progressive optimization and counteraction to the cell's defense against mobile genetic elements.

  20. Cell illustrator 4.0: a computational platform for systems biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagasaki, Masao; Saito, Ayumu; Jeong, Euna; Li, Chen; Kojima, Kaname; Ikeda, Emi; Miyano, Satoru

    2011-01-01

    Cell Illustrator is a software platform for Systems Biology that uses the concept of Petri net for modeling and simulating biopathways. It is intended for biological scientists working at bench. The latest version of Cell Illustrator 4.0 uses Java Web Start technology and is enhanced with new capabilities, including: automatic graph grid layout algorithms using ontology information; tools using Cell System Markup Language (CSML) 3.0 and Cell System Ontology 3.0; parameter search module; high-performance simulation module; CSML database management system; conversion from CSML model to programming languages (FORTRAN, C, C++, Java, Python and Perl); import from SBML, CellML, and BioPAX; and, export to SVG and HTML. Cell Illustrator employs an extension of hybrid Petri net in an object-oriented style so that biopathway models can include objects such as DNA sequence, molecular density, 3D localization information, transcription with frame-shift, translation with codon table, as well as biochemical reactions.

  1. Space biology research development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonting, Sjoerd L.

    1993-01-01

    The purpose of the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) Institute is to conduct and promote research related activities regarding the search for extraterrestrial life, particularly intelligent life. Such research encompasses the broad discipline of 'Life in the Universe', including all scientific and technological aspects of astronomy and the planetary sciences, chemical evolution, the origin of life, biological evolution, and cultural evolution. The primary purpose was to provide funding for the Principal Investigator to collaborate with the personnel of the SETI Institute and the NASA-Ames Research center in order to plan and develop space biology research on and in connection with Space Station Freedom; to promote cooperation with the international partners in the space station; to conduct a study on the use of biosensors in space biology research and life support system operation; and to promote space biology research through the initiation of an annual publication 'Advances in Space Biology and Medicine'.

  2. The impact of genomics on research in diversity and evolution of archaea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mardanov, A V; Ravin, N V

    2012-08-01

    Since the definition of archaea as a separate domain of life along with bacteria and eukaryotes, they have become one of the most interesting objects of modern microbiology, molecular biology, and biochemistry. Sequencing and analysis of archaeal genomes were especially important for studies on archaea because of a limited availability of genetic tools for the majority of these microorganisms and problems associated with their cultivation. Fifteen years since the publication of the first genome of an archaeon, more than one hundred complete genome sequences of representatives of different phylogenetic groups have been determined. Analysis of these genomes has expanded our knowledge of biology of archaea, their diversity and evolution, and allowed identification and characterization of new deep phylogenetic lineages of archaea. The development of genome technologies has allowed sequencing the genomes of uncultivated archaea directly from enrichment cultures, metagenomic samples, and even from single cells. Insights have been gained into the evolution of key biochemical processes in archaea, such as cell division and DNA replication, the role of horizontal gene transfer in the evolution of archaea, and new relationships between archaea and eukaryotes have been revealed.

  3. Genome annotation in a community college cell biology lab.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beagley, C Timothy

    2013-01-01

    The Biology Department at Salt Lake Community College has used the IMG-ACT toolbox to introduce a genome mapping and annotation exercise into the laboratory portion of its Cell Biology course. This project provides students with an authentic inquiry-based learning experience while introducing them to computational biology and contemporary learning skills. Additionally, the project strengthens student understanding of the scientific method and contributes to student learning gains in curricular objectives centered around basic molecular biology, specifically, the Central Dogma. Importantly, inclusion of this project in the laboratory course provides students with a positive learning environment and allows for the use of cooperative learning strategies to increase overall student success. Copyright © 2012 International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

  4. Using Femtosecond Laser Subcellular Surgery as a Tool to Study Cell Biology

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Shen, N; Colvin, M E; Huser, T

    2007-02-27

    Research on cellular function and regulation would be greatly advanced by new instrumentation using methods to alter cellular processes with spatial discrimination on the nanometer-scale. We present a novel technique for targeting submicrometer sized organelles or other biologically important regions in living cells using femtosecond laser pulses. By tightly focusing these pulses beneath the cell membrane, we can vaporize cellular material inside the cell through nonlinear optical processes. This technique enables non-invasive manipulation of the physical structure of a cell with sub-micrometer resolution. We propose to study the role mitochondria play in cell proliferation and apoptosis. Our technique provides a unique tool for the study of cell biology.

  5. Step-wise and punctuated genome evolution drive phenotype changes of tumor cells

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Stepanenko, Aleksei; Andreieva, Svitlana; Korets, Kateryna; Mykytenko, Dmytro; Huleyuk, Nataliya; Vassetzky, Yegor; Kavsan, Vadym

    2015-01-01

    Highlights: • There are the step-wise continuous and punctuated phases of cancer genome evolution. • The system stresses during the different phases may lead to very different responses. • Stable transfection of an empty vector can result in genome and phenotype changes. • Functions of a (trans)gene can be opposite/versatile in cells with different genomes. • Contextually, temozolomide can both promote and suppress tumor cell aggressiveness. - Abstract: The pattern of genome evolution can be divided into two phases: the step-wise continuous phase (step-wise clonal evolution, stable dominant clonal chromosome aberrations (CCAs), and low frequency of non-CCAs, NCCAs) and punctuated phase (marked by elevated NCCAs and transitional CCAs). Depending on the phase, system stresses (the diverse CIN promoting factors) may lead to the very different phenotype responses. To address the contribution of chromosome instability (CIN) to phenotype changes of tumor cells, we characterized CCAs/NCCAs of HeLa and HEK293 cells, and their derivatives after genotoxic stresses (a stable plasmid transfection, ectopic expression of cancer-associated CHI3L1 gene or treatment with temozolomide) by conventional cytogenetics, copy number alterations (CNAs) by array comparative genome hybridization, and phenotype changes by cell viability and soft agar assays. Transfection of either the empty vector pcDNA3.1 or pcDNA3.1-CHI3L1 into 293 cells initiated the punctuated genome changes. In contrast, HeLa-CHI3L1 cells demonstrated the step-wise genome changes. Increased CIN correlated with lower viability of 293-pcDNA3.1 cells but higher colony formation efficiency (CFE). Artificial CHI3L1 production in 293-CHI3L1 cells increased viability and further contributed to CFE. The opposite growth characteristics of 293-CHI3L1 and HeLa-CHI3L1 cells were revealed. The effect and function of a (trans)gene can be opposite and versatile in cells with different genetic network, which is defined by

  6. Step-wise and punctuated genome evolution drive phenotype changes of tumor cells

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Stepanenko, Aleksei, E-mail: a.a.stepanenko@gmail.com [Department of Biosynthesis of Nucleic Acids, Institute of Molecular Biology and Genetics, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, Kyiv 03680 (Ukraine); Andreieva, Svitlana; Korets, Kateryna; Mykytenko, Dmytro [Department of Biosynthesis of Nucleic Acids, Institute of Molecular Biology and Genetics, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, Kyiv 03680 (Ukraine); Huleyuk, Nataliya [Institute of Hereditary Pathology, National Academy of Medical Sciences of Ukraine, Lviv 79008 (Ukraine); Vassetzky, Yegor [CNRS UMR8126, Université Paris-Sud 11, Institut de Cancérologie Gustave Roussy, Villejuif 94805 (France); Kavsan, Vadym [Department of Biosynthesis of Nucleic Acids, Institute of Molecular Biology and Genetics, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, Kyiv 03680 (Ukraine)

    2015-01-15

    Highlights: • There are the step-wise continuous and punctuated phases of cancer genome evolution. • The system stresses during the different phases may lead to very different responses. • Stable transfection of an empty vector can result in genome and phenotype changes. • Functions of a (trans)gene can be opposite/versatile in cells with different genomes. • Contextually, temozolomide can both promote and suppress tumor cell aggressiveness. - Abstract: The pattern of genome evolution can be divided into two phases: the step-wise continuous phase (step-wise clonal evolution, stable dominant clonal chromosome aberrations (CCAs), and low frequency of non-CCAs, NCCAs) and punctuated phase (marked by elevated NCCAs and transitional CCAs). Depending on the phase, system stresses (the diverse CIN promoting factors) may lead to the very different phenotype responses. To address the contribution of chromosome instability (CIN) to phenotype changes of tumor cells, we characterized CCAs/NCCAs of HeLa and HEK293 cells, and their derivatives after genotoxic stresses (a stable plasmid transfection, ectopic expression of cancer-associated CHI3L1 gene or treatment with temozolomide) by conventional cytogenetics, copy number alterations (CNAs) by array comparative genome hybridization, and phenotype changes by cell viability and soft agar assays. Transfection of either the empty vector pcDNA3.1 or pcDNA3.1-CHI3L1 into 293 cells initiated the punctuated genome changes. In contrast, HeLa-CHI3L1 cells demonstrated the step-wise genome changes. Increased CIN correlated with lower viability of 293-pcDNA3.1 cells but higher colony formation efficiency (CFE). Artificial CHI3L1 production in 293-CHI3L1 cells increased viability and further contributed to CFE. The opposite growth characteristics of 293-CHI3L1 and HeLa-CHI3L1 cells were revealed. The effect and function of a (trans)gene can be opposite and versatile in cells with different genetic network, which is defined by

  7. Clinical relevance and biology of circulating tumor cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-01-01

    Most breast cancer patients die due to metastases, and the early onset of this multistep process is usually missed by current tumor staging modalities. Therefore, ultrasensitive techniques have been developed to enable the enrichment, detection, isolation and characterization of disseminated tumor cells in bone marrow and circulating tumor cells in the peripheral blood of cancer patients. There is increasing evidence that the presence of these cells is associated with an unfavorable prognosis related to metastatic progression in the bone and other organs. This review focuses on investigations regarding the biology and clinical relevance of circulating tumor cells in breast cancer. PMID:22114869

  8. Graphene liquid cells for multi-technique analysis of biological cells in water environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matruglio, A.; Zucchiatti, P.; Birarda, G.; Marmiroli, B.; D'Amico, F.; Kocabas, C.; Kiskinova, M.; Vaccari, L.

    2018-05-01

    In-cell exploration of biomolecular constituents is the new frontier of cellular biology that will allow full access to structure-activity correlation of biomolecules, overcoming the limitations imposed by dissecting the cellular milieu. However, the presence of water, which is a very strong IR absorber and incompatible with the vacuum working conditions of all analytical methods using soft x-rays and electrons, poses severe constraint to perform important imaging and spectroscopic analyses under physiological conditions. Recent advances to separate the sample compartment in liquid cell are based on electron and photon transparent but molecular-impermeable graphene membranes. This strategy has opened a unique opportunity to explore technological materials under realistic operation conditions using various types of electron microscopy. However, the widespread of the graphene liquid cell applications is still impeded by the lack of well-established approaches for their massive production. We report on the first preliminary results for the fabrication of reproducible graphene liquid cells appropriate for the analysis of biological specimens in their natural hydrated environment with several crucial analytical techniques, namely FTIR microscopy, Raman spectroscopy, AFM, SEM and TEM.

  9. Understanding Cancer Genome and Its Evolution by Next Generation Sequencing

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hou, Yong

    Cancer will cause 13 million deaths by the year of 2030, ranking the second leading cause of death worldwide. Previous studies indicate that most of the cancers originate from cells that acquired somatic mutations and evolved as Darwin Theory. Ten biological insights of cancer have been summarized...... recently. Cutting-age technologies like next generation sequencing (NGS) enable exploring cancer genome and evolution much more efficiently. However, integrated cancer genome sequencing studies showed great inter-/intra-tumoral heterogeneity (ITH) and complex evolution patterns beyond the cancer biological...... knowledge we previously know. There is very limited knowledge of East Asia lung cancer genome except enrichment of EGFR mutations and lack of KRAS mutations. We carried out integrated genomic, transcriptomic and methylomic analysis of 335 primary Chinese lung adenocarcinomas (LUAD) and 35 corresponding...

  10. Darwinian evolution

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jagers op Akkerhuis, Gerard A.J.M.; Spijkerboer, Hendrik Pieter; Koelewijn, Hans Peter

    2016-01-01

    Darwinian evolution is a central tenet in biology. Conventionally, the defi nition of Darwinian evolution is linked to a population-based process that can be measured by focusing on changes in DNA/allele frequencies. However, in some publications it has been suggested that selection represents a

  11. Evolution of cell resistance, threshold voltage and crystallization temperature during cycling of line-cell phase-change random access memory

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Oosthoek, J. L. M.; Attenborough, K.; Hurkx, G. A. M.; Jedema, F. J.; Gravesteijn, D. J.; Kooi, B. J.

    2011-01-01

    Doped SbTe phase change (PRAM) line cells produced by e-beam lithography were cycled 100 million times. During cell cycling the evolution of many cell properties were monitored, in particular the crystalline and amorphous resistance, amorphous resistance drift exponent, time-dependent threshold

  12. Some nonlinear challenges in biology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mosconi, Francesco; Julou, Thomas; Desprat, Nicolas; Sinha, Deepak Kumar; Allemand, Jean-François; Croquette, Vincent; Bensimon, David

    2008-01-01

    Driven by a deluge of data, biology is undergoing a transition to a more quantitative science. Making sense of the data, building new models, asking the right questions and designing smart experiments to answer them are becoming ever more relevant. In this endeavour, nonlinear approaches can play a fundamental role. The biochemical reactions that underlie life are very often nonlinear. The functional features exhibited by biological systems at all levels (from the activity of an enzyme to the organization of a colony of ants, via the development of an organism or a functional module like the one responsible for chemotaxis in bacteria) are dynamically robust. They are often unaffected by order of magnitude variations in the dynamical parameters, in the number or concentrations of actors (molecules, cells, organisms) or external inputs (food, temperature, pH, etc). This type of structural robustness is also a common feature of nonlinear systems, exemplified by the fundamental role played by dynamical fixed points and attractors and by the use of generic equations (logistic map, Fisher–Kolmogorov equation, the Stefan problem, etc.) in the study of a plethora of nonlinear phenomena. However, biological systems differ from these examples in two important ways: the intrinsic stochasticity arising from the often very small number of actors and the role played by evolution. On an evolutionary time scale, nothing in biology is frozen. The systems observed today have evolved from solutions adopted in the past and they will have to adapt in response to future conditions. The evolvability of biological system uniquely characterizes them and is central to biology. As the great biologist T Dobzhansky once wrote: 'nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution'. (open problem)

  13. Implementing recommendations for introductory biology by writing a new textbook.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barsoum, Mark J; Sellers, Patrick J; Campbell, A Malcolm; Heyer, Laurie J; Paradise, Christopher J

    2013-01-01

    We redesigned the undergraduate introductory biology course by writing a new textbook (Integrating Concepts in Biology [ICB]) that follows first principles of learning. Our approach emphasizes primary data interpretation and the utility of mathematics in biology, while de-emphasizing memorization. This redesign divides biology into five big ideas (information, evolution, cells, emergent properties, homeostasis), addressing each at five levels of organization (molecules, cells, organisms, populations, ecological systems). We compared our course outcomes with two sections that used a traditional textbook and were taught by different instructors. On data interpretation assessments administered periodically during the semester, our students performed better than students in the traditional sections (p = 0.046) and exhibited greater improvement over the course of the semester (p = 0.015). On factual content assessments, our students performed similarly to students in the other sections (p = 0.737). Pre- and postsemester assessment of disciplinary perceptions and self-appraisal indicate that our students acquired a more accurate perception of biology as a discipline and may have developed a more realistic evaluation of their scientific abilities than did the control students (p biology.

  14. Systems biology solutions for biochemical production challenges

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hansen, Anne Sofie Lærke; Lennen, Rebecca M; Sonnenschein, Nikolaus

    2017-01-01

    There is an urgent need to significantly accelerate the development of microbial cell factories to produce fuels and chemicals from renewable feedstocks in order to facilitate the transition to a biobased society. Methods commonly used within the field of systems biology including omics...... characterization, genome-scale metabolic modeling, and adaptive laboratory evolution can be readily deployed in metabolic engineering projects. However, high performance strains usually carry tens of genetic modifications and need to operate in challenging environmental conditions. This additional complexity...... compared to basic science research requires pushing systems biology strategies to their limits and often spurs innovative developments that benefit fields outside metabolic engineering. Here we survey recent advanced applications of systems biology methods in engineering microbial production strains...

  15. Cell biology, biophysics, and mechanobiology: From the basics to Clinics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zeng, Y

    2017-04-29

    Cell biology, biomechanics and biophysics are the key subjects that guide our understanding in diverse areas of tissue growth, development, remodeling and homeostasis. Novel discoveries such as molecular mechanism, and mechanobiological mechanism in cell biology, biomechanics and biophysics play essential roles in our understanding of the pathogenesis of various human diseases, as well as in designing the treatment of these diseases. In addition, studies in these areas will also facilitate early diagnostics of human diseases, such as cardiovascular diseases and cancer. In this special issue, we collected 10 original research articles and 1 review...

  16. Can Chimpanzee Biology Highlight Human Origin and Evolution?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Itai Roffman

    2010-07-01

    Full Text Available The closest living relatives of humans are their chimpanzee/bonobo (Pan sister species, members of the same subfamily “Homininae”. This classification is supported by over 50 years of research in the fields of chimpanzee cultural diversity, language competency, genomics, anatomy, high cognition, psychology, society, self-consciousness and relation to others, tool use/production, as well as Homo level emotions, symbolic competency, memory recollection, complex multifaceted problem-solving capabilities, and interspecies communication. Language competence and symbolism can be continuously bridged from chimpanzee to man. Emotions, intercommunity aggression, body language, gestures, facial expressions, and vocalization of intonations seem to parallel between the sister taxa Homo and Pan. The shared suite of traits between Pan and Homo genus demonstrated in this article integrates old and new information on human–chimpanzee evolution, bilateral informational and cross-cultural exchange, promoting the urgent need for Pan cultures in the wild to be protected, as they are part of the cultural heritage of mankind. Also, we suggest that bonobos, Pan paniscus, based on shared traits with Australopithecus, need to be included in Australopithecine’s subgenus, and may even represent living-fossil Australopithecines. Unfolding bonobo and chimpanzee biology highlights our common genetic and cultural evolutionary origins.

  17. Myeloma Cell Dynamics in Response to Treatment Supports a Model of Hierarchical Differentiation and Clonal Evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tang, Min; Zhao, Rui; van de Velde, Helgi; Tross, Jennifer G; Mitsiades, Constantine; Viselli, Suzanne; Neuwirth, Rachel; Esseltine, Dixie-Lee; Anderson, Kenneth; Ghobrial, Irene M; San Miguel, Jesús F; Richardson, Paul G; Tomasson, Michael H; Michor, Franziska

    2016-08-15

    Since the pioneering work of Salmon and Durie, quantitative measures of tumor burden in multiple myeloma have been used to make clinical predictions and model tumor growth. However, such quantitative analyses have not yet been performed on large datasets from trials using modern chemotherapy regimens. We analyzed a large set of tumor response data from three randomized controlled trials of bortezomib-based chemotherapy regimens (total sample size n = 1,469 patients) to establish and validate a novel mathematical model of multiple myeloma cell dynamics. Treatment dynamics in newly diagnosed patients were most consistent with a model postulating two tumor cell subpopulations, "progenitor cells" and "differentiated cells." Differential treatment responses were observed with significant tumoricidal effects on differentiated cells and less clear effects on progenitor cells. We validated this model using a second trial of newly diagnosed patients and a third trial of refractory patients. When applying our model to data of relapsed patients, we found that a hybrid model incorporating both a differentiation hierarchy and clonal evolution best explains the response patterns. The clinical data, together with mathematical modeling, suggest that bortezomib-based therapy exerts a selection pressure on myeloma cells that can shape the disease phenotype, thereby generating further inter-patient variability. This model may be a useful tool for improving our understanding of disease biology and the response to chemotherapy regimens. Clin Cancer Res; 22(16); 4206-14. ©2016 AACR. ©2016 American Association for Cancer Research.

  18. The Histochemistry and Cell Biology omnium-gatherum: the year 2015 in review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taatjes, Douglas J; Roth, Jürgen

    2016-03-01

    We provide here our annual review/synopsis of all of the articles published in Histochemistry and Cell Biology (HCB) for the preceding year. In 2015, HCB published 102 articles, representing a wide variety of topics and methodologies. For ease of access to these differing topics, we have created categories, as determined by the types of articles presented to provide a quick index representing the general areas covered. This year, these categories include: (1) advances in methodologies; (2) molecules in health and disease; (3) organelles, subcellular structures, and compartments; (4) the nucleus; (5) stem cells and tissue engineering; (6) cell cultures: properties and capabilities; (7) connective tissues and extracellular matrix; (8) developmental biology; (9) nervous system; (10) musculoskeletal system; (11) respiratory and cardiovascular system; (12) liver and gastrointestinal tract; and (13) male and female reproductive systems. Of note, the categories proceed from methods development, to molecules, intracellular compartments, stem cells and cell culture, extracellular matrix, developmental biology, and finishing with various organ systems, hopefully presenting a logical journey from methods to organismal molecules, cells, and whole tissue systems.

  19. Evolution, Entropy, & Biological Information

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peterson, Jacob

    2014-01-01

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

  20. 100 years after Smoluchowski: stochastic processes in cell biology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Holcman, D; Schuss, Z

    2017-01-01

    100 years after Smoluchowski introduced his approach to stochastic processes, they are now at the basis of mathematical and physical modeling in cellular biology: they are used for example to analyse and to extract features from a large number (tens of thousands) of single molecular trajectories or to study the diffusive motion of molecules, proteins or receptors. Stochastic modeling is a new step in large data analysis that serves extracting cell biology concepts. We review here Smoluchowski’s approach to stochastic processes and provide several applications for coarse-graining diffusion, studying polymer models for understanding nuclear organization and finally, we discuss the stochastic jump dynamics of telomeres across cell division and stochastic gene regulation. (topical review)

  1. Applied Developmental Biology: Making Human Pancreatic Beta Cells for Diabetics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Melton, Douglas A

    2016-01-01

    Understanding the genes and signaling pathways that determine the differentiation and fate of a cell is a central goal of developmental biology. Using that information to gain mastery over the fates of cells presents new approaches to cell transplantation and drug discovery for human diseases including diabetes. © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. Crosstalk between stromal cells and cancer cells in pancreatic cancer: New insights into stromal biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhan, Han-Xiang; Zhou, Bin; Cheng, Yu-Gang; Xu, Jian-Wei; Wang, Lei; Zhang, Guang-Yong; Hu, San-Yuan

    2017-04-28

    Pancreatic cancer (PC) remains one of the most lethal malignancies worldwide. Increasing evidence has confirmed the pivotal role of stromal components in the regulation of carcinogenesis, invasion, metastasis, and therapeutic resistance in PC. Interaction between neoplastic cells and stromal cells builds a specific microenvironment, which further modulates the malignant properties of cancer cells. Instead of being a "passive bystander", stroma may play a role as a "partner in crime" in PC. However, the role of stromal components in PC is complex and requires further investigation. In this article, we review recent advances regarding the regulatory roles and mechanisms of stroma biology, especially the cellular components such as pancreatic stellate cells, macrophages, neutrophils, adipocytes, epithelial cells, pericytes, mast cells, and lymphocytes, in PC. Crosstalk between stromal cells and cancer cells is thoroughly investigated. We also review the prognostic value and molecular therapeutic targets of stroma in PC. This review may help us further understand the molecular mechanisms of stromal biology and its role in PC development and therapeutic resistance. Moreover, targeting stroma components may provide new therapeutic strategies for this stubborn disease. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. Proteomics in studying cancer stem cell biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kranenburg, Onno; Emmink, Benjamin L; Knol, Jaco; van Houdt, Winan J; Rinkes, Inne H M Borel; Jimenez, Connie R

    2012-06-01

    Normal multipotent tissue stem cells (SCs) are the driving force behind tissue turnover and repair. The cancer stem cell theory holds that tumors also contain stem-like cells that drive tumor growth and metastasis formation. However, very little is known about the regulation of SC maintenance pathways in cancer and how these are affected by cancer-specific genetic alterations and by treatment. Proteomics is emerging as a powerful tool to identify the signaling complexes and pathways that control multi- and pluri-potency and SC differentiation. Here, the authors review the novel insights that these studies have provided and present a comprehensive strategy for the use of proteomics in studying cancer SC biology.

  4. The role of biology in planetary evolution: cyanobacterial primary production in low?oxygen Proterozoic oceans

    OpenAIRE

    Hamilton, Trinity L.; Bryant, Donald A.; Macalady, Jennifer L.

    2015-01-01

    Summary Understanding the role of biology in planetary evolution remains an outstanding challenge to geobiologists. Progress towards unravelling this puzzle for Earth is hindered by the scarcity of well?preserved rocks from the Archean (4.0 to 2.5?Gyr ago) and Proterozoic (2.5 to 0.5?Gyr ago) Eons. In addition, the microscopic life that dominated Earth's biota for most of its history left a poor fossil record, consisting primarily of lithified microbial mats, rare microbial body fossils and m...

  5. After the Greeting: Realizing the Potential of Physical Models in Cell Biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paluch, Ewa K

    2015-12-01

    Biophysics is increasingly taking center stage in cell biology as the tools for precise quantifications of cellular behaviors expand. Interdisciplinary approaches, combining quantitative physical modeling with cell biology, are of growing interest to journal editors, funding agencies, and hiring committees. However, despite an ever-increasing emphasis on the importance of interdisciplinary research, the student trained in biology may still be at a loss as to what it actually means. I discuss here some considerations on how to achieve meaningful and high-quality interdisciplinary work. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. In search of mitochondrial mechanisms: interfield excursions between cell biology and biochemistry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bechtel, William; Abrahamsen, Adele

    2007-01-01

    Developing models of biological mechanisms, such as those involved in respiration in cells, often requires collaborative effort drawing upon techniques developed and information generated in different disciplines. Biochemists in the early decades of the 20th century uncovered all but the most elusive chemical operations involved in cellular respiration, but were unable to align the reaction pathways with particular structures in the cell. During the period 1940-1965 cell biology was emerging as a new discipline and made distinctive contributions to understanding the role of the mitochondrion and its component parts in cellular respiration. In particular, by developing techniques for localizing enzymes or enzyme systems in specific cellular components, cell biologists provided crucial information about the organized structures in which the biochemical reactions occurred. Although the idea that biochemical operations are intimately related to and depend on cell structures was at odds with the then-dominant emphasis on systems of soluble enzymes in biochemistry, a reconceptualization of energetic processes in the 1960s and 1970s made it clear why cell structure was critical to the biochemical account. This paper examines how numerous excursions between biochemistry and cell biology contributed a new understanding of the mechanism of cellular respiration.

  7. Models to Study NK Cell Biology and Possible Clinical Application.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zamora, Anthony E; Grossenbacher, Steven K; Aguilar, Ethan G; Murphy, William J

    2015-08-03

    Natural killer (NK) cells are large granular lymphocytes of the innate immune system, responsible for direct targeting and killing of both virally infected and transformed cells. NK cells rapidly recognize and respond to abnormal cells in the absence of prior sensitization due to their wide array of germline-encoded inhibitory and activating receptors, which differs from the receptor diversity found in B and T lymphocytes that is due to the use of recombination-activation gene (RAG) enzymes. Although NK cells have traditionally been described as natural killers that provide a first line of defense prior to the induction of adaptive immunity, a more complex view of NK cells is beginning to emerge, indicating they may also function in various immunoregulatory roles and have the capacity to shape adaptive immune responses. With the growing appreciation for the diverse functions of NK cells, and recent technological advancements that allow for a more in-depth understanding of NK cell biology, we can now begin to explore new ways to manipulate NK cells to increase their clinical utility. In this overview unit, we introduce the reader to various aspects of NK cell biology by reviewing topics ranging from NK cell diversity and function, mouse models, and the roles of NK cells in health and disease, to potential clinical applications. © 2015 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

  8. Biological Influence of Deuterium on Procariotic and Eukaryotic Cells

    OpenAIRE

    Oleg Mosin; Ignat Ignatov

    2014-01-01

    Biologic influence of deuterium (D) on cells of various taxonomic groups of prokaryotic and eukaryotic microorganisms realizing methylotrophic, chemoheterotrophic, photo-organotrophic, and photosynthetic ways of assimilation of carbon substrates are investigated at growth on media with heavy water (D2О). The method of step by step adaptation technique of cells to D2О was developed, consisting in plating of cells on 2 % agarose nutrient media containing increasing gradient of concentration of ...

  9. Alfred Russel Wallace (1823-1913): the forgotten co-founder of the Neo-Darwinian theory of biological evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kutschera, Ulrich; Hossfeld, Uwe

    2013-12-01

    The British naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace (1823-1913), who had to leave school aged 14 and never attended university, did extensive fieldwork, first in the Amazon River basin (1848-1852) and then in Southeast Asia (1854-1862). Based on this experience, and after reading the corresponding scientific literature, Wallace postulated that species were not created, but are modified descendants of pre-existing varieties (Sarawak Law paper, 1855). Evolution is brought about by a struggle for existence via natural selection, which results in the adaptation of those individuals in variable populations who survive and reproduce (Ternate essay, 1858). In his monograph Darwinism (1889), and in subsequent publications, Wallace extended the contents of Darwin's Origin of Species (1859) into the Neo-Darwinian theory of biological evolution, with reference to the work of August Weismann (1834-1914). Wallace also became the (co)-founder of biogeography, biodiversity research, astrobiology and evolutionary anthropology. Moreover, he envisioned what was later called the anthropocene (i.e., the age of human environmental destructiveness). However, since Wallace believed in atheistic spiritualism and mixed up scientific facts and supernatural speculations in some of his writings, he remains a controversial figure in the history of biology.

  10. Human development I: Twenty Fundamental Problems of Biology, Medicine, and Neuro-Psychology Related to Biological Information

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tyge Dahl Hermansen

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available In a new series of papers, we address a number of unsolved problems in biology today. First of all, the unsolved enigma concerning how the differentiation from a single zygote to an adult individual happens has been object for severe research for decades. By uncovering a new holistic biological paradigm that introduces an energetic-informational interpretation of reality as a new way to experience biology, these papers will try to solve the problems connected with the events of biological ontogenesis involving a fractal hierarchy, from a single cell to the function of the human brain. The problems discussed are interpreted within the frames of a universe of roomy fractal structures containing energetic patterns that are able to deliver biological information. We think biological organization is guided by energetic changes on the level of quantum mechanics, interacting with the intention that again guides the energetic conformation of the fractal structures to gain disorders or healthiness. Furthermore, we introduce two new concepts: “metamorphous top down” evolution and “adult human metamorphosis”. The first is a new evolutionary theory involving metamorphosis as a main concept of evolution. The last is tightly linked to the evolutionary principle and explains how human self-recovery is governed. Other subjects of special interest that we shall look deeper into are the immunological self-nonself discrimination, the structure and function of the human brain, the etiology and salutogenesis of mental and somatic diseases, and the structure of the consciousness of a human being. We shall criticize Szentagothai’s model for the modulated structure of the human cerebral cortex and Jerne’s theory of the immunological regulatory anti-idiotypic network.

  11. Scale-free flow of life: on the biology, economics, and physics of the cell

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kurakin Alexei

    2009-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract The present work is intended to demonstrate that most of the paradoxes, controversies, and contradictions accumulated in molecular and cell biology over many years of research can be readily resolved if the cell and living systems in general are re-interpreted within an alternative paradigm of biological organization that is based on the concepts and empirical laws of nonequilibrium thermodynamics. In addition to resolving paradoxes and controversies, the proposed re-conceptualization of the cell and biological organization reveals hitherto unappreciated connections among many seemingly disparate phenomena and observations, and provides new and powerful insights into the universal principles governing the emergence and organizational dynamics of living systems on each and every scale of biological organizational hierarchy, from proteins and cells to economies and ecologies.

  12. Günter Blobel: Pioneer of molecular cell biology (1936-2018).

    Science.gov (United States)

    2018-04-02

    Günter Blobel was a scientific colossus who dedicated his career to understanding the mechanisms for protein sorting to membrane organelles. His monumental contributions established research paradigms for major arenas of molecular cell biology. For this work, he received many accolades, including the Nobel Prize in Medicine or Physiology in 1999. He was a scientist of extreme passion and a nurturing mentor for generations of researchers, imbuing them with his deep love of cell biology and galvanizing them to continue his scientific legacy. Günter passed away on February 18, 2018, at the age of 81. © 2018 Rockefeller University Press.

  13. A timeless biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tozzi, Arturo; Peters, James F; Chafin, Clifford; De Falco, Domenico; Torday, John S

    2018-05-01

    Contrary to claims that physics is timeless while biology is time-dependent, we take the opposite standpoint: physical systems' dynamics are constrained by the arrow of time, while living assemblies are time-independent. Indeed, the concepts of "constraints" and "displacements" shed new light on the role of continuous time flow in life evolution, allowing us to sketch a physical gauge theory for biological systems in long timescales. In the very short timescales of biological systems' individual lives, time looks like "frozen" and "fixed", so that the second law of thermodynamics is momentarily wrecked. The global symmetries (standing for biological constrained trajectories, i.e. the energetic gradient flows dictated by the second law of thermodynamics in long timescales) are broken by local "displacements" where time is held constant, i.e., modifications occurring in living systems. Such displacements stand for brief local forces, able to temporarily "break" the cosmic increase in entropy. The force able to restore the symmetries (called "gauge field") stands for the very long timescales of biological evolution. Therefore, at the very low speeds of life evolution, time is no longer one of the four phase space coordinates of a spacetime Universe: it becomes just a gauge field superimposed to three-dimensional biological systems. We discuss the implications in biology: when assessing living beings, the underrated role of isolated "spatial" modifications needs to be emphasized, living apart the evolutionary role of time. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. On the evolution of the mammalian brain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John Steven Torday

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Hobson and Friston have hypothesized that the brain must actively dissipate heat in order to process information (Virtual reality and consciousness inference in dreaming. Front Psychol. 2014 Oct 9;5:1133.. This physiologic trait is functionally homologous with the first instantation of life formed by lipids suspended in water forming micelles- allowing the reduction in entropy (heat dissipation, circumventing the Second Law of Thermodynamics permitting the transfer of information between living entities, enabling them to perpetually glean information from the environment (= evolution. The next evolutionary milestone was the advent of cholesterol, embedded in the cell membranes of primordial eukaryotes, facilitating metabolism, oxygenation and locomotion, the triadic basis for vertebrate evolution. Lipids were key to homeostatic regulation of calcium, forming calcium channels. Cell membrane cholesterol also fostered metazoan evolution by forming lipid rafts for receptor-mediated cell-cell signaling, the origin of the endocrine system. The eukaryotic cell membrane exapted to all complex physiologic traits, including the lung and brain, which are molecularly homologous through the function of neuregulin, mediating both lung development and myelinization of neurons. That cooption later exapted as endothermy during the water-land transition (Torday JS. A Central Theory of Biology. Med Hypotheses. 2015 Jul;85(1:49-57, perhaps being the functional homolog for brain heat dissipation and consciousness/mind. The skin and brain similarly share molecular homologies through the ‘skin-brain’ hypothesis, giving insight to the cellular-molecular ‘arc’ of consciousness from its unicellular origins to integrated physiology. This perspective on the evolution of the central nervous system clarifies self-organization, reconciling thermodynamic and informational definitions of the underlying biophysical mechanisms, thereby elucidating relations between the

  15. Evaluation of the Redesign of an Undergraduate Cell Biology Course

    Science.gov (United States)

    McEwen, Laura April; Harris, dik; Schmid, Richard F.; Vogel, Jackie; Western, Tamara; Harrison, Paul

    2009-01-01

    This article offers a case study of the evaluation of a redesigned and redeveloped laboratory-based cell biology course. The course was a compulsory element of the biology program, but the laboratory had become outdated and was inadequately equipped. With the support of a faculty-based teaching improvement project, the teaching team redesigned the…

  16. Characteristics and evolution of the ecosystem of software tools supporting research in molecular biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pazos, Florencio; Chagoyen, Monica

    2018-01-16

    Daily work in molecular biology presently depends on a large number of computational tools. An in-depth, large-scale study of that 'ecosystem' of Web tools, its characteristics, interconnectivity, patterns of usage/citation, temporal evolution and rate of decay is crucial for understanding the forces that shape it and for informing initiatives aimed at its funding, long-term maintenance and improvement. In particular, the long-term maintenance of these tools is compromised because of their specific development model. Hundreds of published studies become irreproducible de facto, as the software tools used to conduct them become unavailable. In this study, we present a large-scale survey of >5400 publications describing Web servers within the two main bibliographic resources for disseminating new software developments in molecular biology. For all these servers, we studied their citation patterns, the subjects they address, their citation networks and the temporal evolution of these factors. We also analysed how these factors affect the availability of these servers (whether they are alive). Our results show that this ecosystem of tools is highly interconnected and adapts to the 'trendy' subjects in every moment. The servers present characteristic temporal patterns of citation/usage, and there is a worrying rate of server 'death', which is influenced by factors such as the server popularity and the institutions that hosts it. These results can inform initiatives aimed at the long-term maintenance of these resources. © The Author(s) 2018. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  17. Uniparental Inheritance Promotes Adaptive Evolution in Cytoplasmic Genomes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christie, Joshua R.; Beekman, Madeleine

    2017-01-01

    Eukaryotes carry numerous asexual cytoplasmic genomes (mitochondria and plastids). Lacking recombination, asexual genomes should theoretically suffer from impaired adaptive evolution. Yet, empirical evidence indicates that cytoplasmic genomes experience higher levels of adaptive evolution than predicted by theory. In this study, we use a computational model to show that the unique biology of cytoplasmic genomes—specifically their organization into host cells and their uniparental (maternal) inheritance—enable them to undergo effective adaptive evolution. Uniparental inheritance of cytoplasmic genomes decreases competition between different beneficial substitutions (clonal interference), promoting the accumulation of beneficial substitutions. Uniparental inheritance also facilitates selection against deleterious cytoplasmic substitutions, slowing Muller’s ratchet. In addition, uniparental inheritance generally reduces genetic hitchhiking of deleterious substitutions during selective sweeps. Overall, uniparental inheritance promotes adaptive evolution by increasing the level of beneficial substitutions relative to deleterious substitutions. When we assume that cytoplasmic genome inheritance is biparental, decreasing the number of genomes transmitted during gametogenesis (bottleneck) aids adaptive evolution. Nevertheless, adaptive evolution is always more efficient when inheritance is uniparental. Our findings explain empirical observations that cytoplasmic genomes—despite their asexual mode of reproduction—can readily undergo adaptive evolution. PMID:28025277

  18. Effects of space environment on biological characteristics of melanoma B16 cells

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Geng Chuanying; Xiang Qing; Xu Mei; Li Hongyan; Xu Bo; Fang Qing; Tang Jingtian; Guo Yupeng

    2006-01-01

    Objective: To examine the effects of space environment on biological characteristics of melanoma B16 Cells. Methods: B16 cells were carried to the space (in orbit for 8 days, circle the earth 286 times) by the 20th Chinese recoverable satellite, and then harvested and monocloned. 110 strains of space B16 cells were obtained in total. Ten strains of space B16 cells were selected and its morphological changes were examined with the phasecontrast microscope. Flow cytometry and MTT assay were carried out to evaluate the cell cycle and cell viability. Results Morphological changes were observed in the space cells, and melainin granules on the surface in some cells. It was demonstrated by MTF assay that space cells viability varied muti- directionally. It was showed by flow cytometry analysis that G1 phase of space cells was prolonged, S phase shortened. Conclusion: Space environment may change the biological characteristics of melanoma B16 cells. (authors)

  19. Editorial Introduction [to Female Germ Cells: Biology and Genetic Risk

    Science.gov (United States)

    This is an editorial introduction to the special issue of utation Research, titled, emale Germ Cells: Biology and Genetic isk, which is an attempt to present a collection of papers that emphasize the distinct properties of female germ cells and their characteristic response to mu...

  20. The Emerging Role of PEDF in Stem Cell Biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elahy, Mina; Baindur-Hudson, Swati; Dass, Crispin R.

    2012-01-01

    Encoded by a single gene, PEDF is a 50 kDa glycoprotein that is highly conserved and is widely expressed among many tissues. Most secreted PEDF deposits within the extracellular matrix, with cell-type-specific functions. While traditionally PEDF is known as a strong antiangiogenic factor, more recently, as this paper highlights, PEDF has been linked with stem cell biology, and there is now accumulating evidence demonstrating the effects of PEDF in a variety of stem cells, mainly in supporting stem cell survival and maintaining multipotency. PMID:22675247

  1. Biology of lung cancer: genetic mutation, epithelial-mesenchymal transition, and cancer stem cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aoi, Takashi

    2016-09-01

    At present, most cases of unresectable cancer cannot be cured. Genetic mutations, EMT, and cancer stem cells are three major issues linked to poor prognosis in such cases, all connected by inter- and intra-tumor heterogeneity. Issues on inter-/intra-tumor heterogeneity of genetic mutation could be resolved with recent and future technologies of deep sequencers, whereas, regarding such issues as the "same genome, different epigenome/phenotype", we expect to solve many of these problems in the future through further research in stem cell biology. We herein review and discuss the three major issues in the biology of cancers, especially from the standpoint of stem cell biology.

  2. Transcriptomic signatures shaped by cell proportions shed light on comparative developmental biology

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Pantalacci, S.; Gueguen, L.; Petit, C.; Lambert, A.; Peterková, Renata; Sémon, E.

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 18, feb (2017), s. 29 ISSN 1474-760X R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GB14-37368G Institutional support: RVO:68378041 Keywords : comparative transcriptomics * developmental biology * transcriptomic signature Subject RIV: EA - Cell Biology OBOR OECD: Developmental biology Impact factor: 11.908, year: 2016

  3. "Life-bearing molecules" versus "life-embodying systems": Two contrasting views on the what-is-life (WIL) problem persisting from the early days of molecular biology to the post-genomic cell- and organism-level biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sato, Naoki

    2018-05-01

    "What is life?" is an ultimate biological quest for the principle that makes organisms alive. This 'WIL problem' is not, however, a simple one that we have a straightforward strategy to attack. From the beginning, molecular biology tried to identify molecules that bear the essence of life: the double helical DNA represented replication, and enzymes were micro-actuators of biological activities. A dominating idea behind these mainstream biological studies relies on the identification of life-bearing molecules, which themselves are models of life. Another, prevalent idea emphasizes that life resides in the whole system of an organism, but not in some particular molecules. The behavior of a complex system may be considered to embody the essence of life. The thermodynamic view of life system in the early 20th century was remodeled as physics of complex systems and systems biology. The two views contrast with each other, but they are no longer heritage of the historical dualism in biology, such as mechanism/materialism versus vitalism, or reductionism versus holism. These two views are both materialistic and mechanistic, and act as driving forces of modern biology. In reality, molecules function in a context of systems, whereas systems presuppose functional molecules. A key notion to reconcile this conflict is that subjects of biological studies are given before we start to study them. Cell- or organism-level biology is destined to the dialectic of molecules and systems, but this antagonism can be resolved by dynamic thinking involving biological evolution. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. Synthetic biology analysed tools for discussion and evaluation

    CERN Document Server

    2016-01-01

    Synthetic biology is a dynamic, young, ambitious, attractive, and heterogeneous scientific discipline. It is constantly developing and changing, which makes societal evaluation of this emerging new science a challenging task, prone to misunderstandings. Synthetic biology is difficult to capture, and confusion arises not only regarding which part of synthetic biology the discussion is about, but also with respect to the underlying concepts in use. This book offers a useful toolbox to approach this complex and fragmented field. It provides a biological access to the discussion using a 'layer' model that describes the connectivity of synthetic or semisynthetic organisms and cells to the realm of natural organisms derived by evolution. Instead of directly reviewing the field as a whole, firstly our book addresses the characteristic features of synthetic biology that are relevant to the societal discussion. Some of these features apply only to parts of synthetic biology, whereas others are relevant to synthetic bi...

  5. Tracking the Evolution of Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jamal-Hanjani, Mariam; Wilson, Gareth A.; McGranahan, Nicholas

    2017-01-01

    Background Among patients with non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), data on intratumor heterogeneity and cancer genome evolution have been limited to small retrospective cohorts. We wanted to prospectively investigate intratumor heterogeneity in relation to clinical outcome and to determine...... as a prognostic predictor. (Funded by Cancer Research UK and others; TRACERx ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT01888601 .)....

  6. A data integration approach for cell cycle analysis oriented to model simulation in systems biology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mosca Ettore

    2007-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The cell cycle is one of the biological processes most frequently investigated in systems biology studies and it involves the knowledge of a large number of genes and networks of protein interactions. A deep knowledge of the molecular aspect of this biological process can contribute to making cancer research more accurate and innovative. In this context the mathematical modelling of the cell cycle has a relevant role to quantify the behaviour of each component of the systems. The mathematical modelling of a biological process such as the cell cycle allows a systemic description that helps to highlight some features such as emergent properties which could be hidden when the analysis is performed only from a reductionism point of view. Moreover, in modelling complex systems, a complete annotation of all the components is equally important to understand the interaction mechanism inside the network: for this reason data integration of the model components has high relevance in systems biology studies. Description In this work, we present a resource, the Cell Cycle Database, intended to support systems biology analysis on the Cell Cycle process, based on two organisms, yeast and mammalian. The database integrates information about genes and proteins involved in the cell cycle process, stores complete models of the interaction networks and allows the mathematical simulation over time of the quantitative behaviour of each component. To accomplish this task, we developed, a web interface for browsing information related to cell cycle genes, proteins and mathematical models. In this framework, we have implemented a pipeline which allows users to deal with the mathematical part of the models, in order to solve, using different variables, the ordinary differential equation systems that describe the biological process. Conclusion This integrated system is freely available in order to support systems biology research on the cell cycle and

  7. Carbonate Precipitates During Heat Evolution in FP-Type Cells

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bruce L. Cain

    2000-01-01

    In previous work, we reported measurement of large amounts of heat generated during experiments using an FP-type open cell with concentrated LiOH/D 2 O electrolytes and thin-film Pd cathodes. During the heat evolution in several runs, which produced >100 W for more than 20 h, we consistently observed the concomitant evolution of gases from the electrolyte and the precipitation of large amounts of lithium carbonate. The carbonate production was clearly visible during production of heat, creating an opaque electrolyte even during long periods with no electrolysis current. These results indicated an unusual chemical reaction, either catalyzed by the heating process or possibly creating the heat itself. The total energy released during the earlier experiments was ∼7 MJ, while the heat of formation for the lithium carbonate in the cell was only 0.8 MJ. Hence, only ∼10% of the heat signatures from these experiments can be attributed to the precipitate formation, the balance of the heat presumably arising from nonchemical sources in the cells. The earlier experiments that produced heat also suffered from problems of reproducibility, with only 5 of 38 runs producing any heat at all. The unsuccessful runs also did not produce precipitates, and the only gas produced in these cells was due to the normal electrolysis of D 2 O to produce oxygen and deuterium in the electrodes. Recent work has focused on recreating the chemical precipitation reaction, in efforts to understand and/or trigger the heat production process. With findings from these experiments, new experiments were conducted using larger (1 L LiOH/D 2 O) cells with Pt anodes and Pd film cathodes immersed but left open-circuited. After the addition of H 2 O 2 , and subsequent heating and cooling, these cells visually reproduced the precipitation and gas evolution of the earlier heat-producing runs. However, these new runs only produced a few watts of power for several minutes, consistent with the normal exothermal

  8. Changes of heterogeneous cell populations in the Ishikawa cell line during long-term culture: Proposal for an in vitro clonal evolution model of tumor cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kasai, Fumio; Hirayama, Noriko; Ozawa, Midori; Iemura, Masashi; Kohara, Arihiro

    2016-06-01

    Genomic changes in tumor cell lines can occur during culture, leading to differences between cell lines carrying the same name. In this study, genome profiles between low and high passages were investigated in the Ishikawa 3-H-12 cell line (JCRB1505). Cells contained between 43 and 46 chromosomes and the modal number changed from 46 to 45 during culture. Cytogenetic analysis revealed that a translocation t(9;14), observed in all metaphases, is a robust marker for this cell line. Single-nucleotide polymorphism microarrays showed a heterogeneous copy number in the early passages and distinct profiles at late passages. These results demonstrate that cell culture can lead to elimination of ancestral clones by sequential selection, resulting in extensive replacement with a novel clone. Our observations on Ishikawa cells in vitro are different from the in vivo heterogeneity in which ancestral clones are often retained during tumor evolution and suggest a model for in vitro clonal evolution. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Systems Biology for Organotypic Cell Cultures

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Grego, Sonia [RTI International, Research Triangle Park, NC (United States); Dougherty, Edward R. [Texas A & M Univ., College Station, TX (United States); Alexander, Francis J. [Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States); Auerbach, Scott S. [National Inst. of Environmental Health Sciences, Research Triangle Park, NC (United States); Berridge, Brian R. [GlaxoSmithKline, Research Triangle Park, NC (United States); Bittner, Michael L. [Translational Genomics Research Inst., Phoenix, AZ (United States); Casey, Warren [National Inst. of Environmental Health Sciences, Research Triangle Park, NC (United States); Cooley, Philip C. [RTI International, Research Triangle Park, NC (United States); Dash, Ajit [HemoShear Therapeutics, Charlottesville, VA (United States); Ferguson, Stephen S. [National Inst. of Environmental Health Sciences, Research Triangle Park, NC (United States); Fennell, Timothy R. [RTI International, Research Triangle Park, NC (United States); Hawkins, Brian T. [RTI International, Research Triangle Park, NC (United States); Hickey, Anthony J. [RTI International, Research Triangle Park, NC (United States); Kleensang, Andre [Johns Hopkins Univ., Baltimore, MD (United States). Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing; Liebman, Michael N. [IPQ Analytics, Kennett Square, PA (United States); Martin, Florian [Phillip Morris International, Neuchatel (Switzerland); Maull, Elizabeth A. [National Inst. of Environmental Health Sciences, Research Triangle Park, NC (United States); Paragas, Jason [Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States); Qiao, Guilin [Defense Threat Reduction Agency, Ft. Belvoir, VA (United States); Ramaiahgari, Sreenivasa [National Inst. of Environmental Health Sciences, Research Triangle Park, NC (United States); Sumner, Susan J. [RTI International, Research Triangle Park, NC (United States); Yoon, Miyoung [The Hamner Inst. for Health Sciences, Research Triangle Park, NC (United States); ScitoVation, Research Triangle Park, NC (United States)

    2016-08-04

    Translating in vitro biological data into actionable information related to human health holds the potential to improve disease treatment and risk assessment of chemical exposures. While genomics has identified regulatory pathways at the cellular level, translation to the organism level requires a multiscale approach accounting for intra-cellular regulation, inter-cellular interaction, and tissue/organ-level effects. Tissue-level effects can now be probed in vitro thanks to recently developed systems of three-dimensional (3D), multicellular, “organotypic” cell cultures, which mimic functional responses of living tissue. However, there remains a knowledge gap regarding interactions across different biological scales, complicating accurate prediction of health outcomes from molecular/genomic data and tissue responses. Systems biology aims at mathematical modeling of complex, non-linear biological systems. We propose to apply a systems biology approach to achieve a computational representation of tissue-level physiological responses by integrating empirical data derived from organotypic culture systems with computational models of intracellular pathways to better predict human responses. Successful implementation of this integrated approach will provide a powerful tool for faster, more accurate and cost-effective screening of potential toxicants and therapeutics. On September 11, 2015, an interdisciplinary group of scientists, engineers, and clinicians gathered for a workshop in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, to discuss this ambitious goal. Participants represented laboratory-based and computational modeling approaches to pharmacology and toxicology, as well as the pharmaceutical industry, government, non-profits, and academia. Discussions focused on identifying critical system perturbations to model, the computational tools required, and the experimental approaches best suited to generating key data. This consensus report summarizes the discussions held.

  10. Emerging concepts and future challenges in innate lymphoid cell biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Artis, David

    2016-01-01

    Innate lymphoid cells (ILCs) are innate immune cells that are ubiquitously distributed in lymphoid and nonlymphoid tissues and enriched at mucosal and barrier surfaces. Three major ILC subsets are recognized in mice and humans. Each of these subsets interacts with innate and adaptive immune cells and integrates cues from the epithelium, the microbiota, and pathogens to regulate inflammation, immunity, tissue repair, and metabolic homeostasis. Although intense study has elucidated many aspects of ILC development, phenotype, and function, numerous challenges remain in the field of ILC biology. In particular, recent work has highlighted key new questions regarding how these cells communicate with their environment and other cell types during health and disease. This review summarizes new findings in this rapidly developing field that showcase the critical role ILCs play in directing immune responses through their ability to interact with a variety of hematopoietic and nonhematopoietic cells. In addition, we define remaining challenges and emerging questions facing the field. Finally, this review discusses the potential application of basic studies of ILC biology to the development of new treatments for human patients with inflammatory and infectious diseases in which ILCs play a role. PMID:27811053

  11. Cellular potts models multiscale extensions and biological applications

    CERN Document Server

    Scianna, Marco

    2013-01-01

    A flexible, cell-level, and lattice-based technique, the cellular Potts model accurately describes the phenomenological mechanisms involved in many biological processes. Cellular Potts Models: Multiscale Extensions and Biological Applications gives an interdisciplinary, accessible treatment of these models, from the original methodologies to the latest developments. The book first explains the biophysical bases, main merits, and limitations of the cellular Potts model. It then proposes several innovative extensions, focusing on ways to integrate and interface the basic cellular Potts model at the mesoscopic scale with approaches that accurately model microscopic dynamics. These extensions are designed to create a nested and hybrid environment, where the evolution of a biological system is realistically driven by the constant interplay and flux of information between the different levels of description. Through several biological examples, the authors demonstrate a qualitative and quantitative agreement with t...

  12. SYSTEMS BIOLOGY AND METABOLIC ENGINEERING OF ARTHROSPIRA CELL FACTORIES

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amornpan Klanchui

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Arthrospira are attractive candidates to serve as cell factories for production of many valuable compounds useful for food, feed, fuel and pharmaceutical industries. In connection with the development of sustainable bioprocessing, it is a challenge to design and develop efficient Arthrospira cell factories which can certify effective conversion from the raw materials (i.e. CO2 and sun light into desired products. With the current availability of the genome sequences and metabolic models of Arthrospira, the development of Arthrospira factories can now be accelerated by means of systems biology and the metabolic engineering approach. Here, we review recent research involving the use of Arthrospira cell factories for industrial applications, as well as the exploitation of systems biology and the metabolic engineering approach for studying Arthrospira. The current status of genomics and proteomics through the development of the genome-scale metabolic model of Arthrospira, as well as the use of mathematical modeling to simulate the phenotypes resulting from the different metabolic engineering strategies are discussed. At the end, the perspective and future direction on Arthrospira cell factories for industrial biotechnology are presented.

  13. Thematic minireview series: cell biology of G protein signaling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dohlman, Henrik G

    2015-03-13

    This thematic series is on the topic of cell signaling from a cell biology perspective, with a particular focus on G proteins. G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs, also known as seven-transmembrane receptors) are typically found at the cell surface. Upon agonist binding, these receptors will activate a GTP-binding G protein at the cytoplasmic face of the plasma membrane. Additionally, there is growing evidence that G proteins can also be activated by non-receptor binding partners, and they can signal from non-plasma membrane compartments. The production of second messengers at multiple, spatially distinct locations represents a type of signal encoding that has been largely neglected. The first minireview in the series describes biosensors that are being used to monitor G protein signaling events in live cells. The second describes the implementation of antibody-based biosensors to dissect endosome signaling by G proteins and their receptors. The third describes the function of a non-receptor, cytoplasmic activator of G protein signaling, called GIV (Girdin). Collectively, the advances described in these articles provide a deeper understanding and emerging opportunities for new pharmacology. © 2015 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

  14. Mass extinctions vs. uniformitarianism in biological evolution

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bak, P.; Paczuski, M.

    1995-12-31

    It is usually believed that Darwin`s theory leads to a smooth gradual evolution, so that mass extinctions must be caused by external shocks. However, it has recently been argued that mass extinctions arise from the intrinsic dynamics of Darwinian evolution. Species become extinct when swept by intermittent avalanches propagating through the global ecology. These ideas are made concrete through studies of simple mathematical models of co-evolving species. The models exhibit self-organized criticality and describe some general features of the extinction pattern in the fossil record.

  15. Autotaxin: Its Role in Biology of Melanoma Cells and as a Pharmacological Target

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maciej Jankowski

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Autotaxin (ATX is an extracellular lysophospholipase D (lysoPLD released from normal cells and cancer cells. Activity of ATX is detected in various biological fluids. The lysophosphatidic acid (LPA is the main product of ATX. LPA acting through specific G protein-coupled receptors (LPA1-LPA6 affects immunological response, normal development, and malignant tumors' formation and progression. In this review, the impact of autotoxin on biology of melanoma cells and potential treatment is discussed.

  16. Biology and clinical application of CAR T cells for B cell malignancies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davila, Marco L; Sadelain, Michel

    2016-07-01

    Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-modified T cells have generated broad interest in oncology following a series of dramatic clinical successes in patients with chemorefractory B cell malignancies. CAR therapy now appears to be on the cusp of regulatory approval as a cell-based immunotherapy. We review here the T cell biology and cell engineering research that led to the development of second generation CARs, the selection of CD19 as a CAR target, and the preclinical studies in animal models that laid the foundation for clinical trials targeting CD19+ malignancies. We further summarize the status of CD19 CAR clinical therapy for non-Hodgkin lymphoma and B cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia, including their efficacy, toxicities (cytokine release syndrome, neurotoxicity and B cell aplasia) and current management in humans. We conclude with an overview of recent pre-clinical advances in CAR design that argues favorably for the advancement of CAR therapy to tackle other hematological malignancies as well as solid tumors.

  17. Industrial systems biology of Saccharomyces cerevisiae enables novel succinic acid cell factory.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    José Manuel Otero

    demonstrate how systems biology tools coupled with directed evolution and selection allows non-intuitive, rapid and substantial re-direction of carbon fluxes in S. cerevisiae, and hence show proof of concept that this is a potentially attractive cell factory for over-producing different platform chemicals.

  18. Chemical Evolution and the Evolutionary Definition of Life.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Higgs, Paul G

    2017-06-01

    Darwinian evolution requires a mechanism for generation of diversity in a population, and selective differences between individuals that influence reproduction. In biology, diversity is generated by mutations and selective differences arise because of the encoded functions of the sequences (e.g., ribozymes or proteins). Here, I draw attention to a process that I will call chemical evolution, in which the diversity is generated by random chemical synthesis instead of (or in addition to) mutation, and selection acts on physicochemical properties, such as hydrolysis, photolysis, solubility, or surface binding. Chemical evolution applies to short oligonucleotides that can be generated by random polymerization, as well as by template-directed replication, and which may be too short to encode a specific function. Chemical evolution is an important stage on the pathway to life, between the stage of "just chemistry" and the stage of full biological evolution. A mathematical model is presented here that illustrates the differences between these three stages. Chemical evolution leads to much larger differences in molecular concentrations than can be achieved by selection without replication. However, chemical evolution is not open-ended, unlike biological evolution. The ability to undergo Darwinian evolution is often considered to be a defining feature of life. Here, I argue that chemical evolution, although Darwinian, does not quite constitute life, and that a good place to put the conceptual boundary between non-life and life is between chemical and biological evolution.

  19. Formal Definitions of Unbounded Evolution and Innovation Reveal Universal Mechanisms for Open-Ended Evolution in Dynamical Systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adams, Alyssa; Zenil, Hector; Davies, Paul C W; Walker, Sara Imari

    2017-04-20

    Open-ended evolution (OEE) is relevant to a variety of biological, artificial and technological systems, but has been challenging to reproduce in silico. Most theoretical efforts focus on key aspects of open-ended evolution as it appears in biology. We recast the problem as a more general one in dynamical systems theory, providing simple criteria for open-ended evolution based on two hallmark features: unbounded evolution and innovation. We define unbounded evolution as patterns that are non-repeating within the expected Poincare recurrence time of an isolated system, and innovation as trajectories not observed in isolated systems. As a case study, we implement novel variants of cellular automata (CA) where the update rules are allowed to vary with time in three alternative ways. Each is capable of generating conditions for open-ended evolution, but vary in their ability to do so. We find that state-dependent dynamics, regarded as a hallmark of life, statistically out-performs other candidate mechanisms, and is the only mechanism to produce open-ended evolution in a scalable manner, essential to the notion of ongoing evolution. This analysis suggests a new framework for unifying mechanisms for generating OEE with features distinctive to life and its artifacts, with broad applicability to biological and artificial systems.

  20. Micro-droplet based directed evolution outperforms conventional laboratory evolution

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sjostrom, Staffan L.; Huang, Mingtao; Nielsen, Jens

    2014-01-01

    We present droplet adaptive laboratory evolution (DrALE), a directed evolution method used to improve industrial enzyme producing microorganisms for e.g. feedstock digestion. DrALE is based linking a desired phenotype to growth rate allowing only desired cells to proliferate. Single cells are con...... a whole-genome mutated library of yeast cells for α-amylase activity....

  1. Dynamic cell culture system: a new cell cultivation instrument for biological experiments in space

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gmunder, F. K.; Nordau, C. G.; Tschopp, A.; Huber, B.; Cogoli, A.

    1988-01-01

    The prototype of a miniaturized cell cultivation instrument for animal cell culture experiments aboard Spacelab is presented (Dynamic cell culture system: DCCS). The cell chamber is completely filled and has a working volume of 200 microliters. Medium exchange is achieved with a self-powered osmotic pump (flowrate 1 microliter h-1). The reservoir volume of culture medium is 230 microliters. The system is neither mechanically stirred nor equipped with sensors. Hamster kidney (Hak) cells growing on Cytodex 3 microcarriers were used to test the biological performance of the DCCS. Growth characteristics in the DCCS, as judged by maximal cell density, glucose consumption, lactic acid secretion and pH, were similar to those in cell culture tubes.

  2. Nanoscopical dissection of ancestral nucleoli in Archaea: a case of study in Evolutionary Cell Biology

    KAUST Repository

    Islas Morales, Parsifal

    2018-01-01

    Evolutionary cell biology (ECB) has raised increasing attention in the last decades. Is this a new discipline and an historical opportunity to combine functional and evolutionary biology towards the insight that cell

  3. Human evolution: humanistic selection and looking to the future.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krsiak, Miloslav

    2006-10-01

    Cultural evolution has predominated over biological evolution in modern man (Homo sapiens sapiens). Cultural evolution differs from biological evolution not only by inheritance of acquired characteristics but also, as is proposed in the present essay, by another kind of selection mechanism. Whereas selection in biological evolution is executed according to a criterion of reproductive success (the natural selection), selection in cultural evolution appears to be carried out according to human and humanistic criteria (success or fitness in meeting human needs, interests and humanistic values--"humanistic selection"). Many humanistic needs or values do not seem to be prerequisite for reproductive success, yet some of them (e.g. a need for freedom) seem to be inborn. Innateness, humanistic selection (decisive at a community level) and hierarchy of some human needs, interests and values appear to give cultural evolution a generally upward trend although long periods of stagnation or even regression may occur. Modern humans appear to be still at the early stage of their cultural evolution. A further cultural evolution of man appears to be, in contrast to biological evolution, predictable (with an optimistic outlook) and testable. The problem is that the hopeful result of this test will probably be known only in the fairly remote future provided that this species will not become extinct before that.

  4. Teaching Cell and Molecular Biology for Gender Equity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sible, Jill C.; Wilhelm, Dayna E.; Lederman, Muriel

    2006-01-01

    Science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields, including cell biology, are characterized by the "leaky pipeline" syndrome in which, over time, women leave the discipline. The pipeline itself and the pond into which it empties may not be neutral. Explicating invisible norms, attitudes, and practices by integrating social…

  5. Neural crest cells: from developmental biology to clinical interventions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noisa, Parinya; Raivio, Taneli

    2014-09-01

    Neural crest cells are multipotent cells, which are specified in embryonic ectoderm in the border of neural plate and epiderm during early development by interconnection of extrinsic stimuli and intrinsic factors. Neural crest cells are capable of differentiating into various somatic cell types, including melanocytes, craniofacial cartilage and bone, smooth muscle, and peripheral nervous cells, which supports their promise for cell therapy. In this work, we provide a comprehensive review of wide aspects of neural crest cells from their developmental biology to applicability in medical research. We provide a simplified model of neural crest cell development and highlight the key external stimuli and intrinsic regulators that determine the neural crest cell fate. Defects of neural crest cell development leading to several human disorders are also mentioned, with the emphasis of using human induced pluripotent stem cells to model neurocristopathic syndromes. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  6. Relationship between α/β and radiosensitivity and biologic effect of fractional irradiation of tumor cells

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Guo Chuanling; Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing; Wang Jufang; Jin Xiaodong; Li Wenjian

    2006-01-01

    Five kinds of malignant human tumor cells, i.e. SMMC-7721, HeLa, A549, HT29 and PC3 cell lines, were irradiated by 60 Co γ-rays to 1-6 Gy in a single irradiation or two irradiations of half dose. The radiosensitivity was compared with the dose-survival curves and D 50 and D 10 values. Differences in the D 50 and D 10 between the single and fractional irradiation groups showed the effect of fractional irradiation. Except for PC3 cells, all the cell lines showed obvious relationship between radiosensitivity and biologic effect of fractional irradiation and the α/β value. A cell line with bigger α/β was more radiation sensitive, with less obvious effect of fractional irradiation. The results indicate that there were obvious differences in radiosensitivity, repair ability and biologic effect of fractional irradiation between tumor cells from different tissues. To some tumor cell lines, the relationship between radiosensitivity, biologic effect of fractional irradiation and repair ability was attested. The α/β value of single irradiation can be regarded as a parameter to investigate the radiosensitivity and biologic effect of fractional irradiation of tumor cells. (authors)

  7. Proteomics Improves the New Understanding of Honeybee Biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hora, Zewdu Ararso; Altaye, Solomon Zewdu; Wubie, Abebe Jemberie; Li, Jianke

    2018-04-11

    The honeybee is one of the most valuable insect pollinators, playing a key role in pollinating wild vegetation and agricultural crops, with significant contribution to the world's food production. Although honeybees have long been studied as model for social evolution, honeybee biology at the molecular level remained poorly understood until the year 2006. With the availability of the honeybee genome sequence and technological advancements in protein separation, mass spectrometry, and bioinformatics, aspects of honeybee biology such as developmental biology, physiology, behavior, neurobiology, and immunology have been explored to new depths at molecular and biochemical levels. This Review comprehensively summarizes the recent progress in honeybee biology using proteomics to study developmental physiology, task transition, and physiological changes in some of the organs, tissues, and cells based on achievements from the authors' laboratory in this field. The research advances of honeybee proteomics provide new insights for understanding of honeybee biology and future research directions.

  8. The sociobiology of genes: the gene's eye view as a unifying behavioural-ecological framework for biological evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Tiège, Alexis; Van de Peer, Yves; Braeckman, Johan; Tanghe, Koen B

    2017-11-22

    Although classical evolutionary theory, i.e., population genetics and the Modern Synthesis, was already implicitly 'gene-centred', the organism was, in practice, still generally regarded as the individual unit of which a population is composed. The gene-centred approach to evolution only reached a logical conclusion with the advent of the gene-selectionist or gene's eye view in the 1960s and 1970s. Whereas classical evolutionary theory can only work with (genotypically represented) fitness differences between individual organisms, gene-selectionism is capable of working with fitness differences among genes within the same organism and genome. Here, we explore the explanatory potential of 'intra-organismic' and 'intra-genomic' gene-selectionism, i.e., of a behavioural-ecological 'gene's eye view' on genetic, genomic and organismal evolution. First, we give a general outline of the framework and how it complements the-to some extent-still 'organism-centred' approach of classical evolutionary theory. Secondly, we give a more in-depth assessment of its explanatory potential for biological evolution, i.e., for Darwin's 'common descent with modification' or, more specifically, for 'historical continuity or homology with modular evolutionary change' as it has been studied by evolutionary developmental biology (evo-devo) during the last few decades. In contrast with classical evolutionary theory, evo-devo focuses on 'within-organism' developmental processes. Given the capacity of gene-selectionism to adopt an intra-organismal gene's eye view, we outline the relevance of the latter model for evo-devo. Overall, we aim for the conceptual integration between the gene's eye view on the one hand, and more organism-centred evolutionary models (both classical evolutionary theory and evo-devo) on the other.

  9. The Physics of Open Ended Evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adams, Alyssa M.

    What makes living systems different than non-living ones? Unfortunately this question is impossible to answer, at least currently. Instead, we must face computationally tangible questions based on our current understanding of physics, computation, information, and biology. Yet we have few insights into how living systems might quantifiably differ from their non-living counterparts, as in a mathematical foundation to explain away our observations of biological evolution, emergence, innovation, and organization. The development of a theory of living systems, if at all possible, demands a mathematical understanding of how data generated by complex biological systems changes over time. In addition, this theory ought to be broad enough as to not be constrained to an Earth-based biochemistry. In this dissertation, the philosophy of studying living systems from the perspective of traditional physics is first explored as a motivating discussion for subsequent research. Traditionally, we have often thought of the physical world from a bottom-up approach: things happening on a smaller scale aggregate into things happening on a larger scale. In addition, the laws of physics are generally considered static over time. Research suggests that biological evolution may follow dynamic laws that (at least in part) change as a function of the state of the system. Of the three featured research projects, cellular automata (CA) are used as a model to study certain aspects of living systems in two of them. These aspects include self-reference, open-ended evolution, local physical universality, subjectivity, and information processing. Open-ended evolution and local physical universality are attributed to the vast amount of innovation observed throughout biological evolution. Biological systems may distinguish themselves in terms of information processing and storage, not outside the theory of computation. The final research project concretely explores real-world phenomenon by means of

  10. Mycoplasma testing of cell substrates and biologics: Review of alternative non-microbiological techniques.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Volokhov, Dmitriy V; Graham, Laurie J; Brorson, Kurt A; Chizhikov, Vladimir E

    2011-01-01

    Mycoplasmas, particularly species of the genera Mycoplasma and Acholeplasma, are known to be occasional microbial contaminants of cell cultures that produce biologics. This presents a serious concern regarding the risk of mycoplasma contamination for research laboratories and commercial facilities developing and manufacturing cell-derived biological and biopharmaceutical products for therapeutic use. Potential undetected contamination of these products or process intermediates with mycoplasmas represents a potential safety risk for patients and a business risk for producers of biopharmaceuticals. To minimize these risks, monitoring for adventitious agents, such as viruses and mycoplasmas, is performed during the manufacture of biologics produced in cell culture substrates. The "gold standard" microbiological assay, currently recommended by the USP, EP, JP and the US FDA, for the mycoplasma testing of biologics, involves the culture of viable mycoplasmas in broth, agar plates and indicator cells. Although the procedure enables highly efficient mycoplasma detection in cell substrates and cell-derived products, the overall testing strategy is time consuming (a minimum of 28 days) and requires skilled interpretation of the results. The long time period required for these conventional assays does not permit their use for products with short shelf-lives or for timely 'go/no-go' decisions during routine in-process testing. PCR methodology has existed for decades, however PCR based and other alternative methods for mycoplasma detection have only recently been considered for application to biologics manufacture. The application of alternative nucleic acid-based, enzyme-based and/or recombinant cell-culture methods, particularly in combination with efficient sample preparation procedures, could provide advantages over conventional microbiological methods in terms of analytical throughput, simplicity, and turnaround time. However, a challenge to the application of alternative

  11. The emergence and early evolution of biological carbon-fixation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Braakman, Rogier; Smith, Eric

    2012-01-01

    The fixation of CO₂ into living matter sustains all life on Earth, and embeds the biosphere within geochemistry. The six known chemical pathways used by extant organisms for this function are recognized to have overlaps, but their evolution is incompletely understood. Here we reconstruct the complete early evolutionary history of biological carbon-fixation, relating all modern pathways to a single ancestral form. We find that innovations in carbon-fixation were the foundation for most major early divergences in the tree of life. These findings are based on a novel method that fully integrates metabolic and phylogenetic constraints. Comparing gene-profiles across the metabolic cores of deep-branching organisms and requiring that they are capable of synthesizing all their biomass components leads to the surprising conclusion that the most common form for deep-branching autotrophic carbon-fixation combines two disconnected sub-networks, each supplying carbon to distinct biomass components. One of these is a linear folate-based pathway of CO₂ reduction previously only recognized as a fixation route in the complete Wood-Ljungdahl pathway, but which more generally may exclude the final step of synthesizing acetyl-CoA. Using metabolic constraints we then reconstruct a "phylometabolic" tree with a high degree of parsimony that traces the evolution of complete carbon-fixation pathways, and has a clear structure down to the root. This tree requires few instances of lateral gene transfer or convergence, and instead suggests a simple evolutionary dynamic in which all divergences have primary environmental causes. Energy optimization and oxygen toxicity are the two strongest forces of selection. The root of this tree combines the reductive citric acid cycle and the Wood-Ljungdahl pathway into a single connected network. This linked network lacks the selective optimization of modern fixation pathways but its redundancy leads to a more robust topology, making it more

  12. The emergence and early evolution of biological carbon-fixation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rogier Braakman

    Full Text Available The fixation of CO₂ into living matter sustains all life on Earth, and embeds the biosphere within geochemistry. The six known chemical pathways used by extant organisms for this function are recognized to have overlaps, but their evolution is incompletely understood. Here we reconstruct the complete early evolutionary history of biological carbon-fixation, relating all modern pathways to a single ancestral form. We find that innovations in carbon-fixation were the foundation for most major early divergences in the tree of life. These findings are based on a novel method that fully integrates metabolic and phylogenetic constraints. Comparing gene-profiles across the metabolic cores of deep-branching organisms and requiring that they are capable of synthesizing all their biomass components leads to the surprising conclusion that the most common form for deep-branching autotrophic carbon-fixation combines two disconnected sub-networks, each supplying carbon to distinct biomass components. One of these is a linear folate-based pathway of CO₂ reduction previously only recognized as a fixation route in the complete Wood-Ljungdahl pathway, but which more generally may exclude the final step of synthesizing acetyl-CoA. Using metabolic constraints we then reconstruct a "phylometabolic" tree with a high degree of parsimony that traces the evolution of complete carbon-fixation pathways, and has a clear structure down to the root. This tree requires few instances of lateral gene transfer or convergence, and instead suggests a simple evolutionary dynamic in which all divergences have primary environmental causes. Energy optimization and oxygen toxicity are the two strongest forces of selection. The root of this tree combines the reductive citric acid cycle and the Wood-Ljungdahl pathway into a single connected network. This linked network lacks the selective optimization of modern fixation pathways but its redundancy leads to a more robust topology

  13. Cell-free protein synthesis enabled rapid prototyping for metabolic engineering and synthetic biology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lihong Jiang

    2018-06-01

    Full Text Available Advances in metabolic engineering and synthetic biology have facilitated the manufacturing of many valuable-added compounds and commodity chemicals using microbial cell factories in the past decade. However, due to complexity of cellular metabolism, the optimization of metabolic pathways for maximal production represents a grand challenge and an unavoidable barrier for metabolic engineering. Recently, cell-free protein synthesis system (CFPS has been emerging as an enabling alternative to address challenges in biomanufacturing. This review summarizes the recent progresses of CFPS in rapid prototyping of biosynthetic pathways and genetic circuits (biosensors to speed up design-build-test (DBT cycles of metabolic engineering and synthetic biology. Keywords: Cell-free protein synthesis, Metabolic pathway optimization, Genetic circuits, Metabolic engineering, Synthetic biology

  14. Micrasterias as a model system in plant cell biology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ursula Luetz-Meindl

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available The unicellular freshwater alga Micrasterias denticulata is an exceptional organism due to its extraordinary star-shaped, highly symmetric morphology and has thus attracted the interest of researchers for many decades. As a member of the Streptophyta, Micrasterias is not only genetically closely related to higher land plants but shares common features with them in many physiological and cell biological aspects. These facts, together with its considerable cell size of about 200 µm, its modest cultivation conditions and the uncomplicated accessibility particularly to any microscopic techniques, make Micrasterias a very well suited cell biological plant model system. The review focuses particularly on cell wall formation and composition, dictyosomal structure and function, cytoskeleton control of growth and morphogenesis as well as on ionic regulation and signal transduction. It has been also shown in the recent years that Micrasterias is a highly sensitive indicator for environmental stress impact such as heavy metals, high salinity, oxidative stress or starvation. Stress induced organelle degradation, autophagy, adaption and detoxification mechanisms have moved in the center of interest and have been investigated with modern microscopic techniques such as 3-D- and analytical electron microscopy as well as with biochemical, physiological and molecular approaches. This review is intended to summarize and discuss the most important results obtained in Micrasterias in the last 20 years and to compare the results to similar processes in higher plant cells.

  15. Evolution viewed from physics, physiology and medicine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noble, Denis

    2017-10-06

    Stochasticity is harnessed by organisms to generate functionality. Randomness does not, therefore, necessarily imply lack of function or 'blind chance' at higher levels. In this respect, biology must resemble physics in generating order from disorder. This fact is contrary to Schrödinger's idea of biology generating phenotypic order from molecular- level order, which inspired the central dogma of molecular biology. The order originates at higher levels, which constrain the components at lower levels. We now know that this includes the genome, which is controlled by patterns of transcription factors and various epigenetic and reorganization mechanisms. These processes can occur in response to environmental stress, so that the genome becomes 'a highly sensitive organ of the cell' (McClintock). Organisms have evolved to be able to cope with many variations at the molecular level. Organisms also make use of physical processes in evolution and development when it is possible to arrive at functional development without the necessity to store all information in DNA sequences. This view of development and evolution differs radically from that of neo-Darwinism with its emphasis on blind chance as the origin of variation. Blind chance is necessary, but the origin of functional variation is not at the molecular level. These observations derive from and reinforce the principle of biological relativity, which holds that there is no privileged level of causation. They also have important implications for medical science.

  16. Systems biology solutions for biochemical production challenges.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hansen, Anne Sofie Lærke; Lennen, Rebecca M; Sonnenschein, Nikolaus; Herrgård, Markus J

    2017-06-01

    There is an urgent need to significantly accelerate the development of microbial cell factories to produce fuels and chemicals from renewable feedstocks in order to facilitate the transition to a biobased society. Methods commonly used within the field of systems biology including omics characterization, genome-scale metabolic modeling, and adaptive laboratory evolution can be readily deployed in metabolic engineering projects. However, high performance strains usually carry tens of genetic modifications and need to operate in challenging environmental conditions. This additional complexity compared to basic science research requires pushing systems biology strategies to their limits and often spurs innovative developments that benefit fields outside metabolic engineering. Here we survey recent advanced applications of systems biology methods in engineering microbial production strains for biofuels and -chemicals. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  17. Synthetic biology platform technologies for antimicrobial applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Braff, Dana; Shis, David; Collins, James J

    2016-10-01

    The growing prevalence of antibiotic resistance calls for new approaches in the development of antimicrobial therapeutics. Likewise, improved diagnostic measures are essential in guiding the application of targeted therapies and preventing the evolution of therapeutic resistance. Discovery platforms are also needed to form new treatment strategies and identify novel antimicrobial agents. By applying engineering principles to molecular biology, synthetic biologists have developed platforms that improve upon, supplement, and will perhaps supplant traditional broad-spectrum antibiotics. Efforts in engineering bacteriophages and synthetic probiotics demonstrate targeted antimicrobial approaches that can be fine-tuned using synthetic biology-derived principles. Further, the development of paper-based, cell-free expression systems holds promise in promoting the clinical translation of molecular biology tools for diagnostic purposes. In this review, we highlight emerging synthetic biology platform technologies that are geared toward the generation of new antimicrobial therapies, diagnostics, and discovery channels. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  18. Biochemistry and biology: heart-to-heart to investigate cardiac progenitor cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chimenti, Isotta; Forte, Elvira; Angelini, Francesco; Messina, Elisa; Giacomello, Alessandro

    2013-02-01

    Cardiac regenerative medicine is a rapidly evolving field, with promising future developments for effective personalized treatments. Several stem/progenitor cells are candidates for cardiac cell therapy, and emerging evidence suggests how multiple metabolic and biochemical pathways strictly regulate their fate and renewal. In this review, we will explore a selection of areas of common interest for biology and biochemistry concerning stem/progenitor cells, and in particular cardiac progenitor cells. Numerous regulatory mechanisms have been identified that link stem cell signaling and functions to the modulation of metabolic pathways, and vice versa. Pharmacological treatments and culture requirements may be exploited to modulate stem cell pluripotency and self-renewal, possibly boosting their regenerative potential for cell therapy. Mitochondria and their many related metabolites and messengers, such as oxygen, ROS, calcium and glucose, have a crucial role in regulating stem cell fate and the balance of their functions, together with many metabolic enzymes. Furthermore, protein biochemistry and proteomics can provide precious clues on the definition of different progenitor cell populations, their physiology and their autocrine/paracrine regulatory/signaling networks. Interdisciplinary approaches between biology and biochemistry can provide productive insights on stem/progenitor cells, allowing the development of novel strategies and protocols for effective cardiac cell therapy clinical translation. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled Biochemistry of Stem Cells. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  19. Biology of teeth and implants: Host factors - pathology, regeneration, and the role of stem cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eggert, F-Michael; Levin, Liran

    2018-01-01

    In chronic periodontitis and peri-implantitis, cells of the innate and adaptive immune systems are involved directly in the lesions within the tissues of the patient. Absence of a periodontal ligament around implants does not prevent a biologic process similar to that of periodontitis from affecting osseointegration. Our first focus is on factors in the biology of individuals that are responsible for the susceptibility of such individuals to chronic periodontitis and to peri-implantitis. Genetic factors are of significant importance in susceptibility to these diseases. Genetic factors of the host affect the composition of the oral microbiome in the same manner that they influence other microbiomes, such as those of the intestines and of the lungs. Our second focus is on the central role of stem cells in tissue regeneration, in the functioning of innate and adaptive immune systems, and in metabolism of bone. Epithelial cell rests of Malassez (ERM) are stem cells of epithelial origin that maintain the periodontal ligament as well as the cementum and alveolar bone associated with the ligament. The tissue niche within which ERM are found extends into the supracrestal areas of collagen fiber-containing tissues of the gingivae above the bony alveolar crest. Maintenance and regeneration of all periodontal tissues involves the activity of a variety of stem cells. The success of dental implants indicates that important groups of stem cells in the periodontium are active to enable that biologic success. Successful replantation of avulsed teeth and auto-transplantation of teeth is comparable to placing dental implants, and so must also involve periodontal stem cells. Biology of teeth and biology of implants represents the biology of the various stem cells that inhabit specialized niches within the periodontal tissues. Diverse biologic processes must function together successfully to maintain periodontal health. Osseointegration of dental implants does not involve formation of

  20. The Promises of Biology and the Biology of Promises

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lee, Jieun

    2015-01-01

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

  1. Wood smoke particle sequesters cell iron to impact a biological effect.

    Science.gov (United States)

    The biological effect of an inorganic particle (i.e., silica) can be associated with a disruption in cell iron homeostasis. Organic compounds included in particles originating from combustion processes can also complex sources of host cell iron to disrupt metal homeostasis. We te...

  2. Insights into female germ cell biology: from in vivo development to in vitro derivations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jung, Dajung; Kee, Kehkooi

    2015-01-01

    Understanding the mechanisms of human germ cell biology is important for developing infertility treatments. However, little is known about the mechanisms that regulate human gametogenesis due to the difficulties in collecting samples, especially germ cells during fetal development. In contrast to the mitotic arrest of spermatogonia stem cells in the fetal testis, female germ cells proceed into meiosis and began folliculogenesis in fetal ovaries. Regulations of these developmental events, including the initiation of meiosis and the endowment of primordial follicles, remain an enigma. Studying the molecular mechanisms of female germ cell biology in the human ovary has been mostly limited to spatiotemporal characterizations of genes or proteins. Recent efforts in utilizing in vitro differentiation system of stem cells to derive germ cells have allowed researchers to begin studying molecular mechanisms during human germ cell development. Meanwhile, the possibility of isolating female germline stem cells in adult ovaries also excites researchers and generates many debates. This review will mainly focus on presenting and discussing recent in vivo and in vitro studies on female germ cell biology in human. The topics will highlight the progress made in understanding the three main stages of germ cell developments: namely, primordial germ cell formation, meiotic initiation, and folliculogenesis.

  3. Radiation and the evolution of life

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gentner, N.E.; Myers, D.K.

    1980-08-01

    A general review is presented of the nature of various forms of radiation; radiant energy which reaches the earth from the sun; the role of this energy in prebiotic chemical evolution; current ideas on the origin of life; the dependence of living organisms upon radiant energy; the mechanisms responsible for the evolution of life, from the viewpoint of modern genetics and molecular biology; the biological consequences of alterations in the genetic material; and the role of ionizing radiation in production of genetic changes and in evolution. In the final analysis, the biosynthetic processes of life are driven by radiant energy from the sun. This overview is necessarily focussed on the infrared, visible and ultraviolet regions of the solar output spectrum since these particular radiations are responsible for most of the radiant energy that reaches the earth's surface. Ionizing radiation appears to have played at best a minor role in biological evolution. Small increments in the amounts of ionizing radiation are therefore unlikely to have a significant effect on life or its evolution. (auth)

  4. Cellular Analysis of Adult Neural Stem Cells for Investigating Prion Biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haigh, Cathryn L

    2017-01-01

    Traditional primary and secondary cell cultures have been used for the investigation of prion biology and disease for many years. While both types of cultures produce highly valid and immensely valuable results, they also have their limitations; traditional cell lines are often derived from cancers, therefore subject to numerous DNA changes, and primary cultures are labor-intensive and expensive to produce requiring sacrifice of many animals. Neural stem cell (NSC) cultures are a relatively new technology to be used for the study of prion biology and disease. While NSCs are subject to their own limitations-they are generally cultured ex vivo in environments that artificially force their growth-they also have their own unique advantages. NSCs retain the ability for self-renewal and can therefore be propagated in culture similarly to secondary cultures without genetic manipulation. In addition, NSCs are multipotent; they can be induced to differentiate into mature cells of central nervous system (CNS) linage. The combination of self-renewal and multipotency allows NSCs to be used as a primary cell line over multiple generations saving time, costs, and animal harvests, thus providing a valuable addition to the existing cell culture repertoire used for investigation of prion biology and disease. Furthermore, NSC cultures can be generated from mice of any genotype, either by embryonic harvest or harvest from adult brain, allowing gene expression to be studied without further genetic manipulation. This chapter describes a standard method of culturing adult NSCs and assays for monitoring NSC growth, migration, and differentiation and revisits basic reactive oxygen species detection in the context of NSC cultures.

  5. Development of an Instrument for Measuring Self-Efficacy in Cell Biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reeve, Suzanne; Kitchen, Elizabeth; Sudweeks, Richard R.; Bell, John D.; Bradshaw, William S.

    2011-01-01

    This article describes the development of a ten-item scale to assess biology majors' self-efficacy towards the critical thinking and data analysis skills taught in an upper-division cell biology course. The original seven-item scale was expanded to include three additional items based on the results of item analysis. Evidence of reliability and…

  6. Biological characteristics of human-urine-derived stem cells: potential for cell-based therapy in neurology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guan, Jun-Jie; Niu, Xin; Gong, Fei-Xiang; Hu, Bin; Guo, Shang-Chun; Lou, Yuan-Lei; Zhang, Chang-Qing; Deng, Zhi-Feng; Wang, Yang

    2014-07-01

    Stem cells in human urine have gained attention in recent years; however, urine-derived stem cells (USCs) are far from being well elucidated. In this study, we compared the biological characteristics of USCs with adipose-derived stem cells (ASCs) and investigated whether USCs could serve as a potential cell source for neural tissue engineering. USCs were isolated from voided urine with a modified culture medium. Through a series of experiments, we examined the growth rate, surface antigens, and differentiation potential of USCs, and compared them with ASCs. USCs showed robust proliferation ability. After serial propagation, USCs retained normal karyotypes. Cell surface antigen expression of USCs was similar to ASCs. With lineage-specific induction factors, USCs could differentiate toward the osteogenic, chondrogenic, adipogenic, and neurogenic lineages. To assess the ability of USCs to survive, differentiate, and migrate, they were seeded onto hydrogel scaffold and transplanted into rat brain. The results showed that USCs were able to survive in the lesion site, migrate to other areas, and express proteins that were associated with neural phenotypes. The results of our study demonstrate that USCs possess similar biological characteristics with ASCs and have multilineage differentiation potential. Moreover USCs can differentiate to neuron-like cells in rat brain. The present study shows that USCs are a promising cell source for tissue engineering and regenerative medicine.

  7. Parameter extraction of different fuel cell models with transferred adaptive differential evolution

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gong, Wenyin; Yan, Xuesong; Liu, Xiaobo; Cai, Zhihua

    2015-01-01

    To improve the design and control of FC (fuel cell) models, it is important to extract their unknown parameters. Generally, the parameter extraction problems of FC models can be transformed as nonlinear and multi-variable optimization problems. To extract the parameters of different FC models exactly and fast, in this paper, we propose a transferred adaptive DE (differential evolution) framework, in which the successful parameters of the adaptive DE solving previous problems are properly transferred to solve new optimization problems in the similar problem-domains. Based on this framework, an improved adaptive DE method (TRADE, in short) is presented as an illustration. To verify the performance of our proposal, TRADE is used to extract the unknown parameters of two types of fuel cell models, i.e., PEMFC (proton exchange membrane fuel cell) and SOFC (solid oxide fuel cell). The results of TRADE are also compared with those of other state-of-the-art EAs (evolutionary algorithms). Even though the modification is very simple, the results indicate that TRADE can extract the parameters of both PEMFC and SOFC models exactly and fast. Moreover, the V–I characteristics obtained by TRADE agree well with the simulated and experimental data in all cases for both types of fuel cell models. Also, it improves the performance of the original adaptive DE significantly in terms of both the quality of final solutions and the convergence speed in all cases. Additionally, TRADE is able to provide better results compared with other EAs. - Highlights: • A framework of transferred adaptive differential evolution is proposed. • Based on the framework, an improved differential evolution (TRADE) is presented. • TRADE obtains very promising results to extract the parameters of PEMFC and SOFC models

  8. Ordinary differential equations with applications in molecular biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ilea, M; Turnea, M; Rotariu, M

    2012-01-01

    Differential equations are of basic importance in molecular biology mathematics because many biological laws and relations appear mathematically in the form of a differential equation. In this article we presented some applications of mathematical models represented by ordinary differential equations in molecular biology. The vast majority of quantitative models in cell and molecular biology are formulated in terms of ordinary differential equations for the time evolution of concentrations of molecular species. Assuming that the diffusion in the cell is high enough to make the spatial distribution of molecules homogenous, these equations describe systems with many participating molecules of each kind. We propose an original mathematical model with small parameter for biological phospholipid pathway. All the equations system includes small parameter epsilon. The smallness of epsilon is relative to the size of the solution domain. If we reduce the size of the solution region the same small epsilon will result in a different condition number. It is clear that the solution for a smaller region is less difficult. We introduce the mathematical technique known as boundary function method for singular perturbation system. In this system, the small parameter is an asymptotic variable, different from the independent variable. In general, the solutions of such equations exhibit multiscale phenomena. Singularly perturbed problems form a special class of problems containing a small parameter which may tend to zero. Many molecular biology processes can be quantitatively characterized by ordinary differential equations. Mathematical cell biology is a very active and fast growing interdisciplinary area in which mathematical concepts, techniques, and models are applied to a variety of problems in developmental medicine and bioengineering. Among the different modeling approaches, ordinary differential equations (ODE) are particularly important and have led to significant advances

  9. High Cholesterol/Low Cholesterol: Effects in Biological Membranes: A Review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Subczynski, Witold K; Pasenkiewicz-Gierula, Marta; Widomska, Justyna; Mainali, Laxman; Raguz, Marija

    2017-12-01

    Lipid composition determines membrane properties, and cholesterol plays a major role in this determination as it regulates membrane fluidity and permeability, as well as induces the formation of coexisting phases and domains in the membrane. Biological membranes display a very diverse lipid composition, the lateral organization of which plays a crucial role in regulating a variety of membrane functions. We hypothesize that, during biological evolution, membranes with a particular cholesterol content were selected to perform certain functions in the cells of eukaryotic organisms. In this review, we discuss the major membrane properties induced by cholesterol, and their relationship to certain membrane functions.

  10. Can molecular cell biology explain chromosome motions?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gagliardi L

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Mitotic chromosome motions have recently been correlated with electrostatic forces, but a lingering "molecular cell biology" paradigm persists, proposing binding and release proteins or molecular geometries for force generation. Results Pole-facing kinetochore plates manifest positive charges and interact with negatively charged microtubule ends providing the motive force for poleward chromosome motions by classical electrostatics. This conceptual scheme explains dynamic tracking/coupling of kinetochores to microtubules and the simultaneous depolymerization of kinetochore microtubules as poleward force is generated. Conclusion We question here why cells would prefer complex molecular mechanisms to move chromosomes when direct electrostatic interactions between known bound charge distributions can accomplish the same task much more simply.

  11. Biological 2-Input Decoder Circuit in Human Cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-01-01

    Decoders are combinational circuits that convert information from n inputs to a maximum of 2n outputs. This operation is of major importance in computing systems yet it is vastly underexplored in synthetic biology. Here, we present a synthetic gene network architecture that operates as a biological decoder in human cells, converting 2 inputs to 4 outputs. As a proof-of-principle, we use small molecules to emulate the two inputs and fluorescent reporters as the corresponding four outputs. The experiments are performed using transient transfections in human kidney embryonic cells and the characterization by fluorescence microscopy and flow cytometry. We show a clear separation between the ON and OFF mean fluorescent intensity states. Additionally, we adopt the integrated mean fluorescence intensity for the characterization of the circuit and show that this metric is more robust to transfection conditions when compared to the mean fluorescent intensity. To conclude, we present the first implementation of a genetic decoder. This combinational system can be valuable toward engineering higher-order circuits as well as accommodate a multiplexed interface with endogenous cellular functions. PMID:24694115

  12. Biological 2-input decoder circuit in human cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guinn, Michael; Bleris, Leonidas

    2014-08-15

    Decoders are combinational circuits that convert information from n inputs to a maximum of 2(n) outputs. This operation is of major importance in computing systems yet it is vastly underexplored in synthetic biology. Here, we present a synthetic gene network architecture that operates as a biological decoder in human cells, converting 2 inputs to 4 outputs. As a proof-of-principle, we use small molecules to emulate the two inputs and fluorescent reporters as the corresponding four outputs. The experiments are performed using transient transfections in human kidney embryonic cells and the characterization by fluorescence microscopy and flow cytometry. We show a clear separation between the ON and OFF mean fluorescent intensity states. Additionally, we adopt the integrated mean fluorescence intensity for the characterization of the circuit and show that this metric is more robust to transfection conditions when compared to the mean fluorescent intensity. To conclude, we present the first implementation of a genetic decoder. This combinational system can be valuable toward engineering higher-order circuits as well as accommodate a multiplexed interface with endogenous cellular functions.

  13. Evolving cell models for systems and synthetic biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cao, Hongqing; Romero-Campero, Francisco J; Heeb, Stephan; Cámara, Miguel; Krasnogor, Natalio

    2010-03-01

    This paper proposes a new methodology for the automated design of cell models for systems and synthetic biology. Our modelling framework is based on P systems, a discrete, stochastic and modular formal modelling language. The automated design of biological models comprising the optimization of the model structure and its stochastic kinetic constants is performed using an evolutionary algorithm. The evolutionary algorithm evolves model structures by combining different modules taken from a predefined module library and then it fine-tunes the associated stochastic kinetic constants. We investigate four alternative objective functions for the fitness calculation within the evolutionary algorithm: (1) equally weighted sum method, (2) normalization method, (3) randomly weighted sum method, and (4) equally weighted product method. The effectiveness of the methodology is tested on four case studies of increasing complexity including negative and positive autoregulation as well as two gene networks implementing a pulse generator and a bandwidth detector. We provide a systematic analysis of the evolutionary algorithm's results as well as of the resulting evolved cell models.

  14. Cell Culture in Microgravity: Opening the Door to Space Cell Biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pellis, Neal R.; Dawson, David L. (Technical Monitor)

    1999-01-01

    Adaptational response of human cell populations to microgravity is investigated using simulation, short-term Shuttle experiments, and long-term microgravity. Simulation consists of a clinostatically-rotated cell culture system. The system is a horizontally-rotated cylinder completely filled with culture medium. Low speed rotation results in continuous-fall of the cells through the fluid medium. In this setting, cells: 1) aggregate, 2) propagate in three dimensions, 3) synthesize matrix, 4) differentiate, and 5) form sinusoids that facilitate mass transfer. Space cell culture is conducted in flight bioreactors and in static incubators. Cells grown in microgravity are: bovine cartilage, promyelocytic leukemia, kidney proximal tubule cells, adrenal medulla, breast and colon cancer, and endothelium. Cells were cultured in space to test specific hypotheses. Cartilage cells were used to determine structural differences in cartilage grown in space compared to ground-based bioreactors. Results from a 130-day experiment on Mir revealed that cartilage grown in space was substantially more compressible due to insufficient glycosaminoglycan in the matrix. Interestingly, earth-grown cartilage conformed better to the dimensions of the scaffolding material, while the Mir specimens were spherical. The other cell populations are currently being analyzed for cell surface properties, gene expression, and differentiation. Results suggest that some cells spontaneously differentiate in microgravity. Additionally, vast changes in gene expression may occur in response to microgravity. In conclusion, the transition to microgravity may constitute a physical perturbation in cells resulting in unique gene expressions, the consequences of which may be useful in tissue engineering, disease modeling, and space cell biology.

  15. Laser apparatus and method for microscopic and spectroscopic analysis and processing of biological cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gourley, P.L.; Gourley, M.F.

    1997-03-04

    An apparatus and method are disclosed for microscopic and spectroscopic analysis and processing of biological cells. The apparatus comprises a laser having an analysis region within the laser cavity for containing one or more biological cells to be analyzed. The presence of a cell within the analysis region in superposition with an activated portion of a gain medium of the laser acts to encode information about the cell upon the laser beam, the cell information being recoverable by an analysis means that preferably includes an array photodetector such as a CCD camera and a spectrometer. The apparatus and method may be used to analyze biomedical cells including blood cells and the like, and may include processing means for manipulating, sorting, or eradicating cells after analysis. 20 figs.

  16. The cell biology of Tobacco mosaic virus replication and movement

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chengke eLiu

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available Successful systemic infection of a plant by Tobacco mosaic virus (TMV requires three processes that repeat over time: initial establishment and accumulation in invaded cells, intercellular movement and systemic transport. Accumulation and intercellular movement of TMV necessarily involves intracellular transport by complexes containing virus and host proteins and virus RNA during a dynamic process that can be visualized. Multiple membranes appear to assist TMV accumulation, while membranes, microfilaments and microtubules appear to assist TMV movement. Here we review cell biological studies that describe TMV-membrane, -cytoskeleton and -other host protein interactions which influence virus accumulation and movement in leaves and callus tissue. The importance of understanding the developmental phase of the infection in relationship to the observed virus-membrane or -host protein interaction is emphasized. Utilizing the latest observations of TMV-membrane and -host protein interactions within our evolving understanding of the infection ontogeny, a model for TMV accumulation and intracellular spread in a cell biological context is provided.

  17. Continuous time Boolean modeling for biological signaling: application of Gillespie algorithm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stoll, Gautier; Viara, Eric; Barillot, Emmanuel; Calzone, Laurence

    2012-08-29

    Mathematical modeling is used as a Systems Biology tool to answer biological questions, and more precisely, to validate a network that describes biological observations and predict the effect of perturbations. This article presents an algorithm for modeling biological networks in a discrete framework with continuous time. There exist two major types of mathematical modeling approaches: (1) quantitative modeling, representing various chemical species concentrations by real numbers, mainly based on differential equations and chemical kinetics formalism; (2) and qualitative modeling, representing chemical species concentrations or activities by a finite set of discrete values. Both approaches answer particular (and often different) biological questions. Qualitative modeling approach permits a simple and less detailed description of the biological systems, efficiently describes stable state identification but remains inconvenient in describing the transient kinetics leading to these states. In this context, time is represented by discrete steps. Quantitative modeling, on the other hand, can describe more accurately the dynamical behavior of biological processes as it follows the evolution of concentration or activities of chemical species as a function of time, but requires an important amount of information on the parameters difficult to find in the literature. Here, we propose a modeling framework based on a qualitative approach that is intrinsically continuous in time. The algorithm presented in this article fills the gap between qualitative and quantitative modeling. It is based on continuous time Markov process applied on a Boolean state space. In order to describe the temporal evolution of the biological process we wish to model, we explicitly specify the transition rates for each node. For that purpose, we built a language that can be seen as a generalization of Boolean equations. Mathematically, this approach can be translated in a set of ordinary differential

  18. The time is right: proteome biology of stem cells.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Whetton, A.D.; Williamson, A.J.K.; Krijgsveld, J.; Lee, B.H.; Lemischka, I.; Oh, S.; Pera, M.; Mummery, C.L.; Heck, A.J.R.

    2008-01-01

    In stem cell biology, there is a growing need for advanced technologies that may help to unravel the molecular mechanisms of self-renewal and differentiation. Proteomics, the comprehensive analysis of proteins, is such an emerging technique. To facilitate interactions between specialists in

  19. Human mesenchymal stromal cells : biological characterization and clinical application

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bernardo, Maria Ester

    2010-01-01

    This thesis focuses on the characterization of the biological and functional properties of human mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs), isolated from different tissue sources. The differentiation capacity of MSCs from fetal and adult tissues has been tested and compared. Umbilical cord blood (UCB) has

  20. Ludwig von Bertalanffy's organismic view on the theory of evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drack, Manfred

    2015-03-01

    Ludwig von Bertalanffy was a key figure in the advancement of theoretical biology. His early considerations already led him to recognize the necessity of considering the organism as a system, as an organization of parts and processes. He termed the resulting research program organismic biology, which he extended to all basic questions of biology and almost all areas of biology, hence also to the theory of evolution. This article begins by outlining the rather unknown (because often written in German) research of Bertalanffy in the field of theoretical biology. The basics of the organismic approach are then described. This is followed by Bertalanffy's considerations on the theory of evolution, in which he used methods from theoretical biology and then introduced his own, organismic, view on evolution, leading to the demand for finding laws of evolution. Finally, his view on the concept of homology is presented. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  1. Geomagnetic polarity reversals as a mechanism for the punctuated equilibrium model of biological evolution

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Welsh, J.S.; Welsh, A.L.; Welsh, W.F.

    2003-01-01

    In contrast to what is predicted by classical Darwinian theory (phyletic gradualism), the fossil record typically displays a pattern of relatively sudden, dramatic changes as detailed by Eldregde and Gould's model of punctuated equilibrium. Evolutionary biologists have been at a loss to explain the ultimate source of the new mutations that drive evolution. One hypothesis holds that the abrupt speciation seen in the punctuated equilibrium model is secondary to an increased mutation rate resulting from periodically increased levels of ionizing radiation on the Earth's surface. Sporadic geomagnetic pole reversals, occurring every few million years on the average, are accompanied by alterations in the strength of the Earth's magnetic field and magnetosphere. This diminution may allow charged cosmic radiation to bombard Earth with less attenuation, thereby resulting in increased mutation rates. This episodic fluctuation in the magnetosphere is an attractive mechanism for the observed fossil record. Selected periods and epochs of geologic history for which data was available were reviewed for both geomagnetic pole reversal history and fossil record. Anomalies in either were scrutinized in greater depth and correlations were made. A 35 million year span (118-83 Ma) was identified during the Early/Middle Cretaceous period that was devoid of geomagnetic polarity reversals(the Cretaceous normal superchron). Examination of the fossil record (including several invertebrate and vertebrate taxons) during the Cretaceous normal superchron does not reveal any significant gap or slowing of speciation. Although increased terrestrial radiation exposure due to a diminution of the Earth's magnetosphere caused by a reversal of geomagnetic polarity is an attractive explanation for the mechanism of punctuated equilibrium, our investigation suggests that such polarity reversals cannot fully provide the driving force behind biological evolution. Further research is required to determine if

  2. Implementing Recommendations for Introductory Biology by Writing a New Textbook

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barsoum, Mark J.; Sellers, Patrick J.; Campbell, A. Malcolm; Heyer, Laurie J.; Paradise, Christopher J.

    2013-01-01

    We redesigned the undergraduate introductory biology course by writing a new textbook (Integrating Concepts in Biology [ICB]) that follows first principles of learning. Our approach emphasizes primary data interpretation and the utility of mathematics in biology, while de-emphasizing memorization. This redesign divides biology into five big ideas (information, evolution, cells, emergent properties, homeostasis), addressing each at five levels of organization (molecules, cells, organisms, populations, ecological systems). We compared our course outcomes with two sections that used a traditional textbook and were taught by different instructors. On data interpretation assessments administered periodically during the semester, our students performed better than students in the traditional sections (p = 0.046) and exhibited greater improvement over the course of the semester (p = 0.015). On factual content assessments, our students performed similarly to students in the other sections (p = 0.737). Pre- and postsemester assessment of disciplinary perceptions and self-appraisal indicate that our students acquired a more accurate perception of biology as a discipline and may have developed a more realistic evaluation of their scientific abilities than did the control students (p < 0.05). We conclude that ICB improves critical thinking, metacognition, and disciplinary perceptions without compromising content knowledge in introductory biology. PMID:23463233

  3. Using a Module-Based Laboratory to Incorporate Inquiry into a Large Cell Biology Course

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howard, David R.; Miskowski, Jennifer A.

    2005-01-01

    Because cell biology has rapidly increased in breadth and depth, instructors are challenged not only to provide undergraduate science students with a strong, up-to-date foundation of knowledge, but also to engage them in the scientific process. To these ends, revision of the Cell Biology Lab course at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse was…

  4. Radiation damage and repair in cells and cell components. Part 2. Physical radiations and biological significance. Final report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fluke, D.J.

    1984-08-01

    The report comprises a teaching text, encompassing all physical radiations likely to be of biological interest, and the relevant biological effects and their significance. Topics include human radiobiology, delayed effects, radiation absorption in organisms, aqueous radiation chemistry, cell radiobiology, mutagenesis, and photobiology

  5. Diversification and enrichment of clinical biomaterials inspired by Darwinian evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Green, D W; Watson, G S; Watson, J A; Lee, D-J; Lee, J-M; Jung, H-S

    2016-09-15

    Regenerative medicine and biomaterials design are driven by biomimicry. There is the essential requirement to emulate human cell, tissue, organ and physiological complexity to ensure long-lasting clinical success. Biomimicry projects for biomaterials innovation can be re-invigorated with evolutionary insights and perspectives, since Darwinian evolution is the original dynamic process for biological organisation and complexity. Many existing human inspired regenerative biomaterials (defined as a nature generated, nature derived and nature mimicking structure, produced within a biological system, which can deputise for, or replace human tissues for which it closely matches) are without important elements of biological complexity such as, hierarchy and autonomous actions. It is possible to engineer these essential elements into clinical biomaterials via bioinspired implementation of concepts, processes and mechanisms played out during Darwinian evolution; mechanisms such as, directed, computational, accelerated evolutions and artificial selection contrived in the laboratory. These dynamos for innovation can be used during biomaterials fabrication, but also to choose optimal designs in the regeneration process. Further evolutionary information can help at the design stage; gleaned from the historical evolution of material adaptations compared across phylogenies to changes in their environment and habitats. Taken together, harnessing evolutionary mechanisms and evolutionary pathways, leading to ideal adaptations, will eventually provide a new class of Darwinian and evolutionary biomaterials. This will provide bioengineers with a more diversified and more efficient innovation tool for biomaterial design, synthesis and function than currently achieved with synthetic materials chemistry programmes and rational based materials design approach, which require reasoned logic. It will also inject further creativity, diversity and richness into the biomedical technologies that

  6. Cell migration analysis: A low-cost laboratory experiment for cell and developmental biology courses using keratocytes from fish scales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prieto, Daniel; Aparicio, Gonzalo; Sotelo-Silveira, Jose R

    2017-11-01

    Cell and developmental processes are complex, and profoundly dependent on spatial relationships that change over time. Innovative educational or teaching strategies are always needed to foster deep comprehension of these processes and their dynamic features. However, laboratory exercises in cell and developmental biology at the undergraduate level do not often take into account the time dimension. In this article, we provide a laboratory exercise focused in cell migration, aiming to stimulate thinking in time and space dimensions through a simplification of more complex processes occurring in cell or developmental biology. The use of open-source tools for the analysis, as well as the whole package of raw results (available at http://github.com/danielprieto/keratocyte) make it suitable for its implementation in courses with very diverse budgets. Aiming to facilitate the student's transition from science-students to science-practitioners we propose an exercise of scientific thinking, and an evaluation method. This in turn is communicated here to facilitate the finding of common caveats and weaknesses in the process of producing simple scientific communications describing the results achieved. © 2017 by The International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 45(6):475-482, 2017. © 2017 The International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

  7. Human Embryonic Kidney 293 Cells: A Vehicle for Biopharmaceutical Manufacturing, Structural Biology, and Electrophysiology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Jianwen; Han, Jizhong; Li, Haoran; Zhang, Xian; Liu, Lan Lan; Chen, Fei; Zeng, Bin

    2018-01-01

    Mammalian cells, e.g., CHO, BHK, HEK293, HT-1080, and NS0 cells, represent important manufacturing platforms in bioengineering. They are widely used for the production of recombinant therapeutic proteins, vaccines, anticancer agents, and other clinically relevant drugs. HEK293 (human embryonic kidney 293) cells and their derived cell lines provide an attractive heterologous system for the development of recombinant proteins or adenovirus productions, not least due to their human-like posttranslational modification of protein molecules to provide the desired biological activity. Secondly, they also exhibit high transfection efficiency yielding high-quality recombinant proteins. They are easy to maintain and express with high fidelity membrane proteins, such as ion channels and transporters, and thus are attractive for structural biology and electrophysiology studies. In this article, we review the literature on HEK293 cells regarding their origins but also stress their advancements into the different cell lines engineered and discuss some significant aspects which make them versatile systems for biopharmaceutical manufacturing, drug screening, structural biology research, and electrophysiology applications. © 2018 S. Karger AG, Basel.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-12-01

    Fine-tuning plant cell wall properties to render plant biomass more amenable to biofuel conversion is a colossal challenge. A deep knowledge of the biosynthesis and regulation of plant cell wall and a high-precision genome engineering toolset are the two essential pillars of efforts to alter plant cell walls and reduce biomass recalcitrance. The past decade has seen a meteoric rise in use of transcriptomics and high-resolution imaging methods resulting in fresh insights into composition, structure, formation and deconstruction of plant cell walls. Subsequent gene manipulation approaches, however, commonly include ubiquitous mis-expression of a single candidate gene in a host that carries an intact copy of the native gene. The challenges posed by pleiotropic and unintended changes resulting from such an approach are moving the field towards synthetic biology approaches. Synthetic biology builds on a systems biology knowledge base and leverages high-precision tools for high-throughput assembly of multigene constructs and pathways, precision genome editing and site-specific gene stacking, silencing and/or removal. Here, we summarize the recent breakthroughs in biosynthesis and remodelling of major secondary cell wall components, assess the impediments in obtaining a systems-level understanding and explore the potential opportunities in leveraging synthetic biology approaches to reduce biomass recalcitrance. Published 2014. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA. Plant Biotechnology Journal published by Society for Experimental Biology and The Association of Applied Biologists and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  10. First International Conference on the Evolution and Development of the Universe

    CERN Document Server

    EDU2008

    2009-01-01

    This document is the Special Issue of the First International Conference on the Evolution and Development (EDU 2008). Please refer to the preface and introduction for more details on the contributions. Keywords: acceleration, artificial cosmogenesis, artificial life, Big Bang, Big History, biological evolution, biological universe, biology, causality, classical vacuum energy, complex systems, complexity, computational universe, conscious evolution, cosmological artificial selection, cosmological natural selection, cosmology, critique, cultural evolution, dark energy, dark matter, development of the universe, development, emergence, evolution of the universe evolution, exobiology, extinction, fine-tuning, fractal space-time, fractal, information, initial conditions, intentional evolution, linear expansion of the universe, log-periodic laws, macroevolution, materialism, meduso-anthropic principle, multiple worlds, natural sciences, Nature, ontology, order, origin of the universe, particle hierarchy, philosophy,...

  11. Recent advances in the cell biology of aging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hayflick, L

    1980-01-01

    Cultured normal human and animal cells are predestined to undergo irreversible functional decrements that mimic age changes in the whole organism. When normal human embryonic fibroblasts are cultured in vitro, 50 +/- 10 population doublings occur. This maximum potential is diminished in cells derived from older donors and appears to be inversely proportional to their age. The 50 population doubling limit can account for all cells produced during a lifetime. The limitation on doubling potential of cultured normal cells is also expressed in vivo when serial transplants are made. There may be a direct correlation between the mean maximum life spans of several species and the population doubling potential of their cultured cells. A plethora of functional decrements occurs in cultured normal cells as they approach their maximum division capability. Many of these decrements are similar to those occurring in intact animals as they age. We have concluded that these functional decrements expressed in vitro, rather than cessation of cell division, are the essential contributors to age changes in intact animals. Thus, the study of events leading to functional losses in cultured normal cells may provide useful insights into the biology of aging.

  12. Cell Science and Cell Biology Research at MSFC: Summary

    Science.gov (United States)

    2003-01-01

    The common theme of these research programs is that they investigate regulation of gene expression in cells, and ultimately gene expression is controlled by the macromolecular interactions between regulatory proteins and DNA. The NASA Critical Path Roadmap identifies Muscle Alterations and Atrophy and Radiation Effects as Very Serious Risks and Severe Risks, respectively, in long term space flights. The specific problem addressed by Dr. Young's research ("Skeletal Muscle Atrophy and Muscle Cell Signaling") is that skeletal muscle loss in space cannot be prevented by vigorous exercise. Aerobic skeletal muscles (i.e., red muscles) undergo the most extensive atrophy during long-term space flight. Of the many different potential avenues for preventing muscle atrophy, Dr. Young has chosen to study the beta-adrenergic receptor (betaAR) pathway. The reason for this choice is that a family of compounds called betaAR agonists will preferentially cause an increase in muscle mass of aerobic muscles (i.e., red muscle) in animals, potentially providing a specific pharmacological solution to muscle loss in microgravity. In addition, muscle atrophy is a widespread medical problem in neuromuscular diseases, spinal cord injury, lack of exercise, aging, and any disease requiring prolonged bedridden status. Skeletal muscle cells in cell culture are utilized as a model system to study this problem. Dr. Richmond's research ("Radiation & Cancer Biology of Mammary Cells in Culture") is directed toward developing a laboratory model for use in risk assessment of cancer caused by space radiation. This research is unique because a human model will be developed utilizing human mammary cells that are highly susceptible to tumor development. This approach is preferential over using animal cells because of problems in comparing radiation-induced cancers between humans and animals.

  13. Physical Complexity and Cognitive Evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jedlicka, Peter

    Our intuition tells us that there is a general trend in the evolution of nature, a trend towards greater complexity. However, there are several definitions of complexity and hence it is difficult to argue for or against the validity of this intuition. Christoph Adami has recently introduced a novel measure called physical complexity that assigns low complexity to both ordered and random systems and high complexity to those in between. Physical complexity measures the amount of information that an organism stores in its genome about the environment in which it evolves. The theory of physical complexity predicts that evolution increases the amount of `knowledge' an organism accumulates about its niche. It might be fruitful to generalize Adami's concept of complexity to the entire evolution (including the evolution of man). Physical complexity fits nicely into the philosophical framework of cognitive biology which considers biological evolution as a progressing process of accumulation of knowledge (as a gradual increase of epistemic complexity). According to this paradigm, evolution is a cognitive `ratchet' that pushes the organisms unidirectionally towards higher complexity. Dynamic environment continually creates problems to be solved. To survive in the environment means to solve the problem, and the solution is an embodied knowledge. Cognitive biology (as well as the theory of physical complexity) uses the concepts of information and entropy and views the evolution from both the information-theoretical and thermodynamical perspective. Concerning humans as conscious beings, it seems necessary to postulate an emergence of a new kind of knowledge - a self-aware and self-referential knowledge. Appearence of selfreflection in evolution indicates that the human brain reached a new qualitative level in the epistemic complexity.

  14. The origin and evolution of the term "clone".

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steensma, David P

    2017-06-01

    In biology, the term "clone" is most widely used to designate genetically identical cells or organisms that are asexually descended from a common progenitor. The concept of clonality in hematology-oncology has received much attention in recent years, as the advent of next-generation sequencing platforms has provided new tools for detection of clonal populations in patients, and experiments on primary cells have provided fascinating new insights into the clonal architecture of human malignancies. The term "clone" is used more loosely by the general public to mean any close or identical copy. Cloning of humans has been a staple of science fiction films and dystopian novels since Aldous Huxley's Brave New World was published in 1932. Here I trace the origin and evolution of the word clone, from its first use as an agricultural and botanical term in 1903, to its widespread adoption in biology, adaptation by artists, and contemporary use in hematology-oncology. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Cell-Selective Biological Activity of Rhodium Metalloinsertors Correlates with Subcellular Localization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Komor, Alexis C.; Schneider, Curtis J.; Weidmann, Alyson G.; Barton, Jacqueline K.

    2013-01-01

    Deficiencies in the mismatch repair (MMR) pathway are associated with several types of cancers, as well as resistance to commonly used chemotherapeutics. Rhodium metalloinsertors have been found to bind DNA mismatches with high affinity and specificity in vitro, and also exhibit cell-selective cytotoxicity, targeting MMR-deficient cells over MMR-proficient cells. Ten distinct metalloinsertors with varying lipophilicities have been synthesized and their mismatch binding affinities and biological activities determined. Although DNA photocleavage experiments demonstrate that their binding affinities are quite similar, their cell-selective antiproliferative and cytotoxic activities vary significantly. Inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) experiments have uncovered a relationship between the subcellular distribution of these metalloinsertors and their biological activities. Specifically, we find that all of our metalloinsertors localize in the nucleus at sufficient concentrations for binding to DNA mismatches. However, the metalloinsertors with high rhodium localization in the mitochondria show toxicity that is not selective for MMR-deficient cells, whereas metalloinsertors with less mitochondrial rhodium show activity that is highly selective for MMR-deficient versus proficient cells. This work supports the notion that specific targeting of the metalloinsertors to nuclear DNA gives rise to their cell-selective cytotoxic and antiproliferative activities. The selectivity in cellular targeting depends upon binding to mismatches in genomic DNA. PMID:23137296

  16. Colour pattern homology and evolution in Vanessa butterflies (Nymphalidae: Nymphalini): eyespot characters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abbasi, R; Marcus, J M

    2015-11-01

    Ocelli are serially repeated colour patterns on the wings of many butterflies. Eyespots are elaborate ocelli that function in predator avoidance and deterrence as well as in mate choice. A phylogenetic approach was used to study ocelli and eyespot evolution in Vanessa butterflies, a genus exhibiting diverse phenotypes among these serial homologs. Forty-four morphological characters based on eyespot number, arrangement, shape and the number of elements in each eyespot were defined and scored. Ocelli from eight wing cells on the dorsal and ventral surfaces of the forewing and hindwing were evaluated. The evolution of these characters was traced over a phylogeny of Vanessa based on 7750 DNA base pairs from 10 genes. Our reconstruction predicts that the ancestral Vanessa had 5 serially arranged ocelli on all four wing surfaces. The ancestral state on the dorsal forewing and ventral hindwing was ocelli arranged in two heterogeneous groups. On the dorsal hindwing, the ancestral state was either homogenous or ocelli arranged in two heterogeneous groups. On the ventral forewing, we determined that the ancestral state was organized into three heterogeneous groups. In Vanessa, almost all ocelli are individuated and capable of independent evolution relative to other colour patterns except for the ocelli in cells -1 and 0 on the dorsal and ventral forewings, which appear to be constrained to evolve in parallel. The genus Vanessa is a good model system for the study of serial homology and the interaction of selective forces with developmental architecture to produce diversity in butterfly colour patterns. © 2015 European Society For Evolutionary Biology. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2015 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  17. Mobile DNA and evolution in the 21st century

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shapiro James A

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Scientific history has had a profound effect on the theories of evolution. At the beginning of the 21st century, molecular cell biology has revealed a dense structure of information-processing networks that use the genome as an interactive read-write (RW memory system rather than an organism blueprint. Genome sequencing has documented the importance of mobile DNA activities and major genome restructuring events at key junctures in evolution: exon shuffling, changes in cis-regulatory sites, horizontal transfer, cell fusions and whole genome doublings (WGDs. The natural genetic engineering functions that mediate genome restructuring are activated by multiple stimuli, in particular by events similar to those found in the DNA record: microbial infection and interspecific hybridization leading to the formation of allotetraploids. These molecular genetic discoveries, plus a consideration of how mobile DNA rearrangements increase the efficiency of generating functional genomic novelties, make it possible to formulate a 21st century view of interactive evolutionary processes. This view integrates contemporary knowledge of the molecular basis of genetic change, major genome events in evolution, and stimuli that activate DNA restructuring with classical cytogenetic understanding about the role of hybridization in species diversification.

  18. Multilayer microfluidic systems with indium-tin-oxide microelectrodes for studying biological cells

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wu, Hsiang-Chiu; Chen, Hsin; Lyau, Jia-Bo; Lin, Min-Hsuan; Chuang, Yung-Jen

    2017-01-01

    Contemporary semiconductor and micromachining technologies have been exploited to develop lab-on-a-chip microsystems, which enable parallel and efficient experiments in molecular and cellular biology. In these microlab systems, microfluidics play an important role for automatic transportation or immobilization of cells and bio-molecules, as well as for separation or mixing of different chemical reagents. However, seldom microlab systems allow both morphology and electrophysiology of biological cells to be studied in situ . This kind of study is important, for example, for understanding how neuronal networks grow in response to environmental stimuli. To fulfill this application need, this paper investigates the possibility of fabricating multi-layer photoresists as microfluidic systems directly above a glass substrate with indium-tin-oxide (ITO) electrodes. The microfluidic channels are designed to guide and trap biological cells on top of ITO electrodes, through which the electrical activities of cells can be recorded or elicited. As both the microfluidic system and ITO electrodes are transparent, the cellular morphology is observable easily during electrophysiological studies. Two fabrication processes are proposed and compared. One defines the structure and curing depth of each photoresist layer simply by controlling the exposure time in lithography, while the other further utilizes a sacrificial layer to defines the structure of the bottom layer. The fabricated microfluidic system is proved bio-compatible and able to trap blood cells or neurons. Therefore, the proposed microsystem will be useful for studying cultured cells efficiently in applications such as drug-screening. (paper)

  19. SBR-Blood: systems biology repository for hematopoietic cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lichtenberg, Jens; Heuston, Elisabeth F; Mishra, Tejaswini; Keller, Cheryl A; Hardison, Ross C; Bodine, David M

    2016-01-04

    Extensive research into hematopoiesis (the development of blood cells) over several decades has generated large sets of expression and epigenetic profiles in multiple human and mouse blood cell types. However, there is no single location to analyze how gene regulatory processes lead to different mature blood cells. We have developed a new database framework called hematopoietic Systems Biology Repository (SBR-Blood), available online at http://sbrblood.nhgri.nih.gov, which allows user-initiated analyses for cell type correlations or gene-specific behavior during differentiation using publicly available datasets for array- and sequencing-based platforms from mouse hematopoietic cells. SBR-Blood organizes information by both cell identity and by hematopoietic lineage. The validity and usability of SBR-Blood has been established through the reproduction of workflows relevant to expression data, DNA methylation, histone modifications and transcription factor occupancy profiles. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Nucleic Acids Research 2015. This work is written by (a) US Government employee(s) and is in the public domain in the US.

  20. Cell and molecular biology of the spiny dogfish Squalus acanthias and little skate Leucoraja erinacea: insights from in vitro cultured cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barnes, D W

    2012-04-01

    Two of the most commonly used elasmobranch experimental model species are the spiny dogfish Squalus acanthias and the little skate Leucoraja erinacea. Comparative biology and genomics with these species have provided useful information in physiology, pharmacology, toxicology, immunology, evolutionary developmental biology and genetics. A wealth of information has been obtained using in vitro approaches to study isolated cells and tissues from these organisms under circumstances in which the extracellular environment can be controlled. In addition to classical work with primary cell cultures, continuously proliferating cell lines have been derived recently, representing the first cell lines from cartilaginous fishes. These lines have proved to be valuable tools with which to explore functional genomic and biological questions and to test hypotheses at the molecular level. In genomic experiments, complementary (c)DNA libraries have been constructed, and c. 8000 unique transcripts identified, with over 3000 representing previously unknown gene sequences. A sub-set of messenger (m)RNAs has been detected for which the 3' untranslated regions show elements that are remarkably well conserved evolutionarily, representing novel, potentially regulatory gene sequences. The cell culture systems provide physiologically valid tools to study functional roles of these sequences and other aspects of elasmobranch molecular cell biology and physiology. Information derived from the use of in vitro cell cultures is valuable in revealing gene diversity and information for genomic sequence assembly, as well as for identification of new genes and molecular markers, construction of gene-array probes and acquisition of full-length cDNA sequences. © 2012 The Author. Journal of Fish Biology © 2012 The Fisheries Society of the British Isles.

  1. Plasma membrane--cortical cytoskeleton interactions: a cell biology approach with biophysical considerations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kapus, András; Janmey, Paul

    2013-07-01

    From a biophysical standpoint, the interface between the cell membrane and the cytoskeleton is an intriguing site where a "two-dimensional fluid" interacts with an exceedingly complex three-dimensional protein meshwork. The membrane is a key regulator of the cytoskeleton, which not only provides docking sites for cytoskeletal elements through transmembrane proteins, lipid binding-based, and electrostatic interactions, but also serves as the source of the signaling events and molecules that control cytoskeletal organization and remolding. Conversely, the cytoskeleton is a key determinant of the biophysical and biochemical properties of the membrane, including its shape, tension, movement, composition, as well as the mobility, partitioning, and recycling of its constituents. From a cell biological standpoint, the membrane-cytoskeleton interplay underlies--as a central executor and/or regulator--a multitude of complex processes including chemical and mechanical signal transduction, motility/migration, endo-/exo-/phagocytosis, and other forms of membrane traffic, cell-cell, and cell-matrix adhesion. The aim of this article is to provide an overview of the tight structural and functional coupling between the membrane and the cytoskeleton. As biophysical approaches, both theoretical and experimental, proved to be instrumental for our understanding of the membrane/cytoskeleton interplay, this review will "oscillate" between the cell biological phenomena and the corresponding biophysical principles and considerations. After describing the types of connections between the membrane and the cytoskeleton, we will focus on a few key physical parameters and processes (force generation, curvature, tension, and surface charge) and will discuss how these contribute to a variety of fundamental cell biological functions. © 2013 American Physiological Society.

  2. Systems Modelling and the Development of Coherent Understanding of Cell Biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Verhoeff, Roald P.; Waarlo, Arend Jan; Boersma, Kerst Th.

    2008-01-01

    This article reports on educational design research concerning a learning and teaching strategy for cell biology in upper-secondary education introducing "systems modelling" as a key competence. The strategy consists of four modelling phases in which students subsequently develop models of free-living cells, a general two-dimensional model of…

  3. Two faces of entropy and information in biological systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitrokhin, Yuriy

    2014-10-21

    The article attempts to overcome the well-known paradox of contradictions between the emerging biological organization and entropy production in biological systems. It is assumed that quality, speculative correlation between entropy and antientropy processes taking place both in the past and today in the metabolic and genetic cellular systems may be perfectly authorized for adequate description of the evolution of biological organization. So far as thermodynamic entropy itself cannot compensate for the high degree of organization which exists in the cell, we discuss the mode of conjunction of positive entropy events (mutations) in the genetic systems of the past generations and the formation of organized structures of current cells. We argue that only the information which is generated in the conditions of the information entropy production (mutations and other genome reorganization) in genetic systems of the past generations provides the physical conjunction of entropy and antientropy processes separated from each other in time generations. It is readily apparent from the requirements of the Second law of thermodynamics. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Culture, Urbanism and Changing Human Biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schell, L M

    2014-04-03

    Anthropologists have long known that human activity driven by culture changes the environment. This is apparent in the archaeological record and through the study of the modern environment. Perhaps the largest change since the paleolithic era is the organization of human populations in cities. New environments can reshape human biology through evolution as shown by the evolution of the hominid lineage. Evolution is not the only process capable of reshaping our biology. Some changes in our human biology are adaptive and evolutionary while others are pathological. What changes in human biology may be wrought by the modern urban environment? One significant new change in the environment is the introduction of pollutants largely through urbanization. Pollutants can affect human biology in myriad ways. Evidence shows that human growth, reproduction, and cognitive functioning can be altered by some pollutants, and altered in different ways depending on the pollutant. Thus, pollutants have significance for human biologists and anthropologists generally. Further, they illustrate the bio-cultural interaction characterizing human change. Humans adapt by changing the environment, a cultural process, and then change biologically to adjust to that new environment. This ongoing, interactive process is a fundamental characteristic of human change over the millennia.

  5. N-Cadherin Maintains the Healthy Biology of Nucleus Pulposus Cells under High-Magnitude Compression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Zhenyu; Leng, Jiali; Zhao, Yuguang; Yu, Dehai; Xu, Feng; Song, Qingxu; Qu, Zhigang; Zhuang, Xinming; Liu, Yi

    2017-01-01

    Mechanical load can regulate disc nucleus pulposus (NP) biology in terms of cell viability, matrix homeostasis and cell phenotype. N-cadherin (N-CDH) is a molecular marker of NP cells. This study investigated the role of N-CDH in maintaining NP cell phenotype, NP matrix synthesis and NP cell viability under high-magnitude compression. Rat NP cells seeded on scaffolds were perfusion-cultured using a self-developed perfusion bioreactor for 5 days. NP cell biology in terms of cell apoptosis, matrix biosynthesis and cell phenotype was studied after the cells were subjected to different compressive magnitudes (low- and high-magnitudes: 2% and 20% compressive deformation, respectively). Non-loaded NP cells were used as controls. Lentivirus-mediated N-CDH overexpression was used to further investigate the role of N-CDH under high-magnitude compression. The 20% deformation compression condition significantly decreased N-CDH expression compared with the 2% deformation compression and control conditions. Meanwhile, 20% deformation compression increased the number of apoptotic NP cells, up-regulated the expression of Bax and cleaved-caspase-3 and down-regulated the expression of Bcl-2, matrix macromolecules (aggrecan and collagen II) and NP cell markers (glypican-3, CAXII and keratin-19) compared with 2% deformation compression. Additionally, N-CDH overexpression attenuated the effects of 20% deformation compression on NP cell biology in relation to the designated parameters. N-CDH helps to restore the cell viability, matrix biosynthesis and cellular phenotype of NP cells under high-magnitude compression. © 2017 The Author(s). Published by S. Karger AG, Basel.

  6. Thoughts on the cultural evolution of man. Developmental imprinting and transgenerational effect.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Csaba, György

    2007-01-01

    The biological evolution of man stopped since it has been conveyed to the objects, created by man. This paper introduces the concept of "conveyed evolution". Being part of the cultural evolution, the conveyed evolution is a continuation of the biological one. There are several similarities between the laws of biological and conveyed evolution, albeit the differences are important as well. Some laws of the conveyed evolution are described here. The conveyed evolution has man-made repair mechanisms (medicine, protection of environment) which defend man from harm. Man's fragility limits the progress of conveyed evolution. However, artificial compounds or environmental pollutants which are provoked by the conveyed evolution induce chemical (hormonal) imprinting in the developmental critical periods, which is transmitted to the progeny generations (transgenerational effect). This could cause evolutionary alterations without mutation.

  7. Computational local stiffness analysis of biological cell: High aspect ratio single wall carbon nanotube tip

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    TermehYousefi, Amin, E-mail: at.tyousefi@gmail.com [Department of Human Intelligence Systems, Graduate School of Life Science and Systems Engineering, Kyushu Institute of Technology (Kyutech) (Japan); Bagheri, Samira; Shahnazar, Sheida [Nanotechnology & Catalysis Research Centre (NANOCAT), IPS Building, University Malaya, 50603 Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia); Rahman, Md. Habibur [Department of Computer Science and Engineering, University of Asia Pacific, Green Road, Dhaka-1215 (Bangladesh); Kadri, Nahrizul Adib [Department of Biomedical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, University Malaya, 50603 Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia)

    2016-02-01

    Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are potentially ideal tips for atomic force microscopy (AFM) due to the robust mechanical properties, nanoscale diameter and also their ability to be functionalized by chemical and biological components at the tip ends. This contribution develops the idea of using CNTs as an AFM tip in computational analysis of the biological cells. The proposed software was ABAQUS 6.13 CAE/CEL provided by Dassault Systems, which is a powerful finite element (FE) tool to perform the numerical analysis and visualize the interactions between proposed tip and membrane of the cell. Finite element analysis employed for each section and displacement of the nodes located in the contact area was monitored by using an output database (ODB). Mooney–Rivlin hyperelastic model of the cell allows the simulation to obtain a new method for estimating the stiffness and spring constant of the cell. Stress and strain curve indicates the yield stress point which defines as a vertical stress and plan stress. Spring constant of the cell and the local stiffness was measured as well as the applied force of CNT-AFM tip on the contact area of the cell. This reliable integration of CNT-AFM tip process provides a new class of high performance nanoprobes for single biological cell analysis. - Graphical abstract: This contribution develops the idea of using CNTs as an AFM tip in computational analysis of the biological cells. The proposed software was ABAQUS 6.13 CAE/CEL provided by Dassault Systems. Finite element analysis employed for each section and displacement of the nodes located in the contact area was monitored by using an output database (ODB). Mooney–Rivlin hyperelastic model of the cell allows the simulation to obtain a new method for estimating the stiffness and spring constant of the cell. Stress and strain curve indicates the yield stress point which defines as a vertical stress and plan stress. Spring constant of the cell and the local stiffness was measured as well

  8. Multiweek Cell Culture Project for Use in Upper-Level Biology Laboratories

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marion, Rebecca E.; Gardner, Grant E.; Parks, Lisa D.

    2012-01-01

    This article describes a laboratory protocol for a multiweek project piloted in a new upper-level biology laboratory (BIO 426) using cell culture techniques. Human embryonic kidney-293 cells were used, and several culture media and supplements were identified for students to design their own experiments. Treatments included amino acids, EGF,…

  9. Chimeric animal models in human stem cell biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glover, Joel C; Boulland, Jean-Luc; Halasi, Gabor; Kasumacic, Nedim

    2009-01-01

    The clinical use of stem cells for regenerative medicine is critically dependent on preclinical studies in animal models. In this review we examine some of the key issues and challenges in the use of animal models to study human stem cell biology-experimental standardization, body size, immunological barriers, cell survival factors, fusion of host and donor cells, and in vivo imaging and tracking. We focus particular attention on the various imaging modalities that can be used to track cells in living animals, comparing their strengths and weaknesses and describing technical developments that are likely to lead to new opportunities for the dynamic assessment of stem cell behavior in vivo. We then provide an overview of some of the most commonly used animal models, their advantages and disadvantages, and examples of their use for xenotypic transplantation of human stem cells, with separate reviews of models involving rodents, ungulates, nonhuman primates, and the chicken embryo. As the use of human somatic, embryonic, and induced pluripotent stem cells increases, so too will the range of applications for these animal models. It is likely that increasingly sophisticated uses of human/animal chimeric models will be developed through advances in genetic manipulation, cell delivery, and in vivo imaging.

  10. Chemotherapy curable malignancies and cancer stem cells: a biological review and hypothesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Savage, Philip

    2016-11-21

    Cytotoxic chemotherapy brings routine cures to only a small select group of metastatic malignancies comprising gestational trophoblast tumours, germ cell tumours, acute leukemia, Hodgkin's disease, high grade lymphomas and some of the rare childhood malignancies. We have previously postulated that the extreme sensitivity to chemotherapy for these malignancies is linked to the on-going high levels of apoptotic sensitivity that is naturally linked with the unique genetic events of nuclear fusion, meiosis, VDJ recombination, somatic hypermutation, and gastrulation that have occurred within the cells of origin of these malignancies. In this review we will examine the cancer stem cell/cancer cell relationship of each of the chemotherapy curable malignancies and how this relationship impacts on the resultant biology and pro-apoptotic sensitivity of the varying cancer cell types. In contrast to the common epithelial cancers, in each of the chemotherapy curable malignancies there are no conventional hierarchical cancer stem cells. However cells with cancer stem like qualities can arise stochastically from within the general tumour cell population. These stochastic stem cells acquire a degree of resistance to DNA damaging agents but also retain much of the key characteristics of the cancer cells from which they develop. We would argue that the balance between the acquired resistance of the stochastic cancer stem cell and the inherent chemotherapy sensitivity of parent tumour cell determines the overall chemotherapy curability of each diagnosis. The cancer stem cells in the chemotherapy curable malignancies appear to have two key biological differences from those of the more common chemotherapy incurable malignancies. The first difference is that the conventional hierarchical pattern of cancer stem cells is absent in each of the chemotherapy curable malignancies. The other key difference, we suggest, is that the stochastic stem cells in the chemotherapy curable malignancies

  11. Etiology of lumbar lordosis and its pathophysiology: a review of the evolution of lumbar lordosis, and the mechanics and biology of lumbar degeneration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sparrey, Carolyn J; Bailey, Jeannie F; Safaee, Michael; Clark, Aaron J; Lafage, Virginie; Schwab, Frank; Smith, Justin S; Ames, Christopher P

    2014-05-01

    The goal of this review is to discuss the mechanisms of postural degeneration, particularly the loss of lumbar lordosis commonly observed in the elderly in the context of evolution, mechanical, and biological studies of the human spine and to synthesize recent research findings to clinical management of postural malalignment. Lumbar lordosis is unique to the human spine and is necessary to facilitate our upright posture. However, decreased lumbar lordosis and increased thoracic kyphosis are hallmarks of an aging human spinal column. The unique upright posture and lordotic lumbar curvature of the human spine suggest that an understanding of the evolution of the human spinal column, and the unique anatomical features that support lumbar lordosis may provide insight into spine health and degeneration. Considering evolution of the skeleton in isolation from other scientific studies provides a limited picture for clinicians. The evolution and development of human lumbar lordosis highlight the interdependence of pelvic structure and lumbar lordosis. Studies of fossils of human lineage demonstrate a convergence on the degree of lumbar lordosis and the number of lumbar vertebrae in modern Homo sapiens. Evolution and spine mechanics research show that lumbar lordosis is dictated by pelvic incidence, spinal musculature, vertebral wedging, and disc health. The evolution, mechanics, and biology research all point to the importance of spinal posture and flexibility in supporting optimal health. However, surgical management of postural deformity has focused on restoring posture at the expense of flexibility. It is possible that the need for complex and costly spinal fixation can be eliminated by developing tools for early identification of patients at risk for postural deformities through patient history (genetics, mechanics, and environmental exposure) and tracking postural changes over time.

  12. Continuous "in vitro" Evolution of a Ribozyme Ligase: A Model Experiment for the Evolution of a Biomolecule

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ledbetter, Michael P.; Hwang, Tony W.; Stovall, Gwendolyn M.; Ellington, Andrew D.

    2013-01-01

    Evolution is a defining criterion of life and is central to understanding biological systems. However, the timescale of evolutionary shifts in phenotype limits most classroom evolution experiments to simple probability simulations. "In vitro" directed evolution (IVDE) frequently serves as a model system for the study of Darwinian…

  13. The virtue of innovation: innovation through the lenses of biological evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kell, Douglas B.; Lurie-Luke, Elena

    2015-01-01

    We rehearse the processes of innovation and discovery in general terms, using as our main metaphor the biological concept of an evolutionary fitness landscape. Incremental and disruptive innovations are seen, respectively, as successful searches carried out locally or more widely. They may also be understood as reflecting evolution by mutation (incremental) versus recombination (disruptive). We also bring a platonic view, focusing on virtue and memory. We use ‘virtue’ as a measure of efforts, including the knowledge required to come up with disruptive and incremental innovations, and ‘memory’ as a measure of their lifespan, i.e. how long they are remembered. Fostering innovation, in the evolutionary metaphor, means providing the wherewithal to promote novelty, good objective functions that one is trying to optimize, and means to improve one's knowledge of, and ability to navigate, the landscape one is searching. Recombination necessarily implies multi- or inter-disciplinarity. These principles are generic to all kinds of creativity, novel ideas formation and the development of new products and technologies. PMID:25505138

  14. Lessons learned about spaceflight and cell biology experiments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hughes-Fulford, Millie

    2004-01-01

    Conducting cell biology experiments in microgravity can be among the most technically challenging events in a biologist's life. Conflicting events of spaceflight include waiting to get manifested, delays in manifest schedules, training astronauts to not shake your cultures and to add reagents slowly, as shaking or quick injection can activate signaling cascades and give you erroneous results. It is important to select good hardware that is reliable. Possible conflicting environments in flight include g-force and vibration of launch, exposure of cells to microgravity for extended periods until hardware is turned on, changes in cabin gases and cosmic radiation. One should have an on-board 1-g control centrifuge in order to eliminate environmental differences. Other obstacles include getting your funding in a timely manner (it is not uncommon for two to three years to pass between notification of grant approval for funding and actually getting funded). That said, it is important to note that microgravity research is worthwhile since all terrestrial life evolved in a gravity field and secrets of biological function may only be answered by removing the constant of gravity. Finally, spaceflight experiments are rewarding and worth your effort and patience.

  15. Multiweek cell culture project for use in upper-level biology laboratories.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marion, Rebecca E; Gardner, Grant E; Parks, Lisa D

    2012-06-01

    This article describes a laboratory protocol for a multiweek project piloted in a new upper-level biology laboratory (BIO 426) using cell culture techniques. Human embryonic kidney-293 cells were used, and several culture media and supplements were identified for students to design their own experiments. Treatments included amino acids, EGF, caffeine, epinephrine, heavy metals, and FBS. Students researched primary literature to determine their experimental variables, made their own solutions, and treated their cells over a period of 2 wk. Before this, a sterile technique laboratory was developed to teach students how to work with the cells and minimize contamination. Students designed their experiments, mixed their solutions, seeded their cells, and treated them with their control and experimental media. Students had the choice of manipulating a number of variables, including incubation times, exposure to treatment media, and temperature. At the end of the experiment, students observed the effects of their treatment, harvested and dyed their cells, counted relative cell numbers in control and treatment flasks, and determined the ratio of living to dead cells using a hemocytometer. At the conclusion of the experiment, students presented their findings in a poster presentation. This laboratory can be expanded or adapted to include additional cell lines and treatments. The ability to design and implement their own experiments has been shown to increase student engagement in the biology-related laboratory activities as well as develop the critical thinking skills needed for independent research.

  16. Engineered Breast Cancer Cell Spheroids Reproduce Biologic Properties of Solid Tumors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ham, Stephanie L; Joshi, Ramila; Luker, Gary D; Tavana, Hossein

    2016-11-01

    Solid tumors develop as 3D tissue constructs. As tumors grow larger, spatial gradients of nutrients and oxygen and inadequate diffusive supply to cells distant from vasculature develops. Hypoxia initiates signaling and transcriptional alterations to promote survival of cancer cells and generation of cancer stem cells (CSCs) that have self-renewal and tumor-initiation capabilities. Both hypoxia and CSCs are associated with resistance to therapies and tumor relapse. This study demonstrates that 3D cancer cell models, known as tumor spheroids, generated with a polymeric aqueous two-phase system (ATPS) technology capture these important biological processes. Similar to solid tumors, spheroids of triple negative breast cancer cells deposit major extracellular matrix proteins. The molecular analysis establishes presence of hypoxic cells in the core region and expression of CSC gene and protein markers including CD24, CD133, and Nanog. Importantly, these spheroids resist treatment with chemotherapy drugs. A combination treatment approach using a hypoxia-activated prodrug, TH-302, and a chemotherapy drug, doxorubicin, successfully targets drug resistant spheroids. This study demonstrates that ATPS spheroids recapitulate important biological and functional properties of solid tumors and provide a unique model for studies in cancer research. © 2016 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  17. Of mice and women: a comparative tissue biology perspective of breast stem cells and differentiation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dontu, Gabriela; Ince, Tan A

    2015-06-01

    Tissue based research requires a background in human and veterinary pathology, developmental biology, anatomy, as well as molecular and cellular biology. This type of comparative tissue biology (CTB) expertise is necessary to tackle some of the conceptual challenges in human breast stem cell research. It is our opinion that the scarcity of CTB expertise contributed to some erroneous interpretations in tissue based research, some of which are reviewed here in the context of breast stem cells. In this article we examine the dissimilarities between mouse and human mammary tissue and suggest how these may impact stem cell studies. In addition, we consider the differences between breast ducts vs. lobules and clarify how these affect the interpretation of results in stem cell research. Lastly, we introduce a new elaboration of normal epithelial cell types in human breast and discuss how this provides a clinically useful basis for breast cancer classification.

  18. Quantum Mechanics predicts evolutionary biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Torday, J S

    2018-07-01

    Nowhere are the shortcomings of conventional descriptive biology more evident than in the literature on Quantum Biology. In the on-going effort to apply Quantum Mechanics to evolutionary biology, merging Quantum Mechanics with the fundamentals of evolution as the First Principles of Physiology-namely negentropy, chemiosmosis and homeostasis-offers an authentic opportunity to understand how and why physics constitutes the basic principles of biology. Negentropy and chemiosmosis confer determinism on the unicell, whereas homeostasis constitutes Free Will because it offers a probabilistic range of physiologic set points. Similarly, on this basis several principles of Quantum Mechanics also apply directly to biology. The Pauli Exclusion Principle is both deterministic and probabilistic, whereas non-localization and the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle are both probabilistic, providing the long-sought after ontologic and causal continuum from physics to biology and evolution as the holistic integration recognized as consciousness for the first time. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Ovary and fimbrial stem cells: biology, niche and cancer origins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ng, Annie; Barker, Nick

    2015-10-01

    The mammalian ovary is covered by a single-layered epithelium that undergoes rupture and remodelling following each ovulation. Although resident stem cells are presumed to be crucial for this cyclic regeneration, their identity and mode of action have been elusive. Surrogate stemness assays and in vivo fate-mapping studies using recently discovered stem cell markers have identified stem cell pools in the ovary and fimbria that ensure epithelial homeostasis. Recent findings provide insights into intrinsic mechanisms and local extrinsic cues that govern the function of ovarian and fimbrial stem cells. These discoveries have advanced our understanding of stem cell biology in the ovary and fimbria, and lay the foundations for evaluating the contribution of resident stem cells to the initiation and progression of human epithelial ovarian cancer.

  20. Cell Biology of Astrocyte-Synapse Interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allen, Nicola J; Eroglu, Cagla

    2017-11-01

    Astrocytes, the most abundant glial cells in the mammalian brain, are critical regulators of brain development and physiology through dynamic and often bidirectional interactions with neuronal synapses. Despite the clear importance of astrocytes for the establishment and maintenance of proper synaptic connectivity, our understanding of their role in brain function is still in its infancy. We propose that this is at least in part due to large gaps in our knowledge of the cell biology of astrocytes and the mechanisms they use to interact with synapses. In this review, we summarize some of the seminal findings that yield important insight into the cellular and molecular basis of astrocyte-neuron communication, focusing on the role of astrocytes in the development and remodeling of synapses. Furthermore, we pose some pressing questions that need to be addressed to advance our mechanistic understanding of the role of astrocytes in regulating synaptic development. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. Evolution, epigenetics and cooperation

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Explanations for biological evolution in terms of changes in gene frequencies refer to outcomes rather than process. Integrating epigenetic studies with older evolutionary theories has drawn attention to the ways in which evolution occurs. Adaptation at the level of the gene is givingway to adaptation at the level of the ...

  2. At the cutting edge: applications and perspectives of laser nanosurgery in cell biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ronchi, Paolo; Terjung, Stefan; Pepperkok, Rainer

    2012-04-01

    Laser-mediated nanosurgery has become popular in the last decade because of the previously unexplored possibility of ablating biological material inside living cells with sub-micrometer precision. A number of publications have shown the potential applications of this technique, ranging from the dissection of sub-cellular structures to surgical ablations of whole cells or tissues in model systems such as Drosophila melanogaster or Danio rerio . In parallel, the recent development of micropatterning techniques has given cell biologists the possibility to shape cells and reproducibly organize the intracellular space. The integration of these two techniques has only recently started yet their combination has proven to be very interesting. The aim of this review is to present recent applications of laser nanosurgery in cell biology and to discuss the possible developments of this approach, particularly in combination with micropattern-mediated endomembrane organization.

  3. Rapid directed evolution of stabilized proteins with cellular high-throughput encapsulation solubilization and screening (CHESS).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yong, K J; Scott, D J

    2015-03-01

    Directed evolution is a powerful method for engineering proteins towards user-defined goals and has been used to generate novel proteins for industrial processes, biological research and drug discovery. Typical directed evolution techniques include cellular display, phage display, ribosome display and water-in-oil compartmentalization, all of which physically link individual members of diverse gene libraries to their translated proteins. This allows the screening or selection for a desired protein function and subsequent isolation of the encoding gene from diverse populations. For biotechnological and industrial applications there is a need to engineer proteins that are functional under conditions that are not compatible with these techniques, such as high temperatures and harsh detergents. Cellular High-throughput Encapsulation Solubilization and Screening (CHESS), is a directed evolution method originally developed to engineer detergent-stable G proteins-coupled receptors (GPCRs) for structural biology. With CHESS, library-transformed bacterial cells are encapsulated in detergent-resistant polymers to form capsules, which serve to contain mutant genes and their encoded proteins upon detergent mediated solubilization of cell membranes. Populations of capsules can be screened like single cells to enable rapid isolation of genes encoding detergent-stable protein mutants. To demonstrate the general applicability of CHESS to other proteins, we have characterized the stability and permeability of CHESS microcapsules and employed CHESS to generate thermostable, sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS) resistant green fluorescent protein (GFP) mutants, the first soluble proteins to be engineered using CHESS. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  4. The relationship between biology teachers' understanding of the nature of science and the understanding and acceptance of the theory of evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cofré, Hernán; Cuevas, Emilia; Becerra, Beatriz

    2017-11-01

    Despite the importance of the theory of evolution (TE) to scientific knowledge, a number of misconceptions continue to be found among biology teachers. In this context, the first objective of this study was to identify the impact of professional development programme (PDP) on teachers' understanding of nature of science (NOS) and evolution and on the acceptance of this theory. Its second objective was to study the relationship among these variables. Three instruments were used to quantify these variables: the Views of the Nature of Science Version D (VNOS D+), the Assessing Contextual Reasoning about Natural Selection (ACORN), and the Measure of Acceptance of Theory of Evolution (MATE). The results indicate that the PDP had a positive impact on teachers, significantly improving their understanding of the NOS and natural selection, as well as their acceptance of the TE. Furthermore, a positive correlation between the understanding of the NOS obtained by teachers in the first part of the PDP and the understanding and acceptance of evolution that these teachers showed at the end of the programme was determined. However, no relationship between an understanding of the NOS and gains in the understanding and acceptance of evolution was found.

  5. Glucose Transport in Cultured Animal Cells: An Exercise for the Undergraduate Cell Biology Laboratory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ledbetter, Mary Lee S.; Lippert, Malcolm J.

    2002-01-01

    Membrane transport is a fundamental concept that undergraduate students of cell biology understand better with laboratory experience. Formal teaching exercises commonly used to illustrate this concept are unbiological, qualitative, or intricate and time consuming to prepare. We have developed an exercise that uses uptake of radiolabeled nutrient…

  6. Practices and Perspectives of College Instructors on Addressing Religious Beliefs When Teaching Evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barnes, M. Elizabeth; Brownell, Sara E.

    2016-01-01

    Evolution is a core concept of biology, and yet many college biology students do not accept evolution because of their religious beliefs. However, we do not currently know how instructors perceive their role in helping students accept evolution or how they address the perceived conflict between religion and evolution when they teach evolution.…

  7. Insights into the key roles of proteoglycans in breast cancer biology and translational medicine

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Theocharis, Achilleas D.; Skandalis, Spyros S.; Neill, Thomas

    2015-01-01

    of proteoglycans on tumor and stromal cell membranes affects cancer cell signaling, growth and survival, cell adhesion, migration and angiogenesis. Despite the high complexity and heterogeneity of breast cancer, the rapid evolution in our knowledge that proteoglycans are among the key players in the breast tumor...... in the proteoglycans that will be presented herein provides the potential for multiple layers of regulation of breast tumor behavior. This review summarizes recent developments concerning the biology of selected proteoglycans in breast cancer, and presents potential targeted therapeutic approaches based on their novel...

  8. A virocentric perspective on the evolution of life

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koonin, Eugene V.; Dolja, Valerian V.

    2015-01-01

    Viruses and/or virus-like selfish elements are associated with all cellular life forms and are the most abundant biological entities on Earth, with the number of virus particles in many environments exceeding the number of cells by one to two orders of magnitude. The genetic diversity of viruses is commensurately enormous and might substantially exceed the diversity of cellular organisms. Unlike cellular organisms with their uniform replication-expression scheme, viruses possess either RNA or DNA genomes and exploit all conceivable replication-expression strategies. Although viruses extensively exchange genes with their hosts, there exists a set of viral hallmark genes that are shared by extremely diverse groups of viruses to the exclusion of cellular life forms. Coevolution of viruses and host defense systems is a key aspect in the evolution of both viruses and cells, and viral genes are often recruited for cellular functions. Together with the fundamental inevitability of the emergence of genomic parasites in any evolving replicator system, these multiple lines of evidence reveal the central role of viruses in the entire evolution of life. PMID:23850169

  9. From cell biology to immunology: Controlling metastatic progression of cancer via microRNA regulatory networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Jae Hyon; Theodoratou, Evropi; Calin, George A; Shin, Jae Il

    2016-01-01

    Recently, the study of microRNAs has expanded our knowledge of the fundamental processes of cancer biology and the underlying mechanisms behind tumor metastasis. Extensive research in the fields of microRNA and its novel mechanisms of actions against various cancers has more recently led to the trial of a first cancer-targeted microRNA drug, MRX34. Yet, these microRNAs are mostly being studied and clinically trialed solely based on the understanding of their cell biologic effects, thus, neglecting the important immunologic effects that are sometimes opposite of the cell biologic effects. Here, we summarize both the cell biologic and immunologic effects of various microRNAs and discuss the importance of considering both effects before using them in clinical settings. We stress the importance of understanding the miRNA's effect on cancer metastasis from a "systems" perspective before developing a miRNA-targeted therapeutic in treating cancer metastasis.

  10. Non-Chemical Distant Cellular Interactions as a potential confounder of Cell Biology Experiments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ashkan eFarhadi

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Distant cells can communicate with each other through a variety of methods. Two such methods involve electrical and/or chemical mechanisms. Non-chemical, distant cellular interactions may be another method of communication that cells can use to modify the behavior of other cells that are mechanically separated. Moreover, non-chemical, distant cellular interactions may explain some cases of confounding effects in Cell Biology experiments. In this article, we review non-chemical, distant cellular interactions studies to try to shed light on the mechanisms in this highly unconventional field of cell biology. Despite the existence of several theories that try to explain the mechanism of non-chemical, distant cellular interactions, this phenomenon is still speculative. Among candidate mechanisms, electromagnetic waves appear to have the most experimental support. In this brief article, we try to answer a few key questions that may further clarify this mechanism.

  11. The role of EMMPRIN in T cell biology and immunological diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hahn, Jennifer Nancy; Kaushik, Deepak Kumar; Yong, V Wee

    2015-07-01

    EMMPRIN (CD147), originally described as an inducer of the expression of MMPs, has gained attention in its involvement in various immunologic diseases, such that anti-EMMPRIN antibodies are considered as potential therapeutic medications. Given that MMPs are involved in the pathogenesis of various disease states, it is relevant that targeting an upstream inducer would make for an effective therapeutic strategy. Additionally, EMMPRIN is now appreciated to have multiple roles apart from MMP induction, including in cellular functions, such as migration, adhesion, invasion, energy metabolism, as well as T cell activation and proliferation. Here, we review what is known about EMMPRIN in numerous immunologic/inflammatory disease conditions with a particular focus on its complex roles in T cell biology. © Society for Leukocyte Biology.

  12. Inhibition of survivin influences the biological activities of canine histiocytic sarcoma cell lines.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hiroki Yamazaki

    Full Text Available Canine histiocytic sarcoma (CHS is an aggressive malignant neoplasm that originates from histiocytic lineage cells, including dendritic cells and macrophages, and is characterized by progressive local infiltration and a very high metastatic potential. Survivin is as an apoptotic inhibitory factor that has major functions in cell proliferation, including inhibition of apoptosis and regulation of cell division, and is expressed in most types of human and canine malignant neoplasms, including melanoma and osteosarcoma. To investigate whether survivin was expressed at high levels in CHS and whether its expression was correlated with the aggressive biological behavior of CHS, we assessed relation between survivin expression and CHS progression, as well as the effects of survivin inhibition on the biological activities of CHS cells. We comparatively analyzed the expression of 6 selected anti-apoptotic genes, including survivin, in specimens from 30 dogs with histiocytic sarcoma and performed annexin V staining to evaluate apoptosis, methylthiazole tetrazolium assays to assess cell viability and chemosensitivity, and latex bead assays to measure changes in phagocytic activities in 4 CHS cell lines and normal canine fibroblasts transfected with survivin siRNA. Survivin gene expression levels in 30 specimens were significantly higher than those of the other 6 genes. After transfection with survivin siRNA, apoptosis, cell growth inhibition, enhanced chemosensitivity, and weakened phagocytic activities were observed in all CHS cell lines. In contrast, normal canine fibroblasts were not significantly affected by survivin knockdown. These results suggested that survivin expression may mediate the aggressive biological activities of CHS and that survivin may be an effective therapeutic target for the treatment of CHS.

  13. Primary culture of glial cells from mouse sympathetic cervical ganglion: a valuable tool for studying glial cell biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Almeida-Leite, Camila Megale; Arantes, Rosa Maria Esteves

    2010-12-15

    Central nervous system glial cells as astrocytes and microglia have been investigated in vitro and many intracellular pathways have been clarified upon various stimuli. Peripheral glial cells, however, are not as deeply investigated in vitro despite its importance role in inflammatory and neurodegenerative diseases. Based on our previous experience of culturing neuronal cells, our objective was to standardize and morphologically characterize a primary culture of mouse superior cervical ganglion glial cells in order to obtain a useful tool to study peripheral glial cell biology. Superior cervical ganglia from neonatal C57BL6 mice were enzymatically and mechanically dissociated and cells were plated on diluted Matrigel coated wells in a final concentration of 10,000cells/well. Five to 8 days post plating, glial cell cultures were fixed for morphological and immunocytochemical characterization. Glial cells showed a flat and irregular shape, two or three long cytoplasm processes, and round, oval or long shaped nuclei, with regular outline. Cell proliferation and mitosis were detected both qualitative and quantitatively. Glial cells were able to maintain their phenotype in our culture model including immunoreactivity against glial cell marker GFAP. This is the first description of immunocytochemical characterization of mouse sympathetic cervical ganglion glial cells in primary culture. This work discusses the uses and limitations of our model as a tool to study many aspects of peripheral glial cell biology. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. Biologic activities of recombinant human-beta-defensin-4 toward cultured human cancer cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gerashchenko, O L; Zhuravel, E V; Skachkova, O V; Khranovska, N N; Filonenko, V V; Pogrebnoy, P V; Soldatkina, M A

    2013-06-01

    The aim of the study was in vitro analysis of biological activity of recombinant human beta-defensin-4 (rec-hBD-4). hBD-4 cDNA was cloned into pGEX-2T vector, and recombinant plasmid was transformed into E. coli BL21(DE3) cells. To purify soluble fusion GST-hBD-4 protein, affinity chromatography was applied. Rec-hBD-4 was cleaved from the fusion protein with thrombin, and purified by reverse phase chromatography on Sep-Pack C18. Effects of rec-hBD-4 on proliferation, viability, cell cycle distribution, substrate-independent growth, and mobility of cultured human cancer cells of A431, A549, and TPC-1 lines were analyzed by direct cell counting technique, MTT assay, flow cytofluorometry, colony forming assay in semi-soft medium, and wound healing assay. Rec-hBD-4 was expressed in bacterial cells as GST-hBD-4 fusion protein, and purified by routine 3-step procedure (affine chromatography on glutathione-agarose, cleavage of fusion protein by thrombin, and reverse phase chromatography). Analysis of in vitro activity of rec-hBD-4 toward three human cancer cell lines has demonstrated that the defensin is capable to affect cell behaviour in concentration-dependent manner. In 1-100 nM concentrations rec-hBD-4 significantly stimulates cancer cell proliferation and viability, and promotes cell cycle progression through G2/M checkpoint, greatly enhances colony-forming activity and mobility of the cells. Treatment of the cells with 500 nM of rec-hBD-4 resulted in opposite effects: significant suppression of cell proliferation and viability, blockage of cell cycle in G1/S checkpoint, significant inhibition of cell migration and colony forming activity. Recombinant human beta-defensin-4 is biologically active peptide capable to cause oppositely directed effects toward biologic features of cancer cells in vitro dependent on its concentration.

  15. Single cell biology beyond the era of antibodies: relevance, challenges, and promises in biomedical research.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abraham, Parvin; Maliekal, Tessy Thomas

    2017-04-01

    Research of the past two decades has proved the relevance of single cell biology in basic research and translational medicine. Successful detection and isolation of specific subsets is the key to understand their functional heterogeneity. Antibodies are conventionally used for this purpose, but their relevance in certain contexts is limited. In this review, we discuss some of these contexts, posing bottle neck for different fields of biology including biomedical research. With the advancement of chemistry, several methods have been introduced to overcome these problems. Even though microfluidics and microraft array are newer techniques exploited for single cell biology, fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS) remains the gold standard technique for isolation of cells for many biomedical applications, like stem cell therapy. Here, we present a comprehensive and comparative account of some of the probes that are useful in FACS. Further, we illustrate how these techniques could be applied in biomedical research. It is postulated that intracellular molecular markers like nucleostemin (GNL3), alkaline phosphatase (ALPL) and HIRA can be used for improving the outcome of cardiac as well as bone regeneration. Another field that could utilize intracellular markers is diagnostics, and we propose the use of specific peptide nucleic acid probes (PNPs) against certain miRNAs for cancer surgical margin prediction. The newer techniques for single cell biology, based on intracellular molecules, will immensely enhance the repertoire of possible markers for the isolation of cell types useful in biomedical research.

  16. Structural Approaches to Sequence Evolution Molecules, Networks, Populations

    CERN Document Server

    Bastolla, Ugo; Roman, H. Eduardo; Vendruscolo, Michele

    2007-01-01

    Structural requirements constrain the evolution of biological entities at all levels, from macromolecules to their networks, right up to populations of biological organisms. Classical models of molecular evolution, however, are focused at the level of the symbols - the biological sequence - rather than that of their resulting structure. Now recent advances in understanding the thermodynamics of macromolecules, the topological properties of gene networks, the organization and mutation capabilities of genomes, and the structure of populations make it possible to incorporate these key elements into a broader and deeply interdisciplinary view of molecular evolution. This book gives an account of such a new approach, through clear tutorial contributions by leading scientists specializing in the different fields involved.

  17. External irradiation facilities open for biological studies - progress in july 2005

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gaillard-Lecanu, E.; Authier, N.; Verrey, B.; Bailly, I.; Bordy, J.M.; Coffigny, H.; Cortela, L.; Duval, D.; Leplat, J.J.; Poncy, J.L.; Testard, I.; Thuret, J.Y.

    2005-01-01

    The Life Science Division of the Atomic Energy Commission is making an inventory of the various radiation sources accessible for investigation on the biological effects of ionizing radiation. In this field, a wide range of studies is being carried out at the Life Science Division, attempting to characterize the kind of lesions with their early biological consequences (on the various cell compartments) and their late biological consequences (deterministic or stochastic effects), in relation to the radiation type and dose, especially at low doses. Several experimental models are available: plants, bacteria, eukaryotic cells from yeast up to mammalian cells and in vivo studies, mostly on rodents, in order to characterize the somatic late effects and the hereditary effects. Due to the significant cost of these facilities, also to their specific properties (nature of the radiation, dose and dose rate, possible accuracy of the irradiation at the molecular level), the closeness is no longer the only criteria for biologists to make a choice. The current evolution is to set up irradiation infrastructures combining ionizing radiation sources themselves and specific tools dedicated to biological studies: cell or molecular biology laboratories, animal facilities. The purpose, in this new frame, is to provide biologists with the most suitable facilities, and, if possible, to change these facilities according to requirements in radiobiology. In this report, the basics of interactions of ionizing radiation with biological tissues are briefly introduced, followed by a presentation of some of the facilities available for radiobiological studies especially at CEA. This panorama is not a comprehensive one, new data will be included as they advance, whether reporting existing facilities or if a new one is developed. (authors)

  18. Downregulation of the expression of HDGF attenuates malignant biological behaviors of hilar cholangiocarcinoma cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Yanfeng; Sun, Jingxian; Yang, Guangyun; Liu, Zhaojian; Guo, Sen; Zhao, Rui; Xu, Kesen; Wu, Xiaopeng; Zhang, Zhaoyang

    2015-09-01

    Hepatoma-derived growth factor (HDGF) has been reported to be a potential predictive and prognostic marker for several types of cancer and important in malignant biological behaviors. However, its role in human hilar cholangiocarcinoma remains to be elucidated. Our previous study demonstrated that high expression levels of HDGF in hilar cholangiocarcinoma tissues correlates with tumor progression and patient outcome. The present study aimed to elucidate the detailed functions of the HDGF protein. This was performed by downregulating the protein expression of HDGF in the FRH0201 hilar cholangiocarcinoma cell line by RNA interference (RNAi) in vitro, and revealed that downregulation of the HDGF protein significantly inhibited the malignant biological behavior of the FRH0201 cells. In addition, further investigation revealed that downregulation of the protein expression of HDGF significantly decreased the secretion of vascular endothelial growth factor, which may be the mechanism partially responsible for the inhibition of malignant biological behaviors. These findings demonstrated that HDGF is important in promoting malignant biological behaviors, including proliferation, migration and invasion of hilar cholangiocarcinoma FRH0201 cells. Inhibition of the expression of HDGF downregulated the malignant biological behaviors, suggesting that downregulation of the protein expression of HDGF by RNAi may be a novel therapeutic approach to inhibit the progression of hilar cholangiocarcinoma.

  19. On the thermodynamics of multilevel evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tessera, Marc; Hoelzer, Guy A

    2013-09-01

    Biodiversity is hierarchically structured both phylogenetically and functionally. Phylogenetic hierarchy is understood as a product of branching organic evolution as described by Darwin. Ecosystem biologists understand some aspects of functional hierarchy, such as food web architecture, as a product of evolutionary ecology; but functional hierarchy extends to much lower scales of organization than those studied by ecologists. We argue that the more general use of the term "evolution" employed by physicists and applied to non-living systems connects directly to the narrow biological meaning. Physical evolution is best understood as a thermodynamic phenomenon, and this perspective comfortably includes all of biological evolution. We suggest four dynamical factors that build on each other in a hierarchical fashion and set the stage for the Darwinian evolution of biological systems: (1) the entropic erosion of structure; (2) the construction of dissipative systems; (3) the reproduction of growing systems and (4) the historical memory accrued to populations of reproductive agents by the acquisition of hereditary mechanisms. A particular level of evolution can underpin the emergence of higher levels, but evolutionary processes persist at each level in the hierarchy. We also argue that particular evolutionary processes can occur at any level of the hierarchy where they are not obstructed by material constraints. This theoretical framework provides an extensive basis for understanding natural selection as a multilevel process. The extensive literature on thermodynamics in turn provides an important advantage to this perspective on the evolution of higher levels of organization, such as the evolution of altruism that can accompany the emergence of social organization. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Modelling effective dielectric properties of materials containing diverse types of biological cells

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Huclova, Sonja; Froehlich, Juerg; Erni, Daniel

    2010-01-01

    An efficient and versatile numerical method for the generation of different realistically shaped biological cells is developed. This framework is used to calculate the dielectric spectra of materials containing specific types of biological cells. For the generation of the numerical models of the cells a flexible parametrization method based on the so-called superformula is applied including the option of obtaining non-axisymmetric shapes such as box-shaped cells and even shapes corresponding to echinocytes. The dielectric spectra of effective media containing various cell morphologies are calculated focusing on the dependence of the spectral features on the cell shape. The numerical method is validated by comparing a model of spherical inclusions at a low volume fraction with the analytical solution obtained by the Maxwell-Garnett mixing formula, resulting in good agreement. Our simulation data for different cell shapes suggest that around 1MHz the effective dielectric properties of different cell shapes at different volume fractions significantly deviate from the spherical case. The most pronounced change exhibits ε eff between 0.1 and 1 MHz with a deviation of up to 35% for a box-shaped cell and 15% for an echinocyte compared with the sphere at a volume fraction of 0.4. This hampers the unique interpretation of changes in cellular features measured by dielectric spectroscopy when simplified material models are used.

  1. Precision control of recombinant gene transcription for CHO cell synthetic biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Adam J; James, David C

    2016-01-01

    The next generation of mammalian cell factories for biopharmaceutical production will be genetically engineered to possess both generic and product-specific manufacturing capabilities that may not exist naturally. Introduction of entirely new combinations of synthetic functions (e.g. novel metabolic or stress-response pathways), and retro-engineering of existing functional cell modules will drive disruptive change in cellular manufacturing performance. However, before we can apply the core concepts underpinning synthetic biology (design, build, test) to CHO cell engineering we must first develop practical and robust enabling technologies. Fundamentally, we will require the ability to precisely control the relative stoichiometry of numerous functional components we simultaneously introduce into the host cell factory. In this review we discuss how this can be achieved by design of engineered promoters that enable concerted control of recombinant gene transcription. We describe the specific mechanisms of transcriptional regulation that affect promoter function during bioproduction processes, and detail the highly-specific promoter design criteria that are required in the context of CHO cell engineering. The relative applicability of diverse promoter development strategies are discussed, including re-engineering of natural sequences, design of synthetic transcription factor-based systems, and construction of synthetic promoters. This review highlights the potential of promoter engineering to achieve precision transcriptional control for CHO cell synthetic biology. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  2. Radiosensitivity of cancer-initiating cells and normal stem cells (or what the Heisenberg uncertainly principle has to do with biology).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woodward, Wendy Ann; Bristow, Robert Glen

    2009-04-01

    Mounting evidence suggests that parallels between normal stem cell biology and cancer biology may provide new targets for cancer therapy. Prospective identification and isolation of cancer-initiating cells from solid tumors has promoted the descriptive and functional identification of these cells allowing for characterization of their response to contemporary cancer therapies, including chemotherapy and radiation. In clinical radiation therapy, the failure to clinically eradicate all tumor cells (eg, a lack of response, partial response, or nonpermanent complete response by imaging) is considered a treatment failure. As such, biologists have explored the characteristics of the small population of clonogenic cancer cells that can survive and are capable of repopulating the tumor after subcurative therapy. Herein, we discuss the convergence of these clonogenic studies with contemporary radiosensitivity studies that use cell surface markers to identify cancer-initiating cells. Implications for and uncertainties regarding incorporation of these concepts into the practice of modern radiation oncology are discussed.

  3. Symposium on single cell analysis and genomic approaches, Experimental Biology 2017 Chicago, Illinois, April 23, 2017.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coller, Hilary A

    2017-09-01

    Emerging technologies for the analysis of genome-wide information in single cells have the potential to transform many fields of biology, including our understanding of cell states, the response of cells to external stimuli, mosaicism, and intratumor heterogeneity. At Experimental Biology 2017 in Chicago, Physiological Genomics hosted a symposium in which five leaders in the field of single cell genomics presented their recent research. The speakers discussed emerging methodologies in single cell analysis and critical issues for the analysis of single cell data. Also discussed were applications of single cell genomics to understanding the different types of cells within an organism or tissue and the basis for cell-to-cell variability in response to stimuli. Copyright © 2017 the American Physiological Society.

  4. Discovery of the cancer stem cell related determinants of radioresistance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Peitzsch, Claudia; Kurth, Ina; Kunz-Schughart, Leoni; Baumann, Michael; Dubrovska, Anna

    2013-01-01

    Tumors are known to be heterogeneous containing a dynamic mixture of phenotypically and functionally different tumor cells. The two concepts attempting to explain the origin of intratumor heterogeneity are the cancer stem cell hypothesis and the clonal evolution model. The stochastic model argues that tumors are biologically homogenous and all cancer cells within the tumor have equal ability to propagate the tumor growth depending on continuing mutations and selective pressure. By contrast, the stem cells model suggests that cancer heterogeneity is due to the hierarchy that originates from a small population of cancer stem cells (CSCs) which are biologically distinct from the bulk tumor and possesses self-renewal, tumorigenic and multilineage potential. Although these two hypotheses have been discussed for a long time as mutually exclusive explanations of tumor heterogeneity, they are easily reconciled serving as a driving force of cancer evolution and diversity. Recent discovery of the cancer cell plasticity and heterogeneity makes the CSC population a moving target that could be hard to track and eradicate. Understanding the signaling mechanisms regulating CSCs during the course of cancer treatment can be indispensable for the optimization of current treatment strategies

  5. Theories and models on the biological of cells in space

    Science.gov (United States)

    Todd, P.; Klaus, D. M.

    1996-01-01

    A wide variety of observations on cells in space, admittedly made under constraining and unnatural conditions in may cases, have led to experimental results that were surprising or unexpected. Reproducibility, freedom from artifacts, and plausibility must be considered in all cases, even when results are not surprising. The papers in symposium on 'Theories and Models on the Biology of Cells in Space' are dedicated to the subject of the plausibility of cellular responses to gravity -- inertial accelerations between 0 and 9.8 m/sq s and higher. The mechanical phenomena inside the cell, the gravitactic locomotion of single eukaryotic and prokaryotic cells, and the effects of inertial unloading on cellular physiology are addressed in theoretical and experimental studies.

  6. Cytotoxic Effect on Cancerous Cell Lines by Biologically Synthesized Silver Nanoparticles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Balaji Kulandaivelu

    Full Text Available The biosynthesis of nanoparticles has been proposed as an environmental friendly and cost effective alternative to chemical and physical methods. Silver nanoparticles are biologically synthesized and characterized were used in the study. The invitro cytotoxic effect of biologically synthesized silver nanoparticles against MCF-7 cancer cell lines were assessed. The cytotoxic effects of the silver nanoparticles could significantly inhibited MCF-7 cancer cell lines proliferation in a time and concentration-dependent manner by MTT assay. Acridine orange, ethidium bromide (AO/EB dual staining, caspase-3 and DNA fragmentation assays were carried out using various concentrations of silver nanoparticles ranging from 1 to 100 μg/mL. At 100 μg/mL concentration, the silver nanoparticles exhibited significant cytotoxic effects and the apoptotic features were confirmed through caspase-3 activation and DNA fragmentation assays. Western blot analysis has revealed that nanoparticle was able to induce cytochrome c release from the mitochondria, which was initiated by the inhibition of Bcl-2 and activation of Bax. Thus, the results of the present study indicate that biologically synthesized silver nanoparticles might be used to treat breast cancer. The present studies suggest that these nanoparticles could be a new potential adjuvant chemotherapeutic and chemo preventive agent against cytotoxic cells. However, it necessitates clinical studies to ascertain their potential as anticancer agents.

  7. Prospects and challenges of quantitative phase imaging in tumor cell biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kemper, Björn; Götte, Martin; Greve, Burkhard; Ketelhut, Steffi

    2016-03-01

    Quantitative phase imaging (QPI) techniques provide high resolution label-free quantitative live cell imaging. Here, prospects and challenges of QPI in tumor cell biology are presented, using the example of digital holographic microscopy (DHM). It is shown that the evaluation of quantitative DHM phase images allows the retrieval of different parameter sets for quantification of cellular motion changes in migration and motility assays that are caused by genetic modifications. Furthermore, we demonstrate simultaneously label-free imaging of cell growth and morphology properties.

  8. Collective Landmarks for Deep Time: A New Tool for Evolution Education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delgado, Cesar

    2014-01-01

    Evolution is a fundamental, organising concept in biology, yet there is widespread resistance to evolution among US students and there are rising creationist challenges in Europe. Resistance to evolution is linked to lack of understanding of the age of the Earth. An understanding of deep time is thus essential for effective biology education.…

  9. SU-G-TeP3-07: On the Development of Mechano-Biological Assessment of Leukemia Cells Using Optical Tweezers

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Brost, E; Brooks, J; Piepenburg, J; Watanabe, Y; Hui, S [Therapeutic Radiology and Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN (United States); Chakraborty, S; Das, T [Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems Department of New Materials and Biosystems Department of Mechanical Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur (India); Green, A [Department of Physics, University of Saint Thomas, Saint Paul, MN (United States)

    2016-06-15

    Purpose: Patients with BCR-ABL (Ph +ve) acute lymphoblastic leukemia are at very high risk of relapse and mortality. In line with the NIH mission to understand the physical and biological processes, we seek to report mechano-biological method to assessment and distinguish treated/untreated leukemia cells. Methods: BCR-ABL leukemia cell populations and silica microspheres were trapped in a 100x magnification optical trapping system (λ=660 nm, 70 mW). Light refracted through the trapped sample was collected in the back focal plane by a quadrant detector to measure the positions of individual cells. The sample was driven at a known frequency and amplitude with a flexure translation stage, and the target’s response was recorded. The measured response was calibrated using the known driving parameters, and information about cell movements due to mechano-biological effects was extracted. Two leukemia cell populations were tested: a control group and a group treated with 2 Gy. Results: The mechano-biological movements of 10 microspheres, control cells, and treated cells were tracked over a ∼30 minute window at 1 minute intervals. The microsphere population did not see significant change in mechano-biological movements over the testing interval and remained constant. The control cell population saw a two-fold rise in activity that peaked around 1200 seconds, then dropped off sharply. The treated cell population saw a two-fold rise in activity that peaked at 400 seconds, and dropped off slowly. Conclusion: The investigated technique allows for direct measurement the movements of a trapped object due to mechano-biological effects such as thermal and extracellular motion. When testing microspheres, the mechano-biological activity remained constant over time due to the lack of biological factors. In both the control and treated cell populations, the mechano-biological activity was increased, possibly due to mitochondrial activation. This extra activity decreased over time

  10. Adaptive evolution in ecological communities.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martin M Turcotte

    Full Text Available Understanding how natural selection drives evolution is a key challenge in evolutionary biology. Most studies of adaptation focus on how a single environmental factor, such as increased temperature, affects evolution within a single species. The biological relevance of these experiments is limited because nature is infinitely more complex. Most species are embedded within communities containing many species that interact with one another and the physical environment. To understand the evolutionary significance of such ecological complexity, experiments must test the evolutionary impact of interactions among multiple species during adaptation. Here we highlight an experiment that manipulates species composition and tracks evolutionary responses within each species, while testing for the mechanisms by which species interact and adapt to their environment. We also discuss limitations of previous studies of adaptive evolution and emphasize how an experimental evolution approach can circumvent such shortcomings. Understanding how community composition acts as a selective force will improve our ability to predict how species adapt to natural and human-induced environmental change.

  11. Nanobodies and recombinant binders in cell biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Helma, Jonas; Cardoso, M Cristina; Muyldermans, Serge; Leonhardt, Heinrich

    2015-06-08

    Antibodies are key reagents to investigate cellular processes. The development of recombinant antibodies and binders derived from natural protein scaffolds has expanded traditional applications, such as immunofluorescence, binding arrays, and immunoprecipitation. In addition, their small size and high stability in ectopic environments have enabled their use in all areas of cell research, including structural biology, advanced microscopy, and intracellular expression. Understanding these novel reagents as genetic modules that can be integrated into cellular pathways opens up a broad experimental spectrum to monitor and manipulate cellular processes. © 2015 Helma et al.

  12. Nanobodies and recombinant binders in cell biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Helma, Jonas; Cardoso, M. Cristina; Muyldermans, Serge

    2015-01-01

    Antibodies are key reagents to investigate cellular processes. The development of recombinant antibodies and binders derived from natural protein scaffolds has expanded traditional applications, such as immunofluorescence, binding arrays, and immunoprecipitation. In addition, their small size and high stability in ectopic environments have enabled their use in all areas of cell research, including structural biology, advanced microscopy, and intracellular expression. Understanding these novel reagents as genetic modules that can be integrated into cellular pathways opens up a broad experimental spectrum to monitor and manipulate cellular processes. PMID:26056137

  13. Accumulation and biological effects of gallium in malignant cell lines in vitro

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Awano, Takayuki; Matsuzawa, Taiju

    1977-01-01

    Accumulation and biological effects of gallium (Ga) in malignant cells in vitro were studied. Biological effects were investigated cytokinetically and morphologically. The malignant cultured FM3A cells (originated from mammary carcinoma of C3H mice) accumulated 67 Ga actively. This accumulation was more intensive in proliferating cells than in non-proliferating cells. 6.5 percent of 67 Ga accumulated in the cultured FM3A cells was bound loosely at the cell surface. The colony forming capacity of C2W cells (originated from amelanotic melanoma of C57 Black mice ) was studied. The capacity decreased markedly when stable Ga was added to the medium in low concentration, but it decreased very little more in the range of rather high concentration. The growth response of FM3A cells to various concentrations of stable Ga was studied. The saturation density decreased and the doubling time became prolonged with increased Ga concentration. When 0.5 mM of stable Ga was added to the medium, the speed of proliferation changed markedly. The doubling time increased 1.7 times as compared to that before addition of Ga. The shape of the FM3A cells was usually spheroid in the medium. Swelling of the cells was observed when stable Ga was added to the culture medium. In particular, several per cent of these cells showed remarkable changes; that is, the cells were flattened and adhered to the dish and showed remarkable locomotion. It may be that these results are related to cell differentiation rather than to the cytotoxicity of stable Ga. (auth.)

  14. Accumulation and biological effects of gallium in malignant cell lines in vitro

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Awano, T; Matsuzawa, T [Tohoku Univ., Sendai (Japan). Research Inst. for Tuberculosis, Leprosy and Cancer

    1977-02-01

    Accumulation and biological effects of gallium (Ga) in malignant cells in vitro were studied. Biological effects were investigated cytokinetically and morphologically. The malignant cultured FM3A cells (originated from mammary carcinoma of C3H mice) accumulated /sup 67/Ga actively. This accumulation was more intensive in proliferating cells than in non-proliferating cells. 6.5 percent of /sup 67/Ga accumulated in the cultured FM3A cells was bound loosely at the cell surface. The colony forming capacity of C2W cells (originated from amelanotic melanoma of C57 Black mice ) was studied. The capacity decreased markedly when stable Ga was added to the medium in low concentration, but it decreased very little more in the range of rather high concentration. The growth response of FM3A cells to various concentrations of stable Ga was studied. The saturation density decreased and the doubling time became prolonged with increased Ga concentration. When 0.5 mM of stable Ga was added to the medium, the speed of proliferation changed markedly. The doubling time increased 1.7 times as compared to that before addition of Ga. The shape of the FM3A cells was usually spheroid in the medium. Swelling of the cells was observed when stable Ga was added to the culture medium. In particular, several per cent of these cells showed remarkable changes; that is, the cells were flattened and adhered to the dish and showed remarkable locomotion. It may be that these results are related to cell differentiation rather than to the cytotoxicity of stable Ga.

  15. Evolution of β-Cell Replacement Therapy in Diabetes Mellitus: Islet Cell Transplantation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jahansouz, Cyrus; Jahansouz, Cameron; Kumer, Sean C.; Brayman, Kenneth L.

    2011-01-01

    Diabetes mellitus remains one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality worldwide. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 23.6 million people in the United States are affected. Of these individuals, 5 to 10% have been diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM), an autoimmune disease. Although it often appears in childhood, T1DM may manifest at any age, leading to significant morbidity and decreased quality of life. Since the 1960s, the surgical treatment for diabetes mellitus has evolved to become a viable alternative to insulin administration, beginning with pancreatic transplantation. While islet cell transplantation has emerged as another potential alternative, its role in the treatment of T1DM remains to be solidified as research continues to establish it as a truly viable alternative for achieving insulin independence. In this paper, the historical evolution, procurement, current status, benefits, risks, and ongoing research of islet cell transplantation are explored. PMID:22013505

  16. Natural Killer T Cells: An Ecological Evolutionary Developmental Biology Perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumar, Amrendra; Suryadevara, Naveenchandra; Hill, Timothy M; Bezbradica, Jelena S; Van Kaer, Luc; Joyce, Sebastian

    2017-01-01

    Type I natural killer T (NKT) cells are innate-like T lymphocytes that recognize glycolipid antigens presented by the MHC class I-like protein CD1d. Agonistic activation of NKT cells leads to rapid pro-inflammatory and immune modulatory cytokine and chemokine responses. This property of NKT cells, in conjunction with their interactions with antigen-presenting cells, controls downstream innate and adaptive immune responses against cancers and infectious diseases, as well as in several inflammatory disorders. NKT cell properties are acquired during development in the thymus and by interactions with the host microbial consortium in the gut, the nature of which can be influenced by NKT cells. This latter property, together with the role of the host microbiota in cancer therapy, necessitates a new perspective. Hence, this review provides an initial approach to understanding NKT cells from an ecological evolutionary developmental biology (eco-evo-devo) perspective.

  17. Natural Killer T Cells: An Ecological Evolutionary Developmental Biology Perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumar, Amrendra; Suryadevara, Naveenchandra; Hill, Timothy M.; Bezbradica, Jelena S.; Van Kaer, Luc; Joyce, Sebastian

    2017-01-01

    Type I natural killer T (NKT) cells are innate-like T lymphocytes that recognize glycolipid antigens presented by the MHC class I-like protein CD1d. Agonistic activation of NKT cells leads to rapid pro-inflammatory and immune modulatory cytokine and chemokine responses. This property of NKT cells, in conjunction with their interactions with antigen-presenting cells, controls downstream innate and adaptive immune responses against cancers and infectious diseases, as well as in several inflammatory disorders. NKT cell properties are acquired during development in the thymus and by interactions with the host microbial consortium in the gut, the nature of which can be influenced by NKT cells. This latter property, together with the role of the host microbiota in cancer therapy, necessitates a new perspective. Hence, this review provides an initial approach to understanding NKT cells from an ecological evolutionary developmental biology (eco-evo-devo) perspective. PMID:29312339

  18. Natural Killer T Cells: An Ecological Evolutionary Developmental Biology Perspective

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amrendra Kumar

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Type I natural killer T (NKT cells are innate-like T lymphocytes that recognize glycolipid antigens presented by the MHC class I-like protein CD1d. Agonistic activation of NKT cells leads to rapid pro-inflammatory and immune modulatory cytokine and chemokine responses. This property of NKT cells, in conjunction with their interactions with antigen-presenting cells, controls downstream innate and adaptive immune responses against cancers and infectious diseases, as well as in several inflammatory disorders. NKT cell properties are acquired during development in the thymus and by interactions with the host microbial consortium in the gut, the nature of which can be influenced by NKT cells. This latter property, together with the role of the host microbiota in cancer therapy, necessitates a new perspective. Hence, this review provides an initial approach to understanding NKT cells from an ecological evolutionary developmental biology (eco-evo-devo perspective.

  19. Nano-ranged low-energy ion-beam-induced DNA transfer in biological cells

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yu, L.D., E-mail: yuld@fnrf.science.cmu.ac.th [Thailand Center of Excellence in Physics, Commission on Higher Education, 328 Si Ayutthaya Road, Bangkok 10400 (Thailand); Plasma and Beam Physics Research Facility, Department of Physics and Materials Science, Faculty of Science, Chiang Mai University, Chiang Mai 50200 (Thailand); Wongkham, W. [Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Chiang Mai University, Chiang Mai 50200 (Thailand); Prakrajang, K. [Plasma and Beam Physics Research Facility, Department of Physics and Materials Science, Faculty of Science, Chiang Mai University, Chiang Mai 50200 (Thailand); Sangwijit, K.; Inthanon, K. [Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Chiang Mai University, Chiang Mai 50200 (Thailand); Thongkumkoon, P. [Thailand Center of Excellence in Physics, Commission on Higher Education, 328 Si Ayutthaya Road, Bangkok 10400 (Thailand); Plasma and Beam Physics Research Facility, Department of Physics and Materials Science, Faculty of Science, Chiang Mai University, Chiang Mai 50200 (Thailand); Wanichapichart, P. [Thailand Center of Excellence in Physics, Commission on Higher Education, 328 Si Ayutthaya Road, Bangkok 10400 (Thailand); Membrane Science and Technology Research Center, Department of Physics, Faculty of Science, Prince of Songkla University, Hat Yai, Songkla 90112 (Thailand); Anuntalabhochai, S. [Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Chiang Mai University, Chiang Mai 50200 (Thailand)

    2013-06-15

    Low-energy ion beams at a few tens of keV were demonstrated to be able to induce exogenous macromolecules to transfer into plant and bacterial cells. In the process, the ion beam with well controlled energy and fluence bombarded living cells to cause certain degree damage in the cell envelope in nanoscales to facilitate the macromolecules such as DNA to pass through the cell envelope and enter the cell. Consequently, the technique was applied for manipulating positive improvements in the biological species. This physical DNA transfer method was highly efficient and had less risk of side-effects compared with chemical and biological methods. For better understanding of mechanisms involved in the process, a systematic study on the mechanisms was carried out. Applications of the technique were also expanded from DNA transfer in plant and bacterial cells to DNA transfection in human cancer cells potentially for the stem cell therapy purpose. Low-energy nitrogen and argon ion beams that were applied in our experiments had ranges of 100 nm or less in the cell envelope membrane which was majorly composed of polymeric cellulose. The ion beam bombardment caused chain-scission dominant damage in the polymer and electrical property changes such as increase in the impedance in the envelope membrane. These nano-modifications of the cell envelope eventually enhanced the permeability of the envelope membrane to favor the DNA transfer. The paper reports details of our research in this direction.

  20. Nano-ranged low-energy ion-beam-induced DNA transfer in biological cells

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yu, L.D.; Wongkham, W.; Prakrajang, K.; Sangwijit, K.; Inthanon, K.; Thongkumkoon, P.; Wanichapichart, P.; Anuntalabhochai, S.

    2013-01-01

    Low-energy ion beams at a few tens of keV were demonstrated to be able to induce exogenous macromolecules to transfer into plant and bacterial cells. In the process, the ion beam with well controlled energy and fluence bombarded living cells to cause certain degree damage in the cell envelope in nanoscales to facilitate the macromolecules such as DNA to pass through the cell envelope and enter the cell. Consequently, the technique was applied for manipulating positive improvements in the biological species. This physical DNA transfer method was highly efficient and had less risk of side-effects compared with chemical and biological methods. For better understanding of mechanisms involved in the process, a systematic study on the mechanisms was carried out. Applications of the technique were also expanded from DNA transfer in plant and bacterial cells to DNA transfection in human cancer cells potentially for the stem cell therapy purpose. Low-energy nitrogen and argon ion beams that were applied in our experiments had ranges of 100 nm or less in the cell envelope membrane which was majorly composed of polymeric cellulose. The ion beam bombardment caused chain-scission dominant damage in the polymer and electrical property changes such as increase in the impedance in the envelope membrane. These nano-modifications of the cell envelope eventually enhanced the permeability of the envelope membrane to favor the DNA transfer. The paper reports details of our research in this direction.

  1. Discrepancy of biologic behavior influenced by bone marrow derived cells in lung cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Jie; Niu, Xiao-Min; Liao, Mei-Lin; Liu, Yun; Sha, Hui-Fang; Zhao, Yi; Yu, Yong-Feng; Tan, Qiang; Xiang, Jia-Qing; Fang, Jing; Lv, Dan-Dan; Li, Xue-Bing; Lu, Shun; Chen, Hai-Quan

    2010-11-01

    Disseminated cancer cells may initially require local nutrients and growth factors to thrive and survive in bone marrow. However, data on the influence of bone marrow derived cells (BMDC, also called bone stromal cells in some publications) on lung cancer cells is largely unexplored. This study explored the mechanism of how bone stromal factors contribute to the bone tropism in lung cancer. The difference among lung cancer cell lines in their abilities to metastasize to bone was found using the SCID animal model. Supernatant of bone marrow aspiration (BM) and condition medium from human bone stromal cells (BSC) were used to study the activity of bone stromal factors. We found bone stromal factors significantly increased the proliferation, invasion, adhesion and expression of angiogenosis-related factors, and inhibited the apoptosis for high bone metastasis H460 lung cancer cells. These biologic effects were not seen in SPC-A1 or A549 cells, which are low bone metastasis lung cancer cells. Adhesion of H460 cells to surface coated with bone stromal cells can activate some signal transduction pathways, and alter the expression of adhesion associated factors, including integrin β 3 and ADAMTS-1, two potential targets related with bone metastasis. We concluded that bone marrow derived cells had a profound effect on biological behavior of lung cancers, therefore favoring the growth of lung cancer cells in bone.

  2. Mathematical biology

    CERN Document Server

    Murray, James D

    1993-01-01

    The book is a textbook (with many exercises) giving an in-depth account of the practical use of mathematical modelling in the biomedical sciences. The mathematical level required is generally not high and the emphasis is on what is required to solve the real biological problem. The subject matter is drawn, e.g. from population biology, reaction kinetics, biological oscillators and switches, Belousov-Zhabotinskii reaction, reaction-diffusion theory, biological wave phenomena, central pattern generators, neural models, spread of epidemics, mechanochemical theory of biological pattern formation and importance in evolution. Most of the models are based on real biological problems and the predictions and explanations offered as a direct result of mathematical analysis of the models are important aspects of the book. The aim is to provide a thorough training in practical mathematical biology and to show how exciting and novel mathematical challenges arise from a genuine interdisciplinary involvement with the biosci...

  3. Engineering Therapeutic T Cells: From Synthetic Biology to Clinical Trials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Esensten, Jonathan H; Bluestone, Jeffrey A; Lim, Wendell A

    2017-01-24

    Engineered T cells are currently in clinical trials to treat patients with cancer, solid organ transplants, and autoimmune diseases. However, the field is still in its infancy. The design, and manufacturing, of T cell therapies is not standardized and is performed mostly in academic settings by competing groups. Reliable methods to define dose and pharmacokinetics of T cell therapies need to be developed. As of mid-2016, there are no US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved T cell therapeutics on the market, and FDA regulations are only slowly adapting to the new technologies. Further development of engineered T cell therapies requires advances in immunology, synthetic biology, manufacturing processes, and government regulation. In this review, we outline some of these challenges and discuss the contributions that pathologists can make to this emerging field.

  4. On the origin of biological construction, with a focus on multicellularity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Gestel, Jordi; Tarnita, Corina E

    2017-10-17

    Biology is marked by a hierarchical organization: all life consists of cells; in some cases, these cells assemble into groups, such as endosymbionts or multicellular organisms; in turn, multicellular organisms sometimes assemble into yet other groups, such as primate societies or ant colonies. The construction of new organizational layers results from hierarchical evolutionary transitions, in which biological units (e.g., cells) form groups that evolve into new units of biological organization (e.g., multicellular organisms). Despite considerable advances, there is no bottom-up, dynamical account of how, starting from the solitary ancestor, the first groups originate and subsequently evolve the organizing principles that qualify them as new units. Guided by six central questions, we propose an integrative bottom-up approach for studying the dynamics underlying hierarchical evolutionary transitions, which builds on and synthesizes existing knowledge. This approach highlights the crucial role of the ecology and development of the solitary ancestor in the emergence and subsequent evolution of groups, and it stresses the paramount importance of the life cycle: only by evaluating groups in the context of their life cycle can we unravel the evolutionary trajectory of hierarchical transitions. These insights also provide a starting point for understanding the types of subsequent organizational complexity. The central research questions outlined here naturally link existing research programs on biological construction (e.g., on cooperation, multilevel selection, self-organization, and development) and thereby help integrate knowledge stemming from diverse fields of biology.

  5. Computational Biology Methods for Characterization of Pluripotent Cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Araúzo-Bravo, Marcos J

    2016-01-01

    Pluripotent cells are a powerful tool for regenerative medicine and drug discovery. Several techniques have been developed to induce pluripotency, or to extract pluripotent cells from different tissues and biological fluids. However, the characterization of pluripotency requires tedious, expensive, time-consuming, and not always reliable wet-lab experiments; thus, an easy, standard quality-control protocol of pluripotency assessment remains to be established. Here to help comes the use of high-throughput techniques, and in particular, the employment of gene expression microarrays, which has become a complementary technique for cellular characterization. Research has shown that the transcriptomics comparison with an Embryonic Stem Cell (ESC) of reference is a good approach to assess the pluripotency. Under the premise that the best protocol is a computer software source code, here I propose and explain line by line a software protocol coded in R-Bioconductor for pluripotency assessment based on the comparison of transcriptomics data of pluripotent cells with an ESC of reference. I provide advice for experimental design, warning about possible pitfalls, and guides for results interpretation.

  6. Beyond a pedagogical tool: 30 years of Molecular biology of the cell.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Serpente, Norberto

    2013-02-01

    In 1983, a bulky and profusely illustrated textbook on molecular and cell biology began to inhabit the shelves of university libraries worldwide. The effect of capturing the eyes and souls of biologists was immediate as the book provided them with a new and invigorating outlook on what cells are and what they do.

  7. Are there laws of genome evolution?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eugene V Koonin

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available Research in quantitative evolutionary genomics and systems biology led to the discovery of several universal regularities connecting genomic and molecular phenomic variables. These universals include the log-normal distribution of the evolutionary rates of orthologous genes; the power law-like distributions of paralogous family size and node degree in various biological networks; the negative correlation between a gene's sequence evolution rate and expression level; and differential scaling of functional classes of genes with genome size. The universals of genome evolution can be accounted for by simple mathematical models similar to those used in statistical physics, such as the birth-death-innovation model. These models do not explicitly incorporate selection; therefore, the observed universal regularities do not appear to be shaped by selection but rather are emergent properties of gene ensembles. Although a complete physical theory of evolutionary biology is inconceivable, the universals of genome evolution might qualify as "laws of evolutionary genomics" in the same sense "law" is understood in modern physics.

  8. Cell biology apps for Apple devices.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stark, Louisa A

    2012-01-01

    Apps for touch-pad devices hold promise for guiding and supporting learning. Students may use them in the classroom or on their own for didactic instruction, just-in-time learning, or review. Since Apple touch-pad devices (i.e., iPad and iPhone) have a substantial share of the touch-pad device market (Campbell, 2012), this Feature will explore cell biology apps available from the App Store. My review includes iPad and iPhone apps available in June 2012, but does not include courses, lectures, podcasts, audiobooks, texts, or other books. I rated each app on a five-point scale (1 star = lowest; 5 stars = highest) for educational and production values; I also provide an overall score.

  9. Tomography studies of biological cells on polymer scaffolds

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Thurner, P; Mueller, B; Sennhauser, U; Hubbell, J; Mueller, R

    2004-01-01

    Advances in cell biology and tissue engineering rely heavily on performing 2D cell culture experiments. Analysis of these is conventionally done with 2D imaging techniques such as light (LM) or electron microscopy (SEM), since the