WorldWideScience

Sample records for expanding biological functions

  1. 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...

  2. Expanding the biological periodic table.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seravalli, Javier; Ragsdale, Stephen W

    2010-08-27

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

  3. Expanding Pseudorandom Functions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Damgård, Ivan Bjerre; Nielsen, Jesper Buus

    2002-01-01

    Given any weak pseudorandom function, we present a general and efficient technique transforming such a function to a new weak pseudorandom function with an arbitrary length output. This implies, among other things, an encryption mode for block ciphers. The mode is as efficient as known (and widely...... used) encryption modes as CBC mode and counter (CTR) mode, but is provably secure against chosen-plaintext attack (CPA) already if the underlying symmetric cipher is secure against known-plaintext attack (KPA). We prove that CBC, CTR and Jutla’s integrity aware modes do not have this property....... In particular, we prove that when using a KPA secure block cipher, then: CBC mode is KPA secure, but need not be CPA secure, Jutla’s modes need not be CPA secure, and CTR mode need not be even KPA secure. The analysis is done in a concrete security framework....

  4. Synthetic biology expands chemical control of microorganisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ford, Tyler J; Silver, Pamela A

    2015-10-01

    The tools of synthetic biology allow researchers to change the ways engineered organisms respond to chemical stimuli. Decades of basic biology research and new efforts in computational protein and RNA design have led to the development of small molecule sensors that can be used to alter organism function. These new functions leap beyond the natural propensities of the engineered organisms. They can range from simple fluorescence or growth reporting to pathogen killing, and can involve metabolic coordination among multiple cells or organisms. Herein, we discuss how synthetic biology alters microorganisms' responses to chemical stimuli resulting in the development of microbes as toxicity sensors, disease treatments, and chemical factories. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Functions in Biological Kind Classification

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lombrozo, Tania; Rehder, Bob

    2012-01-01

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

  6. Computational protein design-the next generation tool to expand synthetic biology applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gainza-Cirauqui, Pablo; Correia, Bruno Emanuel

    2018-05-02

    One powerful approach to engineer synthetic biology pathways is the assembly of proteins sourced from one or more natural organisms. However, synthetic pathways often require custom functions or biophysical properties not displayed by natural proteins, limitations that could be overcome through modern protein engineering techniques. Structure-based computational protein design is a powerful tool to engineer new functional capabilities in proteins, and it is beginning to have a profound impact in synthetic biology. Here, we review efforts to increase the capabilities of synthetic biology using computational protein design. We focus primarily on computationally designed proteins not only validated in vitro, but also shown to modulate different activities in living cells. Efforts made to validate computational designs in cells can illustrate both the challenges and opportunities in the intersection of protein design and synthetic biology. We also highlight protein design approaches, which although not validated as conveyors of new cellular function in situ, may have rapid and innovative applications in synthetic biology. We foresee that in the near-future, computational protein design will vastly expand the functional capabilities of synthetic cells. Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  7. The relativity of biological function.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  8. Functional Self-Expandable Metal Stents in Biliary Obstruction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kwon, Chang-Il; Ko, Kwang Hyun; Hahm, Ki Baik

    2013-01-01

    Biliary stents are widely used not only for palliative treatment of malignant biliary obstruction but also for benign biliary diseases. Each plastic stent or self-expandable metal stent (SEMS) has its own advantages, and a proper stent should be selected carefully for individual condition. To compensate and overcome several drawbacks of SEMS, functional self-expandable metal stent (FSEMS) has been developed with much progress so far. This article looks into the outcomes and defects of each stent type for benign biliary stricture and describes newly introduced FSEMSs according to their functional categories. PMID:24143314

  9. The expanding universe of mass analyzer configurations for biological analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calvete, Juan J

    2014-01-01

    Mass spectrometry (MS) is an analytical technique that measures the mass-to-charge ratio of electrically charged gas-phase particles. All mass spectrometers combine ion formation, mass analysis, and ion detection. Although mass analyzers can be regarded as sophisticated devices that manipulate ions in space and time, the rich diversity of possible ways to combine ion separation, focusing, and detection in dynamic mass spectrometers accounts for the large number of instrument designs. A historical perspective of the progress in mass spectrometry that since 1965 until today have contributed to position this technique as an indispensable tool for biological research has been recently addressed by a privileged witness of this golden age of MS (Gelpí J. Mass Spectrom 43:419-435, 2008; Gelpí J. Mass Spectrom 44:1137-1161, 2008). The aim of this chapter is to highlight the view that the operational principles of mass spectrometry can be understood by a simple mathematical language, and that an understanding of the basic concepts of mass spectrometry is necessary to take the most out of this versatile technique.

  10. Expanding the chemical palate of cells by combining systems biology and metabolic engineering.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Curran, Kathleen A; Alper, Hal S

    2012-07-01

    The field of Metabolic Engineering has recently undergone a transformation that has led to a rapid expansion of the chemical palate of cells. Now, it is conceivable to produce nearly any organic molecule of interest using a cellular host. Significant advances have been made in the production of biofuels, biopolymers and precursors, pharmaceuticals and nutraceuticals, and commodity and specialty chemicals. Much of this rapid expansion in the field has been, in part, due to synergies and advances in the area of systems biology. Specifically, the availability of functional genomics, metabolomics and transcriptomics data has resulted in the potential to produce a wealth of new products, both natural and non-natural, in cellular factories. The sheer amount and diversity of this data however, means that uncovering and unlocking novel chemistries and insights is a non-obvious exercise. To address this issue, a number of computational tools and experimental approaches have been developed to help expedite the design process to create new cellular factories. This review will highlight many of the systems biology enabling technologies that have reduced the design cycle for engineered hosts, highlight major advances in the expanded diversity of products that can be synthesized, and conclude with future prospects in the field of metabolic engineering. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. The biological function of consciousness

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brian eEarl

    2014-08-01

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

  12. Functional diversification of Argonautes in nematodes: an expanding universe.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buck, Amy H; Blaxter, Mark

    2013-08-01

    In the last decade, many diverse RNAi (RNA interference) pathways have been discovered that mediate gene silencing at epigenetic, transcriptional and post-transcriptional levels. The diversity of RNAi pathways is inherently linked to the evolution of Ago (Argonaute) proteins, the central protein component of RISCs (RNA-induced silencing complexes). An increasing number of diverse Agos have been identified in different species. The functions of most of these proteins are not yet known, but they are generally assumed to play roles in development, genome stability and/or protection against viruses. Recent research in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans has expanded the breadth of RNAi functions to include transgenerational epigenetic memory and, possibly, environmental sensing. These functions are inherently linked to the production of secondary siRNAs (small interfering RNAs) that bind to members of a clade of WAGOs (worm-specific Agos). In the present article, we review briefly what is known about the evolution and function of Ago proteins in eukaryotes, including the expansion of WAGOs in nematodes. We postulate that the rapid evolution of WAGOs enables the exceptional functional plasticity of nematodes, including their capacity for parasitism.

  13. Functional evolution of new and expanded attention networks in humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patel, Gaurav H; Yang, Danica; Jamerson, Emery C; Snyder, Lawrence H; Corbetta, Maurizio; Ferrera, Vincent P

    2015-07-28

    Macaques are often used as a model system for invasive investigations of the neural substrates of cognition. However, 25 million years of evolution separate humans and macaques from their last common ancestor, and this has likely substantially impacted the function of the cortical networks underlying cognitive processes, such as attention. We examined the homology of frontoparietal networks underlying attention by comparing functional MRI data from macaques and humans performing the same visual search task. Although there are broad similarities, we found fundamental differences between the species. First, humans have more dorsal attention network areas than macaques, indicating that in the course of evolution the human attention system has expanded compared with macaques. Second, potentially homologous areas in the dorsal attention network have markedly different biases toward representing the contralateral hemifield, indicating that the underlying neural architecture of these areas may differ in the most basic of properties, such as receptive field distribution. Third, despite clear evidence of the temporoparietal junction node of the ventral attention network in humans as elicited by this visual search task, we did not find functional evidence of a temporoparietal junction in macaques. None of these differences were the result of differences in training, experimental power, or anatomical variability between the two species. The results of this study indicate that macaque data should be applied to human models of cognition cautiously, and demonstrate how evolution may shape cortical networks.

  14. Expanding Kenya's protected areas under the Convention on Biological Diversity to maximize coverage of plant diversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scherer, Laura; Curran, Michael; Alvarez, Miguel

    2017-04-01

    Biodiversity is highly valuable and critically threatened by anthropogenic degradation of the natural environment. In response, governments have pledged enhanced protected-area coverage, which requires scarce biological data to identify conservation priorities. To assist this effort, we mapped conservation priorities in Kenya based on maximizing alpha (species richness) and beta diversity (species turnover) of plant communities while minimizing economic costs. We used plant-cover percentages from vegetation surveys of over 2000 plots to build separate models for each type of diversity. Opportunity and management costs were based on literature data and interviews with conservation organizations. Species richness was predicted to be highest in a belt from Lake Turkana through Mount Kenya and in a belt parallel to the coast, and species turnover was predicted to be highest in western Kenya and along the coast. Our results suggest the expanding reserve network should focus on the coast and northeastern provinces of Kenya, where new biological surveys would also fill biological data gaps. Meeting the Convention on Biological Diversity target of 17% terrestrial coverage by 2020 would increase representation of Kenya's plant communities by 75%. However, this would require about 50 times more funds than Kenya has received thus far from the Global Environment Facility. © 2016 Society for Conservation Biology.

  15. Structure and function in biology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hirs, C.H.W.

    1976-01-01

    A summary is given of the history of the developments of structural chemistry in biology beginning with the work of the bacteriologist Ehrlich leading to a comprehensive examination of the influence of size and configuration on the interaction between specific antibodies and side-chain determinants. Recent developments include the recognition of a higher order of specificity in the interaction of proteins with one another

  16. Physical, chemical, and metabolic state sensors expand the synthetic biology toolbox for Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Immethun, Cheryl M; DeLorenzo, Drew M; Focht, Caroline M; Gupta, Dinesh; Johnson, Charles B; Moon, Tae Seok

    2017-07-01

    Many under-developed organisms possess important traits that can boost the effectiveness and sustainability of microbial biotechnology. Photoautotrophic cyanobacteria can utilize the energy captured from light to fix carbon dioxide for their metabolic needs while living in environments not suited for growing crops. Various value-added compounds have been produced by cyanobacteria in the laboratory; yet, the products' titers and yields are often not industrially relevant and lag behind what have been accomplished in heterotrophic microbes. Genetic tools for biological process control are needed to take advantage of cyanobacteria's beneficial qualities, as tool development also lags behind what has been created in common heterotrophic hosts. To address this problem, we developed a suite of sensors that regulate transcription in the model cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 in response to metabolically relevant signals, including light and the cell's nitrogen status, and a family of sensors that respond to the inexpensive chemical, l-arabinose. Increasing the number of available tools enables more complex and precise control of gene expression. Expanding the synthetic biology toolbox for this cyanobacterium also improves our ability to utilize this important under-developed organism in biotechnology. Biotechnol. Bioeng. 2017;114: 1561-1569. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  17. The diverse and expanding role of mass spectrometry in structural and molecular biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lössl, Philip; van de Waterbeemd, Michiel; Heck, Albert Jr

    2016-12-15

    The emergence of proteomics has led to major technological advances in mass spectrometry (MS). These advancements not only benefitted MS-based high-throughput proteomics but also increased the impact of mass spectrometry on the field of structural and molecular biology. Here, we review how state-of-the-art MS methods, including native MS, top-down protein sequencing, cross-linking-MS, and hydrogen-deuterium exchange-MS, nowadays enable the characterization of biomolecular structures, functions, and interactions. In particular, we focus on the role of mass spectrometry in integrated structural and molecular biology investigations of biological macromolecular complexes and cellular machineries, highlighting work on CRISPR-Cas systems and eukaryotic transcription complexes. © 2016 The Authors. Published under the terms of the CC BY NC ND 4.0 license.

  18. Expanded function allied dental personnel and dental practice productivity and efficiency.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beazoglou, Tryfon J; Chen, Lei; Lazar, Vickie F; Brown, L Jackson; Ray, Subhash C; Heffley, Dennis R; Berg, Rob; Bailit, Howard L

    2012-08-01

    This study examined the impact of expanded function allied dental personnel on the productivity and efficiency of general dental practices. Detailed practice financial and clinical data were obtained from a convenience sample of 154 general dental practices in Colorado. In this state, expanded function dental assistants can provide a wide range of reversible dental services/procedures, and dental hygienists can give local anesthesia. The survey identified practices that currently use expanded function allied dental personnel and the specific services/procedures delegated. Practice productivity was measured using patient visits, gross billings, and net income. Practice efficiency was assessed using a multivariate linear program, Data Envelopment Analysis. Sixty-four percent of the practices were found to use expanded function allied dental personnel, and on average they delegated 31.4 percent of delegatable services/procedures. Practices that used expanded function allied dental personnel treated more patients and had higher gross billings and net incomes than those practices that did not; the more services they delegated, the higher was the practice's productivity and efficiency. The effective use of expanded function allied dental personnel has the potential to substantially expand the capacity of general dental practices to treat more patients and to generate higher incomes for dental practices.

  19. A Unifying Theory of Biological Function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Hateren, J H

    2017-01-01

    A new theory that naturalizes biological function is explained and compared with earlier etiological and causal role theories. Etiological (or selected effects) theories explain functions from how they are caused over their evolutionary history. Causal role theories analyze how functional mechanisms serve the current capacities of their containing system. The new proposal unifies the key notions of both kinds of theories, but goes beyond them by explaining how functions in an organism can exist as factors with autonomous causal efficacy. The goal-directedness and normativity of functions exist in this strict sense as well. The theory depends on an internal physiological or neural process that mimics an organism's fitness, and modulates the organism's variability accordingly. The structure of the internal process can be subdivided into subprocesses that monitor specific functions in an organism. The theory matches well with each intuition on a previously published list of intuited ideas about biological functions, including intuitions that have posed difficulties for other theories.

  20. DMPTool 2: Expanding Functionality for Better Data Management Planning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carly Strasser

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Scholarly researchers today are increasingly required to engage in a range of data management planning activities to comply with institutional policies, or as a precondition for publication or grant funding. The latter is especially true in the U.S. in light of the recent White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP mandate aimed at maximizing the availability of all outputs – data as well as the publications that summarize them – resulting from federally-funded research projects. To aid researchers in creating effective data management plans (DMPs, a group of organizations – California Digital Library, DataONE, Digital Curation Centre, Smithsonian Institution, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, and University of Virginia Library – collaborated on the development of the DMPTool, an online application that helps researchers create data management plans. The DMPTool provides detailed guidance, links to general and institutional resources, and walks a researcher through the process of generating a comprehensive plan tailored to specific DMP requirements. The uptake of the DMPTool has been positive: to date, it has been used by over 6,000 researchers from 800 institutions, making use of more than 20 requirements templates customized for funding bodies. With support from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, project partners are now engaged in enhancing the features of the DMPTool. The second version of the tool has enhanced functionality for plan creators and institutional administrators, as well as a redesigned user interface and an open RESTful application programming interface (API. New administrative functions provide the means for institutions to better support local research activities. New capabilities include support for plan co-ownership; workflow provisions for internal plan review; simplified maintenance and addition of DMP requirements templates; extensive capabilities for the customization of guidance and resources

  1. Expanding the functionality and applications of nanopore sensors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Venta, Kimberly E.

    Nanopore sensors have developed into powerful tools for single-molecule studies since their inception two decades ago. Nanopore sensors function as nanoscale Coulter counters, by monitoring ionic current modulations as particles pass through a nanopore. While nanopore sensors can be used to study any nanoscale particle, their most notable application is as a low cost, fast alternative to current DNA sequencing technologies. In recent years, signifcant progress has been made toward the goal of nanopore-based DNA sequencing, which requires an ambitious combination of a low-noise and high-bandwidth nanopore measurement system and spatial resolution. In this dissertation, nanopore sensors in thin membranes are developed to improve dimensional resolution, and these membranes are used in parallel with a high-bandwidth amplfier. Using this nanopore sensor system, the signals of three DNA homopolymers are differentiated for the first time in solid-state nanopores. The nanopore noise is also reduced through the addition of a layer of SU8, a spin-on polymer, to the supporting chip structure. By increasing the temporal and spatial resolution of nanopore sensors, studies of shorter molecules are now possible. Nanopore sensors are beginning to be used for the study and characterization of nanoparticles. Nanoparticles have found many uses from biomedical imaging to next-generation solar cells. However, further insights into the formation and characterization of nanoparticles would aid in developing improved synthesis methods leading to more effective and customizable nanoparticles. This dissertation presents two methods of employing nanopore sensors to benet nanoparticle characterization and fabrication. Nanopores were used to study the formation of individual nanoparticles and serve as nanoparticle growth templates that could be exploited to create custom nanoparticle arrays. Additionally, nanopore sensors were used to characterize the surface charge density of anisotropic

  2. Functional model of biological neural networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lo, James Ting-Ho

    2010-12-01

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

  3. A functional overview of conservation biological control

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2017-01-01

    Conservation biological control (CBC) is a sustainable approach to pest management that can contribute to a reduction in pesticide use as part of an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) strategy. CBC is based on the premise that countering habitat loss and environmental disturbance associated...... CBC prescriptions have proved elusive. To tackle this, we consolidate existing knowledge of CBC using a simple conceptual model that organises the functional elements of CBC into a common, unifying framework. We identify and integrate the key biological processes affecting natural enemies...... and their biological control function across local and regional scales, and consider the interactions, interdependencies and constraints that determine the outcome of CBC strategies. Conservation measures are often effective in supporting natural enemy populations but their success cannot be guaranteed; the greatest...

  4. Expanding the landscape of chromatin modification (CM-related functional domains and genes in human.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shuye Pu

    2010-11-01

    Full Text Available Chromatin modification (CM plays a key role in regulating transcription, DNA replication, repair and recombination. However, our knowledge of these processes in humans remains very limited. Here we use computational approaches to study proteins and functional domains involved in CM in humans. We analyze the abundance and the pair-wise domain-domain co-occurrences of 25 well-documented CM domains in 5 model organisms: yeast, worm, fly, mouse and human. Results show that domains involved in histone methylation, DNA methylation, and histone variants are remarkably expanded in metazoan, reflecting the increased demand for cell type-specific gene regulation. We find that CM domains tend to co-occur with a limited number of partner domains and are hence not promiscuous. This property is exploited to identify 47 potentially novel CM domains, including 24 DNA-binding domains, whose role in CM has received little attention so far. Lastly, we use a consensus Machine Learning approach to predict 379 novel CM genes (coding for 329 proteins in humans based on domain compositions. Several of these predictions are supported by very recent experimental studies and others are slated for experimental verification. Identification of novel CM genes and domains in humans will aid our understanding of fundamental epigenetic processes that are important for stem cell differentiation and cancer biology. Information on all the candidate CM domains and genes reported here is publicly available.

  5. Functional biology of sympatric krill species

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Agersted, Mette Dalgaard; Nielsen, Torkel Gissel

    2016-01-01

    Here we compare the functional biology of the sympatric krill species, Meganyctiphanes norvegica and Thysanoessa inermis. For M. norvegica, we investigated functional responses on diatoms and copepods, together with prey size spectra on plankton ,400 mm and copepods in the size range 500–3220 mm....... For T. inermis, only prey size spectrum on plankton ,400 mm were investigated. The prey size ranges of both species include organisms ,400 mm, and they consequently graze on several trophic levels. However, T. inermis feed on cells ,10 mm equivalent spherical diameter (ESD), whereas M. norvegica only...

  6. Marine Carotenoids: Biological Functions and Commercial Applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vílchez, Carlos; Forján, Eduardo; Cuaresma, María; Bédmar, Francisco; Garbayo, Inés; Vega, José M.

    2011-01-01

    Carotenoids are the most common pigments in nature and are synthesized by all photosynthetic organisms and fungi. Carotenoids are considered key molecules for life. Light capture, photosynthesis photoprotection, excess light dissipation and quenching of singlet oxygen are among key biological functions of carotenoids relevant for life on earth. Biological properties of carotenoids allow for a wide range of commercial applications. Indeed, recent interest in the carotenoids has been mainly for their nutraceutical properties. A large number of scientific studies have confirmed the benefits of carotenoids to health and their use for this purpose is growing rapidly. In addition, carotenoids have traditionally been used in food and animal feed for their color properties. Carotenoids are also known to improve consumer perception of quality; an example is the addition of carotenoids to fish feed to impart color to farmed salmon. PMID:21556162

  7. Neurotrophin Propeptides: Biological Functions and Molecular Mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rafieva, Lola M; Gasanov, Eugene V

    2016-01-01

    Neurotrophins constitute a family of growth factors that play a key role in the regulation of the development and function of the central and peripheral nervous systems. A common feature of all the neurotrophins is their synthesis in cells as long precursors (pre-pro-neurotrophins) that contain an N-terminal signal peptide, a following propeptide and the mature neurotrophin. Although the signal peptide functions have been well studied, the role of neurotrophin propeptides is not so clear. Here, we briefly summarize the biochemistry of neurotrophin propeptides, including their role as folding-assistants for the mature factor and their role in processing and in secretion of neurotrophins. In the main part of the review we summarize our current state of knowledge of the biological activity of neurotrophin propeptides, their possible mechanisms of action, and their potential influence on the activity of the mature neurotrophins.

  8. Expanding beyond canonical metabolism: Interfacing alternative elements, synthetic biology, and metabolic engineering

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kevin B. Reed

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Metabolic engineering offers an exquisite capacity to produce new molecules in a renewable manner. However, most industrial applications have focused on only a small subset of elements from the periodic table, centered around carbon biochemistry. This review aims to illustrate the expanse of chemical elements that can currently (and potentially be integrated into useful products using cellular systems. Specifically, we describe recent advances in expanding the cellular scope to include the halogens, selenium and the metalloids, and a variety of metal incorporations. These examples range from small molecules, heteroatom-linked uncommon elements, and natural products to biomining and nanotechnology applications. Collectively, this review covers the promise of an expanded range of elemental incorporations and the future impacts it may have on biotechnology.

  9. The ISCB Student Council Internship Program: Expanding computational biology capacity worldwide.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anupama, Jigisha; Francescatto, Margherita; Rahman, Farzana; Fatima, Nazeefa; DeBlasio, Dan; Shanmugam, Avinash Kumar; Satagopam, Venkata; Santos, Alberto; Kolekar, Pandurang; Michaut, Magali; Guney, Emre

    2018-01-01

    Education and training are two essential ingredients for a successful career. On one hand, universities provide students a curriculum for specializing in one's field of study, and on the other, internships complement coursework and provide invaluable training experience for a fruitful career. Consequently, undergraduates and graduates are encouraged to undertake an internship during the course of their degree. The opportunity to explore one's research interests in the early stages of their education is important for students because it improves their skill set and gives their career a boost. In the long term, this helps to close the gap between skills and employability among students across the globe and balance the research capacity in the field of computational biology. However, training opportunities are often scarce for computational biology students, particularly for those who reside in less-privileged regions. Aimed at helping students develop research and academic skills in computational biology and alleviating the divide across countries, the Student Council of the International Society for Computational Biology introduced its Internship Program in 2009. The Internship Program is committed to providing access to computational biology training, especially for students from developing regions, and improving competencies in the field. Here, we present how the Internship Program works and the impact of the internship opportunities so far, along with the challenges associated with this program.

  10. The ISCB Student Council Internship Program: Expanding computational biology capacity worldwide.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jigisha Anupama

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Education and training are two essential ingredients for a successful career. On one hand, universities provide students a curriculum for specializing in one's field of study, and on the other, internships complement coursework and provide invaluable training experience for a fruitful career. Consequently, undergraduates and graduates are encouraged to undertake an internship during the course of their degree. The opportunity to explore one's research interests in the early stages of their education is important for students because it improves their skill set and gives their career a boost. In the long term, this helps to close the gap between skills and employability among students across the globe and balance the research capacity in the field of computational biology. However, training opportunities are often scarce for computational biology students, particularly for those who reside in less-privileged regions. Aimed at helping students develop research and academic skills in computational biology and alleviating the divide across countries, the Student Council of the International Society for Computational Biology introduced its Internship Program in 2009. The Internship Program is committed to providing access to computational biology training, especially for students from developing regions, and improving competencies in the field. Here, we present how the Internship Program works and the impact of the internship opportunities so far, along with the challenges associated with this program.

  11. FUNCTION IN BIOLOGY: ETIOLOGICAL AND ORGANIZATIONAL PERSPECTIVES

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Charbel Niño El-Hani

    2009-10-01

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT. In this paper, we argue for a taxonomy of approaches to function based on different epistemological perspectives assumed with regard to the treatment of this central concept in the life sciences. We distinguish between etiological and organizational perspectives on function, analyzing two distinct theories related to each perspective: Wright’s selectionist etiological approach and Godfrey-Smith’s modern history theory of functions, in the case of the etiological perspective; and Cummins’ functional analysis and Collier’s interactivist approach to function, among organizational accounts. We explain differences and similarities between these theories and the broader perspectives on function, arguing for a particular way of understanding the consensus without unity in debates about function. While explaining the accounts of function, we also deal with the relationship between this concept and other important biological concepts, such as adaptation, selection, complexity, and autonomy. We also advance an argument for the limits and prospects of the explanatory role of function in evolution. By arguing that changes in functionality are always grounded on changes in systems’ organization, we show that function can never explain the origins of traits. Nevertheless, it can explain the spread of traits in populations, but only when we are dealing with functionally novel traits. Finally, we stress that organizational accounts of function are needed to understand how new functions appear by means of changes in systems’ organization. KEYWORDS: Function; Teleology; Explanation; Etiology; Organization.   RESUMEN. En este artículo, argumentamos a favor de una taxonomía de abordajes sobre función basada en diferentes perspectivas epistemológicas a cerca del tratamiento de este concepto central en las ciencias de la vida. Distinguimos entre perspectivas etiológicas y organizacionales sobre función, analizando dos teorías distintas

  12. Leveraging a Relationship with Biology to Expand a Relationship with Physics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sawtelle, Vashti; Turpen, Chandra

    2016-01-01

    This work examines how experiences in one disciplinary domain (biology) can impact the relationship a student builds with another domain (physics). We present a model for disciplinary relationships using the constructs of identity, affect, and epistemology. With these constructs we examine an ethnographic case study of a student who experienced a…

  13. The functional biology of human milk oligosaccharides.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bode, Lars

    2015-11-01

    Human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs) are a group of complex sugars that are highly abundant in human milk, but currently not present in infant formula. More than a hundred different HMOs have been identified so far. The amount and composition of HMOs are highly variable between women, and each structurally defined HMO might have a distinct functionality. HMOs are not digested by the infant and serve as metabolic substrates for select microbes, contributing to shape the infant gut microbiome. HMOs act as soluble decoy receptors that block the attachment of viral, bacterial or protozoan parasite pathogens to epithelial cell surface sugars, which may help prevent infectious diseases in the gut and also the respiratory and urinary tracts. HMOs are also antimicrobials that act as bacteriostatic or bacteriocidal agents. In addition, HMOs alter host epithelial and immune cell responses with potential benefits for the neonate. The article reviews current knowledge as well as future challenges and opportunities related to the functional biology of HMOs. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Can Expanded Bacteriochlorins Act as Photosensitizers in Photodynamic Therapy? Good News from Density Functional Theory Computations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gloria Mazzone

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available The main photophysical properties of a series of expanded bacteriochlorins, recently synthetized, have been investigated by means of DFT and TD-DFT methods. Absorption spectra computed with different exchange-correlation functionals, B3LYP, M06 and ωB97XD, have been compared with the experimental ones. In good agreement, all the considered systems show a maximum absorption wavelength that falls in the therapeutic window (600–800 nm. The obtained singlet-triplet energy gaps are large enough to ensure the production of cytotoxic singlet molecular oxygen. The computed spin-orbit matrix elements suggest a good probability of intersystem spin-crossing between singlet and triplet excited states, since they result to be higher than those computed for 5,10,15,20-tetrakis-(m-hydroxyphenylchlorin (Foscan© already used in the photodynamic therapy (PDT protocol. Because of the investigated properties, these expanded bacteriochlorins can be proposed as PDT agents.

  15. Recent advances of molecular toolbox construction expand Pichia pastoris in synthetic biology applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kang, Zhen; Huang, Hao; Zhang, Yunfeng; Du, Guocheng; Chen, Jian

    2017-01-01

    Pichia pastoris: (reclassified as Komagataella phaffii), a methylotrophic yeast strain has been widely used for heterologous protein production because of its unique advantages, such as readily achievable high-density fermentation, tractable genetic modifications and typical eukaryotic post-translational modifications. More recently, P. pastoris as a metabolic pathway engineering platform has also gained much attention. In this mini-review, we addressed recent advances of molecular toolboxes, including synthetic promoters, signal peptides, and genome engineering tools that established for P. pastoris. Furthermore, the applications of P. pastoris towards synthetic biology were also discussed and prospected especially in the context of genome-scale metabolic pathway analysis.

  16. Design of the Nonlinear Pin Rubber Forming Equipment Integrating the Functions of Extruding, Dewatering, Drying & Expanding

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuefeng Yuan

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available The top priority of car-tire suppliers is to improve wetland grip force of the using tires, reduce the rolling resistance and the rolling noise of tires. It is urgent for the tire industry to research and develop high-performance tires to solve the above problems. They must use the high- performance synthetic rubber and auxiliary rubber to develop the most advanced manufacturing technologies and equipment. Silica, a kind of important tire auxiliary rubber, can significantly reduce the rolling resistance of tires, improve the grip force and properties resistant to ice, wetness or slippery of tires. In this paper, based on the conventional tire rubber forming technologies of extrusion, dewatering, drying and expanding, a study is made on the conical screw, the dewatering barrel, the drying barrel, the pin layout scheme, the expanding die head, cutter and the control system. The nonlinear pin rubber forming equipment integrating the functions of extrusion, dewatering, drying and expanding is designed and applied to tire auxiliary rubber forming. The experiment shows that the forming device can realize the one-step forming, with high forming efficiency, low cost and less labor.

  17. The correlation function for density perturbations in an expanding universe. IV - The evolution of the correlation function. [galaxy distribution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mcclelland, J.; Silk, J.

    1979-01-01

    The evolution of the two-point correlation function for the large-scale distribution of galaxies in an expanding universe is studied on the assumption that the perturbation densities lie in a Gaussian distribution centered on any given mass scale. The perturbations are evolved according to the Friedmann equation, and the correlation function for the resulting distribution of perturbations at the present epoch is calculated. It is found that: (1) the computed correlation function gives a satisfactory fit to the observed function in cosmological models with a density parameter (Omega) of approximately unity, provided that a certain free parameter is suitably adjusted; (2) the power-law slope in the nonlinear regime reflects the initial fluctuation spectrum, provided that the density profile of individual perturbations declines more rapidly than the -2.4 power of distance; and (3) both positive and negative contributions to the correlation function are predicted for cosmological models with Omega less than unity.

  18. Mutations in RIT1 cause Noonan syndrome - additional functional evidence and expanding the clinical phenotype.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koenighofer, M; Hung, C Y; McCauley, J L; Dallman, J; Back, E J; Mihalek, I; Gripp, K W; Sol-Church, K; Rusconi, P; Zhang, Z; Shi, G-X; Andres, D A; Bodamer, O A

    2016-03-01

    RASopathies are a clinically heterogeneous group of conditions caused by mutations in 1 of 16 proteins in the RAS-mitogen activated protein kinase (RAS-MAPK) pathway. Recently, mutations in RIT1 were identified as a novel cause for Noonan syndrome. Here we provide additional functional evidence for a causal role of RIT1 mutations and expand the associated phenotypic spectrum. We identified two de novo missense variants p.Met90Ile and p.Ala57Gly. Both variants resulted in increased MEK-ERK signaling compared to wild-type, underscoring gain-of-function as the primary functional mechanism. Introduction of p.Met90Ile and p.Ala57Gly into zebrafish embryos reproduced not only aspects of the human phenotype but also revealed abnormalities of eye development, emphasizing the importance of RIT1 for spatial and temporal organization of the growing organism. In addition, we observed severe lymphedema of the lower extremity and genitalia in one patient. We provide additional evidence for a causal relationship between pathogenic mutations in RIT1, increased RAS-MAPK/MEK-ERK signaling and the clinical phenotype. The mutant RIT1 protein may possess reduced GTPase activity or a diminished ability to interact with cellular GTPase activating proteins; however the precise mechanism remains unknown. The phenotypic spectrum is likely to expand and includes lymphedema of the lower extremities in addition to nuchal hygroma. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  19. Expanded explorations into the optimization of an energy function for protein design

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Yao-ming; Bystroff, Christopher

    2014-01-01

    Nature possesses a secret formula for the energy as a function of the structure of a protein. In protein design, approximations are made to both the structural representation of the molecule and to the form of the energy equation, such that the existence of a general energy function for proteins is by no means guaranteed. Here we present new insights towards the application of machine learning to the problem of finding a general energy function for protein design. Machine learning requires the definition of an objective function, which carries with it the implied definition of success in protein design. We explored four functions, consisting of two functional forms, each with two criteria for success. Optimization was carried out by a Monte Carlo search through the space of all variable parameters. Cross-validation of the optimized energy function against a test set gave significantly different results depending on the choice of objective function, pointing to relative correctness of the built-in assumptions. Novel energy cross-terms correct for the observed non-additivity of energy terms and an imbalance in the distribution of predicted amino acids. This paper expands on the work presented at ACM-BCB, Orlando FL , October 2012. PMID:24384706

  20. IL-15/IL-15 receptor biology: a guided tour through an expanding universe.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Budagian, Vadim; Bulanova, Elena; Paus, Ralf; Bulfone-Paus, Silvia

    2006-08-01

    The cytokine interleukin-15 (IL-15) has a key role in promoting survival, proliferation and activation of natural killer (NK) and CD8+ T cells. Despite its functional similarities to IL-2, IL-15 affects a wider range of target cell populations and utilizes different mechanisms of signaling. Here, we review recent advances in the IL-15-mediated signaling, and in the functional properties on cells besides T lymphocytes and NK cells. These are discussed in the context of their potential clinical and therapeutic relevance.

  1. The Structure and Function of Biological Networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Daniel Duanqing

    2010-01-01

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

  2. Synthetic biology to access and expand nature’s chemical diversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smanski, Michael J.; Zhou, Hui; Claesen, Jan; Shen, Ben; Fischbach, Michael; Voigt, Christopher A.

    2016-01-01

    Bacterial genomes encode the biosynthetic potential to produce hundreds of thousands of complex molecules with diverse applications, from medicine to agriculture and materials. Economically accessing the potential encoded within sequenced genomes promises to reinvigorate waning drug discovery pipelines and provide novel routes to intricate chemicals. This is a tremendous undertaking, as the pathways often comprise dozens of genes spanning as much as 100+ kiliobases of DNA, are controlled by complex regulatory networks, and the most interesting molecules are made by non-model organisms. Advances in synthetic biology address these issues, including DNA construction technologies, genetic parts for precision expression control, synthetic regulatory circuits, computer aided design, and multiplexed genome engineering. Collectively, these technologies are moving towards an era when chemicals can be accessed en mass based on sequence information alone. This will enable the harnessing of metagenomic data and massive strain banks for high-throughput molecular discovery and, ultimately, the ability to forward design pathways to complex chemicals not found in nature. PMID:26876034

  3. 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.

  4. Active Interaction Mapping as a tool to elucidate hierarchical functions of biological processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farré, Jean-Claude; Kramer, Michael; Ideker, Trey; Subramani, Suresh

    2017-07-03

    Increasingly, various 'omics data are contributing significantly to our understanding of novel biological processes, but it has not been possible to iteratively elucidate hierarchical functions in complex phenomena. We describe a general systems biology approach called Active Interaction Mapping (AI-MAP), which elucidates the hierarchy of functions for any biological process. Existing and new 'omics data sets can be iteratively added to create and improve hierarchical models which enhance our understanding of particular biological processes. The best datatypes to further improve an AI-MAP model are predicted computationally. We applied this approach to our understanding of general and selective autophagy, which are conserved in most eukaryotes, setting the stage for the broader application to other cellular processes of interest. In the particular application to autophagy-related processes, we uncovered and validated new autophagy and autophagy-related processes, expanded known autophagy processes with new components, integrated known non-autophagic processes with autophagy and predict other unexplored connections.

  5. An expanding universe of the non-coding genome in cancer biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xue, Bin; He, Lin

    2014-06-01

    Neoplastic transformation is caused by accumulation of genetic and epigenetic alterations that ultimately convert normal cells into tumor cells with uncontrolled proliferation and survival, unlimited replicative potential and invasive growth [Hanahan,D. et al. (2011) Hallmarks of cancer: the next generation. Cell, 144, 646-674]. Although the majority of the cancer studies have focused on the functions of protein-coding genes, emerging evidence has started to reveal the importance of the vast non-coding genome, which constitutes more than 98% of the human genome. A number of non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) derived from the 'dark matter' of the human genome exhibit cancer-specific differential expression and/or genomic alterations, and it is increasingly clear that ncRNAs, including small ncRNAs and long ncRNAs (lncRNAs), play an important role in cancer development by regulating protein-coding gene expression through diverse mechanisms. In addition to ncRNAs, nearly half of the mammalian genomes consist of transposable elements, particularly retrotransposons. Once depicted as selfish genomic parasites that propagate at the expense of host fitness, retrotransposon elements could also confer regulatory complexity to the host genomes during development and disease. Reactivation of retrotransposons in cancer, while capable of causing insertional mutagenesis and genome rearrangements to promote oncogenesis, could also alter host gene expression networks to favor tumor development. Taken together, the functional significance of non-coding genome in tumorigenesis has been previously underestimated, and diverse transcripts derived from the non-coding genome could act as integral functional components of the oncogene and tumor suppressor network. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  6. Marine Carotenoids: Biological Functions and Commercial Applications

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicole Shangming Hou

    2012-05-01

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

  8. IMRT optimization with pseudo-biologic objective function

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yi, B. Y.; Ahn, S. D.; Kim, J. H.; Lee, S. W.; Choi, E. K.

    2002-01-01

    The pseudo-biologic objective function has been proposed for the IMRT optimization. It is similar to the biological objective function in mathematical shape, but uses physical parameters. The pseudo-biologic objective function concept is consisted of the target coverage index (TCI) and the organ score index (OSI), was introduced. The TCI was expressed as the sum of all of the weighted bins of target dose volume histogram (DVH). The weights were given as the normal distribution of which the average is 100 % and the standard deviation is ±. The OSI was expressed as similar way. The average of the normal distribution was 0% of the dose and that of standard deviation was selected as a function of limiting dose and its importance. The objective function could be calculated as the product of the TCI and OSI's. The RTP Tool Box (RTB) was used for this study. The constraints applied in the optimization was intuitively clinical experience based numbers, while the physical objective function asks just numbers which are not necessarily based on the clinic, and the parameters for the biologic objective functions are uncertain. The OSI's from the pseudo-biological function showed better results than from the physical functions, while TCI's showed similar tendency. We could show that the pseudo-biologic function can be used for an IMRT objective function on behalf of the biological objective function

  9. Function-Based Algorithms for Biological Sequences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mohanty, Pragyan Sheela P.

    2015-01-01

    Two problems at two different abstraction levels of computational biology are studied. At the molecular level, efficient pattern matching algorithms in DNA sequences are presented. For gene order data, an efficient data structure is presented capable of storing all gene re-orderings in a systematic manner. A common characteristic of presented…

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ye-Rang Yun

    2010-01-01

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

  11. Functionalized Nanodiamonds for Biological and Medical Applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lai, Lin; Barnard, Amanda S

    2015-02-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-05-09

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

  13. Data Transformation Functions for Expanded Search Spaces in Geographic Sample Supervised Segment Generation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christoff Fourie

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Sample supervised image analysis, in particular sample supervised segment generation, shows promise as a methodological avenue applicable within Geographic Object-Based Image Analysis (GEOBIA. Segmentation is acknowledged as a constituent component within typically expansive image analysis processes. A general extension to the basic formulation of an empirical discrepancy measure directed segmentation algorithm parameter tuning approach is proposed. An expanded search landscape is defined, consisting not only of the segmentation algorithm parameters, but also of low-level, parameterized image processing functions. Such higher dimensional search landscapes potentially allow for achieving better segmentation accuracies. The proposed method is tested with a range of low-level image transformation functions and two segmentation algorithms. The general effectiveness of such an approach is demonstrated compared to a variant only optimising segmentation algorithm parameters. Further, it is shown that the resultant search landscapes obtained from combining mid- and low-level image processing parameter domains, in our problem contexts, are sufficiently complex to warrant the use of population based stochastic search methods. Interdependencies of these two parameter domains are also demonstrated, necessitating simultaneous optimization.

  14. Expanded functional diversity of shaker K(+ channels in cnidarians is driven by gene expansion.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Timothy Jegla

    Full Text Available The genome of the cnidarian Nematostella vectensis (starlet sea anemone provides a molecular genetic view into the first nervous systems, which appeared in a late common ancestor of cnidarians and bilaterians. Nematostella has a surprisingly large and diverse set of neuronal signaling genes including paralogs of most neuronal signaling molecules found in higher metazoans. Several ion channel gene families are highly expanded in the sea anemone, including three subfamilies of the Shaker K(+ channel gene family: Shaker (Kv1, Shaw (Kv3 and Shal (Kv4. In order to better understand the physiological significance of these voltage-gated K(+ channel expansions, we analyzed the function of 18 members of the 20 gene Shaker subfamily in Nematostella. Six of the Nematostella Shaker genes express functional homotetrameric K(+ channels in vitro. These include functional orthologs of bilaterian Shakers and channels with an unusually high threshold for voltage activation. We identified 11 Nematostella Shaker genes with a distinct "silent" or "regulatory" phenotype; these encode subunits that function only in heteromeric channels and serve to further diversify Nematostella Shaker channel gating properties. Subunits with the regulatory phenotype have not previously been found in the Shaker subfamily, but have evolved independently in the Shab (Kv2 family in vertebrates and the Shal family in a cnidarian. Phylogenetic analysis indicates that regulatory subunits were present in ancestral cnidarians, but have continued to diversity at a high rate after the split between anthozoans and hydrozoans. Comparison of Shaker family gene complements from diverse metazoan species reveals frequent, large scale duplication has produced highly unique sets of Shaker channels in the major metazoan lineages.

  15. A Unifying Theory of Biological Function

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Hateren, J. H.

    2017-01-01

    A new theory that naturalizes biological function is explained and compared with earlier etiological and causal role theories. Etiological (or selected effects) theories explain functions from how they are caused over their evolutionary history. Causal role theories analyze how functional mechanisms

  16. Explaining Biological Functionality: Is Control Theory Enough ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    I argue that the etiological approach, as understood in terms of control theory, suffers from a problem of symmetry, by which function can equally well be placed in the environment as in the organism. Focusing on the autonomy view, I note that it can be understood to some degree in terms of control theory in its version called ...

  17. Functional mapping in biology and medicine

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    McEachron, D.L.

    1986-01-01

    This book contains 10 selections. Some of the titles are: Two Views of Functional Mapping and Autoradiography; Quantitative Analysis of Autoradiographs; Hardware and Software Design Considerations in Engineering an Image Processing Workstation: Autoradiographic Analysis with DUMAS and the BRAIN Autoradiograph Analysis Software Package (with 1 color plate); and Quantitative Autoradiography and in vitro Radioligand Binding

  18. Structure-based function prediction of the expanding mollusk tyrosinase family

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Ronglian; Li, Li; Zhang, Guofan

    2017-11-01

    Tyrosinase (Ty) is a common enzyme found in many different animal groups. In our previous study, genome sequencing revealed that the Ty family is expanded in the Pacific oyster ( Crassostrea gigas). Here, we examine the larger number of Ty family members in the Pacific oyster by high-level structure prediction to obtain more information about their function and evolution, especially the unknown role in biomineralization. We verified 12 Ty gene sequences from Crassostrea gigas genome and Pinctada fucata martensii transcriptome. By using phylogenetic analysis of these Tys with functionally known Tys from other molluscan species, eight subgroups were identified (CgTy_s1, CgTy_s2, MolTy_s1, MolTy-s2, MolTy-s3, PinTy-s1, PinTy-s2 and PviTy). Structural data and surface pockets of the dinuclear copper center in the eight subgroups of molluscan Ty were obtained using the latest versions of prediction online servers. Structural comparison with other Ty proteins from the protein databank revealed functionally important residues (HA1, HA2, HA3, HB1, HB2, HB3, Z1-Z9) and their location within these protein structures. The structural and chemical features of these pockets which may related to the substrate binding showed considerable variability among mollusks, which undoubtedly defines Ty substrate binding. Finally, we discuss the potential driving forces of Ty family evolution in mollusks. Based on these observations, we conclude that the Ty family has rapidly evolved as a consequence of substrate adaptation in mollusks.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Taishin eNomura

    2010-12-01

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

  20. Genomic Functionalization: The Next Revolution In Biology

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2014-07-01

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

  1. Dynamic Biological Functioning Important for Simulating and Stabilizing Ocean Biogeochemistry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buchanan, P. J.; Matear, R. J.; Chase, Z.; Phipps, S. J.; Bindoff, N. L.

    2018-04-01

    The biogeochemistry of the ocean exerts a strong influence on the climate by modulating atmospheric greenhouse gases. In turn, ocean biogeochemistry depends on numerous physical and biological processes that change over space and time. Accurately simulating these processes is fundamental for accurately simulating the ocean's role within the climate. However, our simulation of these processes is often simplistic, despite a growing understanding of underlying biological dynamics. Here we explore how new parameterizations of biological processes affect simulated biogeochemical properties in a global ocean model. We combine 6 different physical realizations with 6 different biogeochemical parameterizations (36 unique ocean states). The biogeochemical parameterizations, all previously published, aim to more accurately represent the response of ocean biology to changing physical conditions. We make three major findings. First, oxygen, carbon, alkalinity, and phosphate fields are more sensitive to changes in the ocean's physical state. Only nitrate is more sensitive to changes in biological processes, and we suggest that assessment protocols for ocean biogeochemical models formally include the marine nitrogen cycle to assess their performance. Second, we show that dynamic variations in the production, remineralization, and stoichiometry of organic matter in response to changing environmental conditions benefit the simulation of ocean biogeochemistry. Third, dynamic biological functioning reduces the sensitivity of biogeochemical properties to physical change. Carbon and nitrogen inventories were 50% and 20% less sensitive to physical changes, respectively, in simulations that incorporated dynamic biological functioning. These results highlight the importance of a dynamic biology for ocean properties and climate.

  2. Form and function: Perspectives on structural biology and resources for the future

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vaughan, D.

    1990-12-01

    The purpose of this study is largely to explore and expand on the thesis that biological structures and their functions are suited to. Form indeed follows function and if we are to understand the workings of a living system, with all that such an understanding promises, we must first seek to describe the structure of its parts. Descriptions of a few achievements of structural biology lay the groundwork, but the substance of this booklet is a discussion of important questions yet unanswered and opportunities just beyond our grasp. The concluding pages then outline a course of action in which the Department of Energy would exercise its responsibility to develop the major resources needed to extend our reach and to answer some of those unanswered questions. 22 figs

  3. Form and function: Perspectives on structural biology and resources for the future

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Vaughan, D. (ed.)

    1990-12-01

    The purpose of this study is largely to explore and expand on the thesis that biological structures and their functions are suited to. Form indeed follows function and if we are to understand the workings of a living system, with all that such an understanding promises, we must first seek to describe the structure of its parts. Descriptions of a few achievements of structural biology lay the groundwork, but the substance of this booklet is a discussion of important questions yet unanswered and opportunities just beyond our grasp. The concluding pages then outline a course of action in which the Department of Energy would exercise its responsibility to develop the major resources needed to extend our reach and to answer some of those unanswered questions. 22 figs.

  4. Biological pathways and genetic mechanisms involved in social functioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ordoñana, Juan R; Bartels, Meike; Boomsma, Dorret I; Cella, David; Mosing, Miriam; Oliveira, Joao R; Patrick, Donald L; Veenhoven, Ruut; Wagner, Gert G; Sprangers, Mirjam A G

    2013-08-01

    To describe the major findings in the literature regarding associations between biological and genetic factors and social functioning, paying special attention to: (1) heritability studies on social functioning and related concepts; (2) hypothesized biological pathways and genetic variants that could be involved in social functioning, and (3) the implications of these results for quality-of-life research. A search of Web of Science and PubMed databases was conducted using combinations of the following keywords: genetics, twins, heritability, social functioning, social adjustment, social interaction, and social dysfunction. Variability in the definitions and measures of social functioning was extensive. Moderate to high heritability was reported for social functioning and related concepts, including prosocial behavior, loneliness, and extraversion. Disorders characterized by impairments in social functioning also show substantial heritability. Genetic variants hypothesized to be involved in social functioning are related to the network of brain structures and processes that are known to affect social cognition and behavior. Better knowledge and understanding about the impact of genetic factors on social functioning is needed to help us to attain a more comprehensive view of health-related quality-of-life (HRQOL) and will ultimately enhance our ability to identify those patients who are vulnerable to poor social functioning.

  5. Uncovering Biological Network Function via Graphlet Degree Signatures

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nataša Pržulj

    2008-01-01

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

  6. The functioning and behaviour of biological parents of children ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Parenting a child with ADHD may intensify parental stress through functional impairment notwithstanding the diagnosis of ADHD. Methods: Eighty-one biological parents of children diagnosed with attention-deficit/ hyperactivity disorder were screened using self-reporting measurements. ADHD self-report scale (ASRS-V 1.1) ...

  7. Data Transformation Functions for Expanded Search Spaces in Geographic Sample Supervised Segment Generation

    OpenAIRE

    Christoff Fourie; Elisabeth Schoepfer

    2014-01-01

    Sample supervised image analysis, in particular sample supervised segment generation, shows promise as a methodological avenue applicable within Geographic Object-Based Image Analysis (GEOBIA). Segmentation is acknowledged as a constituent component within typically expansive image analysis processes. A general extension to the basic formulation of an empirical discrepancy measure directed segmentation algorithm parameter tuning approach is proposed. An expanded search landscape is defined, c...

  8. Characteristics of microbial community functional structure of a biological coking wastewater treatment system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joshi, Dev Raj; Zhang, Yu; Zhang, Hong; Gao, Yingxin; Yang, Min

    2018-01-01

    Nitrogenous heterocyclic compounds are key pollutants in coking wastewater; however, the functional potential of microbial communities for biodegradation of such contaminants during biological treatment is still elusive. Herein, a high throughput functional gene array (GeoChip 5.0) in combination with Illumina HiSeq2500 sequencing was used to compare and characterize the microbial community functional structure in a long run (500days) bench scale bioreactor treating coking wastewater, with a control system treating synthetic wastewater. Despite the inhibitory toxic pollutants, GeoChip 5.0 detected almost all key functional gene (average 61,940 genes) categories in the coking wastewater sludge. With higher abundance, aromatic ring cleavage dioxygenase genes including multi ring1,2diox; one ring2,3diox; catechol represented significant functional potential for degradation of aromatic pollutants which was further confirmed by Illumina HiSeq2500 analysis results. Response ratio analysis revealed that three nitrogenous compound degrading genes- nbzA (nitro-aromatics), tdnB (aniline), and scnABC (thiocyanate) were unique for coking wastewater treatment, which might be strong cause to increase ammonia level during the aerobic process. Additionally, HiSeq2500 elucidated carbozole and isoquinoline degradation genes in the system. These findings expanded our understanding on functional potential of microbial communities to remove organic nitrogenous pollutants; hence it will be useful in optimization strategies for biological treatment of coking wastewater. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  9. 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).

  10. Foxp3+ Treg expanded from patients with established diabetes reduce Helios expression while retaining normal function compared to healthy individuals.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Weiting Du

    Full Text Available Foxp3(+ regulatory T cells (Treg play a crucial role in regulating immune tolerance. The use of Treg to restore immune tolerance is considered an attractive novel approach to inhibit autoimmune disease, including type 1 diabetes (T1D, and to prevent rejection of organ transplants. In view of the goal of developing autologous Treg-based cell therapy for patients with long-term (>15 years T1D, it will be necessary to expand a sufficient amount of functional Treg in vitro in order to study and compare Treg from T1D patients and healthy subjects. Our results have demonstrated that there is a comparable frequency of Treg in the peripheral blood lymphocytes (PBLs of patients with long-term T1D relative to those in healthy subjects; however, Th1 cells, but not Th17 cells, were increased in the T1D patients. Further, more Treg in PBLs from T1D patients than from healthy subjects expressed the CD45RO(+ memory cell phenotype, suggesting they were antigen-experienced cells. After isolation, Treg from both T1D patients and healthy subjects were successfully expanded with high purity. Although there was no difference in Helios expression on Treg in PBLs, in vitro expansion led to fewer Helios-expressing Treg from T1D patients than healthy subjects. While more Th1-like Treg expressing IFN-γ or TNF-α were found in the PBLs of T1D patients than healthy controls, there was no such difference in the expanded Treg. Importantly, expanded Treg from both subject groups were able to suppress autologous or allogeneic CD8(+ effector T cells equally well. Our findings demonstrate that a large number of ex vivo expanded functional Treg can be obtained from long-term T1D patients, although fewer expanded Treg expressed a high level of Helios. Thus, based on the positive outcomes, these potent expanded Treg from diabetic human patients may be useful in treating T1D or preventing islet graft rejection.

  11. Linking structural features of protein complexes and biological function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sowmya, Gopichandran; Breen, Edmond J; Ranganathan, Shoba

    2015-09-01

    Protein-protein interaction (PPI) establishes the central basis for complex cellular networks in a biological cell. Association of proteins with other proteins occurs at varying affinities, yet with a high degree of specificity. PPIs lead to diverse functionality such as catalysis, regulation, signaling, immunity, and inhibition, playing a crucial role in functional genomics. The molecular principle of such interactions is often elusive in nature. Therefore, a comprehensive analysis of known protein complexes from the Protein Data Bank (PDB) is essential for the characterization of structural interface features to determine structure-function relationship. Thus, we analyzed a nonredundant dataset of 278 heterodimer protein complexes, categorized into major functional classes, for distinguishing features. Interestingly, our analysis has identified five key features (interface area, interface polar residue abundance, hydrogen bonds, solvation free energy gain from interface formation, and binding energy) that are discriminatory among the functional classes using Kruskal-Wallis rank sum test. Significant correlations between these PPI interface features amongst functional categories are also documented. Salt bridges correlate with interface area in regulator-inhibitors (r = 0.75). These representative features have implications for the prediction of potential function of novel protein complexes. The results provide molecular insights for better understanding of PPIs and their relation to biological functions. © 2015 The Protein Society.

  12. Milk protein tailoring to improve functional and biological properties

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    JEAN-MARC CHOBERT

    2012-01-01

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

  13. Knowledge base and functionality of concepts of some Filipino biology teachers in five biology topics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barquilla, Manuel B.

    2018-01-01

    This mixed research, is a snapshot of some Filipino Biology teachers' knowledge structure and how their concepts of the five topics in Biology (Photosynthesis, Cellular Respiration, human reproductive system, Mendelian genetics and NonMendelian genetics) functions and develops inside a biology classroom. The study focuses on the six biology teachers and a total of 222 students in their respective classes. Of the Six (6) teachers, three (3) are under the Science curriculum and the other three (3) are under regular curriculum in both public and private schools in Iligan city and Lanao del Norte, Philippines. The study utilized classroom discourses, concept maps, interpretative case-study method, bracketing method, and concept analysis for qualitative part; the quantitative part uses a nonparametric statistical tool, Kendall's tau Coefficient for determining relationship and congruency while measures of central tendencies and dispersion (mean, and standard deviation) for concept maps scores interpretation. Knowledge Base of Biology teachers were evaluated by experts in field of specialization having a doctorate program (e.g. PhD in Genetics) and PhD Biology candidates. The data collection entailed seven (7) months immersion: one (1) month for preliminary phase for the researcher to gain teachers' and students' confidence and the succeeding six (6) months for main observation and data collection. The evaluation of teachers' knowledge base by experts indicated that teachers' knowledge of (65%) is lower than the minimum (75%) recommended by ABD-el-Khalick and Boujaoude (1997). Thus, the experts believe that content knowledge of the teachers is hardly adequate for their teaching assignment. Moreover, the teachers in this study do not systematically use reallife situation to apply the concepts they teach. They can identify concepts too abstract for their student; however, they seldom use innovative ways to bring the discussion to their students' level of readiness and

  14. Progress in the biological function of alpha-enolase

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hong Ji

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Alpha-enolase (ENO1, also known as 2-phospho-D-glycerate hydrolase, is a metalloenzyme that catalyzes the conversion of 2-phosphoglyceric acid to phosphoenolpyruvic acid in the glycolytic pathway. It is a multifunctional glycolytic enzyme involved in cellular stress, bacterial and fungal infections, autoantigen activities, the occurrence and metastasis of cancer, parasitic infections, and the growth, development and reproduction of organisms. This article mainly reviews the basic characteristics and biological functions of ENO1.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Demirag, N

    2014-01-01

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

  16. Construction of Biologically Functional Bacterial Plasmids In Vitro

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cohen, Stanley N.; Chang, Annie C. Y.; Boyer, Herbert W.; Helling, Robert B.

    1973-01-01

    The construction of new plasmid DNA species by in vitro joining of restriction endonuclease-generated fragments of separate plasmids is described. Newly constructed plasmids that are inserted into Escherichia coli by transformation are shown to be biologically functional replicons that possess genetic properties and nucleotide base sequences from both of the parent DNA molecules. Functional plasmids can be obtained by reassociation of endonuclease-generated fragments of larger replicons, as well as by joining of plasmid DNA molecules of entirely different origins. Images PMID:4594039

  17. Expanding the toolbox for studying the biological responses of individual fish to hydropower infrastructure and operating strategies

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hasler, C.T.; Cooke, S.J.; Patterson, D.A.

    2009-01-01

    Hydropower infrastructure and the operational strategies used by power utilities have the potential to change local aquatic environments. However, few studies have evaluated sub-organismal responses such as physiological consequences of individual fish to fluctuating flows or hydropower infrastructure such as fishways or turbines. Rather than review the impacts of hydropower on fish, this paper detailed the behavioural, energetic, genomic, molecular, forensic, isotopic, and physiological tools available for studying sub-organismal responses of fish to hydropower infrastructure and operating procedures with a critical assessment of their benefits and limitations. A brief summary of the current state of knowledge regarding the 12 types of tools was provided along with their usefulness in fisheries science and environmental management. The benefits and limitations of using these techniques for evaluating hydropower impacts on fish and fish habitat were discussed. Two case studies were presented to demonstrate how the inclusion of individual-based information into hydropower research has helped to improve the understanding of complex fish and hydropower issues. Practitioners can use the expanded toolbox to assess fishway performance, migration delays, and fish responses to fluctuating flows through a mechanistic approach. These tools are also relevant for evaluating other anthropogenic impacts such as water withdrawal for irrigation or drinking water, habitat alteration, and fisheries interactions. The expanded toolbox can contribute to a more sustainable hydropower industry by providing regulators with tools for making informed decisions and evaluating compliance issues. 150 refs., 1 tab., 4 figs

  18. The correlation function for density perturbations in an expanding universe. II - Nonlinear theory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mcclelland, J.; Silk, J.

    1977-01-01

    A formalism is developed to find the two-point and higher-order correlation functions for a given distribution of sizes and shapes of perturbations which are randomly placed in three-dimensional space. The perturbations are described by two parameters such as central density and size, and the two-point correlation function is explicitly related to the luminosity function of groups and clusters of galaxies

  19. Biological properties of extracellular vesicles and their physiological functions

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  20. Biological properties of extracellular vesicles and their physiological functions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    María Yáñez-Mó

    2015-05-01

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

  1. Biomarkers of Aging: From Function to Molecular Biology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karl-Heinz Wagner

    2016-06-01

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

  2. Toward a new data standard for combined marine biological and environmental datasets - expanding OBIS beyond species occurrences

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daphnis De Pooter

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available The Ocean Biogeographic Information System (OBIS is the world’s most comprehensive online, open-access database of marine species distributions. OBIS grows with millions of new species observations every year. Contributions come from a network of hundreds of institutions, projects and individuals with common goals: to build a scientific knowledge base that is open to the public for scientific discovery and exploration and to detect trends and changes that inform society as essential elements in conservation management and sustainable development. Until now, OBIS has focused solely on the collection of biogeographic data (the presence of marine species in space and time and operated with optimized data flows, quality control procedures and data standards specifically targeted to these data. Based on requirements from the growing OBIS community to manage datasets that combine biological, physical and chemical measurements, the OBIS-ENV-DATA pilot project was launched to develop a proposed standard and guidelines to make sure these combined datasets can stay together and are not, as is often the case, split and sent to different repositories. The proposal in this paper allows for the management of sampling methodology, animal tracking and telemetry data, biological measurements (e.g., body length, percent live cover, ... as well as environmental measurements such as nutrient concentrations, sediment characteristics or other abiotic parameters measured during sampling to characterize the environment from which biogeographic data was collected. The recommended practice builds on the Darwin Core Archive (DwC-A standard and on practices adopted by the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF. It consists of a DwC Event Core in combination with a DwC Occurrence Extension and a proposed enhancement to the DwC MeasurementOrFact Extension. This new structure enables the linkage of measurements or facts - quantitative and qualitative properties - to

  3. An expanded evaluation of protein function prediction methods shows an improvement in accuracy

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jiang, Yuxiang; Oron, Tal Ronnen; Clark, Wyatt T.; Bankapur, Asma R.; Andrea, D' Daniel; Lepore, Rosalba; Funk, Christopher S.; Kahanda, Indika; Verspoor, Karin M.; Ben-Hur, Asa; Koo, Da Chen Emily; Penfold-Brown, Duncan; Shasha, Dennis; Youngs, Noah; Bonneau, Richard; Lin, Alexandra; Sahraeian, Sayed M.E.; Martelli, Pier Luigi; Profiti, Giuseppe; Casadio, Rita; Cao, Renzhi; Zhong, Zhaolong; Cheng, Jianlin; Altenhoff, Adrian; Skunca, Nives; Dessimoz, Christophe; Dogan, Tunca; Hakala, Kai; Kaewphan, Suwisa; Mehryary, Farrokh; Salakoski, Tapio; Ginter, Filip; Fang, Hai; Smithers, Ben; Oates, Matt; Gough, Julian; Törönen, Petri; Koskinen, Patrik; Holm, Liisa; Chen, Ching Tai; Hsu, Wen Lian; Bryson, Kevin; Cozzetto, Domenico; Minneci, Federico; Jones, David T.; Chapman, Samuel; BKC, Dukka; Khan, Ishita K.; Kihara, Daisuke; Ofer, Dan; Rappoport, Nadav; Stern, Amos; Cibrian-Uhalte, Elena; Denny, Paul; Foulger, Rebecca E.; Hieta, Reija; Legge, Duncan; Lovering, Ruth C.; Magrane, Michele; Melidoni, Anna N.; Mutowo-Meullenet, Prudence; Pichler, Klemens; Shypitsyna, Aleksandra; Li, Biao; Zakeri, Pooya; ElShal, Sarah; Tranchevent, Léon Charles; Das, Sayoni; Dawson, Natalie L.; Lee, David; Lees, Jonathan G.; Sillitoe, Ian; Bhat, Prajwal; Nepusz, Tamás; Romero, Alfonso E.; Sasidharan, Rajkumar; Yang, Haixuan; Paccanaro, Alberto; Gillis, Jesse; Sedeño-Cortés, Adriana E.; Pavlidis, Paul; Feng, Shou; Cejuela, Juan M.; Goldberg, Tatyana; Hamp, Tobias; Richter, Lothar; Salamov, Asaf; Gabaldon, Toni; Marcet-Houben, Marina; Supek, Fran; Gong, Qingtian; Ning, Wei; Zhou, Yuanpeng; Tian, Weidong; Falda, Marco; Fontana, Paolo; Lavezzo, Enrico; Toppo, Stefano; Ferrari, Carlo; Giollo, Manuel; Piovesan, Damiano; Tosatto, Silvio C.E.; Pozo, del Angela; Fernández, José M.; Maietta, Paolo; Valencia, Alfonso; Tress, Michael L.; Benso, Alfredo; Carlo, Di Stefano; Politano, Gianfranco; Savino, Alessandro; Rehman, Hafeez Ur; Re, Matteo; Mesiti, Marco; Valentini, Giorgio; Bargsten, Joachim W.; Dijk, van Aalt-Jan; Gemovic, Branislava; Glisic, Sanja; Perovic, Vladmir; Veljkovic, Veljko; Veljkovic, Nevena; Almeida-e-Silva, Danillo C.; Vencio, Ricardo Z.N.; Sharan, Malvika; Vogel, Jörg; Kansakar, Lakesh; Zhang, Shanshan; Vucetic, Slobodan; Wang, Zheng; Sternberg, Michael J.E.; Wass, Mark N.; Huntley, Rachael P.; Martin, Maria J.; O'Donovan, Claire; Robinson, Peter N.; Moreau, Yves; Tramontano, Anna; Babbitt, Patricia C.; Brenner, Steven E.; Linial, Michal; Orengo, Christine A.; Rost, Burkhard; Greene, Casey S.; Mooney, Sean D.; Friedberg, Iddo; Radivojac, Predrag

    2016-01-01

    Background: A major bottleneck in our understanding of the molecular underpinnings of life is the assignment of function to proteins. While molecular experiments provide the most reliable annotation of proteins, their relatively low throughput and restricted purview have led to an increasing role

  4. Intra-operative multi-site stimulation: Expanding methodology for cortical brain mapping of language functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gonen, Tal; Gazit, Tomer; Korn, Akiva; Kirschner, Adi; Perry, Daniella; Hendler, Talma; Ram, Zvi

    2017-01-01

    Direct cortical stimulation (DCS) is considered the gold-standard for functional cortical mapping during awake surgery for brain tumor resection. DCS is performed by stimulating one local cortical area at a time. We present a feasibility study using an intra-operative technique aimed at improving our ability to map brain functions which rely on activity in distributed cortical regions. Following standard DCS, Multi-Site Stimulation (MSS) was performed in 15 patients by applying simultaneous cortical stimulations at multiple locations. Language functioning was chosen as a case-cognitive domain due to its relatively well-known cortical organization. MSS, performed at sites that did not produce disruption when applied in a single stimulation point, revealed additional language dysfunction in 73% of the patients. Functional regions identified by this technique were presumed to be significant to language circuitry and were spared during surgery. No new neurological deficits were observed in any of the patients following surgery. Though the neuro-electrical effects of MSS need further investigation, this feasibility study may provide a first step towards sophistication of intra-operative cortical mapping.

  5. Metabolomics for functional genomics, systems biology, and biotechnology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saito, Kazuki; Matsuda, Fumio

    2010-01-01

    Metabolomics now plays a significant role in fundamental plant biology and applied biotechnology. Plants collectively produce a huge array of chemicals, far more than are produced by most other organisms; hence, metabolomics is of great importance in plant biology. Although substantial improvements have been made in the field of metabolomics, the uniform annotation of metabolite signals in databases and informatics through international standardization efforts remains a challenge, as does the development of new fields such as fluxome analysis and single cell analysis. The principle of transcript and metabolite cooccurrence, particularly transcriptome coexpression network analysis, is a powerful tool for decoding the function of genes in Arabidopsis thaliana. This strategy can now be used for the identification of genes involved in specific pathways in crops and medicinal plants. Metabolomics has gained importance in biotechnology applications, as exemplified by quantitative loci analysis, prediction of food quality, and evaluation of genetically modified crops. Systems biology driven by metabolome data will aid in deciphering the secrets of plant cell systems and their application to biotechnology.

  6. Assessment of the Renal Function in Potential Donors of Living Kidney Transplants: Expanded Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Macías, L B; Poblet, M S; Pérez, N N; Jerez, R I; Gonzalez Roncero, F M; Blanco, G B; Valdivia, M A P; Benjumea, A S; Gentil Govantes, M A

    2015-11-01

    It is very important to determine as accurately as possible the renal function in potential living renal transplant donors, especially those with limited renal function (CrCl graphic we have observed that the most dispersed results are obtained with the eGFR using CCr in 24-hour urine and CKD-EPI. By means of Pasing & Bablock, we realized that MDRD-4 and MDRD-6 show the highest approximation to the reference method proposed to be substituted, whereas CCr shows a high dispersion. eGFR using MDRD-4 and MDRD-6 formulas reveal the best adjustment to the measure by EDTA-Cr51. This might represent the best option if a direct eGFR measure is not available. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Structure, function, and behaviour of computational models in systems biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knüpfer, Christian; Beckstein, Clemens; Dittrich, Peter; Le Novère, Nicolas

    2013-05-31

    Systems Biology develops computational models in order to understand biological phenomena. The increasing number and complexity of such "bio-models" necessitate computer support for the overall modelling task. Computer-aided modelling has to be based on a formal semantic description of bio-models. But, even if computational bio-models themselves are represented precisely in terms of mathematical expressions their full meaning is not yet formally specified and only described in natural language. We present a conceptual framework - the meaning facets - which can be used to rigorously specify the semantics of bio-models. A bio-model has a dual interpretation: On the one hand it is a mathematical expression which can be used in computational simulations (intrinsic meaning). On the other hand the model is related to the biological reality (extrinsic meaning). We show that in both cases this interpretation should be performed from three perspectives: the meaning of the model's components (structure), the meaning of the model's intended use (function), and the meaning of the model's dynamics (behaviour). In order to demonstrate the strengths of the meaning facets framework we apply it to two semantically related models of the cell cycle. Thereby, we make use of existing approaches for computer representation of bio-models as much as possible and sketch the missing pieces. The meaning facets framework provides a systematic in-depth approach to the semantics of bio-models. It can serve two important purposes: First, it specifies and structures the information which biologists have to take into account if they build, use and exchange models. Secondly, because it can be formalised, the framework is a solid foundation for any sort of computer support in bio-modelling. The proposed conceptual framework establishes a new methodology for modelling in Systems Biology and constitutes a basis for computer-aided collaborative research.

  8. Scavenger Receptor CD163 and Its Biological Functions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gabriela Onofre

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available CD163 is a member of scavenger receptor super family class B of the first subgroup. It is mapped to the region p13 on chromosome 12. Five different isoforms of CD163 have been described, which differ in the structure of their cytoplasmic domains and putative phosporylation sites. This scavenger receptor is selectively expressed on cells of monocytes and macrophages lineage exclusively. CD163 immunological function is essentially homeostatic. It also has other functions because participates in adhesion to endothelial cells, in tolerance induction and tissues regeneration. Other very important function of CD163 is the clearance of hemoglobin in its cell-free form and participation in anti-inflammation in its soluble form, exhibiting cytokine-like functions. We review the biological functions of CD163 which have been discovered until now. It seems apparent from this review that CD163 scavenger receptor can be used as biomarker in different diseases and as a valuable diagnostic parameter for prognosis of many diseases especially inflammatory disorders and sepsis.

  9. Correlation function for density perturbations in an expanding universe. I. Linear theory

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    McClelland, J.; Silk, J.

    1977-01-01

    We derive analytic solutions for the evolution of linearized adiabatic spherically symmetric density perturbations and the two-point correlation function in two regimes of the early universe: the radiation-dominated regime prior to decoupling, and the matter-dominated regime after decoupling. The solutions are for an Einstein--de Sitter universe, and include pressure effects. In the radiation era, we find that individual spherically symmetric adiabatic density perturbations smaller than the Jeans length flow outward like water waves instead of oscillating as infinite plane waves. It seems likely that the only primordial structures on scales smaller than the maximum Jeans length which could survive are very regular waves such as infinite plane waves. However, structure does build up in the correlation function over distances comparable with the maximum Jeans length in the radiation regime, and could lead to the eventual formation of galaxy superclusters. This scale (approx.10 17 Ω -2 M/sub sun)/therefore provides a natural dimension for large-scale structure arising out of the early universe. A general technique is described for constructing solutions for the evolution of the two-point correlation function, and applied to study white noise and power-law initial conditions for primordial inhomogeneities

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takeda, K; Kishimoto, T; Akira, S

    1997-05-01

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

  11. Effect of biological factors during functional scintigraphy of the heart

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Breuel, H P; Emrich, D; Luig, H [Goettingen Univ. (F.R. Germany). Abt. fuer Nuklearmedizin

    1976-07-01

    The parameters relating to functional scintigraphy of the heart (average circulation time, peak time) depend not only on the method (injection technique, radiopharmaceutical), but also on biological factors. Failure to take these into consideration may result in an erroneous interpretation of the findings. Circulation time in normal children aged 6 to 14 years, as determined by isotope methods is significantly shorter than in normal adults. Patients with compensated heart disease, as well trained athletes, show significant increase in all portions of the circulation time, when compared with normals of similar ages. This indicates that deviation in the haemodynamics of the circulation as shown by functional scintigraphy, can only be interpreted in the light of clinical findings.

  12. Functions of MicroRNAs in Cardiovascular Biology and Disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hata, Akiko

    2015-01-01

    In 1993, lin-4 was discovered as a critical modulator of temporal development in Caenorhabditis elegans and, most notably, as the first in the class of small, single-stranded noncoding RNAs now defined as microRNAs (miRNAs). Another eight years elapsed before miRNA expression was detected in mammalian cells. Since then, explosive advancements in the field of miRNA biology have elucidated the basic mechanism of miRNA biogenesis, regulation, and gene-regulatory function. The discovery of this new class of small RNAs has augmented the complexity of gene-regulatory programs as well as the understanding of developmental and pathological processes in the cardiovascular system. Indeed, the contributions of miRNAs in cardiovascular development and function have been widely explored, revealing the extensive role of these small regulatory RNAs in cardiovascular physiology. PMID:23157557

  13. Carotenoids from Marine Organisms: Biological Functions and Industrial Applications

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christian Galasso

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available As is the case for terrestrial organisms, carotenoids represent the most common group of pigments in marine environments. They are generally biosynthesized by all autotrophic marine organisms, such as bacteria and archaea, algae and fungi. Some heterotrophic organisms also contain carotenoids probably accumulated from food or partly modified through metabolic reactions. These natural pigments are divided into two chemical classes: carotenes (such as lycopene and α- and β-carotene that are composed of hydrogen and carbon; xanthophylls (such as astaxanthin, fucoxanthin and lutein, which are constituted by hydrogen, carbon and oxygen. Carotenoids, as antioxidant compounds, assume a key role in the protection of cells. In fact, quenching of singlet oxygen, light capture and photosynthesis protection are the most relevant biological functions of carotenoids. The present review aims at describing (i the biological functions of carotenoids and their benefits for human health, (ii the most common carotenoids from marine organisms and (iii carotenoids having large success in pharmaceutical, nutraceutical and cosmeceutical industries, highlighting the scientific progress in marine species cultivation for natural pigments production.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  15. Biological response to purification and acid functionalization of carbon nanotubes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Figarol, Agathe; Pourchez, Jérémie; Boudard, Delphine; Forest, Valérie; Tulliani, Jean-Marc; Lecompte, Jean-Pierre; Cottier, Michèle; Bernache-Assollant, Didier; Grosseau, Philippe

    2014-07-01

    Acid functionalization has been considered as an easy way to enhance the dispersion and biodegradation of carbon nanotubes (CNT). However, inconsistencies between toxicity studies of acid functionalized CNT remain unexplained. This could be due to a joint effect of the main physicochemical modifications resulting from an acid functionalization: addition of surface acid groups and purification from catalytic metallic impurities. In this study, the impact on CNT biotoxicity of these two physiochemical features was assessed separately. The in vitro biological response of RAW 264.7 macrophages was evaluated after exposure to 15-240 µg mL-1 of two types of multi-walled CNT. For each type of CNT (small: 20 nm diameter, and big: 90 nm diameter), three different surface chemical properties were studied (total of six CNT samples): pristine, acid functionalized and desorbed. Desorbed CNT were purified by the acid functionalization but presented a very low amount of surface acid groups due to a thermal treatment under vacuum. A Janus effect of acid functionalization with two opposite impacts is highlighted. The CNT purification decreased the overall toxicity, while the surface acid groups intensified it when present at a specific threshold. These acid groups especially amplified the pro-inflammatory response. The threshold mechanism which seemed to regulate the impact of acid groups should be further studied to determine its value and potential link to the other physicochemical state of the CNT. The results suggest that, for a safer-design approach, the benefit-risk balance of an acid functionalization has to be considered, depending on the CNT primary state of purification. Further research should be conducted in this direction.

  16. The correlation function for density perturbations in an expanding universe. I - Linear theory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mcclelland, J.; Silk, J.

    1977-01-01

    The evolution of the two-point correlation function for adiabatic density perturbations in the early universe is studied. Analytical solutions are obtained for the evolution of linearized spherically symmetric adiabatic density perturbations and the two-point correlation function for these perturbations in the radiation-dominated portion of the early universe. The results are then extended to the regime after decoupling. It is found that: (1) adiabatic spherically symmetric perturbations comparable in scale with the maximum Jeans length would survive the radiation-dominated regime; (2) irregular fluctuations are smoothed out up to the scale of the maximum Jeans length in the radiation era, but regular fluctuations might survive on smaller scales; (3) in general, the only surviving structures for irregularly shaped adiabatic density perturbations of arbitrary but finite scale in the radiation regime are the size of or larger than the maximum Jeans length in that regime; (4) infinite plane waves with a wavelength smaller than the maximum Jeans length but larger than the critical dissipative damping scale could survive the radiation regime; and (5) black holes would also survive the radiation regime and might accrete sufficient mass after decoupling to nucleate the formation of galaxies.

  17. Functional knowledge transfer for high-accuracy prediction of under-studied biological processes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christopher Y Park

    Full Text Available A key challenge in genetics is identifying the functional roles of genes in pathways. Numerous functional genomics techniques (e.g. machine learning that predict protein function have been developed to address this question. These methods generally build from existing annotations of genes to pathways and thus are often unable to identify additional genes participating in processes that are not already well studied. Many of these processes are well studied in some organism, but not necessarily in an investigator's organism of interest. Sequence-based search methods (e.g. BLAST have been used to transfer such annotation information between organisms. We demonstrate that functional genomics can complement traditional sequence similarity to improve the transfer of gene annotations between organisms. Our method transfers annotations only when functionally appropriate as determined by genomic data and can be used with any prediction algorithm to combine transferred gene function knowledge with organism-specific high-throughput data to enable accurate function prediction. We show that diverse state-of-art machine learning algorithms leveraging functional knowledge transfer (FKT dramatically improve their accuracy in predicting gene-pathway membership, particularly for processes with little experimental knowledge in an organism. We also show that our method compares favorably to annotation transfer by sequence similarity. Next, we deploy FKT with state-of-the-art SVM classifier to predict novel genes to 11,000 biological processes across six diverse organisms and expand the coverage of accurate function predictions to processes that are often ignored because of a dearth of annotated genes in an organism. Finally, we perform in vivo experimental investigation in Danio rerio and confirm the regulatory role of our top predicted novel gene, wnt5b, in leftward cell migration during heart development. FKT is immediately applicable to many bioinformatics

  18. Functional toxicogenomic profiling expands insight into modulators of formaldehyde toxicity in yeast

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew North

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Formaldehyde (FA is a commercially important chemical with numerous and diverse uses. Accordingly, occupational and environmental exposure to FA is prevalent worldwide. Various adverse effects, including nasopharyngeal, sinonasal, and lymphohematopoietic cancers, have been linked to FA exposure, prompting designation of FA as a human carcinogen by U.S. and international scientific entities. Although the mechanism(s of FA toxicity have been well studied, additional insight is needed in regard to the genetic requirements for FA tolerance. In this study, a functional toxicogenomics approach was utilized in the model eukaryotic yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae to identify genes and cellular processes modulating the cellular toxicity of FA. Our results demonstrate mutant strains deficient in multiple DNA repair pathways–including homologous recombination, single strand annealing, and postreplication repair–were sensitive to FA, indicating FA may cause various forms of DNA damage in yeast. The SKI complex and its associated factors, which regulate mRNA degradation by the exosome, were also required for FA tolerance, suggesting FA may have unappreciated effects on RNA stability. Furthermore, various strains involved in osmoregulation and stress response were sensitive to FA. Together, our results are generally consistent with FA-mediated damage to both DNA and RNA. Considering DNA repair and RNA degradation pathways are evolutionarily conserved from yeast to humans, mechanisms of FA toxicity identified in yeast may be relevant to human disease and genetic susceptibility.

  19. AFM imaging of functionalized carbon nanotubes on biological membranes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lamprecht, C; Danzberger, J; Rangl, M; Gruber, H J; Hinterdorfer, P; Kienberger, F; Ebner, A; Liashkovich, I; Neves, V; Heister, E; Coley, H M; McFadden, J; Flahaut, E

    2009-01-01

    Multifunctional carbon nanotubes are promising for biomedical applications as their nano-size, together with their physical stability, gives access into the cell and various cellular compartments including the nucleus. However, the direct and label-free detection of carbon nanotube uptake into cells is a challenging task. The atomic force microscope (AFM) is capable of resolving details of cellular surfaces at the nanometer scale and thus allows following of the docking of carbon nanotubes to biological membranes. Here we present topographical AFM images of non-covalently functionalized single walled (SWNT) and double walled carbon nanotubes (DWNT) immobilized on different biological membranes, such as plasma membranes and nuclear envelopes, as well as on a monolayer of avidin molecules. We were able to visualize DWNT on the nuclear membrane while at the same time resolving individual nuclear pore complexes. Furthermore, we succeeded in localizing individual SWNT at the border of incubated cells and in identifying bundles of DWNT on cell surfaces by AFM imaging.

  20. Biological activity of lactoferrin-functionalized biomimetic hydroxyapatite nanocrystals

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nocerino N

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Nunzia Nocerino,1 Andrea Fulgione,1 Marco Iannaccone,1 Laura Tomasetta,1 Flora Ianniello,1 Francesca Martora,1 Marco Lelli,2 Norberto Roveri,2 Federico Capuano,3 Rosanna Capparelli1 1Department of Agriculture Special Biotechnology Center Federico II, CeBIOTEC Biotechnology, University of Naples Federico II, Naples, 2Department of Chemistry, G Ciamician, Alma Mater Studiorum, University of Bologna, Bologna, 3Department of Food Inspection IZS ME, Naples, Italy Abstract: The emergence of bacterial strains resistant to antibiotics is a general public health problem. Progress in developing new molecules with antimicrobial properties has been made. In this study, we evaluated the biological activity of a hybrid nanocomposite composed of synthetic biomimetic hydroxyapatite surface-functionalized by lactoferrin (LF-HA. We evaluated the antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties of LF-HA and found that the composite was active against both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria, and that it modulated proinflammatory and anti-inflammatory responses and enhanced antioxidant properties as compared with LF alone. These results indicate the possibility of using LF-HA as an antimicrobial system and biomimetic hydroxyapatite as a candidate for innovative biomedical applications. Keywords: lactoferrin, hydroxyapatite nanocrystals, biomimetism, biological activity, drug delivery

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-11

    Semiconductor nanowires (NWs) are gaining significant importance in various biological applications, such as biosensing and drug delivery. Efficient and controlled immobilization of biomolecules on the NW surface is crucial for many of these applications. Here, we present for the first time the use of the Cu(I) -catalyzed alkyne-azide cycloaddition and its strain-promoted variant for the covalent functionalization of vertical NWs with peptides and proteins. The potential of the approach was demonstrated in two complementary applications of measuring enzyme activity and protein binding, which is of general interest for biological studies. The attachment of a peptide substrate provided NW arrays for the detection of protease activity. In addition, green fluorescent protein was immobilized in a site-specific manner and recognized by antibody binding to demonstrate the proof-of-concept for the use of covalently modified NWs for diagnostic purposes using minute amounts of material. © 2016 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  2. Linking biological soil crust diversity to ecological functions

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  3. A Synthetic Biology Framework for Programming Eukaryotic Transcription Functions

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  4. Biological effects of simple changes in functionality on rhodium metalloinsertors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weidmann, Alyson G.; Komor, Alexis C.; Barton, Jacqueline K.

    2013-01-01

    DNA mismatch repair (MMR) is crucial to ensuring the fidelity of the genome. The inability to correct single base mismatches leads to elevated mutation rates and carcinogenesis. Using metalloinsertors–bulky metal complexes that bind with high specificity to mismatched sites in the DNA duplex–our laboratory has adopted a new chemotherapeutic strategy through the selective targeting of MMR-deficient cells, that is, those that have a propensity for cancerous transformation. Rhodium metalloinsertors display inhibitory effects selectively in cells that are deficient in the MMR machinery, consistent with this strategy. However, a highly sensitive structure–function relationship is emerging with the development of new complexes that highlights the importance of subcellular localization. We have found that small structural modifications, for example a hydroxyl versus a methyl functional group, can yield profound differences in biological function. Despite similar binding affinities and selectivities for DNA mismatches, only one metalloinsertor shows selective inhibition of cellular proliferation in MMR-deficient versus -proficient cells. Studies of whole-cell, nuclear and mitochondrial uptake reveal that this selectivity depends upon targeting DNA mismatches in the cell nucleus. PMID:23776288

  5. AR42J-B-13 cell: An expandable progenitor to generate an unlimited supply of functional hepatocytes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wallace, Karen; Fairhall, Emma A.; Charlton, Keith A.; Wright, Matthew C.

    2010-01-01

    Hepatocytes are the preparation of choice for Toxicological research in vitro. However, despite the fact that hepatocytes proliferate in vivo during liver regeneration, they are resistant to proliferation in vitro, do not tolerate sub-culture and tend to enter a de-differentiation program that results in a loss of hepatic function. These limitations have resulted in the search for expandable rodent and human cells capable of being directed to differentiate into functional hepatocytes. Research with stem cells suggests that it may be possible to provide the research community with hepatocytes in vitro although to date, significant challenges remain, notably generating a sufficiently pure population of hepatocytes with a quantitative functionality comparable with hepatocytes. This paper reviews work with the AR42J-B-13 (B-13) cell line. The B-13 cell was cloned from the rodent AR42J pancreatic cell line, express genes associated with pancreatic acinar cells and readily proliferates in simple culture media. When exposed to glucocorticoid, 75-85% of the cells trans-differentiate into hepatocyte-like (B-13/H) cells functioning at a level quantitatively similar to freshly isolated rat hepatocytes (with the remaining cells retaining the B-13 phenotype). Trans-differentiation of pancreatic acinar cells also appears to occur in vivo in rats treated with glucocorticoid; in mice with elevated circulating glucocorticoid and in humans treated for long periods with glucocorticoid. The B-13 response to glucocorticoid therefore appears to be related to a real pathophysiological response of a pancreatic cell to glucocorticoid. An understanding of how this process occurs and if it can be generated or engineered in human cells would result in a cell line with the ability to generate an unlimited supply of functional human hepatocytes in a cost effective manner.

  6. Pectin: cell biology and prospects for functional analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Willats, W G; McCartney, L; Mackie, W; Knox, J P

    2001-09-01

    Pectin is a major component of primary cell walls of all land plants and encompasses a range of galacturonic acid-rich polysaccharides. Three major pectic polysaccharides (homogalacturonan, rhamnogalacturonan-I and rhamnogalacturonan-II) are thought to occur in all primary cell walls. This review surveys what is known about the structure and function of these pectin domains. The high degree of structural complexity and heterogeneity of the pectic matrix is produced both during biosynthesis in the endomembrane system and as a result of the action of an array of wall-based pectin-modifying enzymes. Recent developments in analytical techniques and in the generation of anti-pectin probes have begun to place the structural complexity of pectin in cell biological and developmental contexts. The in muro de-methyl-esterification of homogalacturonan by pectin methyl esterases is emerging as a key process for the local modulation of matrix properties. Rhamnogalacturonan-I comprises a highly diverse population of spatially and developmentally regulated polymers, whereas rhamnogalacturonan-II appears to be a highly conserved and stable pectic domain. Current knowledge of biosynthetic enzymes, plant and microbial pectinases and the interactions of pectin with other cell wall components and the impact of molecular genetic approaches are reviewed in terms of the functional analysis of pectic polysaccharides in plant growth and development.

  7. Functional anthology of intrinsic disorder. 1. Biological processes and functions of proteins with long disordered regions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xie, Hongbo; Vucetic, Slobodan; Iakoucheva, Lilia M; Oldfield, Christopher J; Dunker, A Keith; Uversky, Vladimir N; Obradovic, Zoran

    2007-05-01

    Identifying relationships between function, amino acid sequence, and protein structure represents a major challenge. In this study, we propose a bioinformatics approach that identifies functional keywords in the Swiss-Prot database that correlate with intrinsic disorder. A statistical evaluation is employed to rank the significance of these correlations. Protein sequence data redundancy and the relationship between protein length and protein structure were taken into consideration to ensure the quality of the statistical inferences. Over 200,000 proteins from the Swiss-Prot database were analyzed using this approach. The predictions of intrinsic disorder were carried out using PONDR VL3E predictor of long disordered regions that achieves an accuracy of above 86%. Overall, out of the 710 Swiss-Prot functional keywords that were each associated with at least 20 proteins, 238 were found to be strongly positively correlated with predicted long intrinsically disordered regions, whereas 302 were strongly negatively correlated with such regions. The remaining 170 keywords were ambiguous without strong positive or negative correlation with the disorder predictions. These functions cover a large variety of biological activities and imply that disordered regions are characterized by a wide functional repertoire. Our results agree well with literature findings, as we were able to find at least one illustrative example of functional disorder or order shown experimentally for the vast majority of keywords showing the strongest positive or negative correlation with intrinsic disorder. This work opens a series of three papers, which enriches the current view of protein structure-function relationships, especially with regards to functionalities of intrinsically disordered proteins, and provides researchers with a novel tool that could be used to improve the understanding of the relationships between protein structure and function. The first paper of the series describes our

  8. Functional Anthology of Intrinsic Disorder. I. Biological Processes and Functions of Proteins with Long Disordered Regions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xie, Hongbo; Vucetic, Slobodan; Iakoucheva, Lilia M.; Oldfield, Christopher J.; Dunker, A. Keith; Uversky, Vladimir N.; Obradovic, Zoran

    2008-01-01

    Identifying relationships between function, amino acid sequence and protein structure represents a major challenge. In this study we propose a bioinformatics approach that identifies functional keywords in the Swiss-Prot database that correlate with intrinsic disorder. A statistical evaluation is employed to rank the significance of these correlations. Protein sequence data redundancy and the relationship between protein length and protein structure were taken into consideration to ensure the quality of the statistical inferences. Over 200,000 proteins from Swiss-Prot database were analyzed using this approach. The predictions of intrinsic disorder were carried out using PONDR VL3E predictor of long disordered regions that achieves an accuracy of above 86%. Overall, out of the 710 Swiss-Prot functional keywords that were each associated with at least 20 proteins, 238 were found to be strongly positively correlated with predicted long intrinsically disordered regions, whereas 302 were strongly negatively correlated with such regions. The remaining 170 keywords were ambiguous without strong positive or negative correlation with the disorder predictions. These functions cover a large variety of biological activities and imply that disordered regions are characterized by a wide functional repertoire. Our results agree well with literature findings, as we were able to find at least one illustrative example of functional disorder or order shown experimentally for the vast majority of keywords showing the strongest positive or negative correlation with intrinsic disorder. This work opens a series of three papers, which enriches the current view of protein structure-function relationships, especially with regards to functionalities of intrinsically disordered proteins and provides researchers with a novel tool that could be used to improve the understanding of the relationships between protein structure and function. The first paper of the series describes our statistical

  9. Expanding subjectivities

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lundgaard Andersen, Linda; Soldz, Stephen

    2012-01-01

    A major theme in recent psychoanalytic thinking concerns the use of therapist subjectivity, especially “countertransference,” in understanding patients. This thinking converges with and expands developments in qualitative research regarding the use of researcher subjectivity as a tool......-Saxon and continental traditions, this special issue provides examples of the use of researcher subjectivity, informed by psychoanalytic thinking, in expanding research understanding....

  10. Gross Motor Function Classification System Expanded & Revised (GMFCS E & R: reliability between therapists and parents in Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniela B. R. Silva

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Several studies have demonstrated the importance of using the Gross Motor Function Classification System (GMFCS to classify gross motor function in children with cerebral palsy, but the reliability of the expanded and revised version has not been examined in Brazil (GMFCS E & R. OBJECTIVE:: To determine the intra- and inter-rater reliability of the Portuguese-Brazil version of the GMFCS E & R applied by therapists and compare to classification provided by parents of children with cerebral palsy. METHOD: Data were obtained from 90 children with cerebral palsy, aged 4 to 18 years old, attending the neurology or rehabilitation service of a Brazilian hospital. Therapists classified the children's motor function using the GMFCS E & R and parents used the Brazilian Portuguese version of the GMFCS Family Report Questionnaire. Intra- and inter-rater reliability was obtained through percentage agreement and Cohen's unweighted Kappa statistics (k. The Chi-square test was used to identify significant differences in the classification of parents and therapists. RESULTS: Almost perfect agreement was reached between the therapists [K=0.90 (95% confidence interval 0.83-0.97] and intra-raters (therapists with K=1.00 [95% confidence interval (1.00-1.00], p<0.001. Agreement between therapists and parents was substantial (k=0.716, confidence interval 0.596-0.836, though parents classify gross motor impairment more severely than therapists (p=0.04. CONCLUSIONS: The Portuguese version of the GMFCS E & R is reliable for use by parents and therapists. Parents tend to classify their children's limitations more severely, because they know their performance in different environments.

  11. Redox Biology in Neurological Function, Dysfunction, and Aging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Franco, Rodrigo; Vargas, Marcelo R

    2018-04-23

    Reduction oxidation (redox) reactions are central to life and when altered, they can promote disease progression. In the brain, redox homeostasis is recognized to be involved in all aspects of central nervous system (CNS) development, function, aging, and disease. Recent studies have uncovered the diverse nature by which redox reactions and homeostasis contribute to brain physiology, and when dysregulated to pathological consequences. Redox reactions go beyond what is commonly described as oxidative stress and involve redox mechanisms linked to signaling and metabolism. In contrast to the nonspecific nature of oxidative damage, redox signaling involves specific oxidation/reduction reactions that regulate a myriad of neurological processes such as neurotransmission, homeostasis, and degeneration. This Forum is focused on the role of redox metabolism and signaling in the brain. Six review articles from leading scientists in the field that appraise the role of redox metabolism and signaling in different aspects of brain biology including neurodevelopment, neurotransmission, aging, neuroinflammation, neurodegeneration, and neurotoxicity are included. An original research article exemplifying these concepts uncovers a novel link between oxidative modifications, redox signaling, and neurodegeneration. This Forum highlights the recent advances in the field and we hope it encourages future research aimed to understand the mechanisms by which redox metabolism and signaling regulate CNS physiology and pathophysiology. Antioxid. Redox Signal. 00, 000-000.

  12. Phytochrome from Green Plants: Properties and biological Function

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Quail, Peter H.

    2014-07-25

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

  13. Aminotryptophan-containing barstar: structure--function tradeoff in protein design and engineering with an expanded genetic code.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rubini, Marina; Lepthien, Sandra; Golbik, Ralph; Budisa, Nediljko

    2006-07-01

    The indole ring of the canonical amino acid tryptophan (Trp) possesses distinguished features, such as sterical bulk, hydrophobicity and the nitrogen atom which is capable of acting as a hydrogen bond donor. The introduction of an amino group into the indole moiety of Trp yields the structural analogs 4-aminotryptophan ((4-NH(2))Trp) and 5-aminotryptophan ((5-NH(2))Trp). Their hydrophobicity and spectral properties are substantially different when compared to those of Trp. They resemble the purine bases of DNA and share their capacity for pH-sensitive intramolecular charge transfer. The Trp --> aminotryptophan substitution in proteins during ribosomal translation is expected to result in related protein variants that acquire these features. These expectations have been fulfilled by incorporating (4-NH(2))Trp and (5-NH(2))Trp into barstar, an intracellular inhibitor of the ribonuclease barnase from Bacillus amyloliquefaciens. The crystal structure of (4-NH(2))Trp-barstar is similar to that of the parent protein, whereas its spectral and thermodynamic behavior is found to be remarkably different. The T(m) value of (4-NH(2))Trp- and (5-NH(2))Trp-barstar is lowered by about 20 degrees Celsius, and they exhibit a strongly reduced unfolding cooperativity and substantial loss of free energy in folding. Furthermore, folding kinetic study of (4-NH(2))Trp-barstar revealed that the denatured state is even preferred over native one. The combination of structural and thermodynamic analyses clearly shows how structures of substituted barstar display a typical structure-function tradeoff: the acquirement of unique pH-sensitive charge transfer as a novel function is achieved at the expense of protein stability. These findings provide a new insight into the evolution of the amino acid repertoire of the universal genetic code and highlight possible problems regarding protein engineering and design by using an expanded genetic code.

  14. Membrane Binding of Recoverin: From Mechanistic Understanding to Biological Functionality

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Timr, S.; Pleskot, Roman; Kadlec, J.; Kohagen, M.; Magarkar, A.; Jungwirth, P.

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 3, č. 8 (2017), s. 868-874 ISSN 2374-7943 Institutional support: RVO:61389030 Keywords : recoverin * membrane * myristoyl Subject RIV: CF - Physical ; Theoretical Chemistry OBOR OECD: Cell biology Impact factor: 7.481, year: 2016

  15. Expandable stents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nesbitt, J C; Carrasco, H

    1996-05-01

    Expandable metallic stents are effective in selected patients with malignant or benign airway stenoses. When used for malignant lesions, the primary purpose of the stent is to improve the quality of life; stents are usually chosen for palliation of symptoms in recognition of the low likelihood of success for other therapy. For patients with benign stenoses, the stents provide a permanent source of structural support to alleviate the narrowed segment. The advantages of the expandable metallic stents are as follows: (1) they can be inserted through an endotracheal tube or under local anesthesia with relative simplicity under fluoroscopic guidance; (2) they do not impair the drainage of sputum because ciliary movement is not interrupted; (3) over a period of a few weeks, the meshwork is gradually covered with mucosa as the stent becomes incorporated into the airway wall; (4) ventilation usually is not impaired if the metallic mesh stent covers another nonstenosed bronchus, because the interstices of the stent are nonobstructive; and (5) they are dynamic and continue to expand over time, particularly if concurrent treatment achieves an effect on the lesion that caused stenosis. Disadvantages of the expandable stent include (1) they often are only temporarily effective for tracheobronchial stenosis due to intraluminal tumor or granulation tissue, both of which can grow between the wires; (2) they are considered permanent stents because removal is difficult; and (3) they can be poorly positioned during placement or can become displaced by progressive migration after placement, and they cannot be repositioned. A relative contraindication to insertion is an inflammatory process or infection that can predispose to granulation formation, particularly at the points of maximal contact pressure of the stent to the airway mucosa. In the presence of inflammation, it may be better to use a silicone prosthesis until the inflammatory process subsides and fibrosis occurs. Granulation

  16. Characterization of a tubular flow chamber for studying platelet interaction with biologic and prosthetic materials: deposition of indium 111-labeled platelets on collagen, subendothelium, and expanded polytetrafluoroethylene

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Badimon, L.; Turitto, V.; Rosemark, J.A.; Badimon, J.J.; Fuster, V.

    1987-01-01

    A plastic (Plexiglas) chamber for evaluating platelet deposition under controlled hemodynamic conditions has been developed. The perfusion chamber has been designed to retain the cylindrical shape typical of the vasculature, to be flexible enough to accept a variety of biologic and prosthetic materials, and to simulate a broad range of physiologic flow conditions in either an ex vivo or in vitro perfusion system. Three type of surfaces were exposed to blood flowing directly from the carotid artery of a heparinized pig through the perfusion chamber: de-endothelialized pig aorta, collagen strips from rabbit Achilles tendon, and an expanded polytetrafluoroethylene material (Gore-Tex). Platelets, previously radiolabeled with indium 111 and injected into the animal, were quantified on the material surface, and the total number of deposited platelets determined for a range of blood flow rates (5 to 40 ml/min) and exposure times (0.5 to 20 minutes). The deposition rates were correlated with theory for describing the mass transport of platelets to the test surface. At the wall shear rates investigated (105 to 850 sec-1), the deposition of platelets on subendothelium was strongly dependent on the local flow conditions. Values of deposition on Gore-Tex obtained at similar flow conditions (105 to 425 sec-1) were reduced compared with that observed on subendothelium and showed a markedly weaker dependence on the shear rate. In contrast, deposition of platelets on collagen was more than an order of magnitude greater than on subendothelium and showed a dependence on flow only at the lowest flow rate studied (10 ml/min). The results indicate that collagen is much more reactive than subendothelium and Gore-Tex with respect to the growth and stability of platelet aggregates and moreover suggest that flow mechanisms for depositing platelets on various surface may be substantially different

  17. Characterization of a tubular flow chamber for studying platelet interaction with biologic and prosthetic materials: deposition of indium 111-labeled platelets on collagen, subendothelium, and expanded polytetrafluoroethylene

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Badimon, L.; Turitto, V.; Rosemark, J.A.; Badimon, J.J.; Fuster, V.

    1987-12-01

    A plastic (Plexiglas) chamber for evaluating platelet deposition under controlled hemodynamic conditions has been developed. The perfusion chamber has been designed to retain the cylindrical shape typical of the vasculature, to be flexible enough to accept a variety of biologic and prosthetic materials, and to simulate a broad range of physiologic flow conditions in either an ex vivo or in vitro perfusion system. Three type of surfaces were exposed to blood flowing directly from the carotid artery of a heparinized pig through the perfusion chamber: de-endothelialized pig aorta, collagen strips from rabbit Achilles tendon, and an expanded polytetrafluoroethylene material (Gore-Tex). Platelets, previously radiolabeled with indium 111 and injected into the animal, were quantified on the material surface, and the total number of deposited platelets determined for a range of blood flow rates (5 to 40 ml/min) and exposure times (0.5 to 20 minutes). The deposition rates were correlated with theory for describing the mass transport of platelets to the test surface. At the wall shear rates investigated (105 to 850 sec-1), the deposition of platelets on subendothelium was strongly dependent on the local flow conditions. Values of deposition on Gore-Tex obtained at similar flow conditions (105 to 425 sec-1) were reduced compared with that observed on subendothelium and showed a markedly weaker dependence on the shear rate. In contrast, deposition of platelets on collagen was more than an order of magnitude greater than on subendothelium and showed a dependence on flow only at the lowest flow rate studied (10 ml/min). The results indicate that collagen is much more reactive than subendothelium and Gore-Tex with respect to the growth and stability of platelet aggregates and moreover suggest that flow mechanisms for depositing platelets on various surface may be substantially different.

  18. The functional and biological properties of whey proteins: prospects for the development of functional foods

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H. J. T. KORHONEN

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available Advances in processing technologies and the accumulation of scientific data on the functional and biological properties of whey components have contributed to the growing commercial valuation of cheese whey over the last decade. New membrane separation and chromatographic techniques have made it possible to fractionate and enrich various components of whey more efficiently than before. The specific properties of these components can now be examined in greater detail and new applications developed accordingly. The utilisation of cheese whey is evolving into a new industry producing a multitude of purified ingredients for numerous purposes. The most significant areas of R&D related to whey proteins include functional foods, the rheological properties of foodstuffs, and biopharmaceuticals.

  19. Lipid polymorphism and the functional roles of lipids in biological membranes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cullis, P.R.; Kruijff, B. de

    1979-01-01

    The reasons for the great variety of lipids found in biological membranes, and the relations between lipid composition and membrane function pose major unsolved problems in membrane biology. Perhaps the only major functional role of lipids which may be regarded as firmly established involves the

  20. Expander Codes

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Home; Journals; Resonance – Journal of Science Education; Volume 10; Issue 1. Expander Codes - The Sipser–Spielman Construction. Priti Shankar. General Article Volume 10 ... Author Affiliations. Priti Shankar1. Department of Computer Science and Automation, Indian Institute of Science Bangalore 560 012, India.

  1. Exploring candidate biological functions by Boolean Function Networks for Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria Simak

    Full Text Available The great amount of gene expression data has brought a big challenge for the discovery of Gene Regulatory Network (GRN. For network reconstruction and the investigation of regulatory relations, it is desirable to ensure directness of links between genes on a map, infer their directionality and explore candidate biological functions from high-throughput transcriptomic data. To address these problems, we introduce a Boolean Function Network (BFN model based on techniques of hidden Markov model (HMM, likelihood ratio test and Boolean logic functions. BFN consists of two consecutive tests to establish links between pairs of genes and check their directness. We evaluate the performance of BFN through the application to S. cerevisiae time course data. BFN produces regulatory relations which show consistency with succession of cell cycle phases. Furthermore, it also improves sensitivity and specificity when compared with alternative methods of genetic network reverse engineering. Moreover, we demonstrate that BFN can provide proper resolution for GO enrichment of gene sets. Finally, the Boolean functions discovered by BFN can provide useful insights for the identification of control mechanisms of regulatory processes, which is the special advantage of the proposed approach. In combination with low computational complexity, BFN can serve as an efficient screening tool to reconstruct genes relations on the whole genome level. In addition, the BFN approach is also feasible to a wide range of time course datasets.

  2. Design of Functional Polyesters for Electronic and Biological Applications

    OpenAIRE

    Nelson, Ashley Marie

    2015-01-01

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

  3. Oxidative metabolites of lycopene and their biological functions

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vutti, Surendra; Schoffelen, Sanne; Bolinsson, Jessica

    2016-01-01

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

  5. Function of dynamic models in systems biology: linking structure to behaviour.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knüpfer, Christian; Beckstein, Clemens

    2013-10-08

    Dynamic models in Systems Biology are used in computational simulation experiments for addressing biological questions. The complexity of the modelled biological systems and the growing number and size of the models calls for computer support for modelling and simulation in Systems Biology. This computer support has to be based on formal representations of relevant knowledge fragments. In this paper we describe different functional aspects of dynamic models. This description is conceptually embedded in our "meaning facets" framework which systematises the interpretation of dynamic models in structural, functional and behavioural facets. Here we focus on how function links the structure and the behaviour of a model. Models play a specific role (teleological function) in the scientific process of finding explanations for dynamic phenomena. In order to fulfil this role a model has to be used in simulation experiments (pragmatical function). A simulation experiment always refers to a specific situation and a state of the model and the modelled system (conditional function). We claim that the function of dynamic models refers to both the simulation experiment executed by software (intrinsic function) and the biological experiment which produces the phenomena under investigation (extrinsic function). We use the presented conceptual framework for the function of dynamic models to review formal accounts for functional aspects of models in Systems Biology, such as checklists, ontologies, and formal languages. Furthermore, we identify missing formal accounts for some of the functional aspects. In order to fill one of these gaps we propose an ontology for the teleological function of models. We have thoroughly analysed the role and use of models in Systems Biology. The resulting conceptual framework for the function of models is an important first step towards a comprehensive formal representation of the functional knowledge involved in the modelling and simulation process

  6. Expand Your Horizon: A programme that improves body image and reduces self-objectification by training women to focus on body functionality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alleva, Jessica M; Martijn, Carolien; Van Breukelen, Gerard J P; Jansen, Anita; Karos, Kai

    2015-09-01

    This study tested Expand Your Horizon, a programme designed to improve body image by training women to focus on the functionality of their body using structured writing assignments. Eighty-one women (Mage=22.77) with a negative body image were randomised to the Expand Your Horizon programme or to an active control programme. Appearance satisfaction, functionality satisfaction, body appreciation, and self-objectification were measured at pretest, posttest, and one-week follow-up. Following the intervention, participants in the Expand Your Horizon programme experienced greater appearance satisfaction, functionality satisfaction, and body appreciation, and lower levels of self-objectification, compared to participants in the control programme. Partial eta-squared effect sizes were of small to medium magnitude. This study is the first to show that focusing on body functionality can improve body image and reduce self-objectification in women with a negative body image. These findings provide support for addressing body functionality in programmes designed to improve body image. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Recent Advances in Momordica charantia: Functional Components and Biological Activities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shuo Jia

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Momordica charantia L. (M. charantia, a member of the Cucurbitaceae family, is widely distributed in tropical and subtropical regions of the world. It has been used in folk medicine for the treatment of diabetes mellitus, and its fruit has been used as a vegetable for thousands of years. Phytochemicals including proteins, polysaccharides, flavonoids, triterpenes, saponins, ascorbic acid and steroids have been found in this plant. Various biological activities of M. charantia have been reported, such as antihyperglycemic, antibacterial, antiviral, antitumor, immunomodulation, antioxidant, antidiabetic, anthelmintic, antimutagenic, antiulcer, antilipolytic, antifertility, hepatoprotective, anticancer and anti-inflammatory activities. However, both in vitro and in vivo studies have also demonstrated that M. charantia may also exert toxic or adverse effects under different conditions. This review addresses the chemical constituents of M. charantia and discusses their pharmacological activities as well as their adverse effects, aimed at providing a comprehensive overview of the phytochemistry and biological activities of M. charantia.

  8. Recent Advances in Momordica charantia: Functional Components and Biological Activities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jia, Shuo; Shen, Mingyue; Zhang, Fan; Xie, Jianhua

    2017-11-28

    Momordica charantia L. ( M. charantia ), a member of the Cucurbitaceae family, is widely distributed in tropical and subtropical regions of the world. It has been used in folk medicine for the treatment of diabetes mellitus, and its fruit has been used as a vegetable for thousands of years. Phytochemicals including proteins, polysaccharides, flavonoids, triterpenes, saponins, ascorbic acid and steroids have been found in this plant. Various biological activities of M. charantia have been reported, such as antihyperglycemic, antibacterial, antiviral, antitumor, immunomodulation, antioxidant, antidiabetic, anthelmintic, antimutagenic, antiulcer, antilipolytic, antifertility, hepatoprotective, anticancer and anti-inflammatory activities. However, both in vitro and in vivo studies have also demonstrated that M. charantia may also exert toxic or adverse effects under different conditions. This review addresses the chemical constituents of M. charantia and discusses their pharmacological activities as well as their adverse effects, aimed at providing a comprehensive overview of the phytochemistry and biological activities of M. charantia .

  9. Heavy water effects on the structure, functions and behavior of biological systems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Buzgariu, Wanda; Caloianu, Maria; Moldovan, Lucia; Titescu, G.

    2003-01-01

    The H 2 O substitution for D 2 O either in environment or in the culture medium of the living systems generates changes in their main functions and composition. In this paper some of the heavy water effects in biological systems such as structural and functional changes were reviewed: normal cell architecture alterations, cell division and membrane functions disturbance, muscular contractility and the perturbations of biological oscillators such as circadian rhythm, heart rate, respiratory cycle, tidal and ultradian rhythm. (authors)

  10. Inferring biological functions of guanylyl cyclases with computational methods

    KAUST Repository

    Alquraishi, May Majed; Meier, Stuart Kurt

    2013-01-01

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

  11. Inferring biological functions of guanylyl cyclases with computational methods

    KAUST Repository

    Alquraishi, May Majed

    2013-09-03

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmitz, L.

    2016-01-01

    Studies into the complex interaction between an organism and changes to its biotic and abiotic environment are fundamental to understanding what regulates biodiversity. These investigations occur at many phylogenetic, temporal and spatial scales and within a variety of biological and geological disciplines but often in relative isolation. This issue focuses on what can be achieved when ecological mechanisms are integrated into analyses of deep-time biodiversity patterns through the union of fossil and extant data and methods. We expand upon this perspective to argue that, given its direct relevance to the current biodiversity crisis, greater integration is needed across biodiversity research. We focus on the need to understand scaling effects, how lower-level ecological and evolutionary processes scale up and vice versa, and the importance of incorporating functional biology. Placing function at the core of biodiversity research is fundamental, as it establishes how an organism interacts with its abiotic and biotic environment and it is functional diversity that ultimately determines important ecosystem processes. To achieve full integration, concerted and ongoing efforts are needed to build a united and interactive community of biodiversity researchers, with education and interdisciplinary training at its heart. PMID:26977068

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Price, S A; Schmitz, L

    2016-04-05

    Studies into the complex interaction between an organism and changes to its biotic and abiotic environment are fundamental to understanding what regulates biodiversity. These investigations occur at many phylogenetic, temporal and spatial scales and within a variety of biological and geological disciplines but often in relative isolation. This issue focuses on what can be achieved when ecological mechanisms are integrated into analyses of deep-time biodiversity patterns through the union of fossil and extant data and methods. We expand upon this perspective to argue that, given its direct relevance to the current biodiversity crisis, greater integration is needed across biodiversity research. We focus on the need to understand scaling effects, how lower-level ecological and evolutionary processes scale up and vice versa, and the importance of incorporating functional biology. Placing function at the core of biodiversity research is fundamental, as it establishes how an organism interacts with its abiotic and biotic environment and it is functional diversity that ultimately determines important ecosystem processes. To achieve full integration, concerted and ongoing efforts are needed to build a united and interactive community of biodiversity researchers, with education and interdisciplinary training at its heart. © 2016 The Author(s).

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Jun; Zhao, Patrick X

    2016-01-01

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

  15. The lectins: properties, functions, and applications in biology and medicine

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Liener, Irvin E; Sharon, Nathan; Goldstein, Irwin J

    1986-01-01

    ... (Editors). The Enzymology of Post-Translational Modification of Proteins, Volume 1, 1980. Volume 2, 1985 W A I YIU CHEUNG (Editor). Calcium and Cell Function, Volume I: Calmodulin, 1980. Volume II, ...

  16. Partition expanders

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Gavinsky, Dmitry; Pudlák, Pavel

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 60, č. 3 (2017), s. 378-395 ISSN 1432-4350 R&D Projects: GA ČR GBP202/12/G061 Institutional support: RVO:67985840 Keywords : expanders * pseudorandomness * communication complexity Subject RIV: BA - General Mathematics OBOR OECD: Computer sciences, information science, bioinformathics (hardware development to be 2.2, social aspect to be 5.8) Impact factor: 0.645, year: 2016 http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs00224-016-9738-5

  17. Single-wavelength functional photoacoustic microscopy in biological tissue.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Danielli, Amos; Favazza, Christopher P; Maslov, Konstantin; Wang, Lihong V

    2011-03-01

    Recently, we developed a reflection-mode relaxation photoacoustic microscope, based on saturation intensity, to measure picosecond relaxation times using a nanosecond laser. Here, using the different relaxation times of oxygenated and deoxygenated hemoglobin molecules, both possessing extremely low fluorescence quantum yields, the oxygen saturation was quantified in vivo with single-wavelength photoacoustic microscopy. All previous functional photoacoustic microscopy measurements required imaging with multiple-laser-wavelength measurements to quantify oxygen saturation. Eliminating the need for multiwavelength measurements removes the influence of spectral properties on oxygenation calculations and improves the portability and cost-effectiveness of functional or molecular photoacoustic microscopy.

  18. Chemically-functionalized microcantilevers for detection of chemical, biological and explosive material

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pinnaduwage, Lal A [Knoxville, TN; Thundat, Thomas G [Knoxville, TN; Brown, Gilbert M [Knoxville, TN; Hawk, John Eric [Olive Branch, MS; Boiadjiev, Vassil I [Knoxville, TN

    2007-04-24

    A chemically functionalized cantilever system has a cantilever coated on one side thereof with a reagent or biological species which binds to an analyte. The system is of particular value when the analyte is a toxic chemical biological warfare agent or an explosive.

  19. Biological markers for kidney injury and renal function in the intensive care unit

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Royakkers, A.A.N.M.

    2014-01-01

    The purpose of the investigations described in this thesis was to seek for answers to two relevant questions in ICUs in resource-rich settings, i.e., can new biological markers play a role in early recognition of AKI, and can new biological markers predict recovery of renal function in patients who

  20. Exosome function: from tumor immunology to pathogen biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schorey, Jeffrey S; Bhatnagar, Sanchita

    2008-06-01

    Exosomes are the newest family member of 'bioactive vesicles' that function to promote intercellular communication. Exosomes are derived from the fusion of multivesicular bodies with the plasma membrane and extracellular release of the intraluminal vesicles. Recent studies have focused on the biogenesis and composition of exosomes as well as regulation of exosome release. Exosomes have been shown to be released by cells of hematopoietic and non-hematopoietic origin, yet their function remains enigmatic. Much of the prior work has focused on exosomes as a source of tumor antigens and in presentation of tumor antigens to T cells. However, new studies have shown that exosomes might also promote cell-to-cell spread of infectious agents. Moreover, exosomes isolated from cells infected with various intracellular pathogens, including Mycobacterium tuberculosis and Toxoplasma gondii, have been shown to contain microbial components and can promote antigen presentation and macrophage activation, suggesting that exosomes may function in immune surveillance. In this review, we summarize our understanding of exosome biogenesis but focus primarily on new insights into exosome function. We also discuss their possible use as disease biomarkers and vaccine candidates.

  1. Advancing Functional Metagenomics using Synthetic Biology from Soil to Sequence

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    van der Helm, Eric

    as ‘functional metagenomics’, the DNA of these bacteria can be recovered from the environment and used by host-bacteria which can be grown in a lab. This allows us to make use of the capabilities of the billions of bacteria that a represent in the environment without actually growing them but by making use...

  2. Single-wavelength functional photoacoustic microscopy in biological tissue

    OpenAIRE

    Danielli, Amos; Favazza, Christopher P.; Maslov, Konstantin; Wang, Lihong V.

    2011-01-01

    Recently, we developed a reflection-mode relaxation photoacoustic microscope, based on saturation intensity, to measure picosecond relaxation times using a nanosecond laser. Here, using the different relaxation times of oxygenated and deoxygenated hemoglobin molecules, both possessing extremely low fluorescence quantum yields, the oxygen saturation was quantified in vivo with single-wavelength photoacoustic microscopy. All previous functional photoacoustic microscopy measurements required ima...

  3. Preliminary biological evaluation of a urea-functionalized dendrimer

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Stephan, H.; Syhre, R.; Spies, H.; Johannsen, B.; Zessin, J.; Steinbach, J.; Klein, L.; Werner, N.; Voegtle, F.

    2002-01-01

    A new third generation ethylurea-functionalized polypropyleneamine dendrimer was prepared. After labelling this dendrimer with 11-carbon the biodistribution in rats was studied. The highest level of radioactivity was found in the liver (30-35% ID). The 11 C-labelled dendrimer was well tolerated by the rats. (orig.)

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mazereeuw, M.

    2013-01-01

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

  5. MicroRNA functional network in pancreatic cancer: From biology to ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    [Wang J and Sen S 2011 MicroRNA functional network in pancreatic cancer: From biology to biomarkers of disease. ... growth factor type I receptor; INSR, insulin receptor; IPA, Ingenuity Pathway Analysis; IPMN, ..... Prostate cancer signalling.

  6. 3D Printing Polymers with Supramolecular Functionality for Biological Applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-09-11

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

  7. Functional nanostructured platforms for chemical and biological sensing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Létant, S. E.

    2006-05-01

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

  8. The biology and function of exosomes in cancer

    OpenAIRE

    Kalluri, Raghu

    2016-01-01

    Humans circulate quadrillions of exosomes at all times. Exosomes are a class of extracellular vesicles released by all cells, with a size range of 40?150 nm and a lipid bilayer membrane. Exosomes contain DNA, RNA, and proteins. Exosomes likely remove excess and/or unnecessary constituents from the cells, functioning like garbage bags, although their precise physiological role remains unknown. Additionally, exosomes may mediate specific cell-to-cell communication and activate signaling pathway...

  9. Biology and Function of Fetal and Pediatric Skin

    OpenAIRE

    Leung, Alice; Balaji, Swathi; Keswani, Sundeep G

    2013-01-01

    The development of the integumentary system is a series of events, which start in utero and continue throughout life. Although at birth, skin in full-term infants is anatomically mature, functional maturity develops during the first year of life. Pediatric skin transitions again with the onset of puberty. At each stage, there are changes in transepidermal water loss, skin hydration, and skin acidity that define the specific period of development.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pechurkin, Nikolai S.

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-05-01

    The presence of iduronic acid in chondroitin/dermatan sulfate changes the properties of the polysaccharides because it generates a more flexible chain with increased binding potentials. Iduronic acid in chondroitin/dermatan sulfate influences multiple cellular properties, such as migration, proliferation, differentiation, angiogenesis and the regulation of cytokine/growth factor activities. Under pathological conditions such as wound healing, inflammation and cancer, iduronic acid has diverse regulatory functions. Iduronic acid is formed by two epimerases (i.e. dermatan sulfate epimerase 1 and 2) that have different tissue distribution and properties. The role of iduronic acid in chondroitin/dermatan sulfate is highlighted by the vast changes in connective tissue features in patients with a new type of Ehler-Danlos syndrome: adducted thumb-clubfoot syndrome. Future research aims to understand the roles of the two epimerases and their interplay with the sulfotransferases involved in chondroitin sulfate/dermatan sulfate biosynthesis. Furthermore, a better definition of chondroitin/dermatan sulfate functions using different knockout models is needed. In this review, we focus on the two enzymes responsible for iduronic acid formation, as well as the role of iduronic acid in health and disease. © 2013 The Authors Journal compilation © 2013 FEBS.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2008-01-01

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

  13. The biology and function of exosomes in cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kalluri, Raghu

    2016-04-01

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

  14. The functions of biological diversity in an age of extinction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naeem, Shahid; Duffy, J Emmett; Zavaleta, Erika

    2012-06-15

    Ecosystems worldwide are rapidly losing taxonomic, phylogenetic, genetic, and functional diversity as a result of human appropriation of natural resources, modification of habitats and climate, and the spread of pathogenic, exotic, and domestic plants and animals. Twenty years of intense theoretical and empirical research have shown that such biotic impoverishment can markedly alter the biogeochemical and dynamic properties of ecosystems, but frontiers remain in linking this research to the complexity of wild nature, and in applying it to pressing environmental issues such as food, water, energy, and biosecurity. The question before us is whether these advances can take us beyond merely invoking the precautionary principle of conserving biodiversity to a predictive science that informs practical and specific solutions to mitigate and adapt to its loss.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2008-01-15

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ritu Kumar

    2014-10-01

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

  17. Selenium and arsenic in biology: their chemical forms and biological functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shibata, Y; Morita, M; Fuwa, K

    1992-01-01

    Based on the recent development of analytical methods, sensitive systems for the analysis and speciation of selenium and arsenic have been established. A palladium addition technique was developed for the accurate determination of selenium in biological samples using graphite furnace atomic absorption analysis. For the speciation of the elements, combined methods of HPLC either with ICP-AES or with ICP-MS were found to work well. These systems were applied to the elucidation of the chemical form of the elements in natural samples. Some chemical properties of the selenium-mercury complex in dolphin liver were elucidated: i.e., it was a cationic, water-soluble, low molecular weight compound containing selenium and mercury in a 1:1 molar ratio, and was shown to be different from a known selenium-mercury complex, bis(methylmercuric)selenide. The major selenium compound excreted in human urine was revealed to be other than any of those previously identified (TMSe, selenate, and selenite). TMSe, a suspected major metabolite in urine, was found, if at all, in low levels. The major water-soluble, and lipid-soluble arsenic compounds in a brown seaweed, U. pinnatifida (WAKAME), were rigorously identified, and the results were compared with other data on marine algae and animals. The major organic arsenic compounds (termed "arseno-sugars") in marine algae commonly contain 5-deoxy-5-dimethylarsinyl-ribofuranoside moiety. There are various kinds of arseno-sugar derivatives containing different side-chains attached to the anomeric position of the sugar, and the distribution of each arsenic species seems to be related to algal species. The arseno-sugar (A-XI) is present in every alga so far examined, is metabolized to lipids, and possibly may play some specific role in the algal cells. On the other hand, the major arsenic compound in fish, crustacea and molluscs has been identified as arsenobetaine, which is an arseno-analog of glycinebetaine, a very common osmo-regulator in

  18. Biological Functions of the Secretome of Neisseria meningitidis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jan Tommassen

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Neisseria meningitidis is a Gram-negative bacterial pathogen that normally resides as a commensal in the human nasopharynx but occasionally causes disease with high mortality and morbidity. To interact with its environment, it transports many proteins across the outer membrane to the bacterial cell surface and into the extracellular medium for which it deploys the common and well-characterized autotransporter, two-partner and type I secretion mechanisms, as well as a recently discovered pathway for the surface exposure of lipoproteins. The surface-exposed and secreted proteins serve roles in host-pathogen interactions, including adhesion to host cells and extracellular matrix proteins, evasion of nutritional immunity imposed by iron-binding proteins of the host, prevention of complement activation, neutralization of antimicrobial peptides, degradation of immunoglobulins, and permeabilization of epithelial layers. Furthermore, they have roles in interbacterial interactions, including the formation and dispersal of biofilms and the suppression of the growth of bacteria competing for the same niche. Here, we will review the protein secretion systems of N. meningitidis and focus on the functions of the secreted proteins.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2013-05-02

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michaelian, K.

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-12-01

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

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

    CERN Document Server

    Louie, A H

    2013-01-01

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

  3. An expandable prosthesis with dual cage-and-plate function in a single device for vertebral body replacement: the clinical experience on 14 consecutive cases with vertebral tumors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramírez, J J; Ramírez, J J; Chiquete, E; Gómez-Limón, E

    2011-09-01

    The aim of this paper was to test the hypothesis that an expandable prosthesis with dual cage-and-plate function can provide immediate and durable spine stabilization after corpectomy. We designed an expandable vertebral body prosthesis with dual cage-and-plate function in a single device (JR-prosthesis). Anatomical studies were performed to design a titanium-made prosthesis. Cadaver assays were done with a stainless steal device to test fixation and adequacy to the human spine anatomy. Then, 14 patients with vertebral tumors (8 metastatic) underwent corpectomy and vertebral body replacement with the JR-prosthesis. All patients had neurological deficit, severe pain and spine instability (mean follow-up: 25.4 months). Mean pain score before surgery in a visual analog scale improved from 7.6 to 3.0 points after operation (P=0.002). All patients achieved at least one grade of improvement in the Frankel score (P=0.003), excepting the 3 patients with Frankel grade A presurgery. Two patients with renal cell carcinoma died during the following 4 days after surgery (renal failure and massive bleeding), the rest attained a painless and stable spine immediately and maintained for long periods. No significant infections or implant failures were registered. A non-fatal case of inferior vena cava surgical injury was observed (repaired during surgery without further complications). The JR-prosthesis stabilizes the spine immediately after surgery and for the rest of the patients' life. To our knowledge, this is the first report on the clinical experience of any expandable vertebral body prosthesis with dual cage-and-plate function in a single device. These observations await confirmation in different scenarios.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-10-20

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-06-17

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

  6. Expanding pedestrian injury risk to the body region level: how to model passive safety systems in pedestrian injury risk functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niebuhr, Tobias; Junge, Mirko; Achmus, Stefanie

    2015-01-01

    Assessment of the effectiveness of advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) plays a crucial role in accident research. A common way to evaluate the effectiveness of new systems is to determine the potentials for injury severity reduction. Because injury risk functions describe the probability of an injury of a given severity conditional on a technical accident severity (closing speed, delta V, barrier equivalent speed, etc.), they are predestined for such evaluations. Recent work has stated an approach on how to model the pedestrian injury risk in pedestrian-to-passenger car accidents as a family of functions. This approach gave explicit and easily interpretable formulae for the injury risk conditional on the closing speed of the car. These results are extended to injury risk functions for pedestrian body regions. Starting with a double-checked German In-depth Accident Study (GIDAS) pedestrian-to-car accident data set (N = 444) and a functional-anatomical definition of the body regions, investigations on the influence of specific body regions on the overall injury severity will be presented. As the measure of injury severity, the ISSx, a rescaled version of the well-known Injury Severity Score (ISS), was used. Though traditional ISS is computed by summation of the squares of the 3 most severe injured body regions, ISSx is computed by the summation of the exponentials of the Abbreviated Injury Scale (AIS) severities of the 3 most severely injured body regions. The exponentials used are scaled to fit the ISS range of values between 0 and 75. Three body regions (head/face/neck, thorax, hip/legs) clearly dominated abdominal and upper extremity injuries; that is, the latter 2 body regions had no influence at all on the overall injury risk over the range of technical accident severities. Thus, the ISSx is well described by use of the injury codes from the same body regions for any pedestrian injury severity. As a mathematical consequence, the ISSx becomes explicitly

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-05-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  9. Expanding the Repertoire of Carbapenem-Hydrolyzing Metallo-ß-Lactamases by Functional Metagenomic Analysis of Soil Microbiota

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gudeta, Dereje D.; Bortolaia, Valeria; Pollini, Simona

    2016-01-01

    , diversity and functionality of carbapenemase-encoding genes in soil microbiota by functional metagenomics. Ten plasmid libraries were generated by cloning metagenomic DNA from agricultural (n = 6) and grassland (n = 4) soil into Escherichia coli. The libraries were cultured on amoxicillin-containing agar......% identity). RAIphy analysis indicated that six enzymes (CRD3-1, GRD23-1, DHT2-1, SPN79-1, ALG6-1, and ALG11-1) originated from Proteobacteria, two (PEDO-1 and ESP-2) from Bacteroidetes and one (GRD33-1) from Gemmatimonadetes. All MBLs detected in soil microbiota were functional when expressed in E. coli...... approaches targeted different subpopulations in soil microbiota....

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kinjo, Akira R.; Nakamura, Haruki

    2012-01-01

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

  11. Biologic variability and correlation of platelet function testing in healthy dogs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blois, Shauna L; Lang, Sean T; Wood, R Darren; Monteith, Gabrielle

    2015-12-01

    Platelet function tests are influenced by biologic variability, including inter-individual (CVG ) and intra-individual (CVI ), as well as analytic (CVA ) variability. Variability in canine platelet function testing is unknown, but if excessive, would make it difficult to interpret serial results. Additionally, the correlation between platelet function tests is poor in people, but not well described in dogs. The aims were to: (1) identify the effect of variation in preanalytic factors (venipuncture, elapsed time until analysis) on platelet function tests; (2) calculate analytic and biologic variability of adenosine diphosphate (ADP) and arachidonic acid (AA)-induced thromboelastograph platelet mapping (TEG-PM), ADP-, AA-, and collagen-induced whole blood platelet aggregometry (WBA), and collagen/ADP and collagen/epinephrine platelet function analysis (PFA-CADP, PFA-CEPI); and (3) determine the correlation between these variables. In this prospective observational trial, platelet function was measured once every 7 days, for 4 consecutive weeks, in 9 healthy dogs. In addition, CBC, TEG-PM, WBA, and PFA were performed. Overall coefficients of variability ranged from 13.3% to 87.8% for the platelet function tests. Biologic variability was highest for AA-induced maximum amplitude generated during TEG-PM (MAAA; CVG = 95.3%, CVI = 60.8%). Use of population-based reference intervals (RI) was determined appropriate only for PFA-CADP (index of individuality = 10.7). There was poor correlation between most platelet function tests. Use of population-based RI appears inappropriate for most platelet function tests, and tests poorly correlate with one another. Future studies on biologic variability and correlation of platelet function tests should be performed in dogs with platelet dysfunction and those treated with antiplatelet therapy. © 2015 American Society for Veterinary Clinical Pathology.

  12. Expanding the Repertoire of Carbapenem-Hydrolyzing Metallo-ß-Lactamases by Functional Metagenomic Analysis of Soil Microbiota.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gudeta, Dereje D; Bortolaia, Valeria; Pollini, Simona; Docquier, Jean-Denis; Rossolini, Gian M; Amos, Gregory C A; Wellington, Elizabeth M H; Guardabassi, Luca

    2016-01-01

    Carbapenemases are bacterial enzymes that hydrolyze carbapenems, a group of last-resort β-lactam antibiotics used for treatment of severe bacterial infections. They belong to three β-lactamase classes based amino acid sequence (A, B, and D). The aim of this study was to elucidate occurrence, diversity and functionality of carbapenemase-encoding genes in soil microbiota by functional metagenomics. Ten plasmid libraries were generated by cloning metagenomic DNA from agricultural ( n = 6) and grassland ( n = 4) soil into Escherichia coli . The libraries were cultured on amoxicillin-containing agar and up to 100 colonies per library were screened for carbapenemase production by CarbaNP test. Presumptive carbapenemases were characterized with regard to DNA sequence, minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) of β-lactams, and imipenem hydrolysis. Nine distinct class B carbapenemases, also known as metallo-beta-lactamases (MBLs), were identified in six soil samples, including two subclass B1 (GRD23-1 and SPN79-1) and seven subclass B3 (CRD3-1, PEDO-1, GRD33-1, ESP-2, ALG6-1, ALG11-1, and DHT2-1). Except PEDO-1 and ESP-2, these enzymes were distantly related to any previously described MBLs (33 to 59% identity). RAIphy analysis indicated that six enzymes (CRD3-1, GRD23-1, DHT2-1, SPN79-1, ALG6-1, and ALG11-1) originated from Proteobacteria , two (PEDO-1 and ESP-2) from Bacteroidetes and one (GRD33-1) from Gemmatimonadetes . All MBLs detected in soil microbiota were functional when expressed in E. coli , resulting in detectable imipenem-hydrolyzing activity and significantly increased MICs of clinically relevant ß-lactams. Interestingly, the MBLs yielded by functional metagenomics generally differed from those detected in the same soil samples by antibiotic selective culture, showing that the two approaches targeted different subpopulations in soil microbiota.

  13. Improving Care Transitions Management: Examining the Role of Accountable Care Organization Participation and Expanded Electronic Health Record Functionality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huber, Thomas P; Shortell, Stephen M; Rodriguez, Hector P

    2017-08-01

    Examine the extent to which physician organization participation in an accountable care organization (ACO) and electronic health record (EHR) functionality are associated with greater adoption of care transition management (CTM) processes. A total of 1,398 physician organizations from the third National Study of Physician Organization survey (NSPO3), a nationally representative sample of medical practices in the United States (January 2012-May 2013). We used data from the third National Study of Physician Organization survey (NSPO3) to assess medical practice characteristics, including CTM processes, ACO participation, EHR functionality, practice type, organization size, ownership, public reporting, and pay-for-performance participation. Multivariate linear regression models estimated the extent to which ACO participation and EHR functionality were associated with greater CTM capabilities, controlling for practice size, ownership, public reporting, and pay-for-performance participation. Approximately half (52.4 percent) of medical practices had a formal program for managing care transitions in place. In adjusted analyses, ACO participation (p risk-bearing arrangements across the country may improve the management of care transitions by physician organizations. © Health Research and Educational Trust.

  14. Benign tracheobronchial stenoses: changes in short-term and long-term pulmonary function testing after expandable metallic stent placement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gotway, Michael B; Golden, Jeffrey A; LaBerge, Jeanne M; Webb, W Richard; Reddy, Gautham P; Wilson, Mark W; Kerlan, Robert K; Gordon, Roy L

    2002-01-01

    To determine the short- and long-term improvement in airflow dynamics in patients undergoing tracheobronchial stent placement for benign airway stenoses. Twenty-two patients underwent 34 tracheal and/or bronchial stent placement procedures for benign airway stenoses and had the results of pulmonary function tests available. Stent placement indications included bronchomalacia after lung transplantation (n = 11), postintubation stenoses (n = 6), relapsing polychondritis (n = 2), and 1 each of tracheomalacia, tracheal compression, and histoplasmosis. Six patients underwent more than one stent placement procedure (range: 2-7 procedures). The mean forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV(1) ), forced expiratory flow rate in the midportion of the forced vital capacity curve (FEF(25-75) ), forced vital capacity, and peak flow (PF) rate obtained before stent placement were compared with those immediately after stent placement and with those measurements most remote from stent placement using the paired two-tailed test. All patients reported improved respiratory function immediately after stent placement. The mean FEV(1), FEF(25-75), and PF rate improved significantly (p stent placement. On long-term follow-up averaging 15 months after stent placement, these parameters declined despite patients' subjective sense of improvement. Segregating the population into transplant and nontransplant airway stenosis etiologies, however, FEF(25-75) and PF rate remained significantly improved (p = 0.045, p = 0.027, respectively), over the long term for the latter. FEV increased after subsequent stent placements for patients receiving multiple stents. Stent placement for benign tracheobronchial stenoses provides significant immediate improvement in airflow dynamics. Long-term improvement in airflow obstruction may be expected, and additional stent placements may further improve pulmonary function.

  15. An Expanded Role for the RFX Transcription Factor DAF-19, with Dual Functions in Ciliated and Nonciliated Neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Stasio, Elizabeth A; Mueller, Katherine P; Bauer, Rosemary J; Hurlburt, Alexander J; Bice, Sophie A; Scholtz, Sophie L; Phirke, Prasad; Sugiaman-Trapman, Debora; Stinson, Loraina A; Olson, Haili B; Vogel, Savannah L; Ek-Vazquez, Zabdiel; Esemen, Yagmur; Korzynski, Jessica; Wolfe, Kelsey; Arbuckle, Bonnie N; Zhang, He; Lombard-Knapp, Gaelen; Piasecki, Brian P; Swoboda, Peter

    2018-03-01

    Regulatory Factor X (RFX) transcription factors (TFs) are best known for activating genes required for ciliogenesis in both vertebrates and invertebrates. In humans, eight RFX TFs have a variety of tissue-specific functions, while in the worm Caenorhabditis elegans , the sole RFX gene, daf-19 , encodes a set of nested isoforms. Null alleles of daf-19 confer pleiotropic effects including altered development with a dauer constitutive phenotype, complete absence of cilia and ciliary proteins, and defects in synaptic protein maintenance. We sought to identify RFX/ daf-19 target genes associated with neuronal functions other than ciliogenesis using comparative transcriptome analyses at different life stages of the worm. Subsequent characterization of gene expression patterns revealed one set of genes activated in the presence of DAF-19 in ciliated sensory neurons, whose activation requires the daf-19c isoform, also required for ciliogenesis. A second set of genes is downregulated in the presence of DAF-19, primarily in nonsensory neurons. The human orthologs of some of these neuronal genes are associated with human diseases. We report the novel finding that daf-19a is directly or indirectly responsible for downregulation of these neuronal genes in C. elegans by characterizing a new mutation affecting the daf-19a isoform ( tm5562 ) and not associated with ciliogenesis, but which confers synaptic and behavioral defects. Thus, we have identified a new regulatory role for RFX TFs in the nervous system. The new daf-19 candidate target genes we have identified by transcriptomics will serve to uncover the molecular underpinnings of the pleiotropic effects that daf-19 exerts on nervous system function. Copyright © 2018 by the Genetics Society of America.

  16. The relationship between oral health status and biological and psychosocial function in the bedridden elderly.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanada, N; Tada, A

    2001-01-01

    The present study was conducted in order to determine what item of biological and psychosocial function is related to oral health status in the bedridden elderly. The subjects were 94 elderly individuals (30 males, 64 females) who had been admitted to a nursing home in Chiba city, Japan. We assessed the number of remaining teeth and the number of functional teeth as oral health status variables. Biological and psychosocial function levels were determined using the functional independence measure method developed by the State University of New York at Buffalo. More than 70% of subjects had less than ten remaining teeth. Almost all subjects needed prosthesis treatment. More than 50% of subjects had 27 or less functional teeth. Mann-Whitney U-test and logistic regression models showed that 'expression' was concerned with the number of remaining teeth and 'bladder management', 'locomotion', 'transfers' were related to the number of functional teeth. These data suggest close relation between oral health status and biological and psychosocial function levels in the bedridden elderly.

  17. [Recent advances of synthetic biology for production of functional ingredients in Chinese materia medica].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Su, Xin-Yao; Xue, Jian-Ping; Wang, Cai-Xia

    2016-11-01

    The functional ingredients in Chinese materia medica are the main active substance for traditional Chinese medicine and most of them are secondary metabolites derivatives. Until now,the main method to obtain those functional ingredients is through direct extraction from the Chinese materia medica. However, the income is very low because of the high extraction costs and the decreased medicinal plants. Synthetic biology technology, as a new and microbial approach, can be able to carry out large-scale production of functional ingredients and greatly ease the shortage of traditional Chinese medicine ingredients. This review mainly focused on the recent advances in synthetic biology for the functional ingredients production. Copyright© by the Chinese Pharmaceutical Association.

  18. Expanding the Repertoire of Carbapenem-Hydrolyzing Metallo-ß-Lactamases by Functional Metagenomic Analysis of Soil Microbiota

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gudeta, Dereje D.; Bortolaia, Valeria; Pollini, Simona

    2016-01-01

    as metallo-beta-lactamases (MBLs), were identified in six soil samples, including two subclass B1 (GRD23-1 and SPN79-1) and seven subclass B3 (CRD3-1, PEDO-1, GRD33-1, ESP-2, ALG6-1, ALG11-1, and DHT2-1). Except PEDO-1 and ESP-2, these enzymes were distantly related to any previously described MBLs (33 to 59......% identity). RAIphy analysis indicated that six enzymes (CRD3-1, GRD23-1, DHT2-1, SPN79-1, ALG6-1, and ALG11-1) originated from Proteobacteria, two (PEDO-1 and ESP-2) from Bacteroidetes and one (GRD33-1) from Gemmatimonadetes. All MBLs detected in soil microbiota were functional when expressed in E. coli...

  19. The expanding universe of cohesin functions: a new genome stability caretaker involved in human disease and cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mannini, Linda; Menga, Stefania; Musio, Antonio

    2010-06-01

    Cohesin is responsible for sister chromatid cohesion, ensuring the correct chromosome segregation. Beyond this role, cohesin and regulatory cohesin genes seem to play a role in preserving genome stability and gene transcription regulation. DNA damage is thought to be a major culprit for many human diseases, including cancer. Our present knowledge of the molecular basis underlying genome instability is extremely limited. Mutations in cohesin genes cause human diseases such as Cornelia de Lange syndrome and Roberts syndrome/SC phocomelia, and all the cell lines derived from affected patients show genome instability. Cohesin mutations have also been identified in colorectal cancer. Here, we will discuss the human disorders caused by alterations of cohesin function, with emphasis on the emerging role of cohesin as a genome stability caretaker.

  20. Characterization of pore-expanded amino-functionalized mesoporous silicas directly synthesized with dimethyldecylamine and its application for decolorization of sulphonated azo dyes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yang Hong; Feng Qiyan

    2010-01-01

    With dimethyldecylamine (DMDA) as the expander, a new kind of pore-expanded amino-functionalized mesoporous silicas (PEAFMS) was directly synthesized under mild alkali condition. The characteristics of PEAFMS sample demonstrated that the presence of DMDA markedly augmented the average pore diameter (19.04 nm) and strongly enhanced its decolorization ability. Subsequently, acid mordant dark yellow GG (YGG) and reactive red violet X-2R (RVX) were chosen to assess its adsorption capacity for sulphonated azo dyes. The effect of initial pH was investigated and the decolorization mechanism was illuminated. Three isotherms were conducted and the goodness of fit increased as the following order: Freundlich < Langmuir < Redlich-Peterson. The maximum adsorption capacities of YGG and RVX onto PEAFMS were 1.967 and 0.957 mmol/g, respectively. Adsorption kinetic processes were better predicted by the pseudo-second-order rate equation than the pseudo-first-order one. Adsorption thermodynamic results suggested that the adsorption behavior of both dyes onto PEAFMS was spontaneous with the chemical nature. In addition, the regeneration of PEAFMS was proved to be feasible using NaOH as the strippant. After five cycles, PEAFMS still possessed a favorable adsorption capacity for dyes. It is safely concluded that PEAFMS could be a potential adsorbent for the dye removal from wastewater.

  1. Late-stage diversification of biologically active pyridazinones via a direct C-H functionalization strategy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Wei; Fan, Zhoulong; Geng, Kaijun; Xu, Youjun; Zhang, Ao

    2015-01-14

    Divergent C-H functionalization reactions (arylation, carboxylation, olefination, thiolation, acetoxylation, halogenation, naphthylation) using a pyridazinone moiety as an internal directing group were successfully established. This approach offers a late-stage, ortho-selective diversification of a biologically active pyridazinone scaffold. Seven series of novel pyridazinone analogues were synthesized conveniently as the synthetic precursors of potential sortase A (SrtA) inhibitors.

  2. Calibration of the modulation transfer function of surface profilometers with binary pseudo-random test standards: expanding the application range

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yashchuk, Valeriy V.; Anderson, Erik H.; Barber, Samuel K.; Bouet, Nathalie; Cambie, Rossana; Conley, Raymond; McKinney, Wayne R.; Takacs, Peter Z.; Voronov, Dmitriy L.

    2011-01-01

    A modulation transfer function (MTF) calibration method based on binary pseudo-random (BPR) gratings and arrays (Proc. SPIE 7077-7 (2007), Opt. Eng. 47, 073602 (2008)) has been proven to be an effective MTF calibration method for a number of interferometric microscopes and a scatterometer (Nucl. Instr. and Meth. A616, 172 (2010)). Here we report on a further expansion of the application range of the method. We describe the MTF calibration of a 6 inch phase shifting Fizeau interferometer. Beyond providing a direct measurement of the interferometer's MTF, tests with a BPR array surface have revealed an asymmetry in the instrument's data processing algorithm that fundamentally limits its bandwidth. Moreover, the tests have illustrated the effects of the instrument's detrending and filtering procedures on power spectral density measurements. The details of the development of a BPR test sample suitable for calibration of scanning and transmission electron microscopes are also presented. Such a test sample is realized as a multilayer structure with the layer thicknesses of two materials corresponding to BPR sequence. The investigations confirm the universal character of the method that makes it applicable to a large variety of metrology instrumentation with spatial wavelength bandwidths from a few nanometers to hundreds of millimeters.

  3. Increased Use of Care Management Processes and Expanded Health Information Technology Functions by Practice Ownership and Medicaid Revenue.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodriguez, Hector P; McClellan, Sean R; Bibi, Salma; Casalino, Lawrence P; Ramsay, Patricia P; Shortell, Stephen M

    2016-06-01

    Practice ownership and Medicaid revenue may affect the use of care management processes (CMPs) for chronic conditions and expansion of health information technology (HIT). Using a national cohort of medical practices, we compared the use of CMPs and HIT from 2006/2008 to 2013 by practice ownership and level of Medicaid revenue. Poisson regression models estimated changes in CMP use, and linear regression estimated changes in HIT, by practice ownership and Medicaid patient revenue, controlling for other practice characteristics. Compared with physician-owned practices, system-owned practices adopted a greater number of CMPs and HIT functions over time (p < .001). High Medicaid revenue (≥30.0%) was associated with less adoption of CMPs (p < .001) and HIT (p < .01). System-owned practices (p < .001) and community health centers (p < .001) with high Medicaid revenue were more likely than physician-owned practices with high Medicaid revenue to adopt CMPs over time. System and community health center ownership appear to help high Medicaid practices overcome CMP adoption constraints. © The Author(s) 2015.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Petersen, Anders; Andersen, Tobias

    , all of these having a temporal offset included, as well as the ex-Gaussian, and finally a new psychometric function, motivated from single-neuron studies by (Albrecht, Geisler, Frazor & Crane, 2002). The new psychometric function stands out by having a nonmonotonous hazard rate which is initially...

  5. Single amino acid substitution in important hemoglobinopathies does not disturb molecular function and biological process

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Viroj Wiwanitkit

    2008-06-01

    Full Text Available Viroj WiwanitkitDepartment of Laboratory Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, ThailandAbstract: Hemoglobin is an important protein found in the red cells of many animals. In humans, the hemoglobin is mainly distributed in the red blood cell. Single amino acid substitution is the main pathogenesis of most hemoglobin disorders. Here, the author used a new gene ontology technology to predict the molecular function and biological process of four important hemoglobin disorders with single substitution. The four studied important abnormal hemoglobins (Hb with single substitution included Hb S, Hb E, Hb C, and Hb J-Baltimore. Using the GoFigure server, the molecular function and biological process in normal and abnormal hemoglobins was predicted. Compared with normal hemoglobin, all studied abnormal hemoglobins had the same function and biological process. This indicated that the overall function of oxygen transportation is not disturbed in the studied hemoglobin disorders. Clinical findings of oxygen depletion in abnormal hemoglobin should therefore be due to the other processes rather than genomics, proteomics, and expression levels.Keywords: hemoglobin, amino acid, substitution, function

  6. 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.

  7. Manufacturing validation of biologically functional T cells targeted to CD19 antigen for autologous adoptive cell therapy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hollyman, Daniel; Stefanski, Jolanta; Przybylowski, Mark; Bartido, Shirley; Borquez-Ojeda, Oriana; Taylor, Clare; Yeh, Raymond; Capacio, Vanessa; Olszewska, Malgorzata; Hosey, James; Sadelain, Michel; Brentjens, Renier J.; Rivière, Isabelle

    2009-01-01

    Summary Based on promising pre-clinical data demonstrating the eradication of systemic B cell malignancies by CD19-targeted T lymphocytes in vivo in SCID beige mouse models, we are launching Phase 1 clinical trials in patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) and acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). We present here the validation of the bioprocess we developed for the production and expansion of clinical grade autologous T cells derived from patients with CLL. We demonstrate that T cells genetically modified with a replication-defective gammaretroviral vector derived from the Moloney murine leukemia virus encoding a chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) targeted to CD19 (1928z) can be expanded with Dynabeads® CD3/CD28. This bioprocess allows us to generate clinical doses of 1928z+ T cells in approximately 2 to 3 weeks in a large-scale semi-closed culture system using the Wave bioreactor. These 1928z+ T cells remain biologically functional not only in vitro but also in SCID beige mice bearing disseminated tumors. The validation requirements in terms of T cell expansion, T cell transduction with the 1928z CAR, biological activity, quality control testing and release criteria were met for all four validation runs using apheresis products from patients with CLL. Additionally, following expansion of the T cells, the diversity of the skewed Vβ T cell receptor repertoire was significantly restored. This validated process will be used in phase I clinical trials in patients with chemo-refractory CLL and in patients with relapsed ALL. It can also be adapted for other clinical trials involving the expansion and transduction of patient or donor T cells using any chimeric antigen receptor or T cell receptor. PMID:19238016

  8. The correlation function for density perturbations in an expanding universe. III The three-point and predictions of the four-point and higher order correlation functions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mcclelland, J.; Silk, J.

    1978-01-01

    Higher-order correlation functions for the large-scale distribution of galaxies in space are investigated. It is demonstrated that the three-point correlation function observed by Peebles and Groth (1975) is not consistent with a distribution of perturbations that at present are randomly distributed in space. The two-point correlation function is shown to be independent of how the perturbations are distributed spatially, and a model of clustered perturbations is developed which incorporates a nonuniform perturbation distribution and which explains the three-point correlation function. A model with hierarchical perturbations incorporating the same nonuniform distribution is also constructed; it is found that this model also explains the three-point correlation function, but predicts different results for the four-point and higher-order correlation functions than does the model with clustered perturbations. It is suggested that the model of hierarchical perturbations might be explained by the single assumption of having density fluctuations or discrete objects all of the same mass randomly placed at some initial epoch.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carmel McDougall

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

  10. Expanding Internal Control Functionality Scope

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mykola M. Vuitsiv

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available The article reviews the influence of «western» concepts of the information needs of management process provisions on forming and developing the up-to-date model of Internal Control. An attempt has been made to develop the approach to solve urgent management tasks by applying the ideas of controlling and management accounting via the traditional national approach to the content of control. The place of control in the enterprise management information system has also been reviewed.

  11. Multilevel functional genomics data integration as a tool for understanding physiology: a network biology perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davidsen, Peter K; Turan, Nil; Egginton, Stuart; Falciani, Francesco

    2016-02-01

    The overall aim of physiological research is to understand how living systems function in an integrative manner. Consequently, the discipline of physiology has since its infancy attempted to link multiple levels of biological organization. Increasingly this has involved mathematical and computational approaches, typically to model a small number of components spanning several levels of biological organization. With the advent of "omics" technologies, which can characterize the molecular state of a cell or tissue (intended as the level of expression and/or activity of its molecular components), the number of molecular components we can quantify has increased exponentially. Paradoxically, the unprecedented amount of experimental data has made it more difficult to derive conceptual models underlying essential mechanisms regulating mammalian physiology. We present an overview of state-of-the-art methods currently used to identifying biological networks underlying genomewide responses. These are based on a data-driven approach that relies on advanced computational methods designed to "learn" biology from observational data. In this review, we illustrate an application of these computational methodologies using a case study integrating an in vivo model representing the transcriptional state of hypoxic skeletal muscle with a clinical study representing muscle wasting in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease patients. The broader application of these approaches to modeling multiple levels of biological data in the context of modern physiology is discussed. Copyright © 2016 the American Physiological Society.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zammito, John

    2006-12-01

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

  13. TCA Cycle and Mitochondrial Membrane Potential Are Necessary for Diverse Biological Functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martínez-Reyes, Inmaculada; Diebold, Lauren P; Kong, Hyewon; Schieber, Michael; Huang, He; Hensley, Christopher T; Mehta, Manan M; Wang, Tianyuan; Santos, Janine H; Woychik, Richard; Dufour, Eric; Spelbrink, Johannes N; Weinberg, Samuel E; Zhao, Yingming; DeBerardinis, Ralph J; Chandel, Navdeep S

    2016-01-21

    Mitochondrial metabolism is necessary for the maintenance of oxidative TCA cycle function and mitochondrial membrane potential. Previous attempts to decipher whether mitochondria are necessary for biological outcomes have been hampered by genetic and pharmacologic methods that simultaneously disrupt multiple functions linked to mitochondrial metabolism. Here, we report that inducible depletion of mitochondrial DNA (ρ(ο) cells) diminished respiration, oxidative TCA cycle function, and the mitochondrial membrane potential, resulting in diminished cell proliferation, hypoxic activation of HIF-1, and specific histone acetylation marks. Genetic reconstitution only of the oxidative TCA cycle function specifically in these inducible ρ(ο) cells restored metabolites, resulting in re-establishment of histone acetylation. In contrast, genetic reconstitution of the mitochondrial membrane potential restored ROS, which were necessary for hypoxic activation of HIF-1 and cell proliferation. These results indicate that distinct mitochondrial functions associated with respiration are necessary for cell proliferation, epigenetics, and HIF-1 activation. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Mediating objects: scientific and public functions of models in nineteenth-century biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ludwig, David

    2013-01-01

    The aim of this article is to examine the scientific and public functions of two- and three-dimensional models in the context of three episodes from nineteenth-century biology. I argue that these models incorporate both data and theory by presenting theoretical assumptions in the light of concrete data or organizing data through theoretical assumptions. Despite their diverse roles in scientific practice, they all can be characterized as mediators between data and theory. Furthermore, I argue that these different mediating functions often reflect their different audiences that included specialized scientists, students, and the general public. In this sense, models in nineteenth-century biology can be understood as mediators between theory, data, and their diverse audiences.

  15. PMS2 endonuclease activity has distinct biological functions and is essential for genome maintenance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Oers, Johanna M M; Roa, Sergio; Werling, Uwe; Liu, Yiyong; Genschel, Jochen; Hou, Harry; Sellers, Rani S; Modrich, Paul; Scharff, Matthew D; Edelmann, Winfried

    2010-07-27

    The DNA mismatch repair protein PMS2 was recently found to encode a novel endonuclease activity. To determine the biological functions of this activity in mammals, we generated endonuclease-deficient Pms2E702K knock-in mice. Pms2EK/EK mice displayed increased genomic mutation rates and a strong cancer predisposition. In addition, class switch recombination, but not somatic hypermutation, was impaired in Pms2EK/EK B cells, indicating a specific role in Ig diversity. In contrast to Pms2-/- mice, Pms2EK/EK male mice were fertile, indicating that this activity is dispensable in spermatogenesis. Therefore, the PMS2 endonuclease activity has distinct biological functions and is essential for genome maintenance and tumor suppression.

  16. Automated quantitative assessment of proteins' biological function in protein knowledge bases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mayr, Gabriele; Lepperdinger, Günter; Lackner, Peter

    2008-01-01

    Primary protein sequence data are archived in databases together with information regarding corresponding biological functions. In this respect, UniProt/Swiss-Prot is currently the most comprehensive collection and it is routinely cross-examined when trying to unravel the biological role of hypothetical proteins. Bioscientists frequently extract single entries and further evaluate those on a subjective basis. In lieu of a standardized procedure for scoring the existing knowledge regarding individual proteins, we here report about a computer-assisted method, which we applied to score the present knowledge about any given Swiss-Prot entry. Applying this quantitative score allows the comparison of proteins with respect to their sequence yet highlights the comprehension of functional data. pfs analysis may be also applied for quality control of individual entries or for database management in order to rank entry listings.

  17. Automated Quantitative Assessment of Proteins' Biological Function in Protein Knowledge Bases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gabriele Mayr

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available Primary protein sequence data are archived in databases together with information regarding corresponding biological functions. In this respect, UniProt/Swiss-Prot is currently the most comprehensive collection and it is routinely cross-examined when trying to unravel the biological role of hypothetical proteins. Bioscientists frequently extract single entries and further evaluate those on a subjective basis. In lieu of a standardized procedure for scoring the existing knowledge regarding individual proteins, we here report about a computer-assisted method, which we applied to score the present knowledge about any given Swiss-Prot entry. Applying this quantitative score allows the comparison of proteins with respect to their sequence yet highlights the comprehension of functional data. pfs analysis may be also applied for quality control of individual entries or for database management in order to rank entry listings.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2011-01-01

    Despite being a key zooplankton group, knowledge on krill biology from the Arctic is inadequate. The present study examine the functional biology and evaluate the trophic role of krill in the GodthAyenbsfjord (64 degrees N, 51 degrees W) SW Greenland, through a combination of fieldwork...... and laboratory experiments. Krill biomass was highest in the middle fjord and inner fjord, whereas no krill was found offshore. The dominating species Thysanoessa raschii revealed a type III functional response when fed with the diatom Thalassiosira weissflogii. At food saturation, T. raschii exhibited a daily...... ration of 1% body C d(-1). Furthermore, T. raschii was capable of exploiting plankton cells from 5 to 400 mu m, covering several trophic levels of the pelagic food web. The calculated grazing impact by T. raschii on the fjord plankton community was negligible. However, the schooling and migratory...

  19. PreproVIP-derived peptides in the human female genital tract: expression and biological function

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bredkjoer, H E; Palle, C; Ekblad, E

    1997-01-01

    The aim of the study was to elucidate the localization, distribution, colocalization and biological effect of preproVIP-derived peptides in the human female genital tract. Radioimmunoassays applying antisera against the five functional domains of the VIP precursor in combination with immunohistoc......The aim of the study was to elucidate the localization, distribution, colocalization and biological effect of preproVIP-derived peptides in the human female genital tract. Radioimmunoassays applying antisera against the five functional domains of the VIP precursor in combination...... with immunohistochemistry were used. The effect of preproVIP 22-79, preproVIP 111-122 and preproVIP 156-170 on genital smooth muscle activity in the Fallopian tube was investigated in vitro and compared to that of VIP. All the preproVIP-derived peptides were expressed throughout the genital tract in neuronal elements...

  20. Tongue and Taste Organ Biology and Function: Homeostasis Maintained by Hedgehog Signaling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mistretta, Charlotte M; Kumari, Archana

    2017-02-10

    The tongue is an elaborate complex of heterogeneous tissues with taste organs of diverse embryonic origins. The lingual taste organs are papillae, composed of an epithelium that includes specialized taste buds, the basal lamina, and a lamina propria core with matrix molecules, fibroblasts, nerves, and vessels. Because taste organs are dynamic in cell biology and sensory function, homeostasis requires tight regulation in specific compartments or niches. Recently, the Hedgehog (Hh) pathway has emerged as an essential regulator that maintains lingual taste papillae, taste bud and progenitor cell proliferation and differentiation, and neurophysiological function. Activating or suppressing Hh signaling, with genetic models or pharmacological agents used in cancer treatments, disrupts taste papilla and taste bud integrity and can eliminate responses from taste nerves to chemical stimuli but not to touch or temperature. Understanding Hh regulation of taste organ homeostasis contributes knowledge about the basic biology underlying taste disruptions in patients treated with Hh pathway inhibitors.

  1. Effects of Physical Exercise on Cognitive Functioning and Wellbeing: Biological and Psychological Benefits

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura Mandolesi

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Much evidence shows that physical exercise (PE is a strong gene modulator that induces structural and functional changes in the brain, determining enormous benefit on both cognitive functioning and wellbeing. PE is also a protective factor for neurodegeneration. However, it is unclear if such protection is granted through modifications to the biological mechanisms underlying neurodegeneration or through better compensation against attacks. This concise review addresses the biological and psychological positive effects of PE describing the results obtained on brain plasticity and epigenetic mechanisms in animal and human studies, in order to clarify how to maximize the positive effects of PE while avoiding negative consequences, as in the case of exercise addiction.

  2. Paul Langerhans: a prilgrim "traveling" from functional histology to marine biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raica, Marius; Cimpean, Anca Maria

    2017-06-01

    The nineteenth century was the time of a real revolution in science and medicine. A lot of seminal discoveries in medicine and biology were done in this time, and many of them were coincident with the introduction of the compound microscope by Hermann van Deijl and the standard histological technique by Paul Ehrlich. The main tissue types and individual cells were characterized and originally classified more than hundred years ago, although less attention was paid to their basic functions. This was mainly due to the modality of tissue specimen processing that allowed particularly detailed descriptive studies. Even so, we can notice some attempts to correlate the structure with the function. The German scientist Paul Langerhans, well-known for the discovery of Langerhans islets of the pancreas and Langerhans cells from the epidermis, tried to change the conventional fate of morphological studies introducing in his works functional hypothesis based on traditional microscopic observations even from the beginning of his scientific career. Paul Langerhans was a complex personality of the second half of the nineteenth century, not only in medicine, but also in other fields of biology. In the present review, presented is the life and research activity of Paul Langerhans, not only because of the importance of his discoveries, but also for perspectives that were opened by these findings in unexpected fields of medicine and biology.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bolam, Stefan; Kenny, Andrew; Garcia, Clement

    characteristics, have allowed us to better understand the interactions between the benthic fauna and their environment at a functional level. We present the initial findings of work conducted under the auspices of the EU-funded project ‘BENTHIS’ which aims to improve our understanding of the impacts of trawling...... on benthic ecosystem functioning over much larger spatial scales than previously undertaken. Biological traits information from 887 stations across European waters (Norwegian, UK, Belgian, Dutch, Danish waters, the Mediterranean and Black Sea) were analysed to: i) quantify the relationships between infaunal...

  4. H2A-DUBbing the mammalian epigenome: expanding frontiers for histone H2A deubiquitinating enzymes in cell biology and physiology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belle, Jad I; Nijnik, Anastasia

    2014-05-01

    Posttranslational modifications of histone H2A through the attachment of ubiquitin or poly-ubiquitin conjugates are common in mammalian genomes and play an important role in the regulation of chromatin structure, gene expression, and DNA repair. Histone H2A deubiquitinases (H2A-DUBs) are a group of structurally diverse enzymes that catalyze the removal ubiquitin from histone H2A. In this review we provide a concise summary of the mechanisms that mediate histone H2A ubiquitination in mammalian cells, and review our current knowledge of mammalian H2A-DUBs, their biochemical activities, and recent developments in our understanding of their functions in mammalian physiology. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Hypothermic machine perfusion reduces delayed graft function and improves one-year graft survival of kidneys from expanded criteria donors: a meta-analysis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Baoping Jiao

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Expanded criteria donors (ECDs are currently accepted as potential sources to increase the donor pool and to provide more chances of kidney transplantation for elderly recipients who would not survive long waiting periods. Hypothermic machine perfusion (HMP is designed to mitigate the deleterious effects of simple cold storage (CS on the quality of preserved organs, particularly when the donor is in a marginal status. METHODS: We compared the transplant outcomes in patients receiving ECD kidneys with either HMP or CS graft preservation. Articles from the MEDLINE, EMBASE and Cochrane Library databases were searched and all studies reporting outcomes from HMP versus CS methods of kidney preservation were included in this meta-analysis. The parameters analyzed included the incidence of delayed graft function (DGF, primary non-function (PNF and one-year graft and patient survival. RESULTS: A total of seven studies qualified for the review, involving 2374 and 8716 kidney grafts with HMP or CS preservation respectively, all from ECD donors. The incidence of delayed graft function (DGF was significantly reduced with an odd ratio(OR of 0.59 (95% CI 0.54-0.66, P<0.001 and one-year graft survival was significantly improved with an OR of 1.12 (95% CI 1.03-1.21, P = 0.005 in HMP preservation compared to CS. However, there was no difference in the incidence of PNF (OR 0.54, 95% CI 0.21-1.40, P = 0.20, and one-year patient survival (OR 0.98, 95% CI 0.94-1.02, P = 0.36 between HMP and CS preservation. CONCLUSIONS: HMP was associated with a reduced incidence of DGF and an with increased one-year graft survival, but it was not associated with the incidence of PNF and one-year patient survival.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-11-01

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

  7. Clinical history and biologic age predicted falls better than objective functional tests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gerdhem, Paul; Ringsberg, Karin A M; Akesson, Kristina; Obrant, Karl J

    2005-03-01

    Fall risk assessment is important because the consequences, such as a fracture, may be devastating. The objective of this study was to find the test or tests that best predicted falls in a population-based sample of elderly women. The fall-predictive ability of a questionnaire, a subjective estimate of biologic age and objective functional tests (gait, balance [Romberg and sway test], thigh muscle strength, and visual acuity) were compared in 984 randomly selected women, all 75 years of age. A recalled fall was the most important predictor for future falls. Only recalled falls and intake of psycho-active drugs independently predicted future falls. Women with at least five of the most important fall predictors (previous falls, conditions affecting the balance, tendency to fall, intake of psychoactive medication, inability to stand on one leg, high biologic age) had an odds ratio of 11.27 (95% confidence interval 4.61-27.60) for a fall (sensitivity 70%, specificity 79%). The more time-consuming objective functional tests were of limited importance for fall prediction. A simple clinical history, the inability to stand on one leg, and a subjective estimate of biologic age were more important as part of the fall risk assessment.

  8. Distinct and overlapping effector functions of expanded human CD4+, CD8α+ and CD4-CD8α- invariant natural killer T cells.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vincent O'Reilly

    Full Text Available CD1d-restricted invariant natural killer T (iNKT cells have diverse immune stimulatory/regulatory activities through their ability to release cytokines and to kill or transactivate other cells. Activation of iNKT cells can protect against multiple diseases in mice but clinical trials in humans have had limited impact. Clinical studies to date have targeted polyclonal mixtures of iNKT cells and we proposed that their subset compositions will influence therapeutic outcomes. We sorted and expanded iNKT cells from healthy donors and compared the phenotypes, cytotoxic activities and cytokine profiles of the CD4(+, CD8α(+ and CD4(-CD8α(- double-negative (DN subsets. CD4(+ iNKT cells expanded more readily than CD8α(+ and DN iNKT cells upon mitogen stimulation. CD8α(+ and DN iNKT cells most frequently expressed CD56, CD161 and NKG2D and most potently killed CD1d(+ cell lines and primary leukemia cells. All iNKT subsets released Th1 (IFN-γ and TNF-α and Th2 (IL-4, IL-5 and IL-13 cytokines. Relative amounts followed a CD8α>DN>CD4 pattern for Th1 and CD4>DN>CD8α for Th2. All iNKT subsets could simultaneously produce IFN-γ and IL-4, but single-positivity for IFN-γ or IL-4 was strikingly rare in CD4(+ and CD8α(+ fractions, respectively. Only CD4(+ iNKT cells produced IL-9 and IL-10; DN cells released IL-17; and none produced IL-22. All iNKT subsets upregulated CD40L upon glycolipid stimulation and induced IL-10 and IL-12 secretion by dendritic cells. Thus, subset composition of iNKT cells is a major determinant of function. Use of enriched CD8α(+, DN or CD4(+ iNKT cells may optimally harness the immunoregulatory properties of iNKT cells for treatment of disease.

  9. Functional profiles reveal unique ecological roles of various biological soil crust organisms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bowker, M.A.; Mau, R.L.; Maestre, F.T.; Escolar, C.; Castillo-Monroy, A. P.

    2011-01-01

    1. At the heart of the body of research on biodiversity effects on ecosystem function is the debate over whether different species tend to be functionally singular or redundant. When we consider ecosystem multi-function, the provision of multiple ecosystem functions simultaneously, we may find that seemingly redundant species may in fact play unique roles in ecosystems. 2. Over the last few decades, the significance of biological soil crusts (BSCs) as ecological boundaries and ecosystem engineers, and their multi-functional nature, has become increasingly well documented. We compiled 'functional profiles' of the organisms in this understudied community, to determine whether functional singularity emerges when multiple ecosystem functions are considered. 3. In two data sets, one representing multiple sites around the semi-arid regions of Spain (regional scale), and another from a single site in central Spain (local scale), we examined correlations between the abundance or frequency of BSC species in a community, and multiple surrogates of ecosystem functioning. There was a wide array of apparent effects of species on specific functions. 4. Notably, in gypsiferous soils and at regional scale, we found that indicators of carbon (C) and phosphorus cycling were apparently suppressed and promoted by the lichens Diploschistes diacapsis and Squamarina lentigera, respectively. The moss Pleurochaete squarrosa appears to promote C cycling in calcareous soils at this spatial scale. At the local scale in gypsiferous soils, D. diacapsis positively correlated with carbon cycling, but negatively with nitrogen cycling, whereas numerous lichens exhibited the opposite profile. 5. We found a high degree of functional singularity, i.e. that species were highly individualistic in their effects on multiple functions. Many functional attributes were not easily predictable from existing functional grouping systems based primarily on morphology. 6. Our results suggest that maintaining

  10. Functional soil microbial diversity across Europe estimated by EEA, MicroResp and BIOLOG

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Winding, Anne; Rutgers, Michiel; Creamer, Rachel

    consisting of 81 soil samples covering five Biogeograhical Zones and three land-uses in order to test the sensitivity, ease and cost of performance and biological significance of the data output. The techniques vary in how close they are to in situ functions; dependency on growth during incubation......Soil microorganisms are abundant and essential for the bio-geochemical processes of soil, soil quality and soil ecosystem services. All this is dependent on the actual functions the microbial communities are performing in the soil. Measuring soil respiration has for many years been the basis...... of estimating soil microbial activity. However, today several techniques are in use for determining microbial functional diversity and assessing soil biodiversity: Methods based on CO2 development by the microbes such as substrate induced respiration (SIR) on specific substrates have lead to the development...

  11. Tuning Hsf1 levels drives distinct fungal morphogenetic programs with depletion impairing Hsp90 function and overexpression expanding the target space

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miao, Zhengqiang; Tan, Kaeling; Vyas, Valmik K.; Whiteway, Malcolm; Robbins, Nicole; Wong, Koon Ho; Cowen, Leah E.

    2018-01-01

    The capacity to respond to temperature fluctuations is critical for microorganisms to survive within mammalian hosts, and temperature modulates virulence traits of diverse pathogens. One key temperature-dependent virulence trait of the fungal pathogen Candida albicans is its ability to transition from yeast to filamentous growth, which is induced by environmental cues at host physiological temperature. A key regulator of temperature-dependent morphogenesis is the molecular chaperone Hsp90, which has complex functional relationships with the transcription factor Hsf1. Although Hsf1 controls global transcriptional remodeling in response to heat shock, its impact on morphogenesis remains unknown. Here, we establish an intriguing paradigm whereby overexpression or depletion of C. albicans HSF1 induces morphogenesis in the absence of external cues. HSF1 depletion compromises Hsp90 function, thereby driving filamentation. HSF1 overexpression does not impact Hsp90 function, but rather induces a dose-dependent expansion of Hsf1 direct targets that drives overexpression of positive regulators of filamentation, including Brg1 and Ume6, thereby bypassing the requirement for elevated temperature during morphogenesis. This work provides new insight into Hsf1-mediated environmentally contingent transcriptional control, implicates Hsf1 in regulation of a key virulence trait, and highlights fascinating biology whereby either overexpression or depletion of a single cellular regulator induces a profound developmental transition. PMID:29590106

  12. Tuning Hsf1 levels drives distinct fungal morphogenetic programs with depletion impairing Hsp90 function and overexpression expanding the target space.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amanda O Veri

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available The capacity to respond to temperature fluctuations is critical for microorganisms to survive within mammalian hosts, and temperature modulates virulence traits of diverse pathogens. One key temperature-dependent virulence trait of the fungal pathogen Candida albicans is its ability to transition from yeast to filamentous growth, which is induced by environmental cues at host physiological temperature. A key regulator of temperature-dependent morphogenesis is the molecular chaperone Hsp90, which has complex functional relationships with the transcription factor Hsf1. Although Hsf1 controls global transcriptional remodeling in response to heat shock, its impact on morphogenesis remains unknown. Here, we establish an intriguing paradigm whereby overexpression or depletion of C. albicans HSF1 induces morphogenesis in the absence of external cues. HSF1 depletion compromises Hsp90 function, thereby driving filamentation. HSF1 overexpression does not impact Hsp90 function, but rather induces a dose-dependent expansion of Hsf1 direct targets that drives overexpression of positive regulators of filamentation, including Brg1 and Ume6, thereby bypassing the requirement for elevated temperature during morphogenesis. This work provides new insight into Hsf1-mediated environmentally contingent transcriptional control, implicates Hsf1 in regulation of a key virulence trait, and highlights fascinating biology whereby either overexpression or depletion of a single cellular regulator induces a profound developmental transition.

  13. Tuning Hsf1 levels drives distinct fungal morphogenetic programs with depletion impairing Hsp90 function and overexpression expanding the target space.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Veri, Amanda O; Miao, Zhengqiang; Shapiro, Rebecca S; Tebbji, Faiza; O'Meara, Teresa R; Kim, Sang Hu; Colazo, Juan; Tan, Kaeling; Vyas, Valmik K; Whiteway, Malcolm; Robbins, Nicole; Wong, Koon Ho; Cowen, Leah E

    2018-03-01

    The capacity to respond to temperature fluctuations is critical for microorganisms to survive within mammalian hosts, and temperature modulates virulence traits of diverse pathogens. One key temperature-dependent virulence trait of the fungal pathogen Candida albicans is its ability to transition from yeast to filamentous growth, which is induced by environmental cues at host physiological temperature. A key regulator of temperature-dependent morphogenesis is the molecular chaperone Hsp90, which has complex functional relationships with the transcription factor Hsf1. Although Hsf1 controls global transcriptional remodeling in response to heat shock, its impact on morphogenesis remains unknown. Here, we establish an intriguing paradigm whereby overexpression or depletion of C. albicans HSF1 induces morphogenesis in the absence of external cues. HSF1 depletion compromises Hsp90 function, thereby driving filamentation. HSF1 overexpression does not impact Hsp90 function, but rather induces a dose-dependent expansion of Hsf1 direct targets that drives overexpression of positive regulators of filamentation, including Brg1 and Ume6, thereby bypassing the requirement for elevated temperature during morphogenesis. This work provides new insight into Hsf1-mediated environmentally contingent transcriptional control, implicates Hsf1 in regulation of a key virulence trait, and highlights fascinating biology whereby either overexpression or depletion of a single cellular regulator induces a profound developmental transition.

  14. A Gaussian mixture model based cost function for parameter estimation of chaotic biological systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shekofteh, Yasser; Jafari, Sajad; Sprott, Julien Clinton; Hashemi Golpayegani, S. Mohammad Reza; Almasganj, Farshad

    2015-02-01

    As we know, many biological systems such as neurons or the heart can exhibit chaotic behavior. Conventional methods for parameter estimation in models of these systems have some limitations caused by sensitivity to initial conditions. In this paper, a novel cost function is proposed to overcome those limitations by building a statistical model on the distribution of the real system attractor in state space. This cost function is defined by the use of a likelihood score in a Gaussian mixture model (GMM) which is fitted to the observed attractor generated by the real system. Using that learned GMM, a similarity score can be defined by the computed likelihood score of the model time series. We have applied the proposed method to the parameter estimation of two important biological systems, a neuron and a cardiac pacemaker, which show chaotic behavior. Some simulated experiments are given to verify the usefulness of the proposed approach in clean and noisy conditions. The results show the adequacy of the proposed cost function.

  15. Integration of multiscale dendritic spine structure and function data into systems biology models

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James J Mancuso

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Comprising 1011 neurons with 1014 synaptic connections the human brain is the ultimate systems biology puzzle. An increasing body of evidence highlights the observation that changes in brain function, both normal and pathological, consistently correlate with dynamic changes in neuronal anatomy. Anatomical changes occur on a full range of scales from the trafficking of individual proteins, to alterations in synaptic morphology both individually and on a systems level, to reductions in long distance connectivity and brain volume. The major sites of contact for synapsing neurons are dendritic spines, which provide an excellent metric for the number and strength of signaling connections between elements of functional neuronal circuits. A comprehensive model of anatomical changes and their functional consequences would be a holy grail for the field of systems neuroscience but its realization appears far on the horizon. Various imaging technologies have advanced to allow for multi-scale visualization of brain plasticity and pathology, but computational analysis of the massive big data sets involved forms the bottleneck toward the creation of multiscale models of brain structure and function. While a full accounting of techniques and progress toward a comprehensive model of brain anatomy and function is beyond the scope of this or any other single paper, this review serves to highlight the opportunities for analysis of neuronal spine anatomy and function provided by new imaging technologies and the high-throughput application of older technologies while surveying the strengths and weaknesses of currently available computational analytical tools and room for future improvement.

  16. Synthesis, characterization, and in vitro biological evaluation of highly stable diversely functionalized superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bhattacharya, Dipsikha; Sahu, Sumanta K.; Banerjee, Indranil; Das, Manasmita; Mishra, Debashish; Maiti, Tapas K.; Pramanik, Panchanan

    2011-01-01

    In this article, we report the design and synthesis of a series of well-dispersed superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPIONs) using chitosan as a surface modifying agent to develop a potential T 2 contrast probe for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The amine, carboxyl, hydroxyl, and thiol functionalities were introduced on chitosan-coated magnetic probe via simple reactions with small reactive organic molecules to afford a series of biofunctionalized nanoparticles. Physico-chemical characterizations of these functionalized nanoparticles were performed by TEM, XRD, DLS, FTIR, and VSM. The colloidal stability of these functionalized iron oxide nanoparticles was investigated in presence of phosphate buffer saline, high salt concentrations and different cell media for 1 week. MRI analysis of human cervical carcinoma (HeLa) cell lines treated with nanoparticles elucidated that the amine-functionalized nanoparticles exhibited higher amount of signal darkening and lower T 2 relaxation in comparison to the others. The cellular internalization efficacy of these functionalized SPIONs was also investigated with HeLa cancer cell line by magnetically activated cell sorting (MACS) and fluorescence microscopy and results established selectively higher internalization efficacy of amine-functionalized nanoparticles to cancer cells. These positive attributes demonstrated that these nanoconjugates can be used as a promising platform for further in vitro and in vivo biological evaluations.

  17. Synthesis and Characterization of Rhodamine B-ethylenediamine-hyaluronan Acid as Potential Biological Functional Materials

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Y. L.; Wang, W. X.; Wang, Y.; Zhang, W. B.; Gong, H. M.; Liu, M. X.

    2018-05-01

    The purpose of this study is to synthesize and characterize fluorescent polymers, rhodamine B-ethylenediamine-hyaluronan acid (RhB-EA-HA). RhB-EA-HA was successfully synthesized by ester ammonolysis reaction and amidation reaction. Moreover, the structural properties of RhB-EA-HA were characterized by 1H-NMR spectra, UV-vis spectrometry and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR). RhB-EA-HA can be grafted on the surface of silica nanomaterials, which may be potential biological functional materials for drug delivery system.

  18. Carcinogenesis: alterations in reciprocal interactions of normal functional structure of biologic systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davydyan, Garri

    2015-12-01

    The evolution of biologic systems (BS) includes functional mechanisms that in some conditions may lead to the development of cancer. Using mathematical group theory and matrix analysis, previously, it was shown that normally functioning BS are steady functional structures regulated by three basis regulatory components: reciprocal links (RL), negative feedback (NFB) and positive feedback (PFB). Together, they form an integrative unit maintaining system's autonomy and functional stability. It is proposed that phylogenetic development of different species is implemented by the splitting of "rudimentary" characters into two relatively independent functional parts that become encoded in chromosomes. The functional correlate of splitting mechanisms is RL. Inversion of phylogenetic mechanisms during ontogenetic development leads cell differentiation until cells reach mature states. Deterioration of reciprocal structure in the genome during ontogenesis gives rise of pathological conditions characterized by unsteadiness of the system. Uncontrollable cell proliferation and invasive cell growth are the leading features of the functional outcomes of malfunctioning systems. The regulatory element responsible for these changes is RL. In matrix language, pathological regulation is represented by matrices having positive values of diagonal elements ( TrA  > 0) and also positive values of matrix determinant ( detA  > 0). Regulatory structures of that kind can be obtained if the negative entry of the matrix corresponding to RL is replaced with the positive one. To describe not only normal but also pathological states of BS, a unit matrix should be added to the basis matrices representing RL, NFB and PFB. A mathematical structure corresponding to the set of these four basis functional patterns (matrices) is a split quaternion (coquaternion). The structure and specific role of basis elements comprising four-dimensional linear space of split quaternions help to understand what

  19. Importance of N-Glycosylation on CD147 for Its Biological Functions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bai, Yang; Huang, Wan; Ma, Li-Tian; Jiang, Jian-Li; Chen, Zhi-Nan

    2014-01-01

    Glycosylation of glycoproteins is one of many molecular changes that accompany malignant transformation. Post-translational modifications of proteins are closely associated with the adhesion, invasion, and metastasis of tumor cells. CD147, a tumor-associated antigen that is highly expressed on the cell surface of various tumors, is a potential target for cancer diagnosis and therapy. A significant biochemical property of CD147 is its high level of glycosylation. Studies on the structure and function of CD147 glycosylation provide valuable clues to the development of targeted therapies for cancer. Here, we review current understanding of the glycosylation characteristics of CD147 and the glycosyltransferases involved in the biosynthesis of CD147 N-glycans. Finally, we discuss proteins regulating CD147 glycosylation and the biological functions of CD147 glycosylation. PMID:24739808

  20. Importance of N-Glycosylation on CD147 for Its Biological Functions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yang Bai

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Glycosylation of glycoproteins is one of many molecular changes that accompany malignant transformation. Post-translational modifications of proteins are closely associated with the adhesion, invasion, and metastasis of tumor cells. CD147, a tumor-associated antigen that is highly expressed on the cell surface of various tumors, is a potential target for cancer diagnosis and therapy. A significant biochemical property of CD147 is its high level of glycosylation. Studies on the structure and function of CD147 glycosylation provide valuable clues to the development of targeted therapies for cancer. Here, we review current understanding of the glycosylation characteristics of CD147 and the glycosyltransferases involved in the biosynthesis of CD147 N-glycans. Finally, we discuss proteins regulating CD147 glycosylation and the biological functions of CD147 glycosylation.

  1. The RNAi Universe in Fungi: A Varied Landscape of Small RNAs and Biological Functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Torres-Martínez, Santiago; Ruiz-Vázquez, Rosa M

    2017-09-08

    RNA interference (RNAi) is a conserved eukaryotic mechanism that uses small RNA molecules to suppress gene expression through sequence-specific messenger RNA degradation, translational repression, or transcriptional inhibition. In filamentous fungi, the protective function of RNAi in the maintenance of genome integrity is well known. However, knowledge of the regulatory role of RNAi in fungi has had to wait until the recent identification of different endogenous small RNA classes, which are generated by distinct RNAi pathways. In addition, RNAi research on new fungal models has uncovered the role of small RNAs and RNAi pathways in the regulation of diverse biological functions. In this review, we give an up-to-date overview of the different classes of small RNAs and RNAi pathways in fungi and their roles in the defense of genome integrity and regulation of fungal physiology and development, as well as in the interaction of fungi with biotic and abiotic environments.

  2. Structural and Conformational Chemistry from Electrochemical Molecular Machines. Replicating Biological Functions. A Review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Otero, Toribio F

    2017-12-14

    Each constitutive chain of a conducting polymer electrode acts as a reversible multi-step electrochemical molecular motor: reversible reactions drive reversible conformational movements of the chain. The reaction-driven cooperative actuation of those molecular machines generates, or destroys, inside the film the free volume required to lodge/expel balancing counterions and solvent: reactions drive reversible film volume variations, which basic structural components are here identified and quantified from electrochemical responses. The content of the reactive dense gel (chemical molecular machines, ions and water) mimics that of the intracellular matrix in living functional cells. Reaction-driven properties (composition-dependent properties) and devices replicate biological functions and organs. An emerging technological world of soft, wet, reaction-driven, multifunctional and biomimetic devices and the concomitant zoomorphic or anthropomorphic robots is presented. © 2017 The Chemical Society of Japan & Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  3. Microstructure, mechanical properties, and biological response to functionally graded HA coatings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rabiei, Afsaneh; Blalock, Travis; Thomas, Brent; Cuomo, Jerry; Yang, Y.; Ong, Joo

    2007-01-01

    Hydroxyapatite (HA) [Ca 10 (PO 4 ) 6 (OH) 2 ] is the primary mineral content, representing 43% by weight, of bone. Applying a thin layer of HA, to the surface of a metal implant, can promote osseointegration and increase the mechanical stability of the implant. In this study, a biocompatible coating comprising an HA film with functionally graded crystallinity is being deposited on a heated substrate in an Ion Beam Assisted Deposition (IBAD) system. The microstructure of the film was studied using Transmission Electron Microscopy techniques. Finally, initial cell adhesion and cell differentiation on the coating was evaluated using ATCC CRL 1486 human embryonic palatal mesenchymal cell, an osteoblast precursor cell line. The results have shown superior mechanical properties and biological response to the functionally graded HA film

  4. Enzymes for ecdysteroid biosynthesis: their biological functions in insects and beyond.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niwa, Ryusuke; Niwa, Yuko S

    2014-01-01

    Steroid hormones are responsible for the coordinated regulation of many aspects of biological processes in multicellular organisms. Since the last century, many studies have identified and characterized steroidogenic enzymes in vertebrates, including mammals. However, much less is known about invertebrate steroidogenic enzymes. In the last 15 years, a number of steroidogenic enzymes and their functions have been characterized in ecdysozoan animals, especially in the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster. In this review, we summarize the latest knowledge of enzymes crucial for synthesizing ecdysteroids, the principal insect steroid hormones. We also discuss the functional conservation and diversity of ecdysteroidogenic enzymes in other insects and even non-insect species, such as nematodes, vertebrates, and lower eukaryotes.

  5. Strategies for the chemical and biological functionalization of scaffolds for cardiac tissue engineering: a review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tallawi, Marwa; Rosellini, Elisabetta; Barbani, Niccoletta; Cascone, Maria Grazia; Rai, Ranjana; Saint-Pierre, Guillaume; Boccaccini, Aldo R

    2015-07-06

    The development of biomaterials for cardiac tissue engineering (CTE) is challenging, primarily owing to the requirement of achieving a surface with favourable characteristics that enhances cell attachment and maturation. The biomaterial surface plays a crucial role as it forms the interface between the scaffold (or cardiac patch) and the cells. In the field of CTE, synthetic polymers (polyglycerol sebacate, polyethylene glycol, polyglycolic acid, poly-l-lactide, polyvinyl alcohol, polycaprolactone, polyurethanes and poly(N-isopropylacrylamide)) have been proven to exhibit suitable biodegradable and mechanical properties. Despite the fact that they show the required biocompatible behaviour, most synthetic polymers exhibit poor cell attachment capability. These synthetic polymers are mostly hydrophobic and lack cell recognition sites, limiting their application. Therefore, biofunctionalization of these biomaterials to enhance cell attachment and cell material interaction is being widely investigated. There are numerous approaches for functionalizing a material, which can be classified as mechanical, physical, chemical and biological. In this review, recent studies reported in the literature to functionalize scaffolds in the context of CTE, are discussed. Surface, morphological, chemical and biological modifications are introduced and the results of novel promising strategies and techniques are discussed.

  6. Embryonic stem cell interactomics: the beginning of a long road to biological function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yousefi, Maram; Hajihoseini, Vahid; Jung, Woojin; Hosseinpour, Batol; Rassouli, Hassan; Lee, Bonghee; Baharvand, Hossein; Lee, KiYoung; Salekdeh, Ghasem Hosseini

    2012-12-01

    Embryonic stem cells (ESCs) are capable of unlimited self-renewal while maintaining pluripotency. They are of great interest in regenerative medicine due to their ability to differentiate into all cell types of the three embryonic germ layers. Recently, induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) have shown similarities to ESCs and thus promise great therapeutic potential in regenerative medicine. Despite progress in stem cell biology, our understanding of the exact mechanisms by which pluripotency and self-renewal are established and maintained is largely unknown. A better understanding of these processes may lead to discovery of alternative ways for reprogramming, differentiation and more reliable applications of stem cells in therapies. It has become evident that proteins generally function as members of large complexes that are part of a more complex network. Therefore, the identification of protein-protein interactions (PPI) is an efficient strategy for understanding protein function and regulation. Systematic genome-wide and pathway-specific PPI analysis of ESCs has generated a network of ESC proteins, including major transcription factors. These PPI networks of ESCs may contribute to a mechanistic understanding of self-renewal and pluripotency. In this review we describe different experimental approaches for the identification of PPIs along with various databases. We discuss biological findings and technical challenges encountered with interactome studies of pluripotent stem cells, and provide insight into how interactomics is likely to develop.

  7. 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.

  8. Biology of bone and how it orchestrates the form and function of the skeleton

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sommerfeldt, D. W.; Rubin, C. T.

    2001-01-01

    The principal role of the skeleton is to provide structural support for the body. While the skeleton also serves as the body's mineral reservoir, the mineralized structure is the very basis of posture, opposes muscular contraction resulting in motion, withstands functional load bearing, and protects internal organs. Although the mass and morphology of the skeleton is defined, to some extent, by genetic determinants, it is the tissue's ability to remodel--the local resorption and formation of bone--which is responsible for achieving this intricate balance between competing responsibilities. The aim of this review is to address bone's form-function relationship, beginning with extensive research in the musculoskeletal disciplines, and focusing on several recent cellular and molecular discoveries which help understand the complex interdependence of bone cells, growth factors, physical stimuli, metabolic demands, and structural responsibilities. With a clinical and spine-oriented audience in mind, the principles of bone cell and molecular biology and physiology are presented, and an attempt has been made to incorporate epidemiologic data and therapeutic implications. Bone research remains interdisciplinary by nature, and a deeper understanding of bone biology will ultimately lead to advances in the treatment of diseases and injuries to bone itself.

  9. Role of soil biology and soil functions in relation to land use intensity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bondi, Giulia; Wall, David; Bacher, Matthias; Emmet-Booth, Jeremy; Graça, Jessica; Marongiu, Irene; Creamer, Rachel

    2017-04-01

    The delivery of the ecosystem's functions is predominantly controlled by soil biology. The biology found in a gram of soil contains more than ten thousand individual species of bacteria and fungi (Torsvik et al., 1990). Understanding the role and the requirements of these organisms is essential for the protection and the sustainable use of soils. Soil biology represents the engine of all the processes occurring in the soil and it supports the ecosystem services such as: 1) nutrient mineralisation 2) plant production 3) water purification and regulation and 4) carbon cycling and storage. During the last years land management type and intensity have been identified as major drivers for microbial performance in soil. For this reason land management needs to be appropriately studied to understand the role of soil biology within this complex interplay of functions. We aimed to study whether and how land management drives soil biological processes and related functions. To reach this objective we built a land use intensity index (LUI) able to quantify the impact of the common farming practices carried out in Irish grassland soils. The LUI is derived from a detailed farmer questionnaire on grassland management practices at 38 farms distributed in the five major agro-climatic regions of Ireland defined by Holden and Brereton (2004). Soils were classified based on their drainage status according to the Irish Soil Information System by Creamer et al. (2014). This detailed questionnaire is then summarised into 3 management intensity components: (i) intensity of Fertilisation (Fi), (ii) frequency of Mowing (Mi) and (iii) intensity of Livestock Grazing (Gi). Sites were sampled to assess the impact of land management intensity on microbial community structure and enzyme behaviour in relation to nitrogen, phosphorus and carbon cycling. Preliminary results for enzymes linked to C and N cycles showed higher activity in relation to low grazing pressure (low Gi). Enzymes linked to P

  10. Unsupervised Learning and Pattern Recognition of Biological Data Structures with Density Functional Theory and Machine Learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Chien-Chang; Juan, Hung-Hui; Tsai, Meng-Yuan; Lu, Henry Horng-Shing

    2018-01-11

    By introducing the methods of machine learning into the density functional theory, we made a detour for the construction of the most probable density function, which can be estimated by learning relevant features from the system of interest. Using the properties of universal functional, the vital core of density functional theory, the most probable cluster numbers and the corresponding cluster boundaries in a studying system can be simultaneously and automatically determined and the plausibility is erected on the Hohenberg-Kohn theorems. For the method validation and pragmatic applications, interdisciplinary problems from physical to biological systems were enumerated. The amalgamation of uncharged atomic clusters validated the unsupervised searching process of the cluster numbers and the corresponding cluster boundaries were exhibited likewise. High accurate clustering results of the Fisher's iris dataset showed the feasibility and the flexibility of the proposed scheme. Brain tumor detections from low-dimensional magnetic resonance imaging datasets and segmentations of high-dimensional neural network imageries in the Brainbow system were also used to inspect the method practicality. The experimental results exhibit the successful connection between the physical theory and the machine learning methods and will benefit the clinical diagnoses.

  11. How biological soil crusts became recognized as a functional unit: a selective history

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lange, Otto L.; Belnap, Jayne

    2016-01-01

    It is surprising that despite the world-wide distribution and general importance of biological soil crusts (biocrusts), scientific recognition and functional analysis of these communities is a relatively young field of science. In this chapter, we sketch the historical lines that led to the recognition of biocrusts as a community with important ecosystem functions. The idea of biocrusts as a functional ecological community has come from two main scientific branches: botany and soil science. For centuries, botanists have long recognized that multiple organisms colonize the soil surface in the open and often dry areas occurring between vascular plants. Much later, after the initial taxonomic and phyto-sociological descriptions were made, soil scientists and agronomists observed that these surface organisms interacted with soils in ways that changed the soil structure. In the 1970’s, research on these communities as ecological units that played an important functional role in drylands began in earnest, and these studies have continued to this day. Here, we trace the history of these studies from the distant past until 1990, when biocrusts became well-known to scientists and the public.

  12. Evaluation of functionality and biological response of the multilayer flow modulator in porcine animal models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sultan, Sherif; Kavanagh, Edel P; Hynes, Niamh; Diethrich, Edward B

    2016-02-01

    This study outlines the use of non-aneurysmal porcine animal models to study device functionality and biological response of the Multilayer Flow Modulator (MFM) (Cardiatis, Isnes, Belgium), with an emphasis on preclinical device functionality and biological response characteristics in an otherwise healthy aorta. Twelve animals were implanted with the study device in the abdominal aorta, in 6 animals for 1 month and 6 animals for 6 months. Upon completion of the study period, each animal underwent a necropsy to examine how the implanted device had affected the artery and surrounding tissue. Neointima and stenosis formation were recorded via morphometry, and endothelialization via histopathological analysis. The MFM devices were delivered to their respective implantation sites without difficulty. Six of the implanted stents were oversized with percentages ranging from 2.6% to 18.8%. Statistical analysis was carried out and showed no significance between the regular sized stent group and oversized stent group for neointimal area (P=0.17), neointimal thickness (P=0.17), and percentage area stenosis (P=0.65). Histopathological findings showed in most areas flattened endothelium like cells lined the luminal surface of the neointima. Scanning electron microscopy also showed the devices were well tolerated, inciting only a minimal neointimal covering and little fibrin or platelet deposition. Neointimal thickness of 239.7±55.6 μm and 318.3±130.4 μm, and percentage area stenosis of 9.6±2.6% and 12.6±5% were recorded at 1 and 6 months respectively. No statistical differences were found between these results. The MFM devices were delivered to their respective implantation sites without difficulty and incited little neointimal and stenosis formation in the aorta, affirming its functionality and biocompatibility.

  13. Virtual Agonist-antagonist Mechanisms Produce Biological Muscle-like Functions: An Application for Robot Joint Control

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Xiong, Xiaofeng; Wörgötter, Florentin; Manoonpong, Poramate

    2014-01-01

    Purpose – Biological muscles of animals have a surprising variety of functions, i.e., struts, springs, and brakes. According to this, the purpose of this paper is to apply virtual agonist-antagonist mechanisms to robot joint control allowing for muscle-like functions and variably compliant joint......, variably compliant joint motions can be produced without mechanically bulky and complex mechanisms or complex force/toque sensing at each joint. Moreover, through tuning the damping coefficient of the VAAM, the functions of the VAAM are comparable to biological muscles. Originality/value – The model (i.......e., VAAM) provides a way forward to emulate muscle-like functions that are comparable to those found in physiological experiments of biological muscles. Based on these muscle-like functions, the robotic joints can easily achieve variable compliance that does not require complex physical components...

  14. What Expands in an Expanding Universe?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    JOSÉ A. DE FREITAS PACHECO

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT In the present investigation, the possible effects of the expansion of the Universe on systems bonded either by gravitational or electromagnetic forces, are reconsidered. It will be shown that the acceleration (positive or negative of the expanding background, is the determinant factor affecting planetary orbits and atomic sizes. In the presently accepted cosmology (ΛCDM all bonded systems are expanding at a decreasing rate that tends to be zero as the universe enters in a de Sitter phase. It is worth mentioning that the estimated expansion rates are rather small and they can be neglected for all practical purposes.

  15. What Expands in an Expanding Universe?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pacheco, José A De Freitas

    2015-01-01

    In the present investigation, the possible effects of the expansion of the Universe on systems bonded either by gravitational or electromagnetic forces, are reconsidered. It will be shown that the acceleration (positive or negative) of the expanding background, is the determinant factor affecting planetary orbits and atomic sizes. In the presently accepted cosmology (ΛCDM) all bonded systems are expanding at a decreasing rate that tends to be zero as the universe enters in a de Sitter phase. It is worth mentioning that the estimated expansion rates are rather small and they can be neglected for all practical purposes.

  16. Effects of native and exotic range-expanding plant species on taxonomic and functional composition of nematodes in the soil food web

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Morrien, E.; Duyts, H.; Van der Putten, W.H.

    2012-01-01

    Due to climate warming, many plant species shift ranges towards higher latitudes. Plants can disperse faster than most soil biota, however, little is known about how range-expanding plants in the new range will establish interactions with the resident soil food web. In this paper we examine how the

  17. The role of ontologies in biological and biomedical research: a functional perspective

    KAUST Repository

    Hoehndorf, Robert

    2015-04-10

    Ontologies are widely used in biological and biomedical research. Their success lies in their combination of four main features present in almost all ontologies: provision of standard identifiers for classes and relations that represent the phenomena within a domain; provision of a vocabulary for a domain; provision of metadata that describes the intended meaning of the classes and relations in ontologies; and the provision of machine-readable axioms and definitions that enable computational access to some aspects of the meaning of classes and relations. While each of these features enables applications that facilitate data integration, data access and analysis, a great potential lies in the possibility of combining these four features to support integrative analysis and interpretation of multimodal data. Here, we provide a functional perspective on ontologies in biology and biomedicine, focusing on what ontologies can do and describing how they can be used in support of integrative research. We also outline perspectives for using ontologies in data-driven science, in particular their application in structured data mining and machine learning applications.

  18. Green leaf volatiles: biosynthesis, biological functions and their applications in biotechnology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    ul Hassan, Muhammad Naeem; Zainal, Zamri; Ismail, Ismanizan

    2015-08-01

    Plants have evolved numerous constitutive and inducible defence mechanisms to cope with biotic and abiotic stresses. These stresses induce the expression of various genes to activate defence-related pathways that result in the release of defence chemicals. One of these defence mechanisms is the oxylipin pathway, which produces jasmonates, divinylethers and green leaf volatiles (GLVs) through the peroxidation of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs). GLVs have recently emerged as key players in plant defence, plant-plant interactions and plant-insect interactions. Some GLVs inhibit the growth and propagation of plant pathogens, including bacteria, viruses and fungi. In certain cases, GLVs released from plants under herbivore attack can serve as aerial messengers to neighbouring plants and to attract parasitic or parasitoid enemies of the herbivores. The plants that perceive these volatile signals are primed and can then adapt in preparation for the upcoming challenges. Due to their 'green note' odour, GLVs impart aromas and flavours to many natural foods, such as vegetables and fruits, and therefore, they can be exploited in industrial biotechnology. The aim of this study was to review the progress and recent developments in research on the oxylipin pathway, with a specific focus on the biosynthesis and biological functions of GLVs and their applications in industrial biotechnology. © 2015 Society for Experimental Biology, Association of Applied Biologists and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  19. The role of ontologies in biological and biomedical research: a functional perspective

    KAUST Repository

    Hoehndorf, Robert; Schofield, P. N.; Gkoutos, G. V.

    2015-01-01

    Ontologies are widely used in biological and biomedical research. Their success lies in their combination of four main features present in almost all ontologies: provision of standard identifiers for classes and relations that represent the phenomena within a domain; provision of a vocabulary for a domain; provision of metadata that describes the intended meaning of the classes and relations in ontologies; and the provision of machine-readable axioms and definitions that enable computational access to some aspects of the meaning of classes and relations. While each of these features enables applications that facilitate data integration, data access and analysis, a great potential lies in the possibility of combining these four features to support integrative analysis and interpretation of multimodal data. Here, we provide a functional perspective on ontologies in biology and biomedicine, focusing on what ontologies can do and describing how they can be used in support of integrative research. We also outline perspectives for using ontologies in data-driven science, in particular their application in structured data mining and machine learning applications.

  20. Exploring new biological functions of amyloids: bacteria cell agglutination mediated by host protein aggregation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marc Torrent

    Full Text Available Antimicrobial proteins and peptides (AMPs are important effectors of the innate immune system that play a vital role in the prevention of infections. Recent advances have highlighted the similarity between AMPs and amyloid proteins. Using the Eosinophil Cationic Protein as a model, we have rationalized the structure-activity relationships between amyloid aggregation and antimicrobial activity. Our results show how protein aggregation can induce bacteria agglutination and cell death. Using confocal and total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy we have tracked the formation in situ of protein amyloid-like aggregates at the bacteria surface and on membrane models. In both cases, fibrillar aggregates able to bind to amyloid diagnostic dyes were detected. Additionally, a single point mutation (Ile13 to Ala can suppress the protein amyloid behavior, abolishing the agglutinating activity and impairing the antimicrobial action. The mutant is also defective in triggering both leakage and lipid vesicle aggregation. We conclude that ECP aggregation at the bacterial surface is essential for its cytotoxicity. Hence, we propose here a new prospective biological function for amyloid-like aggregates with potential biological relevance.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shearer, Jeffrey C.

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

  2. FUSE: a profit maximization approach for functional summarization of biological networks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Seah Boon-Siew

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The availability of large-scale curated protein interaction datasets has given rise to the opportunity to investigate higher level organization and modularity within the protein interaction network (PPI using graph theoretic analysis. Despite the recent progress, systems level analysis of PPIS remains a daunting task as it is challenging to make sense out of the deluge of high-dimensional interaction data. Specifically, techniques that automatically abstract and summarize PPIS at multiple resolutions to provide high level views of its functional landscape are still lacking. We present a novel data-driven and generic algorithm called FUSE (Functional Summary Generator that generates functional maps of a PPI at different levels of organization, from broad process-process level interactions to in-depth complex-complex level interactions, through a pro t maximization approach that exploits Minimum Description Length (MDL principle to maximize information gain of the summary graph while satisfying the level of detail constraint. Results We evaluate the performance of FUSE on several real-world PPIS. We also compare FUSE to state-of-the-art graph clustering methods with GO term enrichment by constructing the biological process landscape of the PPIS. Using AD network as our case study, we further demonstrate the ability of FUSE to quickly summarize the network and identify many different processes and complexes that regulate it. Finally, we study the higher-order connectivity of the human PPI. Conclusion By simultaneously evaluating interaction and annotation data, FUSE abstracts higher-order interaction maps by reducing the details of the underlying PPI to form a functional summary graph of interconnected functional clusters. Our results demonstrate its effectiveness and superiority over state-of-the-art graph clustering methods with GO term enrichment.

  3. FUSE: a profit maximization approach for functional summarization of biological networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seah, Boon-Siew; Bhowmick, Sourav S; Dewey, C Forbes; Yu, Hanry

    2012-03-21

    The availability of large-scale curated protein interaction datasets has given rise to the opportunity to investigate higher level organization and modularity within the protein interaction network (PPI) using graph theoretic analysis. Despite the recent progress, systems level analysis of PPIS remains a daunting task as it is challenging to make sense out of the deluge of high-dimensional interaction data. Specifically, techniques that automatically abstract and summarize PPIS at multiple resolutions to provide high level views of its functional landscape are still lacking. We present a novel data-driven and generic algorithm called FUSE (Functional Summary Generator) that generates functional maps of a PPI at different levels of organization, from broad process-process level interactions to in-depth complex-complex level interactions, through a pro t maximization approach that exploits Minimum Description Length (MDL) principle to maximize information gain of the summary graph while satisfying the level of detail constraint. We evaluate the performance of FUSE on several real-world PPIS. We also compare FUSE to state-of-the-art graph clustering methods with GO term enrichment by constructing the biological process landscape of the PPIS. Using AD network as our case study, we further demonstrate the ability of FUSE to quickly summarize the network and identify many different processes and complexes that regulate it. Finally, we study the higher-order connectivity of the human PPI. By simultaneously evaluating interaction and annotation data, FUSE abstracts higher-order interaction maps by reducing the details of the underlying PPI to form a functional summary graph of interconnected functional clusters. Our results demonstrate its effectiveness and superiority over state-of-the-art graph clustering methods with GO term enrichment.

  4. Ab Initio Calculations of the Electronic Structures and Biological Functions of Protein Molecules

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zheng, Haoping

    2003-04-01

    The self-consistent cluster-embedding (SCCE) calculation method reduces the computational effort from M3 to about M1 (M is the number of atoms in the system) with unchanged calculation precision. So the ab initio, all-electron calculation of the electronic structure and biological function of protein molecule becomes a reality, which will promote new proteomics considerably. The calculated results of two real protein molecules, the trypsin inhibitor from the seeds of squash Cucurbita maxima (CMTI-I, 436 atoms) and the Ascaris trypsin inhibitor (912 atoms, two three-dimensional structures), are presented. The reactive sites of the inhibitors are determined and explained. The precision of structure determination of inhibitors are tested theoretically.

  5. Functional biology and ecological role of krill in Northern marine ecosystems

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Agersted, Mette Dalgaard

    Krill is an understudied key group of zooplankton, which transfers energy through the food web by linking lower and higher trophic levels. Furthermore, krill play an important role in the biological pump by transporting carbon out of the euphotic zone to depth by diel vertical migration (DVM...... to be the key factor determining the trophic position of a species, where the largest species had the highest trophic position. The species were feeding on the same food items, which could lead to competition for food. However, there is a difference between the two functional groups, represented by M. norvegica...... for the two dominating species within the fjord, T. inermis and T. raschii. The krill grazed community at this time of year. Yet, the grazing impact was similar to the copepods’, which are normally...

  6. Mammalian Synthetic Biology: Engineering Biological Systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Black, Joshua B; Perez-Pinera, Pablo; Gersbach, Charles A

    2017-06-21

    The programming of new functions into mammalian cells has tremendous application in research and medicine. Continued improvements in the capacity to sequence and synthesize DNA have rapidly increased our understanding of mechanisms of gene function and regulation on a genome-wide scale and have expanded the set of genetic components available for programming cell biology. The invention of new research tools, including targetable DNA-binding systems such as CRISPR/Cas9 and sensor-actuator devices that can recognize and respond to diverse chemical, mechanical, and optical inputs, has enabled precise control of complex cellular behaviors at unprecedented spatial and temporal resolution. These tools have been critical for the expansion of synthetic biology techniques from prokaryotic and lower eukaryotic hosts to mammalian systems. Recent progress in the development of genome and epigenome editing tools and in the engineering of designer cells with programmable genetic circuits is expanding approaches to prevent, diagnose, and treat disease and to establish personalized theranostic strategies for next-generation medicines. This review summarizes the development of these enabling technologies and their application to transforming mammalian synthetic biology into a distinct field in research and medicine.

  7. Detection of Metabolism Function of Microbial Community of Corpses by Biolog-Eco Method.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, X Y; Wang, J F; Zhu, G H; Ma, M Y; Lai, Y; Zhou, H

    2016-06-01

    To detect the changes of microbial community functional diversity of corpses with different postmortem interval (PMI) and to evaluate forensic application value for estimating PMI. The cultivation of microbial community from the anal swabs of a Sus scrofa and a human corpse placed in field environment from 0 to 240 h after death was performed using the Biolog-Eco Microplate and the variations of the absorbance values were also monitored. Combined with the technology of forensic pathology and flies succession, the metabolic characteristics and changes of microbial community on the decomposed corpse under natural environment were also observed. The diversity of microbial metabolism function was found to be negatively correlated with the number of maggots in the corpses. The freezing processing had the greatest impact on average well color development value at 0 h and the impact almost disappeared after 48 h. The diversity of microbial metabolism of the samples became relatively unstable after 192 h. The principal component analysis showed that 31 carbon sources could be consolidated for 5 principal components (accumulative contribution ratio >90%).The carbon source tsquare-analysis showed that N -acetyl- D -glucosamine and L -serine were the dominant carbon sources for estimating the PMI (0=240 h) of the Sus scrofa and human corpse. The Biolog-Eco method can be used to reveal the metabolic differences of the carbon resources utilization of the microbial community on the corpses during 0-240 h after death, which could provide a new basis for estimating the PMI. Copyright© by the Editorial Department of Journal of Forensic Medicine

  8. [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

  9. [The hyperiricosuria as an indicator of derangement of biologic functions of endoecology and adaptation, biologic reactions of excretion, inflammation and arterial tension].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Titov, V N; Oshchepkova, E V; Dmitriev, V A; Gushchina, O V; Shiriaeva, Iu K; Iashin, A Ia

    2012-04-01

    During millions years in all animals allantoine (oxidized by uricase uric acid) was catabolite of purines and ascorbic acid was an acceptor of active forms of oxygen. The proximal tubules of nephron reabsorbed the trace amounts of uric acid Then during phylogenesis the primates had a mutation of ascorbic acid gen minus. Later on occurred a second spontaneous mutation and uricase gen minus and uric acid became catabolites of purines. In absence of ascorbic acid synthesis ions of urates became a major capturers of active forms of oxygen and all uric acid as before underwent the reabsorption. Later the carriers were formed which began in epithelium of proximal tubules to secrete all uric acid into urine. At every incident of "littering" of intercellular medium with endogenic flogogens (impairment of biologic function of endoecology) under compensatory development of biologic reaction of inflammation the need in inactivation of active forms of oxygen increases. Hence later on in phylogenesis one more stage was formed--post secretory reabsorption of uric acid In the biologic reaction of inflammation epithelium of proximal tubules initiates retentional hyperiricosuria. The general antioxidant activity of human blood plasma in 60% is presented by urates' ions. The excretion of uric acid includes 4 stages: filtration, full reabsorption, secretion and post secretory reabsorption. In phylogenesis these stages formed in sequence. The mild hyperiricosuria is most frequently considered as a non-specific indicator of activation of biologic reaction of inflammation. The productive hyperiricosuria develops more infrequently under surplus of meat food and cytolysis syndrome (intensification of cell loss in vivo). Under concentration of uric acid more than 400 mkmol/l part of urates circulates in intercellular medium in the form of crystals. The microcrystals of uric acid (biologic "litter") initiate the syndrome of systemic inflammatory response as an endogenic flogogen

  10. Expression of the activation antigen CD69 predicts functionality of in vitro expanded peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) from healthy donors and HIV-infected patients

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, S D; Afzelius, P; Ersbøll, A K

    1998-01-01

    Gene therapy for AIDS necessitates harvest and expansion of PBMC from HIV-infected patients. We expanded PBMC from healthy blood donors and HIV-infected patients for up to 14 days using four expansion protocols: 3 days of phytohaemagglutinin (PHA) stimulation, continuous PHA stimulation, 3 days...... examined for apoptosis. Only a minor fraction was primed for apoptosis, and this fraction could be significantly reduced by addition of IL-2 to the culture medium (P

  11. Re-evaluating concepts of biological function in clinical medicine: towards a new naturalistic theory of disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chin-Yee, Benjamin; Upshur, Ross E G

    2017-08-01

    Naturalistic theories of disease appeal to concepts of biological function, and use the notion of dysfunction as the basis of their definitions. Debates in the philosophy of biology demonstrate how attributing functions in organisms and establishing the function-dysfunction distinction is by no means straightforward. This problematization of functional ascription has undermined naturalistic theories and led some authors to abandon the concept of dysfunction, favoring instead definitions based in normative criteria or phenomenological approaches. Although this work has enhanced our understanding of disease and illness, we need not necessarily abandon naturalistic concepts of function and dysfunction in the disease debate. This article attempts to move towards a new naturalistic theory of disease that overcomes the limitations of previous definitions and offers advantages in the clinical setting. Our approach involves a re-evaluation of concepts of biological function employed by naturalistic theories. Drawing on recent insights from the philosophy of biology, we develop a contextual and evaluative account of function that is better suited to clinical medicine and remains consistent with contemporary naturalism. We also show how an updated naturalistic view shares important affinities with normativist and phenomenological positions, suggesting a possibility for consilience in the disease debate.

  12. Optimization of polysaccharides extraction from watermelon rinds: Structure, functional and biological activities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Romdhane, Molka Ben; Haddar, Anissa; Ghazala, Imen; Jeddou, Khawla Ben; Helbert, Claire Boisset; Ellouz-Chaabouni, Semia

    2017-02-01

    In the present work, optimization of hot water extraction, structural characteristics, functional properties, and biological activities of polysaccharides extracted from watermelon rinds (WMRP) were investigated. The physicochemical characteristics and the monosaccharide composition of these polysaccharides were then determined using chemical composition analysis, Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and gas chromatography-flame ionization detection (GC-FID). SEM images showed that extracted polysaccharides had a rough surface with many cavities. GC-FID results proved that galactose was the dominant sugar in the extracted polysaccharides, followed by arabinose, glucose, galacturonic acid, rhamnose, mannose, xylose and traces of glucuronic acid. The findings revealed that WMRP displayed excellent antihypertensive and antioxidant activities. Those polysaccharides had also a protection effect against hydroxyl radical-induced DNA damage. Functional properties of extracted polysaccharides were also evaluated. WMRP showed good interfacial dose-dependent proprieties. Overall, the results suggested that WMRP presents a promising natural source of antioxidants and antihypertensive agents. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. A postprocessing method in the HMC framework for predicting gene function based on biological instrumental data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feng, Shou; Fu, Ping; Zheng, Wenbin

    2018-03-01

    Predicting gene function based on biological instrumental data is a complicated and challenging hierarchical multi-label classification (HMC) problem. When using local approach methods to solve this problem, a preliminary results processing method is usually needed. This paper proposed a novel preliminary results processing method called the nodes interaction method. The nodes interaction method revises the preliminary results and guarantees that the predictions are consistent with the hierarchy constraint. This method exploits the label dependency and considers the hierarchical interaction between nodes when making decisions based on the Bayesian network in its first phase. In the second phase, this method further adjusts the results according to the hierarchy constraint. Implementing the nodes interaction method in the HMC framework also enhances the HMC performance for solving the gene function prediction problem based on the Gene Ontology (GO), the hierarchy of which is a directed acyclic graph that is more difficult to tackle. The experimental results validate the promising performance of the proposed method compared to state-of-the-art methods on eight benchmark yeast data sets annotated by the GO.

  14. Functionalized polypyrrole film: synthesis, characterization, and potential applications in chemical and biological sensors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dong, Hua; Cao, Xiaodong; Li, Chang Ming

    2009-07-01

    In this paper, we report the synthesis of a carboxyl-functionalized polypyrrole derivative, a poly(pyrrole-N-propanoic acid) (PPPA) film, by electrochemical polymerization, and the investigation of its basic properties via traditional characterization techniques such as confocal-Raman, FTIR, SEM, AFM, UV-vis, fluorescence microscopy, and contact-angle measurements. The experimental data show that the as-prepared PPPA film exhibits a hydrophilic nanoporous structure, abundant -COOH functional groups in the polymer backbone, and high fluorescent emission under laser excitation. On the basis of these unique properties, further experiments were conducted to demonstrate three potential applications of the PPPA film in chemical and biological sensors: a permeable and permselective membrane, a membrane with specific recognition sites for biomolecule immobilization, and a fluorescent conjugated polymer for amplification of fluorescence quenching. Specifically, the permeability and permselectivity of ion species through the PPPA film are detected by means of rotating-disk-electrode voltammetry; the specific recognition sites on the film surface are confirmed with protein immobilization, and the amplification of fluorescence quenching is measured by the addition of a quenching agent with fluorescence microscopy. The results are in good agreement with our expectations.

  15. Biology of Bone Tissue: Structure, Function, and Factors That Influence Bone Cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rinaldo Florencio-Silva

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Bone tissue is continuously remodeled through the concerted actions of bone cells, which include bone resorption by osteoclasts and bone formation by osteoblasts, whereas osteocytes act as mechanosensors and orchestrators of the bone remodeling process. This process is under the control of local (e.g., growth factors and cytokines and systemic (e.g., calcitonin and estrogens factors that all together contribute for bone homeostasis. An imbalance between bone resorption and formation can result in bone diseases including osteoporosis. Recently, it has been recognized that, during bone remodeling, there are an intricate communication among bone cells. For instance, the coupling from bone resorption to bone formation is achieved by interaction between osteoclasts and osteoblasts. Moreover, osteocytes produce factors that influence osteoblast and osteoclast activities, whereas osteocyte apoptosis is followed by osteoclastic bone resorption. The increasing knowledge about the structure and functions of bone cells contributed to a better understanding of bone biology. It has been suggested that there is a complex communication between bone cells and other organs, indicating the dynamic nature of bone tissue. In this review, we discuss the current data about the structure and functions of bone cells and the factors that influence bone remodeling.

  16. Unexpected functional similarities between gatekeeper tumour suppressor genes and proto-oncogenes revealed by systems biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Yongzhong; Epstein, Richard J

    2011-05-01

    Familial tumor suppressor genes comprise two subgroups: caretaker genes (CTs) that repair DNA, and gatekeeper genes (GKs) that trigger cell death. Since GKs may also induce cell cycle delay and thus enhance cell survival by facilitating DNA repair, we hypothesized that the prosurvival phenotype of GKs could be selected during cancer progression, and we used a multivariable systems biology approach to test this. We performed multidimensional data analysis, non-negative matrix factorization and logistic regression to compare the features of GKs with those of their putative antagonists, the proto-oncogenes (POs), as well as with control groups of CTs and functionally unrelated congenital heart disease genes (HDs). GKs and POs closely resemble each other, but not CTs or HDs, in terms of gene structure (Pexpression level and breadth (Pimplied suggest a common functional attribute that is strongly negatively selected-that is, a shared phenotype that enhances cell survival. The counterintuitive finding of similar evolutionary pressures affecting GKs and POs raises an intriguing possibility: namely, that cancer microevolution is accelerated by an epistatic cascade in which upstream suppressor gene defects subvert the normal bifunctionality of wild-type GKs by constitutively shifting the phenotype away from apoptosis towards survival. If correct, this interpretation would explain the hitherto unexplained phenomenon of frequent wild-type GK (for example, p53) overexpression in tumors.

  17. Biology of Bone Tissue: Structure, Function, and Factors That Influence Bone Cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Florencio-Silva, Rinaldo; Sasso, Gisela Rodrigues da Silva; Sasso-Cerri, Estela; Simões, Manuel Jesus; Cerri, Paulo Sérgio

    2015-01-01

    Bone tissue is continuously remodeled through the concerted actions of bone cells, which include bone resorption by osteoclasts and bone formation by osteoblasts, whereas osteocytes act as mechanosensors and orchestrators of the bone remodeling process. This process is under the control of local (e.g., growth factors and cytokines) and systemic (e.g., calcitonin and estrogens) factors that all together contribute for bone homeostasis. An imbalance between bone resorption and formation can result in bone diseases including osteoporosis. Recently, it has been recognized that, during bone remodeling, there are an intricate communication among bone cells. For instance, the coupling from bone resorption to bone formation is achieved by interaction between osteoclasts and osteoblasts. Moreover, osteocytes produce factors that influence osteoblast and osteoclast activities, whereas osteocyte apoptosis is followed by osteoclastic bone resorption. The increasing knowledge about the structure and functions of bone cells contributed to a better understanding of bone biology. It has been suggested that there is a complex communication between bone cells and other organs, indicating the dynamic nature of bone tissue. In this review, we discuss the current data about the structure and functions of bone cells and the factors that influence bone remodeling.

  18. Structural and functional biological materials: Abalone nacre, sharp materials, and abalone foot adhesion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Albert Yu-Min

    A three-part study of lessons from nature is presented through the examination of various biological materials, with an emphasis on materials from the mollusk Haliotis rufescens, commonly referred to as the red abalone. The three categories presented are: structural hierarchy, self-assembly, and functionality. Ocean mollusk shells are composed of aragonite/calcite crystals interleaved with layers of a visco-elastic protein, having dense, tailored structures with excellent mechanical properties. The complex nano-laminate structure of this bio-composite material is characterized and related to its mechanical properties. Three levels of structural hierarchy are identified: macroscale mesolayers separating larger regions of tiled aragonite, microscale organization of 0.5 mum by 10 mum aragonite bricks; nanoscale mineral bridges passing through 30 nm layers of organic matrix separating individual aragonite tiles. Composition and growth mechanisms of this nanostructure were observed through close examination of laboratory-grown samples using scanning electron microscopy (SEM), Raman spectroscopy, and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Glass slides and nacre pucks were implanted onto the growth surface of living abalone and removed periodically to observe trends in nacre deposition. Various deproteinization and demineralization experiments are used to explore the inorganic and organic components of the nacre's structure. The organic component of the shell is characterized by atomic force microscopy (AFM). The functionality of various biological materials is described and investigated. Two specific types of functionality are characterized, the ability of some materials to cut and puncture through sharp designs, and the ability for some materials to be used as attachment devices. Aspects of cutting materials employed by a broad range of animals were characterized and compared. In respect to the attachment mechanisms the foot of the abalone and the tree frog were

  19. Multi-functional photonic crystal sensors enabled by biological silica (Conference Presentation)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Alan X.

    2017-02-01

    Diatoms are microalgae found in every habitat where water is present. They produce 40% of the ocean's yearly production of organic carbon and 20% of the oxygen that we breathe. Their abundance and wide distribution make them ideal materials for a wide range of applications as living organisms. In our previous work, we have demonstrated that diatom biosilica with self-assembled silver nanoparticles (Ag NPs) can be used as ultra-sensitive, low-cost substrates for surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) sensing. The enhancement comes from the photonic crystal enhancement of diatom frustules that could improve the hot-spots of Ag NPs. In this work, we report the unique micro-fluidic flow, analyte concentration effect, and thin layer chromatography (TLC) on diatom biosilica, which enables selection, separation, detection, and analysis of complex chemical and biological samples. Particularly, we show that the microscopic fluidic flow induced by the evaporation of liquid droplet can concentrate the analyte and achieve label-free sensing of single molecule detection of R6G and label-free sensing of 4.5×10-17g trinitrotoluene (TNT) from only 200 nano-liter solution. We also demonstrated a facile method for instant on-site separation and detection of analytes by TLC in tandem with SERS spectroscopy using high density diatom thin film. This lab-on-chip technology has been successfully applied for label-free detection of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons from human plasma and histamine from salmon fish. Our research suggests that such cost-effective, multi-functional photonic crystal sensors enabled by diatom biosilica opens a new route for lab-on-chip systems and possess significant engineering potentials for chemical and biological sensing.

  20. Decreased functional diversity and biological pest control in conventional compared to organic crop fields.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jochen Krauss

    Full Text Available Organic farming is one of the most successful agri-environmental schemes, as humans benefit from high quality food, farmers from higher prices for their products and it often successfully protects biodiversity. However there is little knowledge if organic farming also increases ecosystem services like pest control. We assessed 30 triticale fields (15 organic vs. 15 conventional and recorded vascular plants, pollinators, aphids and their predators. Further, five conventional fields which were treated with insecticides were compared with 10 non-treated conventional fields. Organic fields had five times higher plant species richness and about twenty times higher pollinator species richness compared to conventional fields. Abundance of pollinators was even more than one-hundred times higher on organic fields. In contrast, the abundance of cereal aphids was five times lower in organic fields, while predator abundances were three times higher and predator-prey ratios twenty times higher in organic fields, indicating a significantly higher potential for biological pest control in organic fields. Insecticide treatment in conventional fields had only a short-term effect on aphid densities while later in the season aphid abundances were even higher and predator abundances lower in treated compared to untreated conventional fields. Our data indicate that insecticide treatment kept aphid predators at low abundances throughout the season, thereby significantly reducing top-down control of aphid populations. Plant and pollinator species richness as well as predator abundances and predator-prey ratios were higher at field edges compared to field centres, highlighting the importance of field edges for ecosystem services. In conclusion organic farming increases biodiversity, including important functional groups like plants, pollinators and predators which enhance natural pest control. Preventative insecticide application in conventional fields has only short

  1. Decreased functional diversity and biological pest control in conventional compared to organic crop fields.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krauss, Jochen; Gallenberger, Iris; Steffan-Dewenter, Ingolf

    2011-01-01

    Organic farming is one of the most successful agri-environmental schemes, as humans benefit from high quality food, farmers from higher prices for their products and it often successfully protects biodiversity. However there is little knowledge if organic farming also increases ecosystem services like pest control. We assessed 30 triticale fields (15 organic vs. 15 conventional) and recorded vascular plants, pollinators, aphids and their predators. Further, five conventional fields which were treated with insecticides were compared with 10 non-treated conventional fields. Organic fields had five times higher plant species richness and about twenty times higher pollinator species richness compared to conventional fields. Abundance of pollinators was even more than one-hundred times higher on organic fields. In contrast, the abundance of cereal aphids was five times lower in organic fields, while predator abundances were three times higher and predator-prey ratios twenty times higher in organic fields, indicating a significantly higher potential for biological pest control in organic fields. Insecticide treatment in conventional fields had only a short-term effect on aphid densities while later in the season aphid abundances were even higher and predator abundances lower in treated compared to untreated conventional fields. Our data indicate that insecticide treatment kept aphid predators at low abundances throughout the season, thereby significantly reducing top-down control of aphid populations. Plant and pollinator species richness as well as predator abundances and predator-prey ratios were higher at field edges compared to field centres, highlighting the importance of field edges for ecosystem services. In conclusion organic farming increases biodiversity, including important functional groups like plants, pollinators and predators which enhance natural pest control. Preventative insecticide application in conventional fields has only short-term effects on aphid

  2. Supernatant from bifidobacterium differentially modulates transduction signaling pathways for biological functions of human dendritic cells.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cyrille Hoarau

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Probiotic bacteria have been shown to modulate immune responses and could have therapeutic effects in allergic and inflammatory disorders. However, the signaling pathways engaged by probiotics are poorly understood. We have previously reported that a fermentation product from Bifidobacterium breve C50 (BbC50sn could induce maturation, high IL-10 production and prolonged survival of DCs via a TLR2 pathway. We therefore studied the roles of mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPK, glycogen synthase kinase-3 (GSK3 and phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K pathways on biological functions of human monocyte-derived DCs treated with BbC50sn. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: DCs were differentiated from human monocytes with IL-4 and GM-CSF for 5 days and cultured with BbC50sn, lipopolysaccharide (LPS or Zymosan, with or without specific inhibitors of p38MAPK (SB203580, ERK (PD98059, PI3K (LY294002 and GSK3 (SB216763. We found that 1 the PI3K pathway was positively involved in the prolonged DC survival induced by BbC50sn, LPS and Zymosan in contrast to p38MAPK and GSK3 which negatively regulated DC survival; 2 p38MAPK and PI3K were positively involved in DC maturation, in contrast to ERK and GSK3 which negatively regulated DC maturation; 3 ERK and PI3K were positively involved in DC-IL-10 production, in contrast to GSK3 that was positively involved in DC-IL-12 production whereas p38MAPK was positively involved in both; 4 BbC50sn induced a PI3K/Akt phosphorylation similar to Zymosan and a p38MAPK phosphorylation similar to LPS. CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE: We report for the first time that a fermentation product of a bifidobacteria can differentially activate MAPK, GSK3 and PI3K in order to modulate DC biological functions. These results give new insights on the fine-tuned balance between the maintenance of normal mucosal homeostasis to commensal and probiotic bacteria and the specific inflammatory immune responses to pathogen bacteria.

  3. Biological function evaluation and effects of laser micro-pore burn-denatured acellular dermal matrix.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Youlai; Zeng, Yuanlin; Xin, Guohua; Zou, Lijin; Ding, Yuewei; Duyin, Jiang

    2018-03-01

    In the field of burns repairs, many problems exist in the shortage of donor skin, the expense of allograft or xenograft skin, temporary substitution and unsatisfactory extremity function after wound healing. Previous studies showed that burn-denatured skin could return to normal dermis formation and function. This study investigates the application of laser micro-pore burn-denatured acellular dermis matrix (DADM) from an escharotomy in the repair of burn wounds and evaluates the biological properties and wound repair effects of DADM in implantation experiments in Kunming mice. Specific-pathogen-free (SPF) Kunming mice were used in this study. A deep II° burn wound was created on the dorsum of the mice by an electric heated water bath. The full-thickness wound tissue was harvested. The necrotic tissue and subcutaneous tissue were removed. The denatured dermis was preserved and treated with 0.25% trypsin, 0.5% Triton X-100. The DADM was drilled by laser micro-pore. The biological properties and grafting effects of laser micro-pore burn-DADM were evaluated by morphology, cytokine expression levels and subcutaneous implantation experiments in Kunming mice. We found statistical significance (Ppore burn-DADM (experimental group) compared to the control group (no laser micro-pore burn-DADM). Cytokine expression level was different in the dermal matrixes harvested at various time points after burn (24h, 48h, 72h and infected wound group). Comparing the dermal matrix from 24h burn tissue to infected wound tissue, the expression level of IL-6, MMP-24, VE-cadherin and VEGF were decreased. We found no inflammatory cells infiltration in the dermal matrix were observed in both experimental and control groups (24h burn group), while the obviously vascular infiltration and fiber fusion were observed in the experimental group after subcutaneous implantation experiments. There was better bio-performance, low immunogenicity and better dermal incorporation after treated by laser

  4. Myostatin: expanding horizons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharma, Mridula; McFarlane, Craig; Kambadur, Ravi; Kukreti, Himani; Bonala, Sabeera; Srinivasan, Shruti

    2015-08-01

    Myostatin is a secreted growth and differentiation factor that belongs to the TGF-β superfamily. Myostatin is predominantly synthesized and expressed in skeletal muscle and thus exerts a huge impact on muscle growth and function. In keeping with its negative role in myogenesis, myostatin expression is tightly regulated at several levels including epigenetic, transcriptional, post-transcriptional, and post-translational. New revelations regarding myostatin regulation also offer mechanisms that could be exploited for developing myostatin antagonists. Increasingly, it is becoming clearer that besides its conventional role in muscle, myostatin plays a critical role in metabolism. Hence, molecular mechanisms by which myostatin regulates several key metabolic processes need to be further explored. © 2015 International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

  5. Invited review: Caseins and the casein micelle: their biological functions, structures, and behavior in foods.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holt, C; Carver, J A; Ecroyd, H; Thorn, D C

    2013-10-01

    A typical casein micelle contains thousands of casein molecules, most of which form thermodynamically stable complexes with nanoclusters of amorphous calcium phosphate. Like many other unfolded proteins, caseins have an actual or potential tendency to assemble into toxic amyloid fibrils, particularly at the high concentrations found in milk. Fibrils do not form in milk because an alternative aggregation pathway is followed that results in formation of the casein micelle. As a result of forming micelles, nutritious milk can be secreted and stored without causing either pathological calcification or amyloidosis of the mother's mammary tissue. The ability to sequester nanoclusters of amorphous calcium phosphate in a stable complex is not unique to caseins. It has been demonstrated using a number of noncasein secreted phosphoproteins and may be of general physiological importance in preventing calcification of other biofluids and soft tissues. Thus, competent noncasein phosphoproteins have similar patterns of phosphorylation and the same type of flexible, unfolded conformation as caseins. The ability to suppress amyloid fibril formation by forming an alternative amorphous aggregate is also not unique to caseins and underlies the action of molecular chaperones such as the small heat-shock proteins. The open structure of the protein matrix of casein micelles is fragile and easily perturbed by changes in its environment. Perturbations can cause the polypeptide chains to segregate into regions of greater and lesser density. As a result, the reliable determination of the native structure of casein micelles continues to be extremely challenging. The biological functions of caseins, such as their chaperone activity, are determined by their composition and flexible conformation and by how the casein polypeptide chains interact with each other. These same properties determine how caseins behave in the manufacture of many dairy products and how they can be used as functional

  6. Carbohydrate/glycan-binding specificity of legume lectins in respect to their proposed biological functions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Márcio Viana Ramos

    2000-01-01

    Full Text Available The lectins, proteins which specifically recognize carbohydrate moieties, have been extensively studied in many biochemical and structural aspects in order to establish the molecular basis of this non-catalytic event. On the other hand, their clinical and agricultural potentials have been growing fast. Although lectins, mainly those from legume plants, had been investigated for biological properties, studies about the physiological functions of lectins are scarce in literature. Therefore, despite the accumulated data on lectins (as proteins, the role played by these signalizing molecules is poorly discussed. In the light of our accumulated results on legume lectins, specially those obtained from plants belonging to the Diocleinae sub-tribe and available data in literature, we discuss here the main hypothesis of their functions according to their carbohydrate/glycan-binding specificity.As lectinas, proteinas que especificamente reconhecem estruturas que contém carboidratos, têm sido extensivamente estudadas em muitos aspectos bioquímicos e estruturais, objetivando estabelecer as bases moleculares deste evento não-catalítico. Por outro lado, os potenciais clínicos e agriculturais destas proteínas têm crescido rapidamente. Embora as lectinas, principalmente aquelas de legumes tenham sido bastante investigadas em suas propriedades biológicas, estudos sobre as funcões fisiológicas de lectinas são escassos na literatura. Além disto, a despeito da quantidade de dados acumulados sobre lectinas (como proteínas, o papel desempenhado por estas moléculas de sinalização é pobremente discutido. Valendo-se de nossos estudos sobre lectinas de leguminosas, principalmente da sub-tribo Diocleinae, e outros dados presentes na literatura, discutimos aqui, as principais hipóteses de suas funções com base na especificidade por carboidratos e glicanos complexos.

  7. The expanding universe of noncoding RNAs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hannon, G J; Rivas, F V; Murchison, E P; Steitz, J A

    2006-01-01

    The 71st Cold Spring Harbor Symposium on Quantitative Biology celebrated the numerous and expanding roles of regulatory RNAs in systems ranging from bacteria to mammals. It was clearly evident that noncoding RNAs are undergoing a renaissance, with reports of their involvement in nearly every cellular process. Previously known classes of longer noncoding RNAs were shown to function by every possible means-acting catalytically, sensing physiological states through adoption of complex secondary and tertiary structures, or using their primary sequences for recognition of target sites. The many recently discovered classes of small noncoding RNAs, generally less than 35 nucleotides in length, most often exert their effects by guiding regulatory complexes to targets via base-pairing. With the ability to analyze the RNA products of the genome in ever greater depth, it has become clear that the universe of noncoding RNAs may extend far beyond the boundaries we had previously imagined. Thus, as much as the Symposium highlighted exciting progress in the field, it also revealed how much farther we must go to understand fully the biological impact of noncoding RNAs.

  8. Melanocyte biology and function with reference to oral melanin hyperpigmentation in HIV-seropositive subjects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feller, Liviu; Chandran, Rakesh; Kramer, Beverley; Khammissa, Razia A G; Altini, Mario; Lemmer, Johan

    2014-09-01

    The color of normal skin and of oral mucosa is not determined by the number of melanocytes in the epithelium but rather by their melanogenic activity. Pigmented biopolymers or melanins are synthesized in melanosomes. Tyrosinase is the critical enzyme in the biosynthesis of both brown/black eumelanin and yellow/red pheomelanin. The number of the melanosomes within the melanocytes, the type of melanin within the melanosomes, and the efficacy of the transfer of melanosomes from the melanocytes to the neighboring keratinocytes all play an important role in tissue pigmentation. Melanin production is regulated by locally produced factors including proopiomelanocortin and its derivative peptides, particularly alpha-melanocyte-stimulating hormone (α-MSH), melanocortin 1 receptor (MC1R), adrenergic and cholinergic agents, growth factors, cytokines, and nitric oxide. Both eumelanin and pheomelanin can be produced by the same melanocytes, and the proportion of the two melanin types is influenced by the degree of functional activity of the α-MSH/MC1R intracellular pathway. The cause of HIV oral melanosis is not fully understood but may be associated with HIV-induced cytokine dysregulation, with the medications commonly prescribed to HIV-seropositive persons, and with adrenocortical dysfunction, which is not uncommon in HIV-seropositive subjects with AIDS. The purpose of this article is to discuss some aspects of melanocyte biology and HIV-associated oral melanin hyperpigmentation.

  9. Ants: Major Functional Elements in Fruit Agro-Ecosystems and Biological Control Agents

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lamine Diamé

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Ants are a very diverse taxonomic group. They display remarkable social organization that has enabled them to be ubiquitous throughout the world. They make up approximately 10% of the world’s animal biomass. Ants provide ecosystem services in agrosystems by playing a major role in plant pollination, soil bioturbation, bioindication, and the regulation of crop-damaging insects. Over recent decades, there have been numerous studies in ant ecology and the focus on tree cropping systems has given added importance to ant ecology knowledge. The only missing point in this knowledge is the reasons underlying difference between the positive and negative effects of ants in tree cropping systems. This review article provides an overview of knowledge of the roles played by ants in orchards as functional elements, and on the potential of Oecophylla weaver ants as biological control agents. It also shows the potential and relevance of using ants as an agro-ecological diagnosis tool in orchards. Lastly, it demonstrates the potential elements which may determine the divergent negative and positive of their effects on cropping systems.

  10. Soft robotic arm inspired by the octopus: I. From biological functions to artificial requirements

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Margheri, L; Laschi, C; Mazzolai, B

    2012-01-01

    Octopuses are molluscs that belong to the group Cephalopoda. They lack joints and rigid links, and as a result, their arms possess virtually limitless freedom of movement. These flexible appendages exhibit peculiar biomechanical features such as stiffness control, compliance, and high flexibility and dexterity. Studying the capabilities of the octopus arm is a complex task that presents a challenge for both biologists and roboticists, the latter of whom draw inspiration from the octopus in designing novel technologies within soft robotics. With this idea in mind, in this study, we used new, purposively developed methods of analysing the octopus arm in vivo to create new biologically inspired design concepts. Our measurements showed that the octopus arm can elongate by 70% in tandem with a 23% diameter reduction and exhibits an average pulling force of 40 N. The arm also exhibited a 20% mean shortening at a rate of 17.1 mm s −1 and a longitudinal stiffening rate as high as 2 N (mm s) −1 . Using histology and ultrasounds, we investigated the functional morphology of the internal tissues, including the sinusoidal arrangement of the nerve cord and the local insertion points of the longitudinal and transverse muscle fibres. The resulting information was used to create novel design principles and specifications that can in turn be used in developing a new soft robotic arm. (paper)

  11. Structural changes in PVDF fibers due to electrospinning and its effect on biological function

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Damaraju, Sita M; Wu, Siliang; Jaffe, Michael; Arinzeh, Treena Livingston

    2013-01-01

    Polyvinylidine fluoride (PVDF) is being investigated as a potential scaffold for bone tissue engineering because of its proven biocompatibility and piezoelectric property, wherein it can generate electrical activity when mechanically deformed. In this study, PVDF scaffolds were prepared by electrospinning using different voltages (12–30 kV), evaluated for the presence of the piezoelectric β-crystal phase and its effect on biological function. Electrospun PVDF was compared with unprocessed/raw PVDF, films and melt-spun fibers for the presence of the piezoelectric β-phase using differential scanning calorimetry, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and x-ray diffraction. The osteogenic differentiation of human mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) was evaluated on scaffolds electrospun at 12 and 25 kV (PVDF-12 kV and PVDF-25 kV, respectively) and compared to tissue culture polystyrene (TCP). Electrospinning PVDF resulted in the formation of the piezoelectric β-phase with the highest β-phase fraction of 72% for electrospun PVDF at 25 kV. MSCs cultured on both the scaffolds were well attached as indicated by a spread morphology. Cells on PVDF-25 kV scaffolds had the greatest alkaline phosphatase activity and early mineralization by day 10 as compared to TCP and PVDF-12 kV. The results demonstrate the potential for the use of PVDF scaffolds for bone tissue engineering applications. (paper)

  12. Soft robotic arm inspired by the octopus: I. From biological functions to artificial requirements.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Margheri, L; Laschi, C; Mazzolai, B

    2012-06-01

    Octopuses are molluscs that belong to the group Cephalopoda. They lack joints and rigid links, and as a result, their arms possess virtually limitless freedom of movement. These flexible appendages exhibit peculiar biomechanical features such as stiffness control, compliance, and high flexibility and dexterity. Studying the capabilities of the octopus arm is a complex task that presents a challenge for both biologists and roboticists, the latter of whom draw inspiration from the octopus in designing novel technologies within soft robotics. With this idea in mind, in this study, we used new, purposively developed methods of analysing the octopus arm in vivo to create new biologically inspired design concepts. Our measurements showed that the octopus arm can elongate by 70% in tandem with a 23% diameter reduction and exhibits an average pulling force of 40 N. The arm also exhibited a 20% mean shortening at a rate of 17.1 mm s(-1) and a longitudinal stiffening rate as high as 2 N (mm s)(-1). Using histology and ultrasounds, we investigated the functional morphology of the internal tissues, including the sinusoidal arrangement of the nerve cord and the local insertion points of the longitudinal and transverse muscle fibres. The resulting information was used to create novel design principles and specifications that can in turn be used in developing a new soft robotic arm.

  13. A novel biological function of soluble biglycan: Induction of erythropoietin production and polycythemia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frey, Helena; Moreth, Kristin; Hsieh, Louise Tzung-Harn; Zeng-Brouwers, Jinyang; Rathkolb, Birgit; Fuchs, Helmut; Gailus-Durner, Valérie; Iozzo, Renato V; de Angelis, Martin Hrabě; Schaefer, Liliana

    2017-06-01

    Secondary polycythemia, a disease characterized by a selective increase in circulating mature erythrocytes, is caused by enhanced erythropoietin (Epo) concentrations triggered by hypoxia-inducible factor-2α (HIF-2α). While mechanisms of hypoxia-dependent stabilization of HIF-2α protein are well established, data regarding oxygen-independent regulation of HIF-2α are sparse. In this study, we generated a novel transgenic mouse model, in which biglycan was constitutively overexpressed and secreted by hepatocytes (BGN Tg ), thereby providing a constant source of biglycan released into the blood stream. We discovered that although the mice were apparently normal, they harbored an increase in mature circulating erythrocytes. In addition to erythrocytosis, the BGN Tg mice showed elevated hemoglobin concentrations, hematocrit values and enhanced total iron binding capacity, revealing a clinical picture of polycythemia. In BGN Tg mice markedly enhanced Epo mRNA expression was observed in the liver and kidney, while elevated Epo protein levels were found in liver, kidney and blood. Mechanistically, we showed that the transgenic animals had an abundance of HIF-2α protein in the liver and kidney. Finally, by transiently overexpressing circulating biglycan in mice deficient in various Toll-like receptors (TLRs), we determined that this novel function of biglycan to promote Epo synthesis was specifically mediated by a selective interaction with TLR2. Thus, we discovered a novel biological pathway of soluble biglycan inducing HIF-2α protein stabilization and Epo production presumably in an oxygen-independent manner, ultimately giving rise to secondary polycythemia.

  14. Improved normal tissue sparing in head and neck radiotherapy using biological cost function based-IMRT.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, N; Lawford, C; Khoo, V; Rolfo, M; Joon, D L; Wada, M

    2011-12-01

    Intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) has reduced the impact of acute and late toxicities associated with head and neck radiotherapy. Treatment planning system (TPS) advances in biological cost function based optimization (BBO) and improved segmentation techniques have increased organ at risk (OAR) sparing compared to conventional dose-based optimization (DBO). A planning study was undertaken to compare OAR avoidance in DBO and BBO treatment planning. Simultaneous integrated boost treatment plans were produced for 10 head and neck patients using both planning systems. Plans were compared for tar get coverage and OAR avoidance. Comparisons were made using the BBO TPS Monte Carlo dose engine to eliminate differences due to inherent algorithms. Target coverage (V95%) was maintained for both solutions. BBO produced lower OAR doses, with statistically significant improvement to left (12.3%, p = 0.005) and right parotid mean dose (16.9%, p = 0.004), larynx V50_Gy (71.0%, p = 0.005), spinal cord (21.9%, p < 0.001) and brain stem dose maximums (31.5%, p = 0.002). This study observed improved OAR avoidance with BBO planning. Further investigations will be undertaken to review any clinical benefit of this improved planned dosimetry.

  15. Expanding Thurston maps

    CERN Document Server

    Bonk, Mario

    2017-01-01

    This monograph is devoted to the study of the dynamics of expanding Thurston maps under iteration. A Thurston map is a branched covering map on a two-dimensional topological sphere such that each critical point of the map has a finite orbit under iteration. It is called expanding if, roughly speaking, preimages of a fine open cover of the underlying sphere under iterates of the map become finer and finer as the order of the iterate increases. Every expanding Thurston map gives rise to a fractal space, called its visual sphere. Many dynamical properties of the map are encoded in the geometry of this visual sphere. For example, an expanding Thurston map is topologically conjugate to a rational map if and only if its visual sphere is quasisymmetrically equivalent to the Riemann sphere. This relation between dynamics and fractal geometry is the main focus for the investigations in this work.

  16. Short term recovery of soil biological functions in a new vineyard cultivated in organic farming

    Science.gov (United States)

    Costantini, Edoardo; Agnelli, Alessandro; Fabiani, Arturo; Gagnarli, Elena; Mocali, Stefano; Priori, Simone; Simoni, Sauro; Valboa, Giuseppe

    2014-05-01

    soil biological classes). Physical soil characteristics remained unchanged after the first year from the earthworks and did not change under grass cover. Chemical analysis only indicated a significant effect of earthworks. Over the 2010-2013 period, the new vineyard showed a slight increase of TOC and total N contents; as compared to the old vineyard, it averaged lower TOC and total N, and higher CaCO3 contents, suggesting still evolving equilibrium conditions. Microarthropod analysis showed significant different abundances and communities' structures both by management system and by year, increasing where the land use pressure was reduced by permanent grass cover and along with the aging of vineyard. Though the euedaphic forms, well adapted to soil life, were always rare. Microbiological analysis showed a different structure of eubacterial communities and a lower microbial activity in the new vineyard, especially during 2010-2012. In contrast, significant differences were not observed between the two vineyards in 2013, and grass cover effect was controversial. To sum up, the consequence of deep earthworks on chemical and biological properties were still evident after four years from planting and more time was needed to recover soil functions. Permanent grass cover did not always show a consistent positive effect.

  17. Single Fluorescent Molecules as Nano-Illuminators for Biological Structure and Function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moerner, W. E.

    2011-03-01

    Since the first optical detection and spectroscopy of a single molecule in a solid (Phys. Rev. Lett. {62}, 2535 (1989)), much has been learned about the ability of single molecules to probe local nanoenvironments and individual behavior in biological and nonbiological materials in the absence of ensemble averaging that can obscure heterogeneity. Because each single fluorophore acts a light source roughly 1 nm in size, microscopic imaging of individual fluorophores leads naturally to superlocalization, or determination of the position of the molecule with precision beyond the optical diffraction limit, simply by digitization of the point-spread function from the single emitter. For example, the shape of single filaments in a living cell can be extracted simply by allowing a single molecule to move through the filament (PNAS {103}, 10929 (2006)). The addition of photoinduced control of single-molecule emission allows imaging beyond the diffraction limit (super-resolution) and a new array of acronyms (PALM, STORM, F-PALM etc.) and advances have appeared. We have used the native blinking and switching of a common yellow-emitting variant of green fluorescent protein (EYFP) reported more than a decade ago (Nature {388}, 355 (1997)) to achieve sub-40 nm super-resolution imaging of several protein structures in the bacterium Caulobacter crescentus: the quasi-helix of the actin-like protein MreB (Nat. Meth. {5}, 947 (2008)), the cellular distribution of the DNA binding protein HU (submitted), and the recently discovered division spindle composed of ParA filaments (Nat. Cell Biol. {12}, 791 (2010)). Even with these advances, better emitters would provide more photons and improved resolution, and a new photoactivatable small-molecule emitter has recently been synthesized and targeted to specific structures in living cells to provide super-resolution images (JACS {132}, 15099 (2010)). Finally, a new optical method for extracting three-dimensional position information based on

  18. The expanding regulatory universe of p53 in gastrointestinal cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fesler, Andrew; Zhang, Ning; Ju, Jingfang

    2016-01-01

    Tumor suppresser gene TP53 is one of the most frequently deleted or mutated genes in gastrointestinal cancers. As a transcription factor, p53 regulates a number of important protein coding genes to control cell cycle, cell death, DNA damage/repair, stemness, differentiation and other key cellular functions. In addition, p53 is also able to activate the expression of a number of small non-coding microRNAs (miRNAs) through direct binding to the promoter region of these miRNAs.  Many miRNAs have been identified to be potential tumor suppressors by regulating key effecter target mRNAs. Our understanding of the regulatory network of p53 has recently expanded to include long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs). Like miRNA, lncRNAs have been found to play important roles in cancer biology.  With our increased understanding of the important functions of these non-coding RNAs and their relationship with p53, we are gaining exciting new insights into the biology and function of cells in response to various growth environment changes. In this review we summarize the current understanding of the ever expanding involvement of non-coding RNAs in the p53 regulatory network and its implications for our understanding of gastrointestinal cancer.

  19. Connecting Structure-Property and Structure-Function Relationships across the Disciplines of Chemistry and Biology: Exploring Student Perceptions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kohn, Kathryn P.; Underwood, Sonia M.; Cooper, Melanie M.

    2018-01-01

    While many university students take science courses in multiple disciplines, little is known about how they perceive common concepts from different disciplinary perspectives. Structure-property and structure-function relationships have long been considered important explanatory concepts in the disciplines of chemistry and biology, respectively.…

  20. Perchlorate exposure and association with iron homeostasis and other biological functions among NHANES 2005-2008 subjects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perchlorate exposure and association with iron homeostasis and other biological functions among NHANES 2005-2008 subjects Schreinemachers DM, Ghio AJ, Cascio WE, Sobus JR. U.S. EPA, RTP, NC, USA Perchlorate (ClO4-), an environmental pollutant, is a known thyroid toxicant and...

  1. Proteome-wide Structural Analysis of PTM Hotspots Reveals Regulatory Elements Predicted to Impact Biological Function and Disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Torres, Matthew P; Dewhurst, Henry; Sundararaman, Niveda

    2016-11-01

    Post-translational modifications (PTMs) regulate protein behavior through modulation of protein-protein interactions, enzymatic activity, and protein stability essential in the translation of genotype to phenotype in eukaryotes. Currently, less than 4% of all eukaryotic PTMs are reported to have biological function - a statistic that continues to decrease with an increasing rate of PTM detection. Previously, we developed SAPH-ire (Structural Analysis of PTM Hotspots) - a method for the prioritization of PTM function potential that has been used effectively to reveal novel PTM regulatory elements in discrete protein families (Dewhurst et al., 2015). Here, we apply SAPH-ire to the set of eukaryotic protein families containing experimental PTM and 3D structure data - capturing 1,325 protein families with 50,839 unique PTM sites organized into 31,747 modified alignment positions (MAPs), of which 2010 (∼6%) possess known biological function. Here, we show that using an artificial neural network model (SAPH-ire NN) trained to identify MAP hotspots with biological function results in prediction outcomes that far surpass the use of single hotspot features, including nearest neighbor PTM clustering methods. We find the greatest enhancement in prediction for positions with PTM counts of five or less, which represent 98% of all MAPs in the eukaryotic proteome and 90% of all MAPs found to have biological function. Analysis of the top 1092 MAP hotspots revealed 267 of truly unknown function (containing 5443 distinct PTMs). Of these, 165 hotspots could be mapped to human KEGG pathways for normal and/or disease physiology. Many high-ranking hotspots were also found to be disease-associated pathogenic sites of amino acid substitution despite the lack of observable PTM in the human protein family member. Taken together, these experiments demonstrate that the functional relevance of a PTM can be predicted very effectively by neural network models, revealing a large but testable

  2. Revealing the functions of the transketolase enzyme isoforms in Rhodopseudomonas palustris using a systems biology approach.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chia-Wei Hu

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Rhodopseudomonas palustris (R. palustris is a purple non-sulfur anoxygenic phototrophic bacterium that belongs to the class of proteobacteria. It is capable of absorbing atmospheric carbon dioxide and converting it to biomass via the process of photosynthesis and the Calvin-Benson-Bassham (CBB cycle. Transketolase is a key enzyme involved in the CBB cycle. Here, we reveal the functions of transketolase isoforms I and II in R. palustris using a systems biology approach. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: By measuring growth ability, we found that transketolase could enhance the autotrophic growth and biomass production of R. palustris. Microarray and real-time quantitative PCR revealed that transketolase isoforms I and II were involved in different carbon metabolic pathways. In addition, immunogold staining demonstrated that the two transketolase isoforms had different spatial localizations: transketolase I was primarily associated with the intracytoplasmic membrane (ICM but transketolase II was mostly distributed in the cytoplasm. Comparative proteomic analysis and network construction of transketolase over-expression and negative control (NC strains revealed that protein folding, transcriptional regulation, amino acid transport and CBB cycle-associated carbon metabolism were enriched in the transketolase I over-expressed strain. In contrast, ATP synthesis, carbohydrate transport, glycolysis-associated carbon metabolism and CBB cycle-associated carbon metabolism were enriched in the transketolase II over-expressed strain. Furthermore, ATP synthesis assays showed a significant increase in ATP synthesis in the transketolase II over-expressed strain. A PEPCK activity assay showed that PEPCK activity was higher in transketolase over-expressed strains than in the negative control strain. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Taken together, our results indicate that the two isoforms of transketolase in R. palustris could affect photoautotrophic growth

  3. Rapidly restoring biological soil crusts and ecosystem functions in a severely disturbed desert ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chiquoine, Lindsay P; Abella, Scott R; Bowker, Matthew A

    2016-06-01

    Restoring biological soil crusts (biocrusts) in degraded drylands can contribute to recovery of ecosystem functions that have global implications, including erosion resistance and nutrient cycling. To examine techniques for restoring biocrusts, we conducted a replicated, factorial experiment on recently abandoned road surfaces by applying biocrust inoculation (salvaged and stored dry for two years), salvaged topsoil, an abiotic soil amendment (wood shavings), and planting of a dominant perennial shrub (Ambrosia dumosa). Eighteen months after treatments, we measured biocrust abundance and species composition, soil chlorophyll a content and fertility, and soil resistance to erosion. Biocrust addition significantly accelerated biocrust recovery on disturbed soils, including increasing lichen and moss cover and cyanobacteria colonization. Compared to undisturbed controls, inoculated plots had similar lichen and moss composition, recovered 43% of total cyanobacteria density, had similar soil chlorophyll content, and exhibited recovery of soil fertility and soil stability. Inoculation was the only treatment that generated lichen and moss cover. Topsoil application resulted in partial recovery of the cyanobacteria community and soil properties. Compared to untreated disturbed plots, topsoil application without inoculum increased cyanobacteria density by 186% and moderately improved soil chlorophyll and ammonium content and soil stability. Topsoil application produced 22% and 51% of the cyanobacteria density g⁻¹ soil compared to undisturbed and inoculated plots, respectively. Plots not treated with either topsoil or inoculum had significantly lower cyanobacteria density, soil chlorophyll and ammonium concentrations, and significantly higher soil nitrate concentration. Wood shavings and Ambrosia had no influence on biocrust lichen and moss species recovery but did affect cyanobacteria composition and soil fertility. Inoculation of severely disturbed soil with native

  4. Biological oscillations for learning walking coordination: dynamic recurrent neural network functionally models physiological central pattern generator.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoellinger, Thomas; Petieau, Mathieu; Duvinage, Matthieu; Castermans, Thierry; Seetharaman, Karthik; Cebolla, Ana-Maria; Bengoetxea, Ana; Ivanenko, Yuri; Dan, Bernard; Cheron, Guy

    2013-01-01

    The existence of dedicated neuronal modules such as those organized in the cerebral cortex, thalamus, basal ganglia, cerebellum, or spinal cord raises the question of how these functional modules are coordinated for appropriate motor behavior. Study of human locomotion offers an interesting field for addressing this central question. The coordination of the elevation of the 3 leg segments under a planar covariation rule (Borghese et al., 1996) was recently modeled (Barliya et al., 2009) by phase-adjusted simple oscillators shedding new light on the understanding of the central pattern generator (CPG) processing relevant oscillation signals. We describe the use of a dynamic recurrent neural network (DRNN) mimicking the natural oscillatory behavior of human locomotion for reproducing the planar covariation rule in both legs at different walking speeds. Neural network learning was based on sinusoid signals integrating frequency and amplitude features of the first three harmonics of the sagittal elevation angles of the thigh, shank, and foot of each lower limb. We verified the biological plausibility of the neural networks. Best results were obtained with oscillations extracted from the first three harmonics in comparison to oscillations outside the harmonic frequency peaks. Physiological replication steadily increased with the number of neuronal units from 1 to 80, where similarity index reached 0.99. Analysis of synaptic weighting showed that the proportion of inhibitory connections consistently increased with the number of neuronal units in the DRNN. This emerging property in the artificial neural networks resonates with recent advances in neurophysiology of inhibitory neurons that are involved in central nervous system oscillatory activities. The main message of this study is that this type of DRNN may offer a useful model of physiological central pattern generator for gaining insights in basic research and developing clinical applications.

  5. Functional near infrared spectroscopy as a potential biological assessment of addiction recovery: preliminary findings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dempsey, Jared P; Harris, Kitty S; Shumway, Sterling T; Kimball, Thomas G; Herrera, J Caleb; Dsauza, Cynthia M; Bradshaw, Spencer D

    2015-03-01

    Addiction science has primarily utilized self-report, continued substance use, and relapse factors to explore the process of recovery. However, the entry into successful abstinence substantially reduces our assessment abilities. Advances in neuroscience may be the key to objective understanding, treating, and monitoring long-term success in addiction recovery. To explore functional near infrared spectroscopy (fNIR) as a viable technique in the assessment of addiction-cue reactivity. Specifically, prefrontal cortex (PFC) activation to alcohol cues was explored among formally alcohol-dependent individuals, across varying levels of successful abstinence. The aim of the investigation was to identify patterns of PFC activation change consistent with duration of abstinence. A total of 15 formally alcohol-dependent individuals, with abstinence durations ranging from 1 month to 10 years, viewed alcohol images during fNIR PFC assessment. Participants also subjectively rated the same images for affect and arousal level. Subjective ratings of alcohol cues did not significantly correlate with duration of abstinence. As expected, days of abstinence did not significantly correlate with neutral cue fNIR reactivity. However, for alcohol cues, fNIR results showed increased days of abstinence was associated with decreased activation within the dorsolateral and dorsomedial prefrontal cortex regions. The present results suggest that fNIR may be a viable tool in the assessment of addiction-cue reactivity. RESULTS also support previous findings on the importance of dorsolateral and dorsomedial PFC in alcohol-cue activation. The findings build upon these past results suggesting that fNIR-assessed activation may represent a robust biological marker of successful addiction recovery.

  6. Antagonistic roles of abscisic acid and cytokinin during response to nitrogen depletion in oleaginous microalga Nannochloropsis oceanica expand the evolutionary breadth of phytohormone function

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Lu, Y.; Tarkowská, Danuše; Turečková, Veronika; Luo, T.; Xin, Y.; Li, J.; Wang, Q.; Jiao, N.; Strnad, Miroslav; Xu, J.

    2014-01-01

    Roč. 80, č. 1 (2014), s. 52-68 ISSN 0960-7412 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA206/09/1284; GA MŠk LK21306; GA MŠk(CZ) LO1204 Grant - others:GA MŠk(CZ) ED0007/01/01 Program:ED Institutional support: RVO:61389030 Keywords : Nannochloropsis oceanica * antagonistic synergy * abscisic acid Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology Impact factor: 5.972, year: 2014

  7. The development of peptide-based interfacial biomaterials for generating biological functionality on the surface of bioinert materials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyers, Steven R; Khoo, Xiaojuan; Huang, Xin; Walsh, Elisabeth B; Grinstaff, Mark W; Kenan, Daniel J

    2009-01-01

    Biomaterials used in implants have traditionally been selected based on their mechanical properties, chemical stability, and biocompatibility. However, the durability and clinical efficacy of implantable biomedical devices remain limited in part due to the absence of appropriate biological interactions at the implant interface and the lack of integration into adjacent tissues. Herein, we describe a robust peptide-based coating technology capable of modifying the surface of existing biomaterials and medical devices through the non-covalent binding of modular biofunctional peptides. These peptides contain at least one material binding sequence and at least one biologically active sequence and thus are termed, "Interfacial Biomaterials" (IFBMs). IFBMs can simultaneously bind the biomaterial surface while endowing it with desired biological functionalities at the interface between the material and biological realms. We demonstrate the capabilities of model IFBMs to convert native polystyrene, a bioinert surface, into a bioactive surface that can support a range of cell activities. We further distinguish between simple cell attachment with insufficient integrin interactions, which in some cases can adversely impact downstream biology, versus biologically appropriate adhesion, cell spreading, and cell survival mediated by IFBMs. Moreover, we show that we can use the coating technology to create spatially resolved patterns of fluorophores and cells on substrates and that these patterns retain their borders in culture.

  8. Antisense oligodeoxynucleotide inhibition as a potent diagnostic tool for gene function in plant biology

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jansson, Christer; Sun, Chuanxin; Ghebramedhin, Haile; Hoglund, Anna-Stina; Jansson, Christer

    2008-01-15

    Antisense oligodeoxynucleotide (ODN) inhibition emerges as an effective means for probing gene function in plant cells. Employing this method we have established the importance of the SUSIBA2 transcription factor for regulation of starch synthesis in barley endosperm, and arrived at a model for the role of the SUSIBAs in sugar signaling and source-sink commutation during cereal endosperm development. In this addendum we provide additional data demonstrating the suitability of the antisense ODN technology in studies on starch branching enzyme activities in barley leaves. We also comment on the mechanism for ODN uptake in plant cells. Antisense ODNs are short (12-25 nt-long) stretches of single-stranded ODNs that hybridize to the cognate mRNA in a sequence-specific manner, thereby inhibiting gene expression. They are naturally occurring in both prokaryotes and eukaryotes where they partake in gene regulation and defense against viral infection. The mechanisms for antisense ODN inhibition are not fully understood but it is generally considered that the ODN either sterically interferes with translation or promotes transcript degradation by RNase H activation. The earliest indication of the usefulness of antisense ODN technology for the purposes of molecular biology and medical therapy was the demonstration in 1978 that synthetic ODNs complementary to Raos sarcoma virus could inhibit virus replication in tissue cultures of chick embryo fibroblasts. Since then the antisense ODN technology has been widely used in animal sciences and as an important emerging therapeutic approach in clinical medicine. However, antisense ODN inhibition has been an under-exploited strategy for plant tissues, although the prospects for plant cells in suspension cultures to take up single-stranded ODNs was reported over a decade ago. In 2001, two reports from Malho and coworker demonstrated the use of cationic-complexed antisense ODNs to suppress expression of genes encoding pollen

  9. Systems Biology and Health Systems Complexity in;

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Donald Combs, C.; Barham, S.R.; Sloot, P.M.A.

    2016-01-01

    Systems biology addresses interactions in biological systems at different scales of biological organization, from the molecular to the cellular, organ, organism, societal, and ecosystem levels. This chapter expands on the concept of systems biology, explores its implications for individual patients

  10. Synthesis, characterization and functionalization of silicon nanoparticle based hybrid nanomaterials for photovoltaic and biological applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Zejing

    Silicon nanoparticles are attractive candidates for biological, photovoltaic and energy storage applications due to their size dependent optoelectronic properties. These include tunable light emission, high brightness, and stability against photo-bleaching relative to organic dyes (see Chapter 1). The preparation and characterization of silicon nanoparticle based hybrid nanomaterials and their relevance to photovoltaic and biological applications are described. The surface-passivated silicon nanoparticles were produced in one step from the reactive high-energy ball milling (RHEBM) of silicon wafers with various organic ligands. The surface structure and optical properties of the passivated silicon nanoparticles were systematically characterized. Fast approaches for purifying and at the same time size separating the silicon nanoparticles using a gravity GPC column were developed. The hydrodynamic diameter and size distribution of these size-separated silicon nanoparticles were determined using GPC and Diffusion Ordered NMR Spectroscopy (DOSY) as fast, reliable alternative approaches to TEM. Water soluble silicon nanoparticles were synthesized by grafting PEG polymers onto functionalized silicon nanoparticles with distal alkyne or azide moieties. The surface-functionalized silicon nanoparticles were produced from the reactive high-energy ball milling (RHEBM) of silicon wafers with a mixture of either 5-chloro-1-pentyne in 1-pentyne or 1,7 octadiyne in 1-hexyne to afford air and water stable chloroalkyl or alkynyl terminated nanoparticles, respectively. Nanoparticles with the ω-chloroalkyl substituents were easily converted to ω-azidoalkyl groups through the reaction of the silicon nanoparticles with sodium azide in DMF. The azido terminated nanoparticles were then grafted with monoalkynyl-PEG polymers using a copper catalyzed alkyne-azide cycloaddition (CuAAC) reaction to afford core-shell silicon nanoparticles with a covalently attached PEG shell. Covalently

  11. Proteome-wide Structural Analysis of PTM Hotspots Reveals Regulatory Elements Predicted to Impact Biological Function and Disease*

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dewhurst, Henry; Sundararaman, Niveda

    2016-01-01

    Post-translational modifications (PTMs) regulate protein behavior through modulation of protein-protein interactions, enzymatic activity, and protein stability essential in the translation of genotype to phenotype in eukaryotes. Currently, less than 4% of all eukaryotic PTMs are reported to have biological function - a statistic that continues to decrease with an increasing rate of PTM detection. Previously, we developed SAPH-ire (Structural Analysis of PTM Hotspots) - a method for the prioritization of PTM function potential that has been used effectively to reveal novel PTM regulatory elements in discrete protein families (Dewhurst et al., 2015). Here, we apply SAPH-ire to the set of eukaryotic protein families containing experimental PTM and 3D structure data - capturing 1,325 protein families with 50,839 unique PTM sites organized into 31,747 modified alignment positions (MAPs), of which 2010 (∼6%) possess known biological function. Here, we show that using an artificial neural network model (SAPH-ire NN) trained to identify MAP hotspots with biological function results in prediction outcomes that far surpass the use of single hotspot features, including nearest neighbor PTM clustering methods. We find the greatest enhancement in prediction for positions with PTM counts of five or less, which represent 98% of all MAPs in the eukaryotic proteome and 90% of all MAPs found to have biological function. Analysis of the top 1092 MAP hotspots revealed 267 of truly unknown function (containing 5443 distinct PTMs). Of these, 165 hotspots could be mapped to human KEGG pathways for normal and/or disease physiology. Many high-ranking hotspots were also found to be disease-associated pathogenic sites of amino acid substitution despite the lack of observable PTM in the human protein family member. Taken together, these experiments demonstrate that the functional relevance of a PTM can be predicted very effectively by neural network models, revealing a large but testable

  12. Silicon microfabricated beam expander

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Othman, A.; Ibrahim, M. N.; Hamzah, I. H.; Sulaiman, A. A.; Ain, M. F.

    2015-01-01

    The feasibility design and development methods of silicon microfabricated beam expander are described. Silicon bulk micromachining fabrication technology is used in producing features of the structure. A high-precision complex 3-D shape of the expander can be formed by exploiting the predictable anisotropic wet etching characteristics of single-crystal silicon in aqueous Potassium-Hydroxide (KOH) solution. The beam-expander consist of two elements, a micromachined silicon reflector chamber and micro-Fresnel zone plate. The micro-Fresnel element is patterned using lithographic methods. The reflector chamber element has a depth of 40 µm, a diameter of 15 mm and gold-coated surfaces. The impact on the depth, diameter of the chamber and absorption for improved performance are discussed

  13. Silicon microfabricated beam expander

    Science.gov (United States)

    Othman, A.; Ibrahim, M. N.; Hamzah, I. H.; Sulaiman, A. A.; Ain, M. F.

    2015-03-01

    The feasibility design and development methods of silicon microfabricated beam expander are described. Silicon bulk micromachining fabrication technology is used in producing features of the structure. A high-precision complex 3-D shape of the expander can be formed by exploiting the predictable anisotropic wet etching characteristics of single-crystal silicon in aqueous Potassium-Hydroxide (KOH) solution. The beam-expander consist of two elements, a micromachined silicon reflector chamber and micro-Fresnel zone plate. The micro-Fresnel element is patterned using lithographic methods. The reflector chamber element has a depth of 40 µm, a diameter of 15 mm and gold-coated surfaces. The impact on the depth, diameter of the chamber and absorption for improved performance are discussed.

  14. Silicon microfabricated beam expander

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Othman, A., E-mail: aliman@ppinang.uitm.edu.my; Ibrahim, M. N.; Hamzah, I. H.; Sulaiman, A. A. [Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Universiti Teknologi MARA Malaysia, 40450, Shah Alam, Selangor (Malaysia); Ain, M. F. [School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Engineering Campus, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Seri Ampangan, 14300,Nibong Tebal, Pulau Pinang (Malaysia)

    2015-03-30

    The feasibility design and development methods of silicon microfabricated beam expander are described. Silicon bulk micromachining fabrication technology is used in producing features of the structure. A high-precision complex 3-D shape of the expander can be formed by exploiting the predictable anisotropic wet etching characteristics of single-crystal silicon in aqueous Potassium-Hydroxide (KOH) solution. The beam-expander consist of two elements, a micromachined silicon reflector chamber and micro-Fresnel zone plate. The micro-Fresnel element is patterned using lithographic methods. The reflector chamber element has a depth of 40 µm, a diameter of 15 mm and gold-coated surfaces. The impact on the depth, diameter of the chamber and absorption for improved performance are discussed.

  15. Functionalized gold nanoparticle supported sensory mechanisms applied in detection of chemical and biological threat agents: A review

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Upadhyayula, Venkata K.K.

    2012-01-01

    Highlights: ► Smart sensors are needed for detection of chemical and biological threat agents. ► Smart sensors detect analytes with rapid speed, high sensitivity and selectivity. ► Functionalized gold nanoparticles (GNPs) can potentially smart sense threat agents. ► Functionalized GNPs support multiple analytical methods for sensing threat agents. ► Threat agents of all types can be detected using functionalized GNPs. - Abstract: There is a great necessity for development of novel sensory concepts supportive of smart sensing capabilities in defense and homeland security applications for detection of chemical and biological threat agents. A smart sensor is a detection device that can exhibit important features such as speed, sensitivity, selectivity, portability, and more importantly, simplicity in identifying a target analyte. Emerging nanomaterial based sensors, particularly those developed by utilizing functionalized gold nanoparticles (GNPs) as a sensing component potentially offer many desirable features needed for threat agent detection. The sensitiveness of physical properties expressed by GNPs, e.g. color, surface plasmon resonance, electrical conductivity and binding affinity are significantly enhanced when they are subjected to functionalization with an appropriate metal, organic or biomolecular functional groups. This sensitive nature of functionalized GNPs can be potentially exploited in the design of threat agent detection devices with smart sensing capabilities. In the presence of a target analyte (i.e., a chemical or biological threat agent) a change proportional to concentration of the analyte is observed, which can be measured either by colorimetric, fluorimetric, electrochemical or spectroscopic means. This article provides a review of how functionally modified gold colloids are applied in the detection of a broad range of threat agents, including radioactive substances, explosive compounds, chemical warfare agents, biotoxins, and

  16. Functionalized gold nanoparticle supported sensory mechanisms applied in detection of chemical and biological threat agents: A review

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Upadhyayula, Venkata K.K., E-mail: Upadhyayula.Venkata@epa.gov [Oak Ridge Institute of Science and Education (ORISE), MC-100-44, PO Box 117, Oak Ridge, TN 37831 (United States)

    2012-02-17

    Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Smart sensors are needed for detection of chemical and biological threat agents. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Smart sensors detect analytes with rapid speed, high sensitivity and selectivity. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Functionalized gold nanoparticles (GNPs) can potentially smart sense threat agents. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Functionalized GNPs support multiple analytical methods for sensing threat agents. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Threat agents of all types can be detected using functionalized GNPs. - Abstract: There is a great necessity for development of novel sensory concepts supportive of smart sensing capabilities in defense and homeland security applications for detection of chemical and biological threat agents. A smart sensor is a detection device that can exhibit important features such as speed, sensitivity, selectivity, portability, and more importantly, simplicity in identifying a target analyte. Emerging nanomaterial based sensors, particularly those developed by utilizing functionalized gold nanoparticles (GNPs) as a sensing component potentially offer many desirable features needed for threat agent detection. The sensitiveness of physical properties expressed by GNPs, e.g. color, surface plasmon resonance, electrical conductivity and binding affinity are significantly enhanced when they are subjected to functionalization with an appropriate metal, organic or biomolecular functional groups. This sensitive nature of functionalized GNPs can be potentially exploited in the design of threat agent detection devices with smart sensing capabilities. In the presence of a target analyte (i.e., a chemical or biological threat agent) a change proportional to concentration of the analyte is observed, which can be measured either by colorimetric, fluorimetric, electrochemical or spectroscopic means. This article provides a review of how functionally modified gold colloids are applied in the detection of a broad

  17. Permeating disciplines: Overcoming barriers between molecular simulations and classical structure-function approaches in biological ion transport.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howard, Rebecca J; Carnevale, Vincenzo; Delemotte, Lucie; Hellmich, Ute A; Rothberg, Brad S

    2018-04-01

    Ion translocation across biological barriers is a fundamental requirement for life. In many cases, controlling this process-for example with neuroactive drugs-demands an understanding of rapid and reversible structural changes in membrane-embedded proteins, including ion channels and transporters. Classical approaches to electrophysiology and structural biology have provided valuable insights into several such proteins over macroscopic, often discontinuous scales of space and time. Integrating these observations into meaningful mechanistic models now relies increasingly on computational methods, particularly molecular dynamics simulations, while surfacing important challenges in data management and conceptual alignment. Here, we seek to provide contemporary context, concrete examples, and a look to the future for bridging disciplinary gaps in biological ion transport. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Beyond the Structure-Function Horizon of Membrane Proteins edited by Ute Hellmich, Rupak Doshi and Benjamin McIlwain. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  18. Coral Reef Health Indices versus the Biological, Ecological and Functional Diversity of Fish and Coral Assemblages in the Caribbean Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Díaz-Pérez, Leopoldo; Rodríguez-Zaragoza, Fabián Alejandro; Ortiz, Marco; Cupul-Magaña, Amílcar Leví; Carriquiry, Jose D; Ríos-Jara, Eduardo; Rodríguez-Troncoso, Alma Paola; García-Rivas, María Del Carmen

    2016-01-01

    This study evaluated the relationship between the indices known as the Reef Health Index (RHI) and two-dimensional Coral Health Index (2D-CHI) and different representative metrics of biological, ecological and functional diversity of fish and corals in 101 reef sites located across seven zones in the western Caribbean Sea. Species richness and average taxonomic distinctness were used to asses biological estimation; while ecological diversity was evaluated with the indices of Shannon diversity and Pielou´s evenness, as well as by taxonomic diversity and distinctness. Functional diversity considered the number of functional groups, the Shannon diversity and the functional Pielou´s evenness. According to the RHI, 57.15% of the zones were classified as presenting a "poor" health grade, while 42.85% were in "critical" grade. Based on the 2D-CHI, 28.5% of the zones were in "degraded" condition and 71.5% were "very degraded". Differences in fish and coral diversity among sites and zones were demonstrated using permutational ANOVAs. Differences between the two health indices (RHI and 2D-CHI) and some indices of biological, ecological and functional diversity of fish and corals were observed; however, only the RHI showed a correlation between the health grades and the species and functional group richness of fish at the scale of sites, and with the species and functional group richness and Shannon diversity of the fish assemblages at the scale of zones. None of the health indices were related to the metrics analyzed for the coral diversity. In general, our study suggests that the estimation of health indices should be complemented with classic community indices, or should at least include diversity indices of fish and corals, in order to improve the accuracy of the estimated health status of coral reefs in the western Caribbean Sea.

  19. ExpandED Options: Learning beyond High School Walls

    Science.gov (United States)

    ExpandED Schools, 2014

    2014-01-01

    Through ExpandED Options by TASC, New York City high school students get academic credit for learning career-related skills that lead to paid summer jobs. Too many high school students--including those most likely to drop out--are bored or see classroom learning as irrelevant. ExpandED Options students live the connection between mastering new…

  20. Understanding the Biological Roles of Pectins in Plants through Physiological and Functional Characterizations of Plant and Fungal Mutants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Stranne, Maria

    The plant cell wall is a dynamic structure and it is involved in regulating a number of physiological features of plants such as physical strength, growth, cell differentiation, intercellular communication, water movement and defense responses. Pectins constitute a major class of plant cell wall...... polysaccharides and consist of backbones rich in galacturonic acids, which are decorated with a range of functional groups including acetyl esters and arabinan sidechains. Although much effort has been made to uncover biological functions of pectins in plants and remarkable progresses have taken place, many...... aspects remain elusive. Studies described in this thesis aimed at gaining new insights into the biological roles of pectin acetylation and arabinosylation in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana. The thesis consists of four chapters: physiological characterization of cell wall mutants affected in cell...

  1. Discovering and validating biological hypotheses from coherent patterns in functional genomics data

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Joachimiak, Marcin Pawel

    2008-08-12

    The area of transcriptomics analysis is among the more established in computational biology, having evolved in both technology and experimental design. Transcriptomics has a strong impetus to develop sophisticated computational methods due to the large amounts of available whole-genome datasets for many species and because of powerful applications in regulatory network reconstruction as well as elucidation and modeling of cellular transcriptional responses. While gene expression microarray data can be noisy and comparisons across experiments challenging, there are a number of sophisticated methods that aid in arriving at statistically and biologically significant conclusions. As such, computational transcriptomics analysis can provide guidance for analysis of results from newer experimental technologies. More recently, search methods have been developed to identify modules of genes, which exhibit coherent expression patterns in only a subset of experimental conditions. The latest advances in these methods allow to integrate multiple data types anddatasets, both experimental and computational, within a single statistical framework accounting for data confidence and relevance to specific biological questions. Such frameworks provide a unified environment for the exploration of specific biological hypothesis and for the discovery of coherent data patterns along with the evidence supporting them.

  2. Functionalization and microfluidic integration of silicon nanowire biologically gated field effect transistors

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pfreundt, Andrea

    This thesis deals with the development of a novel biosensor for the detection of biomolecules based on a silicon nanowire biologically gated field-effect transistor and its integration into a point-of-care device. The sensor and electrical on-chip integration was developed in a different project...

  3. Functionalization and microfluidic integration of silicon nanowire biologically gated field effect transistors

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pfreundt, Andrea; Svendsen, Winnie Edith; Dimaki, Maria

    2016-01-01

    This thesis deals with the development of a novel biosensor for the detection of biomolecules based on a silicon nanowire biologically gated field-effect transistor and its integration into a point-of-care device. The sensor and electrical on-chip integration was developed in a different project...

  4. Systems Biology-Derived Biomarkers to Predict Progression of Renal Function Decline in Type 2 Diabetes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mayer, Gert; Heerspink, Hiddo J. L.; Aschauer, Constantin; Heinzel, Andreas; Heinze, Georg; Kainz, Alexander; Sunzenauer, Judith; Perco, Paul; de Zeeuw, Dick; Rossing, Peter; Pena, Michelle; Oberbauer, Rainer

    OBJECTIVE: Chronic kidney disease (CKD) in diabetes has a complex molecular and likely multifaceted pathophysiology. We aimed to validate a panel of biomarkers identified using a systems biology approach to predict the individual decline of estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) in a large

  5. Surface functionalization of bioactive glasses with natural molecules of biological significance, Part I: Gallic acid as model molecule

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Xin; Ferraris, Sara; Prenesti, Enrico; Verné, Enrica

    2013-12-01

    Gallic acid (3,4,5-trihydroxybenzoic acid, GA) and its derivatives are a group of biomolecules (polyphenols) obtained from plants. They have effects which are potentially beneficial to heath, for example they are antioxidant, anticarcinogenic and antibacterial, as recently investigated in many fields such as medicine, food and plant sciences. The main drawbacks of these molecules are both low stability and bioavailability. In this research work the opportunity to graft GA to bioactive glasses is investigated, in order to deliver the undamaged biological molecule into the body, using the biomaterial surfaces as a localized carrier. GA was considered for functionalization since it is a good model molecule for polyphenols and presents several interesting biological activities, like antibacterial, antioxidant and anticarcinogenic properties. Two different silica based bioactive glasses (SCNA and CEL2), with different reactivity, were employed as substrates. UV photometry combined with the Folin&Ciocalteu reagent was adopted to test the concentration of GA in uptake solution after functionalization. This test verified how much GA consumption occurred with surface modification and it was also used on solid samples to test the presence of GA on functionalized glasses. XPS and SEM-EDS techniques were employed to characterize the modification of material surface properties and functional group composition before and after functionalization.

  6. Bayesian uncertainty analysis for complex systems biology models: emulation, global parameter searches and evaluation of gene functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vernon, Ian; Liu, Junli; Goldstein, Michael; Rowe, James; Topping, Jen; Lindsey, Keith

    2018-01-02

    Many mathematical models have now been employed across every area of systems biology. These models increasingly involve large numbers of unknown parameters, have complex structure which can result in substantial evaluation time relative to the needs of the analysis, and need to be compared to observed data of various forms. The correct analysis of such models usually requires a global parameter search, over a high dimensional parameter space, that incorporates and respects the most important sources of uncertainty. This can be an extremely difficult task, but it is essential for any meaningful inference or prediction to be made about any biological system. It hence represents a fundamental challenge for the whole of systems biology. Bayesian statistical methodology for the uncertainty analysis of complex models is introduced, which is designed to address the high dimensional global parameter search problem. Bayesian emulators that mimic the systems biology model but which are extremely fast to evaluate are embeded within an iterative history match: an efficient method to search high dimensional spaces within a more formal statistical setting, while incorporating major sources of uncertainty. The approach is demonstrated via application to a model of hormonal crosstalk in Arabidopsis root development, which has 32 rate parameters, for which we identify the sets of rate parameter values that lead to acceptable matches between model output and observed trend data. The multiple insights into the model's structure that this analysis provides are discussed. The methodology is applied to a second related model, and the biological consequences of the resulting comparison, including the evaluation of gene functions, are described. Bayesian uncertainty analysis for complex models using both emulators and history matching is shown to be a powerful technique that can greatly aid the study of a large class of systems biology models. It both provides insight into model behaviour

  7. Mechanical and biological properties of the micro-/nano-grain functionally graded hydroxyapatite bioceramics for bone tissue engineering.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Changchun; Deng, Congying; Chen, Xuening; Zhao, Xiufen; Chen, Ying; Fan, Yujiang; Zhang, Xingdong

    2015-08-01

    Functionally graded materials (FGM) open the promising approach for bone tissue repair. In this study, a novel functionally graded hydroxyapatite (HA) bioceramic with micrograin and nanograin structure was fabricated. Its mechanical properties were tailored by composition of micrograin and nanograin. The dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA) indicated that the graded HA ceramics had similar mechanical property compared to natural bones. Their cytocompatibility was evaluated via fluorescent microscopy and MTT colorimetric assay. The viability and proliferation of rabbit bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (BMSCs) on ceramics indicated that this functionally graded HA ceramic had better cytocompatibility than conventional HA ceramic. This study demonstrated that functionally graded HA ceramics create suitable structures to satisfy both the mechanical and biological requirements of bone tissues. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Grazing incidence beam expander

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Akkapeddi, P.R.; Glenn, P.; Fuschetto, A.; Appert, Q.; Viswanathan, V.K.

    1985-01-01

    A Grazing Incidence Beam Expander (GIBE) telescope is being designed and fabricated to be used as an equivalent end mirror in a long laser resonator cavity. The design requirements for this GIBE flow down from a generic Free Electron Laser (FEL) resonator. The nature of the FEL gain volume (a thin, pencil-like, on-axis region) dictates that the output beam be very small. Such a thin beam with the high power levels characteristic of FELs would have to travel perhaps hundreds of meters or more before expanding enough to allow reflection from cooled mirrors. A GIBE, on the other hand, would allow placing these optics closer to the gain region and thus reduces the cavity lengths substantially. Results are presented relating to optical and mechanical design, alignment sensitivity analysis, radius of curvature analysis, laser cavity stability analysis of a linear stable concentric laser cavity with a GIBE. Fabrication details of the GIBE are also given.

  9. Enhancing microbial production of biofuels by expanding microbial metabolic pathways.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Ping; Chen, Xingge; Li, Peng

    2017-09-01

    Fatty acid, isoprenoid, and alcohol pathways have been successfully engineered to produce biofuels. By introducing three genes, atfA, adhE, and pdc, into Escherichia coli to expand fatty acid pathway, up to 1.28 g/L of fatty acid ethyl esters can be achieved. The isoprenoid pathway can be expanded to produce bisabolene with a high titer of 900 mg/L in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Short- and long-chain alcohols can also be effectively biosynthesized by extending the carbon chain of ketoacids with an engineered "+1" alcohol pathway. Thus, it can be concluded that expanding microbial metabolic pathways has enormous potential for enhancing microbial production of biofuels for future industrial applications. However, some major challenges for microbial production of biofuels should be overcome to compete with traditional fossil fuels: lowering production costs, reducing the time required to construct genetic elements and to increase their predictability and reliability, and creating reusable parts with useful and predictable behavior. To address these challenges, several aspects should be further considered in future: mining and transformation of genetic elements related to metabolic pathways, assembling biofuel elements and coordinating their functions, enhancing the tolerance of host cells to biofuels, and creating modular subpathways that can be easily interconnected. © 2016 International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

  10. Expanding the HAWC Observatory

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mori, Johanna [Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)

    2016-08-17

    The High Altitude Water Cherenkov Gamma-Ray Observatory is expanding its current array of 300 water tanks to include 350 outrigger tanks to increase sensitivity to gamma rays above 10 TeV. This involves creating and testing hardware with which to build the new tanks, including photomultiplier tubes, high voltage supply units, and flash analog to digital converters. My responsibilities this summer included preparing, testing and calibrating that equipment.

  11. Expanding the genetic heterogeneity of intellectual disability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anazi, Shams; Maddirevula, Sateesh; Salpietro, Vincenzo; Asi, Yasmine T; Alsahli, Saud; Alhashem, Amal; Shamseldin, Hanan E; AlZahrani, Fatema; Patel, Nisha; Ibrahim, Niema; Abdulwahab, Firdous M; Hashem, Mais; Alhashmi, Nadia; Al Murshedi, Fathiya; Al Kindy, Adila; Alshaer, Ahmad; Rumayyan, Ahmed; Al Tala, Saeed; Kurdi, Wesam; Alsaman, Abdulaziz; Alasmari, Ali; Banu, Selina; Sultan, Tipu; Saleh, Mohammed M; Alkuraya, Hisham; Salih, Mustafa A; Aldhalaan, Hesham; Ben-Omran, Tawfeg; Al Musafri, Fatima; Ali, Rehab; Suleiman, Jehan; Tabarki, Brahim; El-Hattab, Ayman W; Bupp, Caleb; Alfadhel, Majid; Al Tassan, Nada; Monies, Dorota; Arold, Stefan T; Abouelhoda, Mohamed; Lashley, Tammaryn; Houlden, Henry; Faqeih, Eissa; Alkuraya, Fowzan S

    2017-11-01

    Intellectual disability (ID) is a common morbid condition with a wide range of etiologies. The list of monogenic forms of ID has increased rapidly in recent years thanks to the implementation of genomic sequencing techniques. In this study, we describe the phenotypic and genetic findings of 68 families (105 patients) all with novel ID-related variants. In addition to established ID genes, including ones for which we describe unusual mutational mechanism, some of these variants represent the first confirmatory disease-gene links following previous reports (TRAK1, GTF3C3, SPTBN4 and NKX6-2), some of which were based on single families. Furthermore, we describe novel variants in 14 genes that we propose as novel candidates (ANKHD1, ASTN2, ATP13A1, FMO4, MADD, MFSD11, NCKAP1, NFASC, PCDHGA10, PPP1R21, SLC12A2, SLK, STK32C and ZFAT). We highlight MADD and PCDHGA10 as particularly compelling candidates in which we identified biallelic likely deleterious variants in two independent ID families each. We also highlight NCKAP1 as another compelling candidate in a large family with autosomal dominant mild intellectual disability that fully segregates with a heterozygous truncating variant. The candidacy of NCKAP1 is further supported by its biological function, and our demonstration of relevant expression in human brain. Our study expands the locus and allelic heterogeneity of ID and demonstrates the power of positional mapping to reveal unusual mutational mechanisms.

  12. Expanding the genetic heterogeneity of intellectual disability

    KAUST Repository

    Anazi, Shams

    2017-09-22

    Intellectual disability (ID) is a common morbid condition with a wide range of etiologies. The list of monogenic forms of ID has increased rapidly in recent years thanks to the implementation of genomic sequencing techniques. In this study, we describe the phenotypic and genetic findings of 68 families (105 patients) all with novel ID-related variants. In addition to established ID genes, including ones for which we describe unusual mutational mechanism, some of these variants represent the first confirmatory disease-gene links following previous reports (TRAK1, GTF3C3, SPTBN4 and NKX6-2), some of which were based on single families. Furthermore, we describe novel variants in 14 genes that we propose as novel candidates (ANKHD1, ASTN2, ATP13A1, FMO4, MADD, MFSD11, NCKAP1, NFASC, PCDHGA10, PPP1R21, SLC12A2, SLK, STK32C and ZFAT). We highlight MADD and PCDHGA10 as particularly compelling candidates in which we identified biallelic likely deleterious variants in two independent ID families each. We also highlight NCKAP1 as another compelling candidate in a large family with autosomal dominant mild intellectual disability that fully segregates with a heterozygous truncating variant. The candidacy of NCKAP1 is further supported by its biological function, and our demonstration of relevant expression in human brain. Our study expands the locus and allelic heterogeneity of ID and demonstrates the power of positional mapping to reveal unusual mutational mechanisms.

  13. Expanding the genetic heterogeneity of intellectual disability

    KAUST Repository

    Anazi, Shams; Maddirevula, Sateesh; Salpietro, Vincenzo; Asi, Yasmine T.; Alsahli, Saud; Alhashem, Amal; Shamseldin, Hanan E.; AlZahrani, Fatema; Patel, Nisha; Ibrahim, Niema; Abdulwahab, Firdous M.; Hashem, Mais; Alhashmi, Nadia; Al Murshedi, Fathiya; Al Kindy, Adila; Alshaer, Ahmad; Rumayyan, Ahmed; Al Tala, Saeed; Kurdi, Wesam; Alsaman, Abdulaziz; Alasmari, Ali; Banu, Selina; Sultan, Tipu; Saleh, Mohammed M.; Alkuraya, Hisham; Salih, Mustafa A.; Aldhalaan, Hesham; Ben-Omran, Tawfeg; Al Musafri, Fatima; Ali, Rehab; Suleiman, Jehan; Tabarki, Brahim; El-Hattab, Ayman W.; Bupp, Caleb; Alfadhel, Majid; Al Tassan, Nada; Monies, Dorota; Arold, Stefan T.; Abouelhoda, Mohamed; Lashley, Tammaryn; Houlden, Henry; Faqeih, Eissa; Alkuraya, Fowzan S.

    2017-01-01

    Intellectual disability (ID) is a common morbid condition with a wide range of etiologies. The list of monogenic forms of ID has increased rapidly in recent years thanks to the implementation of genomic sequencing techniques. In this study, we describe the phenotypic and genetic findings of 68 families (105 patients) all with novel ID-related variants. In addition to established ID genes, including ones for which we describe unusual mutational mechanism, some of these variants represent the first confirmatory disease-gene links following previous reports (TRAK1, GTF3C3, SPTBN4 and NKX6-2), some of which were based on single families. Furthermore, we describe novel variants in 14 genes that we propose as novel candidates (ANKHD1, ASTN2, ATP13A1, FMO4, MADD, MFSD11, NCKAP1, NFASC, PCDHGA10, PPP1R21, SLC12A2, SLK, STK32C and ZFAT). We highlight MADD and PCDHGA10 as particularly compelling candidates in which we identified biallelic likely deleterious variants in two independent ID families each. We also highlight NCKAP1 as another compelling candidate in a large family with autosomal dominant mild intellectual disability that fully segregates with a heterozygous truncating variant. The candidacy of NCKAP1 is further supported by its biological function, and our demonstration of relevant expression in human brain. Our study expands the locus and allelic heterogeneity of ID and demonstrates the power of positional mapping to reveal unusual mutational mechanisms.

  14. First order phase transition of expanding matter and its fragmentation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chikazumi, Shinpei; Iwamoto, Akira

    2002-01-01

    Using an expanding matter model with a Lennard-Jones potential, the instability of the expanding system is investigated. The pressure, the temperature, and the density fluctuations are calculated as functions of density during the time evolution of the expanding matter, which are compared to the coexistence curve calculated by the Gibbs ensemble. The expanding matter undergoes the first order phase transition in the limit of the quasistatic expansion. The resultant fragment mass distributions are also investigated. (author)

  15. Thyroid Autoimmunity and Function after Treatment with Biological Antirheumatic Agents in Rheumatoid Arthritis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bliddal, Sofie; Borresen, Stina Willemoes; Feldt-Rasmussen, Ulla

    2017-01-01

    With the increased pro-inflammatory response in both rheumatoid arthritis and thyroid autoimmune diseases, treatment with biological antirheumatic agents (BAAs) of the former may affect the course of the latter. In hepatitis C and cancer patients, treatment with biological agents substantially...... increases the risk of developing thyroid autoimmunity. As the use of BAAs in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis is increasing, this review aimed to investigate if such use affected thyroid status in rheumatoid arthritis patients. We conducted a systematic literature search and included six studies...... status: a reduction of thyroid peroxidase and thyroglobulin antibody concentrations, and a reduction of thyrotropin levels in hypothyroid patients. Despite the small number of studies, they presented compliant data. The BAAs used in rheumatoid arthritis thus did not seem to negatively affect thyroid...

  16. Recent Progress in Synthesis and Functionalization of Multimodal Fluorescent-Magnetic Nanoparticles for Biological Applications

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Raquel Serrano García

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available There is a great interest in the development of new nanomaterials for multimodal imaging applications in biology and medicine. Multimodal fluorescent-magnetic based nanomaterials deserve particular attention as they can be used as diagnostic and drug delivery tools, which could facilitate the diagnosis and treatment of cancer and many other diseases. This review focuses on the recent developments of magnetic-fluorescent nanocomposites and their biomedical applications. The recent advances in synthetic strategies and approaches for the preparation of fluorescent-magnetic nanocomposites are presented. The main biomedical uses of multimodal fluorescent-magnetic nanomaterials, including biological imaging, cancer therapy and drug delivery, are discussed, and prospects of this field are outlined.

  17. Associations between functional polymorphisms and response to biological treatment in Danish patients with psoriasis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Loft, N D; Skov, L; Iversen, L.

    2018-01-01

    Biological agents including anti-tumor necrosis factor (anti-TNF; adalimumab, infliximab, etanercept) and anti-interleukin-12/13 (IL12/23; ustekinumab) are essential for treatment of patients with severe psoriasis. However, a significant proportion of the patients do not respond to a specific tre...... with ustekinumab.The Pharmacogenomics Journal advance online publication, 11 July 2017; doi:10.1038/tpj.2017.31....

  18. Bio-templated CdSe quantum dots green synthesis in the functional protein, lysozyme, and biological activity investigation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wang, Qisui; Li, Song; Liu, Peng; Min, Xinmin

    2012-01-01

    Bifunctional fluorescence (CdSe Quantum Dots) – protein (Lysozyme) nanocomposites were synthesized at room temperature by a protein-directed, solution-phase, green-synthetic method. Fluorescence (FL) and absorption spectra showed that CdSe QDs were prepared successfully with Lyz. The average particle size and crystalline structure of QDs were investigated by high-resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM) and X-ray diffraction (XRD), respectively. With attenuated total reflection-fourier transform infrared (ATR-FTIR) spectra and thermogravimetric (TG) analysis, it was confirmed that there is interaction between QDs and amide I, amide II groups in Lyz. FL polarization was measured and FL imaging was done to monitor whether QDs could be responsible for possible changes in the conformation and activity of Lyz. Interestingly, the results showed Lyz still retain the biological activity after formation of QDs, but the secondary structure of the Lyz was changed. And the advantage of this synthesis method is producing excellent fluorescent QDs with specifically biological function. -- Highlights: ► Lysozyme-directed green synthesis of CdSe quantum dots. ► Lysozyme still retain the biological activity after formation of CdSe. ► The method is the production of fluorescent QDs with highly specific and functions.

  19. A comparison of self-assembly and hydrogel encapsulation as a means to engineer functional cartilaginous grafts using culture expanded chondrocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mesallati, Tariq; Buckley, Conor T; Kelly, Daniel J

    2014-01-01

    Despite an increased interest in the use of hydrogel encapsulation and cellular self-assembly (often termed "self-aggregating" or "scaffold-free" approaches) for tissue-engineering applications, to the best of our knowledge, no study to date has been undertaken to directly compare both approaches for generating functional cartilaginous grafts. The objective of this study was to directly compare self-assembly (SA) and agarose hydrogel encapsulation (AE) as a means to engineer such grafts using passaged chondrocytes. Agarose hydrogels (5 mm diameter × 1.5 mm thick) were seeded with chondrocytes at two cell seeding densities (900,000 cells or 4 million cells in total per hydrogel), while SA constructs were generated by adding the same number of cells to custom-made molds. Constructs were either supplemented with transforming growth factor (TGF)-β3 for 6 weeks, or only supplemented with TGF-β3 for the first 2 weeks of the 6 week culture period. The SA method was only capable of generating geometrically uniform cartilaginous tissues at high seeding densities (4 million cells). At these high seeding densities, we observed that total sulphated glycosaminoglycan (sGAG) and collagen synthesis was greater with AE than SA, with higher sGAG retention also observed in AE constructs. When normalized to wet weight, however, SA constructs exhibited significantly higher levels of collagen accumulation compared with agarose hydrogels. Furthermore, it was possible to engineer such functionality into these tissues in a shorter timeframe using the SA approach compared with AE. Therefore, while large numbers of chondrocytes are required to engineer cartilaginous grafts using the SA approach, it would appear to lead to the faster generation of a more hyaline-like tissue, with a tissue architecture and a ratio of collagen to sGAG content more closely resembling native articular cartilage.

  20. From transcriptome to biological function: environmental stress in an ectothermic vertebrate, the coral reef fish Pomacentrus moluccensis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ward Alister C

    2007-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Our understanding of the importance of transcriptional regulation for biological function is continuously improving. We still know, however, comparatively little about how environmentally induced stress affects gene expression in vertebrates, and the consistency of transcriptional stress responses to different types of environmental stress. In this study, we used a multi-stressor approach to identify components of a common stress response as well as components unique to different types of environmental stress. We exposed individuals of the coral reef fish Pomacentrus moluccensis to hypoxic, hyposmotic, cold and heat shock and measured the responses of approximately 16,000 genes in liver. We also compared winter and summer responses to heat shock to examine the capacity for such responses to vary with acclimation to different ambient temperatures. Results We identified a series of gene functions that were involved in all stress responses examined here, suggesting some common effects of stress on biological function. These common responses were achieved by the regulation of largely independent sets of genes; the responses of individual genes varied greatly across different stress types. In response to heat exposure over five days, a total of 324 gene loci were differentially expressed. Many heat-responsive genes had functions associated with protein turnover, metabolism, and the response to oxidative stress. We were also able to identify groups of co-regulated genes, the genes within which shared similar functions. Conclusion This is the first environmental genomic study to measure gene regulation in response to different environmental stressors in a natural population of a warm-adapted ectothermic vertebrate. We have shown that different types of environmental stress induce expression changes in genes with similar gene functions, but that the responses of individual genes vary between stress types. The functions of heat

  1. Self-assembly and stability of double rosette nanostructures with biological functionalities

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    ten Cate, M.G.J.; Omerovic, Merdan; Oshovsky, G.; Crego Calama, Mercedes; Reinhoudt, David

    2005-01-01

    The syntheses of calix[4]arene dimelamines that are functionalized with alkyl, aminoalkyl, ureido, pyridyl, carbohydrate, amino acid and peptide functionalities, and their self-assembly with barbituric acid or cyanuric acid derivatives into well-defined hydrogen-bonded nanostructures are described.

  2. Novel function of polyaniline for biological environments: Cultivation of paramecium in the presence of polyaniline

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goto, Hiromasa

    2014-03-01

    The reduced form of polyaniline (PANI, emeraldine base) functions as water purification to extend the lives of paramecia. The emeraldine base can absorb discharged waste from the planktons such as nitrogenous compounds and salts. This is a new function of π-conjugated polymers for micro-organisms.

  3. Novel function of polyaniline for biological environments: Cultivation of paramecium in the presence of polyaniline

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Goto, Hiromasa

    2014-01-01

    The reduced form of polyaniline (PANI, emeraldine base) functions as water purification to extend the lives of paramecia. The emeraldine base can absorb discharged waste from the planktons such as nitrogenous compounds and salts. This is a new function of π-conjugated polymers for micro-organisms

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    HUANG; Yiding; (

    2001-01-01

    [1]Straus, D. S., Growth-stimulatory of insulin in vitro and in vivo, Endocr. Rev., 1984, 5(2): 356-369.[2]Svenningsen, A. F., Kanje, M., Insulin and the insulin-like growth factors I and II are mitogenic to cultured rat sciatic nerve segments and stimulate [3H] thuymidine incorporation through their respective receptors, Glia, 1996, 18(1): 68-72.[3]Ogihara, S., Yamada, M., Saito, T. et al., Insulin potentiates mitogenic effect of epidermal growth factor on cultured guinea pig gastric mucous cells, Am. J. Physiol., 1996, 271(1 Pt 1): G104-121.[4]Steiner, D. F., Oyer, P. E., The biosynthesis of insulin and a probable precursor of insulin by a human islet cell adenoma, Proc. Nalt. Acad. Sci. USA, 1967, 57(2): 473-480.[5]King, G. L., Kahn, C. R., The growth-promoting effects of insulin, in Growth and Maturation Factors(ed. Guroff, G.), New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1984, 223-265.[6]Peavy, D. E., Brunner, M. R., Duckworth, W. C. et al., Receptor binding and biological potency of several split forms (conversion intermediates) of human proinsulin, Studies in cultured IM-9 lymphocytes and in vivo and in vitro in rats, J. Biol. Chem., 1985, 260: 13989-13994.[7]Derewenda, U., Derewenda, Z., Dodson, E. J. et al., X-ray analysis of the single chain B29-A1 peptide-linked insulin molecule. A completely inactive analogue, J. Mol. Biol., 1991, 220: 425-433.[8]Hua, Q. X., Shoelson, S. E., Kochoyan, M. et al., Receptor binding redefined by a structural switch in a mutant human insulin, Nature, 1991, 354: 238-241.[9]Hua, Q. X., Gozani, S. N., Chance, R. E. et al., Structure of a protein in a kinetic trap, Nat. Struc. Boil, 1995, 2: 129-138.[10]Kristensen, C., Andersen, A. S., Hach, M., A single-chain insulin-like growth factor I/insulin hybrid binds with high affinity to the insulin receptor, Biochem. J., 1995, 305: 981-986.[11]Humbel, R. E., Insulin-like growth factors I and II, Euro. J. Biochem., 1990, 190: 445-462.[12]Cooke, R. M

  5. Myxoma virus protein M029 is a dual function immunomodulator that inhibits PKR and also conscripts RHA/DHX9 to promote expanded host tropism and viral replication.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Masmudur M Rahman

    Full Text Available Myxoma virus (MYXV-encoded protein M029 is a member of the poxvirus E3 family of dsRNA-binding proteins that antagonize the cellular interferon signaling pathways. In order to investigate additional functions of M029, we have constructed a series of targeted M029-minus (vMyx-M029KO and vMyx-M029ID and V5-tagged M029 MYXV. We found that M029 plays a pivotal role in determining the cellular tropism of MYXV in all mammalian cells tested. The M029-minus viruses were able to replicate only in engineered cell lines that stably express a complementing protein, such as vaccinia E3, but underwent abortive or abated infection in all other tested mammalian cell lines. The M029-minus viruses were dramatically attenuated in susceptible host European rabbits and caused no observable signs of myxomatosis. Using V5-tagged M029 virus, we observed that M029 expressed as an early viral protein is localized in both the nuclear and cytosolic compartments in virus-infected cells, and is also incorporated into virions. Using proteomic approaches, we have identified Protein Kinase R (PKR and RNA helicase A (RHA/DHX9 as two cellular binding partners of M029 protein. In virus-infected cells, M029 interacts with PKR in a dsRNA-dependent manner, while binding with DHX9 was not dependent on dsRNA. Significantly, PKR knockdown in human cells rescued the replication defect of the M029-knockout viruses. Unexpectedly, this rescue of M029-minus virus replication by PKR depletion could then be reversed by RHA/DHX9 knockdown in human monocytic THP1 cells. This indicates that M029 not only inhibits generic PKR anti-viral pathways, but also binds and conscripts RHA/DHX9 as a pro-viral effector to promote virus replication in THP1 cells. Thus, M029 is a critical host range and virulence factor for MYXV that is required for replication in all mammalian cells by antagonizing PKR-mediated anti-viral functions, and also conscripts pro-viral RHA/DHX9 to promote viral replication

  6. Myxoma Virus Protein M029 Is a Dual Function Immunomodulator that Inhibits PKR and Also Conscripts RHA/DHX9 to Promote Expanded Host Tropism and Viral Replication

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rahman, Masmudur M.; Liu, Jia; Chan, Winnie M.; Rothenburg, Stefan; McFadden, Grant

    2013-01-01

    Myxoma virus (MYXV)-encoded protein M029 is a member of the poxvirus E3 family of dsRNA-binding proteins that antagonize the cellular interferon signaling pathways. In order to investigate additional functions of M029, we have constructed a series of targeted M029-minus (vMyx-M029KO and vMyx-M029ID) and V5-tagged M029 MYXV. We found that M029 plays a pivotal role in determining the cellular tropism of MYXV in all mammalian cells tested. The M029-minus viruses were able to replicate only in engineered cell lines that stably express a complementing protein, such as vaccinia E3, but underwent abortive or abated infection in all other tested mammalian cell lines. The M029-minus viruses were dramatically attenuated in susceptible host European rabbits and caused no observable signs of myxomatosis. Using V5-tagged M029 virus, we observed that M029 expressed as an early viral protein is localized in both the nuclear and cytosolic compartments in virus-infected cells, and is also incorporated into virions. Using proteomic approaches, we have identified Protein Kinase R (PKR) and RNA helicase A (RHA)/DHX9 as two cellular binding partners of M029 protein. In virus-infected cells, M029 interacts with PKR in a dsRNA-dependent manner, while binding with DHX9 was not dependent on dsRNA. Significantly, PKR knockdown in human cells rescued the replication defect of the M029-knockout viruses. Unexpectedly, this rescue of M029-minus virus replication by PKR depletion could then be reversed by RHA/DHX9 knockdown in human monocytic THP1 cells. This indicates that M029 not only inhibits generic PKR anti-viral pathways, but also binds and conscripts RHA/DHX9 as a pro-viral effector to promote virus replication in THP1 cells. Thus, M029 is a critical host range and virulence factor for MYXV that is required for replication in all mammalian cells by antagonizing PKR-mediated anti-viral functions, and also conscripts pro-viral RHA/DHX9 to promote viral replication specifically in myeloid

  7. Biological half-life of iodine in adults with intact thyroid function and in athyreotic persons

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kramer, G.H.; Hauck, B.M.; Chamberlain, M.J

    2002-07-01

    A joint project between the Human Monitoring Laboratory (HML) and the Ottawa Hospital has measured the retention of {sup 131}I in patients who have received the radioiodine diagnostically. Thirty-nine subjects with intact thyroid glands and nine athyreotic subjects were measured in the HML's whole-body/thyroid counter to determine the retention of {sup 131}I following its medical administration. The average biological half-life of {sup 131}I in 26 euthyroid subjects was found to be 66.1{+-}6.3 days which may be statistically significantly lower than the ICRP recommended value of 80 days. Nine hyperthyroid patients had a mean biological half-life of 38.2{+-}8.6 days and in three hypothyroid patients the corresponding value was 29.3{+-}8.8 days. Thyroid {sup 131}I uptake was measured in a conventional clinical fashion at the Ottawa Hospital Civic campus 24 h after oral administration of the radioiodine using a collimated thick sodium iodide detector placed over the neck arteriorly. Measured values were 0.144{+-}0.009, 0.314{+-}0.035 and 0.045{+-}0.010 of the administered dose in euthyroid, hyperthyroid and hypothyroid patients respectively. The euthyroid range at the hospital is 0.06-0.22. Uptake was significantly lower for the euthyroid group than the ICRP value of 0.3. The radioiodine retention in athyreotic subjects followed a two compartment model with biological half-lives of 1.0{+-}0.2 days and 18.4{+-}1.1. days. (author)

  8. Wearable functional Near Infrared Spectroscopy (fNIRS and transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS: Expanding Vistas for Neurocognitive Augmentation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ryan eMcKendrick

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Contemporary studies with transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS provide a growing base of evidence for enhancing cognition through the non-invasive delivery of weak electric currents to the brain. The main effect of tDCS is to modulate cortical excitability depending on the polarity of the applied current. However, the underlying mechanism of neuromodulation is not well understood. A new generation of functional near infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS systems is described that are miniaturized, portable, and include wearable sensors. These developments provide an opportunity to couple fNIRS with tDCS, consistent with a neuroergonomics approach for joint neuroimaging and neurostimulation investigations of cognition in complex tasks and in naturalistic conditions. The effects of tDCS on complex task performance and the use of fNIRS for monitoring cognitive workload during task performance are described. Also explained is how fNIRS + tDCS can be used simultaneously for assessing spatial working memory. Mobile optical brain imaging is a promising neuroimaging tool that has the potential to complement tDCS for realistic applications in natural settings.

  9. Biological aspects and life table of Uroleucon ambrosiae (Thomas, 1878) as a function of temperature

    OpenAIRE

    Auad Alexander Machado; Moraes Jair Campos de

    2003-01-01

    The aphid Uroleucon ambrosiae (Thomas) is considered a pest of hidroponically-grown lettuce, but basic and applied information on its control are scarce in Brazil. The aim of this study was to determine the effect of different temperatures on biological aspects and life history of U. ambrosiae (Thomas) developing on hydroponic lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.) crop. Newly emerged nymphs were placed on 4-cm discs of hydroponic lettuce, var. Verônica, which were maintained on 5-cm Petri dishes, at te...

  10. Associations between functional polymorphisms and response to biological treatment in Danish patients with psoriasis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Loft, N D; Skov, L; Iversen, L

    2017-01-01

    Biological agents including anti-tumor necrosis factor (anti-TNF; adalimumab, infliximab, etanercept) and anti-interleukin-12/13 (IL12/23; ustekinumab) are essential for treatment of patients with severe psoriasis. However, a significant proportion of the patients do not respond to a specific...... of ustekinumab treatment. Associations between genetic variants and treatment outcomes (drug survival and Psoriasis Area Severity Index reduction) were assessed using logistic regression analyses (crude and adjusted for gender, age, psoriatic arthritis and previous treatment). After correction for multiple...

  11. Associations between functional polymorphisms and response to biological treatment in Danish patients with psoriasis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Loft, N D; Skov, L; Iversen, L

    2017-01-01

    Biological agents including anti-tumor necrosis factor (anti-TNF; adalimumab, infliximab, etanercept) and anti-interleukin-12/13 (IL12/23; ustekinumab) are essential for treatment of patients with severe psoriasis. However, a significant proportion of the patients do not respond to a specific tre...... with ustekinumab.The Pharmacogenomics Journal advance online publication, 11 July 2017; doi:10.1038/tpj.2017.31....... with response to ustekinumab treatment (qhigh interferon-γ levels may be favorable when treating psoriasis...

  12. The expanding universe

    CERN Document Server

    Lew, Kristi

    2011-01-01

    People have always been fascinated with the stars above and the universe that contains them. Over the years, astronomers have developed numerous theories to explain how the universe began, how it works, and what its ultimate fate will be. But all of the scientists' questions are far from answered. The Expanding Universe goes beyond the creation of the universe to explain how scientists think the universe works, grows, and changes, including what great thinkers Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein had to say about its fate. Readers will also learn about how researchers are slowly shedding light on

  13. Expanding Your Horizon 2015

    CERN Multimedia

    Kaltenhauser, Kristin

    2015-01-01

    Expanding your horizons is a bi-annual “Science Day” for girls aged 11 to 14, held at the University of Geneva on 14 November. The girls had the opportunity to take part in hands-on workshops held by local professional women in the field of science, mathematics, engineering and technology. For the fourth time, CERN was part of this event, offering three workshops as well as a booth at the Discovery Fair, including Higgnite, an interactive visualization of the Higgs Field.

  14. Enabling Web-Based GIS Tools for Internet and Mobile Devices To Improve and Expand NASA Data Accessibility and Analysis Functionality for the Renewable Energy and Agricultural Applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ross, A.; Stackhouse, P. W.; Tisdale, B.; Tisdale, M.; Chandler, W.; Hoell, J. M., Jr.; Kusterer, J.

    2014-12-01

    The NASA Langley Research Center Science Directorate and Atmospheric Science Data Center have initiated a pilot program to utilize Geographic Information System (GIS) tools that enable, generate and store climatological averages using spatial queries and calculations in a spatial database resulting in greater accessibility of data for government agencies, industry and private sector individuals. The major objectives of this effort include the 1) Processing and reformulation of current data to be consistent with ESRI and openGIS tools, 2) Develop functions to improve capability and analysis that produce "on-the-fly" data products, extending these past the single location to regional and global scales. 3) Update the current web sites to enable both web-based and mobile application displays for optimization on mobile platforms, 4) Interact with user communities in government and industry to test formats and usage of optimization, and 5) develop a series of metrics that allow for monitoring of progressive performance. Significant project results will include the the development of Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) compliant web services (WMS, WCS, WFS, WPS) that serve renewable energy and agricultural application products to users using GIS software and tools. Each data product and OGC service will be registered within ECHO, the Common Metadata Repository, the Geospatial Platform, and Data.gov to ensure the data are easily discoverable and provide data users with enhanced access to SSE data, parameters, services, and applications. This effort supports cross agency, cross organization, and interoperability of SSE data products and services by collaborating with DOI, NRCan, NREL, NCAR, and HOMER for requirements vetting and test bed users before making available to the wider public.

  15. Biological functioning of PAH-polluted and thermal desorption-treated soils assessed by fauna and microbial bioindicators.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cébron, Aurélie; Cortet, Jérôme; Criquet, Stéven; Biaz, Asmaa; Calvert, Virgile; Caupert, Cécile; Pernin, Céline; Leyval, Corinne

    2011-11-01

    A large number of soil bioindicators were used to assess biological diversity and activity in soil polluted with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and the same soil after thermal desorption (TD) treatment. Abundance and biodiversity of bacteria, fungi, protozoa, nematodes and microarthropods, as well as functional parameters such as enzymatic activities and soil respiration, were assessed during a two year period of in situ monitoring. We investigated the influence of vegetation (spontaneous vegetation and Medicago sativa) and TD treatment on biological functioning. Multivariate analysis was performed to analyze the whole data set. A principal response curve (PRC) technique was used to evaluate the different treatments (various vegetation and contaminated vs. TD soil) contrasted with control (bare) soil over time. Our results indicated the value of using a number of complementary bioindicators, describing both diversity and functions, to assess the influence of vegetation on soil and discriminate polluted from thermal desorption (TD)-treated soil. Plants had an influence on the abundance and activity of all organisms examined in our study, favoring the whole trophic chain development. However, although TD-treated soil had a high abundance and diversity of microorganisms and fauna, enzymatic activities were weak because of the strong physical and chemical modifications of this soil. Copyright © 2011 Institut Pasteur. Published by Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  16. Minimal information: an urgent need to assess the functional reliability of recombinant proteins used in biological experiments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    de Marco Ario

    2008-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Structural characterization of proteins used in biological experiments is largely neglected. In most publications, the information available is totally insufficient to judge the functionality of the proteins used and, therefore, the significance of identified protein-protein interactions (was the interaction specific or due to unspecific binding of misfolded protein regions? or reliability of kinetic and thermodynamic data (how much protein was in its native form?. As a consequence, the results of single experiments might not only become questionable, but the whole reliability of systems biology, built on these fundaments, would be weakened. The introduction of Minimal Information concerning purified proteins to add as metadata to the main body of a manuscript would render straightforward the assessment of their functional and structural qualities and, consequently, of results obtained using these proteins. Furthermore, accepted standards for protein annotation would simplify data comparison and exchange. This article has been envisaged as a proposal for aggregating scientists who share the opinion that the scientific community needs a platform for Minimum Information for Protein Functionality Evaluation (MIPFE.

  17. Functionalization of Self-Organized Nanoparticles for Biological Targeting and Active Drug Release

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jølck, Rasmus Irming

    Functional nanomaterials have attracted much attention due to the unique properties of these nanoconstructs. In recognition of the huge potential within this field, much research has been devoted to develop sophisticated nanoparticles for medical diagnostics, sensors, contrast agents, vaccines an...

  18. In silico determination of intracellular glycosylation and phosphorylation sites in human selectins: Implications for biological function

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ahmad, I.; Hoessli, D.C.; Gupta, Ramneek

    2007-01-01

    Post-translational modifications provide the proteins with the possibility to perform functions in addition to those determined by their primary sequence. However, analysis of multifunctional protein structures in the environment of cells and body fluids is made especially difficult by the presence...... both modifications are likely to occur can also be predicted (YinYang sites), to suggest further functional versatility. Structural modifications of hydroxyl groups of P-, E-, and L-selectins have been predicted and possible functions resulting from such modifications are proposed. Functional changes...... of the three selectins are based on the assumption that transitory and reversible protein modifications by phosphate and O-GlcNAc cause specific conformational changes and generate binding sites for other proteins. The computer-assisted prediction of glycosylation and phosphorylation sites in selectins should...

  19. Complexity of cancer protease biology: Cathepsin K expression and function in cancer progression

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Verbovšek, Urška; van Noorden, Cornelis J. F.; Lah, Tamara T.

    2015-01-01

    Proteases, including lysosomal cathepsins, are functionally involved in many processes in cancer progression from its initiation to invasion and metastatic spread. Only recently, cathepsin K (CatK), the cysteine protease originally reported as a collagenolytic protease produced by osteoclasts,

  20. Developments in the Tools and Methodologies of Synthetic Biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kelwick, Richard; MacDonald, James T.; Webb, Alexander J.; Freemont, Paul

    2014-01-01

    Synthetic biology is principally concerned with the rational design and engineering of biologically based parts, devices, or systems. However, biological systems are generally complex and unpredictable, and are therefore, intrinsically difficult to engineer. In order to address these fundamental challenges, synthetic biology is aiming to unify a “body of knowledge” from several foundational scientific fields, within the context of a set of engineering principles. This shift in perspective is enabling synthetic biologists to address complexity, such that robust biological systems can be designed, assembled, and tested as part of a biological design cycle. The design cycle takes a forward-design approach in which a biological system is specified, modeled, analyzed, assembled, and its functionality tested. At each stage of the design cycle, an expanding repertoire of tools is being developed. In this review, we highlight several of these tools in terms of their applications and benefits to the synthetic biology community. PMID:25505788

  1. Developments in the tools and methodologies of synthetic biology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Richard eKelwick

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Synthetic biology is principally concerned with the rational design and engineering of biologically based parts, devices or systems. However, biological systems are generally complex and unpredictable and are therefore intrinsically difficult to engineer. In order to address these fundamental challenges, synthetic biology is aiming to unify a ‘body of knowledge’ from several foundational scientific fields, within the context of a set of engineering principles. This shift in perspective is enabling synthetic biologists to address complexity, such that robust biological systems can be designed, assembled and tested as part of a biological design cycle. The design cycle takes a forward-design approach in which a biological system is specified, modeled, analyzed, assembled and its functionality tested. At each stage of the design cycle an expanding repertoire of tools is being developed. In this review we highlight several of these tools in terms of their applications and benefits to the synthetic biology community.

  2. Integration of genome-wide association studies with biological knowledge identifies six novel genes related to kidney function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chasman, Daniel I; Fuchsberger, Christian; Pattaro, Cristian; Teumer, Alexander; Böger, Carsten A; Endlich, Karlhans; Olden, Matthias; Chen, Ming-Huei; Tin, Adrienne; Taliun, Daniel; Li, Man; Gao, Xiaoyi; Gorski, Mathias; Yang, Qiong; Hundertmark, Claudia; Foster, Meredith C; O'Seaghdha, Conall M; Glazer, Nicole; Isaacs, Aaron; Liu, Ching-Ti; Smith, Albert V; O'Connell, Jeffrey R; Struchalin, Maksim; Tanaka, Toshiko; Li, Guo; Johnson, Andrew D; Gierman, Hinco J; Feitosa, Mary F; Hwang, Shih-Jen; Atkinson, Elizabeth J; Lohman, Kurt; Cornelis, Marilyn C; Johansson, Asa; Tönjes, Anke; Dehghan, Abbas; Lambert, Jean-Charles; Holliday, Elizabeth G; Sorice, Rossella; Kutalik, Zoltan; Lehtimäki, Terho; Esko, Tõnu; Deshmukh, Harshal; Ulivi, Sheila; Chu, Audrey Y; Murgia, Federico; Trompet, Stella; Imboden, Medea; Coassin, Stefan; Pistis, Giorgio; Harris, Tamara B; Launer, Lenore J; Aspelund, Thor; Eiriksdottir, Gudny; Mitchell, Braxton D; Boerwinkle, Eric; Schmidt, Helena; Cavalieri, Margherita; Rao, Madhumathi; Hu, Frank; Demirkan, Ayse; Oostra, Ben A; de Andrade, Mariza; Turner, Stephen T; Ding, Jingzhong; Andrews, Jeanette S; Freedman, Barry I; Giulianini, Franco; Koenig, Wolfgang; Illig, Thomas; Meisinger, Christa; Gieger, Christian; Zgaga, Lina; Zemunik, Tatijana; Boban, Mladen; Minelli, Cosetta; Wheeler, Heather E; Igl, Wilmar; Zaboli, Ghazal; Wild, Sarah H; Wright, Alan F; Campbell, Harry; Ellinghaus, David; Nöthlings, Ute; Jacobs, Gunnar; Biffar, Reiner; Ernst, Florian; Homuth, Georg; Kroemer, Heyo K; Nauck, Matthias; Stracke, Sylvia; Völker, Uwe; Völzke, Henry; Kovacs, Peter; Stumvoll, Michael; Mägi, Reedik; Hofman, Albert; Uitterlinden, Andre G; Rivadeneira, Fernando; Aulchenko, Yurii S; Polasek, Ozren; Hastie, Nick; Vitart, Veronique; Helmer, Catherine; Wang, Jie Jin; Stengel, Bénédicte; Ruggiero, Daniela; Bergmann, Sven; Kähönen, Mika; Viikari, Jorma; Nikopensius, Tiit; Province, Michael; Ketkar, Shamika; Colhoun, Helen; Doney, Alex; Robino, Antonietta; Krämer, Bernhard K; Portas, Laura; Ford, Ian; Buckley, Brendan M; Adam, Martin; Thun, Gian-Andri; Paulweber, Bernhard; Haun, Margot; Sala, Cinzia; Mitchell, Paul; Ciullo, Marina; Kim, Stuart K; Vollenweider, Peter; Raitakari, Olli; Metspalu, Andres; Palmer, Colin; Gasparini, Paolo; Pirastu, Mario; Jukema, J Wouter; Probst-Hensch, Nicole M; Kronenberg, Florian; Toniolo, Daniela; Gudnason, Vilmundur; Shuldiner, Alan R; Coresh, Josef; Schmidt, Reinhold; Ferrucci, Luigi; Siscovick, David S; van Duijn, Cornelia M; Borecki, Ingrid B; Kardia, Sharon L R; Liu, Yongmei; Curhan, Gary C; Rudan, Igor; Gyllensten, Ulf; Wilson, James F; Franke, Andre; Pramstaller, Peter P; Rettig, Rainer; Prokopenko, Inga; Witteman, Jacqueline; Hayward, Caroline; Ridker, Paul M; Parsa, Afshin; Bochud, Murielle; Heid, Iris M; Kao, W H Linda; Fox, Caroline S; Köttgen, Anna

    2012-12-15

    In conducting genome-wide association studies (GWAS), analytical approaches leveraging biological information may further understanding of the pathophysiology of clinical traits. To discover novel associations with estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR), a measure of kidney function, we developed a strategy for integrating prior biological knowledge into the existing GWAS data for eGFR from the CKDGen Consortium. Our strategy focuses on single nucleotide polymorphism (SNPs) in genes that are connected by functional evidence, determined by literature mining and gene ontology (GO) hierarchies, to genes near previously validated eGFR associations. It then requires association thresholds consistent with multiple testing, and finally evaluates novel candidates by independent replication. Among the samples of European ancestry, we identified a genome-wide significant SNP in FBXL20 (P = 5.6 × 10(-9)) in meta-analysis of all available data, and additional SNPs at the INHBC, LRP2, PLEKHA1, SLC3A2 and SLC7A6 genes meeting multiple-testing corrected significance for replication and overall P-values of 4.5 × 10(-4)-2.2 × 10(-7). Neither the novel PLEKHA1 nor FBXL20 associations, both further supported by association with eGFR among African Americans and with transcript abundance, would have been implicated by eGFR candidate gene approaches. LRP2, encoding the megalin receptor, was identified through connection with the previously known eGFR gene DAB2 and extends understanding of the megalin system in kidney function. These findings highlight integration of existing genome-wide association data with independent biological knowledge to uncover novel candidate eGFR associations, including candidates lacking known connections to kidney-specific pathways. The strategy may also be applicable to other clinical phenotypes, although more testing will be needed to assess its potential for discovery in general.

  3. A Tricky Trait: Applying the Fruits of the "Function Debate" in the Philosophy of Biology to the "Venom Debate" in the Science of Toxinology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jackson, Timothy N W; Fry, Bryan G

    2016-09-07

    The "function debate" in the philosophy of biology and the "venom debate" in the science of toxinology are conceptually related. Venom systems are complex multifunctional traits that have evolved independently numerous times throughout the animal kingdom. No single concept of function, amongst those popularly defended, appears adequate to describe these systems in all their evolutionary contexts and extant variations. As such, a pluralistic view of function, previously defended by some philosophers of biology, is most appropriate. Venom systems, like many other functional traits, exist in nature as points on a continuum and the boundaries between "venomous" and "non-venomous" species may not always be clearly defined. This paper includes a brief overview of the concept of function, followed by in-depth discussion of its application to venom systems. A sound understanding of function may aid in moving the venom debate forward. Similarly, consideration of a complex functional trait such as venom may be of interest to philosophers of biology.

  4. Bigelow Expandable Activity Module Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (BEAM) project is a NASA-industry partnership with Bigelow Aerospace (BA) that has developing the first human-rated expandable...

  5. Changes in number and function of the lymphocyte populations as a biological indicator for ionizing radiation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dehos, A.; Hinz, G.; Schwarz, E.R.

    1986-01-01

    Siegal and Siegal reported that the number of immunoglobulin producing cells, especially after higher doses of ionizing radiation on isolated mononuclear cells decreases considerably. However, if non-irradiated B cells are cultivated with irradiated (16 Gy) T cells, a significant increase of immunoglobulin production due to the non-irradiated B cells can be observed. Siegal and Siegal described a similar result when they combined and cultivated non-irradiated with irradiated mononuclear cells. The immunoglobulin producing cells decreased in a lower and increased in a higher dose range. The two results can be explained by the fact that Tg cells which act as suppressor cells are relatively sensitive to radiation while Tm cells which are helper cells in this test are relatively resistant. According to these results, B lymphocytes are the most sensitive of the lymphocyte subpopulations. The aim of the project is to clarify whether the mentioned effects are suitable for 'biological dosimetry'. (orig./MG)

  6. synthesis and characterization of some poly functionalized heterocyclic derivatives of expected biological activity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    El-sayed, M.S.

    2001-01-01

    The present work was aimed and designed to fulfil The following objectives : 1- Continuation of the effort done by our research group in the field of chemistry of pyridinethione derivatives and their biological activities. 2- Synthesis of several new heterocyclic derivatives containing N and/or S using the laboratory available reagents. 3- Establishment of the structures of the newly synthesized heterocyclic compounds by the data of IR, 1 H-NMR, mass spectra in addition to the elemental analysis. 4- Synthesis of some of these heterocyclic derivatives via alternative routs and this used as a tool to confirm the structures of the newly synthesized heterocyclic derivatives. 5- study of the most probable mechanisms leading to the formation of the new heterocyclic derivatives. 6- The antimicrobial activity of some of the newly synthesized heterocyclic derivatives was tested against several types of organisms

  7. Biological aspects and life table of Uroleucon ambrosiae (Thomas, 1878 as a function of temperature

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Auad Alexander Machado

    2003-01-01

    Full Text Available The aphid Uroleucon ambrosiae (Thomas is considered a pest of hidroponically-grown lettuce, but basic and applied information on its control are scarce in Brazil. The aim of this study was to determine the effect of different temperatures on biological aspects and life history of U. ambrosiae (Thomas developing on hydroponic lettuce (Lactuca sativa L. crop. Newly emerged nymphs were placed on 4-cm discs of hydroponic lettuce, var. Verônica, which were maintained on 5-cm Petri dishes, at temperatures of 15, 20 and 25ºC and 14 h photophase, and inside a greenhouse, within micro-cages at room temperature. The duration of development in all nymphal stages varied inversely to temperature. Nymphs maintained at 20ºC and 25ºC, had similar development period. However, at fluctuating greenhouse temperatures (daily mean = 21ºC, different results were obtained, which was also true for the pre-reproductive, reproductive and post-reproductive periods. Daily and total fertilities at 20ºC were better in comparison to the other treatments. The highest mortality rate of aphids occurred under greenhouse conditions. The production of 1.28 nymphs per female per day, the time needed for the population to double in size (TD=2.77days, and the intrinsic rate of population increase (r m=0.25, were similar for in insects maintained at 20 and 25ºC. On the other hand, time interval between generations (T and the net reproductive rate (Ro were higher at 20ºC. In the greenhouse, even though T was similar to laboratory conditions at 20 and 25ºC, the R0, r m and l parameters were lower and TD was higher. Based on biological aspects, fertility and life expectancy tables, constant temperature of 20ºC is the most suitable for U. ambrosiae.

  8. Tissue expander infections in children: look beyond the expander pocket.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mason, A C; Davison, S P; Manders, E K

    1999-11-01

    Infection of the expander pocket is the most common complication encountered with soft-tissue expansion. It is usually due to direct inoculation with skin flora either at the time of expander insertion or from extrusion of the device. The authors report two cases of infection of tissue expanders in which the children had concomitant infected sites distant from the prosthesis. Etiological bacteria of common pediatric infections like otitis media and pharyngitis were cultured from the infected expander pocket, raising suspicion that translocation of the organism to the expander had occurred. Aggressive antibiotic treatment, removal of the prosthesis, and flap advancement is advocated.

  9. Ruminant Metabolic Systems Biology: Reconstruction and Integration of Transcriptome Dynamics Underlying Functional Responses of Tissues to Nutrition and Physiological Statea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bionaz, Massimo; Loor, Juan J.

    2012-01-01

    High-throughput ‘omics’ data analysis via bioinformatics is one key component of the systems biology approach. The systems approach is particularly well-suited for the study of the interactions between nutrition and physiological state with tissue metabolism and functions during key life stages of organisms such as the transition from pregnancy to lactation in mammals, ie, the peripartal period. In modern dairy cows with an unprecedented genetic potential for milk synthesis, the nature of the physiologic and metabolic adaptations during the peripartal period is multifaceted and involves key tissues such as liver, adipose, and mammary. In order to understand such adaptation, we have reviewed several works performed in our and other labs. In addition, we have used a novel bioinformatics approach, Dynamic Impact Approach (DIA), in combination with partly previously published data to help interpret longitudinal biological adaptations of bovine liver, adipose, and mammary tissue to lactation using transcriptomics datasets. Use of DIA with transcriptomic data from those tissues during normal physiological adaptations and in animals fed different levels of energy prepartum allowed visualization and integration of most-impacted metabolic pathways around the time of parturition. The DIA is a suitable tool for applying the integrative systems biology approach. The ultimate goal is to visualize the complexity of the systems at study and uncover key molecular players involved in the tissue’s adaptations to physiological state or nutrition. PMID:22807626

  10. [The Functional Role of Exosomes in Cancer Biology and Their Potential as Biomarkers and Therapeutic Targets of Cancer].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naito, Yutaka; Yoshioka, Yusuke; Ochiya, Takahiro

    2015-06-01

    Intercellular communication plays an important role in the regulation of various cellular events. In particular, cancer cells and the surrounding cells communicate with each other, and this intercellular communication triggers cancer initiation and progression through the secretion of molecules, including growth factors and cytokines. Recent advances in cancer biology have indicated that small membrane vesicles, termed exosomes, also serve as regulatory agents in intercellular communications. Exosomes contain functional cellular components, including proteins and microRNAs (miRNAs), and they transfer these components to recipient cells. This exosome-mediated intercellular communication leads to increased growth, invasion, and metastasis of cancer. Thus, researchers regard exosomes as important cues to understanding the molecular mechanisms of cancer biology. Indeed, several lines of evidence have demonstrated that exosomes can explain multiple aspects of cancer biology. In addition, increasing evidence suggests that exosomes and their specific molecules are also attractive for use as biomarkers and therapeutic targets in cancer. Recent reports showed the efficacy of a novel diagnosis by detecting component molecules of cancer-derived exosomes, including miRNAs and membrane proteins. Furthermore, clinical trials that test the application of exosomes for cancer therapy have already been reported. From these points of view, we will summarize experimental data that support the role of exosomes in cancer progression and the potential of exosomes for use in novel diagnostic and therapeutic approaches for cancer.

  11. Nerve Regeneration: Understanding Biology and Its Influence on Return of Function After Nerve Transfers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gordon, Tessa

    2016-05-01

    Poor functional outcomes are frequent after peripheral nerve injuries despite the regenerative support of Schwann cells. Motoneurons and, to a lesser extent, sensory neurons survive the injuries but outgrowth of axons across the injury site is slow. The neuronal regenerative capacity and the support of regenerating axons by the chronically denervated Schwann cells progressively declines with time and distance of the injury from the denervated targets. Strategies, including brief low-frequency electrical stimulation that accelerates target reinnervation and functional recovery, and the insertion of cross-bridges between a donor nerve and a recipient denervated nerve stump, are effective in promoting functional outcomes after complete and incomplete injuries. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. [Scientific bases for the development of functional meat products with combined biological activity].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palanca, V; Rodríguez, E; Señoráns, J; Reglero, G

    2006-01-01

    The scientific evidences on the relationship between food and health have given place to a new food market of rapid growth in the last years: the market of the functional food. Though the interest of maintaining or improving the state of health by means of the consumption of traditional food with bioactive ingredients added is undoubtedly high, the Spanish population, increasingly formed and informed, is unwilling to consume functional food, until these possess a scientific rigorous base. This article presents a review of the scientific bases that support the development of functional meat products with balanced ratio omega-6/omega-3 and a combination of synergic antioxidants, among them an extract of rosemary obtained by means of extraction with supercritical CO2.

  13. 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.

  14. The expanding EU

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Zank, Wolfgang

    In this paper I try to explore whether the EU can go on expanding and thereby become culturally ever more diversified, and at the same retain its stability. The answer is, in principle, affirmative. Europe has always been much diversified, and therefore it is not possible to define a European...... identity in terms of particular cultural traditions. However, in spite of their diversity, the EU-member countries are united by their adherence to the principles of democracy, rule by law and human rights. Countries which do not share this basic consensus would not be accepted as members, nor is it likely...... that they would apply for it. An essential part is the willingness of member states to accept a reduction of national sovereignty on some important policy fields. The EU project is basically about lifting the principles of democracy and rule by law on the international level, most and foremost among the member...

  15. Expanding hollow metal rings

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peacock, Harold B [Evans, GA; Imrich, Kenneth J [Grovetown, GA

    2009-03-17

    A sealing device that may expand more planar dimensions due to internal thermal expansion of a filler material. The sealing material is of a composition such that when desired environment temperatures and internal actuating pressures are reached, the sealing materials undergoes a permanent deformation. For metallic compounds, this permanent deformation occurs when the material enters the plastic deformation phase. Polymers, and other materials, may be using a sealing mechanism depending on the temperatures and corrosivity of the use. Internal pressures are generated by either rapid thermal expansion or material phase change and may include either liquid or solid to gas phase change, or in the gaseous state with significant pressure generation in accordance with the gas laws. Sealing material thickness and material composition may be used to selectively control geometric expansion of the seal such that expansion is limited to a specific facing and or geometric plane.

  16. Advances in deep-sea biology: biodiversity, ecosystem functioning and conservation. An introduction and overview

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cunha, Marina R.; Hilário, Ana; Santos, Ricardo S.

    2017-03-01

    Once considered as monotonous and devoid of life, the deep sea was revealed during the last century as an environment with a plethora of life forms and extremely high species richness (Rex and Etter, 2010). Underwater vehicle developments allowed direct observations of the deep, disclosing unique habitats and diverse seascapes, and other technological advances enabled manipulative experimentation and unprecedented prospects to pursue novel research topics (Levin and Sibuet, 2012; Danovaro et al., 2014). Alongside, the growing human population greatly increased the pressure on deep-sea ecosystems and the services they provide (Ramirez-Llodra et al., 2011; Thurber et al., 2014; Levin et al., 2016). Societal changes further intensified worldwide competition for natural resources, extending the present footprint of impacts over most of the global ocean (Halpern et al., 2008). In this socio-economic context, and in tandem with cutting edge technological advances and an unclear legal framework to regulate access to natural resources (Boyes and Elliott, 2014), the deep sea has emerged as a new opportunity for industrial exploitation and novel economic activities. The expanding use of the deep sea prompted a rapid reply from deep-sea scientists that recommended "a move from a frontier mentality of exploitation and single-sector management to a precautionary system that balances use of living marine resources, energy, and minerals from the deep ocean with maintenance of a productive and healthy marine environment, while improving knowledge and collaboration" and proposed "three directions to advance deep-ocean stewardship: i) protection and mitigation, ii) research, and iii) collaborative governance" (Mengerink et al., 2014). The European Marine Board position paper 22 (Rogers et al., 2015) further examined the key societal and environmental drivers confronting the deep sea and the role of deep-sea research to deliver future knowledge needs for science and society; a clear

  17. The fine-grained metaphysics of artifactual and biological functional kinds

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Carrara, M.; Vermaas, P.E.

    2008-01-01

    In this paper we consider the emerging position in metaphysics that artifact functions characterize real kinds of artifacts. We analyze how it can circumvent an objection by David Wiggins (Sameness and substance renewed, 2001, 87) and then argue that this position, in comparison to expert judgments,

  18. Zonulin and its regulation of intestinal barrier function: the biological door to inflammation, autoimmunity, and cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fasano, Alessio

    2011-01-01

    The primary functions of the gastrointestinal tract have traditionally been perceived to be limited to the digestion and absorption of nutrients and to electrolytes and water homeostasis. A more attentive analysis of the anatomic and functional arrangement of the gastrointestinal tract, however, suggests that another extremely important function of this organ is its ability to regulate the trafficking of macromolecules between the environment and the host through a barrier mechanism. Together with the gut-associated lymphoid tissue and the neuroendocrine network, the intestinal epithelial barrier, with its intercellular tight junctions, controls the equilibrium between tolerance and immunity to non-self antigens. Zonulin is the only physiological modulator of intercellular tight junctions described so far that is involved in trafficking of macromolecules and, therefore, in tolerance/immune response balance. When the finely tuned zonulin pathway is deregulated in genetically susceptible individuals, both intestinal and extraintestinal autoimmune, inflammatory, and neoplastic disorders can occur. This new paradigm subverts traditional theories underlying the development of these diseases and suggests that these processes can be arrested if the interplay between genes and environmental triggers is prevented by reestablishing the zonulin-dependent intestinal barrier function. This review is timely given the increased interest in the role of a "leaky gut" in the pathogenesis of several pathological conditions targeting both the intestine and extraintestinal organs.

  19. The expanding plasma jet

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sanden, M.C.M. van den.

    1991-01-01

    This thesis concerns the fundamental aspects of an argon plasma expanding from a cascaded arc. This type of plasma is not only used for fundamental research but also for technologically orientated research on plasma deposition and plasma sources. The important characteristics of the plasma are a strong supersonic expansion in which the neutral particle and ion densities decrease three orders of magnitude, followed by a stationary shock front. After the shock front the plasma expands further subsonically. A part of this thesis is devoted to the discussion of a newly constructed combined Thomson-Rayleigh scattering set up. With this set up the electron density, the electron temperature and the neutral particle density are measured locally in the plasma for different conditions. In the analysis of the measured spectra weak coherent effects and the measured apparatus profile are included. The inaccuracies are small, ranging from 1 to 4 percent for the electron density and 2 to 6 percent for the electron temperature, depending on the plasma conditions. The inaccuracy of the neutral particle density determination is larger and ranges from 10 to 50 percent. The detection limits for the electron and neutral particle density are 7.10 17 m -3 and 1.10 20 m -3 respectively. A side path in this thesis is the derivation of the Saha equation for a two-temperature plasma. The reason for this derivation was the dispute in the literature about the correct form of this equation. In this thesis it is shown, from the correct extension of the second law of thermodynamics and from the non-equilibrium formalism of Zubarev, That in the limit of m e /m h ->0 the generalized Saha equation depends on the electron temperature only. (author). 221 refs.; 54 figs.; 13 tabs

  20. Preventive Ethics Through Expanding Education.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ho, Anita; MacDonald, Lisa Mei-Hwa; Unger, David

    2016-03-01

    Healthcare institutions have been making increasing efforts to standardize consultation methodology and to accredit both bioethics training programs and the consultants accordingly. The focus has traditionally been on the ethics consultation as the relevant unit of ethics intervention. Outcome measures are studied in relation to consultations, and the hidden assumption is that consultations are the preferred or best way to address day-to-day ethical dilemmas. Reflecting on the data from an internal quality improvement survey and the literature, we argue that having general ethics education as a key function of ethics services may be more important in meeting the contemporaneous needs of acute care settings. An expanded and varied ethics education, with attention to the time constraints of healthcare workers' schedules, was a key recommendation brought forward by survey respondents. Promoting ethical reflection and creating a culture of ethics may serve to prevent ethical dilemmas or mitigate their effects.

  1. The dimer interface of the membrane type 1 matrix metalloproteinase hemopexin domain: crystal structure and biological functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tochowicz, Anna; Goettig, Peter; Evans, Richard; Visse, Robert; Shitomi, Yasuyuki; Palmisano, Ralf; Ito, Noriko; Richter, Klaus; Maskos, Klaus; Franke, Daniel; Svergun, Dmitri; Nagase, Hideaki; Bode, Wolfram; Itoh, Yoshifumi

    2011-03-04

    Homodimerization is an essential step for membrane type 1 matrix metalloproteinase (MT1-MMP) to activate proMMP-2 and to degrade collagen on the cell surface. To uncover the molecular basis of the hemopexin (Hpx) domain-driven dimerization of MT1-MMP, a crystal structure of the Hpx domain was solved at 1.7 Å resolution. Two interactions were identified as potential biological dimer interfaces in the crystal structure, and mutagenesis studies revealed that the biological dimer possesses a symmetrical interaction where blades II and III of molecule A interact with blades III and II of molecule B. The mutations of amino acids involved in the interaction weakened the dimer interaction of Hpx domains in solution, and incorporation of these mutations into the full-length enzyme significantly inhibited dimer-dependent functions on the cell surface, including proMMP-2 activation, collagen degradation, and invasion into the three-dimensional collagen matrix, whereas dimer-independent functions, including gelatin film degradation and two-dimensional cell migration, were not affected. These results shed light on the structural basis of MT1-MMP dimerization that is crucial to promote cellular invasion.

  2. The EBI Search engine: providing search and retrieval functionality for biological data from EMBL-EBI.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Squizzato, Silvano; Park, Young Mi; Buso, Nicola; Gur, Tamer; Cowley, Andrew; Li, Weizhong; Uludag, Mahmut; Pundir, Sangya; Cham, Jennifer A; McWilliam, Hamish; Lopez, Rodrigo

    2015-07-01

    The European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI-https://www.ebi.ac.uk) provides free and unrestricted access to data across all major areas of biology and biomedicine. Searching and extracting knowledge across these domains requires a fast and scalable solution that addresses the requirements of domain experts as well as casual users. We present the EBI Search engine, referred to here as 'EBI Search', an easy-to-use fast text search and indexing system with powerful data navigation and retrieval capabilities. API integration provides access to analytical tools, allowing users to further investigate the results of their search. The interconnectivity that exists between data resources at EMBL-EBI provides easy, quick and precise navigation and a better understanding of the relationship between different data types including sequences, genes, gene products, proteins, protein domains, protein families, enzymes and macromolecular structures, together with relevant life science literature. © The Author(s) 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Nucleic Acids Research.

  3. Using synthetic biology to distinguish and overcome regulatory and functional barriers related to nitrogen fixation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xia Wang

    Full Text Available Biological nitrogen fixation is a complex process requiring multiple genes working in concert. To date, the Klebsiella pneumoniae nif gene cluster, divided into seven operons, is one of the most studied systems. Its nitrogen fixation capacity is subject to complex cascade regulation and physiological limitations. In this report, the entire K. pneumoniae nif gene cluster was reassembled as operon-based BioBrick parts in Escherichia coli. It provided ~100% activity of native K. pneumoniae system. Based on the expression levels of these BioBrick parts, a T7 RNA polymerase-LacI expression system was used to replace the σ(54-dependent promoters located upstream of nif operons. Expression patterns of nif operons were critical for the maximum activity of the recombinant system. By mimicking these expression levels with variable-strength T7-dependent promoters, ~42% of the nitrogenase activity of the σ(54-dependent nif system was achieved in E. coli. When the newly constructed T7-dependent nif system was challenged with different genetic and physiological conditions, it bypassed the original complex regulatory circuits, with minor physiological limitations. Therefore, we have successfully replaced the nif regulatory elements with a simple expression system that may provide the first step for further research of introducing nif genes into eukaryotic organelles, which has considerable potentials in agro-biotechnology.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rohde, Palle Duun; Demontis, Ditte; Cuyabano, Beatriz Castro Dias; Børglum, Anders D; Sørensen, Peter

    2016-08-01

    Schizophrenia is a psychiatric disorder with large personal and social costs, and understanding the genetic etiology is important. Such knowledge can be obtained by testing the association between a disease phenotype and individual genetic markers; however, such single-marker methods have limited power to detect genetic markers with small effects. Instead, aggregating genetic markers based on biological information might increase the power to identify sets of genetic markers of etiological significance. Several set test methods have been proposed: Here we propose a new set test derived from genomic best linear unbiased prediction (GBLUP), the covariance association test (CVAT). We compared the performance of CVAT to other commonly used set tests. The comparison was conducted using a simulated study population having the same genetic parameters as for schizophrenia. We found that CVAT was among the top performers. When extending CVAT to utilize a mixture of SNP effects, we found an increase in power to detect the causal sets. Applying the methods to a Danish schizophrenia case-control data set, we found genomic evidence for association of schizophrenia with vitamin A metabolism and immunological responses, which previously have been implicated with schizophrenia based on experimental and observational studies. Copyright © 2016 by the Genetics Society of America.

  5. Ecology and functional roles of biological soil crusts in semi-arid ecosystems of Spain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maestre, Fernando T.; Bowker, Matthew A.; Cantón, Yolanda; Castillo-Monroy, Andrea P.; Cortina, Jordi; Escolar, Cristina; Escudero, Adrián; Lázaro, Roberto; Martínez, Isabel

    2015-01-01

    Biological soil crusts (BSCs), composed of lichens, cyanobacteria, mosses, liverworts and microorganisms, are key biotic components of arid and semi-arid ecosystems worldwide. Despite they are widespread in Spain, these organisms have been historically understudied in this country. This trend is beginning to change as a recent wave of research has been identifying BSCs as a model ecological system. Many studies and research projects carried out in Spain have explored the role of BSCs on water, carbon and nitrogen fluxes, the interactions between BSCs and vascular plants, their dynamics after disturbances, and their response to global change, among other topics. In this article we review the growing body of research on BSCs available from semi-arid areas of Spain, highlighting its importance for increasing our knowledge on this group of organisms. We also discuss how it is breaking new ground in emerging research areas on the ecology of BSCs, and how it can be use to guide management and restoration efforts. Finally, we provide directions for future research on the ecology of BSCs in Spain and abroad. PMID:25908884

  6. [Effects of ADAM28 on biological functions of human dental pulp stem cells].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Zheng; Liu, Hong-chen; E, Ling-ling; Wang, Yi; Wang, Dong-sheng

    2010-06-01

    To investigate the effects of a disintegrin and metalloproteinase 28 (ADAM28) on proliferation, differentiation and apoptosis of human dental pulp stem cells (HDPSCs) and the possible mechanism. Firstly, HDPSCs were isolated and cultured in vitro and identified. ADAM28 eukaryotic expression plasmid was constructed via gene rebuilt technique and transfected into HDPSCs. Then MTT chromatometry, enzyme dynamics and flow cytometry (FCM) techniques were performed to detect the effects of ADAM28 on biological characteristics of HDPSCs. Immunocytochemical and image analysis techniques were used to determine the influence of ADAM28 on HDPSCs expressing dentin sialophosphoprotein (DSPP), bone sialoprotein (BSP) and osteopontin (OPN). Statistical significance was assessed by the Student-Newman-Keuls (SNK) test with SPSS 13.0 software package. ADAM28 eukaryotic plasmid was constructed and transfected into HDPSCs for 48 hours successfully. In ADAM28 eukaryotic plasmid group, proliferation activity and index of HDPSCs were lower than those of pcDNA3.1(+) group and untransfected group significantly.Alkaline phosphatase (ALP) secretion level and percentage of apoptotic cells went up remarkly. Significant difference was detected between eukaryotic plasmid group and other groups (P<0.05). The expression level of DSPP in HDPSCs elevated significantly (P<0.05). ADAM28 could inhibit HDPSCs proliferation, promote ALP secretion activity and DSPP expression in HDPSCs and induce HDPSCs apoptosis significantly.

  7. TTH biological effect and thyrocyte binding in functional states of the thyroid gland

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Petrova, G.A.

    1979-01-01

    It was established in experiments made in vitro on the thyroid glands of intact animals and also on hyperplastic, functionally atrophied and inflamed thyroid glands that tritiated TTH actively incorporated into thyroid gland cells of the control animals and raised the rate of thyroxin secretion. Under the conditions of experimental hyperplasia, atrophy and thyroiditis of the thyroid gland, the hormonogenic reaction of thyrocytes and the nature of TTH binding by them was greatly disturbed. The thyrocytes of the hyperplastic and inflamed thyroid tissue did not accept the labelled TTH and did not react to its administration by intensification of thyroxin secretion. The thyrocytes of the functionally atrophied thyroid gland tissue actively bound the tritiated TTH and enhanced thyroxin secretion

  8. The biology, function and clinical implications of exosomes in lung cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Li; Lv, Tangfeng; Zhang, Qun; Zhu, Qingqing; Zhan, Ping; Zhu, Suhua; Zhang, Jianya; Song, Yong

    2017-10-28

    Exosomes are 30-100 nm small membrane vesicles of endocytic origin that are secreted by all types of cells, and can also be found in various body fluids. Increasing evidence implicates that exosomes confer stability and can deliver their cargos such as proteins and nucleic acids to specific cell types, which subsequently serve as important messengers and carriers in lung carcinogenesis. Here, we describe the biogenesis and components of exosomes mainly in lung cancer, we summarize their function in lung carcinogenesis (epithelial mesenchymal transition, oncogenic cell transformation, angiogenesis, metastasis and immune response in tumor microenvironment), and importantly we focus on the clinical potential of exosomes as biomarkers and therapeutics in lung cancer. In addition, we also discuss current challenges that might impede the clinical use of exosomes. Further studies on the functional roles of exosomes in lung cancer requires thorough research. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  9. Intersection of transfer cells with phloem biology – broad evolutionary trends, function and induction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Felicity eAndriunas

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Transfer cells (TCs are ubiquitous throughout the plant kingdom. Their unique ingrowth wall labyrinths, supporting a plasma membrane enriched in transporter proteins, provides these cells with an enhanced membrane transport capacity for resources. In certain plant species, TCs have been shown to function to facilitate phloem loading and/or unloading at cellular sites of intense resource exchange between symplasmic/apoplasmic compartments. Within the phloem, the key cellular locations of TCs are leaf minor veins of collection phloem and stem nodes of transport phloem. In these locations, companion and phloem parenchyma cells trans-differentiate to a TC morphology consistent with facilitating loading and re-distribution of resources respectively. At a species level, occurrence of TCs is significantly higher in transport than in collection phloem. TCs are absent from release phloem but occur within post-sieve element unloading pathways and particularly at interfaces between generations of developing Angiosperm seeds. Experimental accessibility of seed TCs has provided opportunities to investigate their inductive signaling, regulation of ingrowth wall formation and membrane transport function. This review uses this information base to explore current knowledge of phloem transport function and inductive signaling for phloem-associated TCs. The functional role of collection phloem and seed TCs is supported by definitive evidence, but no such information is available for stem node TCs that present an almost intractable experimental challenge. There is an emerging understanding of inductive signals and signaling pathways responsible for initiating trans-differentiation to a TC morphology in developing seeds. However, scant information is available to comment on a potential role for inductive signals that induce seed TCs, in regulating induction of phloem-associated TCs. Biotic phloem invaders have been used as a model to speculate on involvement of

  10. The counter ion: expanding excipient functionality

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shireesh Apte

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available Excipients have increasingly become 'enablers' of drug delivery and efficacy rather than passive bystanders. Advances in pharmaceutical technology have enabled the ability to deliver specific counter ions (in the form of the counter ion containing excipient and the API simultaneously to preselected targets in the body. This, coupled with a near universal mechanism of columbic interactions that determine the [API- counter ion] efficacy, can be harnessed to exploit this hitherto unavailable or unrecognized enabling mechanism. New excipients may be assembled by a near inexhaustible supply of different permutations of counter ions and their judicious use in specific situations could potentially drive a renaissance in excipient innovation (and drug delivery and efficacy despite regulatory stagnation.

  11. The biological mechanisms and behavioral functions of opsin-based light detection by the skin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jennifer L Kelley

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Light detection not only forms the basis of vision (via visual retinal photoreceptors, but can also occur in other parts of the body, including many non-rod/non-cone ocular cells, the pineal complex, the deep brain, and the skin. Indeed, many of the photopigments (an opsin linked to a light-sensitive 11-cis retinal chromophore that mediate color vision in the eyes of vertebrates are also present in the skin of animals such as reptiles, amphibians, crustaceans and fishes (with related photoreceptive molecules present in cephalopods, providing a localized mechanism for light detection across the surface of the body. This form of non-visual photosensitivity may be particularly important for animals that can change their coloration by altering the dispersion of pigments within the chromatophores (pigment containing cells of the skin. Thus, skin coloration may be directly color matched or tuned to both the luminance and spectral properties of the local background environment, thereby facilitating behavioral functions such as camouflage, thermoregulation, and social signaling. This review examines the diversity and sensitivity of opsin-based photopigments present in the skin and considers their putative functional roles in mediating animal behavior. Furthermore, it discusses the potential underlying biochemical and molecular pathways that link shifts in environmental light to both photopigment expression and chromatophore photoresponses. Although photoreception that occurs independently of image formation remains poorly understood, this review highlights the important role of non-visual light detection in facilitating the multiple functions of animal coloration.

  12. Bank Directors’ Perceptions of Expanded Auditor's Reports

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Boolaky, Pran Krishansing; Quick, Reiner

    2016-01-01

    Subsequent to the financial crisis, standard setters developed suggestions for enhancing the audit function, in order to increase financial stability. One related idea is to expand the audit report disclosed to the public, to ensure that it is fit for purpose. This study investigates the impact o...

  13. Decontamination of chemical and biological warfare agents with a single multi-functional material.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amitai, Gabi; Murata, Hironobu; Andersen, Jill D; Koepsel, Richard R; Russell, Alan J

    2010-05-01

    We report the synthesis of new polymers based on a dimethylacrylamide-methacrylate (DMAA-MA) co-polymer backbone that support both chemical and biological agent decontamination. Polyurethanes containing the redox enzymes glucose oxidase and horseradish peroxidase can convert halide ions into active halogens and exert striking bactericidal activity against gram positive and gram negative bacteria. New materials combining those biopolymers with a family of N-alkyl 4-pyridinium aldoxime (4-PAM) halide-acrylate co-polymers offer both nucleophilic activity for the detoxification of organophosphorus nerve agents and internal sources of halide ions for generation of biocidal activity. Generation of free bromine and iodine was observed in the combined material resulting in bactericidal activity of the enzymatically formed free halogens that caused complete kill of E. coli (>6 log units reduction) within 1 h at 37 degrees C. Detoxification of diisopropylfluorophosphate (DFP) by the polyDMAA MA-4-PAM iodide component was dose-dependent reaching 85% within 30 min. A subset of 4-PAM-halide co-polymers was designed to serve as a controlled release reservoir for N-hydroxyethyl 4-PAM (HE 4-PAM) molecules that reactivate nerve agent-inhibited acetylcholinesterase (AChE). Release rates for HE 4-PAM were consistent with hydrolysis of the HE 4-PAM from the polymer backbone. The HE 4-PAM that was released from the polymer reactivated DFP-inhibited AChE at a similar rate to the oxime antidote 4-PAM. Copyright (c) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Analyses in zebrafish embryos reveal that nanotoxicity profiles are dependent on surface-functionalization controlled penetrance of biological membranes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paatero, Ilkka; Casals, Eudald; Niemi, Rasmus; Özliseli, Ezgi; Rosenholm, Jessica M; Sahlgren, Cecilia

    2017-08-21

    Mesoporous silica nanoparticles (MSNs) are extensively explored as drug delivery systems, but in depth understanding of design-toxicity relationships is still scarce. We used zebrafish (Danio rerio) embryos to study toxicity profiles of differently surface functionalized MSNs. Embryos with the chorion membrane intact, or dechoroniated embryos, were incubated or microinjected with amino (NH 2 -MSNs), polyethyleneimine (PEI-MSNs), succinic acid (SUCC-MSNs) or polyethyleneglycol (PEG-MSNs) functionalized MSNs. Toxicity was assessed by viability and cardiovascular function. NH 2 -MSNs, SUCC-MSNs and PEG-MSNs were well tolerated, 50 µg/ml PEI-MSNs induced 100% lethality 48 hours post fertilization (hpf). Dechoroniated embryos were more sensitive and 10 µg/ml PEI-MSNs reduced viability to 5% at 96hpf. Sensitivity to PEG- and SUCC-, but not NH 2 -MSNs, was also enhanced. Typically cardiovascular toxicity was evident prior to lethality. Confocal microscopy revealed that PEI-MSNs penetrated into the embryos whereas PEG-, NH2- and SUCC-MSNs remained aggregated on the skin surface. Direct exposure of inner organs by microinjecting NH 2 -MSNs and PEI-MSNs demonstrated that the particles displayed similar toxicity indicating that functionalization affects the toxicity profile by influencing penetrance through biological barriers. The data emphasize the need for careful analyses of toxicity mechanisms in relevant models and constitute an important knowledge step towards the development of safer and sustainable nanotherapies.

  15. Time-resolved diffuse optical tomographic imaging for the provision of both anatomical and functional information about biological tissue

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Huijuan; Gao, Feng; Tanikawa, Yukari; Homma, Kazuhiro; Yamada, Yukio

    2005-04-01

    We present in vivo images of near-infrared (NIR) diffuse optical tomography (DOT) of human lower legs and forearm to validate the dual functions of a time-resolved (TR) NIR DOT in clinical diagnosis, i.e., to provide anatomical and functional information simultaneously. The NIR DOT system is composed of time-correlated single-photon-counting channels, and the image reconstruction algorithm is based on the modified generalized pulsed spectral technique, which effectively incorporates the TR data with reasonable computation time. The reconstructed scattering images of both the lower legs and the forearm revealed their anatomies, in which the bones were clearly distinguished from the muscles. In the absorption images, some of the blood vessels were observable. In the functional imaging, a subject was requested to do handgripping exercise to stimulate physiological changes in the forearm tissue. The images of oxyhemoglobin, deoxyhemoglobin, and total hemoglobin concentration changes in the forearm were obtained from the differential images of the absorption at three wavelengths between the exercise and the rest states, which were reconstructed with a differential imaging scheme. These images showed increases in both blood volume and oxyhemoglobin concentration in the arteries and simultaneously showed hypoxia in the corresponding muscles. All the results have demonstrated the capability of TR NIR DOT by reconstruction of the absolute images of the scattering and the absorption with a high spatial resolution that finally provided both the anatomical and functional information inside bulky biological tissues.

  16. The Artful Universe Expanded

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bassett, B A

    2005-01-01

    The cosmos is an awfully big place and there is no better guide to its vast expanse and fascinating nooks and crannies than John Barrow. A professor of mathematical sciences at Cambridge University, Barrow embodies that rare combination of highly polished writer and expert scientist. His deft touch brings together the disparate threads of human knowledge and weaves them into a tapestry as rich and interesting for the expert as it is for the layperson. The Artful Universe Expanded is an updated edition of this popular book first published in 1995. It explores the deeply profound manner in which natural law and the nature of the cosmos have moulded and shaped us, our cultures and the very form of our arts and music-a new type of 'cosmic' anthropology. The main themes Barrow chooses for revealing this new anthropology are the subjects of evolution, the size of things, the heavens and the nature of music. The book is a large, eclectic repository of knowledge often unavailable to the layperson, hidden in esoteric libraries around the world. It rivals The Da Vinci Code for entertainment value and insights, but this time it is Nature's code that is revealed. It is rare indeed to find common threads drawn through topics as diverse as The Beetles, Bach and Beethoven or between Jackson Pollock, the Aztecs, Kant, Picasso, Byzantine mosaics, uranium-235 and the helix nebula. Barrow unerringly binds them together, presenting them in a stimulating, conversational style that belies the amount of time that must have gone into researching this book. Dip into it at random, or read it from cover to cover, but do read it. The Artful Universe Expanded is an entertaining antidote to the oft-lamented pressures to know more and more about less and less and the apparently inexorable march of specialization. On reading this book one can, for a short time at least, hold in one's mind a vision that unifies science, art and culture and glimpse a universal tapestry of great beauty. (book review)

  17. The Artful Universe Expanded

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bassett, B A [Institute of Cosmology and Gravitation, University of Portsmouth (United Kingdom)

    2005-07-29

    The cosmos is an awfully big place and there is no better guide to its vast expanse and fascinating nooks and crannies than John Barrow. A professor of mathematical sciences at Cambridge University, Barrow embodies that rare combination of highly polished writer and expert scientist. His deft touch brings together the disparate threads of human knowledge and weaves them into a tapestry as rich and interesting for the expert as it is for the layperson. The Artful Universe Expanded is an updated edition of this popular book first published in 1995. It explores the deeply profound manner in which natural law and the nature of the cosmos have moulded and shaped us, our cultures and the very form of our arts and music-a new type of 'cosmic' anthropology. The main themes Barrow chooses for revealing this new anthropology are the subjects of evolution, the size of things, the heavens and the nature of music. The book is a large, eclectic repository of knowledge often unavailable to the layperson, hidden in esoteric libraries around the world. It rivals The Da Vinci Code for entertainment value and insights, but this time it is Nature's code that is revealed. It is rare indeed to find common threads drawn through topics as diverse as The Beetles, Bach and Beethoven or between Jackson Pollock, the Aztecs, Kant, Picasso, Byzantine mosaics, uranium-235 and the helix nebula. Barrow unerringly binds them together, presenting them in a stimulating, conversational style that belies the amount of time that must have gone into researching this book. Dip into it at random, or read it from cover to cover, but do read it. The Artful Universe Expanded is an entertaining antidote to the oft-lamented pressures to know more and more about less and less and the apparently inexorable march of specialization. On reading this book one can, for a short time at least, hold in one's mind a vision that unifies science, art and culture and glimpse a universal tapestry of great

  18. Biological functions of hCG and hCG-related molecules

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cole Laurence A

    2010-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background hCG is a term referring to 4 independent molecules, each produced by separate cells and each having completely separate functions. These are hCG produced by villous syncytiotrophoblast cells, hyperglycosylated hCG produced by cytotrophoblast cells, free beta-subunit made by multiple primary non-trophoblastic malignancies, and pituitary hCG made by the gonadotrope cells of the anterior pituitary. Results and discussion hCG has numerous functions. hCG promotes progesterone production by corpus luteal cells; promotes angiogenesis in uterine vasculature; promoted the fusion of cytotrophoblast cell and differentiation to make syncytiotrophoblast cells; causes the blockage of any immune or macrophage action by mother on foreign invading placental cells; causes uterine growth parallel to fetal growth; suppresses any myometrial contractions during the course of pregnancy; causes growth and differentiation of the umbilical cord; signals the endometrium about forthcoming implantation; acts on receptor in mother's brain causing hyperemesis gravidarum, and seemingly promotes growth of fetal organs during pregnancy. Hyperglycosylated hCG functions to promote growth of cytotrophoblast cells and invasion by these cells, as occurs in implantation of pregnancy, and growth and invasion by choriocarcinoma cells. hCG free beta-subunit is produced by numerous non-trophoblastic malignancies of different primaries. The detection of free beta-subunit in these malignancies is generally considered a sign of poor prognosis. The free beta-subunit blocks apoptosis in cancer cells and promotes the growth and malignancy of the cancer. Pituitary hCG is a sulfated variant of hCG produced at low levels during the menstrual cycle. Pituitary hCG seems to mimic luteinizing hormone actions during the menstrual cycle.

  19. Molecular mechanisms of the microsomal mixed function oxidases and biological and pathological implications

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Arthur I. Cederbaum

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available The cytochrome P450 mixed function oxidase enzymes play a major role in the metabolism of important endogenous substrates as well as in the biotransformation of xenobiotics. The liver P450 system is the most active in metabolism of exogenous substrates. This review briefly describes the liver P450 (CYP mixed function oxidase system with respect to its enzymatic components and functions. Electron transfer by the NADPH-P450 oxidoreductase is required for reduction of the heme of P450, necessary for binding of molecular oxygen. Binding of substrates to P450 produce substrate binding spectra. The P450 catalytic cycle is complex and rate-limiting steps are not clear. Many types of chemical reactions can be catalyzed by P450 enzymes, making this family among the most diverse catalysts known. There are multiple forms of P450s arranged into families based on structural homology. The major drug metabolizing CYPs are discussed with respect to typical substrates, inducers and inhibitors and their polymorphic forms. The composition of CYPs in humans varies considerably among individuals because of sex and age differences, the influence of diet, liver disease, presence of potential inducers and/or inhibitors. Because of such factors and CYP polymorphisms, and overlapping drug specificity, there is a large variability in the content and composition of P450 enzymes among individuals. This can result in large variations in drug metabolism by humans and often can contribute to drug–drug interactions and adverse drug reactions. Because of many of the above factors, especially CYP polymorphisms, there has been much interest in personalized medicine especially with respect to which CYPs and which of their polymorphic forms are present in order to attempt to determine what drug therapy and what dosage would reflect the best therapeutic strategy in treating individual patients.

  20. Evidence of pervasive biologically functional secondary structures within the genomes of eukaryotic single-stranded DNA viruses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muhire, Brejnev Muhizi; Golden, Michael; Murrell, Ben; Lefeuvre, Pierre; Lett, Jean-Michel; Gray, Alistair; Poon, Art Y F; Ngandu, Nobubelo Kwanele; Semegni, Yves; Tanov, Emil Pavlov; Monjane, Adérito Luis; Harkins, Gordon William; Varsani, Arvind; Shepherd, Dionne Natalie; Martin, Darren Patrick

    2014-02-01

    Single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) viruses have genomes that are potentially capable of forming complex secondary structures through Watson-Crick base pairing between their constituent nucleotides. A few of the structural elements formed by such base pairings are, in fact, known to have important functions during the replication of many ssDNA viruses. Unknown, however, are (i) whether numerous additional ssDNA virus genomic structural elements predicted to exist by computational DNA folding methods actually exist and (ii) whether those structures that do exist have any biological relevance. We therefore computationally inferred lists of the most evolutionarily conserved structures within a diverse selection of animal- and plant-infecting ssDNA viruses drawn from the families Circoviridae, Anelloviridae, Parvoviridae, Nanoviridae, and Geminiviridae and analyzed these for evidence of natural selection favoring the maintenance of these structures. While we find evidence that is consistent with purifying selection being stronger at nucleotide sites that are predicted to be base paired than at sites predicted to be unpaired, we also find strong associations between sites that are predicted to pair with one another and site pairs that are apparently coevolving in a complementary fashion. Collectively, these results indicate that natural selection actively preserves much of the pervasive secondary structure that is evident within eukaryote-infecting ssDNA virus genomes and, therefore, that much of this structure is biologically functional. Lastly, we provide examples of various highly conserved but completely uncharacterized structural elements that likely have important functions within some of the ssDNA virus genomes analyzed here.

  1. The Role of Soil Biological Function in Regulating Agroecosystem Services and Sustainability in the Quesungual Agroforestry System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fonte, S.; Pauli, N.; Rousseau, L.; SIX, J. W. U. A.; Barrios, E.

    2014-12-01

    The Quesungual agroforestry system from western Honduras has been increasingly promoted as a promising alternative to traditional slash-and-burn agriculture in tropical dry forest regions of the Americas. Improved residue management and the lack of burning in this system can greatly impact soil biological functioning and a number of key soil-based ecosystem services, yet our understanding of these processes has not been thoroughly integrated to understand system functionality as a whole that can guide improved management. To address this gap, we present a synthesis of various field studies conducted in Central America aimed at: 1) quantifying the influence of the Quesungual agroforestry practices on soil macrofauna abundance and diversity, and 2) understanding how these organisms influence key soil-based ecosystem services that ultimately drive the success of this system. A first set of studies examined the impact of agroecosystem management on soil macrofauna populations, soil fertility and key soil processes. Results suggest that residue inputs (derived from tree biomass pruning), a lack of burning, and high tree densities, lead to conditions that support abundant, diverse soil macrofauna communities under agroforestry, with soil organic carbon content comparable to adjacent forest. Additionally, there is great potential in working with farmers to develop refined soil quality indicators for improved land management. A second line of research explored interactions between residue management and earthworms in the regulation of soil-based ecosystem services. Earthworms are the most prominent ecosystem engineers in these soils. We found that earthworms are key drivers of soil structure maintenance and the stabilization of soil organic matter within soil aggregates, and also had notable impacts on soil nutrient dynamics. However, the impact of earthworms appears to depend on residue management practices, thus indicating the need for an integrated approach for

  2. The leukemia-specific fusion gene ETV6/RUNX1 perturbs distinct key biological functions primarily by gene repression.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gerhard Fuka

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: ETV6/RUNX1 (E/R (also known as TEL/AML1 is the most frequent gene fusion in childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL and also most likely the crucial factor for disease initiation; its role in leukemia propagation and maintenance, however, remains largely elusive. To address this issue we performed a shRNA-mediated knock-down (KD of the E/R fusion gene and investigated the ensuing consequences on genome-wide gene expression patterns and deducible regulatory functions in two E/R-positive leukemic cell lines. FINDINGS: Microarray analyses identified 777 genes whose expression was substantially altered. Although approximately equal proportions were either up- (KD-UP or down-regulated (KD-DOWN, the effects on biological processes and pathways differed considerably. The E/R KD-UP set was significantly enriched for genes included in the "cell activation", "immune response", "apoptosis", "signal transduction" and "development and differentiation" categories, whereas in the E/R KD-DOWN set only the "PI3K/AKT/mTOR signaling" and "hematopoietic stem cells" categories became evident. Comparable expression signatures obtained from primary E/R-positive ALL samples underline the relevance of these pathways and molecular functions. We also validated six differentially expressed genes representing the categories "stem cell properties", "B-cell differentiation", "immune response", "cell adhesion" and "DNA damage" with RT-qPCR. CONCLUSION: Our analyses provide the first preliminary evidence that the continuous expression of the E/R fusion gene interferes with key regulatory functions that shape the biology of this leukemia subtype. E/R may thus indeed constitute the essential driving force for the propagation and maintenance of the leukemic process irrespective of potential consequences of associated secondary changes. Finally, these findings may also provide a valuable source of potentially attractive therapeutic targets.

  3. Personalized precision radiotherapy by integration of multi-parametric functional and biological imaging in prostate cancer. A feasibility study

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Thorwarth, Daniela [Tuebingen Univ. (Germany). Section for Biomedical Physics; Notohamiprodjo, Mike [Tuebingen Univ. (Germany). Dept. of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology; Zips, Daniel; Mueller, Arndt-Christan [Tuebingen Univ. (Germany). Dept. of Radiation Oncology

    2017-05-01

    To increase tumour control probability (TCP) in prostate cancer a method was developed integrating multi-parametric functional and biological information into a dose painting treatment plan aiming focal dose-escalation to tumour sub-volumes. A dose-escalation map was derived considering individual, multi-parametric estimated tumour aggressiveness. Multi-parametric functional imaging (MRI, Choline-/PSMA-/FMISO-PET/CT) was acquired for a high risk prostate cancer patient with a high level of tumour load (cT3b cN0 cM0) indicated by subtotal involvement of prostate including the right seminal vesicle and by PSA-level >100. Probability of tumour presence was determined by a combination of multi-parametric functional image information resulting in a voxel-based map of tumour aggressiveness. This probability map was directly integrated into dose optimization in order to plan for inhomogeneous, biological imaging based dose painting. Histograms of the multi-parametric prescription function were generated in addition to a differential histogram of the planned inhomogeneous doses. Comparison of prescribed doses with planned doses on a voxel level was realized using an effective DVH, containing the ratio of prescribed vs. planned dose for each tumour voxel. Multi-parametric imaging data of PSMA, Choline and FMISO PET/CT as well as ADC maps derived from diffusion weighted MRI were combined to an individual probability map of tumour presence. Voxel-based prescription doses ranged from 75.3 Gy up to 93.4 Gy (median: 79.6 Gy), whereas the planned dose painting doses varied only between 72.5 and 80.0 Gy with a median dose of 75.7 Gy. However, inhomogeneous voxel-based dose prescriptions can only be implemented into a treatment plan until a certain level. Multi-parametric probability based dose painting in prostate cancer is technically and clinically feasible. However, detailed calibration functions to define the necessary probability functions need to be assessed in future

  4. Systems Biology

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    IAS Admin

    study and understand the function of biological systems, particu- larly, the response of such .... understand the organisation and behaviour of prokaryotic sys- tems. ... relationship of the structure of a target molecule to its ability to bind a certain ...

  5. BIOLOGICAL FUNCTION OF TOMBUSVIRUS-ENCODED SUPPRESSOR OF RNA SILENCING IN PLANTS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Omarov R.T.

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available RNA interference (RNAi plays multiple biological roles in eukaryotic organisms to regulate gene expression. RNAi also operates as a conserved adaptive molecular immune mechanism against invading viruses. The antiviral RNAi pathway is initiated with the generation of virus-derived short-interfering RNAs (siRNAs that are used for subsequent sequence-specific recognition and degradation of the cognate viral RNA molecules. As an efficient counter-defensive strategy, most plant viruses evolved the ability to encode specific proteins capable of interfering with RNAi, and this process is commonly known as RNA silencing suppression. Virus-encoded suppressors of RNAi (VSRs operate at different steps in the RNAi pathway and display distinct biochemical properties that enable these proteins to efficiently interfere with the host-defense system. Tombusvirus-encoded P19 is an important pathogenicity factor, required for symptom development and elicitation of a hypersensitive response in a host-dependent manner. Protein plays a crucial role of TBSV P19 in protecting viral RNA during systemic infection on Nicotiana benthamiana. The X-ray crystallographic studies conducted by two independent groups revealed the existence of a P19-siRNA complex; a conformation whereby caliper tryptophan residues on two subunits of P19 dimers measure and bind 21-nt siRNA duplexes. These structural studies provided the first details on the possible molecular mechanism of any viral suppressor to block RNAi. The association between P19 and siRNAs was also shown to occur in infected plants These and related studies revealed that in general the ability of P19 to efficiently sequester siRNAs influences symptom severity, however this is not a strict correlation in all hosts.The current working model is that during TBSV infection of plants, P19 appropriates abundantly circulating Tombusvirus-derived siRNAs thereby rendering these unavailable to program RISC, to prevent degradation of

  6. Systems Biology-Derived Biomarkers to Predict Progression of Renal Function Decline in Type 2 Diabetes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mayer, Gert; Heerspink, Hiddo J L; Aschauer, Constantin

    2017-01-01

    hormone 1, hepatocyte growth factor, matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) 2, MMP7, MMP8, MMP13, tyrosine kinase, and tumor necrosis factor receptor-1. These biomarkers were measured in baseline serum samples from 1,765 patients recruited into two large clinical trials. eGFR decline was predicted based...... on molecular markers, clinical risk factors (including baseline eGFR and albuminuria), and both combined, and these predictions were evaluated using mixed linear regression models for longitudinal data. RESULTS: The variability of annual eGFR loss explained by the biomarkers, indicated by the adjusted R2 value......, combined with clinical variables, enhances the prediction of renal function loss over a wide range of baseline eGFR values in patients with type 2 diabetes and CKD....

  7. Chemistry and biology of Tc-99m renal function agents. Final report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fritzberg, A.M.

    1986-01-01

    A major aim of the project was to develop a Tc-99m renal tubular function radiopharmaceutical. Progress was made in synthesizing and evaluating Tc-99m 2,3-dimercaptoaceta-midoprepanoate (CO 2 DADS). In animals and clinical studies the A epimer (early component on reversed phase HPLC) demonstrated high efficiency and specificity for renal tubular secretion. We were unable to obtain only the desired stereoisomer. Synthesis of about twenty diamide dimercaptide N 2 S 2 ligand analogs suggested two others that were of comparable efficiency in humans, but with less difference between stereoisomers; Tc-99m 1,3-dimercaptoacetamide-2-hydroxypropane (HoDADS) and 1,8-dithiol- 2,7-dioxo-3,6-diazanonanoate (α -S-CO 2 DADS). 15 refs

  8. INK4 proteins, a family of mammalian CDK inhibitors with novel biological functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cánepa, Eduardo T; Scassa, María E; Ceruti, Julieta M; Marazita, Mariela C; Carcagno, Abel L; Sirkin, Pablo F; Ogara, María F

    2007-07-01

    The cyclin D-Cdk4-6/INK4/Rb/E2F pathway plays a key role in controlling cell growth by integrating multiple mitogenic and antimitogenic stimuli. The members of INK4 family, comprising p16(INK4a), p15(INK4b), p18(INK4c), and p19(INK4d), block the progression of the cell cycle by binding to either Cdk4 or Cdk6 and inhibiting the action of cyclin D. These INK4 proteins share a similar structure dominated by several ankyrin repeats. Although they appear to be structurally redundant and equally potent as inhibitors, the INK4 family members are differentially expressed during mouse development. The striking diversity in the pattern of expression of INK4 genes suggested that this family of cell cycle inhibitors might have cell lineage-specific or tissue-specific functions. The INK4 proteins are commonly lost or inactivated by mutations in diverse types of cancer, and they represent established or candidate tumor suppressors. Apart from their capacity to arrest cells in the G1-phase of the cell cycle they have been shown to participate in an increasing number of cellular processes. Given their emerging roles in fundamental physiological as well as pathological processes, it is interesting to explore the diverse roles for the individual INK4 family members in different functions other than cell cycle regulation. Extensive studies, over the past few years, uncover the involvement of INK4 proteins in senescence, apoptosis, DNA repair, and multistep oncogenesis. We will focus the discussion here on these unexpected issues.

  9. Functional Genomics Uncover the Biology behind the Responsiveness of Head and Neck Squamous Cell Cancer Patients to Cetuximab.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bossi, Paolo; Bergamini, Cristiana; Siano, Marco; Cossu Rocca, Maria; Sponghini, Andrea P; Favales, Federica; Giannoccaro, Marco; Marchesi, Edoardo; Cortelazzi, Barbara; Perrone, Federica; Pilotti, Silvana; Locati, Laura D; Licitra, Lisa; Canevari, Silvana; De Cecco, Loris

    2016-08-01

    To identify the tumor portrait of the minority of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) patients with recurrent-metastatic (RM) disease who upon treatment with platinum-based chemotherapy plus cetuximab present a long-lasting response. The gene expression of pretreatment samples from 40 HNSCC-RM patients, divided in two groups [14 long-progression-free survival (PFS) and 26 short-PFS (median = 19 and 3 months, respectively)], was associated with PFS and was challenged against a dataset from metastatic colon cancer patients treated with cetuximab. For biologic analysis, we performed functional and subtype association using gene set enrichment analysis, associated biology across all currently available HNSCC signatures, and inferred drug sensitivity using data from the Cancer Genomic Project. The identified genomic profile exhibited a significant predictive value that was essentially confirmed in the single publicly available dataset of cetuximab-treated patients. The main divergence between long- and short-PFS groups was based on developmental/differentiation status. The long-PFS patients are characterized by basal subtype traits such as strong EGFR signaling phenotype and hypoxic differentiation, further validated by the significantly higher association with the hypoxia metagene. The short-PFS patients presented a strong activation of RAS signaling confirmed in an in vitro model of two isogenic HNSCC cell lines sensitive or resistant to cetuximab. The predicted drug sensitivity for all four EGFR inhibitors was higher in long- versus short-PFS patients (P range: biology behind response to platinum-based chemotherapy plus cetuximab in RM-HNSCC cancer and may have translational implications improving treatment selection. Clin Cancer Res; 22(15); 3961-70. ©2016 AACRSee related commentary by Chau and Hammerman, p. 3710. ©2016 American Association for Cancer Research.

  10. Gene expression analysis of zebrafish melanocytes, iridophores, and retinal pigmented epithelium reveals indicators of biological function and developmental origin.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Charles W Higdon

    Full Text Available In order to facilitate understanding of pigment cell biology, we developed a method to concomitantly purify melanocytes, iridophores, and retinal pigmented epithelium from zebrafish, and analyzed their transcriptomes. Comparing expression data from these cell types and whole embryos allowed us to reveal gene expression co-enrichment in melanocytes and retinal pigmented epithelium, as well as in melanocytes and iridophores. We found 214 genes co-enriched in melanocytes and retinal pigmented epithelium, indicating the shared functions of melanin-producing cells. We found 62 genes significantly co-enriched in melanocytes and iridophores, illustrative of their shared developmental origins from the neural crest. This is also the first analysis of the iridophore transcriptome. Gene expression analysis for iridophores revealed extensive enrichment of specific enzymes to coordinate production of their guanine-based reflective pigment. We speculate the coordinated upregulation of specific enzymes from several metabolic pathways recycles the rate-limiting substrate for purine synthesis, phosphoribosyl pyrophosphate, thus constituting a guanine cycle. The purification procedure and expression analysis described here, along with the accompanying transcriptome-wide expression data, provide the first mRNA sequencing data for multiple purified zebrafish pigment cell types, and will be a useful resource for further studies of pigment cell biology.

  11. Nontarget effects of chemical pesticides and biological pesticide on rhizospheric microbial community structure and function in Vigna radiata.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, Sunil; Gupta, Rashi; Kumari, Madhu; Sharma, Shilpi

    2015-08-01

    Intensive agriculture has resulted in an indiscriminate use of pesticides, which demands in-depth analysis of their impact on indigenous rhizospheric microbial community structure and function. Hence, the objective of the present work was to study the impact of two chemical pesticides (chlorpyrifos and cypermethrin) and one biological pesticide (azadirachtin) at two dosages on the microbial community structure using cultivation-dependent approach and on rhizospheric bacterial communities involved in nitrogen cycle in Vigna radiata rhizosphere through cultivation-independent technique of real-time PCR. Cultivation-dependent study highlighted the adverse effects of both chemical pesticide and biopesticide on rhizospheric bacterial and fungal communities at different plant growth stages. Also, an adverse effect on number of genes and transcripts of nifH (nitrogen fixation); amoA (nitrification); and narG, nirK, and nirS (denitrification) was observed. The results from the present study highlighted two points, firstly that nontarget effects of pesticides are significantly detrimental to soil microflora, and despite being of biological origin, azadirachtin exerted negative impact on rhizospheric microbial community of V. radiata behaving similar to chemical pesticides. Hence, such nontarget effects of chemical pesticide and biopesticide in plants' rhizosphere, which bring out the larger picture in terms of their ecotoxicological effect, demand a proper risk assessment before application of pesticides as agricultural amendments.

  12. Biological data assimilation for parameter estimation of a phytoplankton functional type model for the western North Pacific

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoshiba, Yasuhiro; Hirata, Takafumi; Shigemitsu, Masahito; Nakano, Hideyuki; Hashioka, Taketo; Masuda, Yoshio; Yamanaka, Yasuhiro

    2018-06-01

    Ecosystem models are used to understand ecosystem dynamics and ocean biogeochemical cycles and require optimum physiological parameters to best represent biological behaviours. These physiological parameters are often tuned up empirically, while ecosystem models have evolved to increase the number of physiological parameters. We developed a three-dimensional (3-D) lower-trophic-level marine ecosystem model known as the Nitrogen, Silicon and Iron regulated Marine Ecosystem Model (NSI-MEM) and employed biological data assimilation using a micro-genetic algorithm to estimate 23 physiological parameters for two phytoplankton functional types in the western North Pacific. The estimation of the parameters was based on a one-dimensional simulation that referenced satellite data for constraining the physiological parameters. The 3-D NSI-MEM optimized by the data assimilation improved the timing of a modelled plankton bloom in the subarctic and subtropical regions compared to the model without data assimilation. Furthermore, the model was able to improve not only surface concentrations of phytoplankton but also their subsurface maximum concentrations. Our results showed that surface data assimilation of physiological parameters from two contrasting observatory stations benefits the representation of vertical plankton distribution in the western North Pacific.

  13. Fetal Programming of Body Composition, Obesity, and Metabolic Function: The Role of Intrauterine Stress and Stress Biology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sonja Entringer

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Epidemiological, clinical, physiological, cellular, and molecular evidence suggests that the origins of obesity and metabolic dysfunction can be traced back to intrauterine life and supports an important role for maternal nutrition prior to and during gestation in fetal programming. The elucidation of underlying mechanisms is an area of interest and intense investigation. In this perspectives paper we propose that in addition to maternal nutrition-related processes it may be important to concurrently consider the potential role of intrauterine stress and stress biology. We frame our arguments in the larger context of an evolutionary-developmental perspective that supports roles for both nutrition and stress as key environmental conditions driving natural selection and developmental plasticity. We suggest that intrauterine stress exposure may interact with the nutritional milieu, and that stress biology may represent an underlying mechanism mediating the effects of diverse intrauterine perturbations, including but not limited to maternal nutritional insults (undernutrition and overnutrition, on brain and peripheral targets of programming of body composition, energy balance homeostasis, and metabolic function. We discuss putative maternal-placental-fetal endocrine and immune/inflammatory candidate mechanisms that may underlie the long-term effects of intrauterine stress. We conclude with a commentary of the implications for future research and clinical practice.

  14. The Artful Universe Expanded

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barrow, John D.

    2005-07-01

    Our love of art, writes John Barrow, is the end product of millions of years of evolution. How we react to a beautiful painting or symphony draws upon instincts laid down long before humans existed. Now, in this enhanced edition of the highly popular The Artful Universe , Barrow further explores the close ties between our aesthetic appreciation and the basic nature of the Universe. Barrow argues that the laws of the Universe have imprinted themselves upon our thoughts and actions in subtle and unexpected ways. Why do we like certain types of art or music? What games and puzzles do we find challenging? Why do so many myths and legends have common elements? In this eclectic and entertaining survey, Barrow answers these questions and more as he explains how the landscape of the Universe has influenced the development of philosophy and mythology, and how millions of years of evolutionary history have fashioned our attraction to certain patterns of sound and color. Barrow casts the story of human creativity and thought in a fascinating light, considering such diverse topics as our instinct for language, the origins and uses of color in nature, why we divide time into intervals as we do, the sources of our appreciation of landscape painting, and whether computer-generated fractal art is really art. Drawing on a wide variety of examples, from the theological questions raised by St. Augustine and C.S. Lewis to the relationship between the pure math of Pythagoras and the music of the Beatles, The Artful Universe Expanded covers new ground and enters a wide-ranging debate about the meaning and significance of the links between art and science.

  15. Enhanced Biological Response of AVS-Functionalized Ti-6Al-4V Alloy through Covalent Immobilization of Collagen.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rezvanian, Parsa; Daza, Rafael; López, Patricia A; Ramos, Milagros; González-Nieto, Daniel; Elices, Manuel; Guinea, Gustavo V; Pérez-Rigueiro, José

    2018-02-20

    This study presents the development of an efficient procedure for covalently immobilizing collagen molecules on AVS-functionalized Ti-6Al-4V samples, and the assessment of the survival and proliferation of cells cultured on these substrates. Activated Vapor Silanization (AVS) is a versatile functionalization technique that allows obtaining a high density of active amine groups on the surface. A procedure is presented to covalently bind collagen to the functional layer using EDC/NHS as cross-linker. The covalently bound collagen proteins are characterized by fluorescence microscopy and atomic force microscopy and their stability is tested. The effect of the cross-linker concentration on the process is assessed. The concentration of the cross-linker is optimized and a reliable cleaning protocol is developed for the removal of the excess of carbodiimide from the samples. The results demonstrate that the covalent immobilization of collagen type I on Ti-6Al-4V substrates, using the optimized protocol, increases the number of viable cells present on the material. Consequently, AVS in combination with the carbodiimide chemistry appears as a robust method for the immobilization of proteins and, for the first time, it is shown that it can be used to enhance the biological response to the material.

  16. Recent insights into the biological functions of liver fatty acid binding protein 1

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, GuQi; Bonkovsky, Herbert L.; de Lemos, Andrew; Burczynski, Frank J.

    2015-01-01

    Over four decades have passed since liver fatty acid binding protein (FABP)1 was first isolated. There are few protein families for which most of the complete tertiary structures, binding properties, and tissue occurrences are described in such detail and yet new functions are being uncovered for this protein. FABP1 is known to be critical for fatty acid uptake and intracellular transport and also has an important role in regulating lipid metabolism and cellular signaling pathways. FABP1 is an important endogenous cytoprotectant, minimizing hepatocyte oxidative damage and interfering with ischemia-reperfusion and other hepatic injuries. The protein may be targeted for metabolic activation through the cross-talk among many transcriptional factors and their activating ligands. Deficiency or malfunction of FABP1 has been reported in several diseases. FABP1 also influences cell proliferation during liver regeneration and may be considered as a prognostic factor for hepatic surgery. FABP1 binds and modulates the action of many molecules such as fatty acids, heme, and other metalloporphyrins. The ability to bind heme is another cytoprotective property and one that deserves closer investigation. The role of FABP1 in substrate availability and in protection from oxidative stress suggests that FABP1 plays a pivotal role during intracellular bacterial/viral infections by reducing inflammation and the adverse effects of starvation (energy deficiency). PMID:26443794

  17. Biology and function of adipose tissue macrophages, dendritic cells and B cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ivanov, Stoyan; Merlin, Johanna; Lee, Man Kit Sam; Murphy, Andrew J; Guinamard, Rodolphe R

    2018-04-01

    The increasing incidence of obesity and its socio-economical impact is a global health issue due to its associated co-morbidities, namely diabetes and cardiovascular disease [1-5]. Obesity is characterized by an increase in adipose tissue, which promotes the recruitment of immune cells resulting in low-grade inflammation and dysfunctional metabolism. Macrophages are the most abundant immune cells in the adipose tissue of mice and humans. The adipose tissue also contains other myeloid cells (dendritic cells (DC) and neutrophils) and to a lesser extent lymphocyte populations, including T cells, B cells, Natural Killer (NK) and Natural Killer T (NKT) cells. While the majority of studies have linked adipose tissue macrophages (ATM) to the development of low-grade inflammation and co-morbidities associated with obesity, emerging evidence suggests for a role of other immune cells within the adipose tissue that may act in part by supporting macrophage homeostasis. In this review, we summarize the current knowledge of the functions ATMs, DCs and B cells possess during steady-state and obesity. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  18. Bridging from Cells to Cognition in Autism Pathophysiology: Biological Pathways to Defective Brain Function and Plasticity

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Anderson, Matthew; Hooker, Brian S.; Herbert, Martha

    2008-01-01

    We review evidence to support the model that autism may begin when a maternal environmental, infectious, or autoantibody insult causes inflammation which increases reactive oxygen species (ROS) production in the fetus, leading to fetal DNA damage (nuclear and mitochondrial), and that these inflammatory and oxidative stressors persist beyond early development (with potential further exacerbations), producing ongoing functional consequences. In organs with a high metabolic demand such as the central nervous system, the continued use of mitochondria with DNA damage may generate additional ROS which will activate the innate immune system leading to more ROS production. Such a mechanism would self-sustain and possibly progressively worsen. The mitochondrial dysfunction and altered redox signal transduction pathways found in autism would conspire to activate both astroglia and microglia. These activated cells can then initiate a broad-spectrum proinflammatory gene response. Neurons may have acquired receptors for these inflammatory signals to inhibit neuronal signaling as a protection from excitotoxic damage during various pathologic insults (e.g., infection). In autism, over-zealous neuroinflammatory responses could not only influence neural developmental processes, but may more significantly impair neural signaling involved in cognition in an ongoing fashion. This model makes specific predictions in patients and experimental animal models and suggests a number of targets sites of intervention. Our model of potentially reversible pathophysiological mechanisms in autism motivates our hope that effective therapies may soon appear on the horizon.

  19. Biological functions of selenium and its potential influence on Parkinson's disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    JOEL H. ELLWANGER

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT Parkinson's disease is characterized by the death of dopaminergic neurons, mainly in the substantia nigra, and causes serious locomotor dysfunctions. It is likely that the oxidative damage to cellular biomolecules is among the leading causes of neurodegeneration that occurs in the disease. Selenium is an essential mineral for proper functioning of the brain, and mainly due to its antioxidant activity, it is possible to exert a special role in the prevention and in the nutritional management of Parkinson's disease. Currently, few researchers have investigated the effects of selenium on Parkinson´s disease. However, it is known that very high or very low body levels of selenium can (possibly contribute to the pathogenesis of Parkinson's disease, because this imbalance results in increased levels of oxidative stress. Therefore, the aim of this work is to review and discuss studies that have addressed these topics and to finally associate the information obtained from them so that these data and associations serve as input to new research.

  20. HESS Opinions "Biological catalysis of the hydrological cycle: life's thermodynamic function"

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michaelian, K.

    2012-08-01

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

  1. Application of Symmetry Adapted Function Method for Three-Dimensional Reconstruction of Octahedral Biological Macromolecules

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Songjun Zeng

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available A method for three-dimensional (3D reconstruction of macromolecule assembles, that is, octahedral symmetrical adapted functions (OSAFs method, was introduced in this paper and a series of formulations for reconstruction by OSAF method were derived. To verify the feasibility and advantages of the method, two octahedral symmetrical macromolecules, that is, heat shock protein Degp24 and the Red-cell L Ferritin, were utilized as examples to implement reconstruction by the OSAF method. The schedule for simulation was designed as follows: 2000 random orientated projections of single particles with predefined Euler angles and centers of origins were generated, then different levels of noises that is signal-to-noise ratio (S/N =0.1,0.5, and 0.8 were added. The structures reconstructed by the OSAF method were in good agreement with the standard models and the relative errors of the structures reconstructed by the OSAF method to standard structures were very little even for high level noise. The facts mentioned above account for that the OSAF method is feasible and efficient approach to reconstruct structures of macromolecules and have ability to suppress the influence of noise.

  2. Functionalization of titanium with chitosan via silanation: evaluation of biological and mechanical performances.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pauline Renoud

    Full Text Available Complications in dentistry and orthopaedic surgery are mainly induced by peri-implant bacterial infections and current implant devices do not prevent such infections. The coating of antibacterial molecules such as chitosan on its surface would give the implant bioactive properties. The major challenge of this type of coating is the attachment of chitosan to a metal substrate. In this study, we propose to investigate the functionalization of titanium with chitosan via a silanation. Firstly, the surface chemistry and mechanical properties of such coating were evaluated. We also verified if the coated chitosan retained its biocompatibility with the peri-implant cells, as well as its antibacterial properties. FTIR and Tof-SIMS analyses confirmed the presence of chitosan on the titanium surface. This coating showed great scratch resistance and was strongly adhesive to the substrate. These mechanical properties were consistent with an implantology application. The Chitosan-coated surfaces showed strong inhibition of Actinomyces naeslundii growth; they nonetheless showed a non significant inhibition against Porphyromonas gingivalis after 32 hours in liquid media. The chitosan-coating also demonstrated good biocompatibility to NIH3T3 fibroblasts. Thus this method of covalent coating provides a biocompatible material with improved bioactive properties. These results proved that covalent coating of chitosan has significant potential in biomedical device implantation.

  3. Sensitive SERS-pH sensing in biological media using metal carbonyl functionalized planar substrates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kong, Kien Voon; Dinish, U S; Lau, Weber Kam On; Olivo, Malini

    2014-04-15

    Conventional nanoparticle based Surface enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) technique for pH sensing often fails due to the aggregation of particles when detecting in acidic medium or biosamples having high ionic strength. Here, We develop SERS based pH sensing using a novel Raman reporter, arene chromium tricarbonyl linked aminothiophenol (Cr(CO)3-ATP), functionalized onto a nano-roughened planar substrates coated with gold. Unlike the SERS spectrum of the ATP molecule that dominates in the 400-1700 cm(-1) region, which is highly interfered by bio-molecules signals, metal carbonyl-ATP (Cr(CO)3)-ATP) offers the advantage of monitoring the pH dependent strong CO stretching vibrations in the mid-IR (1800-2200 cm(-1)) range. Raman signal of the CO stretching vibrations at ~1820 cm(-1) has strong dependency on the pH value of the environment, where its peak undergo noticeable shift as the pH of the medium is varied from 3.0 to 9.0. The sensor showed better sensitivity in the acidic range of the pH. We also demonstrate the pH sensing in a urine sample, which has high ionic strength and our data closely correlate to the value obtained from conventional sensor. In future, this study may lead to a sensitive chip based pH sensing platform in bio-fluids for the early diagnosis of diseases. © 2013 Published by Elsevier B.V.

  4. Abnormal functional brain asymmetry in depression: evidence of biologic commonality between major depression and dysthymia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bruder, Gerard E; Stewart, Jonathan W; Hellerstein, David; Alvarenga, Jorge E; Alschuler, Daniel; McGrath, Patrick J

    2012-04-30

    Prior studies have found abnormalities of functional brain asymmetry in patients having a major depressive disorder (MDD). This study aimed to replicate findings of reduced right hemisphere advantage for perceiving dichotic complex tones in depressed patients, and to determine whether patients having "pure" dysthymia show the same abnormality of perceptual asymmetry as MDD. It also examined gender differences in lateralization, and the extent to which abnormalities of perceptual asymmetry in depressed patients are dependent on gender. Unmedicated patients having either a MDD (n=96) or "pure" dysthymic disorder (n=42) and healthy controls (n=114) were tested on dichotic fused-words and complex-tone tests. Patient and control groups differed in right hemisphere advantage for complex tones, but not left hemisphere advantage for words. Reduced right hemisphere advantage for tones was equally present in MDD and dysthymia, but was more evident among depressed men than depressed women. Also, healthy men had greater hemispheric asymmetry than healthy women for both words and tones, whereas this gender difference was not seen for depressed patients. Dysthymia and MDD share a common abnormality of hemispheric asymmetry for dichotic listening. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Coelomocytes: Biology and Possible Immune Functions in Invertebrates with Special Remarks on Nematodes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qudsia Tahseen

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available All metazoans are exposed to a wide range of microbes and have evolved complex immune defenses used to repel infectious agents. Coelomocytes play a key role in the defense reactions of most invertebrates. They are involved in important immune functions, such as phagocytosis, encapsulation, graft rejection, and inflammation, as well as the synthesis and secretion of several humoral factors especially in annelids and echinoderms. Coelomocytes in nematodes are variable in shapes from round, ovoid, cuboidal, and spindle-shaped to stellate or branched cells that are found usually at fixed positions in the pseudocoelom. Their number usually varies from 2 to 6. The model nematode, C. elegans lacks an adaptive immune system and the coelomocytes are capable of endocytosis, but their involvement in phagocytosis of bacteria seems unlikely. The aim of this review is to evaluate current knowledge on coelomocytes of invertebrates with special reference to nematodes. The morphology and structure of these coelomocytes are discussed along with their origin. Their relative positions and diversity in different nematode groups have also been discussed and illustrated.

  6. Proton transfer along water bridges in biological systems with density-functional tight-binding

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reiss, Krystle; Wise, Abigail; Mazzuca, James

    2015-03-01

    When examining the dynamics of charge transfer in high dimensional enzymatic systems, the cost of quantum mechanical treatment of electrons increases exponentially with the size of the system. As a semi-empirical method, density-functional tight-binding aids in shortening these calculation times, but can be inaccurate in the regime where bonds are being formed and broken. To address these inaccuracies with respect to proton transfer in an enzymatic system, DFTB is being used to calculate small model systems containing only a single amino acid residue donor, represented by an imidazole molecule, and a water acceptor. When DFTB calculations are compared to B3LYP geometry calculations of the donor molecule, we observe a bond angle error on the order of 1.2 degrees and a bond length error on the order of 0.011 Å. As we move forward with small donor-acceptor systems, comparisons between DFTB and B3LYP energy profiles will provide a better clue as to what extent improvements need to be made. To improve the accuracy of the DFTB calculations, the internuclear repulsion term may be altered. This would result in energy profiles that closely resemble those produced by higher-level theory. Alma College Provost's Office.

  7. HESS Opinions "Biological catalysis of the hydrological cycle: life's thermodynamic function"

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K. Michaelian

    2012-08-01

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

  8. RYBP and Cbx7 Define Specific Biological Functions of Polycomb Complexes in Mouse Embryonic Stem Cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lluis Morey

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available The Polycomb repressive complex 1 (PRC1 is required for decisions of stem cell fate. In mouse embryonic stem cells (ESCs, two major variations of PRC1 complex, defined by the mutually exclusive presence of Cbx7 or RYBP, have been identified. Here, we show that although the genomic localization of the Cbx7- and RYBP-containing PRC1 complexes overlaps in certain genes, it can also be mutually exclusive. At the molecular level, Cbx7 is necessary for recruitment of Ring1B to chromatin, whereas RYBP enhances the PRC1 enzymatic activity. Genes occupied by RYBP show lower levels of Ring1B and H2AK119ub and are consequently more highly transcribed than those bound by Cbx7. At the functional level, we show that genes occupied by RYBP are primarily involved in the regulation of metabolism and cell-cycle progression, whereas those bound by Cbx7 predominantly control early-lineage commitment of ESCs. Altogether, our results indicate that different PRC1 subtypes establish a complex pattern of gene regulation that regulates common and nonoverlapping aspects of ESC pluripotency and differentiation.

  9. Synthetic Biology and Personalized Medicine

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jain, K.K.

    2013-01-01

    Synthetic biology, application of synthetic chemistry to biology, is a broad term that covers the engineering of biological systems with structures and functions not found in nature to process information, manipulate chemicals, produce energy, maintain cell environment and enhance human health. Synthetic biology devices contribute not only to improve our understanding of disease mechanisms, but also provide novel diagnostic tools. Methods based on synthetic biology enable the design of novel strategies for the treatment of cancer, immune diseases metabolic disorders and infectious diseases as well as the production of cheap drugs. The potential of synthetic genome, using an expanded genetic code that is designed for specific drug synthesis as well as delivery and activation of the drug in vivo by a pathological signal, was already pointed out during a lecture delivered at Kuwait University in 2005. Of two approaches to synthetic biology, top-down and bottom-up, the latter is more relevant to the development of personalized medicines as it provides more flexibility in constructing a partially synthetic cell from basic building blocks for a desired task. PMID:22907209

  10. Function-oriented synthesis: biological evaluation of laulimalide analogues derived from a last step cross metathesis diversification strategy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mooberry, Susan L; Hilinski, Michael K; Clark, Erin A; Wender, Paul A

    2008-01-01

    Laulimalide is a potent microtubule stabilizing agent and a promising anticancer therapeutic lead. The identification of stable, efficacious and accessible analogues is critical to clinically exploiting this novel lead. To determine which structural features of laulimalide are required for beneficial function and thus for accessing superior clinical candidates, a series of side chain analogues were prepared through a last step cross metathesis diversification strategy and their biological activities were evaluated. Five analogues, differing in potency from 233 nM to 7.9 muM, effectively inhibit cancer cell proliferation. Like laulimalide, they retain activity against multidrug resistant cells, stabilize microtubules and cause the formation of aberrant mitotic spindles, mitotic accumulation, Bcl-2 phosphorylation and initiation of apoptosis. Structural modifications in the C 23-C 27 dihydropyran side chain can be made without changing the overall mechanism of action, but it is clear that this subunit has more than a bystander role.

  11. DPP4 inhibitors promote biological functions of human endothelial progenitor cells by targeting the SDF-1/CXCR4 signaling pathway

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liu Feng

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Dipeptidyl peptidase 4 (DPP4 inhibitors(oral hypoglycemic agentshave beneficial effects during the early stages of diabetes. In this study, we evaluated the role of DPP4inhibitorsonthe biological functions of cultured human endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs. After treating EPCs with the DPP4 inhibitors sitagliptin and vildagliptin, we examined the mRNA expression of DPP4, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF,VEGF receptor 2 (VEGFR-2,endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS, caspase-3,stromal cell-derived factor-1 (SDF-1, chemokine (C-X-C motif receptor 4 (CXCR4 were measured by RT-PCR. The protein expression of SDF-1 and CXCR4 was determined by Western blot; cell proliferation was tested by the MTT method, and DPP4 activity was determined by a DPP4 assay. Our results revealed that DPP4 expression and activity were inhibited following the treatment with various doses of DPP4 inhibitors. Cell proliferation and the expression of VEGF, VEGFR-2andeNOS were up regulated, while cell apoptosis was inhibited by DPP4 inhibitors in a dose-dependent manner. DPP4 inhibitors activated the SDF-1/CXCR4 signaling pathway, shown by the elevated expression of SDF-1/CXCR4. This further proved that after the SDF-1/CXCR4 signaling pathway was blocked by its inhibitor ADM3100, the effects of DPP4 inhibitors on the proliferation and apoptosis, and the expression of VEGF, VEGFR-2and eNOS of EPCs were significantly reduced. These findings suggest that DPP4 inhibitors promote the biological functions of human EPCs by up regulating the SDF-1/CXCR4 signaling pathway.

  12. Synthesis, Characterization and Functionalization of Polymeric Nanoparticles and Investigation of the Interaction with Biological Systems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bleul, Regina

    2015-01-01

    One of the main goals of nanomedicine is to improve the treatment of hazardous diseases whose conventional therapy often has serious side effects. The vision is to create a theranostic drug delivery system which is capable of safely transporting therapeutic cargo through the body to a targeted site of disease at which point the drug is released. Furthermore, it is desirable to track the carrier in real time which would allow for a personal adjustment of the therapy. Studies on the behavior of nanoparticulate substances in a physiological environment form the basis for the possibility to successfully develop a drug carrier system. In the present work, polymeric nanoparticles with different morphologies were prepared by the controlled self-assembly of amphiphilic block copolymers. The nanoparticles were subsequently characterized and their interactions with human cells and serum proteins investigated. A cytotoxicity study with spherical and cylindrical micelles as well as vesicular structures was carried out and showed a dependency of cytotoxic effects on the geometry and size of the nanoparticles. The agglomeration behavior of various polymeric nanoparticles in the presence of serum proteins was also studied. Highly uniform polymeric vesicles were continuously manufactured in a micromixer based device and in situ loading with different components was performed. In this way, dual loaded vesicles with the anticancer drug camptothecin and a high amount of hydrophobic iron oxide nanoparticles were produced. When tested in vitro, these drug-loaded vesicles showed an increased cytotoxic activity against the cancer cell line PC-3 when compared to the free drug. Specific cellular uptake in PC-3 cancer cells was demonstrated with flow cytometry and confocal laser scanning microscopy after functionalization with a cancer cell specific targeting peptide and an additional fluorescent label. Magnetic characterization of the iron oxide-loaded vesicles also confirmed the potential

  13. The ECM deposited by basal asthmatic and non-asthmatic ASM cells is different in composition but not biological function

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Harkness, L.; Ashton, A.; Burgess, J.

    2015-01-01

    Aim: The remodelled asthmatic airway has increased airway smooth muscle cell (ASMC) growth, expanded vasculature, and altered extracellular matrix (ECM). The ECM is the external cellular microenvironment which regulates cell behaviour. Under proliferative, inflammatory, or fibrotic conditions, the

  14. Surface functionalization of a polymeric lipid bilayer for coupling a model biological membrane with molecules, cells, and microstructures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morigaki, Kenichi; Mizutani, Kazuyuki; Saito, Makoto; Okazaki, Takashi; Nakajima, Yoshihiro; Tatsu, Yoshiro; Imaishi, Hiromasa

    2013-02-26

    We describe a stable and functional model biological membrane based on a polymerized lipid bilayer with a chemically modified surface. A polymerized lipid bilayer was formed from a mixture of two diacetylene-containing phospholipids, 1,2-bis(10,12-tricosadiynoyl)-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (DiynePC) and 1,2-bis(10,12-tricosadiynoyl)-sn-glycero-3-phosphoethanolamine (DiynePE). DiynePC formed a stable bilayer structure, whereas the ethanolamine headgroup of DiynePE enabled functional molecules to be grafted onto the membrane surface. Copolymerization of DiynePC and DiynePE resulted in a robust bilayer. Functionalization of the polymeric bilayer provided a route to a robust and biomimetic surface that can be linked with biomolecules, cells, and three-dimensional (3D) microstructures. Biotin and peptides were grafted onto the polymeric bilayer for attaching streptavidin and cultured mammalian cells by molecular recognition, respectively. Nonspecific adsorption of proteins and cells on polymeric bilayers was minimum. DiynePE was also used to attach a microstructure made of an elastomer (polydimethylsiloxan: PDMS) onto the membrane, forming a confined aqueous solution between the two surfaces. The microcompartment enabled us to assay the activity of a membrane-bound enzyme (cyochrome P450). Natural (fluid) lipid bilayers were incorporated together with membrane-bound proteins by lithographically polymerizing DiynePC/DiynePE bilayers. The hybrid membrane of functionalized polymeric bilayers and fluid bilayers offers a novel platform for a wide range of biomedical applications including biosensor, bioassay, cell culture, and cell-based assay.

  15. The biology of skin wetness perception and its implications in manual function and for reproducing complex somatosensory signals in neuroprosthetics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Filingeri, Davide; Ackerley, Rochelle

    2017-04-01

    Our perception of skin wetness is generated readily, yet humans have no known receptor (hygroreceptor) to signal this directly. It is easy to imagine the sensation of water running over our hands or the feel of rain on our skin. The synthetic sensation of wetness is thought to be produced from a combination of specific skin thermal and tactile inputs, registered through thermoreceptors and mechanoreceptors, respectively. The present review explores how thermal and tactile afference from the periphery can generate the percept of wetness centrally. We propose that the main signals include information about skin cooling, signaled primarily by thinly myelinated thermoreceptors, and rapid changes in touch, through fast-conducting, myelinated mechanoreceptors. Potential central sites for integration of these signals, and thus the perception of skin wetness, include the primary and secondary somatosensory cortices and the insula cortex. The interactions underlying these processes can also be modeled to aid in understanding and engineering the mechanisms. Furthermore, we discuss the role that sensing wetness could play in precision grip and the dexterous manipulation of objects. We expand on these lines of inquiry to the application of the knowledge in designing and creating skin sensory feedback in prosthetics. The addition of real-time, complex sensory signals would mark a significant advance in the use and incorporation of prosthetic body parts for amputees in everyday life. NEW & NOTEWORTHY Little is known about the underlying mechanisms that generate the perception of skin wetness. Humans have no specific hygroreceptor, and thus temperature and touch information combine to produce wetness sensations. The present review covers the potential mechanisms leading to the perception of wetness, both peripherally and centrally, along with their implications for manual function. These insights are relevant to inform the design of neuroengineering interfaces, such as sensory

  16. The expanding polymerase universe.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goodman, M F; Tippin, B

    2000-11-01

    Over the past year, the number of known prokaryotic and eukaryotic DNA polymerases has exploded. Many of these newly discovered enzymes copy aberrant bases in the DNA template over which 'respectable' polymerases fear to tread. The next step is to unravel their functions, which are thought to range from error-prone copying of DNA lesions, somatic hypermutation and avoidance of skin cancer, to restarting stalled replication forks and repairing double-stranded DNA breaks.

  17. The Expanding Universe: Dark Energy

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lincoln, Don [Fermilab; Nord, Brian [Fermilab

    2014-09-01

    In 1998, observations of distant supernovae led physicists that not only was the universe expanding, but the expansion was speeding up. In this article, we describe the evidence for an expanding universe and describe what physicists and cosmologists have learned in the intervening years. The target audience for this article is high school physics teachers and college physics professors at teaching institutions.

  18. The expanding universe: an introduction

    OpenAIRE

    Pössel, Markus

    2017-01-01

    An introduction to the physics and mathematics of the expanding universe, using no more than high-school level / undergraduate mathematics. Covered are the basics of scale factor expansion, the dynamics of the expanding universe, various distance concepts and the generalized redshift-luminosity relation, among other topics.

  19. Plant species modifies the functional response of Phytoseiulus persimilis (Acari: Phytoseiidae) to Tetranychus urticae (Acari: Tetranychidae): implications for biological control.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skirvin, D J; Fenlon, J S

    2001-02-01

    The functional response of the predatory mite Phytoseiulus persimilis Athias-Henriot to eggs of its prey, the spider mite Tetranychus urticae Koch was examined on three plant species. Experiments were done to determine whether differences in the functional response on the three plant species were due to the morphological features of the crop directly on the predator or through an effect of the plant species on the prey. The results show that crop morphology is the only factor influencing the predatory ability of P. persimilis on the three plant species. Fewer eggs were eaten on Ceanothus thyrsiflorus var. 'Autumnal Blue', the plant species with hairy leaves, and greater numbers of prey consumed on Choisya ternata, a species with smooth leaves. However, similarly few eggs were eaten on the smooth, but waxy leaved Euonymus japonicus as on Ceanothus thyrsiflorus, demonstrating that morphological characters of leaves other than the possession of hairs and trichomes may affect the rates of predation. The implications of these results for the tritrophic interactions between plant, predator and prey, and the development of suitable biological control strategies are discussed.

  20. Molecular dynamics simulation studies of transmembrane transport of chemical components in Chinese herbs and the function of platycodin D in a biological membrane

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shufang Yang

    2017-04-01

    Conclusion: The Martini force field was successfully applied to the study of the interaction between herbal compounds and a biological membrane. By combining the dynamics equilibrium morphology, the distribution of drugs inside and outside the biomembrane, and the interaction sites of drugs on the DPPC bilayer, factors influencing transmembrane transport of drugs were elucidated and the function of platycodin D in a biological membrane was reproduced.

  1. [Cycloferon biological activity characteristics].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Utkina, T M; Potekhina, L P; Kartashova, O L; Vasilchenko, A S

    2014-01-01

    Study the effect of cycloferon in experimental and clinical conditions on persistence properties of aurococci as well as features of their morpho-functional reaction by atomic force microscopy. The study was carried out in 12 Staphylococcus aureus clones isolated from mucous membrane of nose anterior part of a resident carrier. The effect of cycloferon in vivo was evaluated in 26 resident staphylococci carriers under the control of anti-carnosine activity of staphylococci. Anti-carnosine activity was determined by O.V. Bukharin et al. (1999), biofilm formation -by G.A. O'Toole et al. (2000). Staphylococci treated with cycloferon were studied by atomic force microscopy in contact mode using scanning probe SMM-2000 microscope. The decrease of persistence properties of staphylococci under the effect of cycloferon in vitro and in vivo may be examined as one of the mechanisms of biological activity of the preparation. A significant increase of S. aureus surface roughness and changes in their morphology under the effect of cycloferon allow stating the disorder of barrier functions in the aurococci cell wall. The data obtained expand the understanding of cycloferon biological activity mechanisms.

  2. Telomere biology in aging and cancer: early history and perspectives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hayashi, Makoto T

    2018-01-20

    The ends of eukaryotic linear chromosomes are protected from undesired enzymatic activities by a nucleoprotein complex called the telomere. Expanding evidence indicates that telomeres have central functions in human aging and tumorigenesis. While it is undoubtedly important to follow current advances in telomere biology, it is also fruitful to be well informed in seminal historical studies for a comprehensive understanding of telomere biology, and for the anticipation of future directions. With this in mind, I here summarize the early history of telomere biology and current advances in the field, mostly focusing on mammalian studies relevant to aging and cancer.

  3. CLINICAL AND FUNCTIONAL ASSESSMENT OF THE BIOLOGICAL PROSTHESIS “ASPIRE” FOR SURGICAL CORRECTION OF MITRAL VALVE DISEASE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. G. Esin

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Aim: To assess clinical and functional efficacy of implanted biological prosthesis “ASPIRE” (manufactured by Vascutek for correction of mitral valve disease.Materials and methods: From October 2008 to December 2013, biological prostheses “ASPIRE” (Vascutek were implanted to 34 patients with mitral valve disease (mean age 63.59 ± 4.96 years, 79.4% female. From these, 24 patients had mitral stenosis and 10 patients had mitral insufficiency. 73.5% of all patients had heart failure Strazhesko-Vasilenko IIA grade and 85.3% of patients had chronic heart failure NYHA III. Isolated mitral valve replacement was performed only in 8 (23.5% of patients. In 22 (64.7% of cases mitral valve replacement was combined with tricuspid valvuloplasty in various modifications. Duration of cardiopulmonary bypass and of aortic clamping was 88.09 ± 25.95 and 65.68 ± 25.51 minutes, respectively. Before and after surgery all patients underwent echocardiographic assessment and clinical assessment of their general status.Results: In-hospital mortality was 5.88% (n = 2 and was related to multiorgan failure in the early postoperative period. All 32 (94.12% surviving patients improved with decrease or complete disappearance of heart failure. Postoperative complications were typical for cardiac surgery. There were no episodes of embolism, structural dysfunction, thrombosis of the prosthesis and endocarditis of the prosthesis in the early postoperative period. Pressure gradients across prosthetic valves were not high and corresponded to good clinical and hemodynamic results in the early postoperative period.Conclusion: Taking into account good immediate results of mitral valve replacement, as well as no need in lifelong anticoagulation in patients with multiple concomitant disorders, implantation of the biological prosthesis “ASPIRE” (Vascutek could become a procedure of choice for correction of valve abnormalities in patients above 65 years. For more comprehensive

  4. Reproductive function and biological dosimetry prospective study of young thyroid differentiated cancer patients treated with I-131

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Di Giorgio, M.; Vallerga, M.B.; Taja, M.R.; Radl, A.; Chebel, Graciela; Fadel, Ana Maria; Gutierrez, Silvia; Normandi, Eduardo; Levalle, Oscar; Kundt, Miriam

    2011-01-01

    The administration of I-131 in the management of differentiated thyroid cancer (DTC) is a well established practice. As the spermatogonia is highly sensitive to radiation, large doses of internal radiation could result in adverse effects on reproductive function such as oligo/azoospermia and infertility. During spermiogenesis, mammalian chromatin undergoes replacement of nuclear histones by protamines, which yields a DNA sixfold more highly condensed in spermatozoa than in mitotic chromosomes. The structure of this highly packaged chromatin shows a low binding capacity for several fluorochromes and dyes such as chromomycin A3 (CMA3). The aim of this study is to assess the correlation between reproductive function (endocrine and exocrine testicular function, and levels of CMA3 stainability) and biological dosimetry in a prospective study of 4 young DTC patients treated with I-131. In this context, a background level of CMA3 binding in mature human sperm was established. It revealed a variable accessibility of CMA3 to the DNA that is dependant on packaging quality and thus, indicative of protamine deficiency. The identification of altered stainability suggests DNA damage as well as epigenetic effects, which may be indicators of male infertility. Transient impairment of spermatogenesis associated with an increase in FSH, an altered spermiogram and even azoospermia was observed after the administration of cumulative activities. Overall, testosterone levels were preserved, except in one case, which presented a drastically diminished value associated with an increase in LH level. As peripheral blood lymphocytes and spermatogonia have equivalent radiosensitivity (interphase death) we hypothesize that the knowledge of DNA damage recovery in peripheral lymphocytes could correlate with spermatogonia recovery and with FSH evolution. (authors)

  5. Reproductive function and biological dosimetry prospective study of young thyroid differentiated cancer patients treated with I-131

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Di Giorgio, Marina; Vallerga, Maria B.; Taja, Maria R.; Radl, Analia; Chebel, Graciela; Fadel, Ana M.; Gutierrez, Silvia; Normandi, Eduardo; Levalle, Oscar; Kundt, Miriam

    2008-01-01

    Full text: The administration of I-131 in the management of differentiated thyroid cancer (DTC) is a well established practice. As the spermatogonia is highly sensitive to radiation, large doses of internal radiation could result in adverse effects on reproductive function such as oligo/azoospermia and infertility. During spermiogenesis, mammalian chromatin undergoes replacement of nuclear histones by protamines, which yields a DNA sixfold more highly condensed in spermatozoa than in mitotic chromosomes. The structure of this highly packaged chromatin shows a low binding capacity for several fluoro chromes and dyes such as chromo mycin A 3 (CMA 3 ). The aim of this study is to assess the correlation between reproductive function (endocrine and exocrine testicular function, and levels of CMA 3 stainability) and biological dosimetry in a prospective study of 4 young DTC patients treated with I-131. In this context, a background level of CMA 3 binding in mature human sperm was established. It revealed a variable accessibility of CMA 3 to the DNA that is dependant on packaging quality and thus, indicative of protamine deficiency. The identification of altered stainability suggests DNA damage as well as epigenetic effects, which may be indicators of male infertility. Transient impairment of spermatogenesis associated with an increase in FSH, an altered spermiogram and even azoospermia was observed after the administration of cumulative activities. Overall, testosterone levels were preserved, except in one case, which presented a drastically diminished value associated with an increase in LH level. As peripheral blood lymphocytes and spermatogonia have equivalent radiosensitivity (interphase death) we hypothesize that the knowledge of DNA damage recovery in peripheral lymphocytes could correlate with spermatogonia recovery and with FSH evolution. Therefore, a prospective study on the decline of unstable chromosome aberrations is being conducted, considering the damage

  6. Expanding the Bethe/Gauge dictionary

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bullimore, Mathew; Kim, Hee-Cheol; Lukowski, Tomasz

    2017-11-01

    We expand the Bethe/Gauge dictionary between the XXX Heisenberg spin chain and 2d N = (2, 2) supersymmetric gauge theories to include aspects of the algebraic Bethe ansatz. We construct the wave functions of off-shell Bethe states as orbifold defects in the A-twisted supersymmetric gauge theory and study their correlation functions. We also present an alternative description of off-shell Bethe states as boundary conditions in an effective N = 4 supersymmetric quantum mechanics. Finally, we interpret spin chain R-matrices as correlation functions of Janus interfaces for mass parameters in the supersymmetric quantum mechanics.

  7. Evaluating the biological risk of functionalized multiwalled carbon nanotubes and functionalized oxygen-doped multiwalled carbon nanotubes as possible toxic, carcinogenic, and embryotoxic agents

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lara-Martínez LA

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Luis A Lara-Martínez,1 Felipe Massó,2 Eduardo Palacios González,3 Isabel García-Peláez,4 Alejandra Contreras–Ramos,5 Mahara Valverde,6 Emilio Rojas,6 Felipe Cervantes-Sodi,7 Salomón Hernández-Gutiérrez1 1Department of Molecular Biology, School of Medicine, Universidad Panamericana, Mexico City, Mexico; 2Department of Physiology, National Institute of Cardiology Ignacio Chavez, Mexico City, Mexico; 3Department of Microscopy, Ultra High Resolution Electron Microscopy Laboratory, Instituto Mexicano del Petróleo, Mexico City, Mexico; 4Department of Embryology, Medicine Faculty, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, Mexico City, Mexico; 5Department of Developmental Biology Research and Experimental Teratogenicity, Children’s Hospital of Mexico, Federico Gomez, Mexico City, Mexico; 6Department of Genomic Medicine, Institute of Biomedical Research, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, Mexico City, Mexico; 7Department of Physics and Mathematics, Nanoscience and Nanotechnology Laboratory, Universidad Iberoamericana, Mexico City, Mexico Abstract: Carbon nanotubes (CNTs have been a focus of attention due to their possible applications in medicine, by serving as scaffolds for cell growth and proliferation and improving mesenchymal cell transplantation and engraftment. The emphasis on the benefits of CNTs has been offset by the ample debate on the safety of nanotechnologies. In this study, we determine whether functionalized multiwalled CNTs (fMWCNTs and functionalized oxygen-doped multiwalled CNTs (fCOxs have toxic effects on rat mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs in vitro by analyzing morphology and cell proliferation and, using in vivo models, whether they are able to transform MSCs in cancer cells or induce embryotoxicity. Our results demonstrate that there are statistically significant differences in cell proliferation and the cell cycle of MSCs in culture. We identified dramatic changes in cells that were treated with fMWCNTs. Our

  8. Production of sorption functional media (SFM) from clinoptilolite tailings and its performance investigation in a biological aerated filter (BAF) reactor

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Feng, Yan; Qi, Jingyao; Chi, Liying; Wang, Dong; Wang, Zhaoyang; Li, Ke; Li, Xin

    2013-01-01

    Highlights: ► Sorption functional media (SFM) were prepared using zeolite tailings. ► Two upflow BAFs were applied to treat municipal wastewater. ► SFM BAF brought a relative superiority to haydite reactor. ► SFM BAF has a stronger adaptability to low temperature (6–11°C) for NH 3 -N removal. ► The application provided a promising way in zeolite tailings utilization. -- Abstract: The few reuse and large stockpile of zeolite tailings led to a series of social and environmental problems. This study investigated the possibility of using the zeolite tailings as one of principal raw materials to prepare sorption functional media (SFM) by a high temperature sintering process. The SFM was used to serve as a biomedium in a biological aerated filter (BAF) reactor for domestic wastewater treatment, and its purification performance was examined. The physical, chemical and sorption properties of SFM were also determined. The microstructure of the SFM was analyzed by scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Results revealed that: (1) zeolite tailings could be used to produce the SFM under the optimal sintering parameters; (2) the sorption and desorption isotherm of ammonia nitrogen on SFM could be well described by the Langmuir formula; (3) in terms of removing organic matter, ammonia nitrogen, turbidity and colourity, the performance of the biofilter with SFM was superior to that with haydite; and (4) SFM BAF has a stronger adaptability to low temperature (6–11 °C) for NH 3 -N removal compared to haydite BAF. Therefore, the SFM produced from the zeolite tailings was suitable to serve as the biomedium in the domestic wastewater treatment

  9. The Biological Function and Clinical Utilization of CD147 in Human Diseases: A Review of the Current Scientific Literature

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xiong, Lijuan; Edwards, Carl K.; Zhou, Lijun

    2014-01-01

    CD147 or EMMPRIN is a member of the immunoglobulin superfamily in humans. It is widely expressed in human tumors and plays a central role in the progression of many cancers by stimulating the secretion of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) and cytokines. CD147 regulates cell proliferation, apoptosis, and tumor cell migration, metastasis and differentiation, especially under hypoxic conditions. CD147 is also important to many organ systems. This review will provide a detailed overview of the discovery, characterization, molecular structure, diverse biological functions and regulatory mechanisms of CD147 in human physiological and pathological processes. In particular, recent studies have demonstrated the potential application of CD147 not only as a phenotypic marker of activated regulatory T cells but also as a potential diagnostic marker for early-stage disease. Moreover, CD147 is recognized as an effective therapeutic target for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and other cancers, and exciting clinical progress has been made in HCC treatment using CD147-directed monoclonal antibodies. PMID:25268615

  10. Validation of systems biology derived molecular markers of renal donor organ status associated with long term allograft function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perco, Paul; Heinzel, Andreas; Leierer, Johannes; Schneeberger, Stefan; Bösmüller, Claudia; Oberhuber, Rupert; Wagner, Silvia; Engler, Franziska; Mayer, Gert

    2018-05-03

    Donor organ quality affects long term outcome after renal transplantation. A variety of prognostic molecular markers is available, yet their validity often remains undetermined. A network-based molecular model reflecting donor kidney status based on transcriptomics data and molecular features reported in scientific literature to be associated with chronic allograft nephropathy was created. Significantly enriched biological processes were identified and representative markers were selected. An independent kidney pre-implantation transcriptomics dataset of 76 organs was used to predict estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) values twelve months after transplantation using available clinical data and marker expression values. The best-performing regression model solely based on the clinical parameters donor age, donor gender, and recipient gender explained 17% of variance in post-transplant eGFR values. The five molecular markers EGF, CD2BP2, RALBP1, SF3B1, and DDX19B representing key molecular processes of the constructed renal donor organ status molecular model in addition to the clinical parameters significantly improved model performance (p-value = 0.0007) explaining around 33% of the variability of eGFR values twelve months after transplantation. Collectively, molecular markers reflecting donor organ status significantly add to prediction of post-transplant renal function when added to the clinical parameters donor age and gender.

  11. The Biological Function and Clinical Utilization of CD147 in Human Diseases: A Review of the Current Scientific Literature

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lijuan Xiong

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available CD147 or EMMPRIN is a member of the immunoglobulin superfamily in humans. It is widely expressed in human tumors and plays a central role in the progression of many cancers by stimulating the secretion of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs and cytokines. CD147 regulates cell proliferation, apoptosis, and tumor cell migration, metastasis and differentiation, especially under hypoxic conditions. CD147 is also important to many organ systems. This review will provide a detailed overview of the discovery, characterization, molecular structure, diverse biological functions and regulatory mechanisms of CD147 in human physiological and pathological processes. In particular, recent studies have demonstrated the potential application of CD147 not only as a phenotypic marker of activated regulatory T cells but also as a potential diagnostic marker for early-stage disease. Moreover, CD147 is recognized as an effective therapeutic target for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC and other cancers, and exciting clinical progress has been made in HCC treatment using CD147-directed monoclonal antibodies.

  12. Porphyrins from Messel oil shale (Eocene, Germany): Structure elucidation, geochemical and biological significance, and distribution as a function of depth

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ocampo, R.; Bauder, C.; Callot, H.J.; Albrecht, P. (Univ. Louis Pasteur, Strasbourg (France))

    1992-02-01

    The extraction and isolation procedures of twenty nickel porphyrins (seven alkylporphyrins, thirteen carboxylic acids) from lacustrine Messel shale (Eocene, Germany), as well as the unequivocal structural assignments (obtained using 200 and 400 MHz nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), nuclear Overhauser effect, mass spectrometry, and total or partial synthesis of six reference compounds) are described. Ten porphyrins could be specifically correlated with biological precursors: algal chlorophyll c (4), bacteriochlorophylls d (3), and heme (3), while the remaining ones may arise from several chlorophylls. The structures of these fossil pigments mostly confirm the classical Treibs scheme,' including the origin of some porphyrins from nonchlorophyll sources. They also show that, even in a very immature sediment, deep modifications occur, including, in particular, extensive degradation of chlorophyll E ring. The composition of the porphyrin fractions of Messel oil shale was also studied as a function of depth. A porphyrin acids/alkylporphyrins ratio varying from 0.35 to 24.8 demonstrated that the apparent homogeneity of the shale is not reflected on the molecular scale. This was confirmed when the abundance of the twenty individual porphyrins of known structure was measured along the core. Significant correlations between individual porphyrins were found: fossils of bacteriochlorophylls d, homolog pairs of porphyrins (3-H/3-ethyl), etc.

  13. Porphyrins from Messel oil shale (Eocene, Germany): Structure elucidation, geochemical and biological significance, and distribution as a function of depth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ocampo, Rubén; Bauder, Claude; Callot, Henry J.; Albrecht, Pierre

    1992-02-01

    The extraction and isolation procedures of twenty nickel porphyrins (seven alkylporphyrins, thirteen carboxylic acids) from lacustrine Messel shale (Eocene, Germany), as well as the unequivocal structural assignments (obtained using 200 and 400 MHz nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), nuclear Overhauser effect, mass spectrometry and total or partial synthesis of six reference compounds) are described. Ten porphyrins could be specifically correlated with biological precursors: algal chlorophyll c (4), bacteriochlorophylls d (3) and heme (3), while the remaining ones may arise from several chlorophylls. The structures of these fossil pigments mostly confirm the classical "Treibs scheme," including the origin of some porphyrins from nonchlorophyll sources. They also show that, even in a very immature sediment, deep modifications occur, including, in particular, extensive degradation of chlorophyll E ring. The composition of the porphyrin fractions of Messel oil shale was also studied as a function of depth. A porphyrin acids/alkylporphyrins ratio varying from 0.35 to 24.8 demonstrated that the apparent homogeneity of the shale is not reflected on the molecular scale. This was confirmed when the abundance of the twenty individual porphyrins of known structure was measured along the core. Significant correlations between individual porphyrins were found: fossils of bacteriochlorophylls d, homolog pairs of porphyrins (3-H/3-ethyl), etc.

  14. New generation expandable sand screens

    OpenAIRE

    Syltøy, Christer

    2014-01-01

    Master's thesis in Petroleum engineering This thesis aims to give a general insight into sand control and various sorts of sand control measures and applications of sand control tools. Special focus will be given to expandable sand screens – a technology which came about in the late 1990’s through the use of flexible, expandable tubulars as base pipe in sand screens. More specifically Darcy’s Hydraulic Endurance Screens, a compliant sand screen system using hydraulic activation, and the fu...

  15. Neutrinos in an expanding Universe

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wigmans, Richard

    2015-01-01

    The Universe contains several billion neutrinos for each nucleon. In this paper, we follow the history of these relic neutrinos as the Universe expanded. At present, their typical velocity is a few hundred km/s and, therefore, their spectra are affected by gravitational forces. This may have led to a phenomenon that could explain two of todays great mysteries: The large-scale structure of the Universe and the increasing rate at which it expands. (paper)

  16. Special conference of the American Association for Cancer Research on molecular imaging in cancer: linking biology, function, and clinical applications in vivo.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luker, Gary D

    2002-04-01

    The AACR Special Conference on Molecular Imaging in Cancer: Linking Biology, Function, and Clinical Applications In Vivo, was held January 23-27, 2002, at the Contemporary Hotel, Walt Disney World, Orlando, FL. Co-Chairs David Piwnica-Worms, Patricia Price and Thomas Meade brought together researchers with diverse expertise in molecular biology, gene therapy, chemistry, engineering, pharmacology, and imaging to accelerate progress in developing and applying technologies for imaging specific cellular and molecular signals in living animals and humans. The format of the conference was the presentation of research that focused on basic and translational biology of cancer and current state-of-the-art techniques for molecular imaging in animal models and humans. This report summarizes the special conference on molecular imaging, highlighting the interfaces of molecular biology with animal models, instrumentation, chemistry, and pharmacology that are essential to convert the dreams and promise of molecular imaging into improved understanding, diagnosis, and management of cancer.

  17. A Tricky Trait: Applying the Fruits of the “Function Debate” in the Philosophy of Biology to the “Venom Debate” in the Science of Toxinology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jackson, Timothy N. W.; Fry, Bryan G.

    2016-01-01

    The “function debate” in the philosophy of biology and the “venom debate” in the science of toxinology are conceptually related. Venom systems are complex multifunctional traits that have evolved independently numerous times throughout the animal kingdom. No single concept of function, amongst those popularly defended, appears adequate to describe these systems in all their evolutionary contexts and extant variations. As such, a pluralistic view of function, previously defended by some philosophers of biology, is most appropriate. Venom systems, like many other functional traits, exist in nature as points on a continuum and the boundaries between “venomous” and “non-venomous” species may not always be clearly defined. This paper includes a brief overview of the concept of function, followed by in-depth discussion of its application to venom systems. A sound understanding of function may aid in moving the venom debate forward. Similarly, consideration of a complex functional trait such as venom may be of interest to philosophers of biology. PMID:27618098

  18. A Tricky Trait: Applying the Fruits of the “Function Debate” in the Philosophy of Biology to the “Venom Debate” in the Science of Toxinology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Timothy N. W. Jackson

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available The “function debate” in the philosophy of biology and the “venom debate” in the science of toxinology are conceptually related. Venom systems are complex multifunctional traits that have evolved independently numerous times throughout the animal kingdom. No single concept of function, amongst those popularly defended, appears adequate to describe these systems in all their evolutionary contexts and extant variations. As such, a pluralistic view of function, previously defended by some philosophers of biology, is most appropriate. Venom systems, like many other functional traits, exist in nature as points on a continuum and the boundaries between “venomous” and “non-venomous” species may not always be clearly defined. This paper includes a brief overview of the concept of function, followed by in-depth discussion of its application to venom systems. A sound understanding of function may aid in moving the venom debate forward. Similarly, consideration of a complex functional trait such as venom may be of interest to philosophers of biology.

  19. The expanding regulatory universe of p53 in gastrointestinal cancer [version 1; referees: 2 approved

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew Fesler

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Tumor suppresser gene TP53 is one of the most frequently deleted or mutated genes in gastrointestinal cancers. As a transcription factor, p53 regulates a number of important protein coding genes to control cell cycle, cell death, DNA damage/repair, stemness, differentiation and other key cellular functions. In addition, p53 is also able to activate the expression of a number of small non-coding microRNAs (miRNAs through direct binding to the promoter region of these miRNAs.  Many miRNAs have been identified to be potential tumor suppressors by regulating key effecter target mRNAs. Our understanding of the regulatory network of p53 has recently expanded to include long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs. Like miRNA, lncRNAs have been found to play important roles in cancer biology.  With our increased understanding of the important functions of these non-coding RNAs and their relationship with p53, we are gaining exciting new insights into the biology and function of cells in response to various growth environment changes. In this review we summarize the current understanding of the ever expanding involvement of non-coding RNAs in the p53 regulatory network and its implications for our understanding of gastrointestinal cancer.

  20. Evaluation of the persistence of functional and biological respiratory health effects in clean-up workers 6 years after the Prestige oil spill.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Zock, J.P.; Rodríguez-Trigo, G.; Rodríguez-Rodríguez, E.; Souto-Alonso, A.; Espinosa, A.; Pozo-Rodríguez, F.; Gómez, F.P.; Fuster, C.; Castaño-Vinyals, G.; Antó, J.M.; Barberà, J.A.

    2014-01-01

    Fishermen who had participated in clean-up activities of the Prestige oil spill showed increased bronchial responsiveness and higher levels of respiratory biomarkers 2years later. We aimed to evaluate the persistence of these functional and biological respiratory health effects 6years after clean-up

  1. Characterization of the stability and bio-functionality of tethered proteins on bioengineered scaffolds: implications for stem cell biology and tissue repair.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Ting-Yi; Bruggeman, Kiara A F; Sheean, Rebecca K; Turner, Bradley J; Nisbet, David R; Parish, Clare L

    2014-05-23

    Various engineering applications have been utilized to deliver molecules and compounds in both innate and biological settings. In the context of biological applications, the timely delivery of molecules can be critical for cellular and organ function. As such, previous studies have demonstrated the superiority of long-term protein delivery, by way of protein tethering onto bioengineered scaffolds, compared with conventional delivery of soluble protein in vitro and in vivo. Despite such benefits little knowledge exists regarding the stability, release kinetics, longevity, activation of intracellular pathway, and functionality of these proteins over time. By way of example, here we examined the stability, degradation and functionality of a protein, glial-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF), which is known to influence neuronal survival, differentiation, and neurite morphogenesis. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA) revealed that GDNF, covalently tethered onto polycaprolactone (PCL) electrospun nanofibrous scaffolds, remained present on the scaffold surface for 120 days, with no evidence of protein leaching or degradation. The tethered GDNF protein remained functional and capable of activating downstream signaling cascades, as revealed by its capacity to phosphorylate intracellular Erk in a neural cell line. Furthermore, immobilization of GDNF protein promoted cell survival and differentiation in culture at both 3 and 7 days, further validating prolonged functionality of the protein, well beyond the minutes to hours timeframe observed for soluble proteins under the same culture conditions. This study provides important evidence of the stability and functionality kinetics of tethered molecules. © 2014 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

  2. Biological functionalization of drug delivery carriers to bypass size restrictions of receptor-mediated endocytosis independently from receptor targeting.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ansar, Maria; Serrano, Daniel; Papademetriou, Iason; Bhowmick, Tridib Kumar; Muro, Silvia

    2013-12-23

    Targeting of drug carriers to cell-surface receptors involved in endocytosis is commonly used for intracellular drug delivery. However, most endocytic receptors mediate uptake via clathrin or caveolar pathways associated with ≤200-nm vesicles, restricting carrier design. We recently showed that endocytosis mediated by intercellular adhesion molecule 1 (ICAM-1), which differs from clathrin- and caveolae-mediated pathways, allows uptake of nano- and microcarriers in cell culture and in vivo due to recruitment of cellular sphingomyelinases to the plasmalemma. This leads to ceramide generation at carrier binding sites and formation of actin stress-fibers, enabling engulfment and uptake of a wide size-range of carriers. Here we adapted this paradigm to enhance uptake of drug carriers targeted to receptors associated with size-restricted pathways. We coated sphingomyelinase onto model (polystyrene) submicro- and microcarriers targeted to clathrin-associated mannose-6-phosphate receptor. In endothelial cells, this provided ceramide enrichment at the cell surface and actin stress-fiber formation, modifying the uptake pathway and enhancing carrier endocytosis without affecting targeting, endosomal transport, cell-associated degradation, or cell viability. This improvement depended on the carrier size and enzyme dose, and similar results were observed for other receptors (transferrin receptor) and cell types (epithelial cells). This phenomenon also enhanced tissue accumulation of carriers after intravenous injection in mice. Hence, it is possible to maintain targeting toward a selected receptor while bypassing natural size restrictions of its associated endocytic route by functionalization of drug carriers with biological elements mimicking the ICAM-1 pathway. This strategy holds considerable promise to enhance flexibility of design of targeted drug delivery systems.

  3. Human microRNA oncogenes and tumor suppressors show significantly different biological patterns: from functions to targets.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dong Wang

    Full Text Available MicroRNAs (miRNAs are small noncoding RNAs which play essential roles in many important biological processes. Therefore, their dysfunction is associated with a variety of human diseases, including cancer. Increasing evidence shows that miRNAs can act as oncogenes or tumor suppressors, and although there is great interest in research into these cancer-associated miRNAs, little is known about them. In this study, we performed a comprehensive analysis of putative human miRNA oncogenes and tumor suppressors. We found that miRNA oncogenes and tumor suppressors clearly show different patterns in function, evolutionary rate, expression, chromosome distribution, molecule size, free energy, transcription factors, and targets. For example, miRNA oncogenes are located mainly in the amplified regions in human cancers, whereas miRNA tumor suppressors are located mainly in the deleted regions. miRNA oncogenes tend to cleave target mRNAs more frequently than miRNA tumor suppressors. These results indicate that these two types of cancer-associated miRNAs play different roles in cancer formation and development. Moreover, the patterns identified here can discriminate novel miRNA oncogenes and tumor suppressors with a high degree of accuracy. This study represents the first large-scale bioinformatic analysis of human miRNA oncogenes and tumor suppressors. Our findings provide help for not only understanding of miRNAs in cancer but also for the specific identification of novel miRNAs as miRNA oncogenes and tumor suppressors. In addition, the data presented in this study will be valuable for the study of both miRNAs and cancer.

  4. Environmental biology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tschumi, P.A.

    1981-01-01

    Environmental biology illustrates the functioning of ecosystems and the dynamics of populations with many examples from limnology and terrestrial ecology. On this basis, present environmental problems are analyzed. The present environmental crisis is seen as a result of the failure to observe ecological laws. (orig.) [de

  5. 11th IUBMB Focused Meeting on the Aminoacyl-tRNA Synthetases: Sailing a New Sea of Complex Functions in Human Biology and Disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Francklyn, Christopher; Roy, Herve; Alexander, Rebecca

    2018-05-01

    The 11th IUBMB Focused Meeting on Aminoacyl-tRNA Synthetases was held in Clearwater Beach, Florida from 29 October⁻2 November 2017, with the aim of presenting the latest research on these enzymes and promoting interchange among aminoacyl-tRNA synthetase (ARS) researchers. Topics covered in the meeting included many areas of investigation, including ARS evolution, mechanism, editing functions, biology in prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells and their organelles, their roles in human diseases, and their application to problems in emerging areas of synthetic biology. In this report, we provide a summary of the major themes of the meeting, citing contributions from the oral presentations in the meeting.

  6. Flow boiling in expanding microchannels

    CERN Document Server

    Alam, Tamanna

    2017-01-01

    This Brief presents an up to date summary of details of the flow boiling heat transfer, pressure drop and instability characteristics; two phase flow patterns of expanding microchannels. Results obtained from the different expanding microscale geometries are presented for comparison and addition to that, comparison with literatures is also performed. Finally, parametric studies are performed and presented in the brief. The findings from this study could help in understanding the complex microscale flow boiling behavior and aid in the design and implementation of reliable compact heat sinks for practical applications.

  7. Dissecting functions of the retinoblastoma tumor suppressor and the related pocket proteins by integrating genetic, cell biology, and electrophoretic techniques

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hansen, Klaus; Lukas, J; Holm, K

    1999-01-01

    The members of the 'pocket protein' family, comprising the retinoblastoma tumor suppressor (pRB) and its relatives, p107 and p130, negatively regulate cell proliferation and modulate fundamental biological processes including embryonic development, differentiation, homeostatic tissue renewal...

  8. Usefulness and limitations of dK random graph models to predict interactions and functional homogeneity in biological networks under a pseudo-likelihood parameter estimation approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luan Yihui

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Many aspects of biological functions can be modeled by biological networks, such as protein interaction networks, metabolic networks, and gene coexpression networks. Studying the statistical properties of these networks in turn allows us to infer biological function. Complex statistical network models can potentially more accurately describe the networks, but it is not clear whether such complex models are better suited to find biologically meaningful subnetworks. Results Recent studies have shown that the degree distribution of the nodes is not an adequate statistic in many molecular networks. We sought to extend this statistic with 2nd and 3rd order degree correlations and developed a pseudo-likelihood approach to estimate the parameters. The approach was used to analyze the MIPS and BIOGRID yeast protein interaction networks, and two yeast coexpression networks. We showed that 2nd order degree correlation information gave better predictions of gene interactions in both protein interaction and gene coexpression networks. However, in the biologically important task of predicting functionally homogeneous modules, degree correlation information performs marginally better in the case of the MIPS and BIOGRID protein interaction networks, but worse in the case of gene coexpression networks. Conclusion Our use of dK models showed that incorporation of degree correlations could increase predictive power in some contexts, albeit sometimes marginally, but, in all contexts, the use of third-order degree correlations decreased accuracy. However, it is possible that other parameter estimation methods, such as maximum likelihood, will show the usefulness of incorporating 2nd and 3rd degree correlations in predicting functionally homogeneous modules.

  9. Usefulness and limitations of dK random graph models to predict interactions and functional homogeneity in biological networks under a pseudo-likelihood parameter estimation approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Wenhui; Nunez-Iglesias, Juan; Luan, Yihui; Sun, Fengzhu

    2009-09-03

    Many aspects of biological functions can be modeled by biological networks, such as protein interaction networks, metabolic networks, and gene coexpression networks. Studying the statistical properties of these networks in turn allows us to infer biological function. Complex statistical network models can potentially more accurately describe the networks, but it is not clear whether such complex models are better suited to find biologically meaningful subnetworks. Recent studies have shown that the degree distribution of the nodes is not an adequate statistic in many molecular networks. We sought to extend this statistic with 2nd and 3rd order degree correlations and developed a pseudo-likelihood approach to estimate the parameters. The approach was used to analyze the MIPS and BIOGRID yeast protein interaction networks, and two yeast coexpression networks. We showed that 2nd order degree correlation information gave better predictions of gene interactions in both protein interaction and gene coexpression networks. However, in the biologically important task of predicting functionally homogeneous modules, degree correlation information performs marginally better in the case of the MIPS and BIOGRID protein interaction networks, but worse in the case of gene coexpression networks. Our use of dK models showed that incorporation of degree correlations could increase predictive power in some contexts, albeit sometimes marginally, but, in all contexts, the use of third-order degree correlations decreased accuracy. However, it is possible that other parameter estimation methods, such as maximum likelihood, will show the usefulness of incorporating 2nd and 3rd degree correlations in predicting functionally homogeneous modules.

  10. Functional analysis of biological matter across dimensions by atomic force microscopy (AFM): from tissues to molecules and, ultimately, atoms

    OpenAIRE

    Stolz, Martin

    2004-01-01

    For a detailed understanding of biological tissues and proteins and their dynamical processes the 3D structures of the components involved must be known. Most of the structural data have been obtained through the combination of three major techniques: X-ray crystallography, NMR and TEM. These three methods enable the determination of the structure of biological macromolecules at near atomic resolution and each of those was developed over many years to perfection. Nevertheless each one has its...

  11. The 11S Proteasomal Activator REGγ Impacts Polyglutamine-Expanded Androgen Receptor Aggregation and Motor Neuron Viability through Distinct Mechanisms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jill M. Yersak

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA is caused by expression of a polyglutamine (polyQ-expanded androgen receptor (AR. The inefficient nuclear proteasomal degradation of the mutant AR results in the formation of nuclear inclusions containing amino-terminal fragments of the mutant AR. PA28γ (also referred to as REGγ is a nuclear 11S-proteasomal activator with limited proteasome activation capabilities compared to its cytoplasmic 11S (PA28α, PA28β counterparts. To clarify the role of REGγ in polyQ-expanded AR metabolism, we carried out genetic and biochemical studies in cell models of SBMA. Overexpression of REGγ in a PC12 cell model of SBMA increased polyQ-expanded AR aggregation and contributed to polyQ-expanded AR toxicity in the presence of dihydrotestosterone (DHT. These effects of REGγ were independent of its association with the proteasome and may be due, in part, to the decreased binding of polyQ-expanded AR by the E3 ubiquitin-ligase MDM2. Unlike its effects in PC12 cells, REGγ overexpression rescued transgenic SBMA motor neurons from DHT-induced toxicity in a proteasome binding-dependent manner, suggesting that the degradation of a specific 11S proteasome substrate or substrates promotes motor neuron viability. One potential substrate that we found to play a role in mutant AR toxicity is the splicing factor SC35. These studies reveal that, depending on the cellular context, two biological roles for REGγ impact cell viability in the face of polyQ-expanded AR; a proteasome binding-independent mechanism directly promotes mutant AR aggregation while a proteasome binding-dependent mechanism promotes cell viability. The balance between these functions likely determines REGγ effects on polyQ-expanded AR-expressing cells.

  12. Stability of expanded plasma focus

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Soliman, H.M.

    1994-01-01

    In this study, the stabilization of the expanded plasma focus formed by 4.5 kJ plasma focus device of Mather type by magnetic field is presented. The experimental results of the induced axial magnetic field and electric probe measurements of the expanded plasma focus show that, the plasma consists of three plasmoids, electron temperature measurements off the plasmoids at a point close to the muzzle are 26 eV, 30 eV and 27 eV respectively and the electron densities are 6.6 x 10 14 , 6.1 x 10 14 / cm 3 respectively. The presence of external axial magnetic field (B 2 = 1.6 kg) at the mid distance between the breech and the muzzle has a less effect on the stability of expanded focus and it causes a restriction for the plasma motion. the electron temperature of the three plasmoids are found to increase in that case by 23%, 18.5% respectively. When this axial magnetic field is applied at the muzzle end, it leads to a more stable expanded plasma focus which consists mainly of one plasmoid with electron temperature of 39 eV and density of 3.4 x 10 14 / cm 3 . 5 figs

  13. 'In situ' expanded graphite extinguishant

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cao Qixin; Shou Yuemei; He Bangrong

    1987-01-01

    This report is concerning the development of the extinguishant for sodium fire and the investigation of its extinguishing property. The experiment result shows that 'in situ' expanded graphite developed by the authors is a kind of extinguishant which extinguishes sodium fire quickly and effectively and has no environment pollution during use and the amount of usage is little

  14. EFFECT OF INCORPORATING EXPANDED POLYSTYRENE ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    2012-11-03

    Nov 3, 2012 ... Incorporating expanded polystyrene granules in concrete matrix can produce lightweight polystyrene aggregate concrete of ... structure. [1] reported that the standard workability tests are not suitable for the polystyrene aggregate concrete since they are sensitive to the unit weight of concrete. [2] made ...

  15. Expanding the Universe of Education.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parsons, Elizabeth

    1996-01-01

    Definitions of "education" and "rural" are debunked and expanded. The three major tasks of rural education are educating people to understand their own needs, the unavoidable changes that will transform rural Australia within their lifetimes, and the range of technologies that can enhance their well-being. Presents a strategy…

  16. Effect and Mechanism of EGFL7 Downregulation in Human Osteosarcoma Cells on the Biological Function of Co-cultured HUVEC

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xia Li

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Background: Even though epidermal growth factor-like domain 7 is known to be overexpressed in osteosarcoma and is associated with poor clinical outcome, few reports are available regarding its mechanism. Aims: The objective of this study was to explore the effect and mechanism of downregulating epidermal growth factor-like domain 7 expression in a human osteosarcoma cell line on the biological function of co-cultured human umbilical vein endothelial cells. Study Design: Cell study. Methods: In the present study, human osteosarcoma cell lines U2OS, Saos-2, HOS, and MG63, and normal human osteoblasts were cultured in Dulbecco’s Modified Eagle Medium containing 10% fetal bovine serum and 1x antibiotics at 37 °C and 5% CO2 in an incubator. Of the four osteosarcoma cell lines, U2OS expresses the highest level of epidermal growth factor-like domain 7 mRNA as determined using quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction. With the knockdown of epidermal growth factor-like domain 7 in U2OS and human umbilical vein endothelial cells by lentivirus, the proliferation and apoptosis of U2OS and human umbilical vein endothelial cells were investigated using MTT and flow cytometry assays. After the co-culture of human umbilical vein endothelial cells and epidermal growth factor-like domain 7-knockdown U2OS, the in vitro effects on cell proliferation, apoptosis, adhesion, migration, and the angiogenic ability of human umbilical vein endothelial cells were detected using MTT, flow cytometry, Transwell, and tube formation assays, respectively. The expressions of phosphoinositide 3-kinase, phospho-Akt, total Akt, and vascular endothelial growth factor in human umbilical vein endothelial cells were detected using western blot assay. Results: Lentivirus with epidermal growth factor-like domain 7 shRNA could not significantly affect the proliferation and apoptosis of both U2OS and human umbilical vein endothelial cells, whereas the knockdown of

  17. Disruption of SLX4-MUS81 Function Increases the Relative Biological Effectiveness of Proton Radiation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Liu, Qi [Laboratory of Cellular and Molecular Radiation Oncology, Department of Radiation Oncology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts (United States); Underwood, Tracy S.A.; Kung, Jong [Division of Radiation Physics, Department of Radiation Oncology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts (United States); Wang, Meng [Laboratory of Cellular and Molecular Radiation Oncology, Department of Radiation Oncology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts (United States); Lu, Hsiao-Ming; Paganetti, Harald [Division of Radiation Physics, Department of Radiation Oncology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts (United States); Held, Kathryn D.; Hong, Theodore S.; Efstathiou, Jason A. [Laboratory of Cellular and Molecular Radiation Oncology, Department of Radiation Oncology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts (United States); Willers, Henning, E-mail: hwillers@mgh.harvard.edu [Laboratory of Cellular and Molecular Radiation Oncology, Department of Radiation Oncology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts (United States)

    2016-05-01

    Purpose: Clinical proton beam therapy has been based on the use of a generic relative biological effectiveness (RBE) of ∼1.1. However, emerging data have suggested that Fanconi anemia (FA) and homologous recombination pathway defects can lead to a variable RBE, at least in vitro. We investigated the role of SLX4 (FANCP), which acts as a docking platform for the assembly of multiple structure-specific endonucleases, in the response to proton irradiation. Methods and Materials: Isogenic cell pairs for the study of SLX4, XPF/ERCC1, MUS81, and SLX1 were irradiated at the mid-spread-out Bragg peak of a clinical proton beam (linear energy transfer 2.5 keV/μm) or with 250 kVp x-rays, and the clonogenic survival fractions were determined. To estimate the RBE of the protons relative to cobalt-60 photons (Co60Eq), we assigned a RBE(Co60Eq) of 1.1 to x-rays to correct the physical dose measured. Standard DNA repair foci assays were used to monitor the damage responses, and the cell cycle distributions were assessed by flow cytometry. The poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase inhibitor olaparib was used for comparison. Results: Loss of SLX4 function resulted in an enhanced proton RBE(Co60Eq) of 1.42 compared with 1.11 for wild-type cells (at a survival fraction of 0.1; P<.05), which correlated with increased persistent DNA double-strand breaks in cells in the S/G{sub 2} phase. Genetic analysis identified the SLX4-binding partner MUS81 as a mediator of resistance to proton radiation. Both proton irradiation and olaparib treatment resulted in a similar prolonged accumulation of RAD51 foci in SLX4/MUS81-deficient cells, suggesting a common defect in the repair of DNA replication fork-associated damage. Conclusions: A defect in the FA pathway at the level of SLX4 results in hypersensitivity to proton radiation, which is, at least in part, due to impaired MUS81-mediated processing of replication forks that stall at clustered DNA damage. In vivo and clinical studies are needed to

  18. Variations in the Biological Functions of HIV-1 Clade C Envelope in a SHIV-Infected Rhesus Macaque during Disease Progression.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    For Yue Tso

    Full Text Available A better understanding of how the biological functions of the HIV-1 envelope (Env changes during disease progression may aid the design of an efficacious anti-HIV-1 vaccine. Although studies from patient had provided some insights on this issue, the differences in the study cohorts and methodology had make it difficult to reach a consensus of the variations in the HIV-1 Env functions during disease progression. To this end, an animal model that can be infected under controlled environment and reflect the disease course of HIV-1 infection in human will be beneficial. Such an animal model was previously demonstrated by the infection of macaque with SHIV, expressing HIV-1 clade C Env V1-V5 region. By using this model, we examined the changes in biological functions of Env in the infected animal over the entire disease course. Our data showed an increase in the neutralization resistance phenotype over time and coincided with the decrease in the net charges of the V1-V5 region. Infection of PBMC with provirus expressing various Env clones, isolated from the infected animal over time, showed a surprisingly better replicative fitness for viruses expressing the Env from early time point. Biotinylation and ELISA data also indicated a decrease of cell-surface-associated Env and virion-associated gp120 content with disease progression. This decrease did not affect the CD4-binding capability of Env, but were positively correlated with the decrease of Env fusion ability. Interestingly, some of these changes in biological functions reverted to the pre-AIDS level during advance AIDS. These data suggested a dynamic relationship between the Env V1-V5 region with the host immune pressure. The observed changes of biological functions in this setting might reflect and predict those occurring during natural disease progression in human.

  19. Review of the functional morphology, biology and perturbation impacts on the boreal, habitat-forming horse mussel Modiolus modiolus (Bivalvia: Mytilidae: Modiolinae)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dinesen, Grete E.; Morton, Brian

    2014-01-01

    The boreal bivalve Modiolus modiolus is common subtidally where it aggregates to form extensive, long-lived, biogenic habitats with a diverse associated flora and, especially, fauna. Despite this ecological importance, M. modiolus has not been described in terms of its functional morphology and o...... several M. modiolus habitats with deleterious impacts on ecosystem functioning. Post-impact recovery times are slow and dependent on both local and mega-population distributions...... and overall biology. Modiolus modiolus is a typical epibenthic, suspension-feeding mytilid, albeit with anatomical modifications adapting it to a partially buried, gregarious lifestyle in a stable environment experiencing medium–high energy levels. The juvenile shell is covered partly in byssal setae secreted...... and locality. With age (≥ 20–45 years), shells often become deformed, particularly posteriorly and around the byssal gape, thereby increasing reproductive capacity (gonadal volume) without increasing somatic growth. Information on the biology, reproductive strategy and life history traits of M. modiolus...

  20. Biological oceanography, biogeochemical cycles, and pelagic ecosystem functioning of the east-central South Pacific Gyre: focus on Easter Island and Salas y Gómez Island

    OpenAIRE

    Von Dassow , Peter; Collado-Fabbri , Silvana

    2014-01-01

    International audience; The Exclusive Economic Zone of Chile defined by Easter Island and Salas y Gómez Island is in the South Pacific Subtropical Gyre (SPSG), putting it at the center of the most oligotrophic and biomass poor waters in the world. Only 10 biological oceanographic expeditions have entered this zone in 105 years (1905-2010). We review key aspects of the plankton ecosystem and biogeochemical function relevant for the understanding of and conservation planning for marine environm...

  1. ASTM lights the way for tissue engineered medical products standards: jump start for combination medical products that restore biological function of human tissues.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Picciolo, G L; Stocum, D L

    2001-01-01

    Everybody hopes for better health and restoration of impaired bodily function, and now that hope is illuminated by the promise of powerful biological tools that make human cells grow and replace human tissue. ASTM Committee F04 on Medical and Surgical Materials and Devices is taking the lead by defining some of those tools as standards that can be used for the development, production, testing, and regulatory approval of medical products.

  2. A comparative approach for the investigation of biological information processing: An examination of the structure and function of computer hard drives and DNA

    OpenAIRE

    D'Onofrio, David J; An, Gary

    2010-01-01

    Abstract Background The robust storage, updating and utilization of information are necessary for the maintenance and perpetuation of dynamic systems. These systems can exist as constructs of metal-oxide semiconductors and silicon, as in a digital computer, or in the "wetware" of organic compounds, proteins and nucleic acids that make up biological organisms. We propose that there are essential functional properties of centralized information-processing systems; for digital computers these pr...

  3. Expanding the Game Design Space

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Larsen, Lasse Juel; Majgaard, Gunver

    2016-01-01

    This article considers game design research in educational settings. Its focus is on how undergraduate students – particularly engineering students – learn computer game design. From observations conducted during our game design courses we have developed a model of expanded game design space...... layer establishes correspondence between formal elements of computer games and the structure of problem-based creativity. It addresses how game design challenges should be formulated and how creative solutions can be measured. The fourth and final layer demonstrates how clear framing can act....... It encapsulates the entire development process from the first ideas to the final game with emphasis on game design thinking. Our model of expanded game design space consists of four separate – yet interconnected – layers in the process of game development. The first layer addresses the importance of framing...

  4. Seal-less cryogenic expander

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Faria, L.E.; Christopher, E.H.

    1987-01-01

    In an expander for use in a split Stirling cycle refrigeration system of the type wherein a displacer moves with reciprocating motion inside an expander housing, and wherein a plunger force and a regenerator force are formed on the displacer, the plunger force cyclically varying and having a time of minimum and maximum plunger force amplitude, and the regenerator force cyclically varying and having a time of minimum and maximum regenerator force amplitude, the improvement is described comprising: (a) means for maintaining displacer forces, such that the maximum plunger force amplitude is substantially equal to the maximum regenerator force amplitude; and (b) means for adjusting a time difference, the time difference being the time between the time of maximum plunger force and the time of maximum regenerator force such that a measure of the cooling power of the refrigeration system is maximized

  5. DISRUPTIVE TECHNOLOGIES: AN EXPANDED VIEW

    OpenAIRE

    JAMES M. UTTERBACK; HAPPY J. ACEE

    2005-01-01

    The term "disruptive technology" as coined by Christensen (1997, The Innovator's Dilemma; How New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail. Harvard Business School Press) refers to a new technology having lower cost and performance measured by traditional criteria, but having higher ancillary performance. Christensen finds that disruptive technologies may enter and expand emerging market niches, improving with time and ultimately attacking established products in their traditional markets. This...

  6. A growing family: the expanding universe of the bacterial cytoskeleton.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ingerson-Mahar, Michael; Gitai, Zemer

    2012-01-01

    Cytoskeletal proteins are important mediators of cellular organization in both eukaryotes and bacteria. In the past, cytoskeletal studies have largely focused on three major cytoskeletal families, namely the eukaryotic actin, tubulin, and intermediate filament (IF) proteins and their bacterial homologs MreB, FtsZ, and crescentin. However, mounting evidence suggests that these proteins represent only the tip of the iceberg, as the cellular cytoskeletal network is far more complex. In bacteria, each of MreB, FtsZ, and crescentin represents only one member of large families of diverse homologs. There are also newly identified bacterial cytoskeletal proteins with no eukaryotic homologs, such as WACA proteins and bactofilins. Furthermore, there are universally conserved proteins, such as the metabolic enzyme CtpS, that assemble into filamentous structures that can be repurposed for structural cytoskeletal functions. Recent studies have also identified an increasing number of eukaryotic cytoskeletal proteins that are unrelated to actin, tubulin, and IFs, such that expanding our understanding of cytoskeletal proteins is advancing the understanding of the cell biology of all organisms. Here, we summarize the recent explosion in the identification of new members of the bacterial cytoskeleton and describe a hypothesis for the evolution of the cytoskeleton from self-assembling enzymes. © 2011 Federation of European Microbiological Societies. Published by Blackwell Publishing Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Entropy in an expanding universe

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Frautschi, S.

    1982-01-01

    The question of how the observed evolution of organized structures from initial chaos in the expanding universe can be reconciled with the laws of statistical mechanics is studied, with emphasis on effects of the expansion and gravity. Some major sources of entropy increase are listed. An expanding causal region is defined in which the entropy, though increasing, tends to fall further and further behind its maximum possible value, thus allowing for the development of order. The related questions of whether entropy will continue increasing without limit in the future, and whether such increase in the form of Hawking radiation or radiation from positronium might enable life to maintain itself permanently, are considered. Attempts to find a scheme for preserving life based on solid structures fail because events such as quantum tunneling recurrently disorganize matter on a very long but fixed time scale, whereas all energy sources slow down progressively in an expanding universe. However, there remains hope that other modes of life capable of maintaining themselves permanently can be found

  8. Scaffolded biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Minelli, Alessandro

    2016-09-01

    Descriptions and interpretations of the natural world are dominated by dichotomies such as organism vs. environment, nature vs. nurture, genetic vs. epigenetic, but in the last couple of decades strong dissatisfaction with those partitions has been repeatedly voiced and a number of alternative perspectives have been suggested, from perspectives such as Dawkins' extended phenotype, Turner's extended organism, Oyama's Developmental Systems Theory and Odling-Smee's niche construction theory. Last in time is the description of biological phenomena in terms of hybrids between an organism (scaffolded system) and a living or non-living scaffold, forming unit systems to study processes such as reproduction and development. As scaffold, eventually, we can define any resource used by the biological system, especially in development and reproduction, without incorporating it as happens in the case of resources fueling metabolism. Addressing biological systems as functionally scaffolded systems may help pointing to functional relationships that can impart temporal marking to the developmental process and thus explain its irreversibility; revisiting the boundary between development and metabolism and also regeneration phenomena, by suggesting a conceptual framework within which to investigate phenomena of regular hypermorphic regeneration such as characteristic of deer antlers; fixing a periodization of development in terms of the times at which a scaffolding relationship begins or is terminated; and promoting plant galls to legitimate study objects of developmental biology.

  9. 2K09 and thereafter : the coming era of integrative bioinformatics, systems biology and intelligent computing for functional genomics and personalized medicine research

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    Significant interest exists in establishing synergistic research in bioinformatics, systems biology and intelligent computing. Supported by the United States National Science Foundation (NSF), International Society of Intelligent Biological Medicine (http://www.ISIBM.org), International Journal of Computational Biology and Drug Design (IJCBDD) and International Journal of Functional Informatics and Personalized Medicine, the ISIBM International Joint Conferences on Bioinformatics, Systems Biology and Intelligent Computing (ISIBM IJCBS 2009) attracted more than 300 papers and 400 researchers and medical doctors world-wide. It was the only inter/multidisciplinary conference aimed to promote synergistic research and education in bioinformatics, systems biology and intelligent computing. The conference committee was very grateful for the valuable advice and suggestions from honorary chairs, steering committee members and scientific leaders including Dr. Michael S. Waterman (USC, Member of United States National Academy of Sciences), Dr. Chih-Ming Ho (UCLA, Member of United States National Academy of Engineering and Academician of Academia Sinica), Dr. Wing H. Wong (Stanford, Member of United States National Academy of Sciences), Dr. Ruzena Bajcsy (UC Berkeley, Member of United States National Academy of Engineering and Member of United States Institute of Medicine of the National Academies), Dr. Mary Qu Yang (United States National Institutes of Health and Oak Ridge, DOE), Dr. Andrzej Niemierko (Harvard), Dr. A. Keith Dunker (Indiana), Dr. Brian D. Athey (Michigan), Dr. Weida Tong (FDA, United States Department of Health and Human Services), Dr. Cathy H. Wu (Georgetown), Dr. Dong Xu (Missouri), Drs. Arif Ghafoor and Okan K Ersoy (Purdue), Dr. Mark Borodovsky (Georgia Tech, President of ISIBM), Dr. Hamid R. Arabnia (UGA, Vice-President of ISIBM), and other scientific leaders. The committee presented the 2009 ISIBM Outstanding Achievement Awards to Dr. Joydeep Ghosh (UT

  10. Expanded porphyrins as third order non-linear optical materials ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    WINTEC

    function correlations ... An understanding of the structure–function corre- lations of these expanded porphyrins is an important first step for ... where χ (2) and χ (3) are the quadratic χ (2) (first- order) and χ (3) cubic (second-order) susceptibilities.

  11. Improving Interpretation of Cardiac Phenotypes and Enhancing Discovery With Expanded Knowledge in the Gene Ontology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lovering, Ruth C; Roncaglia, Paola; Howe, Douglas G; Laulederkind, Stanley J F; Khodiyar, Varsha K; Berardini, Tanya Z; Tweedie, Susan; Foulger, Rebecca E; Osumi-Sutherland, David; Campbell, Nancy H; Huntley, Rachael P; Talmud, Philippa J; Blake, Judith A; Breckenridge, Ross; Riley, Paul R; Lambiase, Pier D; Elliott, Perry M; Clapp, Lucie; Tinker, Andrew; Hill, David P

    2018-02-01

    A systems biology approach to cardiac physiology requires a comprehensive representation of how coordinated processes operate in the heart, as well as the ability to interpret relevant transcriptomic and proteomic experiments. The Gene Ontology (GO) Consortium provides structured, controlled vocabularies of biological terms that can be used to summarize and analyze functional knowledge for gene products. In this study, we created a computational resource to facilitate genetic studies of cardiac physiology by integrating literature curation with attention to an improved and expanded ontological representation of heart processes in the Gene Ontology. As a result, the Gene Ontology now contains terms that comprehensively describe the roles of proteins in cardiac muscle cell action potential, electrical coupling, and the transmission of the electrical impulse from the sinoatrial node to the ventricles. Evaluating the effectiveness of this approach to inform data analysis demonstrated that Gene Ontology annotations, analyzed within an expanded ontological context of heart processes, can help to identify candidate genes associated with arrhythmic disease risk loci. We determined that a combination of curation and ontology development for heart-specific genes and processes supports the identification and downstream analysis of genes responsible for the spread of the cardiac action potential through the heart. Annotating these genes and processes in a structured format facilitates data analysis and supports effective retrieval of gene-centric information about cardiac defects. © 2018 The Authors.

  12. Neural Response to Biological Motion in Healthy Adults Varies as a Function of Autistic-Like Traits

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Meghan H. Puglia

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Perception of biological motion is an important social cognitive ability that has been mapped to specialized brain regions. Perceptual deficits and neural differences during biological motion perception have previously been associated with autism, a disorder classified by social and communication difficulties and repetitive and restricted interests and behaviors. However, the traits associated with autism are not limited to diagnostic categories, but are normally distributed within the general population and show the same patterns of heritability across the continuum. In the current study, we investigate whether self-reported autistic-like traits in healthy adults are associated with variable neural response during passive viewing of biological motion displays. Results show that more autistic-like traits, particularly those associated with the communication domain, are associated with increased neural response in key regions involved in social cognitive processes, including prefrontal and left temporal cortices. This distinct pattern of activation might reflect differential neurodevelopmental processes for individuals with varying autistic-like traits, and highlights the importance of considering the full trait continuum in future work.

  13. Relationship between chemical composition and biological function of Pseudomonas aeruginosa lipopolysaccharide: effect on human neutrophil chemotaxis and oxidative burst

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kharazmi, A; Fomsgaard, A; Conrad, R S

    1991-01-01

    There are conflicting data on the effect of bacterial lipopolysaccharides (LPS) on the function of human neutrophils. The present study was designed to examine the relationship between chemical composition and the modulatory effect of LPS on human neutrophil function. LPS was extracted from five...

  14. The biology of skin wetness perception and its implications in manual function and for reproducing complex somatosensory signals in neuroprosthetics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ackerley, Rochelle

    2017-01-01

    Our perception of skin wetness is generated readily, yet humans have no known receptor (hygroreceptor) to signal this directly. It is easy to imagine the sensation of water running over our hands or the feel of rain on our skin. The synthetic sensation of wetness is thought to be produced from a combination of specific skin thermal and tactile inputs, registered through thermoreceptors and mechanoreceptors, respectively. The present review explores how thermal and tactile afference from the periphery can generate the percept of wetness centrally. We propose that the main signals include information about skin cooling, signaled primarily by thinly myelinated thermoreceptors, and rapid changes in touch, through fast-conducting, myelinated mechanoreceptors. Potential central sites for integration of these signals, and thus the perception of skin wetness, include the primary and secondary somatosensory cortices and the insula cortex. The interactions underlying these processes can also be modeled to aid in understanding and engineering the mechanisms. Furthermore, we discuss the role that sensing wetness could play in precision grip and the dexterous manipulation of objects. We expand on these lines of inquiry to the application of the knowledge in designing and creating skin sensory feedback in prosthetics. The addition of real-time, complex sensory signals would mark a significant advance in the use and incorporation of prosthetic body parts for amputees in everyday life. PMID:28123008

  15. On the sensitivity of IMRT dose optimization to the mathematical form of a biological imaging-based prescription function

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bowen, Stephen R; Bentzen, Soeren M; Jeraj, Robert; Flynn, Ryan T

    2009-01-01

    Voxel-based prescriptions of deliberately non-uniform dose distributions based on molecular imaging, so-called dose painting or theragnostic radiation therapy, require specification of a transformation that maps the image data intensities to prescribed doses. However, the functional form of this transformation is currently unknown. An investigation into the sensitivity of optimized dose distributions resulting from several possible prescription functions was conducted. Transformations between the radiotracer activity concentrations from Cu-ATSM PET images, as a surrogate of tumour hypoxia, and dose prescriptions were implemented to yield weighted distributions of prescribed dose boosts in high uptake regions. Dose escalation was constrained to reflect clinically realistic whole tumour doses and constant normal tissue doses. Optimized heterogeneous dose distributions were found by minimizing a voxel-by-voxel quadratic objective function in which all tumour voxels were given equal weight. Prescriptions based on a polynomial mapping function were found to be least constraining on their optimized plans, while prescriptions based on a sigmoid mapping function were the most demanding to deliver. A prescription formalism that fixed integral dose was less sensitive to errors in the choice of the mapping function than one that boosted integral dose. Integral doses to normal tissue and critical structures were insensitive to the shape of the prescription function. Planned target dose conformity improved with smaller beamlet dimensions until the inherent spatial resolution of the functional image was matched. Clinical implementation of dose painting depends on advances in absolute quantification of functional images and improvements in delivery techniques over smaller spatial scales.

  16. The functioning and behaviour of biological parents of children diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, attending the outpatient department at Weskoppies Hospital, Pretoria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ravindra Sundarlall

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Background: ADHD (attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder is gradually being acknowledged as a functionally impairing disorder across the lifespan, underscored by heritability. Nonetheless, lack of ADHD (adult attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder data from South Africa is alarming which could be due to either the unawareness of ADHD symptoms or underutilization of available screening measures. Undiagnosed ADHD may influence family- and working lives unpleasantly. Parenting a child with ADHD may intensify parental stress through functional impairment notwithstanding the diagnosis of ADHD. Methods: Eighty-one biological parents of children diagnosed with attention-deficit/ hyperactivity disorder were screened using self-reporting measurements. ADHD self-report scale (ASRS-V 1.1 identified either positive or negative subgroups; the Weiss functional impairment rating scale (WFIR-S for functional impairment and the Jerome driving questionnaire (JDQ for risk-taking behaviour specifically driving. Results: Of the 39 (48% parents who experienced impairment in all seven areas of functioning, 23 (59% screened negative for ADHD, while 16 (41% screened positive. A significant association was found between parents who screened either positive or negative for ADHD and functional impairment across five of the seven individual categories namely family, work, self-concept, life-skills and social functioning. Conclusion: This study emphasized the high incidence of functional impairment in parents of ADHD children. Although a substantial number of parents screened negative for ADHD, they still reported impairment in functioning; probably due to undiagnosed ADHD with comorbid psychiatric disorders, and/or parental stress due to the complex behaviour of the child. Parents of children diagnosed with ADHD should be screened for functional impairment followed by referral for psychiatric assessment and parent management training to achieve better clinical outcomes.

  17. 2009 Archaea: Ecology, Metabolism & Molecular Biology GRC

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Furlow, Julie Maupin- [Univ. of Florida, Gainesville, FL (United States)

    2009-07-26

    Archaea, one of three major evolutionary lineages of life, are a fascinating and diverse group of microbes with deep roots overlapping those of eukaryotes. The focus of the 'Archaea: Ecology Metabolism & Molecular Biology' GRC conference expands on a number of emerging topics highlighting new paradigms in archaeal metabolism, genome function and systems biology; information processing; evolution and the tree of life; the ecology and diversity of archaea and their viruses; and industrial applications. The strength of this conference lies in its ability to couple a field with a rich history in high quality research with new scientific findings in an atmosphere of stimulating exchange. This conference remains an excellent opportunity for younger scientists to interact with world experts in this field.

  18. 2011 Archaea: Ecology, Metabolism, & Molecular Biology

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Keneth Stedman

    2011-08-05

    Archaea, one of three major evolutionary lineages of life, are a fascinating and diverse group of microbes with deep roots overlapping those of eukaryotes. The focus of the 'Archaea: Ecology Metabolism & Molecular Biology' GRC conference expands on a number of emerging topics highlighting new paradigms in archaeal metabolism, genome function and systems biology; information processing; evolution and the tree of life; the ecology and diversity of archaea and their viruses. The strength of this conference lies in its ability to couple a field with a rich history in high quality research with new scientific findings in an atmosphere of stimulating exchange. This conference remains an excellent opportunity for younger scientists to interact with world experts in this field.

  19. The expanding universe of hypoxia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Huafeng; Semenza, Gregg L

    2008-07-01

    Reduced oxygen availability (hypoxia) is sensed and transduced into changes in the activity or expression of cellular macromolecules. These responses impact on virtually all areas of biology and medicine. In this meeting report, we summarize major developments in the field that were presented at the 2008 Keystone Symposium on Cellular, Physiological, and Pathogenic Responses to Hypoxia.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  1. Expander for Thin-Wall Tubing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pessin, R.

    1983-01-01

    Tool locally expands small-diameter tubes. Tube expander locally expands and deforms tube: Compressive lateral stress induced in elastomeric sleeve by squeezing axially between two metal tool parts. Adaptable to situations in which tube must have small bulge for mechanical support or flow control.

  2. Synthetic Biology Open Language Visual (SBOL Visual) Version 2.0

    KAUST Repository

    Cox, Robert Sidney

    2018-03-24

    People who are engineering biological organisms often find it useful to communicate in diagrams, both about the structure of the nucleic acid sequences that they are engineering and about the functional relationships between sequence features and other molecular species. Some typical practices and conventions have begun to emerge for such diagrams. The Synthetic Biology Open Language Visual (SBOL Visual) has been developed as a standard for organizing and systematizing such conventions in order to produce a coherent language for expressing the structure and function of genetic designs. This document details version 2.0 of SBOL Visual, which builds on the prior SBOL Visual 1.0 standard by expanding diagram syntax to include functional interactions and molecular species, making the relationship between diagrams and the SBOL data model explicit, supporting families of symbol variants, clarifying a number of requirements and best practices, and significantly expanding the collection of diagram glyphs.

  3. Functional genomics to assess biological responses to marine pollution at physiological and evolutionary timescales: toward a vision of predictive ecotoxicology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reid, Noah M; Whitehead, Andrew

    2016-09-01

    Marine pollution is ubiquitous, and is one of the key factors influencing contemporary marine biodiversity worldwide. To protect marine biodiversity, how do we surveil, document and predict the short- and long-term impacts of pollutants on at-risk species? Modern genomics tools offer high-throughput, information-rich and increasingly cost-effective approaches for characterizing biological responses to environmental stress, and are important tools within an increasing sophisticated kit for surveiling and assessing impacts of pollutants on marine species. Through the lens of recent research in marine killifish, we illustrate how genomics tools may be useful for screening chemicals and pollutants for biological activity and to reveal specific mechanisms of action. The high dimensionality of transcriptomic responses enables their usage as highly specific fingerprints of exposure, and these fingerprints can be used to diagnose environmental problems. We also emphasize that molecular pathways recruited to respond at physiological timescales are the same pathways that may be targets for natural selection during chronic exposure to pollutants. Gene complement and sequence variation in those pathways can be related to variation in sensitivity to environmental pollutants within and among species. Furthermore, allelic variation associated with evolved tolerance in those pathways could be tracked to estimate the pace of environmental health decline and recovery. We finish by integrating these paradigms into a vision of how genomics approaches could anchor a modernized framework for advancing the predictive capacity of environmental and ecotoxicological science. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  4. Free-piston reciprocating cryogenic expander utilizing phase controller

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cha, Jeongmin; Park, Jiho; Kim, Kyungjoong; Jeong, Sangkwon

    2017-02-01

    In a free-piston expander which eliminates mechanical linkages, a prescribed behaviour of the free-piston movement is the key to an expander performance. In this paper, we have proposed an idea of reducing complexity of the free-piston expander. It is to replace both multiple solenoid valves and reservoirs that are indispensable in a previous machine with a combination of a single orifice-reservoir assembly. It functions as a phase controller like that of a pulse tube refrigerator so that it generates time-delay of pressure variation between the warm-end and the reservoir resulting in the intended expansion of the cold-end volume down to the pre-set reservoir pressure. The modeling of this unique free-piston reciprocating expander utilizing phase controller is developed to understand and predict the performance of the new-type expander. Additionally, the operating parameters are analysed at the specified conditions to enable one to develop a more efficient free-piston type cryogenic expander.

  5. Instability of expanding bacterial droplets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sokolov, Andrey; Rubio, Leonardo Dominguez; Brady, John F; Aranson, Igor S

    2018-04-03

    Suspensions of motile bacteria or synthetic microswimmers, termed active matter, manifest a remarkable propensity for self-organization, and formation of large-scale coherent structures. Most active matter research deals with almost homogeneous in space systems and little is known about the dynamics of strongly heterogeneous active matter. Here we report on experimental and theoretical studies on the expansion of highly concentrated bacterial droplets into an ambient bacteria-free fluid. The droplet is formed beneath a rapidly rotating solid macroscopic particle inserted in the suspension. We observe vigorous instability of the droplet reminiscent of a violent explosion. The phenomenon is explained in terms of continuum first-principle theory based on the swim pressure concept. Our findings provide insights into the dynamics of active matter with strong density gradients and significantly expand the scope of experimental and analytic tools for control and manipulation of active systems.

  6. SHEAR ACCELERATION IN EXPANDING FLOWS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rieger, F. M. [ZAH, Institut für Theoretische Astrophysik, Universität Heidelberg, Philosophenweg 12, D-69120 Heidelberg (Germany); Duffy, P., E-mail: frank.rieger@mpi-hd.mpg.de, E-mail: peter.duffy@ucd.ie [University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4 (Ireland)

    2016-12-10

    Shear flows are naturally expected to occur in astrophysical environments and potential sites of continuous non-thermal Fermi-type particle acceleration. Here we investigate the efficiency of expanding relativistic outflows to facilitate the acceleration of energetic charged particles to higher energies. To this end, the gradual shear acceleration coefficient is derived based on an analytical treatment. The results are applied to the context of the relativistic jets from active galactic nuclei. The inferred acceleration timescale is investigated for a variety of conical flow profiles (i.e., power law, Gaussian, Fermi–Dirac) and compared to the relevant radiative and non-radiative loss timescales. The results exemplify that relativistic shear flows are capable of boosting cosmic-rays to extreme energies. Efficient electron acceleration, on the other hand, requires weak magnetic fields and may thus be accompanied by a delayed onset of particle energization and affect the overall jet appearance (e.g., core, ridge line, and limb-brightening).

  7. Nonlinear beam expander for ESNIT

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rusthoi, D.P.; Blind, B.; Garnett, R.W.; Hanna, D.S.; Jason, A.J.; Kraus, R.H. Jr.; Neri, F.

    1994-01-01

    We describe the design of a beam-redistribution and expansion system for the Japanese Atomic Energy Research Institute (JAERI) Energy Selective Neutron Irradiation Test Facility (ESNIT). The system tailors the beam exiting a deuteron accelerator at energies from 20 to 35 MeV for deposition on a lithium neutron-production target. A uniform beam-intensity distribution in a well-defined irradiation area is inquired at the target and is achieved by the use of nonlinear elements. The design of the high-energy beam transport (HEBT) for ESNIT includes a 90 degree achromatic bend, a matching section with an energy-compacting cavity, a nonlinear beam expander, a target imager, a shielding dipole, and an rf-cavity system to add energy spread to the beam before it impinges on the target. The system meets performance requirements at multiple energies and currents, and for different spot sizes on target

  8. Gravitational wave memory in an expanding universe

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tolish, Alexander; Wald, Robert

    2016-03-01

    We investigate the gravitational wave memory effect in an expanding FLRW spacetime. We find that if the gravitational field is decomposed into gauge-invariant scalar, vector, and tensor modes after the fashion of Bardeen, only the tensor mode gives rise to memory, and this memory can be calculated using the retarded Green's function associated with the tensor wave equation. If locally similar radiation source events occur on flat and FLRW backgrounds, we find that the resulting memories will differ only by a redshift factor, and we explore whether or not this factor depends on the expansion history of the FLRW universe. We compare our results to related work by Bieri, Garfinkle, and Yau.

  9. The expanding universe of p53 targets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Menendez, Daniel; Inga, Alberto; Resnick, Michael A

    2009-10-01

    The p53 tumour suppressor is modified through mutation or changes in expression in most cancers, leading to the altered regulation of hundreds of genes that are directly influenced by this sequence-specific transcription factor. Central to the p53 master regulatory network are the target response element (RE) sequences. The extent of p53 transactivation and transcriptional repression is influenced by many factors, including p53 levels, cofactors and the specific RE sequences, all of which contribute to the role that p53 has in the aetiology of cancer. This Review describes the identification and functionality of REs and highlights the inclusion of non-canonical REs that expand the universe of genes and regulation mechanisms in the p53 tumour suppressor network.

  10. Novel de novo variant in EBF3 is likely to impact DNA binding in a patient with a neurodevelopmental disorder and expanded phenotypes: patient report, in silico functional assessment, and review of published cases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blackburn, Patrick R; Barnett, Sarah S; Zimmermann, Michael T; Cousin, Margot A; Kaiwar, Charu; Pinto E Vairo, Filippo; Niu, Zhiyv; Ferber, Matthew J; Urrutia, Raul A; Selcen, Duygu; Klee, Eric W; Pichurin, Pavel N

    2017-05-01

    Pathogenic variants in EBF3 were recently described in three back-to-back publications in association with a novel neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by intellectual disability, speech delay, ataxia, and facial dysmorphisms. In this report, we describe an additional patient carrying a de novo missense variant in EBF3 (c.487C>T, p.(Arg163Trp)) that falls within a conserved residue in the zinc knuckle motif of the DNA binding domain. Without a solved structure of the DNA binding domain, we generated a homology-based atomic model and performed molecular dynamics simulations for EBF3, which predicted decreased DNA affinity for p.(Arg163Trp) compared with wild-type protein and control variants. These data are in agreement with previous experimental studies of EBF1 showing the paralogous residue is essential for DNA binding. The conservation and experimental evidence existing for EBF1 and in silico modeling and dynamics simulations to validate comparable behavior of multiple variants in EBF3 demonstrates strong support for the pathogenicity of p.(Arg163Trp). We show that our patient presents with phenotypes consistent with previously reported patients harboring EBF3 variants and expands the phenotypic spectrum of this newly identified disorder with the additional feature of a bicornuate uterus.

  11. Biological activity of the functional epitope of ciguatoxin fragment AB on the neuroblastoma sodium channel in tissue culture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hokama, Y; Chun, K E; Campora, C E; Higa, N; Suma, C; Hamajima, A; Isobe, M

    2006-01-01

    It is well established that the targeted receptor for ciguatoxin (CTX) in mammalian tissues is the sodium channel, affecting the influx of sodium into cells and altering the action potential and function of the cell. Since the syntheses of fragments of CTX has become available, our focus has been on the receptor functions of the west sphere AB and east sphere JKLM fragments using the neuroblastoma cell assay, guinea pig atrium assay, and the membrane immunobead assay (MIA). The data presented here suggest that the west sphere AB of the ciguatoxin molecule is the active portion and is responsible for the activation of the sodium channels. (c) 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  12. Large scale fusion of gray matter and resting-state functional MRI reveals common and shared biological markers across the psychosis spectrum in the B-SNIP cohort

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zheng eWang

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available To investigate whether aberrant interactions between brain structure and function present similarly or differently across probands with psychotic illnesses (schizophrenia (SZ, schizoaffective disorder (SAD, and bipolar I disorder with psychosis (BP and whether these deficits are shared with their first-degree non-psychotic relatives. A total of 1199 subjects were assessed, including 220 SZ, 147 SAD, 180 psychotic BP, 150 first-degree relatives of SZ, 126 SAD relatives, 134 BP relatives and 242 healthy controls. All subjects underwent structural MRI (sMRI and resting-state functional MRI (rs-fMRI scanning. Joint independent analysis (jICA was used to fuse sMRI gray matter (GM and rs-fMRI amplitude of low frequency fluctuations (ALFF data to identify the relationship between the two modalities. Joint ICA revealed two significantly fused components. The association between functional brain alteration in a prefrontal-striatal-thalamic-cerebellar network and structural abnormalities in the default mode network (DMN was found to be common across psychotic diagnoses and correlated with cognitive function, social function and Schizo-Bipolar Scale (SBS scores. The fused alteration in the temporal lobe was unique to SZ and SAD. The above effects were not seen in any relative group (including those with cluster-A personality. Using a multivariate fused approach involving two widely used imaging markers we demonstrate both shared and distinct biological traits across the psychosis spectrum. Further, our results suggest that the above traits are psychosis biomarkers rather than endophenotypes.

  13. Nanobiostructure of fibrous-like alumina functionalized with an analog of the BP100 peptide: Synthesis, characterization and biological applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Torres, L M F C; Braga, N A; Gomes, I P; Almeida, M T; Santos, T L; de Mesquita, J P; da Silva, L M; Martins, H R; Kato, K C; Dos Santos, W T P; Resende, J M; Pereira, M C; Bemquerer, M P; Rodrigues, M A; Verly, R M

    2018-03-01

    The functionalization of alumina nanoparticles of specific morphology with antimicrobial peptides (AMP) can be a promising strategy for modeling medical devices and packaging materials for cosmetics, medicines or food, since the contamination by pathogens could be reduced. In this paper, we show the synthesis of a fibrous-like alumina nanobiostructure, as well as its functionalization with the peptide EAAA-BP100, an analog of the antimicrobial peptide BP100. The antibacterial activity of the obtained material against some bacterial strains is also investigated. The covalent binding of the peptide to the nanoparticles was promoted by a reaction between the carboxyl group of the glutamate side chain (E1) of the peptide and the amino groups of the alumina nanoparticles, previously modified by reaction with 3-aminopropyltrietoxysilane (APTES). The functionalized nanoparticles were characterized by zeta potential measurements, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, and other physicochemical techniques. Although the obtained alumina nanobiostructure shows a relatively low degree of substitution with EAAA-BP100, antibacterial activities against Escherichia coli and Salmonella typhimurium strains are appreciably higher than the activities of the free peptide. The obtained results can affect the design of new hybrid nanobiomaterials based on nanoparticles functionalized with AMP. Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  14. Nanostructured Polymer Brushes by UV-Assisted Imprint Lithography and Surface-Initiated Polymerization for Biological Functions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Benetti, Edmondo Maria; Acikgoz, C.; Sui, Xiaofeng; Vratzov, Boris; Hempenius, Mark A.; Huskens, Jurriaan; Vancso, Gyula J.

    2011-01-01

    Functional polymer brush nanostructures are obtained by combining step-and-flash imprint lithography (SFIL) with controlled, surface-initiated polymerization (CSIP). Patterning is achieved at length scales such that the smallest elements have dimensions in the sub-100 nm range. The patterns exhibit

  15. Assessment of the biological control capability of Hippodamia variegata (Col.: Coccinellidae) using functional response experiments

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Madadi, Hossein; Parizi, Emad Mohajeri; Allahyari, Hossein

    2011-01-01

    Lady beetles are among the most successful predators of aphids in different environments. The functional responses of different life stages of Hippodamia variegata (Goeze) towards cotton aphidswere examined in two different set-ups, a two-dimensional Petri dish set-up with detached leaves and a t...

  16. A Critical Review of Bioactive Food Components, and of their Functional Mechanisms, Biological Effects and Health Outcomes.