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Sample records for future functional characterization

  1. Current and future industrial energy service characterizations

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Krawiec, F.; Thomas, T.; Jackson, F.; Limaye, D.R.; Isser, S.; Karnofsky, K.; Davis, T.D.

    1980-10-01

    Current and future energy demands, end uses, and cost used to characterize typical applications and resultant services in the industrial sector of the United States and 15 selected states are examined. A review and evaluation of existing industrial energy data bases was undertaken to assess their potential for supporting SERI research on: (1) market suitability analysis, (2) market development, (3) end-use matching, (3) industrial applications case studies, and (4) identification of cost and performance goals for solar systems and typical information requirements for industrial energy end use. In reviewing existing industrial energy data bases, the level of detail, disaggregation, and primary sources of information were examined. The focus was on fuels and electric energy used for heat and power purchased by the manufacturing subsector and listed by 2-, 3-, and 4-digit SIC, primary fuel, and end use. Projections of state level energy prices to 1990 are developed using the energy intensity approach. The effects of federal and state industrial energy conservation programs on future industrial sector demands were assessed. Future end-use energy requirements were developed for each 4-digit SIC industry and were grouped as follows: (1) hot water, (2) steam (212 to 300/sup 0/F, each 100/sup 0/F interval from 300 to 1000/sup 0/F, and greater than 1000/sup 0/F), and (3) hot air (100/sup 0/F intervals). Volume I details the activities performed in this effort.

  2. Current and future resources for functional metagenomics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kathy Nguyen Lam

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Functional metagenomics is a powerful experimental approach for studying gene function, starting from the extracted DNA of mixed microbial populations. A functional approach relies on the construction and screening of metagenomic libraries – physical libraries that contain DNA cloned from environmental metagenomes. The information obtained from functional metagenomics can help in future annotations of gene function and serve as a complement to sequence-based metagenomics. In this Perspective, we begin by summarizing the technical challenges of constructing metagenomic libraries and emphasize their value as resources. We then discuss libraries constructed using the popular cloning vector, pCC1FOS, and highlight the strengths and shortcomings of this system, alongside possible strategies to maximize existing pCC1FOS-based libraries by screening in diverse hosts. Finally, we discuss the known bias of libraries constructed from human gut and marine water samples, present results that suggest bias may also occur for soil libraries, and consider factors that bias metagenomic libraries in general. We anticipate that discussion of current resources and limitations will advance tools and technologies for functional metagenomics research.

  3. SYNTHESIS, CHARACTERIZATION AND DENSITY FUNCTIONAL ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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    We synthesized a number of aniline derivatives containing acyl groups to compare their barriers of rotation around ... KEY WORDS: Monoacyl aniline, Synthesis, Density functional theory, Rotation barrier. INTRODUCTION. Developments in ...

  4. Properties of field functionals and characterization of local functionals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brouder, Christian; Dang, Nguyen Viet; Laurent-Gengoux, Camille; Rejzner, Kasia

    2018-02-01

    Functionals (i.e., functions of functions) are widely used in quantum field theory and solid-state physics. In this paper, functionals are given a rigorous mathematical framework and their main properties are described. The choice of the proper space of test functions (smooth functions) and of the relevant concept of differential (Bastiani differential) are discussed. The relation between the multiple derivatives of a functional and the corresponding distributions is described in detail. It is proved that, in a neighborhood of every test function, the support of a smooth functional is uniformly compactly supported and the order of the corresponding distribution is uniformly bounded. Relying on a recent work by Dabrowski, several spaces of functionals are furnished with a complete and nuclear topology. In view of physical applications, it is shown that most formal manipulations can be given a rigorous meaning. A new concept of local functionals is proposed and two characterizations of them are given: the first one uses the additivity (or Hammerstein) property, the second one is a variant of Peetre's theorem. Finally, the first step of a cohomological approach to quantum field theory is carried out by proving a global Poincaré lemma and defining multi-vector fields and graded functionals within our framework.

  5. Functions of Expressions of Futurality in Professional Economic Texts

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mikuláš Martin

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this corpus-based study is to identify the functions that selected expressions of futurality can express in professional economic texts. The classification of functions is established on the corpus of seven economic books. Excerpted instances of futural constructions are analysed with respect to textual and interpersonal functions as defined by Halliday. Futurality is interpreted broadly to include all lexical and grammatical means referring to the future. This approach makes it also possible to analyse futurality as a means of text coherence. Hence the core grammatical means are interpreted along with co-occurring lexical means under the two categories of functions to provide a comprehensive model of text coherence with regard to futurality. Frequency analysis shows that core futural expressions are not distributed equally throughout the corpus. While some expressions (e.g., will and the present simple tense dominate, others prove to be rather insignificant (e.g., be on the point/verge of, the present progressive tense. In addition, both lexical and grammatical constructions regularly co-occur in clusters, contributing to the coherence of the economic texts.

  6. Vortex structure and characterization of quasiperiodic functions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dana, Itzhack; Chernov, Vladislav E

    2002-01-01

    Quasiperiodic functions (QPFs) are characterized by their full vortex structure in one unit cell. This characterization is much finer and more sensitive than the topological one given by the total vorticity per unit cell (the 'Chern index'). It is shown that QPFs with an arbitrarily prescribed vortex structure exist by constructing explicitly such a 'standard' QPF. Two QPFs with the same vortex structure are equivalent, in the sense that their ratio is a function which is strictly periodic, nonvanishing and at least continuous. A general QPF can then be approximately reconstructed from its vortex structure on the basis of the standard QPF and the equivalence concept. As another application of this concept, a simple method is proposed for calculating the quasiperiodic eigenvectors of periodic matrices. Possible applications to the quantum-chaos problem on a phase-space torus are briefly discussed

  7. Characterization of functional polymers by NMR

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Neto, Oscar H.S. A.S.; San Gil, Rosane A.S.; Nakayama, T.; Costa Neto, Claudio

    1993-01-01

    Several synthetic polymers are used in the chemical analysis of complexes mixtures aiming to extract certain specific functional groups for further identification. This work describes the utilization of NMR in the characterization of one of the above mentioned compounds which will be used as reagent for the synthesis of another compound of the same type, which will be further used in the chemical analysis of alcohols and phenols. The methodology is described. The results are described and discussed

  8. Development of materials characterization techniques and their future aspects

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hayashi, Shun-ichi; Kimura, Masao; Tanaka, Koki; Ikematsu, Yoichi; Mizukami, Kazumi

    2010-01-01

    Steel industry uniformly makes various qualities controlling both the internal textures and the surfaces of the steel productions, which are manufactured several 10 tons at a time, with the nano-scale. Recently, processing technology with nano-level has been approaching with atomic level because of manufacturing higher grade steel plate. So it is important that atomic level characterization increases along with it. On the other hand, shortage of raw materials and its sudden rise of the price make management situation worse. Analytical technology is expected to propose the next generation of steel plate with competitive edge and its operation provision. In this article, we will introduce several examples of our researches and give the future aspects of analytical technologies for steel industry. (author)

  9. Functional characterization of a prokaryotic Kir channel.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Enkvetchakul, Decha; Bhattacharyya, Jaya; Jeliazkova, Iana; Groesbeck, Darcy K; Cukras, Catherine A; Nichols, Colin G

    2004-11-05

    The Kir gene family encodes inward rectifying K+ (Kir) channels that are widespread and critical regulators of excitability in eukaryotic cells. A related gene family (KirBac) has recently been identified in prokaryotes. While a crystal structure of one member, Kir-Bac1.1, has been solved, there has been no functional characterization of any KirBac gene products. Here we present functional characterization of KirBac1.1 reconstituted in liposomes. Utilizing a 86Rb+ uptake assay, we demonstrate that KirBac1.1 generates a K+ -selective permeation path that is inhibited by extraliposomal Ba2+ and Ca2+ ions. In contrast to KcsA (an acid-activated bacterial potassium channel), KirBac1.1 is inhibited by extraliposomal acid (pKa approximately 6). This characterization of KirBac1.1 activity now paves the way for further correlation of structure and function in this model Kir channel.

  10. Characterization and Prediction of Chemical Functions and ...

    Science.gov (United States)

    Assessing exposures from the thousands of chemicals in commerce requires quantitative information on the chemical constituents of consumer products. Unfortunately, gaps in available composition data prevent assessment of exposure to chemicals in many products. Here we propose filling these gaps via consideration of chemical functional role. We obtained function information for thousands of chemicals from public sources and used a clustering algorithm to assign chemicals into 35 harmonized function categories (e.g., plasticizers, antimicrobials, solvents). We combined these functions with weight fraction data for 4115 personal care products (PCPs) to characterize the composition of 66 different product categories (e.g., shampoos). We analyzed the combined weight fraction/function dataset using machine learning techniques to develop quantitative structure property relationship (QSPR) classifier models for 22 functions and for weight fraction, based on chemical-specific descriptors (including chemical properties). We applied these classifier models to a library of 10196 data-poor chemicals. Our predictions of chemical function and composition will inform exposure-based screening of chemicals in PCPs for combination with hazard data in risk-based evaluation frameworks. As new information becomes available, this approach can be applied to other classes of products and the chemicals they contain in order to provide essential consumer product data for use in exposure-b

  11. Characterization of the materials for functional application

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Duh, J.-G.

    1997-01-01

    The development of material products with extended performances has been equally pushed by the advancement of analysis techniques. Characterization of materials for functional application will be a challenge for further analytical methodology development. In this lecture, several characterization techniques will be outlined and emphasized with respect to special function applications as follows. 1. Phase analysis, crystallite size and microstrain of chemically synthesized ceramic powders in relation to phase transformation. 2. Microstructural evolution and reliability test in the solder joint of microelectronic package. The growth morphology of the intermetallic compound and its effects on the solder joint reliability will be highlighted and discussed. 3. Mechanical properties of thin films and metallized substrates, including adhesion strength, microhardness, scratch behavior, wear resistance. Special interest will be focused on the indentation-scratch deformation associated with the coating/substrate assembly. Employment of atomic force microscope in the evaluation of nano-tribology will also be probed. 4. Diffusion-related kinetics at interface by means of theoretical modelling and electron microanalysis. (author)

  12. Electron emission and work function-Past, present and future

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yamamoto, Shigehiko

    2005-01-01

    The history of electron emission is reviewed from a standpoint of the work function and the applications. For years, in the field of thermionic emission, a great deal of efforts have been devoted to search for low work function materials with a high melting temperature, while the reduction of the local change in time of the work function rather than the work function itself has been the main issue of field emission investigations. High brightness and long life are the central targets of the emission material investigations for the scientific instrument application, while high current density and low power consumption are the guiding principles for the display application. In both fields, field emission has recently become dominant in research and development. In all above cases, the main issue in the future research works will be to analyze the work function in atomic level and thereby to understand the mechanism of the work function reduction by atom adsorption, the change in time of the local work function leading to the current fluctuation, and the relationship between microscopic and macroscopic work functions. Our attempt is discussed, where the work function in atomic level is measured by utilizing the STM technique and it is made clear how far the work function in atomic level extends its influence over the neighboring sites. As a result, a simple relationship is established between microscopic and macroscopic work functions

  13. Criteria, indicators and levels of formed professional functional competences of future teachers of physical culture

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Samsutina N.M.

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available It is shown the structural components of the functional competence of professional teachers of physical education: motivational, cognitive and action-practical. We used the following methods of scientific knowledge, as the analysis of psychological, educational and methodological literature, synthesis, comparison, generalization, specification, classification, ordering Criteria and levels of occupational functional competence of future teachers of physical education. It is determined that the high level of professional formation of the functional competence of future teachers of physical culture is characterized by the motivation to perform professional functions of a teacher of physical culture, fundamental knowledge required to perform professional functions of a teacher of physical culture, a high level of general physical fitness, pronounced specific motor abilities and skills.

  14. Self-defining future projections: exploring the identity function of thinking about the future.

    Science.gov (United States)

    D'Argembeau, Arnaud; Lardi, Claudia; Van der Linden, Martial

    2012-01-01

    The act of projecting oneself into meaningful future events may significantly contribute to a person's sense of self and identity. Yet if the role of memories, in particular self-defining memories (SDMs), in grounding the self is now well established, the identity function of anticipated future events has received comparatively little attention. This article introduces the construct of self-defining future projection (SDFP) to address this issue. Two studies show that people can readily identify significant future events that they frequently think about and that convey core information about who they are as individuals. Furthermore, a person's particular style of constructing SDMs is similarly manifested in SDFPs, suggesting that both types of events can be used to ground the self. Notably, people who display a stronger tendency to extract meaning from their past experiences also reflect more about the potential implications of imagined future events. The results further demonstrate that SDMs and SDFPs both give rise to a strong sense of personal continuity over time and are meaningfully related to self-esteem. Together these findings lend support to the idea that a person's sense of self and identity is in part nourished by the anticipation of significant future events.

  15. Multiscale Persistent Functions for Biomolecular Structure Characterization

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Xia, Kelin [Nanyang Technological University (Singapore). Division of Mathematical Sciences, School of Physical, Mathematical Sciences and School of Biological Sciences; Li, Zhiming [Central China Normal University, Wuhan (China). Key Laboratory of Quark and Lepton Physics (MOE) and Institute of Particle Physics; Mu, Lin [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). Computer Science and Mathematics Division

    2017-11-02

    Here in this paper, we introduce multiscale persistent functions for biomolecular structure characterization. The essential idea is to combine our multiscale rigidity functions (MRFs) with persistent homology analysis, so as to construct a series of multiscale persistent functions, particularly multiscale persistent entropies, for structure characterization. To clarify the fundamental idea of our method, the multiscale persistent entropy (MPE) model is discussed in great detail. Mathematically, unlike the previous persistent entropy (Chintakunta et al. in Pattern Recognit 48(2):391–401, 2015; Merelli et al. in Entropy 17(10):6872–6892, 2015; Rucco et al. in: Proceedings of ECCS 2014, Springer, pp 117–128, 2016), a special resolution parameter is incorporated into our model. Various scales can be achieved by tuning its value. Physically, our MPE can be used in conformational entropy evaluation. More specifically, it is found that our method incorporates in it a natural classification scheme. This is achieved through a density filtration of an MRF built from angular distributions. To further validate our model, a systematical comparison with the traditional entropy evaluation model is done. Additionally, it is found that our model is able to preserve the intrinsic topological features of biomolecular data much better than traditional approaches, particularly for resolutions in the intermediate range. Moreover, by comparing with traditional entropies from various grid sizes, bond angle-based methods and a persistent homology-based support vector machine method (Cang et al. in Mol Based Math Biol 3:140–162, 2015), we find that our MPE method gives the best results in terms of average true positive rate in a classic protein structure classification test. More interestingly, all-alpha and all-beta protein classes can be clearly separated from each other with zero error only in our model. Finally, a special protein structure index (PSI) is proposed, for the first

  16. Synthesis and characterization of functional magnetic nanocomposites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gass, J.; Sanders, J.; Srinath, S.; Srikanth, H.

    2006-03-01

    Magnetic nanoparticles and carbon nanotubes have been excellent functional materials that could be dispersed in polymer matrices for various applications. However, uniform dispersion of particles in polymers without agglomeration is quite challenging. We have fabricated PMMA/polypyrrole bilayer structures embedded with Fe3O4 magnetite nanoparticles synthesized using wet chemical synthesis. Agglomeration-free dispersion of nanoparticles was achieved by coating the particles with surfactants and by dissolving both the particles and PMMA in chlorobenzene. Structural characterization was done using XRD and TEM. Magnetic properties of the bilayer structures indicated superparamagnetic behavior that is desirable for RF applications as the magnetic losses are reduced. Our polymer nanocomposite bilayer films with conducting polymer coatings are potential candidates for tunable RF applications with integrated EMI suppression. We will also report on our studies of pumped ferrofluids flowing past carbon nanotubes that are arranged in microchannel arrays. Magnetization under various flow conditions is investigated and correlated with the hydrodynamic properties. This scheme provides a novel method of energy conversion and storage using nanocomposite materials.

  17. Cyto- and genotoxicological assessment and functional characterization of N-vinyl-2-pyrrolidone-acrylic acid-based copolymeric hydrogels with potential for future use in wound healing applications

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kirf, Dominik; Devery, Sinead M; Higginbotham, Clement L; Rowan, Neil J

    2010-01-01

    This study investigated the toxicity of N-vinyl-2-pyrrolidone-acrylic acid copolymer hydrogels crosslinked with ethylene glycol dimethacrylate or poly(ethylene glycol) dimethacrylate. There is a pressing need to establish the toxicity status of these new copolymers because they may find applications in future wound healing processes. Investigations revealed that the capacity of these hydrogels for swelling permitted the retention of high amounts of water yet still maintaining structural integrity. Reverse phase HPLC analysis suggested that unreacted monomeric base material was efficiently removed post-polymerization by applying an additional purification process. Subsequently, in vitro toxicity testing was performed utilizing direct and indirect contact exposure of the polymers to human keratinocytes (HaCaT) and human hepatoma (HepG2) cells. No indication of significant cell death was observed using the established MTT, neutral red (NR) and fluorescence-based toxicity endpoint indicators. In addition, the alkaline Comet assay showed no genotoxic effects following cell exposure to hydrogel extracts. Investigations at the nucleotide level using the Ames mutagenicity assay demonstrated no evidence of mutagenic activity associated with the polymers. Findings from this study demonstrated that these hydrogels are non-cytotoxic and further work can be carried out to investigate their potential as a wound-healing device that will impact positively on patient health and well-being.

  18. Cyto- and genotoxicological assessment and functional characterization of N-vinyl-2-pyrrolidone-acrylic acid-based copolymeric hydrogels with potential for future use in wound healing applications

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kirf, Dominik; Devery, Sinead M [Department of Life and Physical Science, Athlone Institute of Technology (Ireland); Higginbotham, Clement L [Materials Research Institute, Athlone Institute of Technology (Ireland); Rowan, Neil J, E-mail: sdevery@ait.i, E-mail: dkirf@ait.i, E-mail: chigginbotham@ait.i, E-mail: nrowan@ait.i [Department of Nursing and Health Science, Athlone Institute of Technology (Ireland)

    2010-06-01

    This study investigated the toxicity of N-vinyl-2-pyrrolidone-acrylic acid copolymer hydrogels crosslinked with ethylene glycol dimethacrylate or poly(ethylene glycol) dimethacrylate. There is a pressing need to establish the toxicity status of these new copolymers because they may find applications in future wound healing processes. Investigations revealed that the capacity of these hydrogels for swelling permitted the retention of high amounts of water yet still maintaining structural integrity. Reverse phase HPLC analysis suggested that unreacted monomeric base material was efficiently removed post-polymerization by applying an additional purification process. Subsequently, in vitro toxicity testing was performed utilizing direct and indirect contact exposure of the polymers to human keratinocytes (HaCaT) and human hepatoma (HepG2) cells. No indication of significant cell death was observed using the established MTT, neutral red (NR) and fluorescence-based toxicity endpoint indicators. In addition, the alkaline Comet assay showed no genotoxic effects following cell exposure to hydrogel extracts. Investigations at the nucleotide level using the Ames mutagenicity assay demonstrated no evidence of mutagenic activity associated with the polymers. Findings from this study demonstrated that these hydrogels are non-cytotoxic and further work can be carried out to investigate their potential as a wound-healing device that will impact positively on patient health and well-being.

  19. Three solar urban futures: characterization of a future community under three energy-supply scenarios

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Milne, M; Adelson, M; Corwin, R

    1979-10-01

    This study examines a hypothetical city of 100,000 people in the year 2025 based on three initially given energy-supply scenarios: Future 1 specifying approximately 6% of the city's demand being met by solar technologies; Future 2 specifying about 25%; and Future 3 seeking maximum use of solar technologies. These three versions of the hypothetical city are to be identical in terms of population, goods and services produced, and energy demand. Their differences are compared in terms of physical layout, environmental quality, socio-economics, and quality of life. It is concluded that in Future 1 and Future 2, the city's residential, commercial, and industrial sectors can easily meet the on-site energy-collection requirements of the given supply scenarios. In Future 3, the Solar City, the residential sector can be totally energy self-sufficient (collecting all needed energy on-site), and the commercial sector can collect 59.7% of its energy requirement. Passive design of buildings plays a large part in these results. The industrial sector can collect on-site only 18.2% of its energy needs. In what is called Future 3A, all three sectors of the hypothetical city can be 100% energy self-sufficient if the land area available for various types of solar collectors is increased 34.5%; the commercial sector needs 650 additional acres, while the industrial sector needs 2800 acres, provided that moderate temperature energy (250/sup 0/F to 600/sup 0/F) is adequate to meet industrial process needs.

  20. Density functional theory: Its origins, rise to prominence, and future

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, R. O.

    2015-07-01

    In little more than 20 years, the number of applications of the density functional (DF) formalism in chemistry and materials science has grown in an astonishing fashion. The number of publications alone shows that DF calculations make up a huge success story, and many younger colleagues are surprised to learn that the widespread application of density functional methods, particularly in chemistry, began only after 1990. This is indeed unexpected, because the origins are usually traced to the papers of Hohenberg, Kohn, and Sham more than a quarter of a century earlier. The DF formalism, its applications, and prospects were reviewed for this journal in 1989. About the same time, the combination of DF calculations with molecular dynamics promised to provide an efficient way to study structures and reactions in molecules and extended systems. This paper reviews the development of density-related methods back to the early years of quantum mechanics and follows the breakthrough in their application after 1990. The two examples from biochemistry and materials science are among the many current applications that were simply far beyond expectations in 1990. The reasons why—50 years after its modern formulation and after two decades of rapid expansion—some of the most cited practitioners in the field are concerned about its future are discussed.

  1. Marine biodiversity-ecosystem functions under uncertain environmental futures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bulling, Mark T; Hicks, Natalie; Murray, Leigh; Paterson, David M; Raffaelli, Dave; White, Piran C L; Solan, Martin

    2010-07-12

    Anthropogenic activity is currently leading to dramatic transformations of ecosystems and losses of biodiversity. The recognition that these ecosystems provide services that are essential for human well-being has led to a major interest in the forms of the biodiversity-ecosystem functioning relationship. However, there is a lack of studies examining the impact of climate change on these relationships and it remains unclear how multiple climatic drivers may affect levels of ecosystem functioning. Here, we examine the roles of two important climate change variables, temperature and concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide, on the relationship between invertebrate species richness and nutrient release in a model benthic estuarine system. We found a positive relationship between invertebrate species richness and the levels of release of NH(4)-N into the water column, but no effect of species richness on the release of PO(4)-P. Higher temperatures and greater concentrations of atmospheric carbon dioxide had a negative impact on nutrient release. Importantly, we found significant interactions between the climate variables, indicating that reliably predicting the effects of future climate change will not be straightforward as multiple drivers are unlikely to have purely additive effects, resulting in increased levels of uncertainty.

  2. Marine biodiversity–ecosystem functions under uncertain environmental futures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bulling, Mark T.; Hicks, Natalie; Murray, Leigh; Paterson, David M.; Raffaelli, Dave; White, Piran C. L.; Solan, Martin

    2010-01-01

    Anthropogenic activity is currently leading to dramatic transformations of ecosystems and losses of biodiversity. The recognition that these ecosystems provide services that are essential for human well-being has led to a major interest in the forms of the biodiversity–ecosystem functioning relationship. However, there is a lack of studies examining the impact of climate change on these relationships and it remains unclear how multiple climatic drivers may affect levels of ecosystem functioning. Here, we examine the roles of two important climate change variables, temperature and concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide, on the relationship between invertebrate species richness and nutrient release in a model benthic estuarine system. We found a positive relationship between invertebrate species richness and the levels of release of NH4-N into the water column, but no effect of species richness on the release of PO4-P. Higher temperatures and greater concentrations of atmospheric carbon dioxide had a negative impact on nutrient release. Importantly, we found significant interactions between the climate variables, indicating that reliably predicting the effects of future climate change will not be straightforward as multiple drivers are unlikely to have purely additive effects, resulting in increased levels of uncertainty. PMID:20513718

  3. FUNCTIONAL ANALYSIS OF FUTURE MUSIC ART TEACHERS’ TRAINING FOR SINGING ACTIVITY OF COMPREHENSIVE SCHOOL SENIOR STUDENTS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ma Chen

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available In the article the functional analysis of future music art teachers’ training for singing activity of comprehensive school senior students is depicted. This issue is very important because improving educators and musicians’ training contributes not only to professional selfactualisation, but also to young generation’s encouraging for thorough learning music art works and their creative development in the process of group music tuitions. Extracurricular singing activity also plays an important part. It reveals art images to students, enriching creativity experience, forms the spiritual world, develops independent thinking, awakens creativity. The author points out the main functions of future music art teachers’ training. They are system and value, information, communication, creative and transformative, projective functions. The special attention is paid to characterizing the features of each function. The author claims that system and value function relates to the necessity to analyze the results of the educational process that contributes to productive solving problems by students and main tasks of music training. Information function is a subject background of art music teachers’ and pedagogical activities. Communicative function is realized in a teacher’s ability to develop the student’ initiative to plan cooperative activities, to be able to distribute duties, to carry out instructions, to coordinate cooperative activities, to create special situations for the implementation of educational influence. The analysis of pedagogical and methodological literature shows that The creative and transformative function is manifested in the creative use of pedagogical and methodological ideas in specific pedagogical conditions. The projective function is thought to promote the most complete realization of content of comprehensive and art education. Functional analysis of students’ training of art faculties at pedagogical universities to

  4. Future of Plant Functional Types in Terrestrial Biosphere Models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wullschleger, S. D.; Euskirchen, E. S.; Iversen, C. M.; Rogers, A.; Serbin, S.

    2015-12-01

    Earth system models describe the physical, chemical, and biological processes that govern our global climate. While it is difficult to single out one component as being more important than another in these sophisticated models, terrestrial vegetation is a critical player in the biogeochemical and biophysical dynamics of the Earth system. There is much debate, however, as to how plant diversity and function should be represented in these models. Plant functional types (PFTs) have been adopted by modelers to represent broad groupings of plant species that share similar characteristics (e.g. growth form) and roles (e.g. photosynthetic pathway) in ecosystem function. In this review the PFT concept is traced from its origin in the early 1800s to its current use in regional and global dynamic vegetation models (DVMs). Special attention is given to the representation and parameterization of PFTs and to validation and benchmarking of predicted patterns of vegetation distribution in high-latitude ecosystems. These ecosystems are sensitive to changing climate and thus provide a useful test case for model-based simulations of past, current, and future distribution of vegetation. Models that incorporate the PFT concept predict many of the emerging patterns of vegetation change in tundra and boreal forests, given known processes of tree mortality, treeline migration, and shrub expansion. However, representation of above- and especially belowground traits for specific PFTs continues to be problematic. Potential solutions include developing trait databases and replacing fixed parameters for PFTs with formulations based on trait co-variance and empirical trait-environment relationships. Surprisingly, despite being important to land-atmosphere interactions of carbon, water, and energy, PFTs such as moss and lichen are largely absent from DVMs. Close collaboration among those involved in modelling with the disciplines of taxonomy, biogeography, ecology, and remote sensing will be

  5. Fatigue Characterization of Functionally Graded Metallic Alloys

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Silva, F. S.

    2008-01-01

    Functionally graded components exhibit spatial variations of mechanical properties in contrast with, and as an alternative to, purely homogeneous components. A large class of graded materials, however, are in fact mostly homogeneous materials with property variations (chemical or mechanical) restricted to a specific area or layer produced by applying for example a coating or by introducing sub-surface residual stresses. However, it is also possible to obtain graded materials with a smooth transition of mechanical properties along the entire component, for example in a 40 mm component. This is possible, for example, by using centrifugal casting technique or incremental melting and solidification technique. In this paper we will study fully metallic functionally graded components with a smooth gradient, focusing on fatigue crack propagation. Fatigue propagation will be assessed in the direction parallel to the gradation (in different homogeneous layers of the functionally graded component) to assess what would be fatigue crack propagation on the direction perpendicular to the gradation. Fatigue crack growth rate (standard mode I fatigue crack growth) will be correlated to the mode I stress intensity factor range. Other mechanical properties of different layers of the component (Young's modulus) will also be considered in this analysis. The effect of residual stresses along the component gradation on crack propagation will also be taken into account. A qualitative analysis of the effects of some important features, present in functionally graded materials, will be made based on the obtained results

  6. Functional Characterization of a Porcine Emphysema Model

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bruun, Camilla Sichlau; Jensen, Louise Kruse; Leifsson, Páll Skuli

    2013-01-01

    Lung emphysema is a central feature of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a frequent human disease worldwide. Cigarette smoking is the major cause of COPD, but genetic predisposition seems to be an important factor. Mutations in surfactant protein genes have been linked to COPD...... phenotypes in humans. Also, the catalytic activities of metalloproteinases (MMPs) are central in the pathogenesis of emphysema/COPD. Especially MMP9, but also MMP2, MMP7, and MMP12 seem to be involved in human emphysema. MMP12−/− mice are protected from smoke-induced emphysema. ITGB6−/− mice spontaneously...... develop age-related lung emphysema due to lack of ITGB6-TGF-β1 regulation of the MMP12 expression.A mutated pig phenotype characterized by age-related lung emphysema and resembling the ITGB6−/− mouse has been described previously. To investigate the emphysema pathogenesis in this pig model, we examined...

  7. Characterization of Greater-Than-Class C sealed sources. Volume 2, Sealed source characterization and future production

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Harris, G.; Griffel, A.

    1994-09-01

    Sealed sources are small, relatively high-activity radioactive sources typically encapsulated in a metallic container. The activities can range from less than 1 mCi to over 1,000 Ci. They are used in a variety of industries and are commonly available. Many of the sources will be classified as Greater-Than-Class C low-level radioactive waste (GTCC LLW) for the purpose of waste disposal. The US Department of Energy is responsible for disposing of this class of low-level radioactive waste. The characterization of a sealed source is essentially a function of the type of radiation it emits, the principal use for which it is applied, and the activity it contains. The types of radiation of most interest to the GTCC LLW Program are gamma rays and neutrons, since these are emitted by the highest activity sources. The principal uses of most importance are gamma irradiators, medical teletherapy, well logging probes, and other general neutron applications. Current annual production rates of potential Greater-Than-Class C (PGTCC) sources sold to specific licensees were estimated based on data collected from device manufacturers. These estimates were then adjusted for current trends in the industry to estimate future annual production rates. It is expected that there will be approximately 8,000 PGTCC sealed sources produced annually for specific licensees

  8. Probability-density-function characterization of multipartite entanglement

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Facchi, P.; Florio, G.; Pascazio, S.

    2006-01-01

    We propose a method to characterize and quantify multipartite entanglement for pure states. The method hinges upon the study of the probability density function of bipartite entanglement and is tested on an ensemble of qubits in a variety of situations. This characterization is also compared to several measures of multipartite entanglement

  9. Characterization and monitoring of host immune responses to infectious agents: what a future for microbiological diagnostics?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Riccardo Dolcetti

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available Our knowledge on the mechanisms underlying microbial pathogenesis and host-microbe interactions has greatly improved over the last decade. In particular, the development of new and specific analytical methods has allowed the detailed characterization of innate and adaptive immune responses against clinically relevant microbial infections. Immunogenetic studies are continuously providing new insights on the genetic bases of individual differences in susceptibility to specific pathogens and most of the genetic markers identified so far include polymorphisms in genes controlling both innate and adaptive immune responses. Moreover, new standardized T cell assays allow reliable and reproducible evaluations of T cell phenotype and functions (i.e.: ELISPOT, including the identification of distinct functional signatures that are associated with the control of the infection.Although the number of these assays currently used in clinical practice is limited, a considerable increase is foreseen for the near future.This perspective constitutes an unprecedented opportunity for Clinical Microbiologists, who may now develop and apply integrated microbiologic/immunologic assays that may be useful for a more precise diagnostic definition and a more accurate clinical monitoring of the disease.

  10. STRUCTURAL-FUNCTIONAL MODEL OF PROFESSIONAL BUSINESS COMMUNICATION DEVELOPMENT OF FUTURE ECONOMIC SPECIALISTS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zotova-Sadylo Yelena Yurievna

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available Purpose The structural-functional model of professional business communication development of future economic specialists is presented by the author. Its basic components, purpose, function, principles, methods of its practical realization are characterized in the article. Methodology The considered model is aimed at providing advanced and competent levels of professional business communication / cross-cultural business communication of future specialists in economics by means of relevant to the problem special course within a system of humanitarian cycle disciplines, and integrated class hours and extracurricular activity. The main feature of the special course is its integrated character determined by the necessity to synthesize contents of humanitarian cycle disciplines for the purpose of training material comprehensive awareness. Results In this context focused professional extracurricular activity carried out in strict accordance with an overall objective of young specialist training is effective. Successful implementation of structural functional model is possible providing that integrated approach to creative specialists training by means of entire educational and extracurricular activity system.

  11. Functional Behavior Assessment in Schools: Current Status and Future Directions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, Cynthia M.; Rodriguez, Billie Jo; Campbell, Amy

    2015-01-01

    Functional behavior assessment is becoming a commonly used practice in school settings. Accompanying this growth has been an increase in research on functional behavior assessment. We reviewed the extant literature on documenting indirect and direct methods of functional behavior assessment in school settings. To discern best practice guidelines…

  12. Functional requirements for gas characterization system computer software

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tate, D.D.

    1996-01-01

    This document provides the Functional Requirements for the Computer Software operating the Gas Characterization System (GCS), which monitors the combustible gasses in the vapor space of selected tanks. Necessary computer functions are defined to support design, testing, operation, and change control. The GCS requires several individual computers to address the control and data acquisition functions of instruments and sensors. These computers are networked for communication, and must multi-task to accommodate operation in parallel

  13. An Empirical Analysis of the Price Discovery Function of Shanghai Fuel Oil Futures Market

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Wang Zhen; Liu Zhenhai; Chen Chao

    2007-01-01

    This paper analyzes the role of price discovery of Shanghai fuel oil futures market by using methods, such as unit root test, co-integration test, error correction model, Granger causality test, impulse-response function and variance decomposition. The results showed that there exists a strong relationship between the spot price of Huangpu fuel oil spot market and the futures price of Shanghai fuel oil futures market. In addition, the Shanghai fuel oil futures market exhibits a highly effective price discovery function.

  14. Biosynthesis, structural, and functional attributes of tocopherols in planta; past, present, and future perspectives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hussain, Nazim; Irshad, Faiza; Jabeen, Zahra; Shamsi, Imran Haider; Li, Zhilan; Jiang, Lixi

    2013-07-03

    Tocopherols are lipophilic molecules, ubiquitously synthesized in all photosynthetic organisms. Being a group of vitamin E compounds, they play an essential role in human nutrition and health. Despite their structural and functional attributes as important antioxidants in plants, it would be misleading to ignore the potential roles of tocopherols beyond their antioxidant properties in planta. Detailed characterization of mutants and transgenic plants, including Arabidopsis (vte1, vte2, vte4, and so on), maize (sxd1) mutants, and transgenic potato and tobacco lines altered in tocopherol biosynthesis and contents, has led to surprising outcomes regarding the additional functions of these molecules. Thus, the aim of this review is to highlight the past and present research findings on tocopherols' structural, biosynthesis, and functional properties in plants. Special emphasis is given to their suggested functions in planta, such as cell signaling, hormonal interactions, and coordinated response of tocopherols to other antioxidants under abiotic stresses. Moreover, some important questions about possible new functions of tocopherols will be discussed as future prospects to stimulate further research.

  15. Functional genomics in forage and turf - present status and future ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The combination of bioinformatics and genomics will enhance our understanding ... This review focuses on recent advances and applications of functional genomics for large-scale EST projects, global gene expression analyses, proteomics, and ... ESTs, microarray, proteomics, metabolomics, Medicago truncatula, legume.

  16. New dimensions for man. [human functions in future space missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Louviere, A. J.

    1978-01-01

    The functions of man in space have been in a state of constant change since the first manned orbital flight. Initially, the onboard crewmen performed those tasks essential to piloting and navigating the spacecraft. The time devoted to these tasks has steadily decreased and the crewman's time is being allotted to functions other than orbital operations. The evolving functions include added orbital operational capabilities, experimentation, spacecraft maintenance, and fabrication of useful end items. The new functions will include routine utilization of the crewman to extend mission life, satellite retrieval and servicing, remote manipulator systems operations, and piloting of free-flying teleoperator systems. The most demanding tasks are anticipated to be associated with construction of large space structures. The projected changes will introduce innovative designs and revitalize the concepts for utilizing man in space.

  17. Characterizing the Leaching Behavior of Coal Combustion Residues using the Leaching Environmental Assessment Framework (LEAF) to Inform Future Management Decisions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abstract for presentation on Characterizing the Leaching Behavior of Coal Combustion Residues using the Leaching Environmental Assessment Framework (LEAF) to Inform Future Management Decisions. The abstract is attached.

  18. Molecular cloning and functional characterization of avian interleukin-19

    Science.gov (United States)

    The present study describes the cloning and functional characterization of avian interleukin (IL)-19, a cytokine that, in mammals, alters the balance of Th1 and Th2 cells in favor of the Th2 phenotype. The full-length avian IL-19 gene, located on chromosome 26, was amplified from LPS-stimulated chi...

  19. The Personnel Function Today--Trends for the Future.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cox, Arne

    The personnel function in industrial society has been marked by crisis, reappraisals, struggles for power, and guilty conscience. The profession is again under pressure; company management often questions its contribution to the solution of strategic personnel matters, while employees and their unions question its values, and wish to place its…

  20. Nuclear structure functions at a future electron-ion collider

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aschenauer, E. C.; Fazio, S.; Lamont, M. A. C.; Paukkunen, H.; Zurita, P.

    2017-12-01

    The quantitative knowledge of heavy nuclei's partonic structure is currently limited to rather large values of momentum fraction x —robust experimental constraints below x ˜10-2 at low resolution scale Q2 are particularly scarce. This is in sharp contrast to the free proton's structure which has been probed in Deep Inelastic Scattering (DIS) measurements down to x ˜10-5 at perturbative resolution scales. The construction of an electron-ion collider (EIC) with a possibility to operate with a wide variety of nuclei, will allow one to explore the low-x region in much greater detail. In the present paper we simulate the extraction of the nuclear structure functions from measurements of inclusive and charm reduced cross sections at an EIC. The potential constraints are studied by analyzing simulated data directly in a next-to-leading order global fit of nuclear Parton Distribution Functions based on the recent EPPS16 analysis. A special emphasis is placed on studying the impact an EIC would have on extracting the nuclear gluon parton distribution function, the partonic component most prone to nonlinear effects at low Q2. In comparison to the current knowledge, we find that the gluon parton distribution function can be measured at an EIC with significantly reduced uncertainties.

  1. Treatment of Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders in Children and Future Challenges

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K Eftekhari

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Functional gastrointestinal disorders (FGIDs are a common problem in children. These disorders in children are classified into the following categories according to the ROME III classification: Functional Dyspepsia, Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS, Abdominal Migraines, Childhood Functional abdominal pain (FAP, Childhood functional abdominal pain syndrome and functional constipation. FGIDs are diagnosed based on history and normal physical examination provided that there is no evidence of underlying disease such as anatomical abnormalities, infectious, inflammatory and malignancies. This group of poorly defined diseases represent a huge treatment challenge to the specialist, because, until now there is no therapy that has been effective in improving the symptoms. FGIDs also cause deep family problems as the disease interrupts their routine and positive response to treatment is rarely seen. On the other hand there is no objective document of the disease neither endoscopic, radiologic nor pathologic. Therapeutic strategies of FGIDs are: education and parent's assurance, detection and modifying physical and psychological stress, dietary intervention, pharmacological treatment, psychotherapy and other complementary medical treatments. Some foods may trigger the illness such as coffee, fatty foods and spicy foods, therefore they should be avoided. Lactose-free diet cannot improve symptoms of FGIDs, except in children with lactose intolerance. The beneficial effect of fiber supplement in children with FGIDs remains unknown but it has been useful in adults with IBS. Probiotics have potential efficacy in treating IBS but the efficacy in children with FGIDs remains uncertain and needs to be further studied. In patients with severe symptoms, pharmacological agents can be effective. These drugs include Antacids, Prokinetics, Anticholinergic, Tricyclic antidepressants (TCAS and Serotonergic agents (Agonists and anti agonists. Psychotherapy in FAP and IBS is

  2. Characterization of technical surfaces by structure function analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kalms, Michael; Kreis, Thomas; Bergmann, Ralf B.

    2018-03-01

    The structure function is a tool for characterizing technical surfaces that exhibits a number of advantages over Fourierbased analysis methods. So it is optimally suited for analyzing the height distributions of surfaces measured by full-field non-contacting methods. The structure function is thus a useful method to extract global or local criteria like e. g. periodicities, waviness, lay, or roughness to analyze and evaluate technical surfaces. After the definition of line- and area-structure function and offering effective procedures for their calculation this paper presents examples using simulated and measured data of technical surfaces including aircraft parts.

  3. Functional toxicology: tools to advance the future of toxicity testing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaytán, Brandon D.; Vulpe, Chris D.

    2014-01-01

    The increased presence of chemical contaminants in the environment is an undeniable concern to human health and ecosystems. Historically, by relying heavily upon costly and laborious animal-based toxicity assays, the field of toxicology has often neglected examinations of the cellular and molecular mechanisms of toxicity for the majority of compounds—information that, if available, would strengthen risk assessment analyses. Functional toxicology, where cells or organisms with gene deletions or depleted proteins are used to assess genetic requirements for chemical tolerance, can advance the field of toxicity testing by contributing data regarding chemical mechanisms of toxicity. Functional toxicology can be accomplished using available genetic tools in yeasts, other fungi and bacteria, and eukaryotes of increased complexity, including zebrafish, fruit flies, rodents, and human cell lines. Underscored is the value of using less complex systems such as yeasts to direct further studies in more complex systems such as human cell lines. Functional techniques can yield (1) novel insights into chemical toxicity; (2) pathways and mechanisms deserving of further study; and (3) candidate human toxicant susceptibility or resistance genes. PMID:24847352

  4. Multi-element analysis for environmental characterization and its future trends

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sansoni, B.

    1987-04-01

    Before starting to characterize the environment by its elemental composition, it may be useful to ask about the objective of these efforts. This includes questions about the scope of environmental protection, the definition of the environment and the limitations of its characterization by elemental composition alone. In the second part of this lecture, examples are given of the elemental composition of well analysed samples from the atmosphere, hydrosphere, lithosphere and biosphere. The third part introduces the principle of multi-element analysis and the fourth part gives examples. Finally, future aspects of modern chemical analysis are outlined with respect to the multi-element principle. (orig.)

  5. How do companies envisage the future? Functional foresight approaches

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kononiuk Anna

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available The main aim of the paper is to present the synthesis of the results of methodological analysis conducted on examples of foresight projects executed in chosen companies representing four companies type: small and medium-sized enterprise (SME, nonprofit- organization, international corporations and consulting companies as well as to posit functional approach for the implementation of foresight research within organizations. The empirical part of the study is based on the qualitative approach. A multiple case study methodology is employed. The research objects are sixteen companies experienced in foresight research. The first part of the paper gives an overview of definitions of corporate foresight and the analysis of background that have influence on the conducting of foresight in large multinational companies on one side and SMEs on the other side. In the field of the theory of foresight research, the study demonstrates that there are different motivations for foresight introduction as well as different organizational structure of teams conducting the activities and the approaches that they use. In the practical perspective, the study and a detailed functional foresight approach proposed by authors could be valuable for SMEs who consider implementing foresight research into their strategic planning processes.

  6. Uncertainty Analysis via Failure Domain Characterization: Unrestricted Requirement Functions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crespo, Luis G.; Kenny, Sean P.; Giesy, Daniel P.

    2011-01-01

    This paper proposes an uncertainty analysis framework based on the characterization of the uncertain parameter space. This characterization enables the identification of worst-case uncertainty combinations and the approximation of the failure and safe domains with a high level of accuracy. Because these approximations are comprised of subsets of readily computable probability, they enable the calculation of arbitrarily tight upper and lower bounds to the failure probability. The methods developed herein, which are based on nonlinear constrained optimization, are applicable to requirement functions whose functional dependency on the uncertainty is arbitrary and whose explicit form may even be unknown. Some of the most prominent features of the methodology are the substantial desensitization of the calculations from the assumed uncertainty model (i.e., the probability distribution describing the uncertainty) as well as the accommodation for changes in such a model with a practically insignificant amount of computational effort.

  7. Uncertainty Analysis via Failure Domain Characterization: Polynomial Requirement Functions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crespo, Luis G.; Munoz, Cesar A.; Narkawicz, Anthony J.; Kenny, Sean P.; Giesy, Daniel P.

    2011-01-01

    This paper proposes an uncertainty analysis framework based on the characterization of the uncertain parameter space. This characterization enables the identification of worst-case uncertainty combinations and the approximation of the failure and safe domains with a high level of accuracy. Because these approximations are comprised of subsets of readily computable probability, they enable the calculation of arbitrarily tight upper and lower bounds to the failure probability. A Bernstein expansion approach is used to size hyper-rectangular subsets while a sum of squares programming approach is used to size quasi-ellipsoidal subsets. These methods are applicable to requirement functions whose functional dependency on the uncertainty is a known polynomial. Some of the most prominent features of the methodology are the substantial desensitization of the calculations from the uncertainty model assumed (i.e., the probability distribution describing the uncertainty) as well as the accommodation for changes in such a model with a practically insignificant amount of computational effort.

  8. Pheochromocytoma and Paraganglioma: Current Functional and Future Molecular Imaging

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Blanchet, Elise M.; Martucci, Victoria; Pacak, Karel

    2012-01-01

    Paragangliomas are neural crest-derived tumors, arising either from chromaffin sympathetic tissue (in adrenal, abdominal, intra-pelvic, or thoracic paraganglia) or from parasympathetic tissue (in head and neck paraganglia). They have a specific cellular metabolism, with the ability to synthesize, store, and secrete catecholamines (although most head and neck paragangliomas do not secrete any catecholamines). This disease is rare and also very heterogeneous, with various presentations (e.g., in regards to localization, multifocality, potential to metastasize, biochemical phenotype, and genetic background). With growing knowledge, notably about the pathophysiology and genetic background, guidelines are evolving rapidly. In this context, functional imaging is a challenge for the management of paragangliomas. Nuclear imaging has been used for exploring paragangliomas for the last three decades, with MIBG historically as the first-line exam. Tracers used in paragangliomas can be grouped in three different categories. Agents that specifically target catecholamine synthesis, storage, and secretion pathways include: 123 and 131I-metaiodobenzylguanidine (123/131I-MIBG), 18F-fluorodopamine (18F-FDA), and 18F-fluorodihydroxyphenylalanine (18F-FDOPA). Agents that bind somatostatin receptors include 111In-pentetreotide and 68Ga-labeled somatostatin analog peptides (68Ga-DOTA-TOC, 68Ga-DOTA-NOC, 68Ga-DOTA-TATE). The non-specific agent most commonly used in paragangliomas is 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose (18F-FDG). This review will first describe conventional scintigraphic exams that are used for imaging paragangliomas. In the second part we will emphasize the interest in new PET approaches (specific and non-specific), considering the growing knowledge about genetic background and pathophysiology, with the aim of understanding how tumors behave, and optimally adjusting imaging technique for each tumor type.

  9. Using the structure-function linkage database to characterize functional domains in enzymes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Shoshana; Babbitt, Patricia

    2014-12-12

    The Structure-Function Linkage Database (SFLD; http://sfld.rbvi.ucsf.edu/) is a Web-accessible database designed to link enzyme sequence, structure, and functional information. This unit describes the protocols by which a user may query the database to predict the function of uncharacterized enzymes and to correct misannotated functional assignments. The information in this unit is especially useful in helping a user discriminate functional capabilities of a sequence that is only distantly related to characterized sequences in publicly available databases. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

  10. Characterizing genomic alterations in cancer by complementary functional associations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Jong Wook; Botvinnik, Olga B; Abudayyeh, Omar; Birger, Chet; Rosenbluh, Joseph; Shrestha, Yashaswi; Abazeed, Mohamed E; Hammerman, Peter S; DiCara, Daniel; Konieczkowski, David J; Johannessen, Cory M; Liberzon, Arthur; Alizad-Rahvar, Amir Reza; Alexe, Gabriela; Aguirre, Andrew; Ghandi, Mahmoud; Greulich, Heidi; Vazquez, Francisca; Weir, Barbara A; Van Allen, Eliezer M; Tsherniak, Aviad; Shao, Diane D; Zack, Travis I; Noble, Michael; Getz, Gad; Beroukhim, Rameen; Garraway, Levi A; Ardakani, Masoud; Romualdi, Chiara; Sales, Gabriele; Barbie, David A; Boehm, Jesse S; Hahn, William C; Mesirov, Jill P; Tamayo, Pablo

    2016-05-01

    Systematic efforts to sequence the cancer genome have identified large numbers of mutations and copy number alterations in human cancers. However, elucidating the functional consequences of these variants, and their interactions to drive or maintain oncogenic states, remains a challenge in cancer research. We developed REVEALER, a computational method that identifies combinations of mutually exclusive genomic alterations correlated with functional phenotypes, such as the activation or gene dependency of oncogenic pathways or sensitivity to a drug treatment. We used REVEALER to uncover complementary genomic alterations associated with the transcriptional activation of β-catenin and NRF2, MEK-inhibitor sensitivity, and KRAS dependency. REVEALER successfully identified both known and new associations, demonstrating the power of combining functional profiles with extensive characterization of genomic alterations in cancer genomes.

  11. Characterization of Microbiota in Children with Chronic Functional Constipation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Meij, Tim G J; de Groot, Evelien F J; Eck, Anat; Budding, Andries E; Kneepkens, C M Frank; Benninga, Marc A; van Bodegraven, Adriaan A; Savelkoul, Paul H M

    2016-01-01

    Disruption of the intestinal microbiota is considered an etiological factor in pediatric functional constipation. Scientifically based selection of potential beneficial probiotic strains in functional constipation therapy is not feasible due to insufficient knowledge of microbiota composition in affected subjects. The aim of this study was to describe microbial composition and diversity in children with functional constipation, compared to healthy controls. Fecal samples from 76 children diagnosed with functional constipation according to the Rome III criteria (median age 8.0 years; range 4.2-17.8) were analyzed by IS-pro, a PCR-based microbiota profiling method. Outcome was compared with intestinal microbiota profiles of 61 healthy children (median 8.6 years; range 4.1-17.9). Microbiota dissimilarity was depicted by principal coordinate analysis (PCoA), diversity was calculated by Shannon diversity index. To determine the most discriminative species, cross validated logistic ridge regression was performed. Applying total microbiota profiles (all phyla together) or per phylum analysis, no disease-specific separation was observed by PCoA and by calculation of diversity indices. By ridge regression, however, functional constipation and controls could be discriminated with 82% accuracy. Most discriminative species were Bacteroides fragilis, Bacteroides ovatus, Bifidobacterium longum, Parabacteroides species (increased in functional constipation) and Alistipes finegoldii (decreased in functional constipation). None of the commonly used unsupervised statistical methods allowed for microbiota-based discrimination of children with functional constipation and controls. By ridge regression, however, both groups could be discriminated with 82% accuracy. Optimization of microbiota-based interventions in constipated children warrants further characterization of microbial signatures linked to clinical subgroups of functional constipation.

  12. Synthesis and characterization of carboxylic acid functionalized silicon nanoparticles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shaner, Ted V.

    Silicon nanoparticles are of great interest in a great number of fields. Silicon nanoparticles show great promise particularly in the field of bioimaging. Carboxylic acid functionalized silicon nanoparticles have the ability to covalently bond to biomolecules through the conjugation of the carboxylic acid to an amine functionalized biomolecule. This thesis explores the synthesis of silicon nanoparticles functionalized by both carboxylic acids and alkenes and their carboxylic acid functionality. Also discussed is the characterization of the silicon nanoparticles by the use of x-ray spectroscopy. Finally, the nature of the Si-H bond that is observed on the surface of the silicon nanoparticles will be investigated using photoassisted exciton mediated hydrosilation reactions. The silicon nanoparticles are synthesized from both carboxylic acids and alkenes. However, the lack of solubility of diacids is a significant barrier to carboxylic acid functionalization by a mixture of monoacids and diacids. A synthesis route to overcome this obstacle is to synthesize silicon nanoparticles with terminal vinyl group. This terminal vinyl group is distal to the surface of the silicon nanoparticle. The conversion of the vinyl group to a carboxylic acid is accomplished by oxidative cleavage using ozonolysis. The carboxylic acid functionalized silicon nanoparticles were then successfully conjugated to amine functionalized DNA strand through an n-hydroxy succinimide ester activation step, which promotes the formation of the amide bond. Conjugation was characterized by TEM and polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (PAGE). The PAGE results show that the silicon nanoparticle conjugates move slower through the polyacrylamide gel, resulting in a significant separation from the nonconjugated DNA. The silicon nanoparticles were then characterized by the use of x-ray absorption near edge spectroscopy (Xanes) and x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) to investigate the bonding and chemical

  13. Functional Characterization of Sesquiterpene Synthase from Polygonum minus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Su-Fang Ee

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Polygonum minus is an aromatic plant, which contains high abundance of terpenoids, especially the sesquiterpenes C15H24. Sesquiterpenes were believed to contribute to the many useful biological properties in plants. This study aimed to functionally characterize a full length sesquiterpene synthase gene from P. minus. P. minus sesquiterpene synthase (PmSTS has a complete open reading frame (ORF of 1689 base pairs encoding a 562 amino acid protein. Similar to other sesquiterpene synthases, PmSTS has two large domains: the N-terminal domain and the C-terminal metal-binding domain. It also consists of three conserved motifs: the DDXXD, NSE/DTE, and RXR. A three-dimensional protein model for PmSTS built clearly distinguished the two main domains, where conserved motifs were highlighted. We also constructed a phylogenetic tree, which showed that PmSTS belongs to the angiosperm sesquiterpene synthase subfamily Tps-a. To examine the function of PmSTS, we expressed this gene in Arabidopsis thaliana. Two transgenic lines, designated as OE3 and OE7, were further characterized, both molecularly and functionally. The transgenic plants demonstrated smaller basal rosette leaves, shorter and fewer flowering stems, and fewer seeds compared to wild type plants. Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry analysis of the transgenic plants showed that PmSTS was responsible for the production of β-sesquiphellandrene.

  14. Characterization of future drought conditions in the Lower Mekong River Basin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Madusanka Thilakarathne

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available This study evaluates future changes to drought characteristics in the Lower Mekong River Basin using climate model projections. The Lower Mekong Basin (LMB, covering Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam, is vulnerable to increasing droughts. Univariate analysis was employed in this study to compare drought characteristics associated with different return periods for the historical period 1964–2005 and future scenarios (RCP 4.5 2016–2057, RCP 4.5 2058–2099, RCP 8.5 2016–2057 and RCP 8.5 2058–2099. Because a single drought event is defined by several correlated characteristics, drought risk assessment by a multivariate analysis was deemed appropriate, and a multivariate analysis of droughts was conducted using copula functions to investigate the differences in the trivariate joint occurrence probabilities of the historical period and future scenarios. The Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI was selected as the drought index because of its ability to detect and compare metrological droughts across time and space scales. Historical precipitation data from 1964 to 2005 and future precipitation projections from 2016 to 2099 for 15 global circulation models (GCMs obtained from the NASA Earth Exchange Global Daily Downscaled Projections (NEX-GDDP dataset were employed. In all future scenarios, the Lower LMB and 3S subbasins were expected to experience more severe and intense droughts. The multivariate drought risk assessment revealed an increase in drought risks in the LMB. However, the Chi-Mun subbasin may experience an alleviation of future drought characteristics. Because the basin was expected to experience an increase in average monthly precipitation in most months, the variability in magnitude suggested that the LMB region requires adaptation strategies to address future drought occurrences.

  15. Synthesis, characterization and photoinduced curing of polysulfones with (methacrylate functionalities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cemil Dizman

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available The UV-curable telechelic polysulfones with (methacrylate functionalities were synthesized by condensation polymerization and subsequent esterification. The final polymers and intermediates at various stages were characterized by 1H NMR, FT-ATR, and GPC. The oligomeric films prepared from the appropriate solutions containing these telechelics and 2,2-dimethoxy-2-phenylacetophenone (DMPA as the photoinitiator undergo rapid polymerization upon irradiation forming insoluble networks. The photo-curing behavior was investigated by photo-DSC and the effects of the molecular weight of the polysulfone precursor and type of functionality on the rate of polymerization and conversion were evaluated. Thermal properties of the photochemically cured films were studied by differential scanning calorimeter (DSC and thermal gravimetric analysis (TGA.

  16. Futures

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pedersen, Michael Haldrup

    2017-01-01

    Currently both design thinking and critical social science experience an increased interest in speculating in alternative future scenarios. This interest is not least related to the challenges issues of global sustainability present for politics, ethics and design. This paper explores the potenti......Currently both design thinking and critical social science experience an increased interest in speculating in alternative future scenarios. This interest is not least related to the challenges issues of global sustainability present for politics, ethics and design. This paper explores...... the potentials of speculative thinking in relation to design and social and cultural studies, arguing that both offer valuable insights for creating a speculative space for new emergent criticalities challenging current assumptions of the relations between power and design. It does so by tracing out discussions...... of ‘futurity’ and ‘futuring’ in design as well as social and cultural studies. Firstly, by discussing futurist and speculative approaches in design thinking; secondly by engaging with ideas of scenario thinking and utopianism in current social and cultural studies; and thirdly by showing how the articulation...

  17. Price Discovery Function of Index Futures in China: Evidence from Daily Closing Prices

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    SHIQING; XIE; JIAJUN; HUANG

    2013-01-01

    Price discovery is one of the main functions of stock index futures.Using the daily closing prices of the CSI 300 index and its index futures from April 2010 to April 2012,this paper applies a vector error correction model(VECM)and an impulse response function to conduct an empirical analysis on the price discovery function of index futures in China.This paper has the following four findings:(1)a solid cointegration relationship between the CSI 300 index and its index futures exists in the long run;(2)when prices deviate from the longterm equilibrium,the stock index reverses weakly,while the reversal of index futures is much stronger;(3)the daily lead-lag relationship between the prices of the CSI 300 index and its index futures contracts is not significant in the short run;()shocks from the spot market have a lasting impact upon the futures market,but not vice versa,due to the limited short-term adjustment ability of the spot market.

  18. Bioinformatic prediction and functional characterization of human KIAA0100 gene

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    He Cui

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available Our previous study demonstrated that human KIAA0100 gene was a novel acute monocytic leukemia-associated antigen (MLAA gene. But the functional characterization of human KIAA0100 gene has remained unknown to date. Here, firstly, bioinformatic prediction of human KIAA0100 gene was carried out using online softwares; Secondly, Human KIAA0100 gene expression was downregulated by the clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR/CRISPR-associated (Cas 9 system in U937 cells. Cell proliferation and apoptosis were next evaluated in KIAA0100-knockdown U937 cells. The bioinformatic prediction showed that human KIAA0100 gene was located on 17q11.2, and human KIAA0100 protein was located in the secretory pathway. Besides, human KIAA0100 protein contained a signalpeptide, a transmembrane region, three types of secondary structures (alpha helix, extended strand, and random coil , and four domains from mitochondrial protein 27 (FMP27. The observation on functional characterization of human KIAA0100 gene revealed that its downregulation inhibited cell proliferation, and promoted cell apoptosis in U937 cells. To summarize, these results suggest human KIAA0100 gene possibly comes within mitochondrial genome; moreover, it is a novel anti-apoptotic factor related to carcinogenesis or progression in acute monocytic leukemia, and may be a potential target for immunotherapy against acute monocytic leukemia.

  19. [Cloning and functional characterization of phytoene desaturase in Andrographis paniculata].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shen, Qin-qin; Li, Li-xia; Zhan, Peng-lin; Wang, Qiang

    2015-10-01

    A full-length cDNA of phytoene desaturase (PDS) gene from Andrographis paniculata was obtained through RACE-PCR. The cDNA sequence consists of 2 224 bp with an intact ORF of 1 752 bp (GeneBank: KP982892), encoding a ploypeptide of 584 amino acids. Homology analysis showed that the deduced protein has extensive sequence similarities to PDS from other plants, and contains a conserved NAD ( H) -binding domain of plant dehydrase cofactor binding-domain in N-terminal. Phylogenetic analysis demonstrated that ApPDS was more related to PDS of Sesamum indicum and Pogostemon cablin. The semi-quantitative RT-PCR analysis revealed that ApPDS expressed in whole aboveground tissues with the highest expression in leaves. Virus induced gene silencing (VIGS) was performed to characterize the functional of ApPDS in planta. Significant photobleaching was not observed in infiltrated leaves, while the PDS gene has been down-regulated significantly at the yellowish area. To the best of our knowledge, this represents the first report of PDS gene cloning and functional characterization from A. paniculata, which lays the foundation for further investigation of new genes, especially that correlative to andrographolide biosynthetic pathway.

  20. Functional characterization of Arabidopsis thaliana transthyretin-like protein.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pessoa, João; Sárkány, Zsuzsa; Ferreira-da-Silva, Frederico; Martins, Sónia; Almeida, Maria R; Li, Jianming; Damas, Ana M

    2010-02-18

    Arabidopsis thaliana transthyretin-like (TTL) protein is a potential substrate in the brassinosteroid signalling cascade, having a role that moderates plant growth. Moreover, sequence homology revealed two sequence domains similar to 2-oxo-4-hydroxy-4-carboxy-5-ureidoimidazoline (OHCU) decarboxylase (N-terminal domain) and 5-hydroxyisourate (5-HIU) hydrolase (C-terminal domain). TTL is a member of the transthyretin-related protein family (TRP), which comprises a number of proteins with sequence homology to transthyretin (TTR) and the characteristic C-terminal sequence motif Tyr-Arg-Gly-Ser. TRPs are single domain proteins that form tetrameric structures with 5-HIU hydrolase activity. Experimental evidence is fundamental for knowing if TTL is a tetrameric protein, formed by the association of the 5-HIU hydrolase domains and, in this case, if the structural arrangement allows for OHCU decarboxylase activity. This work reports about the biochemical and functional characterization of TTL. The TTL gene was cloned and the protein expressed and purified for biochemical and functional characterization. The results show that TTL is composed of four subunits, with a moderately elongated shape. We also found evidence for 5-HIU hydrolase and OHCU decarboxylase activities in vitro, in the full-length protein. The Arabidopsis thaliana transthyretin-like (TTL) protein is a tetrameric bifunctional enzyme, since it has 5-HIU hydrolase and OHCU decarboxylase activities, which were simultaneously observed in vitro.

  1. Functional characterization of Arabidopsis thaliana transthyretin-like protein

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Almeida Maria R

    2010-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Arabidopsis thaliana transthyretin-like (TTL protein is a potential substrate in the brassinosteroid signalling cascade, having a role that moderates plant growth. Moreover, sequence homology revealed two sequence domains similar to 2-oxo-4-hydroxy-4-carboxy-5-ureidoimidazoline (OHCU decarboxylase (N-terminal domain and 5-hydroxyisourate (5-HIU hydrolase (C-terminal domain. TTL is a member of the transthyretin-related protein family (TRP, which comprises a number of proteins with sequence homology to transthyretin (TTR and the characteristic C-terminal sequence motif Tyr-Arg-Gly-Ser. TRPs are single domain proteins that form tetrameric structures with 5-HIU hydrolase activity. Experimental evidence is fundamental for knowing if TTL is a tetrameric protein, formed by the association of the 5-HIU hydrolase domains and, in this case, if the structural arrangement allows for OHCU decarboxylase activity. This work reports about the biochemical and functional characterization of TTL. Results The TTL gene was cloned and the protein expressed and purified for biochemical and functional characterization. The results show that TTL is composed of four subunits, with a moderately elongated shape. We also found evidence for 5-HIU hydrolase and OHCU decarboxylase activities in vitro, in the full-length protein. Conclusions The Arabidopsis thaliana transthyretin-like (TTL protein is a tetrameric bifunctional enzyme, since it has 5-HIU hydrolase and OHCU decarboxylase activities, which were simultaneously observed in vitro.

  2. Combination of evidence in recommendation systems characterized by distance functions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rocha, L. M. (Luis Mateus)

    2002-01-01

    Recommendation systems for different Document Networks (DN) such as the World Wide Web (WWW), Digitnl Libarries, or Scientific Databases, often make use of distance functions extracted from relationships among documents and between documents and semantic tags. For instance, documents In the WWW are related via a hyperlink network, while documents in bibliographic databases are related by citation and collaboration networks.Furthermore, documents can be related to semantic tags such as keywords used to describe their content, The distance functions computed from these relations establish associative networks among items of the DN, and allow recommendation systems to identify relevant associations for iudividoal users. The process of recommendation can be improved by integrating associative data from different sources. Thus we are presented with a problem of combining evidence (about assochaons between items) from different sonrces characterized by distance functions. In this paper we summarize our work on (1) inferring associations from semi-metric distance functions and (2) combining evidence from different (distance) associative DN.

  3. Functional Characterization of a Novel Shape Memory Alloy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Collado, M.; Cabás, R.; San Juan, J.; López-Ferreño, I.

    2014-07-01

    A novel shape memory alloy (SMA) has been developed as an alternative to currently available alloys. This alloy, commercially known by its proprietary brand SMARQ, shows a higher working range of temperatures with respect to the SMA materials used until now in actuators, limited to environment temperatures below 90 °C. SMARQ is a high temperature SMA (HTSMA) based on a fully European material technology and production processes, which allows the manufacture of high quality products, with tuneable transformation temperatures up to 200 °C. Both, material and production processes have been evaluated for its use in space applications. A full characterization test campaign has been completed in order to obtain the material properties and check its suitability to be used as active material in space actuators. In order to perform the functional characterization of the material, it has been considered as the key element of a basic SMA actuator, consisting in the SMA wire and the mechanical and electrical interfaces. The functional tests presented in this work have been focused on the actuator behavior when heated by means of an electrical current. Alloy composition has been adjusted in order to match a transition temperature (As) of +145 °C, which satisfies the application requirements of operating temperatures in the range of -70 and +125 °C. Details of the tests and results of the characterization test campaign, focused in the material unique properties for their use in actuators, will be presented in this work. Some application examples in the field of space mechanisms and actuators, currently under development, will be summarized as part of this work, demonstrating the technology suitability as active material for space actuators.

  4. High strain rate characterization of soft materials: past, present and possible futures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siviour, Clive

    2015-06-01

    The high strain rate properties of low impedance materials have long been of interest to the community: the very first paper by Kolsky on his eponymous bars included data from man-made polymers and natural rubber. However, it has also long been recognized that characterizing soft or low impedance specimens under dynamic loading presents a number of challenges, mainly owing to the low sound speed in, and low stresses supported by, these materials. Over the past 20 years, significant progress has been made in high rate testing techniques, including better experimental design, more sensitive data acquisition and better understanding of specimen behavior. Further, a new generation of techniques, in which materials are characterized using travelling waves, rather than in a state of static equilibrium, promise to turn those properties that were previously a drawback into an advantage. This paper will give an overview of the history of high rate characterization, the current state of the art after an exciting couple of decades and some of the techniques currently being developed that have the potential to offer increased quality data in the future.

  5. Functional characterization of transmembrane adenylyl cyclases from the honeybee brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balfanz, Sabine; Ehling, Petra; Wachten, Sebastian; Jordan, Nadine; Erber, Joachim; Mujagic, Samir; Baumann, Arnd

    2012-06-01

    The second messenger cAMP has a pivotal role in animals' physiology and behavior. Intracellular concentrations of cAMP are balanced by cAMP-synthesizing adenylyl cyclases (ACs) and cAMP-cleaving phosphodiesterases. Knowledge about ACs in the honeybee (Apis mellifera) is rather limited and only an ortholog of the vertebrate AC3 isoform has been functionally characterized, so far. Employing bioinformatics and functional expression we characterized two additional honeybee genes encoding membrane-bound (tm)ACs. The proteins were designated AmAC2t and AmAC8. Unlike the common structure of tmACs, AmAC2t lacks the first transmembrane domain. Despite this unusual topography, AmAC2t-activity could be stimulated by norepinephrine and NKH477 with EC(50s) of 0.07 μM and 3 μM. Both ligands stimulated AmAC8 with EC(50s) of 0.24 μM and 3.1 μM. In brain cryosections, intensive staining of mushroom bodies was observed with specific antibodies against AmAC8, an expression pattern highly reminiscent of the Drosophila rutabaga AC. In a current release of the honeybee genome database we identified three additional tmAC- and one soluble AC-encoding gene. These results suggest that (1) the AC-gene family in honeybees is comparably large as in other species, and (2) based on the restricted expression of AmAC8 in mushroom bodies, this enzyme might serve important functions in honeybee behavior. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Characterizing drought stress and trait influence on maize yield under current and future conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harrison, Matthew T; Tardieu, François; Dong, Zhanshan; Messina, Carlos D; Hammer, Graeme L

    2014-03-01

    Global climate change is predicted to increase temperatures, alter geographical patterns of rainfall and increase the frequency of extreme climatic events. Such changes are likely to alter the timing and magnitude of drought stresses experienced by crops. This study used new developments in the classification of crop water stress to first characterize the typology and frequency of drought-stress patterns experienced by European maize crops and their associated distributions of grain yield, and second determine the influence of the breeding traits anthesis-silking synchrony, maturity and kernel number on yield in different drought-stress scenarios, under current and future climates. Under historical conditions, a low-stress scenario occurred most frequently (ca. 40%), and three other stress types exposing crops to late-season stresses each occurred in ca. 20% of cases. A key revelation shown was that the four patterns will also be the most dominant stress patterns under 2050 conditions. Future frequencies of low drought stress were reduced by ca. 15%, and those of severe water deficit during grain filling increased from 18% to 25%. Despite this, effects of elevated CO2 on crop growth moderated detrimental effects of climate change on yield. Increasing anthesis-silking synchrony had the greatest effect on yield in low drought-stress seasonal patterns, whereas earlier maturity had the greatest effect in crops exposed to severe early-terminal drought stress. Segregating drought-stress patterns into key groups allowed greater insight into the effects of trait perturbation on crop yield under different weather conditions. We demonstrate that for crops exposed to the same drought-stress pattern, trait perturbation under current climates will have a similar impact on yield as that expected in future, even though the frequencies of severe drought stress will increase in future. These results have important ramifications for breeding of maize and have implications for

  7. Characterizing Resting-State Brain Function Using Arterial Spin Labeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jann, Kay; Wang, Danny J.J.

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Arterial spin labeling (ASL) is an increasingly established magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technique that is finding broader applications in studying the healthy and diseased brain. This review addresses the use of ASL to assess brain function in the resting state. Following a brief technical description, we discuss the use of ASL in the following main categories: (1) resting-state functional connectivity (FC) measurement: the use of ASL-based cerebral blood flow (CBF) measurements as an alternative to the blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) technique to assess resting-state FC; (2) the link between network CBF and FC measurements: the use of network CBF as a surrogate of the metabolic activity within corresponding networks; and (3) the study of resting-state dynamic CBF-BOLD coupling and cerebral metabolism: the use of dynamic CBF information obtained using ASL to assess dynamic CBF-BOLD coupling and oxidative metabolism in the resting state. In addition, we summarize some future challenges and interesting research directions for ASL, including slice-accelerated (multiband) imaging as well as the effects of motion and other physiological confounds on perfusion-based FC measurement. In summary, this work reviews the state-of-the-art of ASL and establishes it as an increasingly viable MRI technique with high translational value in studying resting-state brain function. PMID:26106930

  8. Electrochemical characterization of organosilane-functionalized nanostructured ITO surfaces

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pruna, R., E-mail: rpruna@el.ub.edu; Palacio, F.; López, M. [SIC, Departament d' Enginyeries: Electrònica, Universitat de Barcelona, C/ Martí i Franquès 1, E-08028 Barcelona (Spain); Pérez, J. [Nanobioengineering Group, Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia (IBEC), Baldiri Reixac 15-21, E-08028 Barcelona (Spain); Mir, M. [Nanobioengineering Group, Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia (IBEC), Baldiri Reixac 15-21, E-08028 Barcelona (Spain); Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red en Bioingeniería, Biomateriales y Nanomedicina (CIBER-BBN), Monforte de Lemos 3-5 Pabellón 11, E-28029 Madrid (Spain); Blázquez, O.; Hernández, S.; Garrido, B. [MIND-IN" 2UB, Departament d' Enginyeries: Electrònica, Universitat de Barcelona, C/ Martí i Franquès 1, E-08028 Barcelona (Spain)

    2016-08-08

    The electroactivity of nanostructured indium tin oxide (ITO) has been investigated for its further use in applications such as sensing biological compounds by the analysis of redox active molecules. ITO films were fabricated by using electron beam evaporation at different substrate temperatures and subsequently annealed for promoting their crystallization. The morphology of the deposited material was monitored by scanning electron microscopy, confirming the deposition of either thin films or nanowires, depending on the substrate temperature. Electrochemical surface characterization revealed a 45 % increase in the electroactive surface area of nanostructured ITO with respect to thin films, one third lower than the geometrical surface area variation determined by atomic force microscopy. ITO surfaces were functionalized with a model organic molecule known as 6-(ferrocenyl)hexanethiol. The chemical attachment was done by means of a glycidoxy compound containing a reactive epoxy group, the so-called 3-glycidoxypropyltrimethoxy-silane. ITO functionalization was useful for determining the benefits of nanostructuration on the surface coverage of active molecules. Compared to ITO thin films, an increase in the total peak height of 140 % was observed for as-deposited nanostructured electrodes, whereas the same measurement for annealed electrodes resulted in an increase of more than 400 %. These preliminary results demonstrate the ability of nanostructured ITO to increase the surface-to-volume ratio, conductivity and surface area functionalization, features that highly benefit the performance of biosensors.

  9. Electrochemical characterization of organosilane-functionalized nanostructured ITO surfaces

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pruna, R.; Palacio, F.; López, M.; Pérez, J.; Mir, M.; 2UB, Departament d'Enginyeries: Electrònica, Universitat de Barcelona, C/ Martí i Franquès 1, E-08028 Barcelona (Spain))" data-affiliation=" (MIND-IN2UB, Departament d'Enginyeries: Electrònica, Universitat de Barcelona, C/ Martí i Franquès 1, E-08028 Barcelona (Spain))" >Blázquez, O.; 2UB, Departament d'Enginyeries: Electrònica, Universitat de Barcelona, C/ Martí i Franquès 1, E-08028 Barcelona (Spain))" data-affiliation=" (MIND-IN2UB, Departament d'Enginyeries: Electrònica, Universitat de Barcelona, C/ Martí i Franquès 1, E-08028 Barcelona (Spain))" >Hernández, S.; 2UB, Departament d'Enginyeries: Electrònica, Universitat de Barcelona, C/ Martí i Franquès 1, E-08028 Barcelona (Spain))" data-affiliation=" (MIND-IN2UB, Departament d'Enginyeries: Electrònica, Universitat de Barcelona, C/ Martí i Franquès 1, E-08028 Barcelona (Spain))" >Garrido, B.

    2016-01-01

    The electroactivity of nanostructured indium tin oxide (ITO) has been investigated for its further use in applications such as sensing biological compounds by the analysis of redox active molecules. ITO films were fabricated by using electron beam evaporation at different substrate temperatures and subsequently annealed for promoting their crystallization. The morphology of the deposited material was monitored by scanning electron microscopy, confirming the deposition of either thin films or nanowires, depending on the substrate temperature. Electrochemical surface characterization revealed a 45 % increase in the electroactive surface area of nanostructured ITO with respect to thin films, one third lower than the geometrical surface area variation determined by atomic force microscopy. ITO surfaces were functionalized with a model organic molecule known as 6-(ferrocenyl)hexanethiol. The chemical attachment was done by means of a glycidoxy compound containing a reactive epoxy group, the so-called 3-glycidoxypropyltrimethoxy-silane. ITO functionalization was useful for determining the benefits of nanostructuration on the surface coverage of active molecules. Compared to ITO thin films, an increase in the total peak height of 140 % was observed for as-deposited nanostructured electrodes, whereas the same measurement for annealed electrodes resulted in an increase of more than 400 %. These preliminary results demonstrate the ability of nanostructured ITO to increase the surface-to-volume ratio, conductivity and surface area functionalization, features that highly benefit the performance of biosensors.

  10. Characterizing the Spatial Density Functions of Neural Arbors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teeter, Corinne Michelle

    Recently, it has been proposed that a universal function describes the way in which all arbors (axons and dendrites) spread their branches over space. Data from fish retinal ganglion cells as well as cortical and hippocampal arbors from mouse, rat, cat, monkey and human provide evidence that all arbor density functions (adf) can be described by a Gaussian function truncated at approximately two standard deviations. A Gaussian density function implies that there is a minimal set of parameters needed to describe an adf: two or three standard deviations (depending on the dimensionality of the arbor) and an amplitude. However, the parameters needed to completely describe an adf could be further constrained by a scaling law found between the product of the standard deviations and the amplitude of the function. In the following document, I examine the scaling law relationship in order to determine the minimal set of parameters needed to describe an adf. First, I find that the at, two-dimensional arbors of fish retinal ganglion cells require only two out of the three fundamental parameters to completely describe their density functions. Second, the three-dimensional, volume filling, cortical arbors require four fundamental parameters: three standard deviations and the total length of an arbor (which corresponds to the amplitude of the function). Next, I characterize the shape of arbors in the context of the fundamental parameters. I show that the parameter distributions of the fish retinal ganglion cells are largely homogenous. In general, axons are bigger and less dense than dendrites; however, they are similarly shaped. The parameter distributions of these two arbor types overlap and, therefore, can only be differentiated from one another probabilistically based on their adfs. Despite artifacts in the cortical arbor data, different types of arbors (apical dendrites, non-apical dendrites, and axons) can generally be differentiated based on their adfs. In addition, within

  11. Characterizing Functional Domains for TIM-Mediated Enveloped Virus Entry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moller-Tank, Sven; Albritton, Lorraine M.; Rennert, Paul D.

    2014-01-01

    membrane. While it is known that the PtdSer binding is essential for the PVEER function of TIM-1, TIM-3 shares this binding activity but does not enhance virus entry. No comprehensive studies have been done to characterize the other domains of TIM-1. In this study, using a variety of chimeric proteins and deletion mutants, we define the features necessary for a functional PVEER. With these features in mind, we generated a TIM-1 mimic using functionally similar domains from other proteins. This mimic, like TIM-1, effectively enhanced transduction. These studies provide insight into the key features necessary for PVEERs and will allow for more effective identification of unknown PVEERs. PMID:24696470

  12. Characterization and Functionality of Immidazolium Ionic Liquids Modified Magnetic Nanoparticles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ying Li

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available 1,3-Dialkylimidazolium-based ionic liquids were chemically synthesized and bonded on the surface of magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs with easy one-step reaction. The obtained six kinds of ionic liquid modified MNPs were characterized with transmission electron microscopy, thermogravimetric analysis, magnetization, and FTIR, which owned the high adsorption capacity due to the nanometer size and high-density modification with ionic liquids. Functionality of MNPs with ionic liquids greatly influenced the solubility of the MNPs with organic solvents depending on the alkyl chain length and the anions of the ionic liquids. Moreover, the obtained MNPs showed the specific extraction efficiency to organic pollutant, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, while superparamagnetic property of the MNPs facilitated the convenient separation of MNPs from the bulks water samples.

  13. Structural and functional characterization of two alpha-synuclein strains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bousset, Luc; Pieri, Laura; Ruiz-Arlandis, Gemma; Gath, Julia; Jensen, Poul Henning; Habenstein, Birgit; Madiona, Karine; Olieric, Vincent; Böckmann, Anja; Meier, Beat H.; Melki, Ronald

    2013-10-01

    α-synuclein aggregation is implicated in a variety of diseases including Parkinson’s disease, dementia with Lewy bodies, pure autonomic failure and multiple system atrophy. The association of protein aggregates made of a single protein with a variety of clinical phenotypes has been explained for prion diseases by the existence of different strains that propagate through the infection pathway. Here we structurally and functionally characterize two polymorphs of α-synuclein. We present evidence that the two forms indeed fulfil the molecular criteria to be identified as two strains of α-synuclein. Specifically, we show that the two strains have different structures, levels of toxicity, and in vitro and in vivo seeding and propagation properties. Such strain differences may account for differences in disease progression in different individuals/cell types and/or types of synucleinopathies.

  14. Evolution of the transfer function characterization of surface scatter phenomena

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harvey, James E.; Pfisterer, Richard N.

    2016-09-01

    Based upon the empirical observation that BRDF measurements of smooth optical surfaces exhibited shift-invariant behavior when plotted versus    o , the original Harvey-Shack (OHS) surface scatter theory was developed as a scalar linear systems formulation in which scattered light behavior was characterized by a surface transfer function (STF) reminiscent of the optical transfer function (OTF) of modern image formation theory (1976). This shift-invariant behavior combined with the inverse power law behavior when plotting log BRDF versus log   o was quickly incorporated into several optical analysis software packages. Although there was no explicit smooth-surface approximation in the OHS theory, there was a limitation on both the incident and scattering angles. In 1988 the modified Harvey-Shack (MHS) theory removed the limitation on the angle of incidence; however, a moderate-angle scattering limitation remained. Clearly for large incident angles the BRDF was no longer shift-invariant as a different STF was now required for each incident angle. In 2011 the generalized Harvey-Shack (GHS) surface scatter theory, characterized by a two-parameter family of STFs, evolved into a practical modeling tool to calculate BRDFs from optical surface metrology data for situations that violate the smooth surface approximation inherent in the Rayleigh-Rice theory and/or the moderate-angle limitation of the Beckmann-Kirchhoff theory. And finally, the STF can be multiplied by the classical OTF to provide a complete linear systems formulation of image quality as degraded by diffraction, geometrical aberrations and surface scatter effects from residual optical fabrication errors.

  15. Function Discovery and Structural Characterization of a Methylphosphonate Esterase

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Xiang, Dao Feng [Texas A & M Univ., College Station, TX (United States); Patskovsky, Yury [Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY (United States); Nemmara, Venkatesh V. [Texas A & M Univ., College Station, TX (United States); Toro, Rafael [Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY (United States); Almo, Steven C. [Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY (United States); Raushel, Frank M. [Texas A & M Univ., College Station, TX (United States)

    2015-05-12

    Pmi1525, an enzyme of unknown function from Proteus mirabilis HI4320 and the amidohydrolase superfamily, was cloned, purified to homogeneity, and functionally characterized. The three-dimensional structure of Pmi1525 was determined with zinc and cacodylate bound in the active site (PDB id: 3RHG). We also determined the structure with manganese and butyrate in the active site (PDB id: 4QSF). Pmi1525 folds as a distorted (β/α)8-barrel that is typical for members of the amidohydrolase superfamily and cog1735. Moreover, the substrate profile for Pmi1525 was determined via a strategy that marshaled the utilization of bioinformatics, structural characterization, and focused library screening. The protein was found to efficiently catalyze the hydrolysis of organophosphonate and carboxylate esters. The best substrates identified for Pmi1525 are ethyl 4-nitrophenylmethyl phosphonate (kcat and kcat /Km values of 580 s–1 and 1.2 × 105 M–1 s–1, respectively) and 4-nitrophenyl butyrate (kcat and kcat /Km values of 140 s–1 and 1.4 × 105 M–1 s–1, respectively). Pmi1525 is stereoselective for the hydrolysis of chiral methylphosphonate esters. The enzyme hydrolyzes the (SP)-enantiomer of isobutyl 4-nitrophenyl methylphosphonate 14 times faster than the corresponding (RP)-enantiomer. The catalytic properties of this enzyme make it an attractive template for the evolution of novel enzymes for the detection, destruction, and detoxification of organophosphonate nerve agents.

  16. Spatiotemporal characterization of current and future droughts in the High Atlas basins (Morocco)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zkhiri, Wiam; Tramblay, Yves; Hanich, Lahoucine; Jarlan, Lionel; Ruelland, Denis

    2018-02-01

    Over the past decades, drought has become a major concern in Morocco due to the importance of agriculture in the economy of the country. In the present work, the standardized precipitation index (SPI) is used to monitor the evolution, frequency, and severity of droughts in the High Atlas basins (N'Fis, Ourika, Rhéraya, Zat, and R'dat), located south of Marrakech city. The spatiotemporal characterization of drought in these basins is performed by computing the SPI with precipitation spatially interpolated over the catchments. The Haouz plain, located downstream of these basins, is strongly dependent on water provided by the mountain ranges, as shown by the positive correlations between the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) in the plain and the 3, 6, and 12-month SPI in the High Atlas catchments. On the opposite, no significant correlations are found with piezometric levels of the Haouz groundwater due to intensified pumping for irrigation in the recent decades. A relative SPI index was computed to evaluate the climate change impacts on drought occurrence, based on the projected precipitation (2006-2100) from five high-resolution CORDEX regional climate simulations, under two emission scenarios (RCP 4.5 and RCP 8.5). These models show a decrease in precipitation towards the future up to - 65% compared to the historical period. In terms of drought events, the future projections indicate a strong increase in the frequency of SPI events below - 2, considered as severe drought condition.

  17. Intranet of the future: functional study, comparison of products and practical implementation

    OpenAIRE

    Bertran Ribalaygua, Ignasi

    2010-01-01

    Future intranet: functional study, comparison of products and practical implementation 1. Introduction The project has fulfilled three goals: 1) To perform a study of the functionalities which have to be covered in a modern intranet (web 2.0, unified communication, collaboration, etc) 2) To perform a comparison of tools of the market which can be used to implement intranets (commercial and open source products) 3) To test three of these tools (Oracle WebCenter, Liferay Portal and Microsoft Sh...

  18. Characterization of functional LB films using electron spin resonance spectroscopy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kuroda, Shin-ichi

    1995-01-01

    The role of ESR spectroscopy in the characterization of functional LB films is discussed. Unpaired electrons in LB films are associated with isolated radical molecules produced by charge transfer, paramagnetic metallic ions such as Cu 2+ , strongly interacting spins in the mixed valence states in charge-transfer salts, and so on. These spins often manifest the functions of materials. They can also act as microscopic probes in the ESR analysis devoted for the elucidation of characteristic properties of LB films. In structural studies, ESR is of particular importance in the analysis of molecular orientation of LB films. ESR can unambiguously determine the orientation of molecules through g-value anisotropy: different g value, different resonance field. Two types of new control methods of molecular orientation in LB films originated from the ESR analysis: study of in-plane orientation in dye LB films which led to the discovery of flow-orientation effect, and observation of drastic change of orientation of Cu-porphyrin in LB films using the trigger molecule, n-hexatriacontane. In the studies of electronic properties, hyperfine interactions between electron and nuclear spins provide information about molecular orbitals and local structures. Stable isotopes have been successfully applied to the stable radicals in merocyanine LB films to identify hyperfine couplings. In conducting LB films composed of charge-transfer salts, quasi-one-dimensional antiferromagnetism in semiconducting films and spin resonance of conduction electrons in metallic films are observed. Results provide microscopic evidence for the development of columnar structures of constituent molecules. Development of new functional LB films may provide more cases where ESR spectroscopy will clarify the nature of such films. (author)

  19. Preparation and Characterization of Space Durable Polymer Nanocomposite Films from Functionalized Carbon Nanotubes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delozier, D. M.; Connell, J. W.; Smith, J. G.; Watson, K. A.

    2003-01-01

    Low color, flexible, space durable polyimide films with inherent, robust electrical conductivity have been under investigation as part of a continuing materials development activity for future NASA space missions involving Gossamer structures. Electrical conductivity is needed in these films to dissipate electrostatic charge build-up that occurs due to the orbital environment. One method of imparting conductivity is through the use of single walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs). However, the incompatibility and insolubility of the SWNTs severely hampers their dispersion in polymeric matrices. In an attempt to improve their dispersability, SWNTs were functionalized by the reaction with an alkyl hydrazone. After this functionalization, the SWNTs were soluble in select solvents and dispersed more readily in the polymer matrix. The functionalized SWNTs were characterized by Raman spectroscopy and thermogravimetric analysis (TGA). The functionalized nanotubes were dispersed in the bulk of the films using a solution technique. The functionalized nanotubes were also applied to the surface of polyimide films using a spray coating technique. The resultant polyimide nanocomposite films were evaluated for nanotube dispersion, electrical conductivity, mechanical, and optical properties and compared with previously prepared polyimide-SWNT samples to assess the effects of SWNT functionalization.

  20. Boron-based nanostructures: Synthesis, functionalization, and characterization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bedasso, Eyrusalam Kifyalew

    Boron-based nanostructures have not been explored in detail; however, these structures have the potential to revolutionize many fields including electronics and biomedicine. The research discussed in this dissertation focuses on synthesis, functionalization, and characterization of boron-based zero-dimensional nanostructures (core/shell and nanoparticles) and one-dimensional nanostructures (nanorods). The first project investigates the synthesis and functionalization of boron-based core/shell nanoparticles. Two boron-containing core/shell nanoparticles, namely boron/iron oxide and boron/silica, were synthesized. Initially, boron nanoparticles with a diameter between 10-100 nm were prepared by decomposition of nido-decaborane (B10H14) followed by formation of a core/shell structure. The core/shell structures were prepared using the appropriate precursor, iron source and silica source, for the shell in the presence of boron nanoparticles. The formation of core/shell nanostructures was confirmed using high resolution TEM. Then, the core/shell nanoparticles underwent a surface modification. Boron/iron oxide core/shell nanoparticles were functionalized with oleic acid, citric acid, amine-terminated polyethylene glycol, folic acid, and dopamine, and boron/silica core/shell nanoparticles were modified with 3-(amino propyl) triethoxy silane, 3-(2-aminoethyleamino)propyltrimethoxysilane), citric acid, folic acid, amine-terminated polyethylene glycol, and O-(2-Carboxyethyl)polyethylene glycol. A UV-Vis and ATR-FTIR analysis established the success of surface modification. The cytotoxicity of water-soluble core/shell nanoparticles was studied in triple negative breast cancer cell line MDA-MB-231 and the result showed the compounds are not toxic. The second project highlights optimization of reaction conditions for the synthesis of boron nanorods. This synthesis, done via reduction of boron oxide with molten lithium, was studied to produce boron nanorods without any

  1. Identification and functional characterization of cardiac pacemaker cells in zebrafish.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Federico Tessadori

    Full Text Available In the mammalian heart a conduction system of nodes and conducting cells generates and transduces the electrical signals evoking myocardial contractions. Specialized pacemaker cells initiating and controlling cardiac contraction rhythmicity are localized in an anatomically identifiable structure of myocardial origin, the sinus node. We previously showed that in mammalian embryos sinus node cells originate from cardiac progenitors expressing the transcription factors T-box transcription factor 3 (Tbx3 and Islet-1 (Isl1. Although cardiac development and function are strikingly conserved amongst animal classes, in lower vertebrates neither structural nor molecular distinguishable components of a conduction system have been identified, questioning its evolutionary origin. Here we show that zebrafish embryos lacking the LIM/homeodomain-containing transcription factor Isl1 display heart rate defects related to pacemaker dysfunction. Moreover, 3D reconstructions of gene expression patterns in the embryonic and adult zebrafish heart led us to uncover a previously unidentified, Isl1-positive and Tbx2b-positive region in the myocardium at the junction of the sinus venosus and atrium. Through their long interconnecting cellular protrusions the identified Isl1-positive cells form a ring-shaped structure. In vivo labeling of the Isl1-positive cells by transgenic technology allowed their isolation and electrophysiological characterization, revealing their unique pacemaker activity. In conclusion we demonstrate that Isl1-expressing cells, organized as a ring-shaped structure around the venous pole, hold the pacemaker function in the adult zebrafish heart. We have thereby identified an evolutionary conserved, structural and molecular distinguishable component of the cardiac conduction system in a lower vertebrate.

  2. Functional characterization of a vanillin dehydrogenase in Corynebacterium glutamicum

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ding, Wei; Si, Meiru; Zhang, Weipeng; Zhang, Yaoling; Chen, Can; Zhang, Lei; Lu, Zhiqiang; Chen, Shaolin; Shen, Xihui

    2015-01-01

    Vanillin dehydrogenase (VDH) is a crucial enzyme involved in the degradation of lignin-derived aromatic compounds. Herein, the VDH from Corynebacterium glutamicum was characterized. The relative molecular mass (Mr) determined by SDS-PAGE was ~51kDa, whereas the apparent native Mr values revealed by gel filtration chromatography were 49.5, 92.3, 159.0 and 199.2kDa, indicating the presence of dimeric, trimeric and tetrameric forms. Moreover, the enzyme showed its highest level of activity toward vanillin at pH 7.0 and 30C, and interestingly, it could utilize NAD+ and NADP+ as coenzymes with similar efficiency and showed no obvious difference toward NAD+ and NADP+. In addition to vanillin, this enzyme exhibited catalytic activity toward a broad range of substrates, including p-hydroxybenzaldehyde, 3,4-dihydroxybenzaldehyde, o-phthaldialdehyde, cinnamaldehyde, syringaldehyde and benzaldehyde. Conserved catalytic residues or putative cofactor interactive sites were identified based on sequence alignment and comparison with previous studies, and the function of selected residues were verified by site-directed mutagenesis analysis. Finally, the vdh deletion mutant partially lost its ability to grow on vanillin, indicating the presence of alternative VDH(s) in Corynebacterium glutamicum. Taken together, this study contributes to understanding the VDH diversity from bacteria and the aromatic metabolism pathways in C. glutamicum. PMID:25622822

  3. Identification and Functional Characterization of Sesquiterpene Synthases from Xanthium strumarium.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Yuanjun; Chen, Fangfang; Li, Zhenqiu; Li, Changfu; Zhang, Yansheng

    2016-03-01

    Xanthium strumarium synthesizes various pharmacologically active sesquiterpenes. The molecular characterization of sesquiterpene biosynthesis in X. strumarium has not been reported so far. In this study, the cDNAs coding for three sesquiterpene synthases (designated as XsTPS1, XsTPS2 and XsTPS3) were isolated using the X. strumarium transcriptome that we recently constructed. XsTPS1, XsTPS2 and XsTPS3 were revealed to have primary activities forming germacrene D, guaia-4,6-diene and germacrene A, respectively, by either ectopic expression in yeast cells or purified recombinant protein-based in vitro assays. Quantitative real-time PCRs and metabolite analysis for the different plant parts showed that the transcript abundance of XsTPS1-XsTPS3 is consistent with the accumulation pattern of their enzymatic products, supporting their biochemical functions in vivo. In particular, we discovered that none of the XsTPS2 product, guaia-4,6-diene, can be detected in one of the X. strumarium cultivars used in this study (it was named the Hubei-cultivar), in which a natural deletion of two A bases in the XsTPS2 cDNA disrupts its activity, which further confirmed the proposed biochemical role of XsTPS2 in X. strumarium in vivo. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Japanese Society of Plant Physiologists. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  4. Preparation and characterization of SPION functionalized via caffeic acid

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Baykal, A.; Amir, Md.; Günerb, S.; Sözeri, H.

    2015-01-01

    Caffeic acid coated superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPION-CFA) was synthesized by reflux method. The structural, spectroscopic and magnetic properties were studied by X-ray diffraction (XRD), Transmission electron microscopy (TEM), Scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and Vibrating sample magnetometer (VSM) techniques. Thermal gravimetric analysis (TG) and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR) confirmed the presence of CA on the surface of SPION. The theoretical analyzes performed on recorded room temperature VSM spectrum confirmed the formation of superparamagnetic nature of SPION-CFA. The particle size dependent Langevin function was applied to determine the average magnetic particle dimension (D mag ) around 11.93 nm. In accordance, the average crystallite and particle sizes were obtained as 11.40 nm and ~12.00 nm from XRD and TEM measurements. The extrapolated specific saturation magnetization (σ s ) is 44.11 emu/g and measured magnetic moment is 1.83 µ B . These parameters assign small order of magnetization for NPs with respect to bulk Fe 3 O 4 . Magnetic anisotropy was offered as uniaxial and calculated effective anisotropy constant (K eff ) is 34.82×10 4 Erg/g. The size-dependent saturation magnetization suggests the existence of a magnetically inactive layer as 1.035 nm for SPION-CFA. - Highlights: • The effects of CFA on the microstructure and magnetic properties of SPION have been investigated. • Product was structurally and magnetically characterized. • Product presented superparamagnetic behavior at room temperature

  5. Preparation and characterization of polyurethane microcapsules containing functional oil

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kim, I.H.; Seo, J.B.; Kim, Y.J. [Sungkyunkwan University, Suwon (Korea)

    2002-05-01

    Polyurethane microcapsules containing functional oil (citronella oil) were successfully prepared by conventional interfacial polymerization of tolulene 2,4-diisocyanate (TDI) and ethylene glycol (EG) and characterized by Fourier transform (FT-IR) spectroscopy, Ultraviolet spectroscopy, particle size analysis, thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The effects of polymerization variables such as surfactant concentration and agitation speed, on the particle size and particle size distribution were investigated. FT-IR spectroscopic data showed that citronella oil was successfully encapsulated in the microcapsule. Thermogravimetric analysis data showed that the microcapsule was thermally stable up to 220 deg. C. The controlled release of the citronella oil present in the microcapsule core in a methanol medium was demonstrated by ultraviolet spectroscopy, showing that the amount of released citronella oil was increased with increasing time. It was observed that the amount of released citronella oil was increased with increasing stirring speed and emulsifier concentration in the microcapsule preparation step. Polyurethane microcapsules containing citronella oil showed excellent anti-moth property. (author). 28 refs., 1 tab., 12 figs.

  6. Characterization of Functionalized Acrylic acid /4- Vinyl Pyridine Graft Copolymers

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kamal, H.; Mahmoud, Gh.A.; Hegazy, D.E.

    2009-01-01

    Properties and characterization of the membranes prepared by radiation grafting of acrylic acid (AAc) or/ and 4-vinyl pyridine (4VP) onto low density polyethylene (LDPE) and polypropylene (PP) films were carried out. The FTIR spectra for the grafted membranes were studied to evaluate the structure change as a result of grafting. The swelling behaviour of the graft copolymer in methanol was studied. It was found that the grafting of AAc and/ or 4- VP onto LDPE and PP resulted in introducing good hydrophilic properties to such polymer substrates. The hydrophilic properties were directly proportional to the amount of functional groups. The mechanical properties (Young's modulus, elongation percent and tensile strength) of the grafted membranes also, have been investigated. As the grafting degree increases, the modulus also increases. Increasing the hydrophilicity of the membranes by chemical treatment enhances its mechanical properties. The thermal parameters of the grafted membranes such as δH m1 . δH m2 , and T rc have been also studied by using DSC

  7. The future of drug discovery: enabling technologies for enhancing lead characterization and profiling therapeutic potential.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Janero, David R

    2014-08-01

    Technology often serves as a handmaiden and catalyst of invention. The discovery of safe, effective medications depends critically upon experimental approaches capable of providing high-impact information on the biological effects of drug candidates early in the discovery pipeline. This information can enable reliable lead identification, pharmacological compound differentiation and successful translation of research output into clinically useful therapeutics. The shallow preclinical profiling of candidate compounds promulgates a minimalistic understanding of their biological effects and undermines the level of value creation necessary for finding quality leads worth moving forward within the development pipeline with efficiency and prognostic reliability sufficient to help remediate the current pharma-industry productivity drought. Three specific technologies discussed herein, in addition to experimental areas intimately associated with contemporary drug discovery, appear to hold particular promise for strengthening the preclinical valuation of drug candidates by deepening lead characterization. These are: i) hydrogen-deuterium exchange mass spectrometry for characterizing structural and ligand-interaction dynamics of disease-relevant proteins; ii) activity-based chemoproteomics for profiling the functional diversity of mammalian proteomes; and iii) nuclease-mediated precision gene editing for developing more translatable cellular and in vivo models of human diseases. When applied in an informed manner congruent with the clinical understanding of disease processes, technologies such as these that span levels of biological organization can serve as valuable enablers of drug discovery and potentially contribute to reducing the current, unacceptably high rates of compound clinical failure.

  8. Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis: Gender-Age-Physiology Index Stage for Predicting Future Lung Function Decline.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salisbury, Margaret L; Xia, Meng; Zhou, Yueren; Murray, Susan; Tayob, Nabihah; Brown, Kevin K; Wells, Athol U; Schmidt, Shelley L; Martinez, Fernando J; Flaherty, Kevin R

    2016-02-01

    Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis is a progressive lung disease with variable course. The Gender-Age-Physiology (GAP) Index and staging system uses clinical variables to stage mortality risk. It is unknown whether clinical staging predicts future decline in pulmonary function. We assessed whether the GAP stage predicts future pulmonary function decline and whether interval pulmonary function change predicts mortality after accounting for stage. Patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (N = 657) were identified retrospectively at three tertiary referral centers, and baseline GAP stages were assessed. Mixed models were used to describe average trajectories of FVC and diffusing capacity of the lung for carbon monoxide (Dlco). Multivariable Cox proportional hazards models were used to assess whether declines in pulmonary function ≥ 10% in 6 months predict mortality after accounting for GAP stage. Over a 2-year period, GAP stage was not associated with differences in yearly lung function decline. After accounting for stage, a 10% decrease in FVC or Dlco over 6 months independently predicted death or transplantation (FVC hazard ratio, 1.37; Dlco hazard ratio, 1.30; both, P ≤ .03). Patients with GAP stage 2 with declining pulmonary function experienced a survival profile similar to patients with GAP stage 3, with 1-year event-free survival of 59.3% (95% CI, 49.4-67.8) vs 56.9% (95% CI, 42.2-69.1). Baseline GAP stage predicted death or lung transplantation but not the rate of future pulmonary function decline. After accounting for GAP stage, a decline of ≥ 10% over 6 months independently predicted death or lung transplantation. Copyright © 2016 American College of Chest Physicians. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Muscle function is associated with future patient-reported outcomes in young adults with ACL injury

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Flosadottir, Vala; Roos, Ewa M; Ageberg, Eva

    2016-01-01

    performance and worse postural orientation were associated with worse KOOS scores 2 years later (rsp≥0.280, p≤0.045). Worse muscle power was associated with lower future ARS scores (rsp=0.281, p=0.044). CONCLUSIONS: The moderate associations suggest that improving muscle function during rehabilitation could...... and postural orientation 3 years (SD 0.85) after ACL injury. PROs at 3 and 5 years after injury included Knee Injury and Osteoarthritis Outcome Score (KOOS) subscales Function in sport and recreation (KOOS Sport/rec) and Knee-related Quality of life (KOOS QoL), KOOS item Q3 (KOOS Q3), Tegner Activity Scale...... improve present and future PROs....

  10. Muscle Functional Morphology in Paleobiology: The Past, Present, and Future of "Paleomyology".

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perry, Jonathan M G; Prufrock, Kristen A

    2018-03-01

    Our knowledge of muscle anatomy and physiology in vertebrates has increased dramatically over the last two-hundred years. Today, much is understood about how muscles contract and about the functional meaning of muscular variation at multiple scales. Progress in muscle anatomy has profited from the availability of broad comparative samples, advances in microscopy have permitted comparisons at increasingly finer scales, and progress in muscle physiology has profited from many carefully designed and executed experiments. Several avenues of future work are promising. In particular, muscle ontogeny (growth and development) is poorly understood for many vertebrate groups. We consider which types of advances in muscle functional morphology are of use to paleobiologists. These are only a modest subset for muscle anatomy and a very small subset for muscle physiology. The relationship between muscle and bone - spatially and mechanically-is critical to any future advances in "paleomyology". Anat Rec, 301:538-555, 2018. © 2018 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2018 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  11. Functional characterization of gynodioecy in Fragaria vesca ssp. bracteata (Rosaceae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Junmin; Koski, Matthew H; Ashman, Tia-Lynn

    2012-02-01

    Gynodioecy is a phylogenetically widespread and important sexual system where females coexist with hermaphrodites. Because dioecy can arise from gynodioecy, characterization of gynodioecy in close relatives of dioecious and sub-dioecious species can provide insight into this transition. Thus, we sought to determine whether Fragaria vesca ssp. bracteata, a close relative to F. chiloensis and F. virginiana, exhibits the functional and population genetic hallmarks of a gynodioecious species. We compared reproductive allocation of females and hermaphrodites grown in the greenhouse and estimated genetic diversity (allelic diversity, heterozygosity) and inbreeding coefficients for field-collected adults of both sexes using simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers. We estimated mating system and early seed fitness from open-pollinated families of both sex morphs. Under greenhouse conditions, females and hermaphrodites allocated similarly to all reproductive traits except flower number, and, as a consequence, females produced 30 % fewer seeds per plant than hermaphrodites. Under natural conditions, hermaphrodites produce seeds by self-fertilization approx. 75 % of the time, and females produced outcrossed seeds with very little biparental inbreeding. Consistent with inbreeding depression, seeds from open-pollinated hermaphrodites were less likely to germinate than those from females, and family-level estimates of hermaphrodite selfing rates were negatively correlated with germination success and speed. Furthermore, estimates of inbreeding depression based on genetic markers and population genetic theory indicate that inbreeding depression in the field could be high. The joint consideration of allocation and mating system suggests that compensation may be sufficient to maintain females given the current understanding of sex determination. Fragaria vesca ssp. bracteata exhibited similar sex morph-dependent patterns of mating system and genetic diversity, but less reproductive

  12. Preparation and characterization of SPION functionalized via caffeic acid

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Baykal, A. [Department of Chemistry, Fatih University, B.Çekmece, 34500 Istanbul (Turkey); Amir, Md., E-mail: mda.fatih@gmail.com [Department of Chemistry, Fatih University, B.Çekmece, 34500 Istanbul (Turkey); Günerb, S. [Department of Physics, Fatih University, B.Çekmece, 34500 Istanbul (Turkey); Sözeri, H. [TUBITAK-UME, National Metrology Institute, 41470 Gebze, Kocaeli (Turkey)

    2015-12-01

    Caffeic acid coated superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPION-CFA) was synthesized by reflux method. The structural, spectroscopic and magnetic properties were studied by X-ray diffraction (XRD), Transmission electron microscopy (TEM), Scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and Vibrating sample magnetometer (VSM) techniques. Thermal gravimetric analysis (TG) and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR) confirmed the presence of CA on the surface of SPION. The theoretical analyzes performed on recorded room temperature VSM spectrum confirmed the formation of superparamagnetic nature of SPION-CFA. The particle size dependent Langevin function was applied to determine the average magnetic particle dimension (D{sub mag}) around 11.93 nm. In accordance, the average crystallite and particle sizes were obtained as 11.40 nm and ~12.00 nm from XRD and TEM measurements. The extrapolated specific saturation magnetization (σ{sub s}) is 44.11 emu/g and measured magnetic moment is 1.83 µ{sub B}. These parameters assign small order of magnetization for NPs with respect to bulk Fe{sub 3}O{sub 4}. Magnetic anisotropy was offered as uniaxial and calculated effective anisotropy constant (K{sub eff}) is 34.82×10{sup 4} Erg/g. The size-dependent saturation magnetization suggests the existence of a magnetically inactive layer as 1.035 nm for SPION-CFA. - Highlights: • The effects of CFA on the microstructure and magnetic properties of SPION have been investigated. • Product was structurally and magnetically characterized. • Product presented superparamagnetic behavior at room temperature.

  13. Functional characterization of 8-oxoguanine DNA glycosylase of Trypanosoma cruzi.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carolina Furtado

    Full Text Available The oxidative lesion 8-oxoguanine (8-oxoG is removed during base excision repair by the 8-oxoguanine DNA glycosylase 1 (Ogg1. This lesion can erroneously pair with adenine, and the excision of this damaged base by Ogg1 enables the insertion of a guanine and prevents DNA mutation. In this report, we identified and characterized Ogg1 from the protozoan parasite Trypanosoma cruzi (TcOgg1, the causative agent of Chagas disease. Like most living organisms, T. cruzi is susceptible to oxidative stress, hence DNA repair is essential for its survival and improvement of infection. We verified that the TcOGG1 gene encodes an 8-oxoG DNA glycosylase by complementing an Ogg1-defective Saccharomyces cerevisiae strain. Heterologous expression of TcOGG1 reestablished the mutation frequency of the yeast mutant ogg1(-/- (CD138 to wild type levels. We also demonstrate that the overexpression of TcOGG1 increases T. cruzi sensitivity to hydrogen peroxide (H(2O(2. Analysis of DNA lesions using quantitative PCR suggests that the increased susceptibility to H(2O(2 of TcOGG1-overexpressor could be a consequence of uncoupled BER in abasic sites and/or strand breaks generated after TcOgg1 removes 8-oxoG, which are not rapidly repaired by the subsequent BER enzymes. This hypothesis is supported by the observation that TcOGG1-overexpressors have reduced levels of 8-oxoG both in the nucleus and in the parasite mitochondrion. The localization of TcOgg1 was examined in parasite transfected with a TcOgg1-GFP fusion, which confirmed that this enzyme is in both organelles. Taken together, our data indicate that T. cruzi has a functional Ogg1 ortholog that participates in nuclear and mitochondrial BER.

  14. Tryptophan Transport in Human Fibroblast Cells—A Functional Characterization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ravi Vumma

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available There are indications that serotonergic neurotransmission is disturbed in several psychiatric disorders. One explanation may be disturbed transport of tryptophan (precursor for serotonin synthesis across cell membranes. Human fibroblast cells offer an advantageous model to study the transport of amino acids across cell membranes, since they are easy to propagate and the environmental factors can be controlled. The aim of this study was to functionally characterize tryptophan transport and to identify the main transporters of tryptophan in fibroblast cell lines from healthy controls. Tryptophan kinetic parameters ( V max and K m at low and high concentrations were measured in fibroblasts using the cluster tray method. Uptake of 3 H (5-L-tryptophan at different concentrations in the presence and absence of excess concentrations of inhibitors or combinations of inhibitors of amino acid transporters were also measured. Tryptophan transport at high concentration (0.5 mM had low affinity and high V max and the LAT1 isoform of system-L was responsible for approximately 40% of the total uptake of tryptophan. In comparison, tryptophan transport at low concentration (50 nM had higher affinity, lower V max and approximately 80% of tryptophan uptake was transported by system-L with LAT1 as the major isoform. The uptake of tryptophan at the low concentration was mainly sodium (Na + dependent, while uptake at high substrate concentration was mainly Na + independent. A series of different transporter inhibitors had varying inhibitory effects on tryptophan uptake. This study indicates that tryptophan is transported by multiple transporters that are active at different substrate concentrations in human fibroblast cells. The tryptophan transport trough system-L was mainly facilitated by the LAT1 isoform, at both low and high substrate concentrations of tryptophan.

  15. A review of Green's function methods in computational fluid mechanics: Background, recent developments and future directions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dorning, J.

    1981-01-01

    The research and development over the past eight years on local Green's function methods for the high-accuracy, high-efficiency numerical solution of nuclear engineering problems is reviewed. The basic concepts and key ideas are presented by starting with an expository review of the original fully two-dimensional local Green's function methods developed for neutron diffusion and heat conduction, and continuing through the progressively more complicated and more efficient nodal Green's function methods for neutron diffusion, heat conduction and neutron transport to establish the background for the recent development of Green's function methods in computational fluid mechanics. Some of the impressive numerical results obtained via these classes of methods for nuclear engineering problems are briefly summarized. Finally, speculations are proffered on future directions in which the development of these types of methods in fluid mechanics and other areas might lead. (orig.) [de

  16. Characterizing recent and projecting future potential patterns of mountain pine beetle outbreaks in the Southern Rocky Mountains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liang, Lu; Hawbaker, Todd J.; Chen, Yanlei; Zhu, Zhi-Liang; Gong, Peng

    2014-01-01

    The recent widespread mountain pine beetle (MPB) outbreak in the Southern Rocky Mountains presents an opportunity to investigate the relative influence of anthropogenic, biologic, and physical drivers that have shaped the spatiotemporal patterns of the outbreak. The aim of this study was to quantify the landscape-level drivers that explained the dynamic patterns of MPB mortality, and simulate areas with future potential MPB mortality under projected climate-change scenarios in Grand County, Colorado, USA. The outbreak patterns of MPB were characterized by analysis of a decade-long Landsat time-series stack, aided by automatic attribution of change detected by the Landsat-based Detection of Trends in Disturbance and Recovery algorithm (LandTrendr). The annual area of new MPB mortality was then related to a suite of anthropogenic, biologic, and physical predictor variables under a general linear model (GLM) framework. Data from years 2001–2005 were used to train the model and data from years 2006–2011 were retained for validation. After stepwise removal of non-significant predictors, the remaining predictors in the GLM indicated that neighborhood mortality, winter mean temperature anomaly, and residential housing density were positively associated with MPB mortality, whereas summer precipitation was negatively related. The final model had an average area under the curve (AUC) of a receiver operating characteristic plot value of 0.72 in predicting the annual area of new mortality for the independent validation years, and the mean deviation from the base maps in the MPB mortality areal estimates was around 5%. The extent of MPB mortality will likely expand under two climate-change scenarios (RCP 4.5 and 8.5) in Grand County, which implies that the impacts of MPB outbreaks on vegetation composition and structure, and ecosystem functioning are likely to increase in the future.

  17. Men's Sheds function and philosophy: towards a framework for future research and men's health promotion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, Nathan J; Cordier, Reinie; Doma, Kenji; Misan, Gary; Vaz, Sharmila

    2015-08-01

    The Men's Shed movement supports a range of men's health promotion initiatives. This paper examines whether a Men's Shed typology could inform future research and enable more efficient and targeted health promotion activities through Men's Sheds. The International Men's Shed Survey consisted of a cross-sectional exploration of sheds, their members, and health and social activities. Survey data about shed 'function' and 'philosophy' were analysed using descriptive and inferential statistics. A framework of Men's Sheds based on function and philosophy demonstrated that most sheds serve a primary utility function, a secondary social function, but most importantly a primary social opportunity philosophy. Sheds with a primary health philosophy participated in fewer health promotion activities when compared with sheds without a primary health philosophy. In addition to the uniform health promotion resources distributed by the Men's Shed associations, specific health promotion activities, such as prostate education, are being initiated from an individual shed level. This framework can potentially be used to enable future research and health promotion activities to be more efficiently and effectively targeted. SO WHAT? Men experience poorer health and well being outcomes than women. This framework offers a novel approach to providing targeted health promotion activities to men in an environment where it is okay to talk about men's health.

  18. Characterization of Microbiota in Children with Chronic Functional Constipation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Meij, Tim G. J.; de Groot, Evelien F. J.; Eck, Anat; Budding, Andries E.; Kneepkens, C. M. Frank; Benninga, Marc A.; van Bodegraven, Adriaan A.; Savelkoul, Paul H. M.

    2016-01-01

    Disruption of the intestinal microbiota is considered an etiological factor in pediatric functional constipation. Scientifically based selection of potential beneficial probiotic strains in functional constipation therapy is not feasible due to insufficient knowledge of microbiota composition in

  19. Multi-path transportation futures study : vehicle characterization and scenario analyses.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Plotkin, S. E.; Singh, M. K.; Energy Systems; TA Engineering; ORNL

    2009-12-03

    Projecting the future role of advanced drivetrains and fuels in the light vehicle market is inherently difficult, given the uncertainty (and likely volatility) of future oil prices, inadequate understanding of likely consumer response to new technologies, the relative infancy of several important new technologies with inevitable future changes in their performance and costs, and the importance - and uncertainty - of future government marketplace interventions (e.g., new regulatory standards or vehicle purchase incentives). This Multi-Path Transportation Futures (MP) Study has attempted to improve our understanding of this future role by examining several scenarios of vehicle costs, fuel prices, government subsidies, and other key factors. These are projections, not forecasts, in that they try to answer a series of 'what if' questions without assigning probabilities to most of the basic assumptions.

  20. Radiolabeling and physicochemical characterization of boron nitride nanotubes functionalized with glycol chitosan polymer

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Soares, Daniel Cristian Ferreira; Ferreira, Tiago Hilario; Ferreira, Carolina de Aguiar; Sousa, Edesia Martins Barros de, E-mail: sousaem@cdtn.b [Centro de Desenvolvimento da Tecnologia Nuclear (CDTN/CNEN-MG) Belo Horizonte, MG (Brazil). Lab. de Materiais Nanoestruturados para Bioaplicacoes; Cardoso, Valbert Nascimento, E-mail: cardosov@farmacia.ufmg.b [Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (UFMG), Belo Horizonte, MG (Brazil). Fac. de Farmacia

    2011-07-01

    In the last years, some nanostructured systems has proposed as new drugs and radioisotopes delivery systems, aiming the diagnosis and treatment of many diseases, including the cancer. Among these systems, the Boron Nitride Nanotubes (BNNTs) showed adequate characteristics to be applied in biomedical area, due to its high stability and considerable biocompatibility. However, due to its hydrophobic characteristics, these applications are limited and its behavior in vivo (guinea pigs) is unexplored yet. Seeking to overcome this problems, in the present work, we functionalized the BNNTs (noncovalent wrapped) with glycol chitosan (GC), a biocompatible and stable polymer, in order to disperse it in water. The results showed that BNNTs were well dispersed in water with mean size and polydispersity index suitable to conduct biodistribution studies in mice. The nanostructures were physicochemical and morphologically characterized by Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD) and Raman Spectroscopy. The results revealed that the functionalization process with glycol chitosan was obtained with successfully on BNNTs surface. Furthermore, we developed a radiolabeling protocol with {sup 99m}Tc radioisotope in functionalized BNNTs, aiming in future, to conduct image biodistribution studies in mice. The results revealed that the nanotubes were radiolabeled with radiochemical purity above of 90%, being considered suitable to scintigraphic image acquisition. (author)

  1. Radiolabeling and physicochemical characterization of boron nitride nanotubes functionalized with glycol chitosan polymer

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Soares, Daniel Cristian Ferreira; Ferreira, Tiago Hilario; Ferreira, Carolina de Aguiar; Sousa, Edesia Martins Barros de; Cardoso, Valbert Nascimento

    2011-01-01

    In the last years, some nanostructured systems has proposed as new drugs and radioisotopes delivery systems, aiming the diagnosis and treatment of many diseases, including the cancer. Among these systems, the Boron Nitride Nanotubes (BNNTs) showed adequate characteristics to be applied in biomedical area, due to its high stability and considerable biocompatibility. However, due to its hydrophobic characteristics, these applications are limited and its behavior in vivo (guinea pigs) is unexplored yet. Seeking to overcome this problems, in the present work, we functionalized the BNNTs (noncovalent wrapped) with glycol chitosan (GC), a biocompatible and stable polymer, in order to disperse it in water. The results showed that BNNTs were well dispersed in water with mean size and polydispersity index suitable to conduct biodistribution studies in mice. The nanostructures were physicochemical and morphologically characterized by Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD) and Raman Spectroscopy. The results revealed that the functionalization process with glycol chitosan was obtained with successfully on BNNTs surface. Furthermore, we developed a radiolabeling protocol with 99m Tc radioisotope in functionalized BNNTs, aiming in future, to conduct image biodistribution studies in mice. The results revealed that the nanotubes were radiolabeled with radiochemical purity above of 90%, being considered suitable to scintigraphic image acquisition. (author)

  2. A new characterization of Bloch function in the unit ball of Cn

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shi Jihuai.

    1989-07-01

    Bloch function in the unit disc v has many different but equivalent characterizations. Recently, a new characterization has been obtained by the study of Hankel operators. The purpose of this note is to generalize this characterization to the unit ball of C n . 7 refs

  3. Risk Characterization for Future Training Scenarios at the Massachusetts Military Reservation (MMR)

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Zakikhani, Mansour

    2004-01-01

    This study was conducted to evaluate potential human and ecological health risks associated with emission of pyrotechnic compounds during future training exercises at the Massachusetts Military Reservation...

  4. Risk Characterization for Future Training Scenarios at the Massachusetts Military Reservation (MMR), Final Results

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Zakikhani, Mansour; Dortch, Mark S; Gerald, Jeffrey A; Hawkins, Melanie S

    2005-01-01

    This study was conducted to evaluate potential human and ecological health risks associated with emission of pyrotechnic compounds during future training exercises at the Massachusetts Military Reservation...

  5. STONES SAWING SLUDGE AS BY-PRODUCT: characterization for a future recovery

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zichella, Lorena; Bellopede, Rossana; Marini, Paola

    2017-04-01

    The European Commission, as part of its Thematic Strategy on the prevention and recycling of waste, committed itself to tackle one of the issues around the waste definition, namely the distinction between waste and by-products. This definition has been outlined through the Communication on waste and by-product of the European Court of Justice (Brussels, 21.2.2007 COM(2007) 59 final COMMUNICATION FROM THE COMMISSION TO THE COUNCIL AND THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT). By-product is a substance or object, resulting from a production process, the primary aim of which is not the production of that item. By-products can come from a wide range of business sectors, and can have very different environmental impacts. If there is a possibility that the material is in fact not useable, because it does not meet the technical specifications that would be required for its use, then it should continue to be considered as a waste. The status of waste protects the environment from the potential consequences of this uncertainty. If it subsequently happens that a use is found for the waste in question then it will lose its status of waste and it will be considered a by-product. An incorrect classification could be the cause of environmental damage or unnecessary costs for business. For this purpose a characterization of sludge coming from different plants of stone processing was carried out for a better classification of the materials in view of a future recovery. The different stones cutting processes considered for this study are: gangsaw, diamond blade and diamond wire. The cut materials are granites, gneisses, and other stones mainly of silicatic nature. The tests performed on the sawing sludge are the following: particle size analysis, chemical analysis, wet magnetic separation, diffraction and SEM analysis. The study performed is useful for evaluating the possible reuses of the products coming from the magnetic separation: the metal fraction, and the mineral one. In order to avoid a

  6. [Future perspectives for diagnostic imaging in urology: from anatomic and functional to molecular imaging].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Macis, Giuseppe; Di Giovanni, Silvia; Di Franco, Davide; Bonomo, Lorenzo

    2013-01-01

    The future approach of diagnostic imaging in urology follows the technological progress, which made the visualization of in vivo molecular processes possible. From anatomo-morphological diagnostic imaging and through functional imaging molecular radiology is reached. Based on molecular probes, imaging is aimed at assessing the in vivo molecular processes, their physiology and function at cellular level. The future imaging will investigate the complex tumor functioning as metabolism, aerobic glycolysis in particular, angiogenesis, cell proliferation, metastatic potential, hypoxia, apoptosis and receptors expressed by neoplastic cells. Methods for performing molecular radiology are CT, MRI, PET-CT, PET-MRI, SPECT and optical imaging. Molecular ultrasound combines technological advancement with targeted contrast media based on microbubbles, this allowing the selective registration of microbubble signal while that of stationary tissues is suppressed. An experimental study was carried out where the ultrasound molecular probe BR55 strictly bound to prostate tumor results in strong enhancement in the early phase after contrast, this contrast being maintained in the late phase. This late enhancement is markedly significant for the detection of prostatic cancer foci and to guide the biopsy sampling. The 124I-cG250 molecular antibody which is strictly linked to cellular carbonic anhydrase IX of clear cell renal carcinoma, allows the acquisition of diagnostic PET images of clear cell renal carcinoma without biopsy. This WG-250 (RENCAREX) antibody was used as a therapy in metastatic clear cell renal carcinoma. Future advancements and applications will result in early cancer diagnosis, personalized therapy that will be specific according to the molecular features of cancer and leading to the development of catheter-based multichannel molecular imaging devices for cystoscopy-based molecular imaging diagnosis and intervention.

  7. Characterization of Microbiota in Children with Chronic Functional Constipation

    OpenAIRE

    de Meij, Tim G. J.; de Groot, Evelien F. J.; Eck, Anat; Budding, Andries E.; Kneepkens, C. M. Frank; Benninga, Marc A.; van Bodegraven, Adriaan A.; Savelkoul, Paul H. M.

    2016-01-01

    Objectives Disruption of the intestinal microbiota is considered an etiological factor in pediatric functional constipation. Scientifically based selection of potential beneficial probiotic strains in functional constipation therapy is not feasible due to insufficient knowledge of microbiota composition in affected subjects. The aim of this study was to describe microbial composition and diversity in children with functional constipation, compared to healthy controls. Study Design Fecal sampl...

  8. Altered nutrition during hot droughts will impair forest functions in the future

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grossiord, C.; Gessler, A.; Reed, S.; Dickman, L. T.; Collins, A.; Schönbeck, L.; Sevanto, S.; Vilagrosa, A.; McDowell, N. G.

    2017-12-01

    Rising greenhouse gas emissions will increase atmospheric temperature globally and alter hydrological cycles resulting in more extreme and recurrent droughts in the coming century. Nutrition is a key component affecting the vulnerability of forests to extreme climate. Models typically assume that global warming will enhance nitrogen cycling in terrestrial ecosystems and lead to improved plant functions. Drought on the other hand is expected to weaken the same processes, leading to a clear conflict and inability to predict how nutrition and plant functions will be impacted by a simultaneously warming and drying climate. We used a unique setup consisting of long-term manipulation of climate on mature trees to examine how individual vs. combined warming and drought would alter soil N cycling and tree functions. The site consists of the longest record of tree responses to experimental warming and precipitation reduction in natural conditions.Changes in soil nitrogen cycling (e.g. microbial activity, nitrification and ammonification rates, N concentration) occurred in response to the treatments. In addition, temperature rise and precipitation reduction altered the ability of trees to take up nitrogen and modified nitrogen allocation patterns between aboveground and belowground compartments. Although no additive effect of warming and drying were found for the two studied species, contrasting responses to warming and droughts were observed between the two functional types. Overall, our results show that higher temperature and reduced precipitation will alter the nutrition of forest ecosystems in the future with potentially large consequences for forest functions, structure and biodiversity.

  9. Identification of high-level functional/system requirements for future civil transports

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swink, Jay R.; Goins, Richard T.

    1992-01-01

    In order to accommodate the rapid growth in commercial aviation throughout the remainder of this century, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is faced with a formidable challenge to upgrade and/or modernize the National Airspace System (NAS) without compromising safety or efficiency. A recurring theme in both the Aviation System Capital Investment Plan (CIP), which has replaced the NAS Plan, and the new FAA Plan for Research, Engineering, and Development (RE&D) rely on the application of new technologies and a greater use of automation. Identifying the high-level functional and system impacts of such modernization efforts on future civil transport operational requirements, particularly in terms of cockpit functionality and information transfer, was the primary objective of this project. The FAA planning documents for the NAS of the 2005 era and beyond were surveyed; major aircraft functional capabilities and system components required for such an operating environment were identified. A hierarchical structured analysis of the information processing and flows emanating from such functional/system components were conducted and the results documented in graphical form depicting the relationships between functions and systems.

  10. Near-future carbon dioxide levels alter fish behaviour by interfering with neurotransmitter function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nilsson, Göran E.; Dixson, Danielle L.; Domenici, Paolo; McCormick, Mark I.; Sørensen, Christina; Watson, Sue-Ann; Munday, Philip L.

    2012-03-01

    Predicted future CO2 levels have been found to alter sensory responses and behaviour of marine fishes. Changes include increased boldness and activity, loss of behavioural lateralization, altered auditory preferences and impaired olfactory function. Impaired olfactory function makes larval fish attracted to odours they normally avoid, including ones from predators and unfavourable habitats. These behavioural alterations have significant effects on mortality that may have far-reaching implications for population replenishment, community structure and ecosystem function. However, the underlying mechanism linking high CO2 to these diverse responses has been unknown. Here we show that abnormal olfactory preferences and loss of behavioural lateralization exhibited by two species of larval coral reef fish exposed to high CO2 can be rapidly and effectively reversed by treatment with an antagonist of the GABA-A receptor. GABA-A is a major neurotransmitter receptor in the vertebrate brain. Thus, our results indicate that high CO2 interferes with neurotransmitter function, a hitherto unrecognized threat to marine populations and ecosystems. Given the ubiquity and conserved function of GABA-A receptors, we predict that rising CO2 levels could cause sensory and behavioural impairment in a wide range of marine species, especially those that tightly control their acid-base balance through regulatory changes in HCO3- and Cl- levels.

  11. In silico characterization of functional SNP within the oestrogen ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    tions such as reproduction, development and proliferation. (Knobil and ... may act in disease development. Also, there .... analysed by different programs to select SNPs that have functional ..... tion studies suggests that application of computational tools .... large-joint osteoarthritis: a multicenter genetic and functional study.

  12. A Comprehensive Approach for Pectin Chemical and Functional Characterization

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    de Sousa, António Felipe Gomes Teixeira

    In this work, a comprehensive approach for the chemical and functional analysis of pectin was used in order to relate the different extraction conditions used to the polymer structure and the final functional (mainly gelling) properties. A wide range of methods were utilized including chemical an...

  13. Longitudinal characterization of course types of functional limitations

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Deeg, D.J.H.

    2005-01-01

    Purpose: Longitudinal data have provided evidence on factors that increase the risk of incidence of functional limitations. However, little insight exists in course types of functional limitations other than simple incidence or recovery. Methods: This contribution examines the variety of course

  14. Family conflict, autonomic nervous system functioning, and child adaptation: state of the science and future directions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    El-Sheikh, Mona; Erath, Stephen A

    2011-05-01

    The family is one of the primary contexts of child development. Marital and parent-child conflict (family conflict) are common and predict a wide range of negative behavioral and emotional outcomes in children. Thus, an important task for developmental researchers is to identify the processes through which family conflict contributes to children's psychological maladjustment, as well as vulnerability and protective factors in the context of family conflict. In the current paper, we aim to advance a conceptual model that focuses on indices of children's autonomic nervous system (ANS) functioning that increase vulnerability or provide protection against psychological maladjustment in the context of family conflict. In doing so, we provide a selective review that reflects the state of the science linking family conflict, children's ANS activity, and child psychological adjustment, and offer directions and guidance for future research. Our hope is to accelerate research at the intersection of family conflict and ANS functioning to advance understanding of risk and resilience among children.

  15. Structural and functional characterization of P4-ATPase lipid flippases

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ulstrup, Jakob

    2018-01-01

    to its much larger substrate and how the mechanism allowing the transport unfolds. This is one of the central questions in the field known as the “giant substrate problem”. To this date, no structural information of P4-ATPases is available. The focus of this thesis is divided into two projects, both...... focusing on P4-ATPases from the yeast organism Saccharomyces cerevisiae: I. The structural characterization of the flippase Drs2p in complex with its auxiliary subunit Cdc50p. II. Establishing a protocol for obtaining a homogenous sample of the flippase Neo1p suitable for biochemical characterization...... and substrate identification. Part I was performed using X-ray crystallography and single-particle electron microscopy as the main methods. A 3D envelope was obtained by cryo-EM extending to a resolution of 4.4 Å. This envelope reveals the first structural insight of the conformational organization of the Drs2p...

  16. Functions and requirements for K Basin SNF characterization shipping

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bergmann, D.W.

    1994-01-01

    This document details the plan for the shipping of fuel samples from the K Basins to the 300 Area for characterization. The fuel characterization project will evaluate the Hanford defense production fuel (N-Reactor and Single Pass Reactor) to support interim storage, transportation and final disposition. A limited number of fuel samples will be transported to a laboratory for analysis. It is currently estimated that 20 shipments of fuel per year for approximately 3 years (could be as long as 5 years) will be transported to the laboratory for analysis. Based on the NRC certificate of compliance each shipment is limited to 500 equivalent grams of 235 U. In practical terms this will limit shipments to three outer elements or two assemblies of any type of N-Reactor or SPR fuel. Case by case determination of broken fuel will be made based on the type of fuel and maximum potential fissile content

  17. Functional characterization of Foxp3-specific spontaneous immune responses

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Larsen, Susanne Købke; Munir, S; Andersen, Anders Woetmann

    2013-01-01

    Tumor-infiltrating CD4+CD25+ regulatory T cells (Tregs) are associated with an impaired prognosis in several cancers. The transcription factor forkhead box P3 (Foxp3) is generally expressed in Tregs. Here, we identify and characterize spontaneous cytotoxic immune responses to Foxp3-expressing cel....... Consequently, induction of Foxp3-specific cytotoxic T-cell responses appears as an attractive tool to boost spontaneous or therapeutically provoked immune responses, for example, for the therapy of cancer....

  18. Numerical methods for characterization of synchrotron radiation based on the Wigner function method

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Takashi Tanaka

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Numerical characterization of synchrotron radiation based on the Wigner function method is explored in order to accurately evaluate the light source performance. A number of numerical methods to compute the Wigner functions for typical synchrotron radiation sources such as bending magnets, undulators and wigglers, are presented, which significantly improve the computation efficiency and reduce the total computation time. As a practical example of the numerical characterization, optimization of betatron functions to maximize the brilliance of undulator radiation is discussed.

  19. Development of Silicon Sensor Characterization System for Future High Energy Physics Experiments

    OpenAIRE

    Preeti kumari; Kavita Lalwani; Ranjeet Dalal; Geetika Jain; Ashutosh Bhardwaj; Kirti Ranjan

    2015-01-01

    The Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) is one of the general purpose experiments at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), CERN and has its Tracker built of all silicon strip and pixel sensors. Si sensors are expected to play extremely important role in the upgrades of the existing Tracker for future high luminosity environment and will also be used in future lepton colliders. However, properties of the silicon sensors have to be carefully understood before they can be put in the extremely high luminos...

  20. Uniform risk functionals for characterization of strong earthquake ground motions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Anderson, J.G.; Trifunac, M.D.

    1978-01-01

    A uniform risk functional (e.g., Fourier spectrum, response spectrum, duration, etc.) is defined so that the probability that it is exceeded by some earthquake during a selected period of time is independent of the frequency of seismic waves. Such a functional is derived by an independent calculation, at each frequency, for the probability that the quantity being considered will be exceeded. Different aspects of the seismicity can control the amplitude of a uniform risk functional in different frequency ranges, and a uniform risk functional does not necessarily describe the strong shaking from any single earthquake. To be useful for calculating uniform risk functionals, a scaling relationship must provide an independent estimate of amplitudes of the functional in several frequency bands. The scaling relationship of Trifunac (1976) for Fourier spectra satisfies this requirement and further describes the distribution of spectral amplitudes about the mean trend; here, it is applied to find uniform risk Fourier amplitude spectra. In an application to finding the uniform risk spectra at a realistic site, this method is quite sensitive to the description of seismicity. Distinct models of seismicity, all consistent with our current level of knowledge of an area, can give significantly different risk estimates

  1. Functional characterization of genetic enzyme variations in human lipoxygenases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas Horn

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Mammalian lipoxygenases play a role in normal cell development and differentiation but they have also been implicated in the pathogenesis of cardiovascular, hyperproliferative and neurodegenerative diseases. As lipid peroxidizing enzymes they are involved in the regulation of cellular redox homeostasis since they produce lipid hydroperoxides, which serve as an efficient source for free radicals. There are various epidemiological correlation studies relating naturally occurring variations in the six human lipoxygenase genes (SNPs or rare mutations to the frequency for various diseases in these individuals, but for most of the described variations no functional data are available. Employing a combined bioinformatical and enzymological strategy, which included structural modeling and experimental site-directed mutagenesis, we systematically explored the structural and functional consequences of non-synonymous genetic variations in four different human lipoxygenase genes (ALOX5, ALOX12, ALOX15, and ALOX15B that have been identified in the human 1000 genome project. Due to a lack of a functional expression system we resigned to analyze the functionality of genetic variations in the hALOX12B and hALOXE3 gene. We found that most of the frequent non-synonymous coding SNPs are located at the enzyme surface and hardly alter the enzyme functionality. In contrast, genetic variations which affect functional important amino acid residues or lead to truncated enzyme variations (nonsense mutations are usually rare with a global allele frequency<0.1%. This data suggest that there appears to be an evolutionary pressure on the coding regions of the lipoxygenase genes preventing the accumulation of loss-of-function variations in the human population.

  2. Characterization and Some Properties of Functionalized Graft Copolymer

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hegazy El-Sayed, A.; Kamal, H.; Mahmoud, Gh.A.; Khalifa, N.A.

    2000-01-01

    The study involved the investigation and characterization of membranes prepared by graft copolymerization of acrylonitrile (AN) and vinyl acetate (VAc) binary monomers onto low density polyethylene (LDPE) and isotactic polypropylene (IPP). The mutual gamma-irradiation method was used as a grafting technique. The effects of grafting and chemical treatments on the thermal properties and crystallinity of prepared graft copolymer have been investigated using DSC, TGA and XRD. IR spectra recorded before and after grafting and also for the chemically treated membranes to elucidate the structural changes occurred due to grafting and chemical treatments

  3. Structural and functional characterization of human complement factor P

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pedersen, Dennis

    not yet been resolved. This PhD-thesis provide structural understanding of the FP mediated stabilization of the AP C3 convertase. Furthermore, functional studies involving oligomeric and monomeric FP variants have helped us to understand the importance of FP oligomerization for the primary functions of FP...... of complement by stabilizing the C3 convertase complex (C3bBb). FP has also been suggested to serve as a pattern recognition molecule for the initiation of the alternative pathway. However, the molecular mechanisms of FP remain unclear due to its oligomeric nature and hence the atomic structure of FP has...

  4. Association of incidental emphysema with annual lung function decline and future development of airflow limitation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Koo HK

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Hyeon-Kyoung Koo,1 Kwang Nam Jin,2 Deog Kyeom Kim,3 Hee Soon Chung,3 Chang-Hoon Lee3,4 1Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, College of Medicine, Ilsan Paik Hospital, Inje University, Goyang-si, Gyeonggi-Do, 2Department of Radiology, Seoul Metropolitan Government – Seoul National University Boramae Medical Center, 3Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Seoul Metropolitan Government-Seoul National University Boramae Medical Center, 4Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul National University Hospital, Seoul, Republic of Korea Objectives: Emphysema is one of the prognostic factors for rapid lung function decline in patients with COPD, but the impact of incidentally detected emphysema on population without spirometric abnormalities has not been evaluated. This study aimed to determine whether emphysema detected upon computed tomography (CT screening would accelerate the rate of lung function decline and influence the possibility of future development of airflow limitation in a population without spirometric abnormalities.Materials and methods: Subjects who participated in a routine screening for health checkup and follow-up pulmonary function tests for at least 3 years between 2004 and 2010 were retrospectively enrolled. The percentage of low-attenuation area below −950 Hounsfield units (%LAA−950 was calculated automatically. A calculated value of %LAA−950 that exceeded 10% was defined as emphysema. Adjusted annual lung function decline was analyzed using random-slope, random-intercept mixed linear regression models.Results: A total of 628 healthy subjects within the normal range of spriometric values were included. Multivariable analysis showed that the emphysema group exhibited a faster decline in forced vital capacity (−33.9 versus −18.8

  5. Design, Fabrication, Characterization and Modeling of Integrated Functional Materials

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-12-01

    activities is expected to lead to new devices/ systems /composite materials useful for the USAMRMC. 15. SUBJECT TERMS Functional materials, integrated...fabrication, nanobiotechnology, multifunctional, dimensional integration, nanocomposites, sensor technology, thermoelectrics, solar cells, photovoltaics ...loop measured in the presence of an AC field, and can be increased by tuning several parameters, such as the nanoparticles’ size , saturation

  6. Biobased functional polyesters for coating applications: Synthesis, characterization and application

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Noordover, B.A.J.; Duchateau, R.; Koning, C.E.; Benthem, van R.A.T.M.; Ming, W.; Haveren, van J.; Es, van D.S.

    2007-01-01

    Thermosetting coating systems contain polyesters as binders. A crucial property of these polymers is their functionality. During coating application, the polyesters are cross-linked in situ, which means that each polymer chain needs a sufficient no. of reactive end-groups. Renewable monomers are

  7. Functional characterization of recombinant chloroplast signal recognition particle

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Groves, M R; Mant, A; Kuhn, A; Koch, J; Dübel, S; Robinson, C; Sinning, I

    2001-01-01

    The signal recognition particle (SRP) is a ubiquitous system for the targeting of membrane and secreted proteins. The chloroplast SRP (cpSRP) is unique among SRPs in that it possesses no RNA and is functional in post-translational as well as co-translational targeting. We have expressed and purified

  8. Patient Health Record Systems Scope and Functionalities: Literature Review and Future Directions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bouayad, Lina; Ialynytchev, Anna; Padmanabhan, Balaji

    2017-11-15

    A new generation of user-centric information systems is emerging in health care as patient health record (PHR) systems. These systems create a platform supporting the new vision of health services that empowers patients and enables patient-provider communication, with the goal of improving health outcomes and reducing costs. This evolution has generated new sets of data and capabilities, providing opportunities and challenges at the user, system, and industry levels. The objective of our study was to assess PHR data types and functionalities through a review of the literature to inform the health care informatics community, and to provide recommendations for PHR design, research, and practice. We conducted a review of the literature to assess PHR data types and functionalities. We searched PubMed, Embase, and MEDLINE databases from 1966 to 2015 for studies of PHRs, resulting in 1822 articles, from which we selected a total of 106 articles for a detailed review of PHR data content. We present several key findings related to the scope and functionalities in PHR systems. We also present a functional taxonomy and chronological analysis of PHR data types and functionalities, to improve understanding and provide insights for future directions. Functional taxonomy analysis of the extracted data revealed the presence of new PHR data sources such as tracking devices and data types such as time-series data. Chronological data analysis showed an evolution of PHR system functionalities over time, from simple data access to data modification and, more recently, automated assessment, prediction, and recommendation. Efforts are needed to improve (1) PHR data quality through patient-centered user interface design and standardized patient-generated data guidelines, (2) data integrity through consolidation of various types and sources, (3) PHR functionality through application of new data analytics methods, and (4) metrics to evaluate clinical outcomes associated with automated PHR

  9. Advances in methods for identification and characterization of plant transporter function

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Larsen, Bo; Xu, Deyang; Halkier, Barbara Ann

    2017-01-01

    Transport proteins are crucial for cellular function at all levels. Numerous importers and exporters facilitate transport of a diverse array of metabolites and ions intra- and intercellularly. Identification of transporter function is essential for understanding biological processes at both......-based approaches. In this review, we highlight examples that illustrate how new technology and tools have advanced identification and characterization of plant transporter functions....

  10. Experiencing Past and Future Personal Events: Functional Neuroimaging Evidence on the Neural Bases of Mental Time Travel

    Science.gov (United States)

    Botzung, Anne; Denkova, Ekaterina; Manning, Lilianne

    2008-01-01

    Functional MRI was used in healthy subjects to investigate the existence of common neural structures supporting re-experiencing the past and pre-experiencing the future. Past and future events evocation appears to involve highly similar patterns of brain activation including, in particular, the medial prefrontal cortex, posterior regions and the…

  11. Predictors of Functional Improvement and Future Work Status After the Disability Benefit Claim: A Prospective Cohort Study

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cornelius, L.R.; van der Klink, J.J.L.; de Boer, M.R.; Groothoff, J.W.; Brouwer, S.

    2014-01-01

    Objective In most industrialized countries, disability benefit rates have increased substantially in the past decade. Few beneficiaries return into employment once disability benefit is awarded. The present study aims to investigate which factors predict functional improvement and future work status

  12. Joint Simulation System (JSIMS) Functional Requirements Document (FRD); A User's Perspective on the Future, Version 1.O

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    1996-01-01

    The purpose of this document is to define JSIMS functional requirements in a level of detail that is meaningful to both the JSIMS developmental community and the expected future users of the system...

  13. Characterization of the Functional Domains of a Mammalian Voltage-Sensitive Phosphatase.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosasco, Mario G; Gordon, Sharona E; Bajjalieh, Sandra M

    2015-12-15

    Voltage-sensitive phosphatases (VSPs) are proteins that directly couple changes in membrane electrical potential to inositol lipid phosphatase activity. VSPs thus couple two signaling pathways that are critical for cellular functioning. Although a number of nonmammalian VSPs have been characterized biophysically, mammalian VSPs are less well understood at both the physiological and biophysical levels. In this study, we aimed to address this gap in knowledge by determining whether the VSP from mouse, Mm-VSP, is expressed in the brain and contains a functional voltage-sensing domain (VSD) and a phosphatase domain. We report that Mm-VSP is expressed in neurons and is developmentally regulated. To address whether the functions of the VSD and phosphatase domain are retained in Mm-VSP, we took advantage of the modular nature of these domains and expressed each independently as a chimeric protein in a heterologous expression system. We found that the Mm-VSP VSD, fused to a viral potassium channel, was able to drive voltage-dependent gating of the channel pore. The Mm-VSP phosphatase domain, fused to the VSD of a nonmammalian VSP, was also functional: activation resulted in PI(4,5)P2 depletion that was sufficient to inhibit the PI(4,5)P2-regulated KCNQ2/3 channels. While testing the functionality of the VSD and phosphatase domain, we observed slight differences between the activities of Mm-VSP-based chimeras and those of nonmammalian VSPs. Although the properties of VSP chimeras may not completely reflect the properties of native VSPs, the differences we observed in voltage-sensing and phosphatase activity provide a starting point for future experiments to investigate the function of Mm-VSP and other mammalian VSPs. In conclusion, our data reveal that both the VSD and the lipid phosphatase domain of Mm-VSP are functional, indicating that Mm-VSP likely plays an important role in mouse neurophysiology. Copyright © 2015 Biophysical Society. Published by Elsevier Inc. All

  14. Synthesis and characterization of acrylate copolymer containing fluorescein functional group

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hui, Guodong; Huang, Weiyun; Song, Yunzhao; Chen, Deben; Zhong, Anyong [Sichuan University, Chengdu (China)

    2013-08-15

    We report a novel method to fabricate fluorescent polymer (F-CPA) based on the esterification between acrylate copolymer (CPA) and fluorescein using N, N-dicyclohexylcarbodiimide (DCC)/4-dimethylaminopyridine (DMAP) as catalyst. The resulting copolymer was characterized by Fourier transform-infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR), gel permeation chromatography (GPC), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), ultraviolet-visible spectroscopy (UV-Vis) and fluorescence spectroscopy. In addition, the influences of concentration, solvents, pH and metal cations (Cu{sup 2+}, Fe{sup 3+} and Zn{sup 2+}) on the fluorescent behaviors of F-CPA are discussed in detail. All those observations suggest that the synthesized F-CPA is an excellent luminescent macromolecular material with simple synthesis method and excellent solubility. Moreover, its sensitive fluorescence response behaviors to solvents, pH and metal cations make it to become a polymer-based probe.

  15. Synthesis and characterization of acrylate copolymer containing fluorescein functional group

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hui, Guodong; Huang, Weiyun; Song, Yunzhao; Chen, Deben; Zhong, Anyong

    2013-01-01

    We report a novel method to fabricate fluorescent polymer (F-CPA) based on the esterification between acrylate copolymer (CPA) and fluorescein using N, N-dicyclohexylcarbodiimide (DCC)/4-dimethylaminopyridine (DMAP) as catalyst. The resulting copolymer was characterized by Fourier transform-infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR), gel permeation chromatography (GPC), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), ultraviolet-visible spectroscopy (UV-Vis) and fluorescence spectroscopy. In addition, the influences of concentration, solvents, pH and metal cations (Cu"2"+, Fe"3"+ and Zn"2"+) on the fluorescent behaviors of F-CPA are discussed in detail. All those observations suggest that the synthesized F-CPA is an excellent luminescent macromolecular material with simple synthesis method and excellent solubility. Moreover, its sensitive fluorescence response behaviors to solvents, pH and metal cations make it to become a polymer-based probe

  16. Data on functional characterization of LECT2 from Lampetra japonica

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhiliang Wang

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available The data presented in this article are related to the research article entitled “Characterization of the LECT2 gene and its protective effects against microbial infection via large lymphocytes in Lampetra japonica” (Wang et al., 2017 [1]. Here, we presented new original data about the effect of rL-LECT2 on cancer cells migration and macrophages phagocytosis. Wound healing assay and transwell chemotaxis assays were used to measure rL-LECT2 inhibition rates on cancer cell migration. Additionally, fluospheres beads and Escherichia coli–FITC were used to measure whether the rL-LECT2 can affect the phagocytosis of RAW264.7 cells. Keywords: Lamprey, LECT2, Cell migration, Phagocytosis

  17. Functional Characterization of DNA Methylation in the Oligodendrocyte Lineage

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sarah Moyon

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Oligodendrocytes derive from progenitors (OPCs through the interplay of epigenomic and transcriptional events. By integrating high-resolution methylomics, RNA-sequencing, and multiple transgenic lines, this study defines the role of DNMT1 in developmental myelination. We detected hypermethylation of genes related to cell cycle and neurogenesis during differentiation of OPCs, yet genetic ablation of Dnmt1 resulted in inefficient OPC expansion and severe hypomyelination associated with ataxia and tremors in mice. This phenotype was not caused by lineage switch or massive apoptosis but was characterized by a profound defect of differentiation associated with changes in exon-skipping and intron-retention splicing events and by the activation of an endoplasmic reticulum stress response. Therefore, loss of Dnmt1 in OPCs is not sufficient to induce a lineage switch but acts as an important determinant of the coordination between RNA splicing and protein synthesis necessary for myelin formation.

  18. Neuropsychopharmacology of auditory hallucinations: insights from pharmacological functional MRI and perspectives for future research.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnsen, Erik; Hugdahl, Kenneth; Fusar-Poli, Paolo; Kroken, Rune A; Kompus, Kristiina

    2013-01-01

    Experiencing auditory verbal hallucinations is a prominent symptom in schizophrenia that also occurs in subjects at enhanced risk for psychosis and in the general population. Drug treatment of auditory hallucinations is challenging, because the current understanding is limited with respect to the neural mechanisms involved, as well as how CNS drugs, such as antipsychotics, influence the subjective experience and neurophysiology of hallucinations. In this article, the authors review studies of the effect of antipsychotic medication on brain activation as measured with functional MRI in patients with auditory verbal hallucinations. First, the authors examine the neural correlates of ongoing auditory hallucinations. Then, the authors critically discuss studies addressing the antipsychotic effect on the neural correlates of complex cognitive tasks. Current evidence suggests that blood oxygen level-dependant effects of antipsychotic drugs reflect specific, regional effects but studies on the neuropharmacology of auditory hallucinations are scarce. Future directions for pharmacological neuroimaging of auditory hallucinations are discussed.

  19. Application of Patterson-function direct methods to materials characterization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rius, Jordi

    2014-09-01

    The aim of this article is a general description of the so-called Patterson-function direct methods (PFDM), from their origin to their present state. It covers a 20-year period of methodological contributions to crystal structure solution, most of them published in Acta Crystallographica Section A. The common feature of these variants of direct methods is the introduction of the experimental intensities in the form of the Fourier coefficients of origin-free Patterson-type functions, which allows the active use of both strong and weak reflections. The different optimization algorithms are discussed and their performances compared. This review focuses not only on those PFDM applications related to powder diffraction data but also on some recent results obtained with electron diffraction tomography data.

  20. Application of Patterson-function direct methods to materials characterization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jordi Rius

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this article is a general description of the so-called Patterson-function direct methods (PFDM, from their origin to their present state. It covers a 20-year period of methodological contributions to crystal structure solution, most of them published in Acta Crystallographica Section A. The common feature of these variants of direct methods is the introduction of the experimental intensities in the form of the Fourier coefficients of origin-free Patterson-type functions, which allows the active use of both strong and weak reflections. The different optimization algorithms are discussed and their performances compared. This review focuses not only on those PFDM applications related to powder diffraction data but also on some recent results obtained with electron diffraction tomography data.

  1. Morphological and textural characterization of functionalized particulate silica xerogels

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Miranda, Lazaro A.; Mohallem, Nelcy D. S.; de Magalhães, Welington F.

    2006-03-01

    The functionalization of xerogels for use in chromatography and catalysis was carried out by solubilization of amorphous silica using a soxhlet extractor. Xerogels were prepared by sol-gel method using tetraethoxysilane, TEOS, ethanol, and water in a 1/3/10 molar ratio with HCl and HF as catalysts. The samples were prepared in monolithic form and dried at 70 °C and 550 °C for 1 h each. After functionalization, changes in textural and morphological characteristics of xerogels were investigated by means of nitrogen gas adsorption, positron annihilation lifetime spectroscopy (PALS), and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). As the analysis methods are based on different physical principles, the results are complementary, leading to a good knowledge of the texture of the samples studied.

  2. Morphological and textural characterization of functionalized particulate silica xerogels

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Miranda, Lazaro A. de; Mohallem, Nelcy D.S.; Magalhaes, Welington F. de

    2006-01-01

    The functionalization of xerogels for use in chromatography and catalysis was carried out by solubilization of amorphous silica using a soxhlet extractor. Xerogels were prepared by sol-gel method using tetraethoxysilane, TEOS, ethanol, and water in a 1/3/10 molar ratio with HCl and HF as catalysts. The samples were prepared in monolithic form and dried at 70 deg. C and 550 deg. C for 1 h each. After functionalization, changes in textural and morphological characteristics of xerogels were investigated by means of nitrogen gas adsorption, positron annihilation lifetime spectroscopy (PALS), and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). As the analysis methods are based on different physical principles, the results are complementary, leading to a good knowledge of the texture of the samples studied

  3. Synthesis and characterization of hydrogen-bond acidic functionalized graphene

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Liu; Han, Qiang; Pan, Yong; Cao, Shuya; Ding, Mingyu

    2014-05-01

    Hexafluoroisopropanol phenyl group functionalized materials have great potential in the application of gas-sensitive materials for nerve agent detection, due to the formation of strong hydrogen-bonding interactions between the group and the analytes. In this paper, take full advantage of ultra-large specific surface area and plenty of carbon-carbon double bonds and hexafluoroisopropanol phenyl functionalized graphene was synthesized through in situ diazonium reaction between -C=C- and p-hexafluoroisopropanol aniline. The identity of the as-synthesis material was confirmed by transmission electron microscopy, Raman spectroscopy, ultraviolet visible spectroscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and thermo gravimetric analysis. The synthesis method is simply which retained the excellent physical properties of original graphene. In addition, the novel material can be assigned as an potential candidate for gas sensitive materials towards organophosphorus nerve agent detection.

  4. Realization, characterization and functionalization of lipidic wrapped carbon nanotubes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ciofani, Gianni; Obata, Yosuke; Sato, Izumi; Okamura, Yosuke; Raffa, Vittoria; Menciassi, Arianna; Dario, Paolo; Takeda, Naoya; Takeoka, Shinji

    2009-01-01

    Mass-produced carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are strongly aggregated and highly hydrophobic, and processes to make them water soluble are required for biological applications. Both covalent and non-covalent strategies are pursued for obtaining stable, highly concentrated CNT aqueous dispersions. Covalent functionalization has the great disadvantage of producing an irreversible chemical modification of nanotubes, thus alterating their mechanical, chemical and electric properties. On the other hand, non-covalent functionalization is often obtained by employing surfactants that sensibly affect cell viability. Moreover, derivatization with biological moieties is often impossible through non-covalent CNT dispersion. This paper proposes a non-covalent dispersion of multi-wall CNT based on a lipidic mixture that can guarantee high concentration and high stability as well as high cytocompatibility. Moreover, CNTs wrapped with a lipid membrane are realized to demonstrate that the proposed CNTs can be functionalised with a dodecapeptide that specifically recognizes activated platelets without chemical modification of the nanotube itself.

  5. Structural and functional characterization of barium zirconium titanate / epoxy composites

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Filiberto González Garcia

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available The dielectric behavior of composite materials (barium zirconium titanate / epoxy system was analyzed as a function of ceramic concentration. Structure and morphologic behavior of the composites was investigated by X-ray Diffraction (XRD, Fourier transformed infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR, Raman spectroscopy, field emission scanning electron microscopy (FE-SEM and transmission electron microscopy (TEM analyses. Composites were prepared by mixing the components and pouring them into suitable moulds. It was demonstrated that the amount of inorganic phase affects the morphology of the presented composites. XRD revealed the presence of a single phase while Raman scattering confirmed structural transitions as a function of ceramic concentration. Changes in the ceramic concentration affected Raman modes and the distribution of particles along into in epoxy matrix. Dielectric permittivity and dielectric losses were influenced by filler concentration.

  6. Complete functional characterization of sensory neurons by system identification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Michael C-K; David, Stephen V; Gallant, Jack L

    2006-01-01

    System identification is a growing approach to sensory neurophysiology that facilitates the development of quantitative functional models of sensory processing. This approach provides a clear set of guidelines for combining experimental data with other knowledge about sensory function to obtain a description that optimally predicts the way that neurons process sensory information. This prediction paradigm provides an objective method for evaluating and comparing computational models. In this chapter we review many of the system identification algorithms that have been used in sensory neurophysiology, and we show how they can be viewed as variants of a single statistical inference problem. We then review many of the practical issues that arise when applying these methods to neurophysiological experiments: stimulus selection, behavioral control, model visualization, and validation. Finally we discuss several problems to which system identification has been applied recently, including one important long-term goal of sensory neuroscience: developing models of sensory systems that accurately predict neuronal responses under completely natural conditions.

  7. Phenotypic and functional characterization of earthworm coelomocyte subsets

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Engelmann, Péter; Hayashi, Yuya; Bodo, Kornélia

    2016-01-01

    Flow cytometry is a common approach to study invertebrate immune cells including earthworm coelomocytes. However, the link between light-scatter- and microscopy-based phenotyping remains obscured. Here we show, by means of light scatter-based cell sorting, both subpopulations (amoebocytes...... amoebocytes and eleocytes, with the former being in favor of bacterial engulfment. This study has proved successful in linking flow cytometry and microscopy analysis and provides further experimental evidence of phenotypic and functional heterogeneity in earthworm coelomocyte subsets....

  8. Characterization of pituitary cells targeted by antipituitary antibodies in patients with isolated autoimmune diseases without pituitary insufficiency may help to foresee the kind of future hypopituitarism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Bellis, A; Dello Iacovo, A; Bellastella, G; Savoia, A; Cozzolino, D; Sinisi, A A; Bizzarro, A; Bellastella, A; Giugliano, D

    2014-10-01

    Detection of antipituitary antibodies (APA) at high levels and with a particular immunofluorescence pattern in patients with autoimmune polyendocrine syndromes may indicate a possible future autoimmune pituitary involvement. This longitudinal study was aimed at characterizing in patients with a single organ-specific autoimmune disease the pituitary cells targeted by APA at start, verifying whether this characterization allows to foresee the kind of possible subsequent hypopituitarism. Thirty-six APA positive and 40 APA negative patients with isolated autoimmune diseases participated in the study. None of them had pituitary dysfunction at entry. Characterization by four-layer immunofluorescence of pituitary cells targeted by APA in APA positive patients at entry and study of pituitary function in all patients were performed every 6 months during a 5 year follow-up. Antipituitary antibodies immunostained selectively one type of pituitary-secreting cells in 21 patients (58.3 %, group 1), and several types of pituitary cells in the remaining 15 (41.7 %, group 2). All patients in group 1 showed subsequently a pituitary insufficiency, corresponding to the type of cells targeted by APA in 18 of them (85.7 %). Only 8 out of 15 patients in group 2 (53.3 %) showed a hypopituitarism, isolated in 7 and combined in the other one. None of APA negative patients showed hypopituitarism. The characterization of pituitary cells targeted by APA in patients with isolated autoimmune diseases, when the pituitary function is still normal, may help to foresee the kind of subsequent hypopituitarism, especially when APA immunostained selectively only one type of pituitary cells. A careful follow-up of pituitary function in these patients is advisable to allow an early diagnosis of hypopituitarism, even in subclinical phase and a consequent timely replacement therapy.

  9. Physical characterization of functionalized spider silk: electronic and sensing properties

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eden Steven, Jin Gyu Park, Anant Paravastu, Elsa Branco Lopes, James S Brooks, Ongi Englander, Theo Siegrist, Papatya Kaner and Rufina G Alamo

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available This work explores functional, fundamental and applied aspects of naturally harvested spider silk fibers. Natural silk is a protein polymer where different amino acids control the physical properties of fibroin bundles, producing, for example, combinations of β-sheet (crystalline and amorphous (helical structural regions. This complexity presents opportunities for functional modification to obtain new types of material properties. Electrical conductivity is the starting point of this investigation, where the insulating nature of neat silk under ambient conditions is described first. Modification of the conductivity by humidity, exposure to polar solvents, iodine doping, pyrolization and deposition of a thin metallic film are explored next. The conductivity increases exponentially with relative humidity and/or solvent, whereas only an incremental increase occurs after iodine doping. In contrast, iodine doping, optimal at 70 °C, has a strong effect on the morphology of silk bundles (increasing their size, on the process of pyrolization (suppressing mass loss rates and on the resulting carbonized fiber structure (that becomes more robust against bending and strain. The effects of iodine doping and other functional parameters (vacuum and thin film coating motivated an investigation with magic angle spinning nuclear magnetic resonance (MAS-NMR to monitor doping-induced changes in the amino acid-protein backbone signature. MAS-NMR revealed a moderate effect of iodine on the helical and β-sheet structures, and a lesser effect of gold sputtering. The effects of iodine doping were further probed by Fourier transform infrared (FTIR spectroscopy, revealing a partial transformation of β-sheet-to-amorphous constituency. A model is proposed, based on the findings from the MAS-NMR and FTIR, which involves iodine-induced changes in the silk fibroin bundle environment that can account for the altered physical properties. Finally, proof

  10. Physical characterization of functionalized spider silk: electronic and sensing properties

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Steven, Eden; Brooks, James S [Department of Physics and National High Magnetic Field Laboratory, Florida State University, 1800 East Paul Dirac, Tallahassee, FL 32310 (United States); Park, Jin Gyu [FAMU-FSU Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering, High-Performance Materials Institute, Florida State University, 2005 Levy Ave., Tallahassee, FL 32310 (United States); Paravastu, Anant; Siegrist, Theo; Kaner, Papatya; Alamo, Rufina G [FAMU-FSU Department of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering and National High Magnetic Field Laboratory, Florida State University, 1800 East Paul Dirac, Tallahassee, FL 32310 (United States); Branco Lopes, Elsa [Departamento de Quimica, Instituto Tecnologico e Nuclear/CFMC-UL, P-2686-953 Sacavem (Portugal); Englander, Ongi, E-mail: esteven@magnet.fsu.edu [FAMU-FSU Department of Mechanical Engineering and National High Magnetic Field Laboratory, Florida State University, 1800 East Paul Dirac, Tallahassee, Florida 32310 (United States)

    2011-10-15

    This work explores functional, fundamental and applied aspects of naturally harvested spider silk fibers. Natural silk is a protein polymer where different amino acids control the physical properties of fibroin bundles, producing, for example, combinations of {beta}-sheet (crystalline) and amorphous (helical) structural regions. This complexity presents opportunities for functional modification to obtain new types of material properties. Electrical conductivity is the starting point of this investigation, where the insulating nature of neat silk under ambient conditions is described first. Modification of the conductivity by humidity, exposure to polar solvents, iodine doping, pyrolization and deposition of a thin metallic film are explored next. The conductivity increases exponentially with relative humidity and/or solvent, whereas only an incremental increase occurs after iodine doping. In contrast, iodine doping, optimal at 70 deg. C, has a strong effect on the morphology of silk bundles (increasing their size), on the process of pyrolization (suppressing mass loss rates) and on the resulting carbonized fiber structure (that becomes more robust against bending and strain). The effects of iodine doping and other functional parameters (vacuum and thin film coating) motivated an investigation with magic angle spinning nuclear magnetic resonance (MAS-NMR) to monitor doping-induced changes in the amino acid-protein backbone signature. MAS-NMR revealed a moderate effect of iodine on the helical and {beta}-sheet structures, and a lesser effect of gold sputtering. The effects of iodine doping were further probed by Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, revealing a partial transformation of {beta}-sheet-to-amorphous constituency. A model is proposed, based on the findings from the MAS-NMR and FTIR, which involves iodine-induced changes in the silk fibroin bundle environment that can account for the altered physical properties. Finally, proof

  11. Isolation and functional characterization of CE1 binding proteins

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yu Ji-hyun

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Abscisic acid (ABA is a plant hormone that controls seed germination, protective responses to various abiotic stresses and seed maturation. The ABA-dependent processes entail changes in gene expression. Numerous genes are regulated by ABA, and promoter analyses of the genes revealed that cis-elements sharing the ACGTGGC consensus sequence are ubiquitous among ABA-regulated gene promoters. The importance of the core sequence, which is generally known as ABA response element (ABRE, has been demonstrated by various experiments, and its cognate transcription factors known as ABFs/AREBs have been identified. Although necessary, ABRE alone is not sufficient, and another cis-element known as "coupling element (CE" is required for full range ABA-regulation of gene expression. Several CEs are known. However, despite their importance, the cognate transcription factors mediating ABA response via CEs have not been reported to date. Here, we report the isolation of transcription factors that bind one of the coupling elements, CE1. Results To isolate CE1 binding proteins, we carried out yeast one-hybrid screens. Reporter genes containing a trimer of the CE1 element were prepared and introduced into a yeast strain. The yeast was transformed with library DNA that represents RNA isolated from ABA-treated Arabidopsis seedlings. From the screen of 3.6 million yeast transformants, we isolated 78 positive clones. Analysis of the clones revealed that a group of AP2/ERF domain proteins binds the CE1 element. We investigated their expression patterns and analyzed their overexpression lines to investigate the in vivo functions of the CE element binding factors (CEBFs. Here, we show that one of the CEBFs, AtERF13, confers ABA hypersensitivity in Arabidopsis, whereas two other CEBFs enhance sugar sensitivity. Conclusions Our results indicate that a group of AP2/ERF superfamily proteins interacts with CE1. Several CEBFs are known to mediate defense or

  12. Physical characterization of functionalized spider silk: electronic and sensing properties

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Steven, Eden; Brooks, James S; Park, Jin Gyu; Paravastu, Anant; Siegrist, Theo; Kaner, Papatya; Alamo, Rufina G; Branco Lopes, Elsa; Englander, Ongi

    2011-01-01

    This work explores functional, fundamental and applied aspects of naturally harvested spider silk fibers. Natural silk is a protein polymer where different amino acids control the physical properties of fibroin bundles, producing, for example, combinations of β-sheet (crystalline) and amorphous (helical) structural regions. This complexity presents opportunities for functional modification to obtain new types of material properties. Electrical conductivity is the starting point of this investigation, where the insulating nature of neat silk under ambient conditions is described first. Modification of the conductivity by humidity, exposure to polar solvents, iodine doping, pyrolization and deposition of a thin metallic film are explored next. The conductivity increases exponentially with relative humidity and/or solvent, whereas only an incremental increase occurs after iodine doping. In contrast, iodine doping, optimal at 70 deg. C, has a strong effect on the morphology of silk bundles (increasing their size), on the process of pyrolization (suppressing mass loss rates) and on the resulting carbonized fiber structure (that becomes more robust against bending and strain). The effects of iodine doping and other functional parameters (vacuum and thin film coating) motivated an investigation with magic angle spinning nuclear magnetic resonance (MAS-NMR) to monitor doping-induced changes in the amino acid-protein backbone signature. MAS-NMR revealed a moderate effect of iodine on the helical and β-sheet structures, and a lesser effect of gold sputtering. The effects of iodine doping were further probed by Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, revealing a partial transformation of β-sheet-to-amorphous constituency. A model is proposed, based on the findings from the MAS-NMR and FTIR, which involves iodine-induced changes in the silk fibroin bundle environment that can account for the altered physical properties. Finally, proof-of-concept applications of

  13. Isolation and functional characterization of CE1 binding proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Sun-ji; Park, Ji Hye; Lee, Mi Hun; Yu, Ji-hyun; Kim, Soo Young

    2010-12-16

    Abscisic acid (ABA) is a plant hormone that controls seed germination, protective responses to various abiotic stresses and seed maturation. The ABA-dependent processes entail changes in gene expression. Numerous genes are regulated by ABA, and promoter analyses of the genes revealed that cis-elements sharing the ACGTGGC consensus sequence are ubiquitous among ABA-regulated gene promoters. The importance of the core sequence, which is generally known as ABA response element (ABRE), has been demonstrated by various experiments, and its cognate transcription factors known as ABFs/AREBs have been identified. Although necessary, ABRE alone is not sufficient, and another cis-element known as "coupling element (CE)" is required for full range ABA-regulation of gene expression. Several CEs are known. However, despite their importance, the cognate transcription factors mediating ABA response via CEs have not been reported to date. Here, we report the isolation of transcription factors that bind one of the coupling elements, CE1. To isolate CE1 binding proteins, we carried out yeast one-hybrid screens. Reporter genes containing a trimer of the CE1 element were prepared and introduced into a yeast strain. The yeast was transformed with library DNA that represents RNA isolated from ABA-treated Arabidopsis seedlings. From the screen of 3.6 million yeast transformants, we isolated 78 positive clones. Analysis of the clones revealed that a group of AP2/ERF domain proteins binds the CE1 element. We investigated their expression patterns and analyzed their overexpression lines to investigate the in vivo functions of the CE element binding factors (CEBFs). Here, we show that one of the CEBFs, AtERF13, confers ABA hypersensitivity in Arabidopsis, whereas two other CEBFs enhance sugar sensitivity. Our results indicate that a group of AP2/ERF superfamily proteins interacts with CE1. Several CEBFs are known to mediate defense or abiotic stress response, but the physiological functions

  14. Copper nanoparticles functionalized PE: Preparation, characterization and magnetic properties

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Reznickova, A.; Orendac, M.; Kolska, Z.; Cizmar, E.; Dendisova, M.; Svorcik, V.

    2016-01-01

    Highlights: • Polyethylene (PE) surface was activated by argon plasma discharge. • Copper nanoparticles were coated on polyethylene via dithiol interlayer. • Prepared samples exhibit excellent structural and magnetic properties. • Studied properties may be utilized in design and fabrication of electronic devices. - Abstract: We report grafting of copper nanoparticles (CuNP) on plasma activated high density polyethylene (HDPE) via dithiol interlayer pointing out to the structural and magnetic properties of those composites. The as-synthesized Cu nanoparticles have been characterized by high-resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM/TEM) and UV–vis spectroscopy. Properties of pristine PE and their plasma treated counterparts were studied by different experimental techniques: X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), UV–vis spectroscopy, energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS), zeta potential, electron spin resonance (ESR) and SQUID magnetometry. From TEM and HRTEM analyses, it is found that the size of high purity Cu nanoparticles is (12.2 ± 5.2) nm. It was determined that in the CuNPs, the copper atoms are arranged mostly in the (111) and (200) planes. Absorption in UV–vis region by these nanoparticles is ranging from 570 to 670 nm. EDS revealed that after 1 h of grafting are Cu nanoparticles homogeneously distributed over the whole surface and after 24 h of grafting Cu nanoparticles tend to aggregate slightly. The combined investigation of magnetic properties using ESR spectrometry and SQUID magnetometry confirmed the presence of copper nanoparticles anchored on PE substrate and indicated ferromagnetic interactions.

  15. Copper nanoparticles functionalized PE: Preparation, characterization and magnetic properties

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Reznickova, A., E-mail: alena.reznickova@vscht.cz [Department of Solid State Engineering, University of Chemistry and Technology, 166 28 Prague 6 (Czech Republic); Orendac, M., E-mail: martin.orendac@upjs.sk [Faculty of Science, P.J. Safarik University, Park Angelinum 9, 04013 Kosice (Slovakia); Kolska, Z., E-mail: zdenka.kolska@seznam.cz [Faculty of Science, J.E. Purkyne University, 400 96 Usti nad Labem (Czech Republic); Cizmar, E., E-mail: erik.cizmar@upjs.sk [Faculty of Science, P.J. Safarik University, Park Angelinum 9, 04013 Kosice (Slovakia); Dendisova, M., E-mail: vyskovsm@vscht.cz [Department of Physical Chemistry, University of Chemistry and Technology Prague, 166 28 Prague 6 (Czech Republic); Svorcik, V., E-mail: vaclav.svorcik@vscht.cz [Department of Solid State Engineering, University of Chemistry and Technology, 166 28 Prague 6 (Czech Republic)

    2016-12-30

    Highlights: • Polyethylene (PE) surface was activated by argon plasma discharge. • Copper nanoparticles were coated on polyethylene via dithiol interlayer. • Prepared samples exhibit excellent structural and magnetic properties. • Studied properties may be utilized in design and fabrication of electronic devices. - Abstract: We report grafting of copper nanoparticles (CuNP) on plasma activated high density polyethylene (HDPE) via dithiol interlayer pointing out to the structural and magnetic properties of those composites. The as-synthesized Cu nanoparticles have been characterized by high-resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM/TEM) and UV–vis spectroscopy. Properties of pristine PE and their plasma treated counterparts were studied by different experimental techniques: X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), UV–vis spectroscopy, energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS), zeta potential, electron spin resonance (ESR) and SQUID magnetometry. From TEM and HRTEM analyses, it is found that the size of high purity Cu nanoparticles is (12.2 ± 5.2) nm. It was determined that in the CuNPs, the copper atoms are arranged mostly in the (111) and (200) planes. Absorption in UV–vis region by these nanoparticles is ranging from 570 to 670 nm. EDS revealed that after 1 h of grafting are Cu nanoparticles homogeneously distributed over the whole surface and after 24 h of grafting Cu nanoparticles tend to aggregate slightly. The combined investigation of magnetic properties using ESR spectrometry and SQUID magnetometry confirmed the presence of copper nanoparticles anchored on PE substrate and indicated ferromagnetic interactions.

  16. Characterization of functional biopolymers under various external stimuli

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Maleki, Atoosa

    2008-07-01

    Polymers are large molecules composed of repeating structural units connected by covalent chemical bonds. Biopolymers are a class of polymers produced by living organisms, which exhibit both biocompatible and biodegradable properties. The behavior of a biopolymer in solution is strongly dependent on the chemical and physical structure of the polymer chain, as well as external environmental conditions. To improve biopolymers in the direction of higher performance and better functionality, understanding of their physicochemical behavior and their response to external stimuli are of great importance. Rheology, rheo-small angle light scattering, dynamic light scattering, small angle neutron scattering, and asymmetric flow field-flow fractionation were utilized in this thesis to investigate the properties of hydroxyethyl cellulose and its hydrophobically modified analogue, as well as dextran, hyaluronan, and mucin under different conditions such as temperature, solvent, mechanical stress and strain, and radiation. Different novel hydrogels were prepared by using various chemical cross-linking agents. Specific features of these macromolecules provide them to be used as 'functional' materials, e.g., sensors, actuators, personal care products, enhanced oil recovery, and controlled drug delivery systems (author)

  17. Molecular and Functional Characterization of Broccoli EMBRYONIC FLOWER 2 Genes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Long-Fang O.; Lin, Chun-Hung; Lai, Ying-Mi; Huang, Jia-Yuan; Sung, Zinmay Renee

    2012-01-01

    Polycomb group (PcG) proteins regulate major developmental processes in Arabidopsis. EMBRYONIC FLOWER 2 (EMF2), the VEFS domain-containing PcG gene, regulates diverse genetic pathways and is required for vegetative development and plant survival. Despite widespread EMF2-like sequences in plants, little is known about their function other than in Arabidopsis and rice. To study the role of EMF2 in broccoli (Brassica oleracea var. italica cv. Elegance) development, we identified two broccoli EMF2 (BoEMF2) genes with sequence homology to and a similar gene expression pattern to that in Arabidopsis (AtEMF2). Reducing their expression in broccoli resulted in aberrant phenotypes and gene expression patterns. BoEMF2 regulates genes involved in diverse developmental and stress programs similar to AtEMF2 in Arabidopsis. However, BoEMF2 differs from AtEMF2 in the regulation of flower organ identity, cell proliferation and elongation, and death-related genes, which may explain the distinct phenotypes. The expression of BoEMF2.1 in the Arabidopsis emf2 mutant (Rescued emf2) partially rescued the mutant phenotype and restored the gene expression pattern to that of the wild type. Many EMF2-mediated molecular and developmental functions are conserved in broccoli and Arabidopsis. Furthermore, the restored gene expression pattern in Rescued emf2 provides insights into the molecular basis of PcG-mediated growth and development. PMID:22537758

  18. Episodic memory and episodic future thinking impairments in high-functioning autism spectrum disorder: an underlying difficulty with scene construction or self-projection?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lind, Sophie E; Williams, David M; Bowler, Dermot M; Peel, Anna

    2014-01-01

    There appears to be a common network of brain regions that underlie the ability to recall past personal experiences (episodic memory) and the ability to imagine possible future personal experiences (episodic future thinking). At the cognitive level, these abilities are thought to rely on "scene construction" (the ability to bind together multimodal elements of a scene in mind--dependent on hippocampal functioning) and temporal "self-projection" (the ability to mentally project oneself through time--dependent on prefrontal cortex functioning). Although autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is characterized by diminished episodic memory, it is unclear whether episodic future thinking is correspondingly impaired. Moreover, the underlying basis of such impairments (difficulties with scene construction, self-projection, or both) is yet to be established. The current study therefore aimed to elucidate these issues. Twenty-seven intellectually high-functioning adults with ASD and 29 age- and IQ-matched neurotypical comparison adults were asked to describe (a) imagined atemporal, non-self-relevant fictitious scenes (assessing scene construction), (b) imagined plausible self-relevant future episodes (assessing episodic future thinking), and (c) recalled personally experienced past episodes (assessing episodic memory). Tests of narrative ability and theory of mind were also completed. Performances of participants with ASD were significantly and equally diminished in each condition and, crucially, this diminution was independent of general narrative ability. Given that participants with ASD were impaired in the fictitious scene condition, which does not involve self-projection, we suggest the underlying difficulty with episodic memory/future thinking is one of scene construction.

  19. Design, Manufacturing and Characterization of Functionally Graded Flextensional Piezoelectric Actuators

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Amigo, R C R; Vatanabe, S L; Silva, E C N

    2013-01-01

    Previous works have been shown several advantages in using Functionally Graded Materials (FGMs) for the performance of flextensional devices, such as reduction of stress concentrations and gains in reliability. In this work, the FGM concept is explored in the design of graded devices by using the Topology Optimization Method (TOM), in order to determine optimal topologies and gradations of the coupled structures of piezoactuators. The graded pieces are manufactured by using the Spark Plasma Sintering (SPS) technique and are bonded to piezoelectric ceramics. The graded actuators are then tested by using a modular vibrometer system for measuring output displacements, in order to validate the numerical simulations. The technological path developed here represents the initial step toward the manufacturing of an integral piezoelectric device, constituted by piezoelectric and non-piezoelectric materials without bonding layers.

  20. Theoretical characterization of electron energy distribution function in RF plasmas

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Capitelli, M.; Capriati, G.; Dilonardo, M.; Gorse, C.; Longo, S.

    1993-01-01

    Different methods for the modeling of low-temperature plasmas of both technological and fundamental interest are discussed. The main concept of all these models is the electron energy distribution function (eedf) which is necessary to calculate the rate coefficients for any chemical reaction involving electrons. Results of eedf calculations in homogeneous SF 6 and SiH 4 plasmas are discussed based on solution of the time-dependent Boltzmann equation. The space-dependent eedf in an RF discharge in He is calculated taking into account the sheath oscillations by a Monte Carlo model assuming the plasma heating mechanism and the electric field determined by using a fluid model. The need to take into account the ambipolar diffusion of electrons in RF discharge modeling is stressed. A self-consistent model based on coupling the equations of the fluid model and the chemical kinetics ones is presented. (orig.)

  1. Characterization of thyroid function and antithyroid antibody tests among Saudis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jammah, Anwar A.; Alshehri, Anwar S.; Alrakhis, Afaf A.; Alhedaithy, Asma S.; Almadhi, Asma M.; Alkwai, Hala M.; Alhamad, Maram M.; Alzahrani, Saad H.

    2015-01-01

    Objective: To determine the reference intervals for thyroid function tests and the prevalence of thyroid autoimmunity in the Saudi population. Methods: A cross-sectional prospective study was conducted in King Khalid University Hospital, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia from January to June 2013. History and physical examination were obtained. Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), free thyroxine (FT4), and free triiodothyronine (FT3) were measured by Electro-chemiluminescence Immunoassay system-assay. Anti-thyroperoxidase, and anti-thyroglobulin antibodies were measured using enzyme-linked immunosorbent-assay. Subjects with previous or a family history of thyroid disorders, those taking medications affecting thyroid function, pregnant or lactating women, and those with goiter were excluded. Individuals with positive antibodies were excluded from the final analysis of the TSH reference range, but were used to determine the prevalence of thyroid autoimmunity. Results: Out of 337 Saudi subjects initially screened, 132 (aged 13-60 years) were candidates for reference calculation, the mean±standard deviation, and (2.5th-97.5th) percentile of TSH (mIU/L) was 1.96±0.9 (0.59-4.37), for FT4 (pmol/L) was 15.47±1.83 (12.04-19.13), and for FT3 (pmol/L) was 5.22±0.7 (4.07-6.76). The TSH was higher in the antibodies positive group (2.5±1.17 mIU/L) compared with the negative one (1.96±0.9 mIU/L) (pantithyroid antibodies. Conclusion: The TSH reference range was similar to laboratory references. Thyroid antibodies were prevalent in Saudis, necessitating further work in larger scale studies. PMID:25987111

  2. Morphological and functional imaging in COPD with CT and MRI: present and future

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ley-Zaporozhan, Julia; Ley, Sebastian; Kauczor, Hans-Ulrich

    2008-01-01

    Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality worldwide. COPD is defined by irreversible airflow obstruction. It is a heterogeneous disease affecting the airways (i.e. chronic bronchitis, airway collapse), the parenchyma (i.e. hyperinflation, air trapping and emphysematous destruction) as well as the vasculature (i.e. hypoxic vasoconstriction, rarefication and pulmonary arterial hypertension) with different severity during the course of the disease. These different aspects of COPD can be best addressed by imaging using a combination of morphological and functional techniques. Three-dimensional high-resolution computed tomography (3D-HRCT) is the technique of choice for morphological imaging of the lung parenchyma and airways. This morphological information is to be accomplished by functional information about perfusion, regional lung mechanics, and ventilation mainly provided by MRI. The comprehensive diagnostic possibilities of CT complemented by MRI will allow for a more sensitive detection, phenotype-driven characterization and dedicated therapy monitoring of COPD as presented in this review. (orig.)

  3. Host Plant Physiology and Mycorrhizal Functioning Shift across a Glacial through Future [CO2] Gradient.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Becklin, Katie M; Mullinix, George W R; Ward, Joy K

    2016-10-01

    Rising atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration ([CO 2 ]) may modulate the functioning of mycorrhizal associations by altering the relative degree of nutrient and carbohydrate limitations in plants. To test this, we grew Taraxacum ceratophorum and Taraxacum officinale (native and exotic dandelions) with and without mycorrhizal fungi across a broad [CO 2 ] gradient (180-1,000 µL L -1 ). Differential plant growth rates and vegetative plasticity were hypothesized to drive species-specific responses to [CO 2 ] and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi. To evaluate [CO 2 ] effects on mycorrhizal functioning, we calculated response ratios based on the relative biomass of mycorrhizal (M Bio ) and nonmycorrhizal (NM Bio ) plants (R Bio = [M Bio - NM Bio ]/NM Bio ). We then assessed linkages between R Bio and host physiology, fungal growth, and biomass allocation using structural equation modeling. For T. officinale, R Bio increased with rising [CO 2 ], shifting from negative to positive values at 700 µL L -1 [CO 2 ] and mycorrhizal effects on photosynthesis and leaf growth rates drove shifts in R Bio in this species. For T. ceratophorum, R Bio increased from 180 to 390 µL L -1 and further increases in [CO 2 ] caused R Bio to shift from positive to negative values. [CO 2 ] and fungal effects on plant growth and carbon sink strength were correlated with shifts in R Bio in this species. Overall, we show that rising [CO 2 ] significantly altered the functioning of mycorrhizal associations. These symbioses became more beneficial with rising [CO 2 ], but nonlinear effects may limit plant responses to mycorrhizal fungi under future [CO 2 ]. The magnitude and mechanisms driving mycorrhizal-CO 2 responses reflected species-specific differences in growth rate and vegetative plasticity, indicating that these traits may provide a framework for predicting mycorrhizal responses to global change. © 2016 American Society of Plant Biologists. All Rights Reserved.

  4. Quantitative characterization of myocardial infarction by cardiovascular magnetic resonance predicts future cardiovascular events in patients with ischemic cardiomyopathy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pauly John M

    2008-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR can provide quantitative data of the myocardial tissue utilizing high spatial and temporal resolution along with exquisite tissue contrast. Previous studies have correlated myocardial scar tissue with the occurrence of ventricular arrhythmia. This study was conducted to evaluate whether characterization of myocardial infarction by CMR can predict cardiovascular events in patients with ischemic cardiomyopathy (ICM. Results We consecutively studied 86 patients with ICM (LVEF Conclusion Quantification of the scar volume and scar percentage by CMR is superior to LVEDV, LVESV, and LVEF in prognosticating the future likelihood of the development of cardiovascular events in patients with ICM.

  5. Chemically functionalized gold nanoparticles: Synthesis, characterization, and applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daniel, Weston Lewis

    This thesis focuses on the development and application of gold nanoparticle based detection systems and biomimetic structures. Each class of modified nanoparticle has properties that are defined by its chemical moieties that interface with solution and the gold nanoparticle core. In Chapter 2, a comparison of the biomolecular composition and binding properties of various preparations of antibody oligonucleotide gold nanoparticle conjugates is presented. These constructs differed significantly in terms of their structure and binding properties. Chapter 3 reports the use of electroless gold deposition as a light scattering signal enhancer in a multiplexed, microarray-based scanometric immunoassay using the gold nanoparticle probes evaluated in Chapter 2. The use of gold development results in greater signal enhancement than the typical silver development, and multiple rounds of metal development were found to increase the resulting signal compared to one development. Chapter 4 describes an amplified scanometric detection method for human telomerase activity. Gold nanoparticles functionalized with specific oligonucleotide sequences can efficiently capture telomerase enzymes and subsequently be elongated. Both the elongated and unmodified oligonucleotide sequences are simultaneously measured. At low telomerase concentrations, elongated strands cannot be detected, but the unmodified sequences, which come from the same probe particles, can be detected because their concentration is higher, providing a novel form of amplification. Chapter 5 reports the development of a novel colorimetric nitrite and nitrate ion assay based upon gold nanoparticle probes functionalized with Griess reaction reagents. This assay takes advantage of the distance-dependent plasmonic properties of the gold nanoparticles and the ability of nitrite ion to facilitate the cross coupling of novel nanoparticle probes. The assay works on the concept of a kinetic end point and can be triggered at the EPA

  6. Characterization of fully functional spray-on antibody thin films

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Figueroa, Jhon [Department of Chemistry, University of South Florida, 4202 E. Fowler Ave., Tampa, FL 33620-5250 (United States); Magaña, Sonia; Lim, Daniel V. [Department of Cell Biology, Microbiology and Molecular Biology, University of South Florida, 4202 E. Fowler Ave., Tampa, FL 33620-7115 (United States); Schlaf, Rudy, E-mail: schlaf@eng.usf.edu [Department of Electrical Engineering, University of South Florida, 4202 E. Fowler Ave., Tampa, FL 33620-5101 (United States)

    2014-02-15

    The authors recently demonstrated that fully functional Escherichia coli O157:H7 antibody thin films can be prepared using a simple pneumatic nebulizer on glass surface [1]. This paper focuses on the investigation of the morphology and physical properties of these films with the aim to better understand their performance. A series of E. coli O157:H7 antibody spray-on thin films were investigated by ellipsometry, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), immunoassays, attenuated total reflectance-Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (ATR-FTIR), fluorescence microscopy, atomic force microscope (AFM) and contact angle analysis. These data were compared to measurements on films prepared with the biotin–avidin covalent bonding scheme. The investigation showed that films created by a 2 min pneumatic spray deposition time can capture antigens similar as the avidin–biotin wet-chemical method. The results also suggests that an influential factor for the comparable capture cell ability between sprayed and covalent films is an increased antibody surface coverage for the sprayed films (non-equilibrium technique), which compensates for the lack of its antibody orientation. There was no significant antibody denaturation detected on any of the sprayed films. Both techniques led to the formation of cluster-aggregates, a factor that seems unavoidable due to the natural tendency of protein to cluster. The avidin–biotin bridge films generally had a higher roughness, which manifested itself in a higher wettability compared to the sprayed films.

  7. Functional Characterization of Preadipocytes Derived from Human Periaortic Adipose Tissue

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Diana Vargas

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Adipose tissue can affect the metabolic control of the cardiovascular system, and its anatomic location can affect the vascular function differently. In this study, biochemical and phenotypical characteristics of adipose tissue from periaortic fat were evaluated. Periaortic and subcutaneous adipose tissues were obtained from areas surrounding the ascending aorta and sternotomy incision, respectively. Adipose tissues were collected from patients undergoing myocardial revascularization or mitral valve replacement surgery. Morphological studies with hematoxylin/eosin and immunohistochemical assay were performed in situ to quantify adipokine expression. To analyze adipogenic capacity, adipokine expression, and the levels of thermogenic proteins, adipocyte precursor cells were isolated from periaortic and subcutaneous adipose tissues and induced to differentiation. The precursors of adipocytes from the periaortic tissue accumulated less triglycerides than those from the subcutaneous tissue after differentiation and were smaller than those from subcutaneous adipose tissue. The levels of proteins involved in thermogenesis and energy expenditure increased significantly in periaortic adipose tissue. Additionally, the expression levels of adipokines that affect carbohydrate metabolism, such as FGF21, increased significantly in mature adipocytes induced from periaortic adipose tissue. These results demonstrate that precursors of periaortic adipose tissue in humans may affect cardiovascular events and might serve as a target for preventing vascular diseases.

  8. Characterization of Platinum Nanoparticles Deposited on Functionalized Graphene Sheets

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yu-Chun Chiang

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Due to its special electronic and ballistic transport properties, graphene has attracted much interest from researchers. In this study, platinum (Pt nanoparticles were deposited on oxidized graphene sheets (cG. The graphene sheets were applied to overcome the corrosion problems of carbon black at operating conditions of proton exchange membrane fuel cells. To enhance the interfacial interactions between the graphene sheets and the Pt nanoparticles, the oxygen-containing functional groups were introduced onto the surface of graphene sheets. The results showed the Pt nanoparticles were uniformly dispersed on the surface of graphene sheets with a mean Pt particle size of 2.08 nm. The Pt nanoparticles deposited on graphene sheets exhibited better crystallinity and higher oxygen resistance. The metal Pt was the predominant Pt chemical state on Pt/cG (60.4%. The results from the cyclic voltammetry analysis showed the value of the electrochemical surface area (ECSA was 88 m2/g (Pt/cG, much higher than that of Pt/C (46 m2/g. The long-term test illustrated the degradation in ECSA exhibited the order of Pt/C (33% > Pt/cG (7%. The values of the utilization efficiency were calculated to be 64% for Pt/cG and 32% for Pt/C.

  9. Purification and functional characterization of nine human Aquaporins produced in Saccharomyces cerevisiae for the purpose of biophysical characterization

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pedersen, Per Amstrup; Gourdon, Pontus Emanuel; Gotfryd, Kamil

    2017-01-01

    investigated the capacity of S. cerevisiae to deliver high yields of prime quality human AQPs, focusing on poorly characterized members including some previously shown to be difficult to isolate. Exploiting GFP labeled forms we comprehensively optimized production and purification procedures resulting...... in satisfactory yields of all nine AQP targets. We applied the obtained knowledge to successfully upscale purification of histidine tagged human AQP10 produced in large bioreactors. Glycosylation analysis revealed that AQP7 and 12 were O-glycosylated, AQP10 was N-glycosylated while the other AQPs were...... not glycosylated. We furthermore performed functional characterization and found that AQP 2, 6 and 8 allowed flux of water whereas AQP3, 7, 9, 10, 11 and 12 also facilitated a glycerol flux. In conclusion, our S. cerevisiae platform emerges as a powerful tool for isolation of functional, difficult-to-express human...

  10. Characterizing the EPODE logic model: unravelling the past and informing the future.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Koperen, T M; Jebb, S A; Summerbell, C D; Visscher, T L S; Romon, M; Borys, J M; Seidell, J C

    2013-02-01

    EPODE ('Ensemble Prévenons l'Obésité De Enfants' or 'Together let's Prevent Childhood Obesity') is a large-scale, centrally coordinated, capacity-building approach for communities to implement effective and sustainable strategies to prevent childhood obesity. Since 2004, EPODE has been implemented in over 500 communities in six countries. Although based on emergent practice and scientific knowledge, EPODE, as many community programs, lacks a logic model depicting key elements of the approach. The objective of this study is to gain insight in the dynamics and key elements of EPODE and to represent these in a schematic logic model. EPODE's process manuals and documents were collected and interviews were held with professionals involved in the planning and delivery of EPODE. Retrieved data were coded, themed and placed in a four-level logic model. With input from international experts, this model was scaled down to a concise logic model covering four critical components: political commitment, public and private partnerships, social marketing and evaluation. The EPODE logic model presented here can be used as a reference for future and follow-up research; to support future implementation of EPODE in communities; as a tool in the engagement of stakeholders; and to guide the construction of a locally tailored evaluation plan. © 2012 The Authors. obesity reviews © 2012 International Association for the Study of Obesity.

  11. Clinical, pathological and functional characterization of riboflavin-responsive neuropathy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manole, Andreea; Jaunmuktane, Zane; Hargreaves, Iain; Ludtmann, Marthe H R; Salpietro, Vincenzo; Bello, Oscar D; Pope, Simon; Pandraud, Amelie; Horga, Alejandro; Scalco, Renata S; Li, Abi; Ashokkumar, Balasubramaniem; Lourenço, Charles M; Heales, Simon; Horvath, Rita; Chinnery, Patrick F; Toro, Camilo; Singleton, Andrew B; Jacques, Thomas S; Abramov, Andrey Y; Muntoni, Francesco; Hanna, Michael G; Reilly, Mary M; Revesz, Tamas; Kullmann, Dimitri M; Jepson, James E C; Houlden, Henry

    2017-11-01

    Brown-Vialetto-Van Laere syndrome represents a phenotypic spectrum of motor, sensory, and cranial nerve neuropathy, often with ataxia, optic atrophy and respiratory problems leading to ventilator-dependence. Loss-of-function mutations in two riboflavin transporter genes, SLC52A2 and SLC52A3, have recently been linked to Brown-Vialetto-Van Laere syndrome. However, the genetic frequency, neuropathology and downstream consequences of riboflavin transporter mutations are unclear. By screening a large cohort of 132 patients with early-onset severe sensory, motor and cranial nerve neuropathy we confirmed the strong genetic link between riboflavin transporter mutations and Brown-Vialetto-Van Laere syndrome, identifying 22 pathogenic mutations in SLC52A2 and SLC52A3, 14 of which were novel. Brain and spinal cord neuropathological examination of two cases with SLC52A3 mutations showed classical symmetrical brainstem lesions resembling pathology seen in mitochondrial disease, including severe neuronal loss in the lower cranial nerve nuclei, anterior horns and corresponding nerves, atrophy of the spinothalamic and spinocerebellar tracts and posterior column-medial lemniscus pathways. Mitochondrial dysfunction has previously been implicated in an array of neurodegenerative disorders. Since riboflavin metabolites are critical components of the mitochondrial electron transport chain, we hypothesized that reduced riboflavin transport would result in impaired mitochondrial activity, and confirmed this using in vitro and in vivo models. Electron transport chain complex I and complex II activity were decreased in SLC52A2 patient fibroblasts, while global knockdown of the single Drosophila melanogaster riboflavin transporter homologue revealed reduced levels of riboflavin, downstream metabolites, and electron transport chain complex I activity. This in turn led to abnormal mitochondrial membrane potential, respiratory chain activity and morphology. Riboflavin transporter knockdown in

  12. Radiological characterization of liquid effluent hold up tank for generating data base for future decommissioning

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sapkal, Jyotsna A.; Singh, Pratap; Verma, Amit; Yadav, R.K.B.; Thakare, S.V.

    2018-01-01

    Operations at Radiological laboratory facilities are involved in fabrication of high activity radioactive sources like 60 Co, 192 1r and 137 Cs, handling of long lived radionuclides like 137 Cs/ 90 Sr, radiochemical processing and production of short-lived radioisotopes for medical diagnosis and treatment of patients. Typical liquid waste management feature at any Radiological Laboratory facility primarily consists of effluent tanks which store the liquid effluent wastes generated during radiochemical processing and fabrication of reactor produced radioisotopes. The liquid waste generated from various laboratories are collected to low level sump tanks from where it is transferred to hold up tanks. The liquid waste is transferred to centralized effluent treatment plant, analysis and characterization of the same is carried out. This paper explains the characterization study of samples drawn from the liquid effluent tank which would be helpful for planning for decontamination as well as for decommissioning and in management of radioactive wastes. In this study the crud deposited at the bottom of tank was collected for gamma spectrometry analysis. Radiation field was measured, at the bottom of the tank for correlating the activity present and the radiation field

  13. Traumatic brain injury and vestibulo-ocular function: current challenges and future prospects

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wallace B

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Bridgett Wallace,1–4 Jonathan Lifshitz4–8 1360 Balance and Hearing, Department of Physical Therapy, Austin, TX, 2Concussion Health, Department of Clinical Education, Austin, TX, 3Conquering Concussions, Scottsdale, AZ, 4Barrow Neurological Institute at Phoenix Children’s Hospital, Phoenix, AZ, 5Department of Child Health, University of Arizona College of Medicine-Phoenix, Phoenix, AZ, 6The CACTIS Foundation, Scottsdale, 7Phoenix VA Healthcare System, Phoenix, AZ, 8Department of Psychology, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ, USA Abstract: Normal function of the vestibulo-ocular reflex (VOR coordinates eye movement with head movement, in order to provide clear vision during motion and maintain balance. VOR is generated within the semicircular canals of the inner ear to elicit compensatory eye movements, which maintain stability of images on the fovea during brief, rapid head motion, otherwise known as gaze stability. Normal VOR function is necessary in carrying out activities of daily living (eg, walking and riding in a car and is of particular importance in higher demand activities (eg, sports-related activities. Disruption or damage in the VOR can result in symptoms such as movement-related dizziness, blurry vision, difficulty maintaining balance with head movements, and even nausea. Dizziness is one of the most common symptoms following traumatic brain injury (TBI and is considered a risk factor for a prolonged recovery. Assessment of the vestibular system is of particular importance following TBI, in conjunction with oculomotor control, due to the intrinsic neural circuitry that exists between the ocular and vestibular systems. The purpose of this article is to review the physiology of the VOR and the visual-vestibular symptoms associated with TBI and to discuss assessment and treatment guidelines for TBI. Current challenges and future prospects will also be addressed. Keywords: traumatic brain injury, concussion, vestibular, ocular

  14. Characterization and inventories of nuclear materials and wastes for possible future energy scenarios

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Arthur, E.D.

    1997-10-01

    Awareness of the total materials inventory and materials balance associated with differing methods for energy generation is part of present day concerns associated with disparate areas that include atmospheric emissions, resource utilization, health effects, and both current and long term hazards and risks. Nuclear energy, for a number of decades, has been the recipient of significant scrutiny concerning the materials and wastes it generates, particularly in the context of long term solutions to such issues. This paper examines the nuclear materials and waste generation for nuclear energy scenarios spanning the coming century. The paper also briefly addresses wastes (in the form of emissions) from other energy sources and examines requirements associated with backend energy system materials management. Possible future requirements pertaining to CO 2 management are found to place conditions upon waste management generally similar to those for nuclear waste. One example of material flows for the case of coal generation of electricity coupled with carbon sequestration is also given

  15. DEPFET: A silicon pixel detector for future colliders. Fundamentals, characterization and performance

    CERN Document Server

    Marinas Pardo, Carlos Manuel; Vos, Marcel Andre

    2011-01-01

    The future electron-positron colliders, either breaking the energy frontier (like ILC or CLIC) or the luminosity frontier (SuperKEKB), impose unprecedented constraints over the new generation of detectors that will be operated in those facilities. In particular, the vertex detectors must be designed for an efficient flavour tagging and excellent vertex reconstruction. To cope with these requirements, highly pixelated sensors with a fast readout, very low material budget and low power consumption must be developed. Although the combination of these factors is a substantial challenge, the DEPFET Collaboration has developed a new generation of sensors that can be operated in such a harsh environment. The DEpleted P-channel Field Effect Transistor (DEPFET) is a pixel sensor that combines detection and internal amplification at the same time. With such configuration, thin detectors with good signal-to-noise ratio and low power consumption can be produced. In this thesis, the optimization and performance of two gen...

  16. Non-destructive characterization of the materials for future nuclear reactors

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Snopek, J.; Slugen, V.

    2016-01-01

    For our experiments, we have used Barkhausen noise technique, which is powerful non-destructive method for monitoring stresses in lattices of magnetic materials. We have also used PAS, which is powerful non-destructive method for diagnosing vacancy defects in variable materials. We researched some ODS steels, which are primarily going to be used as fuel cladding or reactor pressure vessel internal components. This thesis describes the behavior of the microstructure of the oxide dispersion strengthened steels at intermediate temperature. Two, in principle, different techniques were used for the characterization of the microstructure of the oxide dispersion strengthened steels thermally aged at 475 grad C and 650 grad C. Both techniques, namely Positron annihilation lifetime spectroscopy (PAS) and Barkhausen noise (BN) measurements are very sensitive to metallurgical modifications and presence of nano-sized imperfections in the crystal lattice. Precipitation of the nano-sized α' phases shift the Barkhausen noise signal. (authors)

  17. Characterization and optimization of Silicon Photomultipliers and small size scintillator tiles for future calorimeter applications

    CERN Document Server

    AUTHOR|(CDS)2095312; Horváth, Ákos

    For the active layers of highly granular sampling calorimeters, small scintillator tiles read out by Silicon Photomultipliers (SiPM) can be an interesting and cost effective alternative to silicon sensors. At CERN a test setup was realized for the development of new generations of calorimeters to characterize new types of Silicon Photomultipliers in terms of gain, noise, afterpulses and crosstalk and to study the impact of scintillator wrappings and the tile size on the measured light yield and uniformity. In this thesis work, the experimental setup is described and the steps for commissioning the equipment are discussed. Then, the temperature dependence of the Silicon Photomultiplier response will be investigated, including the dependence of bare Silicon Photomultipliers as well as Silicon Photomultipliers coupled to scintillator tiles. Finally, the tile-photomultiplier response for different tile sizes and coating options will be evaluated. The experimental setup will be extended to allow for the characteri...

  18. Characterization by ion beams of surfaces and interfaces of alternative materials for future microelectronic devices

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Krug, C.; Stedile, F.C.; Radtke, C.; Rosa, E.B.O. da; Morais, J.; Freire, F.L.; Baumvol, I.J.R.

    2003-01-01

    We present the potential use of ion beam techniques such as nuclear reactions, channelling Rutherford backscattering spectrometry, and low energy ion scattering in the characterization of the surface and interface of materials thought to be possible substitutes to Si (like SiC, for example) and to SiO 2 films (like Al 2 O 3 films, for example) in microelectronic devices. With narrow nuclear reaction resonance profiling the depth distribution of light elements such as Al and O in the films can be obtained non-destructively and with subnanometric depth resolution, allowing one to follow the mobility of each species under thermal treatments, for instance. Thinning of an amorphous layer at the surface of single-crystalline samples can be determined using channelling of He + ions and detection of the scattered light particles. Finally, the use of He + ions in the 1 keV range allows elemental analysis of the first monolayer at the sample surface

  19. HabEx: Finding and characterizing Habitable Exoplanets with a potential future flagship astrophysics mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Domagal-Goldman, S. D.; Gaudi, B. S.; Seager, S.; Mennesson, B.; Warfield, K.; Cahoy, K.; Feinberg, L. D.; Guyon, O.; Kasdin, N. J.; Mawet, D.; Robinson, T. D.; Rogers, L.; Scowen, P. A.; Somerville, R. S.; Stapelfeldt, K. R.; Stern, D.; Turnbull, M. C.; Marois, C.; Mouillet, D.; Prusti, T.; Quirrenbach, A.; Tamura, M.; Still, M.; Hudgins, D.

    2016-12-01

    HabEx - the Habitable Exoplanet Imager - is one of four flagship missions that NASA is studying in advance of the next Astrophysics Decadal Survey. The primary goal of HabEx will be to directly image and characterize rocky planets in the habitable zones of other stars. Specifically, HabEx aims to search for signs of liquid water oceans and biological activity on such worlds. Additionally, HabEx will also be able to pursue a range of other astrophysics investigations, including the study of non-habitable exoplanets, the study of Solar System objects, and observations of galaxies. The technical drivers for HabEx will be determined by the significant challenges associated with the direct imaging and characterization of potentially habitable exoplanets. This requires a large enough collecting area to collect light from these very dim targets, and the ability to block light from the dramatically brighter host star the planet orbits. There are multiple approaches to these challenges, and the goal of the HabEx study is to demonstrate that at least one can be executed with technologies that can be matured in time for a lunch in the 2030s. In this presentation, we will discuss the top-level exoplanet science goals of HabEx, and how those goals led to basic and preliminary architectural properties such as aperture size, starlight suppression technique, wavelength range, etc. We will then discuss how these architectural properties could allow for the astronomical study of other targets in and beyond the Solar System.

  20. Results of experimental testing of system of future physical culture teachers’ training for art pedagogic means’ application in pedagogic functioning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T.V. Nizhevska

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Purpose: the research is devoted to seeking of ways to rising of quality of future physical culture teachers. Material: in experiment 436 students and 29 teachers participated. Results: it was found that readiness of future physical culture teachers for application of art pedagogic means in professional functioning is achieved through realization of appropriate block system. Such system ensures mastering by students of the following: theoretical principles of art pedagogic; mastering of art pedagogic skills in teaching and quasi professional functioning; acquiring of practical experience of art means’ application in period of pedagogic practice at schools. It was also determined that training system of future teachers includes the following three blocks: conceptual-target, knowledge-procedural; control-correcting. Conclusions: it is recommended to use such criteria of students’ readiness for application of art means in pedagogic functioning: motivation-axiological, cognitive-active, personality’s-reflexive.

  1. Fluorescence detection, enumeration and characterization of single circulating cells in vivo: technology, applications and future prospects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hartmann, Carolin; Patil, Roshani; Lin, Charles P.; Niedre, Mark

    2018-01-01

    There are many diseases and biological processes that involve circulating cells in the bloodstream, such as cancer metastasis, immunology, reproductive medicine, and stem cell therapies. This has driven significant interest in new technologies for the study of circulating cells in small animal research models and clinically. Most currently used methods require drawing and enriching blood samples from the body, but these suffer from a number of limitations. In contrast, ‘in vivo flow cytometry’ (IVFC) refers to set of technologies that allow study of cells directly in the bloodstream of the organism in vivo. In recent years the IVFC field has grown significantly and new techniques have been developed, including fluorescence microscopy, multi-photon, photo-acoustic, and diffuse fluorescence IVFC. In this paper we review recent technical advances in IVFC, with emphasis on instrumentation, contrast mechanisms, and detection sensitivity. We also describe key applications in biomedical research, including cancer research and immunology. Last, we discuss future directions for IVFC, as well as prospects for broader adoption by the biomedical research community and translation to humans clinically.

  2. The Orbital and Planetary Phase Variations of Jupiter-sized Planets: Characterizing Present and Future Giants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mayorga, Laura C.; Jackiewicz, Jason; Rages, Kathy; West, Robert; Knowles, Ben; Lewis, Nikole K.; Marley, Mark S.

    2018-01-01

    Knowledge of how the brightness and color of a planet varies with viewing angle is essential for the design of future direct imaging missions and deriving constraints on atmospheric properties. However, measuring the phase curves for the solar system gas giants is impossible from the ground. Using data Cassini/ISS obtained during its flyby of Jupiter, I measured Jupiter's phase curve in six bands spanning 400-1000 nm. I found that Jupiter's brightness is less than that of a Lambertian scatterer and that its color varies more with phase angle than predicted by theoretical models. For hot Jupiters, the light from the planet cannot be spatially isolated from that of the star. As a result, determining the planetary phase curve requires removing the phase-dependent contributions from the host star. I consider the effect of varying the stellar model and present a parameterization of the Doppler beaming amplitude that depends upon the planetary mass, orbital period, and the stellar temperature. I consider the detectability of Doppler beaming amplitudes with data from TESS and find that TESS will be less sensitive to this signal than Kepler. This work was supported by the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program and the New Mexico Higher Education Department Graduate Scholarship Program.

  3. Characterizing Coastal Ecosystem Service Trade-offs with Future Urban Development in a Tropical City.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richards, Daniel R; Friess, Daniel A

    2017-11-01

    With rapid urbanization in the coastal zone and increasing habitat losses, it is imperative to understand how urban development affects coastal biodiversity and ecosystem service provision. Furthermore, it is important to understand how habitat fragments can best be incorporated into broader land use planning and coastal management, in order to maximize the environmental benefits they provide. In this study, we characterized the trade-offs between (a) urban development and individual mangrove environmental indicators (habitat quality and ecosystem services), and (b) between different environmental indicators in the tropical nation of Singapore. A range of biological, biophysical, and cultural indicators, including carbon, charcoal production, support for offshore fisheries, recreation, and habitat quality for a threatened species were quantified using field-based, remote sensing, and expert survey methods. The shape of the trade-off Pareto frontiers was analyzed to assess the sensitivity of environmental indicators for development. When traded off individually with urban development, four out of five environmental indicators were insensitive to development, meaning that relatively minor degradation of the indicator occurred while development was below a certain threshold, although indicator loss accelerated once this threshold was reached. Most of the pairwise relationships between the five environmental indicators were synergistic; only carbon storage and charcoal production, and charcoal production and recreational accessibility showed trade-offs. Trade-off analysis and land use optimization using Pareto frontiers could be a useful decision-support tool for understanding how changes in land use and coastal management will impact the ability of ecosystems to provide environmental benefits.

  4. Characterizing Coastal Ecosystem Service Trade-offs with Future Urban Development in a Tropical City

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richards, Daniel R.; Friess, Daniel A.

    2017-11-01

    With rapid urbanization in the coastal zone and increasing habitat losses, it is imperative to understand how urban development affects coastal biodiversity and ecosystem service provision. Furthermore, it is important to understand how habitat fragments can best be incorporated into broader land use planning and coastal management, in order to maximize the environmental benefits they provide. In this study, we characterized the trade-offs between (a) urban development and individual mangrove environmental indicators (habitat quality and ecosystem services), and (b) between different environmental indicators in the tropical nation of Singapore. A range of biological, biophysical, and cultural indicators, including carbon, charcoal production, support for offshore fisheries, recreation, and habitat quality for a threatened species were quantified using field-based, remote sensing, and expert survey methods. The shape of the trade-off Pareto frontiers was analyzed to assess the sensitivity of environmental indicators for development. When traded off individually with urban development, four out of five environmental indicators were insensitive to development, meaning that relatively minor degradation of the indicator occurred while development was below a certain threshold, although indicator loss accelerated once this threshold was reached. Most of the pairwise relationships between the five environmental indicators were synergistic; only carbon storage and charcoal production, and charcoal production and recreational accessibility showed trade-offs. Trade-off analysis and land use optimization using Pareto frontiers could be a useful decision-support tool for understanding how changes in land use and coastal management will impact the ability of ecosystems to provide environmental benefits.

  5. Baseline groundwater chemistry characterization in an area of future Marcellus shale gas development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eisenhauer, P.; Zegre, N.; Edwards, P. J.; Strager, M.

    2012-12-01

    The recent increase in development of the Marcellus shale formation for natural gas in the mid-Atlantic can be attributed to advances in unconventional extraction methods, namely hydraulic fracturing, a process that uses water to pressurize and fracture relatively impermeable shale layers to release natural gas. In West Virginia, the Department of Energy estimates 95 to 105 trillion cubic feet (TCF) of expected ultimately recovery (EUR) of natural gas for this formation. With increased development of the Marcellus shale formation comes concerns for the potential of contamination to groundwater resources that serve as primary potable water sources for many rural communities. However, the impacts of this practice on water resources are poorly understood because of the lack of controlled pre versus post-drilling experiments attributed to the rapid development of this resource. To address the knowledge gaps of the potential impacts of Marcellus shale development on groundwater resources, a pre versus post-drilling study has been initiated by the USFS Fernow Experimental Forest in the Monongahela National Forest. Drilling is expected to start at three locations within the next year. Pre-drilling water samples were collected and analyzed from two groundwater wells, a shallow spring, a nearby lake, and river to characterize background water chemistry and identify potential end-members. Geochemical analysis includes major ions, methane, δ13C-CH4, δ2H-CH4, 226Radium, and δ13C-DIC. In addition, a GIS-based conceptual ground water flow model was developed to identify possible interactions between shallow groundwater and natural gas wells given gas well construction failure. This model is used to guide management decisions regarding groundwater resources in an area of increasing shale gas development.

  6. Design and Structure-Function Characterization of 3D Printed Synthetic Porous Biomaterials for Tissue Engineering.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kelly, Cambre N; Miller, Andrew T; Hollister, Scott J; Guldberg, Robert E; Gall, Ken

    2018-04-01

    3D printing is now adopted for use in a variety of industries and functions. In biomedical engineering, 3D printing has prevailed over more traditional manufacturing methods in tissue engineering due to its high degree of control over both macro- and microarchitecture of porous tissue scaffolds. However, with the improved flexibility in design come new challenges in characterizing the structure-function relationships between various architectures and both mechanical and biological properties in an assortment of clinical applications. Presently, the field of tissue engineering lacks a comprehensive body of literature that is capable of drawing meaningful relationships between the designed structure and resulting function of 3D printed porous biomaterial scaffolds. This work first discusses the role of design on 3D printed porous scaffold function and then reviews characterization of these structure-function relationships for 3D printed synthetic metallic, polymeric, and ceramic biomaterials. © 2017 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  7. STRUCTURAL AND FUNCTIONAL MODEL OF FORMING FUTURE MUSIC TEACHER’S CREATIVE THINKING IN INSTRUMENTAL AND PERFORMING TRAINING

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nadiia Lavrentieva

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available In the article conceptual bases of forming students’ creative thinking in the instrumental and performing activities are revealed, taking current training trends into account. The contradictions between the requirements of society to create favorable conditions to realize future music teachers’ creative potential and current directions of a higher educational establishment to ‘a result”, which causes a specific system of promotion and support students’ value orientations and encourages students to master existing knowledge, algorithms, and performing models, depict the relevant problems of making out the system of the future music teachers’ instrumental and performing training that is aimed at developing their creative thinking. It is noted that while defining such phenomena as creative thinking and cognitive work a great number of scientists emphasizes on the word “create” which means finding and creating something that hasn’t been found in the previous individual or social experience. The aim of the article is to disclose the content and stages of implementing structural and functional model of forming future music teachers’ creative thinking The model is formed as an alternative to information and reproductive approach to training future specialists. The concept model is based on the target of forming future music teachers’ creative and methodological thinking, professional competence, activity and approaches to the students’ training to complete fulfillment of modern needs of professional and music education. The author specifies criteria of structural model of future music teachers’ creative thinking. They are value and motivational, cognitive and educational, action and technological, creative and modulating ones The effectiveness of the future music teachers’ creative thinking in instrumental and performing training depends on the level of forming clear science-based system that has a certain conceptual

  8. The effect of range changes on the functional turnover, structure and diversity of bird assemblages under future climate scenarios.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barbet-Massin, Morgane; Jetz, Walter

    2015-08-01

    Animal assemblages fulfill a critical set of ecological functions for ecosystems that may be altered substantially as climate change-induced distribution changes lead to community disaggregation and reassembly. We combine species and community perspectives to assess the consequences of projected geographic range changes for the diverse functional attributes of avian assemblages worldwide. Assemblage functional structure is projected to change highly unevenly across space. These differences arise from both changes in the number of species and changes in species' relative local functional redundancy or distinctness. They sometimes result in substantial losses of functional diversity that could have severe consequences for ecosystem health. Range expansions may counter functional losses in high-latitude regions, but offer little compensation in many tropical and subtropical biomes. Future management of local community function and ecosystem services thus relies on understanding the global dynamics of species distributions and multiscale approaches that include the biogeographic context of species traits. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  9. Characterization of PET/CT images using texture analysis: the past, the present... any future?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hatt, Mathieu; Visvikis, Dimitris; Tixier, Florent; Le Rest, Catherine Cheze; Pierce, Larry; Kinahan, Paul E.

    2017-01-01

    After seminal papers over the period 2009 - 2011, the use of texture analysis of PET/CT images for quantification of intratumour uptake heterogeneity has received increasing attention in the last 4 years. Results are difficult to compare due to the heterogeneity of studies and lack of standardization. There are also numerous challenges to address. In this review we provide critical insights into the recent development of texture analysis for quantifying the heterogeneity in PET/CT images, identify issues and challenges, and offer recommendations for the use of texture analysis in clinical research. Numerous potentially confounding issues have been identified, related to the complex workflow for the calculation of textural features, and the dependency of features on various factors such as acquisition, image reconstruction, preprocessing, functional volume segmentation, and methods of establishing and quantifying correspondences with genomic and clinical metrics of interest. A lack of understanding of what the features may represent in terms of the underlying pathophysiological processes and the variability of technical implementation practices makes comparing results in the literature challenging, if not impossible. Since progress as a field requires pooling results, there is an urgent need for standardization and recommendations/guidelines to enable the field to move forward. We provide a list of correct formulae for usual features and recommendations regarding implementation. Studies on larger cohorts with robust statistical analysis and machine learning approaches are promising directions to evaluate the potential of this approach. (orig.)

  10. Characterization of PET/CT images using texture analysis: the past, the present... any future?

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hatt, Mathieu; Visvikis, Dimitris [University of Brest IBSAM, INSERM, UMR 1101, LaTIM, Brest (France); Tixier, Florent; Le Rest, Catherine Cheze [University Hospital, Nuclear Medicine, Poitiers (France); University of Poitiers, Medical school, EE DACTIM, Poitiers (France); Pierce, Larry; Kinahan, Paul E. [University of Washington, Imaging Research Laboratory, Seattle, WA (United States)

    2017-01-15

    After seminal papers over the period 2009 - 2011, the use of texture analysis of PET/CT images for quantification of intratumour uptake heterogeneity has received increasing attention in the last 4 years. Results are difficult to compare due to the heterogeneity of studies and lack of standardization. There are also numerous challenges to address. In this review we provide critical insights into the recent development of texture analysis for quantifying the heterogeneity in PET/CT images, identify issues and challenges, and offer recommendations for the use of texture analysis in clinical research. Numerous potentially confounding issues have been identified, related to the complex workflow for the calculation of textural features, and the dependency of features on various factors such as acquisition, image reconstruction, preprocessing, functional volume segmentation, and methods of establishing and quantifying correspondences with genomic and clinical metrics of interest. A lack of understanding of what the features may represent in terms of the underlying pathophysiological processes and the variability of technical implementation practices makes comparing results in the literature challenging, if not impossible. Since progress as a field requires pooling results, there is an urgent need for standardization and recommendations/guidelines to enable the field to move forward. We provide a list of correct formulae for usual features and recommendations regarding implementation. Studies on larger cohorts with robust statistical analysis and machine learning approaches are promising directions to evaluate the potential of this approach. (orig.)

  11. Characterizing short-term stability for Boolean networks over any distribution of transfer functions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Seshadhri, C.; Smith, Andrew M.; Vorobeychik, Yevgeniy; Mayo, Jackson R.; Armstrong, Robert C.

    2016-01-01

    Here we present a characterization of short-term stability of random Boolean networks under arbitrary distributions of transfer functions. Given any distribution of transfer functions for a random Boolean network, we present a formula that decides whether short-term chaos (damage spreading) will happen. We provide a formal proof for this formula, and empirically show that its predictions are accurate. Previous work only works for special cases of balanced families. Finally, it has been observed that these characterizations fail for unbalanced families, yet such families are widespread in real biological networks.

  12. Characterizing Earth Analogs in Reflected Light: Atmospheric Retrieval Studies for Future Space Telescopes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feng, Y. Katherina; Robinson, Tyler D.; Fortney, Jonathan J.; Lupu, Roxana E.; Marley, Mark S.; Lewis, Nikole K.; Macintosh, Bruce; Line, Michael R.

    2018-05-01

    Space-based high-contrast imaging mission concepts for studying rocky exoplanets in reflected light are currently under community study. We develop an inverse modeling framework to estimate the science return of such missions given different instrument design considerations. By combining an exoplanet albedo model, instrument noise model, and ensemble Markov chain Monte Carlo sampler, we explore retrievals of atmospheric and planetary properties for Earth twins as a function of signal-to-noise ratio (S/N) and resolution (R). Our forward model includes Rayleigh-scattering, single-layer water clouds with patchy coverage, and pressure-dependent absorption due to water vapor, oxygen, and ozone. We simulate data at R = 70 and 140 from 0.4 to 1.0 μm with S/N = 5, 10, 15, and 20 at 550 nm (i.e., for HabEx/LUVOIR-type instruments). At these same S/Ns, we simulate data for WFIRST paired with a starshade, which includes two photometric points between 0.48 and 0.6 μm and R = 50 spectroscopy from 0.6 to 0.97 μm. Given our noise model for WFIRST-type detectors, we find that weak detections of water vapor, ozone, and oxygen can be achieved with observations with at least R = 70/S/N = 15 or R = 140/S/N = 10 for improved detections. Meaningful constraints are only achieved with R = 140/S/N = 20 data. The WFIRST data offer limited diagnostic information, needing at least S/N = 20 to weakly detect gases. Most scenarios place limits on planetary radius but cannot constrain surface gravity and, thus, planetary mass.

  13. The role of Long-Range Connectivity for the Characterization of the Functional-Anatomical Organization of the Cortex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas R Knösche

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available This review focuses on the role of long-range connectivity as one element of brain structure that is of key importance for the functional-anatomical organization of the cortex. In this context, we discuss the putative guiding principles for mapping brain function and structure onto the cortical surface. Such mappings reveal a high-degree of functional-anatomical segregation. Given that brain regions frequently maintain characteristic connectivity profiles and the functional repertoire of a cortical area is closely related to its anatomical connections, long-range connectivity may be used to define segregated cortical areas. This methodology is called connectivity-based parcellation.Within this framework, we investigate different techniques to estimate connectivity profiles with emphasis given to non-invasive methods based on diffusion magnetic resonance imaging (dMRI and diffusion tractography. Cortical parcellation is then defined based on similarity between diffusion tractograms, and different clustering approaches are discussed.We conclude that the use of non-invasively acquired connectivity estimates to characterize the functional-anatomical organization of the brain is a valid, relevant and necessary endeavor. Current and future developments in dMRI technology, tractography algorithms and models of the similarity structure hold great potential for a substantial improvement and enrichment of the results of the technique.

  14. The role of long-range connectivity for the characterization of the functional-anatomical organization of the cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knösche, Thomas R; Tittgemeyer, Marc

    2011-01-01

    This review focuses on the role of long-range connectivity as one element of brain structure that is of key importance for the functional-anatomical organization of the cortex. In this context, we discuss the putative guiding principles for mapping brain function and structure onto the cortical surface. Such mappings reveal a high degree of functional-anatomical segregation. Given that brain regions frequently maintain characteristic connectivity profiles and the functional repertoire of a cortical area is closely related to its anatomical connections, long-range connectivity may be used to define segregated cortical areas. This methodology is called connectivity-based parcellation. Within this framework, we investigate different techniques to estimate connectivity profiles with emphasis given to non-invasive methods based on diffusion magnetic resonance imaging (dMRI) and diffusion tractography. Cortical parcellation is then defined based on similarity between diffusion tractograms, and different clustering approaches are discussed. We conclude that the use of non-invasively acquired connectivity estimates to characterize the functional-anatomical organization of the brain is a valid, relevant, and necessary endeavor. Current and future developments in dMRI technology, tractography algorithms, and models of the similarity structure hold great potential for a substantial improvement and enrichment of the results of the technique.

  15. A study on the observation system for autonomous, distributed and cooperative function in a future type nuclear power plant

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Matsuoka, Takeshi; Numano, Masayoshi; Someya, Minoru; Fukuto, Junji; Mitomo, Nobuo; Miyazaki, Keiko; Matsukura, Hiroshi; Niwa, Yasuyuki; Takahashi, Masato

    2000-01-01

    The concept of advanced future plants are discussed by five research institutes; Ship Research Institute, Electrotechnical Laboratory, The Institute of Physical and Chemical Research, Japan Atomic Energy Research Institute, and Power Reactor and Nuclear Fuel Development Corporation (Cross-over group). And, an autonomous plant is identified as a future type plant. In this future type plant, there are many agents that consist plant sub-systems or plant components and have artificial intelligence. They are distributed in plant and have autonomous functions, and cooperate each other to establish total plant function. Even if the plant has autonomous function, human operators have to always watch the plant state. Therefore, the needs of the observation system for autonomous, distributed, and cooperative functions are strongly required. The present paper has presented a new idea about the observation system, and developed fundamental functions for this observation system, that is, plant function model, auto-classification of plant states, three dimensional graphical display, expression of robot group's activity. Also, autonomous plant simulator has been developed for this research activity. Finally, the effectiveness of this observation system has been evaluated by experiments of operator's reaction to this system. (author)

  16. Comparative Analysis of Discovery Function of Cotton Future Price among Different Regions——A Case Study of Xinjiang

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2011-01-01

    Through comparative analysis, We research the relationship between cotton future price and cotton spot price in different regions, in order to formulate corresponding strategies in different regions under the new situation. We use ADF unit root test, E-G two-step cointegration test, Granger causality test, and other research methods in Eviews 5.0 statistical software, to empirically study the relationship between the cotton future price and cotton spot price in Xinjiang, the relationship between the cotton future price and cotton spot price in China. The results show that there is a long-term relationship between the cotton future price and cotton spot price in Xinjiang, between the cotton future price and cotton spot price in China; the cotton future price plays unidirectional role in guiding cotton spot price in Xinjiang and cotton spot price in China. The discovery function of cotton future price plays much greater role in the cotton market of China than in the cotton market of Xinjiang.

  17. Characterization of functional SSR markers in Prosopis alba and their transferability across Prosopis species

    OpenAIRE

    María F. Pomponio; Cintia Acuña; Vivien Pentreath; Diego L. Lauenstein; Susana M. Poltri; Susana Torales

    2015-01-01

    Aim of study: The aim of the study was to characterize functional microsatellite markers in Prosopis alba and examine the transferability to species from the Prosopis genus. Area of the study: samples were obtained from natural populations of Argentina. Material and Methods: Eleven SSR functional markers related to stress and metabolism were amplified in a sample of 152 genotypes from P.alba, P. denudans, P. hassleriP. chilensis, P. flexuosa, and interspecific hybrids. Main res...

  18. Characterization of the nitrogen split interstitial defect in wurtzite aluminum nitride using density functional theory

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Szállás, A.; Szász, K.; Trinh, X. T.; Son, N. T.; Janzén, E.; Gali, A.

    2014-01-01

    We carried out Heyd-Scuseria-Ernzerhof hybrid density functional theory plane wave supercell calculations in wurtzite aluminum nitride in order to characterize the geometry, formation energies, transition levels, and hyperfine tensors of the nitrogen split interstitial defect. The calculated hyperfine tensors may provide useful fingerprint of this defect for electron paramagnetic resonance measurement.

  19. Characterization of the nitrogen split interstitial defect in wurtzite aluminum nitride using density functional theory

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Szállás, A., E-mail: szallas.attila@wigner.mta.hu [Institute for Solid State Physics and Optics, Wigner Research Centre for Physics, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, P.O. Box 49, H-1525 Budapest (Hungary); Szász, K. [Institute for Solid State Physics and Optics, Wigner Research Centre for Physics, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, P.O. Box 49, H-1525 Budapest (Hungary); Institute of Physics, Eötvös University, Pázmány Péter sétány 1/A, H-1117 Budapest (Hungary); Trinh, X. T.; Son, N. T.; Janzén, E. [Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Linköping University, SE-581 83 Linköping (Sweden); Gali, A., E-mail: gali.adam@wigner.mta.hu [Institute for Solid State Physics and Optics, Wigner Research Centre for Physics, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, P.O. Box 49, H-1525 Budapest (Hungary); Department of Atomic Physics, Budapest University of Technology and Economics, Budafoki út 8, H-1111 Budapest (Hungary)

    2014-09-21

    We carried out Heyd-Scuseria-Ernzerhof hybrid density functional theory plane wave supercell calculations in wurtzite aluminum nitride in order to characterize the geometry, formation energies, transition levels, and hyperfine tensors of the nitrogen split interstitial defect. The calculated hyperfine tensors may provide useful fingerprint of this defect for electron paramagnetic resonance measurement.

  20. From land cover change to land function dynamics: A major challenge to improve land characterization

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Verburg, P.H.; Steeg, van de J.; Veldkamp, A.; Willemen, L.

    2009-01-01

    Land cover change has always had a central role in land change science. This central role is largely the result of the possibilities to map and characterize land cover based on observations and remote sensing. This paper argues that more attention should be given to land use and land functions and

  1. Cloning and functional characterization of the Rvi15 (Vr2) gene for apple scab resistance

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schouten, H.J.; Brinkhuis, J.; Burgh, van der S.; Schaart, J.; Groenwold, R.; Broggini, G.A.L.; Gessler, C.

    2014-01-01

    Apple scab, caused by Venturia inaequalis, is a serious disease of apple. Previously, the scab resistance Rvi15 (Vr2) from the accession GMAL 2473 was genetically mapped, and three candidate resistance genes were identified. Here, we report the cloning and functional characterization of these three

  2. [Patients with functional hypothalamic amenorrhea are characterized by low serum inhibin B concentrations].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Podfigurna-Stopa, Agnieszka; Luisi, Stefano; Lazzeri, Lucia; Ciani, Valentina; Meczekalski, Błazej; Petraglia, Felice

    2010-05-01

    Functional hypothalamic disturbances may be the cause of secondary amenorrhea and are related to aberration in both the pattern of pulsatility and amplitude in the release of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) in hypothalamus. Inhibin B, as an ovarian peptide plays a crucial role in reproduction function throughout regulation of folliculotropin (FSH) pituitary production and inhibiting GnRH secretion during the menstrual cycle. To measure and estimate serum inhibin B concentration in patients with functional hypothalamic amenorrhea. Material and methods. The study included 41 women suffering from functional hypothalamic amenorrhea. Secondary amenorrhea was defined as the lack of menstruation lasting at least 90 days not due to pregnancy, characterized by low serum concentrations of lutropin (LH < 5 mIU/ml)) and typical for functional hypothalamic disturbances anamnestic investigation. The control group consists of 40 healthy women with normal menstrual cycles and Body Mass Index (BMI between 18.5- 24.9 kg/m2). Medical history, examination and laboratory analysis of LH, FSH, estradiol (E), prolactin, testosterone and inhibin B were performed (ELISA--enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay). There are statistically lower serum inhibin B, FSH, LH, estradiol and prolactin concentrations in patients with functional hypothalamic amenorrhea in comparison to healthy women. Positive correlation between serum concentration of inhibin B and estradiol concentration was found in patients with functional hypothalamic amenorrhea. Patients with functional hypothalamic amenorrhea are characterized by statistical significant decrease in serum inhibin B concentration in comparison to the control group.

  3. Temporal Doppler Effect and Future Orientation: Adaptive Function and Moderating Conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gan, Yiqun; Miao, Miao; Zheng, Lei; Liu, Haihua

    2017-06-01

    The objectives of this study were to examine whether the temporal Doppler effect exists in different time intervals and whether certain individual and environmental factors act as moderators of the effect. Using hierarchical linear modeling, we examined the existence of the temporal Doppler effect and the moderating effect of future orientation among 139 university students (Study 1), and then the moderating conditions of the temporal Doppler effect using two independent samples of 143 and 147 university students (Studies 2 and 3). Results indicated that the temporal Doppler effect existed in all of our studies, and that future orientation moderated the temporal Doppler effect. Further, time interval perception mediated the relationship between future orientation and the motivation to cope at long time intervals. Finally, positive affect was found to enhance the temporal Doppler effect, whereas control deprivation did not influence the effect. The temporal Doppler effect is moderated by the personality trait of future orientation and by the situational variable of experimentally manipulated positive affect. We have identified personality and environmental processes that could enhance the temporal Doppler effect, which could be valuable in cases where attention to a future task is necessary. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  4. Preparation and characterization of novel functionalized prochloraz microcapsules using silica-alginate-elements as controlled release carrier materials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Wenbing; He, Shun; Liu, Yao; Geng, Qianqian; Ding, Guanglong; Guo, Mingcheng; Deng, Yufang; Zhu, Juanli; Li, Jianqiang; Cao, Yongsong

    2014-07-23

    Controlled release formulation of pesticides is an effective approach to achieve the desirable purpose of increasing the utilization of pesticides and reducing the environmental residuals. In this work, a novel functionalized microcapsule using silica cross-linked with alginate, and some beneficial elements to crops, was prepared. The microcapsules were structurally characterized by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy, thermogravimetric analysis, and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. The results showed that the microcapsules had a high loading efficiency of prochloraz (about 30% w/w) and could effectively protect prochloraz against degradation under UV irradiation and alkaline conditions, showed sustainable release for at least 60 days, and also likely increased disease resistance due to the element on the surface. Given the advantages of the microcapsules, this delivery system may be extended to other photosensitive or pH-sensitive pesticides in the future.

  5. Characterization of topological phases of dimerized Kitaev chain via edge correlation functions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Yucheng; Miao, Jian-Jian; Jin, Hui-Ke; Chen, Shu

    2017-11-01

    We study analytically topological properties of a noninteracting modified dimerized Kitaev chain and an exactly solvable interacting dimerized Kitaev chain under open boundary conditions by analyzing two introduced edge correlation functions. The interacting dimerized Kitaev chain at the symmetry point Δ =t and the chemical potential μ =0 can be exactly solved by applying two Jordan-Wigner transformations and a spin rotation, which permits us to calculate the edge correlation functions analytically. We demonstrate that the two edge correlation functions can be used to characterize the trivial, Su-Schrieffer-Heeger-like topological and topological superconductor phases of both the noninteracting and interacting systems and give their phase diagrams.

  6. Nutritional and functional characterization of barley flaxseed based functional dry soup mix.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaur, Sumeet; Das, Madhusweta

    2015-09-01

    Barley flaxseed based functional dry soup mix (BFSM) was developed from whole barely flour (46.296%), roasted flaxseed powder (23.148%) and the seasoning (30.555%) comprising several flavoring compounds and anticaking agent, using simple processing technique. Developed BFSM was nutritious. On dry matter basis it contained: protein (14.31%), carbohydrate excluding crude fiber (54.70%), fat (8.70%), ash (17.45%) and crude fiber (4.84%). It was low glycemic soup, free of antinutritional risk and had calorific value of 319.77 kcal/100 g (wet or sample basis, sb) estimated from its composition. 100 g (sb) of BFSM contained 4.36 g β-glucans and 8.08 g total lipid of which 25.6% was ω-3 fatty acids. Different extracts of BFSM revealed the presence of total phenols (0.57-1.86 mg gallic acid equivalent/g, sb) with antioxidants equivalence of DPPH (20.69-39.07%) and FRAP (120-331 μm Fe (II)/g, sb).

  7. Using Health Care Utilization and Publication Patterns to Characterize the Research Portfolio and to Plan Future Research Investments.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luba Katz

    Full Text Available Government funders of biomedical research are under increasing pressure to demonstrate societal benefits of their investments. A number of published studies attempted to correlate research funding levels with the societal burden for various diseases, with mixed results. We examined whether research funded by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA is well aligned with current and projected veterans' health needs. The organizational structure of the VA makes it a particularly suitable setting for examining these questions.We used the publication patterns and dollar expenditures of VA-funded researchers to characterize the VA research portfolio by disease. We used health care utilization data from the VA for the same diseases to define veterans' health needs. We then measured the level of correlation between the two and identified disease groups that were under- or over-represented in the research portfolio relative to disease expenditures. Finally, we used historic health care utilization trends combined with demographic projections to identify diseases and conditions that are increasing in costs and/or patient volume and consequently represent potential targets for future research investments.We found a significant correlation between research volume/expenditures and health utilization. Some disease groups were slightly under- or over-represented, but these deviations were relatively small. Diseases and conditions with the increasing utilization trend at the VA included hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, diabetes, hearing loss, sleeping disorders, complications of pregnancy, and several mental disorders.Research investments at the VA are well aligned with veteran health needs. The VA can continue to meet these needs by supporting research on the diseases and conditions with a growing number of patients, costs of care, or both. Our approach can be used by other funders of disease research to characterize their portfolios and to plan research

  8. Using Health Care Utilization and Publication Patterns to Characterize the Research Portfolio and to Plan Future Research Investments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Katz, Luba; Fink, Rebecca V; Bozeman, Samuel R; McNeil, Barbara J

    2014-01-01

    Government funders of biomedical research are under increasing pressure to demonstrate societal benefits of their investments. A number of published studies attempted to correlate research funding levels with the societal burden for various diseases, with mixed results. We examined whether research funded by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is well aligned with current and projected veterans' health needs. The organizational structure of the VA makes it a particularly suitable setting for examining these questions. We used the publication patterns and dollar expenditures of VA-funded researchers to characterize the VA research portfolio by disease. We used health care utilization data from the VA for the same diseases to define veterans' health needs. We then measured the level of correlation between the two and identified disease groups that were under- or over-represented in the research portfolio relative to disease expenditures. Finally, we used historic health care utilization trends combined with demographic projections to identify diseases and conditions that are increasing in costs and/or patient volume and consequently represent potential targets for future research investments. We found a significant correlation between research volume/expenditures and health utilization. Some disease groups were slightly under- or over-represented, but these deviations were relatively small. Diseases and conditions with the increasing utilization trend at the VA included hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, diabetes, hearing loss, sleeping disorders, complications of pregnancy, and several mental disorders. Research investments at the VA are well aligned with veteran health needs. The VA can continue to meet these needs by supporting research on the diseases and conditions with a growing number of patients, costs of care, or both. Our approach can be used by other funders of disease research to characterize their portfolios and to plan research investments.

  9. 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.

  10. Visit-to-visit blood pressure variability and future functional decline in old age

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ogliari, Giulia; Smit, Roelof A J; Westendorp, Rudi G J

    2016-01-01

    in basic and instrumental activities of daily living was measured using the Barthel (ADL) and Lawton (IADL) scales, first at 18 months and then during follow-up until 48 months. Functional decline was calculated over this period. RESULTS: BPV was not cross-sectionally associated with functional status...

  11. Cost of reproduction in a long-lived bird: incubation effort reduces immune function and future reproduction

    OpenAIRE

    Hanssen, S A; Hasselquist, Dennis; Folstad, I; Erikstad, K E

    2005-01-01

    Life-history theory predicts that increased current reproductive effort should lead to a fitness cost. This cost of reproduction may be observed as reduced survival or future reproduction, and may be caused by temporal suppression of immune function in stressed or hard-working individuals. In birds, consideration of the costs of incubating eggs has largely been neglected in favour of the costs of brood rearing. We manipulated incubation demand in two breeding seasons (2000 and 2001) in female...

  12. Functional Annotation of All Salmonid Genomes (FAASG): an international initiative supporting future salmonid research, conservation and aquaculture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Macqueen, Daniel J; Primmer, Craig R; Houston, Ross D; Nowak, Barbara F; Bernatchez, Louis; Bergseth, Steinar; Davidson, William S; Gallardo-Escárate, Cristian; Goldammer, Tom; Guiguen, Yann; Iturra, Patricia; Kijas, James W; Koop, Ben F; Lien, Sigbjørn; Maass, Alejandro; Martin, Samuel A M; McGinnity, Philip; Montecino, Martin; Naish, Kerry A; Nichols, Krista M; Ólafsson, Kristinn; Omholt, Stig W; Palti, Yniv; Plastow, Graham S; Rexroad, Caird E; Rise, Matthew L; Ritchie, Rachael J; Sandve, Simen R; Schulte, Patricia M; Tello, Alfredo; Vidal, Rodrigo; Vik, Jon Olav; Wargelius, Anna; Yáñez, José Manuel

    2017-06-27

    We describe an emerging initiative - the 'Functional Annotation of All Salmonid Genomes' (FAASG), which will leverage the extensive trait diversity that has evolved since a whole genome duplication event in the salmonid ancestor, to develop an integrative understanding of the functional genomic basis of phenotypic variation. The outcomes of FAASG will have diverse applications, ranging from improved understanding of genome evolution, to improving the efficiency and sustainability of aquaculture production, supporting the future of fundamental and applied research in an iconic fish lineage of major societal importance.

  13. Characterization of the functions and proteomes associated with membrane rafts in chicken sperm.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ai Ushiyama

    Full Text Available Cellular membranes are heterogeneous, and this has a great impact on cellular function. Despite the central role of membrane functions in multiple cellular processes in sperm, their molecular mechanisms are poorly understood. Membrane rafts are specific membrane domains enriched in cholesterol, ganglioside GM1, and functional proteins, and they are involved in the regulation of a variety of cellular functions. Studies of the functional characterization of membrane rafts in mammalian sperm have demonstrated roles in sperm-egg binding and the acrosomal reaction. Recently, our biochemical and cell biological studies showed that membrane rafts are present and might play functional roles in chicken sperm. In this study, we isolated membrane rafts from chicken sperm as a detergent-resistant membranes (DRM floating on a density gradient in the presence of 1% Triton X-100, and characterized the function and proteomes associated with these domains. Biochemical comparison of the DRM between fresh and cryopreserved sperm demonstrated that cryopreservation induces cholesterol loss specifically from membrane rafts, indicating the functional connection with reduced post-thaw fertility in chicken sperm. Furthermore, using an avidin-biotin system, we found that sperm DRM is highly enriched in a 60 KDa single protein able to bind to the inner perivitelline layer. To identify possible roles of membrane rafts, quantitative proteomics, combined with a stable isotope dimethyl labeling approach, identified 82 proteins exclusively or relatively more associated with membrane rafts. Our results demonstrate the functional distinctions between membrane domains and provide compelling evidence that membrane rafts are involved in various cellular pathways inherent to chicken sperm.

  14. NATO Advanced Study Institute on Scanning Probe Microscopy : Characterization, Nanofabrication and Device Application of Functional Materials

    CERN Document Server

    Vilarinho, Paula Maria; Kingon, Angus; Scanning Probe Microscopy : Characterization, Nanofabrication and Device Application of Functional Materials

    2005-01-01

    As the characteristic dimensions of electronic devices continue to shrink, the ability to characterize their electronic properties at the nanometer scale has come to be of outstanding importance. In this sense, Scanning Probe Microscopy (SPM) is becoming an indispensable tool, playing a key role in nanoscience and nanotechnology. SPM is opening new opportunities to measure semiconductor electronic properties with unprecedented spatial resolution. SPM is being successfully applied for nanoscale characterization of ferroelectric thin films. In the area of functional molecular materials it is being used as a probe to contact molecular structures in order to characterize their electrical properties, as a manipulator to assemble nanoparticles and nanotubes into simple devices, and as a tool to pattern molecular nanostructures. This book provides in-depth information on new and emerging applications of SPM to the field of materials science, namely in the areas of characterisation, device application and nanofabrica...

  15. Comprehensive functional characterization of the glycoside hydrolase family 3 enzymes from Cellvibrio japonicus reveals unique metabolic roles in biomass saccharification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nelson, Cassandra E; Attia, Mohamed A; Rogowski, Artur; Morland, Carl; Brumer, Harry; Gardner, Jeffrey G

    2017-12-01

    Lignocellulose degradation is central to the carbon cycle and renewable biotechnologies. The xyloglucan (XyG), β(1→3)/β(1→4) mixed-linkage glucan (MLG) and β(1→3) glucan components of lignocellulose represent significant carbohydrate energy sources for saprophytic microorganisms. The bacterium Cellvibrio japonicus has a robust capacity for plant polysaccharide degradation, due to a genome encoding a large contingent of Carbohydrate-Active enZymes (CAZymes), many of whose specific functions remain unknown. Using a comprehensive genetic and biochemical approach, we have delineated the physiological roles of the four C. japonicus glycoside hydrolase family 3 (GH3) members on diverse β-glucans. Despite high protein sequence similarity and partially overlapping activity profiles on disaccharides, these β-glucosidases are not functionally equivalent. Bgl3A has a major role in MLG and sophorose utilization, and supports β(1→3) glucan utilization, while Bgl3B underpins cellulose utilization and supports MLG utilization. Bgl3C drives β(1→3) glucan utilization. Finally, Bgl3D is the crucial β-glucosidase for XyG utilization. This study not only sheds the light on the metabolic machinery of C. japonicus, but also expands the repertoire of characterized CAZymes for future deployment in biotechnological applications. In particular, the precise functional analysis provided here serves as a reference for informed bioinformatics on the genomes of other Cellvibrio and related species. © 2017 Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  16. Comprehensive functional characterization of the Glycoside Hydrolase Family 3 enzymes from Cellvibrio japonicus reveals unique metabolic roles in biomass saccharification

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nelson, Cassandra E.; Attia, Mohamed A.; Rogowski, Artur; Morland, Carl; Brumer, Harry; Gardner, Jeffrey G.

    2017-01-01

    Here, lignocellulose degradation is central to the carbon cycle and renewable biotechnologies. The xyloglucan (XyG), β(1!3)/β(1!4) mixed-linkage glucan (MLG), and β(1!3) glucan components of lignocellulose represent significant carbohydrate energy sources for saprophytic microorganisms. The bacterium Cellvibrio japonicus has a robust capacity for plant polysaccharide degradation, due to a genome encoding a large contingent of Carbohydrate-Active Enzymes (CAZymes), many of whose specific functions remain unknown. Using a comprehensive genetic and biochemical approach we have delineated the physiological roles of the four C. japonicus Glycoside Hydrolase Family 3 (GH3) members on diverse β-glucans. Despite high protein sequence similarity and partially overlapping activity profiles on disaccharides, these β-glucosidases are not functionally equivalent. Bgl3A has a major role in MLG and sophorose utilization, and supports β(1!3) glucan utilization, while Bgl3B underpins cellulose utilization and supports MLG utilization. Bgl3C drives β(1!3) glucan utilization. Finally, Bgl3D is the crucial β-glucosidase for XyG utilization. This study not only sheds the light on the metabolic machinery of C. japonicus, but also expands the repertoire of characterized CAZymes for future deployment in biotechnological applications. In particular, the precise functional analysis provided here serves as a reference for informed bioinformatics on the genomes of other Cellvibrio and related species.

  17. Functional Group and Structural Characterization of Unmodified and Functionalized Lignin by Titration, Elemental Analysis, 1H NMR and FTIR Techniques

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ramin Bairami Habashi

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Lignin is the second most abundant polymer in the world after cellulose. Therefore, characterization of the structure and functional groups of lignin in order to assess its potential applications in various technical fields has become a necessity. One of the major problems related to the characterization of lignin is the lack of well-defined protocols and standards. In this paper, systematic studies have been done to characterize the structure and functional groups of lignin quantitatively using different techniques such as elemental analysis, titration and 1H NMR and FTIR techniques. Lignin as a black liquor was obtained from Choka Paper Factory and it was purified before any test. The lignin was reacted with α-bromoisobutyryl bromide to calculate the number of hydroxyl and methoxyl moles. Using 1H NMR spectroscopic method on α-bromoisobutyrylated lignin (BiBL in the presence of a given amount of N,N-dimethylformamide (DMF as an internal standard, the number of moles of hydroxyl and methoxyl groups per gram of lignin was found to be 6.44 mmol/g and 6.64 mmol/g, respectively. Using aqueous titration, the number of moles of phenolic hydroxyl groups and carboxyl groups of the lignin were calculated as 3.13 mmol/g and 2.84 mmol/g, respectively. The findings obtained by 1H NMR and elemental analysis indicated to phenyl propane unit of the lignin with C9 structural formula as C9 HAl 3.84HAr2.19S0.2O0.8(OH1.38(OCH31.42. Due to poor solubility of the lignin in tetrahydrofuran (THF, acetylated lignin was used in the GPC analysis, by which number-average molecular weight  of the lignin was calculated as 992 g/mol.

  18. Structural and functional characterization of HPHT diamond crystals used in photoconductive devices

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pace, E.; Pini, A. [Florence Univ. (Italy). Ist. di Astronomia; Vinattieri, A.; Bogani, F.; Santoro, M.; Messina, G.; Santangelo, S.; Sato, Y.

    2000-09-01

    Diamond films are extensively studied for applications as functional material for UV photoconductors. CVD-grown polycrystalline diamond films show very interesting performances, but their complete exploitation is actually limited by a slow time response if compared to other materials, by a relatively high concentration of structural defects, impurities and grain boundaries, which may affect the collection length of photogenerated charges. High-quality single crystal diamonds could solve some of these problems. The absence of grain boundaries can produce longer collection lengths. The nitrogen and impurity contents can be reduced and then large type-IIa diamond single-crystals can be obtained. In this work, a detailed structural and functional characterization of type Ib HPHT diamond crystals has been carried out and the results have been compared to similar characterizations of CVD films to evaluate the different behavior, taking also into account that these high pressure high temperature (HPHT) diamond crystals contain several tens ppm of nitrogen. (orig.)

  19. Exopolysaccharide from Lactobacillus fermentum Lf2 and its functional characterization as a yogurt additive.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ale, Elisa C; Perezlindo, Marcos J; Burns, Patricia; Tabacman, Eduardo; Reinheimer, Jorge A; Binetti, Ana G

    2016-11-01

    Lactobacillus fermentum Lf2 is a strain which is able to produce high levels (approximately 1 g/l) of crude exopolysaccharide (EPS) when it is grown in optimised conditions. The aim of this work was to characterize the functional aspects of this EPS extract, focusing on its application as a dairy food additive. Our findings are consistent with an EPS extract that acts as moderate immunomodulator, modifying s-IgA and IL-6 levels in the small intestine when added to yogurt and milk, respectively. Furthermore, this EPS extract, in a dose feasible to use as a food additive, provides protection against Salmonella infection in a murine model, thus representing a mode of action to elicit positive health benefits. Besides, it contributes to the rheological characteristics of yogurt, and could function as a food additive with both technological and functional roles, making possible the production of a new functional yogurt with improved texture.

  20. Spectroscopic and thermal characterization of carbon nanotubes functionalized through diazonium salt reduction

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pandurangappa, Malingappa; Ramakrishnappa, Thippeswamy

    2010-01-01

    Chemical reduction of anthraquinone diazonium chloride (Fast Red AL salt) in presence of hypophosphorous acid and carbon nanotubes results in anthraquinonyl functionalized carbon nanotubes. The surface functionalized moieties have been examined electrochemically by immobilizing them onto the surface of basal plane pyrolytic graphite electrode and studying its voltammetric behaviour. The effect of pH, and scan rate has revealed that the modified species are confined on the electrode surface. The spectroscopic characterization of the modified single walled carbon nanotubes using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, X-ray photoemission spectroscopy, thermogravimetric analysis and transmission electron microscopy have revealed that the modifier molecules are covalently bonded on the surface of carbon nanotubes.

  1. Spectroscopic and thermal characterization of carbon nanotubes functionalized through diazonium salt reduction

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pandurangappa, Malingappa, E-mail: mprangachem@gmail.com [Department of Chemistry, Bangalore University, Central College Campus, Dr Ambedkar Veedhi, Bangalore 560 001 (India); Ramakrishnappa, Thippeswamy [Department of Chemistry, Bangalore University, Central College Campus, Dr Ambedkar Veedhi, Bangalore 560 001 (India)

    2010-08-01

    Chemical reduction of anthraquinone diazonium chloride (Fast Red AL salt) in presence of hypophosphorous acid and carbon nanotubes results in anthraquinonyl functionalized carbon nanotubes. The surface functionalized moieties have been examined electrochemically by immobilizing them onto the surface of basal plane pyrolytic graphite electrode and studying its voltammetric behaviour. The effect of pH, and scan rate has revealed that the modified species are confined on the electrode surface. The spectroscopic characterization of the modified single walled carbon nanotubes using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, X-ray photoemission spectroscopy, thermogravimetric analysis and transmission electron microscopy have revealed that the modifier molecules are covalently bonded on the surface of carbon nanotubes.

  2. An expert system to characterize the surface morphological properties according to their functionalities

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bigerelle, M; Mathia, T; Iost, A; Correvits, T; Anselme, K

    2011-01-01

    In this paper we propose a new methodology to characterize the morphological properties of a surface in relation with its functionality (tribological properties, surface coating adhesion, brightness, wettability...). We create a software based on experimental design and surface profile recording. Using an appropriate database structure, the roughness parameters are automatically computed at different scales. The surface files are saved in a hard disk directory and roughness parameters are computed at different scales. Finally, a statistical analysis system proposes the roughness parameter (or the pair of roughness parameters) that better describe(s) the functionality of the surface and the spatial scales at which the parameter(s) is (are) the more relevant.

  3. An expert system to characterize the surface morphological properties according to their functionalities

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bigerelle, M [Laboratoire Roberval, UMR 6253, UTC/CNRS, UTC Centre de Recherches de Royallieu BP 20529, 60205 Compiegne France stol BS1 6BE (United Kingdom); Mathia, T [Laboratoire de Tribologie et Dynamique des Systemes, UMR 5513, Ecole Centrale de Lyon, 36 Av Guy de Collongue, 69134 Ecully Cedex (France); Iost, A [Laboratoire de Mecanique de Lille, UMR CNRS 8107, Arts et Metiers ParisTech - Lille, 8, boulevard Louis XIV 59046 Lille (France); Correvits, T [Laboratoire de Metrologie. Arts et Metiers ParisTech, ENSAM, 8 boulevard Louis XIV, 59046 LILLE Cedex (France); Anselme, K, E-mail: maxence.bigerelle@utc.fr [Institut De Sciences Des Materiaux De Mulhouse, CNRS LRC 7228, 15, rue Jean Starcky, Universite De Haute-Alsace, BP 2488, 68057 Mulhouse (France)

    2011-08-19

    In this paper we propose a new methodology to characterize the morphological properties of a surface in relation with its functionality (tribological properties, surface coating adhesion, brightness, wettability...). We create a software based on experimental design and surface profile recording. Using an appropriate database structure, the roughness parameters are automatically computed at different scales. The surface files are saved in a hard disk directory and roughness parameters are computed at different scales. Finally, a statistical analysis system proposes the roughness parameter (or the pair of roughness parameters) that better describe(s) the functionality of the surface and the spatial scales at which the parameter(s) is (are) the more relevant.

  4. Functional characterization of planar sensors with active edges using laser and X-ray beam scans

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Povoli, M.; Bagolini, A.; Boscardin, M.; Dalla Betta, G.-F.; Giacomini, G.; Hasi, J.; Oh, A.; Zorzi, N.

    2013-01-01

    We report on the functional characterization of planar sensors with active edges fabricated at Fondazione Bruno Kessler (FBK), Trento, Italy. The measurements here reported were performed by means of laser and X-ray beam scans mainly focusing on the signal efficiency of the edge region of the devices. Results are very encouraging and show very good sensitivity up to few microns away from the device physical edge

  5. Functional characterization of planar sensors with active edges using laser and X-ray beam scans

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Povoli, M., E-mail: povoli@disi.unitn.it [Dipartimento di Ingegneria e Scienza dell' Informazione, Università di Trento, Via Sommarive, 14, I-38123 Povo di Trento (Italy); INFN, Sezione di Padova (Gruppo Collegato di Trento),Via Sommarive, 14, I-38123 Povo di Trento (Italy); Bagolini, A.; Boscardin, M. [Fondazione Bruno Kessler, Centro per i Materiali e i Microsistemi (FBK-CMM), Via Sommarive, 18, I-38123 Povo di Trento (Italy); Dalla Betta, G.-F. [Dipartimento di Ingegneria e Scienza dell' Informazione, Università di Trento, Via Sommarive, 14, I-38123 Povo di Trento (Italy); INFN, Sezione di Padova (Gruppo Collegato di Trento),Via Sommarive, 14, I-38123 Povo di Trento (Italy); Giacomini, G. [Fondazione Bruno Kessler, Centro per i Materiali e i Microsistemi (FBK-CMM), Via Sommarive, 18, I-38123 Povo di Trento (Italy); Hasi, J. [SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, 2575 Sand Hill Road, Menlo Park, CA 94025-7015 (United States); Oh, A. [The University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9PL (United Kingdom); Zorzi, N. [Fondazione Bruno Kessler, Centro per i Materiali e i Microsistemi (FBK-CMM), Via Sommarive, 18, I-38123 Povo di Trento (Italy)

    2013-08-01

    We report on the functional characterization of planar sensors with active edges fabricated at Fondazione Bruno Kessler (FBK), Trento, Italy. The measurements here reported were performed by means of laser and X-ray beam scans mainly focusing on the signal efficiency of the edge region of the devices. Results are very encouraging and show very good sensitivity up to few microns away from the device physical edge.

  6. Characterization of functional polymers by NMR; Caracterizacao de polimeros funcionalizados por ressonancia magnetica nuclear

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Neto, Oscar H.S. A.S.; San Gil, Rosane A.S.; Nakayama, T; Costa Neto, Claudio [Universidade Federal, Rio de Janeiro, RJ (Brazil). Inst. de Quimica

    1994-12-31

    Several synthetic polymers are used in the chemical analysis of complexes mixtures aiming to extract certain specific functional groups for further identification. This work describes the utilization of NMR in the characterization of one of the above mentioned compounds which will be used as reagent for the synthesis of another compound of the same type, which will be further used in the chemical analysis of alcohols and phenols. The methodology is described. The results are described and discussed 4 refs., 2 figs.

  7. Synthesis and Characterization of Block Copolymers with Unique Chemical Functionalities and Entropically-Hindering Moieties

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-08-14

    methanol as a function of chemistry , morphology and hydration levels. Accomplishments: This section is included in the "upload" section. Training...Copolymer Blend Membranes.” In Press, Polymer Engineering and Science, DOI: 10.1002 /pen.24508, 2017. 5. M. Pérez-Pérez and D. Suleiman. “Synthesis and...Synthesis and Characterization of Sulfonated Amine Block Copolymers for Energy Efficient Applications". Chemical Engineering Symposium, University of

  8. Expression and functional characterization of Smyd1a in myofibril organization of skeletal muscles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gao, Jie; Li, Junling; Li, Bao-Jun; Yagil, Ezra; Zhang, Jianshe; Du, Shao Jun

    2014-01-01

    Smyd1, the founding member of the Smyd family including Smyd-1, 2, 3, 4 and 5, is a SET and MYND domain containing protein that plays a key role in myofibril assembly in skeletal and cardiac muscles. Bioinformatic analysis revealed that zebrafish genome contains two highly related smyd1 genes, smyd1a and smyd1b. Although Smyd1b function is well characterized in skeletal and cardiac muscles, the function of Smyd1a is, however, unknown. To investigate the function of Smyd1a in muscle development, we isolated smyd1a from zebrafish, and characterized its expression and function during muscle development via gene knockdown and transgenic expression approaches. The results showed that smyd1a was strongly expressed in skeletal muscles of zebrafish embryos. Functional analysis revealed that knockdown of smyd1a alone had no significant effect on myofibril assembly in zebrafish skeletal muscles. However, knockdown of smyd1a and smyd1b together resulted in a complete disruption of myofibril organization in skeletal muscles, a phenotype stronger than knockdown of smyd1a or smyd1b alone. Moreover, ectopic expression of zebrafish smyd1a or mouse Smyd1 transgene could rescue the myofibril defects from the smyd1b knockdown in zebrafish embryos. Collectively, these data indicate that Smyd1a and Smyd1b share similar biological activity in myofibril assembly in zebrafish embryos. However, Smyd1b appears to play a major role in this process.

  9. Functional characterization of Anaphase Promoting Complex/Cyclosome (APC/C) E3 ubiquitin ligases in tumorigenesis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Jinfang; Wan, Lixin; Dai, Xiangpeng; Sun, Yi; Wei, Wenyi

    2014-01-01

    The Anaphase Promoting Complex/Cyclosome (APC/C) is a multi-subunit E3 ubiquitin ligase that primarily governs cell cycle progression. APC/C is composed of at least 14 core subunits and recruits its substrates for ubiquitination via one of the two adaptor proteins, Cdc20 or Cdh1, in M or M/early G1 phase, respectively. Furthermore, recent studies have shed light on crucial functions for APC/C in maintaining genomic integrity, neuronal differentiation, cellular metabolism and tumorigenesis. To gain better insight into the in vivo physiological functions of APC/C in regulating various cellular processes, particularly development and tumorigenesis, a number of mouse models of APC/C core subunits, coactivators or inhibitors have been established and characterized. However, due to their essential role in cell cycle regulation, most of the germline knockout mice targeting the APC/C pathway are embryonic lethal, indicating the need for generating conditional knockout mouse models to assess the role in tumorigenesis for each APC/C signaling component in specific tissues. In this review, we will first provide a brief introduction of the ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS) and the biochemical activities and cellular functions of the APC/C E3 ligase. We will then focus primarily on characterizing genetic mouse models used to understand the physiological roles of each APC/C signaling component in embryogenesis, cell proliferation, development and carcinogenesis. Finally, we discuss future research directions to further elucidate the physiological contributions of APC/C components during tumorigenesis and validate their potentials as a novel class of anti-cancer targets. PMID:24569229

  10. Nitrile functionalized halloysite nanotubes/poly(arylene ether nitrile) nanocomposites: Interface control, characterization, and improved properties

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wan, Xinyi; Zhan, Yingqing; Zeng, Guangyong; He, Yi

    2017-01-01

    Highlights: • Novel nitrile functionalized HNTs were realized through the covalent bonding. • Then modified HNTs showed good dispersion and interfacial adhesion with PEN. • The modified HNTs exhibited excellent reinforcement effect on PEN. • The chemical crosslinking between HNTs and PEN further enhanced the performance of nanocomposites. - Abstract: To develop high-performance halloysite nanotube (HNT)-based nanocomposites, the two key issues need to be considered: precise interface control and the dispersal of HNTs. This study presents an efficient way to functionalize halloysite nanotubes with 3-aminophenoxy-phthalonitrile, followed by compounding with poly(arylene ether nitrile) (PEN), to prepare functional nanocomposite films. The surface functionalization of HNTs was characterized and confirmed by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Compared with neat PEN, the tensile strength and modulus of the resulting PEN nanocomposites with 3 wt% functionalized HNTs were found to increase by 25.7% and 20.7%, respectively. The good dispersion and high capacitance of the dielectric layer resulted in PEN/HNTs nancomposites with enhanced dielectric permittivity and relatively low dielectric loss. Moreover, the addition of functional HNTs greatly improved the thermal stability of PEN, which could be further enhanced through the chemical cross-linking reaction between the functional HNTs and the PEN matrix. This work provides a new path toward obtaining advanced polymer-based nanocomposites with functional properties.

  11. Nitrile functionalized halloysite nanotubes/poly(arylene ether nitrile) nanocomposites: Interface control, characterization, and improved properties

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wan, Xinyi [School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Southwest Petroleum University, 8 Xindu Avenue, Chengdu, Sichuan, 610500 (China); Zhan, Yingqing, E-mail: 201599010032@swpu.edu.cn [School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Southwest Petroleum University, 8 Xindu Avenue, Chengdu, Sichuan, 610500 (China); Oil & Gas Field Applied Chemistry Key Laboratory of Sichuan Province, Southwest Petroleum University, Chengdu, Sichuan, China, 610500 (China); Zeng, Guangyong [School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Southwest Petroleum University, 8 Xindu Avenue, Chengdu, Sichuan, 610500 (China); He, Yi, E-mail: heyi007@163.com [School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Southwest Petroleum University, 8 Xindu Avenue, Chengdu, Sichuan, 610500 (China); Oil & Gas Field Applied Chemistry Key Laboratory of Sichuan Province, Southwest Petroleum University, Chengdu, Sichuan, China, 610500 (China); State Key Lab of Oil and Gas Reservoir Geology and Exploitation, Southwest Petroleum University, 8Xindu Avenue, Chengdu, Sichuan, 610500 (China)

    2017-01-30

    Highlights: • Novel nitrile functionalized HNTs were realized through the covalent bonding. • Then modified HNTs showed good dispersion and interfacial adhesion with PEN. • The modified HNTs exhibited excellent reinforcement effect on PEN. • The chemical crosslinking between HNTs and PEN further enhanced the performance of nanocomposites. - Abstract: To develop high-performance halloysite nanotube (HNT)-based nanocomposites, the two key issues need to be considered: precise interface control and the dispersal of HNTs. This study presents an efficient way to functionalize halloysite nanotubes with 3-aminophenoxy-phthalonitrile, followed by compounding with poly(arylene ether nitrile) (PEN), to prepare functional nanocomposite films. The surface functionalization of HNTs was characterized and confirmed by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Compared with neat PEN, the tensile strength and modulus of the resulting PEN nanocomposites with 3 wt% functionalized HNTs were found to increase by 25.7% and 20.7%, respectively. The good dispersion and high capacitance of the dielectric layer resulted in PEN/HNTs nancomposites with enhanced dielectric permittivity and relatively low dielectric loss. Moreover, the addition of functional HNTs greatly improved the thermal stability of PEN, which could be further enhanced through the chemical cross-linking reaction between the functional HNTs and the PEN matrix. This work provides a new path toward obtaining advanced polymer-based nanocomposites with functional properties.

  12. Characterization and prediction of chemical functions and weight fractions in consumer products

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kristin K. Isaacs

    Full Text Available Assessing exposures from the thousands of chemicals in commerce requires quantitative information on the chemical constituents of consumer products. Unfortunately, gaps in available composition data prevent assessment of exposure to chemicals in many products. Here we propose filling these gaps via consideration of chemical functional role. We obtained function information for thousands of chemicals from public sources and used a clustering algorithm to assign chemicals into 35 harmonized function categories (e.g., plasticizers, antimicrobials, solvents. We combined these functions with weight fraction data for 4115 personal care products (PCPs to characterize the composition of 66 different product categories (e.g., shampoos. We analyzed the combined weight fraction/function dataset using machine learning techniques to develop quantitative structure property relationship (QSPR classifier models for 22 functions and for weight fraction, based on chemical-specific descriptors (including chemical properties. We applied these classifier models to a library of 10196 data-poor chemicals. Our predictions of chemical function and composition will inform exposure-based screening of chemicals in PCPs for combination with hazard data in risk-based evaluation frameworks. As new information becomes available, this approach can be applied to other classes of products and the chemicals they contain in order to provide essential consumer product data for use in exposure-based chemical prioritization. Keywords: Chemical function, Exposure modeling, Chemical prioritization, Consumer products, Cosmetics, ExpoCast

  13. Physico-chemical characterization of functionalized polypropylenic fibers for prosthetic applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nisticò, Roberto; Faga, Maria Giulia; Gautier, Giovanna; Magnacca, Giuliana; D'Angelo, Domenico; Ciancio, Emanuele; Piacenza, Giacomo; Lamberti, Roberta; Martorana, Selanna

    2012-08-01

    Polypropylene (PP) fibers can be manufactured to form nets which can find application as prosthesis in hernioplasty. One of the most important problem to deal with when nets are applied in vivo consists in the reproduction of bacteria within the net fibers intersections. This occurs right after the application of the prosthesis, and causes infections, thus it is fundamental to remove bacteria in the very early stage of the nets application. This paper deals with the physico-chemical characterization of such nets, pre-treated by atmospheric pressure plasma dielectric barrier discharge apparatus (APP-DBD) and functionalized with an antibiotic drug such as chitosan. The physico-chemical characterization of sterilized nets, before and after the functionalization with chitosan, was carried out by means of scanning electron microscopy (SEM) coupled with EDS spectroscopy, FTIR spectroscopy, drop shape analysis (DSA), X-ray diffraction and thermal analyses (TGA and DSC). The aim of the work is to individuate a good strategy to characterize this kind of materials, to understand the effects of polypropylene pre-treatment on functionalization efficiency, to follow the materials ageing in order to study the effects of the surface treatment for in vivo applications.

  14. Physico-chemical characterization of functionalized polypropylenic fibers for prosthetic applications

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nisticò, Roberto; Faga, Maria Giulia; Gautier, Giovanna; Magnacca, Giuliana; D’Angelo, Domenico; Ciancio, Emanuele; Piacenza, Giacomo; Lamberti, Roberta; Martorana, Selanna

    2012-01-01

    Polypropylene (PP) fibers can be manufactured to form nets which can find application as prosthesis in hernioplasty. One of the most important problem to deal with when nets are applied in vivo consists in the reproduction of bacteria within the net fibers intersections. This occurs right after the application of the prosthesis, and causes infections, thus it is fundamental to remove bacteria in the very early stage of the nets application. This paper deals with the physico-chemical characterization of such nets, pre-treated by atmospheric pressure plasma dielectric barrier discharge apparatus (APP-DBD) and functionalized with an antibiotic drug such as chitosan. The physico-chemical characterization of sterilized nets, before and after the functionalization with chitosan, was carried out by means of scanning electron microscopy (SEM) coupled with EDS spectroscopy, FTIR spectroscopy, drop shape analysis (DSA), X-ray diffraction and thermal analyses (TGA and DSC). The aim of the work is to individuate a good strategy to characterize this kind of materials, to understand the effects of polypropylene pre-treatment on functionalization efficiency, to follow the materials ageing in order to study the effects of the surface treatment for in vivo applications.

  15. Analysis, manufacture and characterization of Ni/Cu functionally graded structures

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rubio, Wilfredo Montealegre; Paulino, Glaucio H.; Silva, Emilio Carlos Nelli

    2012-01-01

    Highlights: ► Functionally graded structures (FGSs) of nickel and copper can be manufactured. ► The hardness curve of FGS can be used for approximating the gradation function of elastic properties. ► The graded finite element approaches with great accuracy the FGS resonance frequencies obtained experimentally. -- Abstract: In this work, an experimental and numerical analysis and characterization of functionally graded structures (FGSs) is developed. Nickel (Ni) and copper (Cu) materials are used as basic materials in the numerical modeling and experimental characterization. For modeling, a MATLAB finite element code is developed, which allows simulation of harmonic and modal analysis considering the graded finite element formulation. For experimental characterization, Ni–Cu FGSs are manufactured by using spark plasma sintering technique. Hardness and Young’s modulus are found by using microindentation and ultrasonic measurements, respectively. The effective gradation of Ni/Cu FGS is addressed by means of optical microscopy, energy dispersive spectrometry, scanning electron microscopy and hardness testing. For the purpose of comparing modeling and experimental results, the hardness curve, along the gradation direction, is used for identifying the gradation profile; accordingly, the experimental hardness curve is used for approximating the Young’s modulus variation and the graded finite element modeling is used for verification. For the first two resonance frequency values, a difference smaller than 1% between simulated and experimental results is obtained.

  16. Characterization of Bovine Serum Albumin Blocking Efficiency on Epoxy-Functionalized Substrates for Microarray Applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Yung-Shin; Zhu, Xiangdong

    2016-10-01

    Microarrays provide a platform for high-throughput characterization of biomolecular interactions. To increase the sensitivity and specificity of microarrays, surface blocking is required to minimize the nonspecific interactions between analytes and unprinted yet functionalized surfaces. To block amine- or epoxy-functionalized substrates, bovine serum albumin (BSA) is one of the most commonly used blocking reagents because it is cheap and easy to use. Based on standard protocols from microarray manufactories, a BSA concentration of 1% (10 mg/mL or 200 μM) and reaction time of at least 30 min are required to efficiently block epoxy-coated slides. In this paper, we used both fluorescent and label-free methods to characterize the BSA blocking efficiency on epoxy-functionalized substrates. The blocking efficiency of BSA was characterized using a fluorescent scanner and a label-free oblique-incidence reflectivity difference (OI-RD) microscope. We found that (1) a BSA concentration of 0.05% (0.5 mg/mL or 10 μM) could give a blocking efficiency of 98%, and (2) the BSA blocking step took only about 5 min to be complete. Also, from real-time and in situ measurements, we were able to calculate the conformational properties (thickness, mass density, and number density) of BSA molecules deposited on the epoxy surface. © 2015 Society for Laboratory Automation and Screening.

  17. Current status and future of non-invasive studies of human brain functions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shibasaki, Hiroshi

    2008-01-01

    Currently available non-invasive studies are divided into two groups: electrophysiological studies and functional neuroimaging based on the hemodynamic principle. The former includes electroencephalography (EEG), magnetoencephalography (MEG) and transcranial magnetic stimulation, and the latter includes functional MRI, positron emission tomography (PET), single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) and near-infrared spectroscopy. The hemodynamic response has been shown to be correlated with neuronal electrical activity, especially with synaptic activity rather than spiking activity, within a certain range. Since each technique has advantage and disadvantage, it is important to apply the most appropriate technique to solve each specific question. The combined use of more than one techniques of different principles, if possible, provides data of higher spatial and temporal resolution. Functional connectivity among different brain areas can be studied by using some of these techniques either alone or in combination. (author)

  18. Future value now. The power of function combinations; Toekomstwaarde nu. De kracht van functiecombinaties

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    2012-04-15

    In combining usage functions of buildings or areas, powerful drivers for developments in urban and rural areas can be created. Combinations of functions provide new revenues with social benefits at a lower cost. Unexpected business cases become promising. Many examples of function combinations are mapped. These concern practical innovations with regard to area development, energy, water, soil, environment, nature, agriculture, mobility and urban renewal [Dutch] Door gebruiksfuncties van gebouwen of gebieden te combineren, ontstaan krachtige aanjagers voor ontwikkelingen in het stedelijke en landelijke gebied. Functiecombinaties leveren nieuwe verdienmodellen op waarvan de essentie meer maatschappelijk rendement is, tegen lagere kosten. Onverwachte businesscases worden kansrijk. Er is een groot aantal voorbeelden van functiecombinaties in beeld gebracht. Het gaat om praktijkinnovaties op het snijvlak van gebiedsontwikkeling, energie, water, bodem, milieu, natuur, landbouw, mobiliteit en stedelijke vernieuwing.

  19. Space Flight and Manual Control: Implications for Sensorimotor Function on Future Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reschke, Millard F.; Kornilova, Ludmila; Tomilovskaya, Elena; Parker, Donald E.; Leigh, R. John; Kozlovskaya, Inessa

    2009-01-01

    Control of vehicles, and other complex mechanical motion systems, is a high-level integrative function of the central nervous system (CNS) that requires good visual acuity, eye-hand coordination, spatial (and, in some cases, geographic) orientation perception, and cognitive function. Existing evidence from space flight research (Paloski et.al., 2008, Clement and Reschke 2008, Reschke et al., 2007) demonstrates that the function of each of these systems is altered by removing (and subsequently by reintroducing) a gravitational field that can be sensed by vestibular, proprioceptive, and haptic receptors and used by the CNS for spatial orientation, navigation, and coordination of movements. Furthermore, much of the operational performance data collected as a function of space flight has not been available for independent analysis, and those data that have been reviewed are equivocal owing to uncontrolled environmental and/or engineering factors. Thus, our current understanding, when it comes to manual control, is limited primarily to a review of those situations where manual control has been a factor. One of the simplest approaches to the manual control problem is to review shuttle landing data. See the Figure below for those landing for which we have Shuttle velocities over the runway threshold.

  20. Back to the future; new functions for rural areas in Europe

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Os, van J.; Klundert, van de A.F.; Dietvorst, A.G.J.

    1995-01-01

    As part of the project Rural Areas and Europe of the Netherlands Spatial Planning Department a study was carried out in which integrated rural development was one of the answers to the economic and environmental problems of agriculture. The study focused on four possible new functions: water

  1. Embedding multiple self-organisation functionalities in future radio access networks

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jansen, T.; Amirijoo, M.; Türke, U.; Jorguseski, L.; Zetterberg, K.; Nascimento, J.R.V. do; Schmelz, L.C.; Turk, J.; Balan, I.

    2009-01-01

    Wireless network operators today allocate considerable manual effort in managing their networks. A viable solution for lowering the manual effort is to introduce self-organisation functionalities. In this paper we discuss the challenges that are encountered when embedding multiple self-organisation

  2. Developing Self-Directed Executive Functioning: Recent Findings and Future Directions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barker, Jane E.; Munakata, Yuko

    2015-01-01

    How do children become increasingly self-directed across development, achieving their goals without help from others? How might such developments be impacted by societal changes in how children spend their time? Children's abilities to achieve their goals are supported by developing executive functions (EFs), cognitive processes that predict…

  3. Proprioception: where are we now? A commentary on clinical assessment, changes across the life course, functional implications and future interventions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suetterlin, Karen Joan; Sayer, Avan Aihie

    2014-05-01

    Proprioception, the sense of where one is in space, is essential for effective interaction with the environment. A lack of or reduction in proprioceptive acuity has been directly correlated with falls and with reduced functional independence in older people. Proprioceptive losses have also been shown to negatively correlate with functional recovery post stroke and play a significant role in other conditions such as Parkinson's disease. However, despite its central importance to many geriatric syndromes, the clinical assessment of proprioception has remained remarkably static. We look at approaches to the clinical assessment of proprioception, changes in proprioception across the life course, functional implications of proprioception in health and disease and the potential for targeted interventions in the future such as joint taping, and proprioception-specific rehabilitation and footwear.

  4. Nitrile functionalized halloysite nanotubes/poly(arylene ether nitrile) nanocomposites: Interface control, characterization, and improved properties

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wan, Xinyi; Zhan, Yingqing; Zeng, Guangyong; He, Yi

    2017-01-01

    To develop high-performance halloysite nanotube (HNT)-based nanocomposites, the two key issues need to be considered: precise interface control and the dispersal of HNTs. This study presents an efficient way to functionalize halloysite nanotubes with 3-aminophenoxy-phthalonitrile, followed by compounding with poly(arylene ether nitrile) (PEN), to prepare functional nanocomposite films. The surface functionalization of HNTs was characterized and confirmed by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Compared with neat PEN, the tensile strength and modulus of the resulting PEN nanocomposites with 3 wt% functionalized HNTs were found to increase by 25.7% and 20.7%, respectively. The good dispersion and high capacitance of the dielectric layer resulted in PEN/HNTs nancomposites with enhanced dielectric permittivity and relatively low dielectric loss. Moreover, the addition of functional HNTs greatly improved the thermal stability of PEN, which could be further enhanced through the chemical cross-linking reaction between the functional HNTs and the PEN matrix. This work provides a new path toward obtaining advanced polymer-based nanocomposites with functional properties.

  5. Inclusion and Functionalization of Polymers with Cyclodextrins: Current Applications and Future Prospects

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christian Folch-Cano

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available The numerous hydroxyl groups available in cyclodextrins are active sites that can form different types of linkages. They can be crosslinked with one another, or they can be derivatized to produce monomers that can form linear or branched networks. Moreover, they can form inclusion complexes with polymers and different substrates, modifying their physicochemical properties. This review shows the different applications using polymers with cyclodextrins, either by forming inclusion complexes, ternary complexes, networks, or molecularly imprinted polymers (MIPs. On one hand, the use of cyclodextrins enhances the properties of each polymer, and on the other the use of polymers decreases the amount of cyclodextrins required in different formulations. Both cyclodextrins and polymers contribute synergistically in several applications such as pharmacological, nutritional, environmental, and other industrial fields. The use of polymers based on cyclodextrins is a low cost easy to use potential tool with great future prospects.

  6. Simultaneous characterization of cellular RNA structure and function with in-cell SHAPE-Seq.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watters, Kyle E; Abbott, Timothy R; Lucks, Julius B

    2016-01-29

    Many non-coding RNAs form structures that interact with cellular machinery to control gene expression. A central goal of molecular and synthetic biology is to uncover design principles linking RNA structure to function to understand and engineer this relationship. Here we report a simple, high-throughput method called in-cell SHAPE-Seq that combines in-cell probing of RNA structure with a measurement of gene expression to simultaneously characterize RNA structure and function in bacterial cells. We use in-cell SHAPE-Seq to study the structure-function relationship of two RNA mechanisms that regulate translation in Escherichia coli. We find that nucleotides that participate in RNA-RNA interactions are highly accessible when their binding partner is absent and that changes in RNA structure due to RNA-RNA interactions can be quantitatively correlated to changes in gene expression. We also characterize the cellular structures of three endogenously expressed non-coding RNAs: 5S rRNA, RNase P and the btuB riboswitch. Finally, a comparison between in-cell and in vitro folded RNA structures revealed remarkable similarities for synthetic RNAs, but significant differences for RNAs that participate in complex cellular interactions. Thus, in-cell SHAPE-Seq represents an easily approachable tool for biologists and engineers to uncover relationships between sequence, structure and function of RNAs in the cell. © The Author(s) 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Nucleic Acids Research.

  7. Functional and structural characterization of a eurytolerant calsequestrin from the intertidal teleost Fundulus heteroclitus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A Carl Whittington

    Full Text Available Calsequestrins (CSQ are high capacity, medium affinity, calcium-binding proteins present in the sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR of cardiac and skeletal muscles. CSQ sequesters Ca²⁺ during muscle relaxation and increases the Ca²⁺-storage capacity of the SR. Mammalian CSQ has been well studied as a model of human disease, but little is known about the environmental adaptation of CSQ isoforms from poikilothermic organisms. The mummichog, Fundulus heteroclitus, is an intertidal fish that experiences significant daily and seasonal environmental fluctuations and is an interesting study system for investigations of adaptation at the protein level. We determined the full-length coding sequence of a CSQ isoform from skeletal muscle of F. heteroclitus (FCSQ and characterized the function and structure of this CSQ. The dissociation constant (K(d of FCSQ is relatively insensitive to changes in temperature and pH, thus indicating that FCSQ is a eurytolerant protein. We identified and characterized a highly conserved salt bridge network in FCSQ that stabilizes the formation of front-to-front dimers, a process critical to CSQ function. The functional profile of FCSQ correlates with the natural history of F. heteroclitus suggesting that the eurytolerant function of FCSQ may be adaptive.

  8. Synthesis and characterization of sulfur-functionalized silica nanocapsules as mercury adsorbents

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palaniappan, Thenappan; Saman, Norasikin; Mat, Hanapi; Johari, Khairiraihanna

    2017-12-01

    Sulfur functionalized silica nanocapsules (S-SiNC) was successfully synthesized and characterized as a potential adsorbent for industrial applications. The synthesis of S-SiNC was carried out using the mircoemulsion templating method using cetyltrimethylammonium bromide (CTAB) as cationic surfactant, toluene as co-solvent, ammonia solution as catalyst, and tetraethylorthosilicate (TEOS) as the silica base. The S-SiNC adsorbent was characterized using Transmission Electron Microscope, Fourier Transformed Infra Red spectroscopy and nitrogen adsorption/desorption analysis. The physical and chemical properties of the SiNC changed as a result of the functionalization, hence affecting the extent of Hg(II) adsorption. The S-SiNCs were also tested in mercury ion [Hg(II)] adsorption via batch adsorption process with variation in initial Hg (II) concentration. It was found that there is a significant improvement in Hg(II) adsorption performance after being functionalized with elemental sulfur. The highest Hg(II) adsorption capacity was obtained for S-SiNC (107.875 mg/g), which significantly outperformed the blank SiNC. The experimental data obtained was found to be fitting well to the Langmuir isotherm model (R2= 0.979) compared to Freundlich isotherm model. Thus, the results demonstrated the potential application of sulfur functionalized silica nanocapsules as adsorbent in industrial applications.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. Cingulate cortex functional connectivity predicts future relapse in alcohol dependent individuals

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yasmin Zakiniaeiz

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Alcohol dependence is a chronic relapsing illness. Alcohol and stress cues have consistently been shown to increase craving and relapse risk in recovering alcohol dependent (AUD patients. However, differences in functional connectivity in response to these cues have not been studied using data-driven approaches. Here, voxel-wise connectivity is used in a whole-brain investigation of functional connectivity differences associated with alcohol and stress cues and to examine whether these differences are related to subsequent relapse. In Study 1, 45, 4- to 8-week abstinent, recovering AUD patients underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging during individualized imagery of alcohol, stress, and neutral cues. Relapse measures were collected prospectively for 90 days post-discharge from inpatient treatment. AUD patients showed blunted anterior (ACC, mid (MCC and posterior cingulate cortex (PCC, voxel-wise connectivity responses to stress compared to neutral cues and blunted PCC response to alcohol compared to neutral cues. Using Cox proportional hazard regression, weaker connectivity in ACC and MCC during neutral exposure was associated with longer time to relapse (better recovery outcome. Similarly, greater connectivity in PCC during alcohol-cue compared to stress cue was associated with longer time to relapse. In Study 2, a sub-group of 30 AUD patients were demographically-matched to 30 healthy control (HC participants for group comparisons. AUD compared to HC participants showed reduced cingulate connectivity during alcohol and stress cues. Using novel data-driven approaches, the cingulate cortex emerged as a key region in the disruption of functional connectivity during alcohol and stress-cue processing in AUD patients and as a marker of subsequent alcohol relapse.

  12. Scanning fast and slow: current limitations of 3 Tesla functional MRI and future potential

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roland N Boubela

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Functional MRI at 3T has become a workhorse for the neurosciences, e.g., neurology, psychology, and psychiatry, enabling non-invasive investigation of brain function and connectivity. However, BOLD-based fMRI is a rather indirect measure of brain function, confounded by fluctuation related signals, e.g. head or brain motion, brain pulsation, blood flow, intermixed with susceptibility differences close or distant to the region of neuronal activity. Even though a plethora of preprocessing strategies have been published to address these confounds, their efficiency is still under discussion. In particular, physiological signal fluctuations closely related to brain supply may mask BOLD signal changes related to true neuronal activation. Here we explore recent technical and methodological advancements aimed at disentangling the various components, employing fast multiband vs. standard EPI, in combination with fast temporal ICA.Our preliminary results indicate that fast (TR< 0.5s scanning may help to identify and eliminate physiologic components, increasing tSNR and functional contrast. In addition, biological variability can be studied and task performance better correlated to other measures. This should increase specificity and reliability in fMRI studies. Furthermore, physiological signal changes during scanning may then be recognized as a source of information rather than a nuisance. As we are currently still undersampling the complexity of the brain, even at a rather coarse macroscopic level, we should be very cautious in the interpretation of neuroscientific findings, in particular when comparing different groups (e.g., age, sex, medication, pathology, etc.. From a technical point of view our goal should be to sample brain activity at layer specific resolution with low TR, covering as much of the brain as possible without violating SAR limits. We hope to stimulate discussion towards a better understanding and a more quantitative use of fMRI.

  13. Some Characterizations of the Cobb-Douglas and CES Production Functions in Microeconomics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiaoshu Wang

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available It is well known that the study of the shape and the properties of the production possibility frontier is a subject of great interest in economic analysis. Vîlcu (Vîlcu, 2011 proved that the generalized Cobb-Douglas production function has constant return to scale if and only if the corresponding hypersurface is developable. Later on, the authors A. D. Vîlcu and G. E. Vîlcu, 2011 extended this result to the case of CES production function. Both results establish an interesting link between some fundamental notions in the theory of production functions and the differential geometry of hypersurfaces in Euclidean spaces. In this paper, we give some characterizations of minimal generalized Cobb-Douglas and CES production hypersurfaces in Euclidean spaces.

  14. Characterization of functional SSR markers in Prosopis alba and their transferability across Prosopis species

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    María F. Pomponio

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Aim of study: The aim of the study was to characterize functional microsatellite markers in Prosopis alba and examine the transferability to species from the Prosopis genus. Area of the study: samples were obtained from natural populations of Argentina. Material and Methods: Eleven SSR functional markers related to stress and metabolism were amplified in a sample of 152 genotypes from P.alba, P. denudans, P. hassleriP. chilensis, P. flexuosa, and interspecific hybrids. Main results: In P. alba, the PIC average value was 0.36; and 6 out of the 11 primers showed high values of polymorphism ranging from 0.40 to 0.71. The cross-species transferability was high with high percentages of polymorphic loci. Research highlights: The SSR markers developed in P.alba were easily transferred to other Prosopis species which did not have functional markers.

  15. Structural and functional characterization of an arylamine N-acetyltransferase from the pathogen Mycobacterium abscessus

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Cocaign, Angélique; Kubiak, Xavier Jean Philippe; Xu, Ximing

    2014-01-01

    Mycobacterium abscessus is the most pathogenic rapid-growing mycobacterium and is one of the most resistant organisms to chemotherapeutic agents. However, structural and functional studies of M. abscessus proteins that could modify/inactivate antibiotics remain nonexistent. Here, the structural...... is endogenously expressed and functional in both the rough and smooth M. abscessus morphotypes. The crystal structure of (MYCAB)NAT1 at 1.8 Å resolution reveals that it is more closely related to Nocardia farcinica NAT than to mycobacterial isoforms. In particular, structural and physicochemical differences from...... and functional characterization of an arylamine N-acetyltransferase (NAT) from M. abscessus [(MYCAB)NAT1] are reported. This novel prokaryotic NAT displays significant N-acetyltransferase activity towards aromatic substrates, including antibiotics such as isoniazid and p-aminosalicylate. The enzyme...

  16. Development of a Temperature Programmed Identification Technique to Characterize the Organic Sulphur Functional Groups in Coal

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Moinuddin Ghauri

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available The Temperature Programmed Reduction (TPR technique is employed for the characterisation of various organic sulphur functional groups in coal. The TPR technique is modified into the Temperature Programmed Identification technique to investigate whether this method can detect various functional groups corresponding to their reduction temperatures. Ollerton, Harworth, Silverdale, Prince of Wales coal and Mequinenza lignite were chosen for this study. High pressure oxydesulphurisation of the coal samples was also done. The characterization of various organic sulphur functional groups present in untreated and treated coal by the TPR method and later by the TPI method confirmed that these methods can identify the organic sulphur groups in coal and that the results based on total sulphur are comparable with those provided by standard analytical techniques. The analysis of the untreated and treated coal samples showed that the structural changes in the organic sulphur matrix due to a reaction can be determined.

  17. Balancing functional and nutritional quality of oils and fats: Current requirements and future trends

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Van den Bremt Karen

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Oils and fats play an important role in the structure, aroma and stability of a wide variety of food products, as well as in their nutritional properties. For Puratos, a producer of ingredients for bakery, patisserie and chocolate sector, functionality and taste are of utmost importance, but the company also wants to contribute to the balanced diet of consumers. Vegetable oils and fats are used in margarines and releasing agents, vegetable creams, compound chocolate, fillings and emulsifiers. Each application requires an oil or fat with specific physicochemical properties in order to ensure the optimal structure, stability and taste of the end product. Traditionally, (partially hydrogenated vegetable oils deliver important functional characteristics concerning crystallization behaviour, directly linked with the workability, melting properties, stability and mouth feel of the food product. However, due to negative nutritional implications, trans fats are to be replaced by healthier alternatives, preferably not by saturated fats. Consumers – and in some regions, legal instances – demand transfree or hydro-free products while not compromising on taste. Alternative fats and oils will be discussed concerning their functional and nutritional properties.

  18. A Review on Adducin from Functional to Pathological Mechanisms: Future Direction in Cancer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karrie Mei-Yee Kiang

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Adducin (ADD is a family of membrane skeleton proteins including ADD1, ADD2, and ADD3 that are encoded by distinct genes on different chromosomes. Adducin is primarily responsible for the assembly of spectrin-actin network that provides physical support to the plasma membrane and mediates signal transduction in various cellular physiological processes upon regulation by protein kinase C-dependent and calcium/calmodulin-dependent pathways. Abnormal phosphorylation, genetic variations, and alternative splicing of adducin may contribute to alterations in cellular functions involved in pathogenic processes. These alterations are associated with a wide range of diseases including cancer. This paper begins with a discussion on how adducin partakes in the structural formation of membrane skeleton, its regulation, and related functional characteristics, followed by a review on the pathogenesis of hypertension, biliary atresia, and cancer with respect to increased disease susceptibility mediated by adducin polymorphism and/or dysregulation. Given the functional diversity of adducin in different cellular compartments, we aim to provide a knowledge base whereby its pathophysiological roles can be better understood. More importantly, we aim to provide novel insights that may be of significance in turning the adducin model to clinical application.

  19. Principle of an operational complexity index for the characterization of the human factor relevance of future reactors concepts

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Papin, Bernard

    2004-01-01

    With the increasing reliability of the modern technological systems, the human contribution to the global risk in the operation of industrial systems is becoming more and more significant : in the nuclear reactor operation for example, a recent PSA estimation of this contribution is about 25% of the risk of core melting, all situations considered. This urges the designers of future nuclear reactors to consider the minimisation of this Human Factor (HF) contribution, at the very early stage of their design : the experience feedback shows that this is indeed at this stage that the fundamental design options, impacting the most the human reliability in operation, are fixed. The problem is that at these early design stages, it is also quite impossible to apply formal human reliability methods to support this HF optimisation, while the precise operating conditions of the reactor are not yet known in enough details. In this paper, another approach of the HF evaluation during the design, based on the functional and operational complexity assessment, is proposed. As an illustration, this approach is used to compare various concepts of Pressurized Water Reactors from the point of view of the Human Factor relevance. (Author)

  20. Functional characterization of AVPR2 mutants found in Turkish patients with nephrogenic diabetes insipidus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Erdem, Beril; Schulz, Angela; Saglar, Emel; Deniz, Ferhat; Schöneberg, Torsten; Mergen, Hatice

    2018-01-01

    Diabetes insipidus is a rare disorder characterized by an impairment in water balance because of the inability to concentrate urine. While central diabetes insipidus is caused by mutations in the AVP , the reason for genetically determined nephrogenic diabetes insipidus can be mutations in AQP2 or AVPR2 After release of AVP from posterior pituitary into blood stream, it binds to AVPR2, which is one of the receptors for AVP and is mainly expressed in principal cells of collecting ducts of kidney. Receptor activation increases cAMP levels in principal cells, resulting in the incorporation of AQP2 into the membrane, finally increasing water reabsorption. This pathway can be altered by mutations in AVPR2 causing nephrogenic diabetes insipidus. In this study, we functionally characterize four mutations (R68W, ΔR67-G69/G107W, V162A and T273M) in AVPR2, which were found in Turkish patients. Upon AVP stimulation, R68W, ΔR67-G69/G107W and T273M showed a significantly reduced maximum in cAMP response compared to wild-type receptor. All mutant receptor proteins were expressed at the protein level; however, R68W, ΔR67-G69/G107W and T273M were partially retained in the cellular interior. Immunofluorescence studies showed that these mutant receptors were trapped in ER and Golgi apparatus. The function of V162A was indistinguishable from the indicating other defects causing disease. The results are important for understanding the influence of mutations on receptor function and cellular trafficking. Therefore, characterization of these mutations provides useful information for further studies addressing treatment of intracellularly trapped receptors with cell-permeable antagonists to restore receptor function in patients with nephrogenic diabetes insipidus. © 2018 The authors.

  1. Secretin-stimulated MRI characterization of pancreatic morphology and function in patients with chronic pancreatitis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Madzak, Adnan; Olesen, Søren Schou; Haldorsen, Ingfrid Salvesen; Drewes, Asbjørn Mohr; Frøkjær, Jens Brøndum

    Chronic pancreatitis (CP) is characterized by abnormal pancreatic morphology and impaired endocrine and exocrine function. However, little is known about the relationship between pancreatic morphology and function, and also the association with the etiology and clinical manifestations of CP. The aim was to explore pancreatic morphology and function with advanced MRI in patients with CP and healthy controls (HC) METHODS: Eighty-two patients with CP and 22 HC were enrolled in the study. Morphological imaging parameters included pancreatic main duct diameter, gland volume, fat signal fraction and apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) values. Functional secretin-stimulated MRI (s-MRI) parameters included pancreatic secretion (bowel fluid volume) and changes in pancreatic ADC value before and after secretin stimulation. Patients were classified according to the modified Cambridge and M-ANNHEIM classification system and fecal elastase was collected. All imaging parameters differentiated CP patients from HC; however, correlations between morphological and functional parameters in CP were weak. Patients with alcoholic and non-alcoholic etiology had comparable s-MRI findings. Fecal elastase was positively correlated to pancreatic gland volume (r = 0.68, P = 0.0016) and negatively correlated to Cambridge classification (r = -0.35, P pancreatic gland volume was significantly decreased in the severe stages of CP (P = 0.001). S-MRI provides detailed information about pancreatic morphology and function and represents a promising non-invasive imaging method to characterize pancreatic pathophysiology and may enable monitoring of disease progression in patients with CP. Copyright © 2017 IAP and EPC. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. Genomic Analysis of Terpene Synthase Family and Functional Characterization of Seven Sesquiterpene Synthases from Citrus sinensis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Berta Alquézar

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Citrus aroma and flavor, chief traits of fruit quality, are derived from their high content in essential oils of most plant tissues, including leaves, stems, flowers, and fruits. Accumulated in secretory cavities, most components of these oils are volatile terpenes. They contribute to defense against herbivores and pathogens, and perhaps also protect tissues against abiotic stress. In spite of their importance, our understanding of the physiological, biochemical, and genetic regulation of citrus terpene volatiles is still limited. The availability of the sweet orange (Citrus sinensis L. Osbeck genome sequence allowed us to characterize for the first time the terpene synthase (TPS family in a citrus type. CsTPS is one of the largest angiosperm TPS families characterized so far, formed by 95 loci from which just 55 encode for putative functional TPSs. All TPS angiosperm families, TPS-a, TPS-b, TPS-c, TPS-e/f, and TPS-g were represented in the sweet orange genome, with 28, 18, 2, 2, and 5 putative full length genes each. Additionally, sweet orange β-farnesene synthase, (Z-β-cubebene/α-copaene synthase, two β-caryophyllene synthases, and three multiproduct enzymes yielding β-cadinene/α-copaene, β-elemene, and β-cadinene/ledene/allo-aromandendrene as major products were identified, and functionally characterized via in vivo recombinant Escherichia coli assays.

  3. Cost of reproduction in a long-lived bird: incubation effort reduces immune function and future reproduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanssen, Sveinn Are; Hasselquist, Dennis; Folstad, Ivar; Erikstad, Kjell Einar

    2005-05-22

    Life-history theory predicts that increased current reproductive effort should lead to a fitness cost. This cost of reproduction may be observed as reduced survival or future reproduction, and may be caused by temporal suppression of immune function in stressed or hard-working individuals. In birds, consideration of the costs of incubating eggs has largely been neglected in favour of the costs of brood rearing. We manipulated incubation demand in two breeding seasons (2000 and 2001) in female common eiders (Somateria mollissima) by creating clutches of three and six eggs (natural range 3-6 eggs). The common eider is a long-lived sea-duck where females do not eat during the incubation period. Mass loss increased and immune function (lymphocyte levels and specific antibody response to the non-pathogenic antigens diphtheria and tetanus toxoid) was reduced in females incubating large clutches. The increased incubation effort among females assigned to large incubation demand did not lead to adverse effects on current reproduction or return rate in the next breeding season. However, large incubation demand resulted in long-term fitness costs through reduced fecundity the year after manipulation. Our data show that in eiders, a long-lived species, the cost of high incubation demand is paid in the currency of reduced future fecundity, possibly mediated by reduced immune function.

  4. 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.

  5. Renal function during pregnancy may predict risk of future hospitalization due to atherosclerotic-related morbidity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolak, Talya; Shoham-Vardi, Ilana; Sergienko, Ruslan; Sheiner, Eyal

    2016-02-01

    This study aims to examine whether renal function during pregnancy can serve as a surrogate marker for the risk of developing atherosclerotic-related morbidity. A case-control study, including women who gave birth at a tertiary referral medical centre during 2000-2012. This population was divided into cases of women who were subsequently hospitalized for atherosclerotic morbidity during the study period and age-matched controls. From the study population, we retrieved two groups: the creatinine (Cr) group: women who had at least one Cr measurement (4945 women) and the urea group: women who had at least one urea measurement (4932 women) during their pregnancies. In the Cr and urea group, there were 572 and 571 cases and 4373 and 4361 controls, respectively. The mean follow-up period in the Cr and urea group was 61.7 ± 37.0 and 57.3 ± 36.0 months, respectively. Cox proportional hazards models (controlling for confounders: gestational hypertension, gestational diabetes, obesity, maternal age, creatinine level (for urea), and gestational week) were used to estimate the adjusted hazard ratios (HR) for hospitalizations. A significant association was documented between renal function during pregnancy and long-term atherosclerotic morbidity. Multivariate analysis, showed that Cr at pregnancy index of ≥89 μmol/L was associated with a significant increased risk for hospitalization due to cardiovascular (CVS) events (adjusted HR = 2.91 CI 1.37-6.19 P = 0.005) and urea level ≤7 mmol/L was independently associated with reduced prevalence of CVS hospitalization (adjusted HR = 0.62 CI 0.57-0.86 P = 0.001). Renal function abnormality during pregnancy may reveal occult predisposition to atherosclerotic morbidity years after childbirth. © 2015 Asian Pacific Society of Nephrology.

  6. Scanning fast and slow: current limitations of 3 Tesla functional MRI and future potential

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boubela, Roland N.; Kalcher, Klaudius; Nasel, Christian; Moser, Ewald

    2014-02-01

    Functional MRI at 3T has become a workhorse for the neurosciences, e.g., neurology, psychology, and psychiatry, enabling non-invasive investigation of brain function and connectivity. However, BOLD-based fMRI is a rather indirect measure of brain function, confounded by fluctuation related signals, e.g. head or brain motion, brain pulsation, blood flow, intermixed with susceptibility differences close or distant to the region of neuronal activity. Even though a plethora of preprocessing strategies have been published to address these confounds, their efficiency is still under discussion. In particular, physiological signal fluctuations closely related to brain supply may mask BOLD signal changes related to "true" neuronal activation. Here we explore recent technical and methodological advancements aimed at disentangling the various components, employing fast multiband vs. standard EPI, in combination with fast temporal ICA.Our preliminary results indicate that fast (TRstudied and task performance better correlated to other measures. This should increase specificity and reliability in fMRI studies. Furthermore, physiological signal changes during scanning may then be recognized as a source of information rather than a nuisance. As we are currently still undersampling the complexity of the brain, even at a rather coarse macroscopic level, we should be very cautious in the interpretation of neuroscientific findings, in particular when comparing different groups (e.g., age, sex, medication, pathology, etc.). From a technical point of view our goal should be to sample brain activity at layer specific resolution with low TR, covering as much of the brain as possible without violating SAR limits. We hope to stimulate discussion towards a better understanding and a more quantitative use of fMRI.

  7. Positive experience in introduction of functional group control at NPPs. What are the future prospects

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fedorov, O.M.; Antonyuk, A.S.

    1989-01-01

    Experience in introduction of functional group control (FGC) on the basis of the ULU2-computer at the Rovno-3 NPP unit is generalized. A list of additional improvements realized during subsystems RY (steam generator blowing through) and TZ (special waste water system) introduction in the NPP reactor compartment is given. Reguirements to equipment, FGC actuating mechanisms, technological part of the design, necessary for FGC realization, are formulated. FGC relieves NPP operator of routine operations, reduces his fatigue and increases sharply the technological discipline. Rigorous standardization of designs and equipment and centralized management are reguired for FGC introduction at the operating NPPs

  8. Implementation of the zooplankton functional response in plankton models: State of the art, recent challenges and future directions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morozov, Andrew; Poggiale, Jean-Christophe; Cordoleani, Flora

    2012-09-01

    The conventional way of describing grazing in plankton models is based on a zooplankton functional response framework, according to which the consumption rate is computed as the product of a certain function of food (the functional response) and the density/biomass of herbivorous zooplankton. A large amount of literature on experimental feeding reports the existence of a zooplankton functional response in microcosms and small mesocosms, which goes a long way towards explaining the popularity of this framework both in mean-field (e.g. NPZD models) and spatially resolved models. On the other hand, the complex foraging behaviour of zooplankton (feeding cycles) as well as spatial heterogeneity of food and grazer distributions (plankton patchiness) across time and space scales raise questions as to the existence of a functional response of herbivores in vivo. In the current review, we discuss limitations of the ‘classical’ zooplankton functional response and consider possible ways to amend this framework to cope with the complexity of real planktonic ecosystems. Our general conclusion is that although the functional response of herbivores often does not exist in real ecosystems (especially in the form observed in the laboratory), this framework can be rather useful in modelling - but it does need some amendment which can be made based on various techniques of model reduction. We also show that the shape of the functional response depends on the spatial resolution (‘frame’) of the model. We argue that incorporating foraging behaviour and spatial heterogeneity in plankton models would not necessarily require the use of individual based modelling - an approach which is now becoming dominant in the literature. Finally, we list concrete future directions and challenges and emphasize the importance of a closer collaboration between plankton biologists and modellers in order to make further progress towards better descriptions of zooplankton grazing.

  9. A foundation for allocating control functions to humans and machines in future CANDU nuclear power plants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lupton, L.R.; Lipsett, J.J.; Davey, E.C.; Olmstead, R.A.

    1990-06-01

    Since the control room for the Atomic Energy of Canada Limited CANDU 6 plant was designed in the 1970s, requirements for control rooms have changed dramatically as a result of new licensing requirements, evolution of major new standards for control centre design and technological advances. The role of the human operator has become prominent in the design and operation of industrial and, in particular, nuclear plants. Major industrial accidents in the last decade have highlighted the need for paying significantly more attention to the requirements of the human as an integral part of the plant control system. A Functional Design Methodology has been defined that addresses the issues related to maximizing the strengths of the human and the machine in the next generation of CANDU plants. This method is based, in part, on the recently issued international standard IEC 964. The application of this method will lead to the definition of the requirements for detailed design of the control room, including man-machine interfaces, preliminary operating procedures, staffing and training. Further, it provides a basis for the verification and validation of the allocation of functions to the operator and the machine

  10. Synthesis and conformational characterization of functional di-block copolymer brushes for microarray technology

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Di Carlo, Gabriele; Damin, Francesco [Institute of Chemistry of Molecular Recognition, National Research Council of Italy, Via M. Bianco 9, 20131 Milano (Italy); Armelao, Lidia [ISTM-CNR and INSTM, Department of Chemistry, University of Padova, Via F. Marzolo 1, 35131 Padova (Italy); Maccato, Chiara [Department of Chemistry and INSTM, University of Padova, Via F. Marzolo 1, 35131 Padova (Italy); Unlu, Selim [Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Boston University, St. Mary Street 8, Boston, MA 02215 (United States); Department of Biomedical Engineering, Boston University, St. Mary Street 8, Boston, MA 02215 (United States); Spuhler, Philipp S. [Department of Biomedical Engineering, Boston University, St. Mary Street 8, Boston, MA 02215 (United States); Chiari, Marcella, E-mail: marcella.chiari@icrm.cnr.it [Institute of Chemistry of Molecular Recognition, National Research Council of Italy, Via M. Bianco 9, 20131 Milano (Italy)

    2012-02-01

    Surface initiated polymerization (SIP) coupled with reversible addition-fragmentation chain transfer polymerization (RAFT) was used to functionalize microarray glass slides with block polymer brushes. N,N-dimethylacrylamide (DMA) and N-acryloyloxysuccinimide (NAS) (graft-poly[DMA-b-(DMA-co-NAS)]) brushes, with di-block architecture, were prepared from a novel RAFT chain transfer agent bearing a silanating moiety (RAFT silane) directly anchored onto the glass surfaces. Conformational characterization of the coatings was performed by Self Spectral Interference Fluorescence Microscopy (SSFM), an innovative technique that describes the location of a fluorescent DNA molecule relative to a surface with sub-nanometer accuracy. X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS) and Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) were used to characterize the coatings composition and morphology.

  11. Synthesis and conformational characterization of functional di-block copolymer brushes for microarray technology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Di Carlo, Gabriele; Damin, Francesco; Armelao, Lidia; Maccato, Chiara; Unlu, Selim; Spuhler, Philipp S.; Chiari, Marcella

    2012-01-01

    Surface initiated polymerization (SIP) coupled with reversible addition-fragmentation chain transfer polymerization (RAFT) was used to functionalize microarray glass slides with block polymer brushes. N,N-dimethylacrylamide (DMA) and N-acryloyloxysuccinimide (NAS) (graft-poly[DMA-b-(DMA-co-NAS)]) brushes, with di-block architecture, were prepared from a novel RAFT chain transfer agent bearing a silanating moiety (RAFT silane) directly anchored onto the glass surfaces. Conformational characterization of the coatings was performed by Self Spectral Interference Fluorescence Microscopy (SSFM), an innovative technique that describes the location of a fluorescent DNA molecule relative to a surface with sub-nanometer accuracy. X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS) and Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) were used to characterize the coatings composition and morphology.

  12. The implications of user requirements for the functionality and content of a future EGDI

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pedersen, Mikael; Tulstrup, Jørgen

    2014-05-01

    The FP7 co-funded EGDI-Scope project is conducting analyses, which forms the basis for the development of an implementation plan for a future European Geological Data Infrastructure (EGDI) the aim of which will be to serve pan-European geological information from the European geological survey organisations. An important aspect of the project has been to consult stakeholders in order to deduce requirements, which is a fundamental prerequisite for making recommendations on the content and technical design of the system. It is indisputable that EGDI will have to build on international standards such as OGC and CGI and take into account legislative requirements from e.g. the INSPIRE directive. This will support the tasks of data providers and facilitate integration with other e-Infrastructures, but will not in itself lever the end user experiences. In order to make the future EGDI a successful online contributor of geological information, EGDI-Scope has therefore been looking very concretely into the needs and expectations of various user groups Most people have clear expectations anno 2014. They want to be able to search the web for information, and once found, they expect fast-performing, intuitive web applications with buttons to click, maps to navigate and reliable content to fulfil their immediate needs. In order for the EGDI to handle such requirements, a number of use cases for various thematic areas have been assessed. The use cases reveal (for example) that information about the geological composition of the ground is critical for the assessment of things like ecosystems or ground water quality. But where ecosystem assessment relies on the composition of the surface layers, groundwater geochemistry rely on the lithology of subsurface layers. For both scenarios, harmonised, pan-European geological maps are very important, but the harmonisation should not only relate to lithological classes, but also to the depth representation. The use cases also make clear

  13. Single step synthesis, characterization and applications of curcumin functionalized iron oxide magnetic nanoparticles

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bhandari, Rohit; Gupta, Prachi; Dziubla, Thomas; Hilt, J. Zach, E-mail: zach.hilt@uky.edu

    2016-10-01

    Magnetic iron oxide nanoparticles have been well known for their applications in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), hyperthermia, targeted drug delivery, etc. The surface modification of these magnetic nanoparticles has been explored extensively to achieve functionalized materials with potential application in biomedical, environmental and catalysis field. Herein, we report a novel and versatile single step methodology for developing curcumin functionalized magnetic Fe{sub 3}O{sub 4} nanoparticles without any additional linkers, using a simple coprecipitation technique. The magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) were characterized using transmission electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction, fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and thermogravimetric analysis. The developed MNPs were employed in a cellular application for protection against an inflammatory agent, a polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) molecule. - Graphical abstract: Novel single step curcumin coated magnetic Fe{sub 3}O{sub 4} nanoparticles without any additional linkers for medical, environmental, and other applications. Display Omitted - Highlights: • A novel and versatile single step methodology for developing curcumin functionalized magnetic Fe{sub 3}O{sub 4} nanoparticles is reported. • The magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) were characterized using TEM, XRD, FTIR and TGA. • The developed MNPs were employed in a cellular application for protection against an inflammatory agent, a polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB).

  14. Molecular characterization and function of tenomodulin, a marker of tendons and ligaments that integrate musculoskeletal components

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chisa Shukunami, DDS, PhD

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Tendons and ligaments are dense fibrous bands of connective tissue that integrate musculoskeletal components in vertebrates. Tendons connect skeletal muscles to the bone and function as mechanical force transmitters, whereas ligaments bind adjacent bones together to stabilize joints and restrict unwanted joint movement. Fibroblasts residing in tendons and ligaments are called tenocytes and ligamentocytes, respectively. Tenomodulin (Tnmd is a type II transmembrane glycoprotein that is expressed at high levels in tenocytes and ligamentocytes, and is also present in periodontal ligament cells and tendon stem/progenitor cells. Tnmd is related to chondromodulin-1 (Chm1, a cartilage-derived angiogenesis inhibitor, and both Tnmd and Chm1 are expressed in the CD31− avascular mesenchyme. The conserved C-terminal hydrophobic domain of these proteins, which is characterized by the eight Cys residues to form four disulfide bonds, may have an anti-angiogenic function. This review highlights the molecular characterization and function of Tnmd, a specific marker of tendons and ligaments.

  15. Dysregulated left inferior parietal activity in schizophrenia and depression: functional connectivity and characterization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Veronika I. Müller

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available The inferior parietal cortex (IPC is a heterogeneous region that is known to be involved in a multitude of diverse different tasks and processes, though its contribution to these often-complex functions is yet poorly understood. In a previous study we demonstrated that patients with depression failed to deactivate the left IPC during processing of congruent audiovisual information. We now found the same dysregulation (same region and condition in schizophrenia. By using task-independent (resting state and task-dependent (MACM analyses we aimed at characterizing this particular region with regard to its connectivity and function. Across both approaches, results revealed functional connectivity of the left inferior parietal seed region with bilateral IPC, precuneus and posterior cingulate cortex (PrC/PCC, medial orbitofrontal cortex (mOFC, left middle frontal (MFG as well as inferior frontal (IFG gyrus. Network-level functional characterization further revealed that on the one hand, all interconnected regions are part of a network involved in memory processes. On the other hand, sub-networks are formed when emotion, language, social cognition and reasoning processes are required. Thus, the IPC-region that is dysregulated in both depression and schizophrenia is functionally connected to a network of regions which, depending on task demands may form sub-networks. These results therefore indicate that dysregulation of left IPC in depression and schizophrenia might not only be connected to deficits in audiovisual integration, but is possibly also associated to impaired memory and deficits in emotion processing in these patient groups.

  16. Expression and functional characterization of Smyd1a in myofibril organization of skeletal muscles.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jie Gao

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Smyd1, the founding member of the Smyd family including Smyd-1, 2, 3, 4 and 5, is a SET and MYND domain containing protein that plays a key role in myofibril assembly in skeletal and cardiac muscles. Bioinformatic analysis revealed that zebrafish genome contains two highly related smyd1 genes, smyd1a and smyd1b. Although Smyd1b function is well characterized in skeletal and cardiac muscles, the function of Smyd1a is, however, unknown. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: To investigate the function of Smyd1a in muscle development, we isolated smyd1a from zebrafish, and characterized its expression and function during muscle development via gene knockdown and transgenic expression approaches. The results showed that smyd1a was strongly expressed in skeletal muscles of zebrafish embryos. Functional analysis revealed that knockdown of smyd1a alone had no significant effect on myofibril assembly in zebrafish skeletal muscles. However, knockdown of smyd1a and smyd1b together resulted in a complete disruption of myofibril organization in skeletal muscles, a phenotype stronger than knockdown of smyd1a or smyd1b alone. Moreover, ectopic expression of zebrafish smyd1a or mouse Smyd1 transgene could rescue the myofibril defects from the smyd1b knockdown in zebrafish embryos. CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE: Collectively, these data indicate that Smyd1a and Smyd1b share similar biological activity in myofibril assembly in zebrafish embryos. However, Smyd1b appears to play a major role in this process.

  17. A scenario analysis of future energy systems based on an energy flow model represented as functionals of technology options

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kikuchi, Yasunori; Kimura, Seiichiro; Okamoto, Yoshitaka; Koyama, Michihisa

    2014-01-01

    Highlights: • Energy flow model was represented as the functionals of technology options. • Relationships among available technologies can be visualized by developed model. • Technology roadmapping can be incorporated into the model as technical scenario. • Combination of technologies can increase their contribution to the environment. - Abstract: The design of energy systems has become an issue all over the world. A single optimal system cannot be suggested because the availability of infrastructure and resources and the acceptability of the system should be discussed locally, involving all related stakeholders in the energy system. In particular, researchers and engineers of technologies related to energy systems should be able to perform the forecasting and roadmapping of future energy systems and indicate quantitative results of scenario analyses. We report an energy flow model developed for analysing scenarios of future Japanese energy systems implementing a variety of feasible technology options. The model was modularized and represented as functionals of appropriate technology options, which enables the aggregation and disaggregation of energy systems by defining functionals for single technologies, packages integrating multi-technologies, and mini-systems such as regions implementing industrial symbiosis. Based on the model, the combinations of technologies on both energy supply and demand sides can be addressed considering not only the societal scenarios such as resource prices, economic growth and population change but also the technical scenarios including the development and penetration of energy-related technologies such as distributed solid oxide fuel cells in residential sectors and new-generation vehicles, and the replacement and shift of current technologies such as heat pumps for air conditioning and centralized power generation. The developed model consists of two main modules; namely, a power generation dispatching module for the

  18. Functional Process Zones Characterizing Aquatic Insect Communities in Streams of the Brazilian Cerrado.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Godoy, B S; Simião-Ferreira, J; Lodi, S; Oliveira, L G

    2016-04-01

    Stream ecology studies see to understand ecological dynamics in lotic systems. The characterization of streams into Functional Process Zones (FPZ) has been currently debated in stream ecology because aquatic communities respond to functional processes of river segments. Therefore, we tested if different functional process zones have different number of genera and trophic structure using the aquatic insect community of Neotropical streams. We also assessed whether using physical and chemical variables may complement the approach of using FPZ to model communities of aquatic insects in Cerrado streams. This study was conducted in 101 streams or rivers from the central region of the state of Goiás, Brazil. We grouped the streams into six FPZ associated to size of the river system, presence of riparian forest, and riverbed heterogeneity. We used Bayesian models to compare number of genera and relative frequency of the feeding groups between FPZs. Streams classified in different FPZs had a different number of genera, and the largest and best preserved rivers had an average of four additional genera. Trophic structure exhibited low variability among FPZs, with little difference both in the number of genera and in abundance. Using functional process zones in Cerrado streams yielded good results for Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera, and Trichoptera communities. Thus, species distribution and community structure in the river basin account for functional processes and not necessarily for the position of the community along a longitudinal dimension of the lotic system.

  19. Characterization of microscopic deformation through two-point spatial correlation functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Guan-Rong; Wu, Bin; Wang, Yangyang; Chen, Wei-Ren

    2018-01-01

    The molecular rearrangements of most fluids under flow and deformation do not directly follow the macroscopic strain field. In this work, we describe a phenomenological method for characterizing such nonaffine deformation via the anisotropic pair distribution function (PDF). We demonstrate how the microscopic strain can be calculated in both simple shear and uniaxial extension, by perturbation expansion of anisotropic PDF in terms of real spherical harmonics. Our results, given in the real as well as the reciprocal space, can be applied in spectrum analysis of small-angle scattering experiments and nonequilibrium molecular dynamics simulations of soft matter under flow.

  20. Characterization of microscopic deformation through two-point spatial correlation functions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Guan-Rong; Wu, Bin; Wang, Yangyang; Chen, Wei-Ren

    2018-01-01

    The molecular rearrangements of most fluids under flow and deformation do not directly follow the macroscopic strain field. In this work, we describe a phenomenological method for characterizing such nonaffine deformation via the anisotropic pair distribution function (PDF). We demonstrate how the microscopic strain can be calculated in both simple shear and uniaxial extension, by perturbation expansion of anisotropic PDF in terms of real spherical harmonics. Our results, given in the real as well as the reciprocal space, can be applied in spectrum analysis of small-angle scattering experiments and nonequilibrium molecular dynamics simulations of soft matter under flow.

  1. Characterizing functional complaints in patients seeking outpatient low-vision services in the United States.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Jamie C; Goldstein, Judith E; Chan, Tiffany L; Massof, Robert; Ramulu, Pradeep

    2014-08-01

    To characterize functional complaints of new low-vision rehabilitation patients. Prospective observational study. The Low Vision Rehabilitation Outcomes Study recruited 819 patients between 2008 and 2011 from 28 clinical centers in the United States. New patients referred for low-vision rehabilitation were asked, "What are your chief complaints about your vision?" before their appointment. Full patient statements were transcribed as free text. Two methods assessed whether statements indicated difficulty in each of 13 functional categories: (1) assessment by 2 masked clinicians reading the statement, and (2) a computerized search of the text for specific words or word fragments. Logistic regression models were used to predict the influence of age, gender, and visual acuity on the likelihood of reporting a complaint in each functional category. Prevalence and risk factors for patient concerns within various functional categories. Reading was the most common functional complaint (66.4% of patients). Other functional difficulties expressed by at least 10% of patients included driving (27.8%), using visual assistive equipment (17.5%), mobility (16.3%), performing in-home activities (15.1%), lighting and glare (11.7%), and facial recognition and social interactions (10.3%). Good agreement was noted between the masked clinician graders and the computerized algorithm for categorization of functional complaints (median κ of 0.84 across the 13 categories). Multivariate logistic regression models demonstrated that the likelihood of reading difficulties increased mildly with age (odds ratio, 1.4 per 10-year increment in age; 95% confidence interval, 1.3-1.6), but did not differ with visual acuity (P = 0.09). Additionally, men were more likely to report driving difficulties and difficulties related to lighting, whereas women were more likely to report difficulty with either in-home activities or facial recognition or social interaction (Pvision therapy. Copyright © 2014

  2. Aminopropyltriethoxysilane-mediated surface functionalization of hydroxyapatite nanoparticles: synthesis, characterization, and in vitro toxicity assay

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wang S

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Shige Wang1, Shihui Wen2, Mingwu Shen2, Rui Guo2, Xueyan Cao2, Jianhua Wang3, Xiangyang Shi1,2,41State Key Laboratory for Modification of Chemical Fibers and Polymer Materials, 2College of Chemistry, Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology, Donghua University, 3Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Cell Biology, School of Medicine, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, People's Republic of China; 4Centro de Química da Madeira, Universidade da Madeira, Campus da Penteada, Funchal, PortugalBackground: We report on aminopropyltriethoxysilane (APTS-mediated surface modification of nanohydroxyapatite with different surface functional groups for potential biomedical applications. In this study, nanohydroxyapatite covalently linked with APTS (n-HA-APTS was reacted with acetic anhydride or succinic anhydride to produce neutralized (n-HA-APTS.Ac or negatively charged (n-HA-APTS.SAH nanohydroxyapatite, respectively. Nanohydroxyapatite formed with amine, acetyl, and carboxyl groups was extensively characterized using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, transmission electron microscopy, 1H nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction, inductively coupled plasma-atomic emission spectroscopy, and zeta potential measurements.Results: In vitro 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide colorimetric assay revealed that the slight toxicity of the amine-functionalized n-HA-APTS could be eliminated by post-functionalization of APTS amines to form acetyl and carboxyl groups. Blood compatibility assessment demonstrated that the negligible hemolytic activity of the pristine nanohydroxyapatite particles did not appreciably change after APTS-mediated surface functionalization.Conclusion: APTS-mediated functionalization of nanohydroxyapatite with different surface groups may be useful for further functionalization of nanohydroxyapatite with biologically active materials, thereby providing possibilities for a broad range of

  3. Apparatus and test method for characterizing the temperature regulating properties of thermal functional porous polymeric materials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yao, Bao-Guo; Zhang, Shan; Zhang, De-Pin

    2017-05-01

    In order to evaluate the temperature regulating properties of thermal functional porous polymeric materials such as fabrics treated with phase change material microcapsules, a new apparatus was developed. The apparatus and the test method can measure the heat flux, temperature, and displacement signals during the dynamic contact and then quickly give an evaluation for the temperature regulating properties by simulating the dynamic heat transfer and temperature regulating process when the materials contact the body skin. A series of indices including the psychosensory intensity, regulating capability index, and relative regulating index were defined to characterize the temperature regulating properties. The measurement principle, the evaluation criteria and grading method, the experimental setup and the test results discussion, and the gage capability analysis of the apparatus are presented. The new apparatus provides a method for the objective measurement and evaluation of the temperature regulating properties of thermal functional porous polymeric materials.

  4. Energetics and Structural Characterization of the large-scale Functional Motion of Adenylate Kinase

    Science.gov (United States)

    Formoso, Elena; Limongelli, Vittorio; Parrinello, Michele

    2015-02-01

    Adenylate Kinase (AK) is a signal transducing protein that regulates cellular energy homeostasis balancing between different conformations. An alteration of its activity can lead to severe pathologies such as heart failure, cancer and neurodegenerative diseases. A comprehensive elucidation of the large-scale conformational motions that rule the functional mechanism of this enzyme is of great value to guide rationally the development of new medications. Here using a metadynamics-based computational protocol we elucidate the thermodynamics and structural properties underlying the AK functional transitions. The free energy estimation of the conformational motions of the enzyme allows characterizing the sequence of events that regulate its action. We reveal the atomistic details of the most relevant enzyme states, identifying residues such as Arg119 and Lys13, which play a key role during the conformational transitions and represent druggable spots to design enzyme inhibitors. Our study offers tools that open new areas of investigation on large-scale motion in proteins.

  5. Towards factor analysis exploration applied to positron emission tomography functional imaging for breast cancer characterization

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rekik, W.; Ketata, I.; Sellami, L.; Ben slima, M.; Ben Hamida, A.; Chtourou, K.; Ruan, S.

    2011-01-01

    This paper aims to explore the factor analysis when applied to a dynamic sequence of medical images obtained using nuclear imaging modality, Positron Emission Tomography (PET). This latter modality allows obtaining information on physiological phenomena, through the examination of radiotracer evolution during time. Factor analysis of dynamic medical images sequence (FADMIS) estimates the underlying fundamental spatial distributions by factor images and the associated so-called fundamental functions (describing the signal variations) by factors. This method is based on an orthogonal analysis followed by an oblique analysis. The results of the FADMIS are physiological curves showing the evolution during time of radiotracer within homogeneous tissues distributions. This functional analysis of dynamic nuclear medical images is considered to be very efficient for cancer diagnostics. In fact, it could be applied for cancer characterization, vascularization as well as possible evaluation of response to therapy.

  6. The Preparation and Characterization of Tourmaline-Containing Functional Copolymer p (VST/MMA/BA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yingmo Hu

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Tourmaline was modified with vinyl triethoxysilane containing double bond to prepare the polymerizable organic vinylsiliconoxyl tourmaline (VST and then copolymerized with methyl methacrylate (MMA and butyl acrylate (BA to produce the tourmaline-containing functional copolymer p (VST/MMA/BA. The structures and morphologies of VST and p (VST/MMA/BA copolymer were characterized by IR, SEM, and EDX. The experimental results indicated that tourmaline was introduced into the copolymer via surface modification and the tourmaline-containing functional copolymer was obtained by a copolymerization process with MMA and BA. The prepared p (VST/MMA/BA copolymer displayed excellent storage stabilities, high far-infrared radiation and negative ion releasing performances, and good mechanical properties.

  7. Functional characterization of malaria parasites deficient in the K+ channel Kch2

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ellekvist, Peter; Mlambo, Godfree; Kumar, Nirbhay

    2017-01-01

    parasite P. berghei, the functional significance of K+ channel homologue PbKch2 was studied using targeted gene knock-out. The knockout parasites were characterized in a mouse model in terms of growth-kinetics and infectivity in the mosquito vector. Furthermore, using a tracer-uptake technique with 86Rb...... of forming oocysts in female Anopheles stephensi mosquitoes. 86Rb+ uptake in Kch2-deficient blood-stage P. berghei parasites (Kch2-null) did not differ from that of wild-type (WT) parasites. About two-thirds of the 86Rb+ uptake in WT and in Kch2-null parasites could be inhibited by K+ channel blockers...... and could be inferred to the presence of functional Kch1 in Kch2 knockout parasites. Kch2 is therefore not required for transport of K+ in P. berghei and is not essential to mosquito-stage sporogonic development of the parasite....

  8. Characterizing costs and benefits of uncertain future regulatory requirements on the U.S. natural gas industry

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Godec, M.L.; Smith, G.E.; Fitzgibbon, T.

    1995-01-01

    Environmental regulatory requirements at both the state and federal level are constantly changing, making it difficult for industry and R ampersand D program managers to project future compliance requirements and costs. Even if a company is trying to keep abreast of various proposed regulatory initiatives, the number of possible combinations of initiatives that could occur in the future seems virtually limitless. Uncertainty associated with potential future environmental compliance requirements makes the identification and evaluation of future investment and R ampersand D opportunities exceedingly difficult, and makes the process of systematic strategic planning increasingly complex. This paper describes a methodology for accounting for uncertain future environmental compliance costs in a systematic, comprehensive manner. Through analysis of proposed initiatives for making future environmental requirements more stringent, forecasting the likelihood of occurrence and potential timing of each initiative, and estimating potential future compliance costs associated with each initiative, a thorough process for incorporating regulatory uncertainty into strategic planning and project evaluation is described. This approach can be used for evaluating R ampersand D opportunities to determine where development of new technologies or assessment of risks posed by industry operations may have the greatest impact on future industry costs of compliance. This approach could also be used to account for the uncertainty of future environmental costs in corporate strategic planning or for factoring future compliance costs into project evaluation. This approach could also be enhanced through use in conjunction with other modeling and forecasting systems that could consider a broad range of impacts, including impacts on gas production, industry activity levels, and tax revenues

  9. AmTAR2: Functional characterization of a honeybee tyramine receptor stimulating adenylyl cyclase activity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reim, Tina; Balfanz, Sabine; Baumann, Arnd; Blenau, Wolfgang; Thamm, Markus; Scheiner, Ricarda

    2017-01-01

    The biogenic monoamines norepinephrine and epinephrine regulate important physiological functions in vertebrates. Insects such as honeybees do not synthesize these neuroactive substances. Instead, they employ octopamine and tyramine for comparable physiological functions. These biogenic amines activate specific guanine nucleotide-binding (G) protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs). Based on pharmacological data obtained on heterologously expressed receptors, α- and β-adrenergic-like octopamine receptors are better activated by octopamine than by tyramine. Conversely, GPCRs forming the type 1 tyramine receptor clade (synonymous to octopamine/tyramine receptors) are better activated by tyramine than by octopamine. More recently, receptors were characterized which are almost exclusively activated by tyramine, thus forming an independent type 2 tyramine receptor clade. Functionally, type 1 tyramine receptors inhibit adenylyl cyclase activity, leading to a decrease in intracellular cAMP concentration ([cAMP] i ). Type 2 tyramine receptors can mediate Ca 2+ signals or both Ca 2+ signals and effects on [cAMP] i . We here provide evidence that the honeybee tyramine receptor 2 (AmTAR2), when heterologously expressed in flpTM cells, exclusively causes an increase in [cAMP] i . The receptor displays a pronounced preference for tyramine over octopamine. Its activity can be blocked by a series of established antagonists, of which mianserin and yohimbine are most efficient. The functional characterization of two tyramine receptors from the honeybee, AmTAR1 (previously named AmTYR1) and AmTAR2, which respond to tyramine by changing cAMP levels in opposite direction, is an important step towards understanding the actions of tyramine in honeybee behavior and physiology, particularly in comparison to the effects of octopamine. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Metagenomic analysis and functional characterization of the biogas microbiome using high throughput shotgun sequencing and a novel binning strategy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campanaro, Stefano; Treu, Laura; Kougias, Panagiotis G; De Francisci, Davide; Valle, Giorgio; Angelidaki, Irini

    2016-01-01

    Biogas production is an economically attractive technology that has gained momentum worldwide over the past years. Biogas is produced by a biologically mediated process, widely known as "anaerobic digestion." This process is performed by a specialized and complex microbial community, in which different members have distinct roles in the establishment of a collective organization. Deciphering the complex microbial community engaged in this process is interesting both for unraveling the network of bacterial interactions and for applicability potential to the derived knowledge. In this study, we dissect the bioma involved in anaerobic digestion by means of high throughput Illumina sequencing (~51 gigabases of sequence data), disclosing nearly one million genes and extracting 106 microbial genomes by a novel strategy combining two binning processes. Microbial phylogeny and putative taxonomy performed using >400 proteins revealed that the biogas community is a trove of new species. A new approach based on functional properties as per network representation was developed to assign roles to the microbial species. The organization of the anaerobic digestion microbiome is resembled by a funnel concept, in which the microbial consortium presents a progressive functional specialization while reaching the final step of the process (i.e., methanogenesis). Key microbial genomes encoding enzymes involved in specific metabolic pathways, such as carbohydrates utilization, fatty acids degradation, amino acids fermentation, and syntrophic acetate oxidation, were identified. Additionally, the analysis identified a new uncultured archaeon that was putatively related to Methanomassiliicoccales but surprisingly having a methylotrophic methanogenic pathway. This study is a pioneer research on the phylogenetic and functional characterization of the microbial community populating biogas reactors. By applying for the first time high-throughput sequencing and a novel binning strategy, the

  11. Developing Novel Protein-based Materials using Ultrabithorax: Production, Characterization, and Functionalization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Zhao

    2011-12-01

    Compared to 'conventional' materials made from metal, glass, or ceramics, protein-based materials have unique mechanical properties. Furthermore, the morphology, mechanical properties, and functionality of protein-based materials may be optimized via sequence engineering for use in a variety of applications, including textile materials, biosensors, and tissue engineering scaffolds. The development of recombinant DNA technology has enabled the production and engineering of protein-based materials ex vivo. However, harsh production conditions can compromise the mechanical properties of protein-based materials and diminish their ability to incorporate functional proteins. Developing a new generation of protein-based materials is crucial to (i) improve materials assembly conditions, (ii) create novel mechanical properties, and (iii) expand the capacity to carry functional protein/peptide sequences. This thesis describes development of novel protein-based materials using Ultrabithorax, a member of the Hox family of proteins that regulate developmental pathways in Drosophila melanogaster. The experiments presented (i) establish the conditions required for the assembly of Ubx-based materials, (ii) generate a wide range of Ubx morphologies, (iii) examine the mechanical properties of Ubx fibers, (iv) incorporate protein functions to Ubx-based materials via gene fusion, (v) pattern protein functions within the Ubx materials, and (vi) examine the biocompatibility of Ubx materials in vitro. Ubx-based materials assemble at mild conditions compatible with protein folding and activity, which enables Ubx chimeric materials to retain the function of appended proteins in spatial patterns determined by materials assembly. Ubx-based materials also display mechanical properties comparable to existing protein-based materials and demonstrate good biocompatibility with living cells in vitro. Taken together, this research demonstrates the unique features and future potential of novel Ubx

  12. Characterization of functionalized multiwalled carbon nanotubes for use in an enzymatic sensor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guadarrama-Fernández, Leonor; Chanona-Pérez, Jorge; Manzo-Robledo, Arturo; Calderón-Domínguez, Georgina; Martínez-Rivas, Adrián; Ortiz-López, Jaime; Vargas-García, Jorge Roberto

    2014-10-01

    Carbon nanotubes (CNT) have proven to be materials with great potential for the construction of biosensors. Development of fast, simple, and low cost biosensors to follow reactions in bioprocesses, or to detect food contaminants such as toxins, chemical compounds, and microorganisms, is presently an important research topic. This report includes microscopy and spectroscopy to characterize raw and chemically modified multiwall carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) synthesized by chemical vapor deposition with the intention of using them as the active transducer in bioprocessing sensors. MWCNT were simultaneously purified and functionalized by an acid mixture involving HNO3-H2SO4 and amyloglucosidase attached onto the chemically modified MWCNT surface. A 49.0% decrease in its enzymatic activity was observed. Raw, purified, and enzyme-modified MWCNTs were analyzed by scanning and transmission electron microscopy and Raman and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. These studies confirmed purification and functionalization of the CNTs. Finally, cyclic voltammetry electrochemistry was used for electrical characterization of CNTs, which showed promising results that can be useful for construction of electrochemical biosensors applied to biological areas.

  13. Functional characterization of a synthetic hydrophilic antifungal peptide derived from the marine snail Cenchritis muricatus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    López-Abarrategui, Carlos; Alba, Annia; Silva, Osmar N; Reyes-Acosta, Osvaldo; Vasconcelos, Ilka M; Oliveira, Jose T A; Migliolo, Ludovico; Costa, Maysa P; Costa, Carolina R; Silva, Maria R R; Garay, Hilda E; Dias, Simoni C; Franco, Octávio L; Otero-González, Anselmo J

    2012-04-01

    Antimicrobial peptides have been found in mollusks and other sea animals. In this report, a crude extract of the marine snail Cenchritis muricatus was evaluated against human pathogens responsible for multiple deleterious effects and diseases. A peptide of 1485.26 Da was purified by reversed-phase HPLC and functionally characterized. This trypsinized peptide was sequenced by MS/MS technology, and a sequence (SRSELIVHQR), named Cm-p1 was recovered, chemically synthesized and functionally characterized. This peptide demonstrated the capacity to prevent the development of yeasts and filamentous fungi. Otherwise, Cm-p1 displayed no toxic effects against mammalian cells. Molecular modeling analyses showed that this peptide possible forms a single hydrophilic α-helix and the probable cationic residue involved in antifungal activity action is proposed. The data reported here demonstrate the importance of sea animals peptide discovery for biotechnological tools development that could be useful in solving human health and agribusiness problems. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  14. Microbial metaproteomics for characterizing the range of metabolic functions and activities of human gut microbiota.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xiong, Weili; Abraham, Paul E; Li, Zhou; Pan, Chongle; Hettich, Robert L

    2015-10-01

    The human gastrointestinal tract is a complex, dynamic ecosystem that consists of a carefully tuned balance of human host and microbiota membership. The microbiome is not merely a collection of opportunistic parasites, but rather provides important functions to the host that are absolutely critical to many aspects of health, including nutrient transformation and absorption, drug metabolism, pathogen defense, and immune system development. Microbial metaproteomics provides the ability to characterize the human gut microbiota functions and metabolic activities at a remarkably deep level, revealing information about microbiome development and stability as well as their interactions with their human host. Generally, microbial and human proteins can be extracted and then measured by high performance MS-based proteomics technology. Here, we review the field of human gut microbiome metaproteomics, with a focus on the experimental and informatics considerations involved in characterizing systems ranging from low-complexity model gut microbiota in gnotobiotic mice, to the emerging gut microbiome in the GI tract of newborn human infants, and finally to an established gut microbiota in human adults. © 2015 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  15. Comparative functional characterization of the CSR-1 22G-RNA pathway in Caenorhabditis nematodes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tu, Shikui; Wu, Monica Z; Wang, Jie; Cutter, Asher D; Weng, Zhiping; Claycomb, Julie M

    2015-01-01

    As a champion of small RNA research for two decades, Caenorhabditis elegans has revealed the essential Argonaute CSR-1 to play key nuclear roles in modulating chromatin, chromosome segregation and germline gene expression via 22G-small RNAs. Despite CSR-1 being preserved among diverse nematodes, the conservation and divergence in function of the targets of small RNA pathways remains poorly resolved. Here we apply comparative functional genomic analysis between C. elegans and Caenorhabditis briggsae to characterize the CSR-1 pathway, its targets and their evolution. C. briggsae CSR-1-associated small RNAs that we identified by immunoprecipitation-small RNA sequencing overlap with 22G-RNAs depleted in cbr-csr-1 RNAi-treated worms. By comparing 22G-RNAs and target genes between species, we defined a set of CSR-1 target genes with conserved germline expression, enrichment in operons and more slowly evolving coding sequences than other genes, along with a small group of evolutionarily labile targets. We demonstrate that the association of CSR-1 with chromatin is preserved, and show that depletion of cbr-csr-1 leads to chromosome segregation defects and embryonic lethality. This first comparative characterization of a small RNA pathway in Caenorhabditis establishes a conserved nuclear role for CSR-1 and highlights its key role in germline gene regulation across multiple animal species. © The Author(s) 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Nucleic Acids Research.

  16. Molecular and functional characterization of a fads2 orthologue in the Amazonian teleost, Arapaima gigas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lopes-Marques, Mónica; Ozório, Rodrigo; Amaral, Ricardo; Tocher, Douglas R; Monroig, Óscar; Castro, L Filipe C

    2017-01-01

    The Brazilian teleost Arapaima gigas is an iconic species of the Amazon. In recent years a significant effort has been put into the farming of arapaima to mitigate overfishing threats. However, little is known regarding the nutritional requirements of A. gigas in particular those for essential fatty acids including the long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC-PUFA) eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). The ability to biosynthesize LC-PUFA is dependent upon the gene repertoire of fatty acyl desaturases (Fads) and elongases (Elovl), as well as their fatty acid specificities. In the present study we characterized both molecularly and functionally an orthologue of the desaturase fatty acid desaturase 2 (fads2) from A. gigas. The isolated sequence displayed the typical desaturase features, a cytochrome b 5 -domain with the heme-binding motif, two transmembrane domains and three histidine-rich regions. Functional characterization of A. gigas fads2 showed that, similar to other teleosts, the A. gigas fads2 exhibited a predominant Δ6 activity complemented with some capacity for Δ8 desaturation. Given that A. gigas belongs to one of the oldest teleostei lineages, the Osteoglossomorpha, these findings offer a significant insight into the evolution LC-PUFA biosynthesis in teleosts. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Molecular characterization and functional analysis of IRF3 in tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gu, Yi-Feng; Wei, Qun; Tang, Shou-Jie; Chen, Xiao-Wu; Zhao, Jin-Liang

    2016-02-01

    Interferon regulatory factor 3 (IRF3) plays a key role in interferon (IFN) response and binding to the IFN stimulatory response elements (ISREs) within the promoter of IFN and IFN-stimulated genes followed by virus infection. In the current study, we discovered one IRF3 homologue in tilapia genome and analyzed the characterizations and functions of tilapia IRF3. Tilapia IRF3 contains 1368 bp with an ORF of 455 aa. Structurally, tilapia IRF3 protein typically shares the conserved characterizations with other species' IRF3 homologues, displaying conserved DNA-binding domain, IRF association domain, serine-rich C terminal domain, and tryptophan residue cluster. Phylogenetic analysis illustrated that tilapia IRF3 belongs to the IRF3 subfamily. Real-time PCR revealed a broad expression pattern of tilapia IRF3 in various tissues. Subcellular localization analysis showed that tilapia IRF3 mainly resides in the cytoplasm, Western blot demonstrated that IRF3 was distributed in the cytoplasmic fraction. Functionally, IRF3 was found to be transcriptionally up-regulated by the poly I:C stimulation. Moreover, reporter assay elucidated that tilapia IRF3 serves as a regulator in mediating IFN response by increasing the activity of IFN-β and ISRE-containing promoter. These data supported the view that tilapia IRF3 is a potential molecule in IFN immune defense system against viral infection. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Cloning and Functional Characterization of the Maize (Zea mays L.) Carotenoid Epsilon Hydroxylase Gene

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sheng, Yanmin; Wang, Yingdian; Capell, Teresa; Shi, Lianxuan; Ni, Xiuzhen; Sandmann, Gerhard; Christou, Paul; Zhu, Changfu

    2015-01-01

    The assignment of functions to genes in the carotenoid biosynthesis pathway is necessary to understand how the pathway is regulated and to obtain the basic information required for metabolic engineering. Few carotenoid ε-hydroxylases have been functionally characterized in plants although this would provide insight into the hydroxylation steps in the pathway. We therefore isolated mRNA from the endosperm of maize (Zea mays L., inbred line B73) and cloned a full-length cDNA encoding CYP97C19, a putative heme-containing carotenoid ε hydroxylase and member of the cytochrome P450 family. The corresponding CYP97C19 genomic locus on chromosome 1 was found to comprise a single-copy gene with nine introns. We expressed CYP97C19 cDNA under the control of the constitutive CaMV 35S promoter in the Arabidopsis thaliana lut1 knockout mutant, which lacks a functional CYP97C1 (LUT1) gene. The analysis of carotenoid levels and composition showed that lutein accumulated to high levels in the rosette leaves of the transgenic lines but not in the untransformed lut1 mutants. These results allowed the unambiguous functional annotation of maize CYP97C19 as an enzyme with strong zeinoxanthin ε-ring hydroxylation activity. PMID:26030746

  19. Synthesis, characterization, and nonlinear optical properties of graphene oxide functionalized with tetra-amino porphyrin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamuna, R.; Ramakrishnan, S.; Dhara, Keerthy; Devi, R.; Kothurkar, Nikhil K.; Kirubha, E.; Palanisamy, P. K.

    2013-01-01

    The synthesis of a porphyrin-graphene oxide hybrid (GO-TAP) was carried out by covalently functionalizing graphene oxide (GO) with 5,10,15,20 mesotetra (4-aminophenyl) porphyrin (TAP) through an amide linkage. The GO-TAP hybrid has been characterized by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, and UV-visible spectroscopy. The peak intensity of the Soret band of the material was suppressed compared to neat TAP. This indicates a strong interaction between the electronic energy level of TAP and GO in the GO-TAP hybrid. The functionalization of GO with TAP significantly improved its solubility and dispersion stability in organic solvents. Scanning electron micrographs reveal that the hybrid was found to be similar to the unmodified GO but slightly more wrinkled. Transmission electron micrographs also demonstrate that GO sheet in the hybrid is more wrinkled with some dark spot due to functionalization. Atomic force microscopy results also reveal that the TAP functionalization increases the thickness of GO sheet to 2.0-3.0 nm from 1.2 to 1.8 nm. We observed improved nonlinear optical and optical limiting properties for the hybrid compared to both graphene oxide and porphyrin. GO-TAP shows fluorescence quenching compared with porphyrin, indicating excellent electron and/or energy transfer to GO from TAP. Thermogravimetric analysis confirms that the GO-TAP hybrid has outstanding thermal stability.

  20. Synthesis, characterization, and nonlinear optical properties of graphene oxide functionalized with tetra-amino porphyrin

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yamuna, R.; Ramakrishnan, S.; Dhara, Keerthy; Devi, R.; Kothurkar, Nikhil K.; Kirubha, E.; Palanisamy, P. K.

    2013-01-01

    The synthesis of a porphyrin–graphene oxide hybrid (GO–TAP) was carried out by covalently functionalizing graphene oxide (GO) with 5,10,15,20 mesotetra (4-aminophenyl) porphyrin (TAP) through an amide linkage. The GO–TAP hybrid has been characterized by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, and UV–visible spectroscopy. The peak intensity of the Soret band of the material was suppressed compared to neat TAP. This indicates a strong interaction between the electronic energy level of TAP and GO in the GO–TAP hybrid. The functionalization of GO with TAP significantly improved its solubility and dispersion stability in organic solvents. Scanning electron micrographs reveal that the hybrid was found to be similar to the unmodified GO but slightly more wrinkled. Transmission electron micrographs also demonstrate that GO sheet in the hybrid is more wrinkled with some dark spot due to functionalization. Atomic force microscopy results also reveal that the TAP functionalization increases the thickness of GO sheet to 2.0–3.0 nm from 1.2 to 1.8 nm. We observed improved nonlinear optical and optical limiting properties for the hybrid compared to both graphene oxide and porphyrin. GO–TAP shows fluorescence quenching compared with porphyrin, indicating excellent electron and/or energy transfer to GO from TAP. Thermogravimetric analysis confirms that the GO–TAP hybrid has outstanding thermal stability.

  1. Amine-functionalized, silver-exchanged zeolite NaY: Preparation, characterization and antibacterial activity

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hanim, Siti Aishah Mohd; Malek, Nik Ahmad Nizam Nik, E-mail: niknizam@fbb.utm.my; Ibrahim, Zaharah

    2016-01-01

    Graphical abstract: - Highlights: • Functionalization of Ag-exchanged zeolite NaY with 3-aminopropyltriethoxysilane APTES (ZSA) as antibacterial agent. • Antibacterial assay of ZSA was performed against Escherichia coli ATCC11229 and Staphylococcus aureus ATCC6538. • Functionalization of Ag-exchanged zeolite NaY with APTES significantly increased the antibacterial agent. • Different mechanisms of bacterial death were suggested for each bacteria type by the functionalized Ag-exchanged zeolite NaY. - Abstract: Amine-functionalized, silver-exchanged zeolite NaY (ZSA) were prepared with three different concentrations of 3-aminopropyltriethoxysilane (APTES) (0.01, 0.20 and 0.40 M) and four different concentrations of silver ions (25%, 50%, 100% and 200% from zeolite cation exchange capacity (CEC)). The samples were characterized by Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction (XRD), field emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM), energy-dispersive X-ray (EDX), surface area analysis, thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) and zeta potential (ZP) analysis. The FTIR results indicated that the zeolite was functionalized by APTES and that the intensity of the peaks corresponding to APTES increased as the concentration of APTES used was increased. The antibacterial activities of the silver-exchanged zeolite NaY (ZS) and ZSA were studied against Escherichia coli ATCC11229 and Staphylococcus aureus ATCC6538 using the disc diffusion technique (DDT) and minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC). The antibacterial activity of ZSA increased with the increase in APTES on ZS, and E. coli was more susceptible towards the sample compared to S. aureus. The FESEM micrographs of the bacteria after contact with the ZSA suggested different mechanisms of bacterial death for these two bacteria due to exposure to the studied sample. The functionalization of ZS with APTES improved the antibacterial activity of the silver-zeolite, depending on the concentration of silver

  2. Lysine-functionalized nanodiamonds: synthesis, physiochemical characterization, and nucleic acid binding studies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaur, Randeep; Chitanda, Jackson M; Michel, Deborah; Maley, Jason; Borondics, Ferenc; Yang, Peng; Verrall, Ronald E; Badea, Ildiko

    2012-01-01

    Purpose: Detonation nanodiamonds (NDs) are carbon-based nanomaterials that, because of their size (4–5 nm), stable inert core, alterable surface chemistry, fluorescence, and biocompatibility, are emerging as bioimaging agents and promising tools for the delivery of biochemical molecules into cellular systems. However, diamond particles possess a strong propensity to aggregate in liquid formulation media, restricting their applicability in biomedical sciences. Here, the authors describe the covalent functionalization of NDs with lysine in an attempt to develop nanoparticles able to act as suitable nonviral vectors for transferring genetic materials across cellular membranes. Methods: NDs were oxidized and functionalized by binding lysine moieties attached to a three-carbon-length linker (1,3-diaminopropane) to their surfaces through amide bonds. Raman and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, zeta potential measurement, dynamic light scattering, atomic force microscopic imaging, and thermogravimetric analysis were used to characterize the lysine-functionalized NDs. Finally, the ability of the functionalized diamonds to bind plasmid DNA and small interfering RNA was investigated by gel electrophoresis assay and through size and zeta potential measurements. Results: NDs were successfully functionalized with the lysine linker, producing surface loading of 1.7 mmol g−1 of ND. These modified NDs formed highly stable aqueous dispersions with a zeta potential of 49 mV and particle size of approximately 20 nm. The functionalized NDs were found to be able to bind plasmid DNA and small interfering RNA by forming nanosized “diamoplexes”. Conclusion: The lysine-substituted ND particles generated in this study exhibit stable aqueous formulations and show potential for use as carriers for genetic materials. PMID:22904623

  3. Innovative analytical tools to characterize prebiotic carbohydrates of functional food interest.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corradini, Claudio; Lantano, Claudia; Cavazza, Antonella

    2013-05-01

    Functional foods are one of the most interesting areas of research and innovation in the food industry. A functional food or functional ingredient is considered to be any food or food component that provides health benefits beyond basic nutrition. Recently, consumers have shown interest in natural bioactive compounds as functional ingredients in the diet owing to their various beneficial effects for health. Water-soluble fibers and nondigestible oligosaccharides and polysaccharides can be defined as functional food ingredients. Fructooligosaccharides (FOS) and inulin are resistant to direct metabolism by the host and reach the caecocolon, where they are used by selected groups of beneficial bacteria. Furthermore, they are able to improve physical and structural properties of food, such as hydration, oil-holding capacity, viscosity, texture, sensory characteristics, and shelf-life. This article reviews major innovative analytical developments to screen and identify FOS, inulins, and the most employed nonstarch carbohydrates added or naturally present in functional food formulations. High-performance anion-exchange chromatography with pulsed electrochemical detection (HPAEC-PED) is one of the most employed analytical techniques for the characterization of those molecules. Mass spectrometry is also of great help, in particularly matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF-MS), which is able to provide extensive information regarding the molecular weight and length profiles of oligosaccharides and polysaccharides. Moreover, MALDI-TOF-MS in combination with HPAEC-PED has been shown to be of great value for the complementary information it can provide. Some other techniques, such as NMR spectroscopy, are also discussed, with relevant examples of recent applications. A number of articles have appeared in the literature in recent years regarding the analysis of inulin, FOS, and other carbohydrates of interest in the field and

  4. Functional characterization of three MicroRNAs of the Asian Tiger Mosquito, Aedes albopictus

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-01

    Background Temporal and stage specific expression of microRNAs (miRNAs) in embryos, larvae, pupae and adults of Aedes albopictus showed differential expression levels across the four developmental stages, indicating their potential regulatory roles in mosquito development. The functional characterization of these miRNAs was not known. Accordingly our study evaluated the functional characterization of three miRNAs, which are temporally up-regulated in the various developmental stages of Ae. albopictus mosquitoes. Methods miRNA mimics, inhibitors and negative controls were designed and their knock-in and knock-down efficiency were analyzed by qRT-PCR after transfecting the mosquito cell lines C6/36, and also by injecting in their specific developmental stages. The functional role of each individual miRNA was analyzed with various parameters of development such as, hatching rate and hatching time in embryos, eclosion rate in larvae, longevity and fecundity in the adult mosquitoes. Results The knock-in with the specifically designed miRNA mimics showed increased levels of expression of miRNA compared with their normal controls. We confirmed these findings using qRT-PCR, both by in vitro expression in C6/36 mosquito cell lines after transfection as well as in in vivo expression in developmental stages of mosquitoes by microinjection. The knock-down of expression with the corresponding inhibitors showed a considerable decrease in the expression levels of these miRNAs and obvious functional effects in Ae. albopictus development, detected by a decrease in the hatching rate of embryos and eclosion rate in larvae and a marked reduction in longevity and fecundity in adults. Conclusion This study carried out by knock-in and knock-down of specifically and temporally expressed miRNAs in Ae. albopictus by microinjection is a novel study to delineate the importance of the miRNA expression in regulating mosquito development. The knock-down and loss of function of endogenously

  5. Functional characterization and evolution of PTH/PTHrP receptors: insights from the chicken

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pinheiro Pedro LC

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The parathyroid hormone (PTH-family consists of a group of structurally related factors that regulate calcium and bone homeostasis and are also involved in development of organs such as the heart, mammary gland and immune system. They interact with specific members of family 2 B1 G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs, which have been characterised in teleosts and mammals. Two PTH/PTHrP receptors, PTH1R and PTH2R exist in mammals and in teleost fish a further receptor PTH3R has also been identified. Recently in chicken, PTH-family members involved in calcium transport were characterized and specific PTHRs are suggested to exist although they have not yet been isolated or functionally characterized. The aim of this study is to further explore the evolution and function of the vertebrate PTH/PTHrP system through the isolation, phylogenetic analysis and functional characterization of the chicken receptors. Results Two PTHRs were isolated in chicken and sequence comparison and phylogenetic analysis indicate that the chicken receptors correspond to PTH1R and PTH3R, which emerged prior to the teleost/tetrapod divergence since they are present in cartilaginous fish. The vertebrate PTH2R receptor and its ligand TIP39 have been lost from bird genomes. Chicken PTH1R and PTH3R have a divergent and widespread tissue expression and are also evident in very early embryonic stages of development. Receptor stimulation studies using HEK293 cells stably expressing the chicken PTH1R and PTH3R and monitoring cAMP production revealed they are activated by chicken 1–34 N-terminal PTH-family peptides in a dose dependent manner. PTH-L and PTHrP were the most effective peptides in activating PTH1R (EC50 = 7.7 nM and EC50 = 22.7 nM, respectively. In contrast, PTH-L (100 nM produced a small cAMP accumulation on activation of PTH3R but PTHrP and PTH (EC50 = 2.5 nM and EC50 = 22.1 nM, respectively readily activated the receptor. PTHr

  6. Techno-functional differentiation of two vitamin B12 producing Lactobacillus plantarum strains: an elucidation for diverse future use.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhushan, Bharat; Tomar, S K; Chauhan, Arun

    2017-01-01

    An appropriate selection of Lactobacillus strain (probiotic/starter/functional) on the basis of its techno-functional characteristics is required before developing a novel fermented functional food. We compared vitamin B 12 (B 12 , cobalamin) producing Lactobacillus plantarum isolates, BHM10 and BCF20, for functional (vitamin over-production, genomic insight to B 12 structural genes, and probiotic attributes) and technological [milks (skim and soy) fermentation and B 12 bio-fortification] characteristics. Addition of B 12 precursors (5-amonolevulinate and dimethylbenzimidazole) to cobalamin-free fermentation medium increased vitamin production in BHM10, BCF20, and DSM20016 (a positive standard) by 3.4-, 4.4-, and 3.86-folds, respectively. Three important B 12 structural genes were detected in L. plantarum species (strains BHM10 and BCF20) by PCR for the first time. The gene sequences were submitted to NCBI GenBank and found phylogenetically closer to respective sequences in B 12 producing Lactobacillus reuteri strains. During comparative probiotic testing, BCF20 showed significantly higher (p < 0.05 to p < 0.001) gastrointestinal tolerance and cell surface hydrophobicity (p < 0.05) than BHM10. Moreover, only BCF20 was found positive for BSH activity and also exhibited comparatively better antagonistic potential against potent pathogens. Conversely, high acid and bile susceptible strain BHM10 displayed significantly higher soy milk fermentation and resultant B 12 bio-fortification abilities during technological testing. Two B 12 quantification techniques, UFLC and competitive immunoassay, confirmed the in vitro and in situ bio-production of bio-available form of B 12 after BHM10 fermentation. Conclusively, techno-functional differentiation of two B 12 producing strains elucidates their diverse future use; BCF20 either for B 12 over-production (in vitro) or as a probiotic candidate, while BHM10 for cobalamin bio-fortification (in situ) in soy milk.

  7. Efficient generation of endothelial cells from human pluripotent stem cells and characterization of their functional properties.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Song, Wei; Kaufman, Dan S; Shen, Wei

    2016-03-01

    Although endothelial cells (ECs) have been derived from human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs), large-scale generation of hPSC-ECs remains challenging and their functions are not well characterized. Here we report a simple and efficient three-stage method that allows generation of approximately 98 and 9500 ECs on day 16 and day 34, respectively, from each human embryonic stem cell (hESC) input. The functional properties of hESC-ECs derived in the presence and absence of a TGFβ-inhibitory molecule SB431542 were characterized and compared with those of human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs). Confluent monolayers formed by SB431542 + hESC-ECs, SB431542 - hESC-ECs, and HUVECs showed similar permeability to 10,000 Da dextran, but these cells exhibited striking differences in forming tube-like structures in 3D fibrin gels. The SB431542 + hESC-ECs were most potent in forming tube-like structures regardless of whether VEGF and bFGF were present in the medium; less potent SB431542 - hESC-ECs and HUVECs responded differently to VEGF and bFGF, which significantly enhanced the ability of HUVECs to form tube-like structures but had little impact on SB431542 - hESC-ECs. This study offers an efficient approach to large-scale hPSC-EC production and suggests that the phenotypes and functions of hPSC-ECs derived under different conditions need to be thoroughly examined before their use in technology development. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Biomed Mater Res Part A: 104A: 678-687, 2016. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  8. Biochar-based functional materials in the purification of agricultural wastewater: Fabrication, application and future research needs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wei, Dongning; Li, Bingyu; Huang, Hongli; Luo, Lin; Zhang, Jiachao; Yang, Yuan; Guo, Jiajun; Tang, Lin; Zeng, Guangming; Zhou, Yaoyu

    2018-04-01

    Nowadays, agricultural contamination is becoming more and more serious due to the rapid growth of agricultural industry, which discharged antibiotics, pesticides or toxic metals into farmlands. A large number of researchers have applied biochar-based functional materials to the treatment of agricultural wastewater contamination. Meanwhile, biochar has also proved to be a very promising and effective technology in water purification field due to its various beneficial properties (e.g., cost effective, high specific surface area, and surface reactive groups). The focus of this review is to highlight the fabrication methods and application of biochar-based functional materials with the removal of different agricultural contaminants, and discuss the underlying mechanisms. However, the application of biochar-based functional materials is currently under its infancy, with the main hindrance is identified as the gap between laboratory scale and field application, immaturity of engineered biochar production technologies, and lack of quality standards. In order to fill these knowledge gaps, more efforts should be made to pay for the relevant research in future studies. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. Improved hepatocyte function of future liver remnant of cirrhotic rats after portal vein ligation: a bonus other than volume shifting.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Kun-Ju; Liao, Chien-Hung; Hsiao, Ing-Tsung; Yen, Tzu-Chen; Chen, Tse-Ching; Jan, Yi-Yin; Chen, Miin-Fu; Yeh, Ta-Sen

    2009-02-01

    Preoperative portal vein embolization is increasingly employed for those with hepatocellular carcinoma and cirrhosis to gain a volume-shifting effect. However, the alterations of histologic architecture and hepatocyte function of future liver remnant (FLR) remain unexplored. Portal vein ligation (PVL) was performed in cirrhotic and noncirrhotic rats. Regeneration indices that include the DNA synthesis index, restituted liver mass, and the redistributed volume ratio were measured. The indocyanine green 15' retention test (ICG-R15), histologic changes, total Knodell score, and activated hepatic stellate cells (HSCs) were measured before and after PVL. Tc-99m sulfur-colloid liver single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) and diisopropyl iminoacetic acid (DISIDA) SPECT were conducted. The redistributed volume ratio of cirrhotic rats was less than noncirrhotic rats (63% vs 80%, P baseline (6.0 +/- 4.1% vs 15.8 +/- 4.6%, P baseline. The redistributed volume ratio of noncirrhotic and cirrhotic rats based on 99mTc sulfur-colloid SPECT were 79% and 64%, respectively. The clearance T(1/2) of FLR in cirrhotic rats based on DISIDA SPECT was decreased compared with baseline (5.2 +/- 1.9 min vs 8.6 +/- 3.1 min). The regenerated functional liver mass of cirrhotic rats after PVL is less than noncirrhotic rats, whereas the hepatocyte function of FLR in cirrhotic rats is improved relevant to tissue remodeling.

  10. Actinobacteria phylogenomics, selective isolation from an iron oligotrophic environment and siderophore functional characterization, unveil new desferrioxamine traits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cruz-Morales, Pablo; Ramos-Aboites, Hilda E; Licona-Cassani, Cuauhtémoc; Selem-Mójica, Nelly; Mejía-Ponce, Paulina M; Souza-Saldívar, Valeria; Barona-Gómez, Francisco

    2017-09-01

    Desferrioxamines are hydroxamate siderophores widely conserved in both aquatic and soil-dwelling Actinobacteria. While the genetic and enzymatic bases of siderophore biosynthesis and their transport in model families of this phylum are well understood, evolutionary studies are lacking. Here, we perform a comprehensive desferrioxamine-centric (des genes) phylogenomic analysis, which includes the genomes of six novel strains isolated from an iron and phosphorous depleted oasis in the Chihuahuan desert of Mexico. Our analyses reveal previously unnoticed desferrioxamine evolutionary patterns, involving both biosynthetic and transport genes, likely to be related to desferrioxamines chemical diversity. The identified patterns were used to postulate experimentally testable hypotheses after phenotypic characterization, including profiling of siderophores production and growth stimulation of co-cultures under iron deficiency. Based in our results, we propose a novel des gene, which we term desG, as responsible for incorporation of phenylacetyl moieties during biosynthesis of previously reported arylated desferrioxamines. Moreover, a genomic-based classification of the siderophore-binding proteins responsible for specific and generalist siderophore assimilation is postulated. This report provides a much-needed evolutionary framework, with specific insights supported by experimental data, to direct the future ecological and functional analysis of desferrioxamines in the environment. © FEMS 2017.

  11. Characterization and functional analysis of Calmodulin and Calmodulin-like genes in Fragaria vesca

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kai Zhang

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Calcium is a universal messenger that is involved in the modulation of diverse developmental and adaptive processes in response to various stimuli. Calmodulin (CaM and calmodulin-like (CML proteins are major calcium sensors in all eukaryotes, and they have been extensively investigated for many years in plants and animals. However, little is known about CaMs and CMLs in woodland strawberry (Fragaria vesca. In this study, we performed a genome-wide analysis of the strawberry genome and identified 4 CaM and 36 CML genes. Bioinformatics analyses, including gene structure, phylogenetic tree, synteny and three-dimensional model assessments, revealed the conservation and divergence of FvCaMs and FvCMLs, thus providing insight regarding their functions. In addition, the transcript abundance of four FvCaM genes and the four most related FvCML genes were examined in different tissues and in response to multiple stress and hormone treatments. Moreover, we investigated the subcellular localization of several FvCaMs and FvCMLs, revealing their potential interactions based on the localizations and potential functions. Furthermore, overexpression of five FvCaM and FvCML genes could not induce a hypersensitive response, but four of the five genes could increase resistance to Agrobacterium tumefaciens in Nicotiana benthamiana leaves. This study provides evidence for the biological roles of FvCaM and CML genes, and the results lay the foundation for future functional studies of these genes.

  12. Characterization of the equine skeletal muscle transcriptome identifies novel functional responses to exercise training.

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    McGivney, Beatrice A

    2010-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Digital gene expression profiling was used to characterize the assembly of genes expressed in equine skeletal muscle and to identify the subset of genes that were differentially expressed following a ten-month period of exercise training. The study cohort comprised seven Thoroughbred racehorses from a single training yard. Skeletal muscle biopsies were collected at rest from the gluteus medius at two time points: T(1) - untrained, (9 +\\/- 0.5 months old) and T(2) - trained (20 +\\/- 0.7 months old). RESULTS: The most abundant mRNA transcripts in the muscle transcriptome were those involved in muscle contraction, aerobic respiration and mitochondrial function. A previously unreported over-representation of genes related to RNA processing, the stress response and proteolysis was observed. Following training 92 tags were differentially expressed of which 74 were annotated. Sixteen genes showed increased expression, including the mitochondrial genes ACADVL, MRPS21 and SLC25A29 encoded by the nuclear genome. Among the 58 genes with decreased expression, MSTN, a negative regulator of muscle growth, had the greatest decrease.Functional analysis of all expressed genes using FatiScan revealed an asymmetric distribution of 482 Gene Ontology (GO) groups and 18 KEGG pathways. Functional groups displaying highly significant (P < 0.0001) increased expression included mitochondrion, oxidative phosphorylation and fatty acid metabolism while functional groups with decreased expression were mainly associated with structural genes and included the sarcoplasm, laminin complex and cytoskeleton. CONCLUSION: Exercise training in Thoroughbred racehorses results in coordinate changes in the gene expression of functional groups of genes related to metabolism, oxidative phosphorylation and muscle structure.

  13. Simulating the Impacts of Tree, C3, and C4 Plant Functional Types on the Future Climate of West Africa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christiana Funmilola Olusegun

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available This study investigates the future climatic impacts of different percentages of trees/shrubs, C4 and C3 plant functional types (PFTs over the West Africa region. The ratio of co-existence among the different PFTs was done as a representation of agri-silviculture practices over the region. Nine sensitivity experiments of different percentages of trees/shrubs, and C4 and C3 PFTs were carried out with a regional climate model (RegCM4 driven by Global Climate Model (HADGEM2-ES outputs. These experiments were carried out along the Guinea Savana zone of West Africa using both prescribed and dynamic vegetation options of the model. The model simulated the seasonal evolution of precipitation and temperature fields quite well, with correlations greater than 0.8, but exhibited cold and wet biases of about 1–2 °C and 1–4 mm/day, respectively. Widespread warming (1–3 °C and drying (1–2 mm/day is projected in the near future across most parts of West Africa all year round. The West African future climate change associated with the different percentages of trees/shrubs, and C4 and C3 PFTs varied with the vegetation state (prescribed or dynamic and model domain sizes. The prescribed vegetation experiments induced cooling of about 0.5–2 °C in most areas along the designated agri-silviculture zone, except Liberia and Sierra Leone. Similarly, enhanced precipitation occurred over most parts of Ghana and coastal parts of Nigeria (0.5–3 mm/day. On the other hand, the dynamic vegetation option did not exhibit pronounced changes in temperature and precipitation, except with a larger domain size. This study suggests the implementation of agri-silviculture as a mitigation and adaptation land-use practice across West Africa if drought-tolerant crops and the deciduous trees are adopted.

  14. A primer on brain-machine interfaces, concepts, and technology: a key element in the future of functional neurorestoration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Brian; Liu, Charles Y; Apuzzo, Michael L J

    2013-01-01

    Conventionally, the practice of neurosurgery has been characterized by the removal of pathology, congenital or acquired. The emerging complement to the removal of pathology is surgery for the specific purpose of restoration of function. Advents in neuroscience, technology, and the understanding of neural circuitry are creating opportunities to intervene in disease processes in a reparative manner, thereby advancing toward the long-sought-after concept of neurorestoration. Approaching the issue of neurorestoration from a biomedical engineering perspective is the rapidly growing arena of implantable devices. Implantable devices are becoming more common in medicine and are making significant advancements to improve a patient's functional outcome. Devices such as deep brain stimulators, vagus nerve stimulators, and spinal cord stimulators are now becoming more commonplace in neurosurgery as we utilize our understanding of the nervous system to interpret neural activity and restore function. One of the most exciting prospects in neurosurgery is the technologically driven field of brain-machine interface, also known as brain-computer interface, or neuroprosthetics. The successful development of this technology will have far-reaching implications for patients suffering from a great number of diseases, including but not limited to spinal cord injury, paralysis, stroke, or loss of limb. This article provides an overview of the issues related to neurorestoration using implantable devices with a specific focus on brain-machine interface technology. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. Physicochemical characterization of functionalized-nanostructured-titania as a carrier of copper complexes for cancer treatment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    López, Tessy [Nanotechnology and Nanomedicine Laboratory, Metropolitan Autonomous University-Xochimilco, Calzada del Hueso 1100, Villa Quietud, Coyoacán, 04960 México D.F. (Mexico); Nanotechnology Laboratory, National Institute of Neurology and Neurosurgery “MVS”, Avenida Insurgentes Sur 3877, La Fama, Tlalpan, 14269 México D.F. (Mexico); Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Tulane University, 6823 St. Charles Avenue, New Orleans (United States); Ortiz, Emma, E-mail: emma170@hotmail.com [Nanotechnology Laboratory, National Institute of Neurology and Neurosurgery “MVS”, Avenida Insurgentes Sur 3877, La Fama, Tlalpan, 14269 México D.F. (Mexico); Guevara, Patricia [Neuroimmunology Laboratory, National Institute of Neurology and Neurosurgery “MVS”, Insurgentes Sur 3877, La Fama, Tlalpan, 14269 México D.F. (Mexico); Gómez, Esteban [Nanotechnology Laboratory, National Institute of Neurology and Neurosurgery “MVS”, Avenida Insurgentes Sur 3877, La Fama, Tlalpan, 14269 México D.F. (Mexico); Novaro, Octavio [Institute of Physics-UNAM, Circuito de la Investigación Científica Ciudad Universitaria, CP 04510 México D.F. (Mexico)

    2014-07-01

    In the present paper we report the preparation and characterization of functionalized-TiO{sub 2} (F-TiO{sub 2}) to obtain a biocompatible material to be used as carrier of alternative anticancer agents: copper acetate and copper acetylacetonate. The sol–gel procedure was used to prepare the fuctionalized titania material through hydrolysis and condensation of the titanium's butoxide. Sulfate, amine and phosphate ions served as functional groups which were anchored to the titania's surface. Mineral acids and gamma amine butyric acid were the precursors and they were added at the initial step of the synthesis. The copper complexes were loaded on titania and were also added to the reactor synthesis from the beginning. Infrared and ultraviolet–visible spectroscopies were the principal techniques used to the characterization of F-TiO{sub 2} and copper complexes loaded on titania materials. Transmission Electronic Microscopy (TEM) was used to complement the characterization's studies. The biocompatibility of F-TiO{sub 2} was evaluated by treating different cancer cell lines with increased concentration of this compound. The amine, the sulfate and the phosphate on the titania's surface, as well as the integral structures of the metal complexes on titania were well identified by infrared and ultraviolet–visible spectroscopies. The TEM photographs of Cu(acac){sub 2}/F-TiO{sub 2} and Cu(Oac){sub 2}/F-TiO{sub 2} materials showed the formation of nanoparticles, which have sizes ranging from 4 to 10 nm, with no morphology alterations in comparison with F-TiO{sub 2} nanoparticles, suggesting that the presence of low quantities of copper do not affect the structure of the nanoparticles. The Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy (EDS) confirms the presence of copper on the titania's nanoparticles. The biological results indicate that there is more than 90% cell survival, thus suggesting that F-TiO{sub 2} does not cause damage to the cells. Therefore

  16. Physicochemical characterization of functionalized-nanostructured-titania as a carrier of copper complexes for cancer treatment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    López, Tessy; Ortiz, Emma; Guevara, Patricia; Gómez, Esteban; Novaro, Octavio

    2014-01-01

    In the present paper we report the preparation and characterization of functionalized-TiO 2 (F-TiO 2 ) to obtain a biocompatible material to be used as carrier of alternative anticancer agents: copper acetate and copper acetylacetonate. The sol–gel procedure was used to prepare the fuctionalized titania material through hydrolysis and condensation of the titanium's butoxide. Sulfate, amine and phosphate ions served as functional groups which were anchored to the titania's surface. Mineral acids and gamma amine butyric acid were the precursors and they were added at the initial step of the synthesis. The copper complexes were loaded on titania and were also added to the reactor synthesis from the beginning. Infrared and ultraviolet–visible spectroscopies were the principal techniques used to the characterization of F-TiO 2 and copper complexes loaded on titania materials. Transmission Electronic Microscopy (TEM) was used to complement the characterization's studies. The biocompatibility of F-TiO 2 was evaluated by treating different cancer cell lines with increased concentration of this compound. The amine, the sulfate and the phosphate on the titania's surface, as well as the integral structures of the metal complexes on titania were well identified by infrared and ultraviolet–visible spectroscopies. The TEM photographs of Cu(acac) 2 /F-TiO 2 and Cu(Oac) 2 /F-TiO 2 materials showed the formation of nanoparticles, which have sizes ranging from 4 to 10 nm, with no morphology alterations in comparison with F-TiO 2 nanoparticles, suggesting that the presence of low quantities of copper do not affect the structure of the nanoparticles. The Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy (EDS) confirms the presence of copper on the titania's nanoparticles. The biological results indicate that there is more than 90% cell survival, thus suggesting that F-TiO 2 does not cause damage to the cells. Therefore, highly biocompatible titania was obtained by

  17. Experience of regulatory body functioning in energy industry of Ukraine: Prospects for future development of state regulation of energy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Oruskaya, M.

    2002-01-01

    Materials collected (presented) in the paper introduce to (familiarise) the audience with the main forms, methods and phases of the state regulation of energy industry in Ukraine in the period of transition to market economy. Special attention was paid to the following aspects: 1. Necessity and history of establishment of special regulatory body in Ukraine - The National Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC); 2. The main tasks and authorities of NERC according to the Ukraine Law on Energy Sector; 3. Regulation mechanisms of the main processes in the energy industry used by the Commission on the current level of energy sector development and economic results of its introduction; 4. Problems with functioning of the wholesale energy market specifically as the main component of the Ukraine energy industry and trends of future development (improvement of energy industry's financial situation, intensification of competition between energy producers and suppliers, improvement of tariff and investment policies, etc.); 5. Necessity and ways of future improvement of the standards and legal basis for regulation in Ukraine. (author)

  18. Identification, functional characterization and developmental regulation of sesquiterpene synthases from sunflower capitate glandular trichomes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ro Dae-Kyun

    2009-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Sesquiterpene lactones are characteristic metabolites of Asteraceae (or Compositae which often display potent bioactivities and are sequestered in specialized organs such as laticifers, resin ducts, and trichomes. For characterization of sunflower sesquiterpene synthases we employed a simple method to isolate pure trichomes from anther appendages which facilitated the identification of these genes and investigation of their enzymatic functions and expression patterns during trichome development. Results Glandular trichomes of sunflower (Helianthus annuus L. were isolated, and their RNA was extracted to investigate the initial steps of sesquiterpene lactone biosynthesis. Reverse transcription-PCR experiments led to the identification of three sesquiterpene synthases. By combination of in vitro and in vivo characterization of sesquiterpene synthase gene products in Escherichia coli and Saccharomyces cerevisiae, respectively, two enzymes were identified as germacrene A synthases, the key enzymes of sesquiterpene lactone biosynthesis. Due to the very low in vitro activity, the third enzyme was expressed in vivo in yeast as a thioredoxin-fusion protein for functional characterization. In in vivo assays, it was identified as a multiproduct enzyme with the volatile sesquiterpene hydrocarbon δ-cadinene as one of the two main products with α-muuorlene, β-caryophyllene, α-humulene and α-copaene as minor products. The second main compound remained unidentified. For expression studies, glandular trichomes from the anther appendages of sunflower florets were isolated in particular developmental stages from the pre- to the post-secretory phase. All three sesquiterpene synthases were solely upregulated during the biosynthetically active stages of the trichomes. Expression in different aerial plant parts coincided with occurrence and maturity of trichomes. Young roots with root hairs showed expression of the sesquiterpene synthase genes

  19. Characterizing the Input-Output Function of the Olfactory-Limbic Pathway in the Guinea Pig

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gian Luca Breschi

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Nowadays the neuroscientific community is taking more and more advantage of the continuous interaction between engineers and computational neuroscientists in order to develop neuroprostheses aimed at replacing damaged brain areas with artificial devices. To this end, a technological effort is required to develop neural network models which can be fed with the recorded electrophysiological patterns to yield the correct brain stimulation to recover the desired functions. In this paper we present a machine learning approach to derive the input-output function of the olfactory-limbic pathway in the in vitro whole brain of guinea pig, less complex and more controllable than an in vivo system. We first experimentally characterized the neuronal pathway by delivering different sets of electrical stimuli from the lateral olfactory tract (LOT and by recording the corresponding responses in the lateral entorhinal cortex (l-ERC. As a second step, we used information theory to evaluate how much information output features carry about the input. Finally we used the acquired data to learn the LOT-l-ERC “I/O function,” by means of the kernel regularized least squares method, able to predict l-ERC responses on the basis of LOT stimulation features. Our modeling approach can be further exploited for brain prostheses applications.

  20. Green Synthesis, Characterization and Application of Proanthocyanidins-Functionalized Gold Nanoparticles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Linhai Biao

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Green synthesis of gold nanoparticles using plant extracts is one of the more promising approaches for obtaining environmentally friendly nanomaterials for biological applications and environmental remediation. In this study, proanthocyanidins-functionalized gold nanoparticles were synthesized via a hydrothermal method. The obtained gold nanoparticles were characterized by ultraviolet and visible spectrophotometry (UV-Vis, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR, transmission electron microscopy (TEM and X-ray diffraction (XRD measurements. UV-Vis and FTIR results indicated that the obtained products were mainly spherical in shape, and that the phenolic hydroxyl of proanthocyanidins had strong interactions with the gold surface. TEM and XRD determination revealed that the synthesized gold nanoparticles had a highly crystalline structure and good monodispersity. The application of proanthocyanidins-functionalized gold nanoparticles for the removal of dyes and heavy metal ions Ni2+, Cu2+, Cd2+ and Pb2+ in an aqueous solution was investigated. The primary results indicate that proanthocyanidins-functionalized gold nanoparticles had high removal rates for the heavy metal ions and dye, which implies that they have potential applications as a new kind of adsorbent for the removal of contaminants in aqueous solution.

  1. Functional characterization of thioredoxin 3 (TRX-3), a Caenorhabditis elegans intestine-specific thioredoxin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiménez-Hidalgo, María; Kurz, Cyril Léopold; Pedrajas, José Rafael; Naranjo-Galindo, Francisco José; González-Barrios, María; Cabello, Juan; Sáez, Alberto G; Lozano, Encarnación; Button, Emma L; Veal, Elizabeth A; Fierro-González, Juan Carlos; Swoboda, Peter; Miranda-Vizuete, Antonio

    2014-03-01

    Thioredoxins are a class of evolutionarily conserved proteins that have been demonstrated to play a key role in many cellular processes involving redox reactions. We report here the genetic and biochemical characterization of Caenorhabditis elegans TRX-3, the first metazoan thioredoxin with an intestine-specific expression pattern. By using green fluorescent protein reporters we have found that TRX-3 is expressed in both the cytoplasm and the nucleus of intestinal cells, with a prominent localization at the apical membrane. Although intestinal function, reproductive capacity, longevity, and resistance of trx-3 loss-of-function mutants to many stresses are indistinguishable from those of wild-type animals, we have observed a slight reduction in size and a minor reduction in the defecation cycle timing of trx-3 mutants. Interestingly, trx-3 is induced upon infection by Photorhabdus luminescens and Candida albicans, and TRX-3 overexpression provides a modest protection against these pathogens. Together, our data indicate that TRX-3 function in the intestine is dispensable for C. elegans development but may be important to fight specific bacterial and fungal infections. © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. METHODS FOR RECOMBINANT EXPRESSION AND FUNCTIONAL CHARACTERIZATION OF HUMAN CANNABINOID RECEPTOR CB2

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexei A. Yeliseev

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available Cannabinoid receptor CB2 is a seven transmembrane-domain integral membrane protein that belongs to a large superfamily of G protein-coupled receptors (GPCR. CB2 is a part of the endocannabinoid system that plays vital role in regulation of immune response, inflammation, pain sensitivity, obesity and other physiological responses. Information about the structure and mechanisms of functioning of this receptor in cell membranes is essential for the rational development of specific pharmaceuticals. Here we review the methodology for recombinant expression, purification, stabilization and biochemical characterization of CB2 suitable for preparation of multi-milligram quantities of functionally active receptor. The biotechnological protocols include expression of the recombinant CB2 in E. coli cells as a fusion with the maltose binding protein, stabilization with a high affinity ligand and a derivative of cholesterol in detergent micelles, efficient purification by tandem affinity chromatography, and reconstitution of the receptor into lipid bilayers. The purified recombinant CB2 receptor is amenable to functional and structural studies including nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy and a wide range of biochemical and biophysical techniques.

  3. Characterization of Functionalized Polyurethane Foam for Lead Ion Removal from Water

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Subhashini Gunashekar

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Polyurethane foams functionalized with sulfonic acid groups are used in this study to exchange lead (Pb2+ ions from aqueous solutions. Toluene-2, 4-diisocyanate, 2,6-diisocyanate (TDI was reacted with Polypropylene glycol 1200 (PPG in 2 : 1 molar ratio to form a linear prepolymer. The linear prepolymer was further polymerized using N,N-bis(2-hydroxyethyl-2-aminoethanesulfonic acid (BES, which acts both as a chain extender and an ion-exchanger for Pb2+ ions. The functionalized polyurethane foam was characterized by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR, gel permeation chromatography (GPC, scanning electron microscopy (SEM, and energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX. The Pb2+ ion exchange capacity was determined using an Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometer (ICP-MS. The maximum Pb2+ ion exchange capacity of the foam was found to be 51 ppb/g from a 100 ppb Pb2+ solution over a period of two hours. In addition, pH analysis was carried out on the foam composition with the best Pb2+ ion removal capacity. The pH results based on two-hour exposures showed that the functionalized polyurethane foam performed better at lower pH levels.

  4. Reliable and rapid characterization of functional FCN2 gene variants reveals diverse geographical patterns

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ojurongbe Olusola

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Ficolin-2 coded by FCN2 gene is a soluble serum protein and an innate immune recognition element of the complement system. FCN2 gene polymorphisms reveal distinct geographical patterns and are documented to alter serum ficolin levels and modulate disease susceptibility. Methods We employed a real-time PCR based on Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer (FRET method to genotype four functional SNPs including -986 G > A (#rs3124952, -602 G > A (#rs3124953, -4A > G (#rs17514136 and +6424 G > T (#rs7851696 in the ficolin-2 (FCN2 gene. We characterized the FCN2 variants in individuals representing Brazilian (n = 176, Nigerian (n = 180, Vietnamese (n = 172 and European Caucasian ethnicity (n = 165. Results We observed that the genotype distribution of three functional SNP variants (−986 G > A, -602 G > A and -4A > G differ significantly between the populations investigated (p p  Conclusions The observed distribution of the FCN2 functional SNP variants may likely contribute to altered serum ficolin levels and this may depend on the different disease settings in world populations. To conclude, the use of FRET based real-time PCR especially for FCN2 gene will benefit a larger scientific community who extensively depend on rapid, reliable method for FCN2 genotyping.

  5. Deposition and Characterization of HVOF Thermal Sprayed Functionally Graded Coatings Deposited onto a Lightweight Material

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hasan, M.; Stokes, J.; Looney, L.; Hashmi, M. S. J.

    2009-02-01

    There is a significant interest in lightweight materials (like aluminum, magnesium, titanium, and so on) containing a wear resistance coating, in such industries as the automotive industry, to replace heavy components with lighter parts in order to decrease vehicle weight and increase fuel efficiency. Functionally graded coatings, in which the composition, microstructure, and/or properties vary gradually from the bond coat to the top coat, may be applied to lightweight materials, not only to decrease weight, but also to enhance components mechanical properties by ensuring gradual microstructural (changes) together with lower residual stress. In the current work, aluminum/tool-steel functionally graded coatings were deposited onto lightweight aluminum substrates. The graded coatings were then characterized in terms of residual stress and hardness. Results show that residual stress increased with an increase in deposition thickness and a decrease in number of layers. However, the hardness also increased with an increase in deposition thickness and decrease in number of layers. Therefore, an engineer must compromise between the hardness and stress values while designing a functionally graded coating-substrate system.

  6. Synthesis, characterization and antibacterial study on the chitosan-functionalized Ag nanoparticles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biao, Linhai; Tan, Shengnan; Wang, Yuanlin; Guo, Ximin; Fu, Yujie; Xu, Fengjie; Zu, Yuangang; Liu, Zhiguo

    2017-07-01

    This study provided a facile, one-step hydrothermal method to synthesize stable Ag colloid in aqueous solution by utilizing chitosan as both reductant and stabilizer. The formation of chitosan-functionalized Ag nanoparticles was verified by UV-Vis, FTIR, TEM, AFM and XRD measurements. FTIR results revealed that the primary amine groups and amide groups of chitosan have specific interactions with the surface of Ag nanoparticles. The average diameter of the Ag nanoparticles is 10.0±5.4nm as determined by TEM. Ag nanoparticles are highly crystalline as revealed by HR-TEM and XRD measurements. The size and shape of Ag nanoparticles are also found to depend on the pH condition in the synthesis. Ag nanoparticles were the main products at pH5.0 whereas large Ag nanotriangle and truncated triangular nanoplate were dominant at pH4.0 in the synthesis. Due to its monodispersity and good stability, the chitosan-functionalized Ag colloid synthesized at pH5.0 was further tested for its antibacterial activities against gram-positive bacteria, gram-negative bacteria and fungus. The results of zone of inhibition, inhibition ratio and SEM characterization revealed that chitosan-functionalized Ag nanoparticles have great bactericidal efficiency against both bacteria and fungus. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. Characterization of the spatial structure of local functional connectivity using multi-distance average correlation measures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Macia, Didac; Pujol, Jesus; Blanco-Hinojo, Laura; Martínez-Vilavella, Gerard; Martín-Santos, Rocío; Deus, Joan

    2018-04-24

    There is ample evidence from basic research in neuroscience of the importance of local cortico-cortical networks. Millimetric resolution is achievable with current functional MRI (fMRI) scanners and sequences, and consequently a number of "local" activity similarity measures have been defined to describe patterns of segregation and integration at this spatial scale. We have introduced the use of Iso-Distant local Average Correlation (IDAC), easily defined as the average fMRI temporal correlation of a given voxel with other voxels placed at increasingly separated iso-distant intervals, to characterize the curve of local fMRI signal similarities. IDAC curves can be statistically compared using parametric multivariate statistics. Furthermore, by using RGB color-coding to display jointly IDAC values belonging to three different distance lags, IDAC curves can also be displayed as multi-distance IDAC maps. We applied IDAC analysis to a sample of 41 subjects scanned under two different conditions, a resting state and an auditory-visual continuous stimulation. Multi-distance IDAC mapping was able to discriminate between gross anatomo-functional cortical areas and, moreover, was sensitive to modulation between the two brain conditions in areas known to activate and de-activate during audio-visual tasks. Unlike previous fMRI local similarity measures already in use, our approach draws special attention to the continuous smooth pattern of local functional connectivity.

  8. Structure, functional characterization, and evolution of the dihydroorotase domain of human CAD.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grande-García, Araceli; Lallous, Nada; Díaz-Tejada, Celsa; Ramón-Maiques, Santiago

    2014-02-04

    Upregulation of CAD, the multifunctional protein that initiates and controls the de novo biosynthesis of pyrimidines in animals, is essential for cell proliferation. Deciphering the architecture and functioning of CAD is of interest for its potential usage as an antitumoral target. However, there is no detailed structural information about CAD other than that it self-assembles into hexamers of ∼1.5 MDa. Here we report the crystal structure and functional characterization of the dihydroorotase domain of human CAD. Contradicting all assumptions, the structure reveals an active site enclosed by a flexible loop with two Zn²⁺ ions bridged by a carboxylated lysine and a third Zn coordinating a rare histidinate ion. Site-directed mutagenesis and functional assays prove the involvement of the Zn and flexible loop in catalysis. Comparison with homologous bacterial enzymes supports a reclassification of the DHOase family and provides strong evidence against current models of the architecture of CAD. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. Generation, characterization and potential therapeutic applications of mature and functional hepatocytes from stem cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Zhenzhen; Liu, Jianfang; Liu, Yang; Li, Zheng; Gao, Wei-Qiang; He, Zuping

    2013-02-01

    Liver cancer is the sixth most common tumor in the world and the majority of patients with this disease usually die within 1 year. The effective treatment for end-stage liver disease (also known as liver failure), including liver cancer or cirrhosis, is liver transplantation. However, there is a severe shortage of liver donors worldwide, which is the major handicap for the treatment of patients with liver failure. Scarcity of liver donors underscores the urgent need of using stem cell therapy to the end-stage liver disease. Notably, hepatocytes have recently been generated from hepatic and extra-hepatic stem cells. We have obtained mature and functional hepatocytes from rat hepatic stem cells. Here, we review the advancements on hepatic differentiation from various stem cells, including hepatic stem cells, embryonic stem cells, the induced pluripotent stem cells, hematopoietic stem cells, mesenchymal stem cells, and probably spermatogonial stem cells. The advantages, disadvantages, and concerns on differentiation of these stem cells into hepatic cells are highlighted. We further address the methodologies, phenotypes, and functional characterization on the differentiation of numerous stem cells into hepatic cells. Differentiation of stem cells into mature and functional hepatocytes, especially from an extra-hepatic stem cell source, would circumvent the scarcity of liver donors and human hepatocytes, and most importantly it would offer an ideal and promising source of hepatocytes for cell therapy and tissue engineering in treating liver disease. Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  10. Functional characterization of E- and P-cadherin in invasive breast cancer cells

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sarrió, David; Palacios, José; Hergueta-Redondo, Marta; Gómez-López, Gonzalo; Cano, Amparo; Moreno-Bueno, Gema

    2009-01-01

    Alterations in the cadherin-catenin adhesion complexes are involved in tumor initiation, progression and metastasis. However, the functional implication of distinct cadherin types in breast cancer biology is still poorly understood. To compare the functional role of E-cadherin and P-cadherin in invasive breast cancer, we stably transfected these molecules into the MDA-MB-231 cell line, and investigated their effects on motility, invasion and gene expression regulation. Expression of either E- and P-cadherin significantly increased cell aggregation and induced a switch from fibroblastic to epithelial morphology. Although expression of these cadherins did not completely reverse the mesenchymal phenotype of MDA-MB-231 cells, both E- and P-cadherin decreased fibroblast-like migration and invasion through extracellular matrix in a similar way. Moreover, microarray gene expression analysis of MDA-MB-231 cells after expression of E- and P-cadherins revealed that these molecules can activate signaling pathways leading to significant changes in gene expression. Although the expression patterns induced by E- and P-cadherin showed more similarities than differences, 40 genes were differentially modified by the expression of either cadherin type. E- and P-cadherin have similar functional consequences on the phenotype and invasive behavior of MDA-MB-231 cells. Moreover, we demonstrate for the first time that these cadherins can induce both common and specific gene expression programs on invasive breast cancer cells. Importantly, these identified genes are potential targets for future studies on the functional consequences of altered cadherin expression in human breast cancer

  11. Characterization of Type Ia Supernova Light Curves Using Principal Component Analysis of Sparse Functional Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Shiyuan; Wang, Lifan; Huang, Jianhua Z.

    2018-04-01

    With growing data from ongoing and future supernova surveys, it is possible to empirically quantify the shapes of SNIa light curves in more detail, and to quantitatively relate the shape parameters with the intrinsic properties of SNIa. Building such relationships is critical in controlling systematic errors associated with supernova cosmology. Based on a collection of well-observed SNIa samples accumulated in the past years, we construct an empirical SNIa light curve model using a statistical method called the functional principal component analysis (FPCA) for sparse and irregularly sampled functional data. Using this method, the entire light curve of an SNIa is represented by a linear combination of principal component functions, and the SNIa is represented by a few numbers called “principal component scores.” These scores are used to establish relations between light curve shapes and physical quantities such as intrinsic color, interstellar dust reddening, spectral line strength, and spectral classes. These relations allow for descriptions of some critical physical quantities based purely on light curve shape parameters. Our study shows that some important spectral feature information is being encoded in the broad band light curves; for instance, we find that the light curve shapes are correlated with the velocity and velocity gradient of the Si II λ6355 line. This is important for supernova surveys (e.g., LSST and WFIRST). Moreover, the FPCA light curve model is used to construct the entire light curve shape, which in turn is used in a functional linear form to adjust intrinsic luminosity when fitting distance models.

  12. Functional characterization of E- and P-cadherin in invasive breast cancer cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cano Amparo

    2009-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Alterations in the cadherin-catenin adhesion complexes are involved in tumor initiation, progression and metastasis. However, the functional implication of distinct cadherin types in breast cancer biology is still poorly understood. Methods To compare the functional role of E-cadherin and P-cadherin in invasive breast cancer, we stably transfected these molecules into the MDA-MB-231 cell line, and investigated their effects on motility, invasion and gene expression regulation. Results Expression of either E- and P-cadherin significantly increased cell aggregation and induced a switch from fibroblastic to epithelial morphology. Although expression of these cadherins did not completely reverse the mesenchymal phenotype of MDA-MB-231 cells, both E- and P-cadherin decreased fibroblast-like migration and invasion through extracellular matrix in a similar way. Moreover, microarray gene expression analysis of MDA-MB-231 cells after expression of E- and P-cadherins revealed that these molecules can activate signaling pathways leading to significant changes in gene expression. Although the expression patterns induced by E- and P-cadherin showed more similarities than differences, 40 genes were differentially modified by the expression of either cadherin type. Conclusion E- and P-cadherin have similar functional consequences on the phenotype and invasive behavior of MDA-MB-231 cells. Moreover, we demonstrate for the first time that these cadherins can induce both common and specific gene expression programs on invasive breast cancer cells. Importantly, these identified genes are potential targets for future studies on the functional consequences of altered cadherin expression in human breast cancer.

  13. Functional Time Series Models to Estimate Future Age-Specific Breast Cancer Incidence Rates for Women in Karachi, Pakistan

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Farah Yasmeen[1; Sidra Zaheer[2

    2014-01-01

    Background: Breast cancer is the most common female cancer in Pakistan. The incidence of breast cancer in Pakistan is about 2.5 times higher than that in the neighboring countries India and Iran. In Karachi, the most populated city of Pakistan, the age-standardized rate of breast cancer was 69.1 per 100,000 women during 1998-2002, which is the highest recorded rate in Asia. The carcinoma of breast in Pakistan is an enormous public health concern. In this study, we examined the recent trends of breast cancer incidence rates among the women in Karachi. Methods: We obtained the secondary data of breast cancer incidence from various hospitals. They included Jinnah Hospital, KIRAN (Karachi Institute of Radiotherapy and Nuclear Medicine), and Civil hospital, where the data were available for the years 2004-2011. A total of 5331 new cases of female breast cancer were registered during this period. We analyzed the data in 5-year age groups 15-19, 20-24, 25-29, 30-34, 35-39, 40-44, 45-49, 50-54, 55-59, 60-64, 65-69, 70-74, 75+. Nonparametric smoothing were used to obtained age-specific incidence curves, and then the curves are decomposed using principal components analysis to fit FTS (functional time series) model. We then used exponential smoothing statspace models to estimate the forecasts of incidence curve and construct prediction intervals. Results: The breast cancer incidence rates in Karachi increased with age for all available years. The rates increased monotonically and are relatively sharp with the age from 15 years to 50 years and then they show variability after the age of 50 years. 10-year forecasts for the female breast cancer incidence rates in Karachi show that the future rates are expected to remain stable for the age-groups 15-50 years, but they will increase for the females of 50-years and over. Hence in future, the newly diagnosed breast cancer cases in the older women in Karachi are expected to increase. Conclusion: Prediction of age

  14. Preparation and characterization of ω-functionalized polystyrene-magnetite nanocomposites

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jiang Liming; Sun Weilin; Kim, Jungahn

    2007-01-01

    Magnetite (Fe 3 O 4 ) nanoparticles were prepared by in situ precipitation and oxidation of ferrous ions in the presence of ω-functionalized polystyrenes having carboxylate, sulfonate, thiol, and thiolated groups. Based on the results for the orthogonal experimental design, both the ratio of the concentration of iron precursor to polymer and the reaction temperature were the major factors controlling the particle size and its shape morphology. By adjusting the reaction conditions, the iron oxide particle size can be effectively controlled in the range between 2 and 20 nm. The magnetite-based polymer composite was characterized by UV-vis spectroscopy, thermogravimetric analysis, transmission electron microscopy, and X-ray diffraction. Magnetization measurements revealed that the nanocomposite materials exhibit superparamagnetic behavior at room temperature

  15. Preparation and characterization of {omega}-functionalized polystyrene-magnetite nanocomposites

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jiang Liming [Department of Polymer Science and Engineering, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310027 (China)]. E-mail: cejlm@zju.edu.cn; Sun Weilin [Department of Polymer Science and Engineering, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310027 (China); Kim, Jungahn [Polymer Hybrids Center, Korea Institute of Science and Technology, Seoul 130-650 (Korea, Republic of)

    2007-02-15

    Magnetite (Fe{sub 3}O{sub 4}) nanoparticles were prepared by in situ precipitation and oxidation of ferrous ions in the presence of {omega}-functionalized polystyrenes having carboxylate, sulfonate, thiol, and thiolated groups. Based on the results for the orthogonal experimental design, both the ratio of the concentration of iron precursor to polymer and the reaction temperature were the major factors controlling the particle size and its shape morphology. By adjusting the reaction conditions, the iron oxide particle size can be effectively controlled in the range between 2 and 20 nm. The magnetite-based polymer composite was characterized by UV-vis spectroscopy, thermogravimetric analysis, transmission electron microscopy, and X-ray diffraction. Magnetization measurements revealed that the nanocomposite materials exhibit superparamagnetic behavior at room temperature.

  16. Synthesis, Characterization, and Catalytic Activity of Pd(II Salen-Functionalized Mesoporous Silica

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rotcharin Sawisai

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Salen ligand synthesized from 2-hydroxybenzaldehyde and 2-hydroxy-1-naphthaldehyde was used as a palladium chelating ligand for the immobilization of the catalytic site. Mesoporous silica supported palladium catalysts were prepared by immobilizing Pd(OAc2 onto a mesoporous silica gel through the coordination of the imine-functionalized mesoporous silica gel. The prepared catalysts were characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD, scanning electron microscopy (SEM, energy dispersive X-ray (EDX, inductivity couple plasma (ICP, nitrogen adsorption-desorption, and Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR spectroscopy. The solid catalysts showed higher activity for the hydroamination of C-(tetra-O-acetyl-β-D-galactopyranosylallene with aromatic amines compared with the corresponding homogenous catalyst. The heterogeneous catalytic system can be easily recovered by simple filtration and reused for up to five cycles with no significant loss of catalytic activity.

  17. Experimental Characterization of the Energy Absorption of Functionally Graded Foam Filled Tubes Under Axial Crushing Loads

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ebrahimi, Saeed; Vahdatazad, Nader; Liaghat, Gholamhossein

    2018-03-01

    This paper deals with the energy absorption characterization of functionally graded foam (FGF) filled tubes under axial crushing loads by experimental method. The FGF tubes are filled axially by gradient layers of polyurethane foams with different densities. The mechanical properties of the polyurethane foams are firstly obtained from axial compressive tests. Then, the quasi-static compressive tests are carried out for empty tubes, uniform foam filled tubes and FGF filled tubes. Before to present the experimental test results, a nonlinear FEM simulation of the FGF filled tube is carried out in ABAQUS software to gain more insight into the crush deformation patterns, as well as the energy absorption capability of the FGF filled tube. A good agreement between the experimental and simulation results is observed. Finally, the results of experimental test show that an FGF filled tube has excellent energy absorption capacity compared to the ordinary uniform foam-filled tube with the same weight.

  18. Amine functionalized TiO2-carbon nanotube composite: synthesis, characterization and application to glucose biosensing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tasviri, Mahboubeh; Rafiee-Pour, Hossain-Ali; Ghourchian, Hedayatollah; Gholami, Mohammad Reza

    2011-12-01

    The synthesis of amine functionalized TiO2-coated multiwalled carbon nanotubes (NH2-TiO2-CNTs) using sol-gel method was investigated. The synthesized nanocomposite was characterized with XRD, FTIR spectroscopy, BET test and SEM imaging. The results demonstrated a unique nanostructure with no destruction of the CNTs' shape. In addition, the presence of amine groups on the composite surface was confirmed by FTIR. This nanocomposite was used for one-step immobilization of glucose oxidase (GOx) to sense glucose. The result of cyclic voltammetry showed a pair of well-defined and quasi-reversible peaks for direct electron transfer of GOx in the absence of glucose. Also, the result of electrochemical impedance spectroscopy indicated that GOx was successfully immobilized on the surface of NH2-TiO2-CNTs. Furthermore, good amperometric response showed that immobilized GOx on the NH2-TiO2-CNTs exhibits exceptional bioelectrocatalytic activity toward glucose oxidation.

  19. A method for the characterization of the reflectance of anisotropic functional surfaces

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Regi, Francesco; Nielsen, J B; Li, Dongya

    2018-01-01

    The functional properties of micro-structured surfaces have gained increasing interest thanks to many applications such as wetting, adhesion, thermal and/or electrical conductivity. In this study, directional optical properties, i.e. contrast between two regions of a surface, were achieved...... reflectance of the surface for a range of design-specific view-illumination configurations was determined using a method that involves a Hirox RH-2000 digital microscope, used as a gonioreflectometer. This method allows the empirical determination of the optimum surface microstructure for maximizing contrast...... between two horizontally orthogonal views. The results show that even if the uncertainty related to the instrumentation is up to 20% in some cases, this procedure is suitable for the characterization of the surface of both metal and plastic counterpart....

  20. Land use impacts on biodiversity in LCA: proposal of characterization factors based on functional diversity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Souza, Danielle Maia de; Flynn, Dan F. B.; DeClerck, Fabrice

    2013-01-01

    the distinctiveness of species; this paper proposes the use of an FD index to calculate characterization factors (CFs) for land use impacts. Furthermore, we compare the results of the CFs to current practice and assess the increase in complexity introduced by the use of the new indicator.The model proposed is based...... challenges. Such indices are data hungry (requiring species composition and traits) require more complex calculations than current common practice, including decisions on the choice of a method to calculate FD and the selection of traits.......The focus of land use modeling in life cycle impact assessment has been mainly on taxonomic measures of biodiversity, namely species richness (SR). However, increasing availability of trait data for species has led to the use of functional diversity (FD) as a promising metric to reflect...

  1. Synthesis and Characterization of Functional Composite Carbon-Geopolymers for Precast Panel Application

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Noor Afifah Kharisma

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available The purpose of this study is to examine the influence of carbon (C particles as filler (aggregate in the production of geopolymers functional composite for possible precast panel application. Geopolymers was synthesized through alkali activation of metakaolin added with carbon particles relative to the mass of metakaolin. The mixture was cured at 70°C for 2 hours and the resulting composites were stored in open air for 28 days. The bulk density and the apparent porosity of the composites were measured by using Archimedes method. The thermal properties of the samples was examined by using thermal conductivity measurement and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC. The microstructure characterization of the samples were performed by using x-ray diffraction (XRD and Scanning Electron Microscopy-Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy (SEM-EDS.

  2. A Guide to Transient Expression of Membrane Proteins in HEK-293 Cells for Functional Characterization

    KAUST Repository

    Ooi, Amanda Siok Lee

    2016-07-19

    The human embryonic kidney 293 (HEK-293) cells are commonly used as host for the heterologous expression of membrane proteins not least because they have a high transfection efficiency and faithfully translate and process proteins. In addition, their cell size, morphology and division rate, and low expression of native channels are traits that are particularly attractive for current-voltage measurements. Nevertheless, the heterologous expression of complex membrane proteins such as receptors and ion channels for biological characterization and in particular for single-cell applications such as electrophysiology remains a challenge. Expression of functional proteins depends largely on careful step-by-step optimization that includes the design of expression vectors with suitable identification tags, as well as the selection of transfection methods and detection parameters appropriate for the application. Here, we use the heterologous expression of a plant potassium channel, the Arabidopsis thaliana guard cell outward-rectifying K+ channel, AtGORK (At5G37500) in HEK-293 cells as an example, to evaluate commonly used transfection reagents and fluorescent detection methods, and provide a detailed methodology for optimized transient transfection and expression of membrane proteins for in vivo studies in general and for single-cell applications in particular. This optimized protocol will facilitate the physiological and cellular characterization of complex membrane proteins.

  3. A Guide to Transient Expression of Membrane Proteins in HEK-293 Cells for Functional Characterization

    KAUST Repository

    Ooi, Amanda Siok Lee; Wong, Aloysius Tze; Esau, Luke; Lemtiri-Chlieh, Fouad; Gehring, Christoph A

    2016-01-01

    The human embryonic kidney 293 (HEK-293) cells are commonly used as host for the heterologous expression of membrane proteins not least because they have a high transfection efficiency and faithfully translate and process proteins. In addition, their cell size, morphology and division rate, and low expression of native channels are traits that are particularly attractive for current-voltage measurements. Nevertheless, the heterologous expression of complex membrane proteins such as receptors and ion channels for biological characterization and in particular for single-cell applications such as electrophysiology remains a challenge. Expression of functional proteins depends largely on careful step-by-step optimization that includes the design of expression vectors with suitable identification tags, as well as the selection of transfection methods and detection parameters appropriate for the application. Here, we use the heterologous expression of a plant potassium channel, the Arabidopsis thaliana guard cell outward-rectifying K+ channel, AtGORK (At5G37500) in HEK-293 cells as an example, to evaluate commonly used transfection reagents and fluorescent detection methods, and provide a detailed methodology for optimized transient transfection and expression of membrane proteins for in vivo studies in general and for single-cell applications in particular. This optimized protocol will facilitate the physiological and cellular characterization of complex membrane proteins.

  4. SjAPI, the first functionally characterized Ascaris-type protease inhibitor from animal venoms.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zongyun Chen

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Serine protease inhibitors act as modulators of serine proteases, playing important roles in protecting animal toxin peptides from degradation. However, all known serine protease inhibitors discovered thus far from animal venom belong to the Kunitz-type subfamily, and whether there are other novel types of protease inhibitors in animal venom remains unclear. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Here, by screening scorpion venom gland cDNA libraries, we identified the first Ascaris-type animal toxin family, which contains four members: Scorpiops jendeki Ascaris-type protease inhibitor (SjAPI, Scorpiops jendeki Ascaris-type protease inhibitor 2 (SjAPI-2, Chaerilus tricostatus Ascaris-type protease inhibitor (CtAPI, and Buthus martensii Ascaris-type protease inhibitor (BmAPI. The detailed characterization of Ascaris-type peptide SjAPI from the venom gland of scorpion Scorpiops jendeki was carried out. The mature peptide of SjAPI contains 64 residues and possesses a classical Ascaris-type cysteine framework reticulated by five disulfide bridges, different from all known protease inhibitors from venomous animals. Enzyme and inhibitor reaction kinetics experiments showed that recombinant SjAPI was a dual function peptide with α-chymotrypsin- and elastase-inhibiting properties. Recombinant SjAPI inhibited α-chymotrypsin with a Ki of 97.1 nM and elastase with a Ki of 3.7 μM, respectively. Bioinformatics analyses and chimera experiments indicated that SjAPI contained the unique short side chain functional residues "AAV" and might be a useful template to produce new serine protease inhibitors. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: To our knowledge, SjAPI is the first functionally characterized animal toxin peptide with an Ascaris-type fold. The structural and functional diversity of animal toxins with protease-inhibiting properties suggested that bioactive peptides from animal venom glands might be a new source of protease inhibitors, which will accelerate the

  5. Functional characterization of Pol III U6 promoters for gene knockdown and knockout in Plutella xylostella.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Yuping; Wang, Yajun; Zeng, Baosheng; Liu, Zhaoxia; Xu, Xuejiao; Meng, Qian; Huang, Yongping; Yang, Guang; Vasseur, Liette; Gurr, Geoff M; You, Minsheng

    2017-10-01

    RNA polymerase type III (Pol-III) promoters such as U6 are commonly used to express small RNAs, including short hairpin RNAs (shRNAs) and single guide RNAs (sgRNAs). Functional U6 promoters are widely used in CRISPR systems, and their characterization can facilitate genome editing of non-model organisms. In the present study, six U6 small nuclear RNA (snRNA) promoters containing two conserved elements of a proximal sequence element (PSEA) and a TATA box, were identified and characterized in the diamondback moth (Plutella xylostella) genome. Relative efficiency of the U6 promoters to express shRNA induced EGFP knockdown was tested in a P. xylostella cell line, revealing that the PxU6:3 promoter had the strongest expression effect. Further work with the PxU6:3 promoter showed its efficacy in EGFP knockout using CRISPR/Cas9 system in the cells. The expression plasmids with versatile Pxabd-A gene specific sgRNA driven by the PxU6:3 promoter, combined with Cas9 mRNA, could induce mutagenesis at specific genomic loci in vivo. The phenotypes induced by sgRNA expression plasmids were similar to those done in vitro transcription sgRNAs. A plasmid with two tandem arranged PxU6:3:sgRNA expression cassettes targeting Pxabd-A loci was generated, which caused a 28,856 bp fragment deletion, suggesting that the multi-sgRNA expression plasmid can be used for multi-targeting. Our work indicates that U6 snRNA promoters can be used for functional studies of genes with the approach of reverse genetics in P. xylostella. These essential promoters also provide valuable potential for CRISPR-derived gene drive as a tactic for population control in this globally significant pest. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Work Function Characterization of Potassium-Intercalated, Boron Nitride Doped Graphitic Petals

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patrick T. McCarthy

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available This paper reports on characterization techniques for electron emission from potassium-intercalated boron nitride-modified graphitic petals (GPs. Carbon-based materials offer potentially good performance in electron emission applications owing to high thermal stability and a wide range of nanostructures that increase emission current via field enhancement. Furthermore, potassium adsorption and intercalation of carbon-based nanoscale emitters decreases work functions from approximately 4.6 eV to as low as 2.0 eV. In this study, boron nitride modifications of GPs were performed. Hexagonal boron nitride is a planar structure akin to graphene and has demonstrated useful chemical and electrical properties when embedded in graphitic layers. Photoemission induced by simulated solar excitation was employed to characterize the emitter electron energy distributions, and changes in the electron emission characteristics with respect to temperature identified annealing temperature limits. After several heating cycles, a single stable emission peak with work function of 2.8 eV was present for the intercalated GP sample up to 1,000 K. Up to 600 K, the potassium-intercalated boron nitride modified sample exhibited improved retention of potassium in the form of multiple emission peaks (1.8, 2.5, and 3.3 eV resulting in a large net electron emission relative to the unmodified graphitic sample. However, upon further heating to 1,000 K, the unmodified GP sample demonstrated better stability and higher emission current than the boron nitride modified sample. Both samples deintercalated above 1,000 K.

  7. Characterization and possible function of glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase-spermatogenic protein GAPDHS in mammalian sperm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Margaryan, Hasmik; Dorosh, Andriy; Capkova, Jana; Manaskova-Postlerova, Pavla; Philimonenko, Anatoly; Hozak, Pavel; Peknicova, Jana

    2015-03-08

    Sperm proteins are important for the sperm cell function in fertilization. Some of them are involved in the binding of sperm to the egg. We characterized the acrosomal sperm protein detected by a monoclonal antibody (MoAb) (Hs-8) that was prepared in our laboratory by immunization of BALB/c mice with human ejaculated sperms and we tested the possible role of this protein in the binding assay. Indirect immunofluorescence and immunogold labelling, gel electrophoresis, Western blotting and protein sequencing were used for Hs-8 antigen characterization. Functional analysis of GAPDHS from the sperm acrosome was performed in the boar model using sperm/zona pellucida binding assay. Monoclonal antibody Hs-8 is an anti-human sperm antibody that cross-reacts with the Hs-8-related protein in spermatozoa of other mammalian species (boar, mouse). In the immunofluorescence test, Hs-8 antibody recognized the protein localized in the acrosomal part of the sperm head and in the principal piece of the sperm flagellum. In immunoblotting test, MoAb Hs-8 labelled a protein of 45 kDa in the extract of human sperm. Sequence analysis identified protein Hs-8 as GAPDHS (glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrohenase-spermatogenic). For this reason, commercial mouse anti-GAPDHS MoAb was applied in control tests. Both antibodies showed similar staining patterns in immunofluorescence tests, in electron microscopy and in immunoblot analysis. Moreover, both Hs-8 and anti-GAPDHS antibodies blocked sperm/zona pellucida binding. GAPDHS is a sperm-specific glycolytic enzyme involved in energy production during spermatogenesis and sperm motility; its role in the sperm head is unknown. In this study, we identified the antigen with Hs8 antibody and confirmed its localization in the apical part of the sperm head in addition to the principal piece of the flagellum. In an indirect binding assay, we confirmed the potential role of GAPDHS as a binding protein that is involved in the secondary sperm

  8. Form and function in hillslope hydrology: in situ imaging and characterization of flow-relevant structures

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. Jackisch

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available The study deals with the identification and characterization of rapid subsurface flow structures through pedo- and geo-physical measurements and irrigation experiments at the point, plot and hillslope scale. Our investigation of flow-relevant structures and hydrological responses refers to the general interplay of form and function, respectively. To obtain a holistic picture of the subsurface, a large set of different laboratory, exploratory and experimental methods was used at the different scales. For exploration these methods included drilled soil core profiles, in situ measurements of infiltration capacity and saturated hydraulic conductivity, and laboratory analyses of soil water retention and saturated hydraulic conductivity. The irrigation experiments at the plot scale were monitored through a combination of dye tracer, salt tracer, soil moisture dynamics, and 3-D time-lapse ground penetrating radar (GPR methods. At the hillslope scale the subsurface was explored by a 3-D GPR survey. A natural storm event and an irrigation experiment were monitored by a dense network of soil moisture observations and a cascade of 2-D time-lapse GPR trenches. We show that the shift between activated and non-activated state of the flow paths is needed to distinguish structures from overall heterogeneity. Pedo-physical analyses of point-scale samples are the basis for sub-scale structure inference. At the plot and hillslope scale 3-D and 2-D time-lapse GPR applications are successfully employed as non-invasive means to image subsurface response patterns and to identify flow-relevant paths. Tracer recovery and soil water responses from irrigation experiments deliver a consistent estimate of response velocities. The combined observation of form and function under active conditions provides the means to localize and characterize the structures (this study and the hydrological processes (companion study Angermann et al., 2017, this issue.

  9. Form and function in hillslope hydrology: in situ imaging and characterization of flow-relevant structures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jackisch, Conrad; Angermann, Lisa; Allroggen, Niklas; Sprenger, Matthias; Blume, Theresa; Tronicke, Jens; Zehe, Erwin

    2017-07-01

    The study deals with the identification and characterization of rapid subsurface flow structures through pedo- and geo-physical measurements and irrigation experiments at the point, plot and hillslope scale. Our investigation of flow-relevant structures and hydrological responses refers to the general interplay of form and function, respectively. To obtain a holistic picture of the subsurface, a large set of different laboratory, exploratory and experimental methods was used at the different scales. For exploration these methods included drilled soil core profiles, in situ measurements of infiltration capacity and saturated hydraulic conductivity, and laboratory analyses of soil water retention and saturated hydraulic conductivity. The irrigation experiments at the plot scale were monitored through a combination of dye tracer, salt tracer, soil moisture dynamics, and 3-D time-lapse ground penetrating radar (GPR) methods. At the hillslope scale the subsurface was explored by a 3-D GPR survey. A natural storm event and an irrigation experiment were monitored by a dense network of soil moisture observations and a cascade of 2-D time-lapse GPR trenches. We show that the shift between activated and non-activated state of the flow paths is needed to distinguish structures from overall heterogeneity. Pedo-physical analyses of point-scale samples are the basis for sub-scale structure inference. At the plot and hillslope scale 3-D and 2-D time-lapse GPR applications are successfully employed as non-invasive means to image subsurface response patterns and to identify flow-relevant paths. Tracer recovery and soil water responses from irrigation experiments deliver a consistent estimate of response velocities. The combined observation of form and function under active conditions provides the means to localize and characterize the structures (this study) and the hydrological processes (companion study Angermann et al., 2017, this issue).

  10. Characterization of Angiotensin II Molecular Determinants Involved in AT1 Receptor Functional Selectivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Domazet, Ivana; Holleran, Brian J; Richard, Alexandra; Vandenberghe, Camille; Lavigne, Pierre; Escher, Emanuel; Leduc, Richard; Guillemette, Gaétan

    2015-06-01

    The octapeptide angiotensin II (AngII) exerts a variety of cardiovascular effects through the activation of the AngII type 1 receptor (AT1), a G protein-coupled receptor. The AT1 receptor engages and activates several signaling pathways, including heterotrimeric G proteins Gq and G12, as well as the extracellular signal-regulated kinases (ERK) 1/2 pathway. Additionally, following stimulation, βarrestin is recruited to the AT1 receptor, leading to receptor desensitization. It is increasingly recognized that specific ligands selectively bind and favor the activation of some signaling pathways over others, a concept termed ligand bias or functional selectivity. A better understanding of the molecular basis of functional selectivity may lead to the development of better therapeutics with fewer adverse effects. In the present study, we developed assays allowing the measurement of six different signaling modalities of the AT1 receptor. Using a series of AngII peptide analogs that were modified in positions 1, 4, and 8, we sought to better characterize the molecular determinants of AngII that underlie functional selectivity of the AT1 receptor in human embryonic kidney 293 cells. The results reveal that position 1 of AngII does not confer functional selectivity, whereas position 4 confers a bias toward ERK signaling over Gq signaling, and position 8 confers a bias toward βarrestin recruitment over ERK activation and Gq signaling. Interestingly, the analogs modified in position 8 were also partial agonists of the protein kinase C (PKC)-dependent ERK pathway via atypical PKC isoforms PKCζ and PKCι. Copyright © 2015 by The American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics.

  11. Spectral characterization of plastic scintillation detector response as a function of magnetic field strength

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simiele, E.; Kapsch, R.-P.; Ankerhold, U.; Culberson, W.; DeWerd, L.

    2018-04-01

    The purpose of this work was to characterize intensity and spectral response changes in a plastic scintillation detector (PSD) as a function of magnetic field strength. Spectra measurements as a function of magnetic field strength were performed using an optical spectrometer. The response of both a PSD and PMMA fiber were investigated to isolate the changes in response from the scintillator and the noise signal as a function of magnetic field strength. All irradiations were performed in water at a photon beam energy of 6 MV. Magnetic field strengths of (0, ±0.35, ±0.70, ±1.05, and  ±1.40) T were investigated. Four noise subtraction techniques were investigated to evaluate the impact on the resulting noise-subtracted scintillator response with magnetic field strength. The noise subtraction methods included direct spectral subtraction, the spectral method, and variants thereof. The PMMA fiber exhibited changes in response of up to 50% with magnetic field strength due to the directional light emission from \\breve{C} erenkov radiation. The PSD showed increases in response of up to 10% when not corrected for the noise signal, which agrees with previous investigations of scintillator response in magnetic fields. Decreases in the \\breve{C} erenkov light ratio with negative field strength were observed with a maximum change at  ‑1.40 T of 3.2% compared to 0 T. The change in the noise-subtracted PSD response as a function of magnetic field strength varied with the noise subtraction technique used. Even after noise subtraction, the PSD exhibited changes in response of up to 5.5% over the four noise subtraction methods investigated.

  12. Functional Characterization of the Maize Phytochrome-Interacting Factors PIF4 and PIF5

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qingbiao Shi

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Phytochrome-interacting factors (PIFs play important roles in photomorphogenesis, the shade avoidance response, and other aspects of plant growth and development. PIF family proteins have been well-studied in Arabidopsis thaliana, but little is known about their physiological functions and molecular mechanisms in maize (Zea mays. In this study, we investigated the physiological functions of ZmPIF4 and ZmPIF5, two highly conserved members of the PIF gene family. RT-qPCR and western blot analyses revealed that ZmPIF4 and ZmPIF5 expression and ZmPIF4 and ZmPIF5 levels peak at night and remain low during the day. Overexpression of ZmPIF4 and ZmPIF5 in Arabidopsis partially rescued the reduced hypocotyl elongation and defective response to gravity in pif1 pif3 pif4 pif5 quadruple mutants (pifq. In addition, under high red: far-red light conditions, Arabidopsis lines overexpressing ZmPIF4 exhibited a constitutive shade avoidance response, including early flowering, slender leaves and inflorescences, plant lodging and precocious leaf senescence. Furthermore, ZmPIF4 physically interacted with the Arabidopsis DELLA protein REPRESSOR OF GA1-3 (RGA, indicating a potential interaction between ZmPIF4 and gibberellin signaling pathway on plant growth. Taken together, our results revealed that ZmPIF4 and ZmPIF5 are functionally conserved proteins that may play conserved roles in the response to phytochrome signaling in plants.Highlights:In this study, the functions of ZmPIF4 and ZmPIF5 were characterized by expression in Arabidopsis, revealing conserved roles of PIF family proteins in photomorphogenesis and the shade avoidance response in land plants.

  13. Glycoside Hydrolases from a targeted Compost Metagenome, activity-screening and functional characterization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dougherty Michael J

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Metagenomics approaches provide access to environmental genetic diversity for biotechnology applications, enabling the discovery of new enzymes and pathways for numerous catalytic processes. Discovery of new glycoside hydrolases with improved biocatalytic properties for the efficient conversion of lignocellulosic material to biofuels is a critical challenge in the development of economically viable routes from biomass to fuels and chemicals. Results Twenty-two putative ORFs (open reading frames were identified from a switchgrass-adapted compost community based on sequence homology to related gene families. These ORFs were expressed in E. coli and assayed for predicted activities. Seven of the ORFs were demonstrated to encode active enzymes, encompassing five classes of hemicellulases. Four enzymes were over expressed in vivo, purified to homogeneity and subjected to detailed biochemical characterization. Their pH optima ranged between 5.5 - 7.5 and they exhibit moderate thermostability up to ~60-70°C. Conclusions Seven active enzymes were identified from this set of ORFs comprising five different hemicellulose activities. These enzymes have been shown to have useful properties, such as moderate thermal stability and broad pH optima, and may serve as the starting points for future protein engineering towards the goal of developing efficient enzyme cocktails for biomass degradation under diverse process conditions.

  14. Boron-doped diamond electrode: synthesis, characterization, functionalization and analytical applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luong, John H T; Male, Keith B; Glennon, Jeremy D

    2009-10-01

    In recent years, conductive diamond electrodes for electrochemical applications have been a major focus of research and development. The impetus behind such endeavors could be attributed to their wide potential window, low background current, chemical inertness, and mechanical durability. Several analytes can be oxidized by conducting diamond compared to other carbon-based materials before the breakdown of water in aqueous electrolytes. This is important for detecting and/or identifying species in solution since oxygen and hydrogen evolution do not interfere with the analysis. Thus, conductive diamond electrodes take electrochemical detection into new areas and extend their usefulness to analytes which are not feasible with conventional electrode materials. Different types of diamond electrodes, polycrystalline, microcrystalline, nanocrystalline and ultrananocrystalline, have been synthesized and characterized. Of particular interest is the synthesis of boron-doped diamond (BDD) films by chemical vapor deposition on various substrates. In the tetrahedral diamond lattice, each carbon atom is covalently bonded to its neighbors forming an extremely robust crystalline structure. Some carbon atoms in the lattice are substituted with boron to provide electrical conductivity. Modification strategies of doped diamond electrodes with metallic nanoparticles and/or electropolymerized films are of importance to impart novel characteristics or to improve the performance of diamond electrodes. Biofunctionalization of diamond films is also feasible to foster several useful bioanalytical applications. A plethora of opportunities for nanoscale analytical devices based on conducting diamond is anticipated in the very near future.

  15. Development of laser-based techniques for in situ characterization of the first wall in ITER and future fusion devices

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Philipps, V.; Malaquias, A.; Hakola, A.; Karhunen, J.; Maddaluno, G.; Almaviva, S.; Caneve, L.; Colao, F.; Fortuna, E.; Gasior, P.; Kubkowska, M.; Czarnecka, A.; Laan, M.; Lissovski, A.; Paris, P.; van der Meiden, H. J.; Petersson, P.; Rubel, M.; Huber, A.; Zlobinski, M.; Schweer, B.; Gierse, N.; Xiao, Q.; Sergienko, G.

    2013-01-01

    Analysis and understanding of wall erosion, material transport and fuel retention are among the most important tasks for ITER and future devices, since these questions determine largely the lifetime and availability of the fusion reactor. These data are also of extreme value to improve the

  16. Can mindfulness-based interventions influence cognitive functioning in older adults? A review and considerations for future research.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berk, Lotte; van Boxtel, Martin; van Os, Jim

    2017-11-01

    An increased need exists to examine factors that protect against age-related cognitive decline. There is preliminary evidence that meditation can improve cognitive function. However, most studies are cross-sectional and examine a wide variety of meditation techniques. This review focuses on the standard eight-week mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs) such as mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) and mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT). We searched the PsychINFO, CINAHL, Web of Science, COCHRANE, and PubMed databases to identify original studies investigating the effects of MBI on cognition in older adults. Six reports were included in the review of which three were randomized controlled trials. Studies reported preliminary positive effects on memory, executive function and processing speed. However, most reports had a high risk of bias and sample sizes were small. The only study with low risk of bias, large sample size and active control group reported no significant findings. We conclude that eight-week MBI for older adults are feasible, but results on cognitive improvement are inconclusive due a limited number of studies, small sample sizes, and a high risk of bias. Rather than a narrow focus on cognitive training per se, future research may productively shift to investigate MBI as a tool to alleviate suffering in older adults, and to prevent cognitive problems in later life already in younger target populations.

  17. Preclinical In vivo Imaging for Fat Tissue Identification, Quantification, and Functional Characterization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marzola, Pasquina; Boschi, Federico; Moneta, Francesco; Sbarbati, Andrea; Zancanaro, Carlo

    2016-01-01

    Localization, differentiation, and quantitative assessment of fat tissues have always collected the interest of researchers. Nowadays, these topics are even more relevant as obesity (the excess of fat tissue) is considered a real pathology requiring in some cases pharmacological and surgical approaches. Several weight loss medications, acting either on the metabolism or on the central nervous system, are currently under preclinical or clinical investigation. Animal models of obesity have been developed and are widely used in pharmaceutical research. The assessment of candidate drugs in animal models requires non-invasive methods for longitudinal assessment of efficacy, the main outcome being the amount of body fat. Fat tissues can be either quantified in the entire animal or localized and measured in selected organs/regions of the body. Fat tissues are characterized by peculiar contrast in several imaging modalities as for example Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) that can distinguish between fat and water protons thank to their different magnetic resonance properties. Since fat tissues have higher carbon/hydrogen content than other soft tissues and bones, they can be easily assessed by Computed Tomography (CT) as well. Interestingly, MRI also discriminates between white and brown adipose tissue (BAT); the latter has long been regarded as a potential target for anti-obesity drugs because of its ability to enhance energy consumption through increased thermogenesis. Positron Emission Tomography (PET) performed with 18 F-FDG as glucose analog radiotracer reflects well the metabolic rate in body tissues and consequently is the technique of choice for studies of BAT metabolism. This review will focus on the main, non-invasive imaging techniques (MRI, CT, and PET) that are fundamental for the assessment, quantification and functional characterization of fat deposits in small laboratory animals. The contribution of optical techniques, which are currently regarded with

  18. Preclinical in vivo imaging for fat tissue identification, quantification and functional characterization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pasquina Marzola

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Localization, differentiation and quantitative assessment of fat tissues have always collected the interest of researchers. Nowadays, these topics are even more relevant as obesity (the excess of fat tissue is considered a real pathology requiring in some cases pharmacological and surgical approaches. Several weight loss medications, acting either on the metabolism or on the central nervous system, are currently under preclinical or clinical investigation. Animal models of obesity have been developed which are widely used in pharmaceutical research. The assessment of candidate drugs in animal models requires non-invasive methods for longitudinal assessment of efficacy, the main outcome being the amount of body fat. Fat tissues can be either quantified in the entire animal or localized and measured in selected organs/regions of the body. Fat tissues are characterized by peculiar contrast in several imaging modalities as for example Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI that can distinguish between fat and water protons thank to their different magnetic resonance properties. Since fat tissues have higher carbon/hydrogen content than other soft tissues and bones, they can be easily assessed by Computed Tomography (CT as well. Interestingly, MRI also discriminates between white and brown adipose tissue; the latter has long been regarded as a potential target for anti-obesity drugs because of its ability to enhance energy consumption through increased thermogenesis. Positron Emission Tomography (PET performed with 18F-FDG as glucose analogue radiotracer reflects well the metabolic rate in body tissues and consequently is the technique of choice for studies of BAT metabolism. This review will focus on the main, non-invasive imaging techniques (MRI, CT and PET that are fundamental for the assessment, quantification and functional characterization of fat deposits in small laboratory animals. The contribution of optical techniques, which are currently regarded

  19. Functional Characterization of a Syntaxin Involved in Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum Resistance against Powdery Mildew

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Valentina Bracuto

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Specific syntaxins, such as Arabidopsis AtPEN1 and its barley ortholog ROR2, play a major role in plant defense against powdery mildews. Indeed, the impairment of these genes results in increased fungal penetration in both host and non-host interactions. In this study, a genome-wide survey allowed the identification of 21 tomato syntaxins. Two of them, named SlPEN1a and SlPEN1b, are closely related to AtPEN1. RNAi-based silencing of SlPEN1a in a tomato line carrying a loss-of-function mutation of the susceptibility gene SlMLO1 led to compromised resistance toward the tomato powdery mildew fungus Oidium neolycopersici. Moreover, it resulted in a significant increase in the penetration rate of the non-adapted powdery mildew fungus Blumeria graminis f. sp. hordei. Codon-based evolutionary analysis and multiple alignments allowed the detection of amino acid residues that are under purifying selection and are specifically conserved in syntaxins involved in plant-powdery mildew interactions. Our findings provide both insights on the evolution of syntaxins and information about their function which is of interest for future studies on plant–pathogen interactions and tomato breeding.

  20. Functional Characterization of a Syntaxin Involved in Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) Resistance against Powdery Mildew.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bracuto, Valentina; Appiano, Michela; Zheng, Zheng; Wolters, Anne-Marie A; Yan, Zhe; Ricciardi, Luigi; Visser, Richard G F; Pavan, Stefano; Bai, Yuling

    2017-01-01

    Specific syntaxins, such as Arabidopsis AtPEN1 and its barley ortholog ROR2, play a major role in plant defense against powdery mildews. Indeed, the impairment of these genes results in increased fungal penetration in both host and non-host interactions. In this study, a genome-wide survey allowed the identification of 21 tomato syntaxins. Two of them, named SlPEN1a and SlPEN1b , are closely related to AtPEN1 . RNAi-based silencing of SlPEN1a in a tomato line carrying a loss-of-function mutation of the susceptibility gene SlMLO1 led to compromised resistance toward the tomato powdery mildew fungus Oidium neolycopersici . Moreover, it resulted in a significant increase in the penetration rate of the non-adapted powdery mildew fungus Blumeria graminis f. sp. hordei . Codon-based evolutionary analysis and multiple alignments allowed the detection of amino acid residues that are under purifying selection and are specifically conserved in syntaxins involved in plant-powdery mildew interactions. Our findings provide both insights on the evolution of syntaxins and information about their function which is of interest for future studies on plant-pathogen interactions and tomato breeding.

  1. Genetic and functional characterization of culturable plant-beneficial actinobacteria associated with yam rhizosphere.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arunachalam Palaniyandi, Sasikumar; Yang, Seung Hwan; Damodharan, Karthiyaini; Suh, Joo-Won

    2013-12-01

    Actinobacteria were isolated from the rhizosphere of yam plants from agricultural fields from Yeoju, South Korea and analyzed for their genetic and plant-beneficial functional diversity. A total of 29 highly occurring actinobacterial isolates from the yam rhizosphere were screened for various plant-beneficial traits such as antimicrobial activity on fungi and bacteria; biocontrol traits such as production of siderophore, protease, chitinase, endo-cellulase, and β-glucanase. The isolates were also screened for plant growth-promoting (PGP) traits such as auxin production, phosphate solubilization, 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid (ACC) deaminase activity, and in vitro Arabidopsis growth promotion. 16S rDNA sequence-based phylogenetic analysis was carried out on the actinobacterial isolates to determine their genetic relatedness to known actinobacteria. BOX-PCR analysis revealed high genetic diversity among the isolates. Several isolates were identified to belong to the genus Streptomyces and a few to Kitasatospora. The actinobacterial strains exhibited high diversity in their functionality and were identified as novel and promising candidates for future development into biocontrol and PGP agents. © 2013 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  2. Functional Characterization of Tea (Camellia sinensis MYB4a Transcription Factor Using an Integrative Approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mingzhuo Li

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Green tea (Camellia sinensis, Cs abundantly produces a diverse array of phenylpropanoid compounds benefiting human health. To date, the regulation of the phenylpropanoid biosynthesis in tea remains to be investigated. Here, we report a cDNA isolated from leaf tissues, which encodes a R2R3-MYB transcription factor. Amino acid sequence alignment and phylogenetic analysis indicate that it is a member of the MYB4-subgroup and named as CsMYB4a. Transcriptional and metabolic analyses show that the expression profile of CsMYB4a is negatively correlated to the accumulation of six flavan-3-ols and other phenolic acids. GFP fusion analysis shows CsMYB4a’s localization in the nucleus. Promoters of five tea phenylpropanoid pathway genes are isolated and characterized to contain four types of AC-elements, which are targets of MYB4 members. Interaction of CsMYB4a and five promoters shows that CsMYB4a decreases all five promoters’ activity. To further characterize its function, CsMYB4a is overexpressed in tobacco plants. The resulting transgenic plants show dwarf, shrinking and yellowish leaf, and early senescence phenotypes. A further genome-wide transcriptomic analysis reveals that the expression levels of 20 tobacco genes involved in the shikimate and the phenylpropanoid pathways are significantly downregulated in transgenic tobacco plants. UPLC-MS and HPLC based metabolic profiling reveals significant reduction of total lignin content, rutin, chlorogenic acid, and phenylalanine in CsMYB4a transgenic tobacco plants. Promoter sequence analysis of the 20 tobacco genes characterizes four types of AC-elements. Further CsMYB4a-AC element and CsMYB4a-promoter interaction analyses indicate that the negative regulation of CsMYB4a on the shikimate and phenylpropanoid pathways in tobacco is via reducing promoter activity. Taken together, all data indicate that CsMYB4a negatively regulates the phenylpropanoid and shikimate pathways.Highlight: A tea (Camellia

  3. Lysine-functionalized nanodiamonds: synthesis, physiochemical characterization, and nucleic acid binding studies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kaur R

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available Randeep Kaur,1 Jackson M Chitanda,2 Deborah Michel,1 Jason Maley,3 Ferenc Borondics,2,4 Peng Yang,5 Ronald E Verrall,2 Ildiko Badea11Drug Design and Discovery Research Group, College of Pharmacy and Nutrition, University of Saskatchewan, 2Department of Chemistry, University of Saskatchewan, 3Saskatchewan Structural Sciences Centre, University of Saskatchewan, 4Canadian Light Source, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK, Canada; 5Department of Organic Chemistry, School of Pharmaceutical Engineering, Shenyang Pharmaceutical University, Shenyang, People's Republic of ChinaPurpose: Detonation nanodiamonds (NDs are carbon-based nanomaterials that, because of their size (4–5 nm, stable inert core, alterable surface chemistry, fluorescence, and biocompatibility, are emerging as bioimaging agents and promising tools for the delivery of biochemical molecules into cellular systems. However, diamond particles possess a strong propensity to aggregate in liquid formulation media, restricting their applicability in biomedical sciences. Here, the authors describe the covalent functionalization of NDs with lysine in an attempt to develop nanoparticles able to act as suitable nonviral vectors for transferring genetic materials across cellular membranes.Methods: NDs were oxidized and functionalized by binding lysine moieties attached to a three-carbon-length linker (1,3-diaminopropane to their surfaces through amide bonds. Raman and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, zeta potential measurement, dynamic light scattering, atomic force microscopic imaging, and thermogravimetric analysis were used to characterize the lysine-functionalized NDs. Finally, the ability of the functionalized diamonds to bind plasmid DNA and small interfering RNA was investigated by gel electrophoresis assay and through size and zeta potential measurements.Results: NDs were successfully functionalized with the lysine linker, producing surface loading of 1.7 mmol g-1 of ND

  4. Host Plant Physiology and Mycorrhizal Functioning Shift across a Glacial through Future [CO2] Gradient1[OPEN

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mullinix, George W.R.; Ward, Joy K.

    2016-01-01

    Rising atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration ([CO2]) may modulate the functioning of mycorrhizal associations by altering the relative degree of nutrient and carbohydrate limitations in plants. To test this, we grew Taraxacum ceratophorum and Taraxacum officinale (native and exotic dandelions) with and without mycorrhizal fungi across a broad [CO2] gradient (180–1,000 µL L−1). Differential plant growth rates and vegetative plasticity were hypothesized to drive species-specific responses to [CO2] and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi. To evaluate [CO2] effects on mycorrhizal functioning, we calculated response ratios based on the relative biomass of mycorrhizal (MBio) and nonmycorrhizal (NMBio) plants (RBio = [MBio − NMBio]/NMBio). We then assessed linkages between RBio and host physiology, fungal growth, and biomass allocation using structural equation modeling. For T. officinale, RBio increased with rising [CO2], shifting from negative to positive values at 700 µL L−1. [CO2] and mycorrhizal effects on photosynthesis and leaf growth rates drove shifts in RBio in this species. For T. ceratophorum, RBio increased from 180 to 390 µL L−1 and further increases in [CO2] caused RBio to shift from positive to negative values. [CO2] and fungal effects on plant growth and carbon sink strength were correlated with shifts in RBio in this species. Overall, we show that rising [CO2] significantly altered the functioning of mycorrhizal associations. These symbioses became more beneficial with rising [CO2], but nonlinear effects may limit plant responses to mycorrhizal fungi under future [CO2]. The magnitude and mechanisms driving mycorrhizal-CO2 responses reflected species-specific differences in growth rate and vegetative plasticity, indicating that these traits may provide a framework for predicting mycorrhizal responses to global change. PMID:27573369

  5. Functional Characterization of a Novel Class of Morantel-Sensitive Acetylcholine Receptors in Nematodes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elise Courtot

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Acetylcholine receptors are pentameric ligand-gated channels involved in excitatory neuro-transmission in both vertebrates and invertebrates. In nematodes, they represent major targets for cholinergic agonist or antagonist anthelmintic drugs. Despite the large diversity of acetylcholine-receptor subunit genes present in nematodes, only a few receptor subtypes have been characterized so far. Interestingly, parasitic nematodes affecting human or animal health possess two closely related members of this gene family, acr-26 and acr-27 that are essentially absent in free-living or plant parasitic species. Using the pathogenic parasitic nematode of ruminants, Haemonchus contortus, as a model, we found that Hco-ACR-26 and Hco-ACR-27 are co-expressed in body muscle cells. We demonstrated that co-expression of Hco-ACR-26 and Hco-ACR-27 in Xenopus laevis oocytes led to the functional expression of an acetylcholine-receptor highly sensitive to the anthelmintics morantel and pyrantel. Importantly we also reported that ACR-26 and ACR-27, from the distantly related parasitic nematode of horses, Parascaris equorum, also formed a functional acetylcholine-receptor highly sensitive to these two drugs. In Caenorhabditis elegans, a free-living model nematode, we demonstrated that heterologous expression of the H. contortus and P. equorum receptors drastically increased its sensitivity to morantel and pyrantel, mirroring the pharmacological properties observed in Xenopus oocytes. Our results are the first to describe significant molecular determinants of a novel class of nematode body wall muscle AChR.

  6. Functional characterization of apical transporters expressed in rat proximal tubular cells (PTCs) in primary culture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakanishi, Takeo; Fukushi, Akimasa; Sato, Masanobu; Yoshifuji, Mayuko; Gose, Tomoka; Shirasaka, Yoshiyuki; Ohe, Kazuyo; Kobayashi, Masato; Kawai, Keiichi; Tamai, Ikumi

    2011-12-05

    Since in vitro cell culture models often show altered apical transporter expression, they are not necessarily suitable for the analysis of renal transport processes. Therefore, we aimed here to investigate the usefulness of primary-cultured rat proximal tubular cells (PTCs) for this purpose. After isolation of renal cortical cells from rat kidneys, PTCs were enriched and the gene expression and function of apical transporters were analyzed by means of microarray, RT-PCR and uptake experiments. RT-PCR confirmed that the major apical transporters were expressed in rat PTCs. Na(+)-dependent uptake of α-methyl-d-glucopyranoside (αMG), ergothioneine and carnitine by the PTCs suggests functional expression of Sglts, Octn1 and Octn2, respectively. Inhibition of pH-dependent glycylsarcosine uptake by low concentration of cephalexin, which is a β-lactam antibiotics recognized by Pepts, indicates a predominant role of high affinity type Pept2, but not low affinity type Pept1, in the PTCs. Moreover, the permeability ratio of [(14)C]αMG (apical to basolateral/basolateral to apical) across PTCs was 4.3, suggesting that Sglt-mediated reabsorptive transport is characterized. In conclusion, our results indicate that rat PTCs in primary culture are found to be a promising in vitro model to evaluate reabsorption processes mediated at least by Sglts, Pept2, Octn1 and Octn2.

  7. Preparation and Characterization of Nanocomposite Polymer Membranes Containing Functionalized SnO2 Additives

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roberto Scipioni

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available In the research of new nanocomposite proton-conducting membranes, SnO2 ceramic powders with surface functionalization have been synthesized and adopted as additives in Nafion-based polymer systems. Different synthetic routes have been explored to obtain suitable, nanometer-sized sulphated tin oxide particles. Structural and morphological characteristics, as well as surface and bulk properties of the obtained oxide powders, have been determined by means of X-ray diffraction (XRD, scanning electron microscopy (SEM, Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR and Raman spectroscopies, N2 adsorption, and thermal gravimetric analysis (TGA. In addition, dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA, atomic force microscopy (AFM, thermal investigations, water uptake (WU measurements, and ionic exchange capacity (IEC tests have been used as characterization tools for the nanocomposite membranes. The nature of the tin oxide precursor, as well as the synthesis procedure, were found to play an important role in determining the morphology and the particle size distribution of the ceramic powder, this affecting the effective functionalization of the oxides. The incorporation of such particles, having sulphate groups on their surface, altered some peculiar properties of the resulting composite membrane, such as water content, thermo-mechanical, and morphological characteristics.

  8. Cloning and Functional Characterization of a Lycopene β-Cyclase from Macrophytic Red Alga Bangia fuscopurpurea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tian-Jun Cao

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available Lycopene cyclases cyclize the open ends of acyclic lycopene (ψ,ψ-carotene into β- or ε-ionone rings in the crucial bifurcation step of carotenoid biosynthesis. Among all carotenoid constituents, β-carotene (β,β-carotene is found in all photosynthetic organisms, except for purple bacteria and heliobacteria, suggesting a ubiquitous distribution of lycopene β-cyclase activity in these organisms. In this work, we isolated a gene (BfLCYB encoding a lycopene β-cyclase from Bangia fuscopurpurea, a red alga that is considered to be one of the primitive multicellular eukaryotic photosynthetic organisms and accumulates carotenoid constituents with both β- and ε-rings, including β-carotene, zeaxanthin, α-carotene (β,ε-carotene and lutein. Functional complementation in Escherichia coli demonstrated that BfLCYB is able to catalyze cyclization of lycopene into monocyclic γ-carotene (β,ψ-carotene and bicyclic β-carotene, and cyclization of the open end of monocyclic δ-carotene (ε,ψ-carotene to produce α-carotene. No ε-cyclization activity was identified for BfLCYB. Sequence comparison showed that BfLCYB shares conserved domains with other functionally characterized lycopene cyclases from different organisms and belongs to a group of ancient lycopene cyclases. Although B. fuscopurpurea also synthesizes α-carotene and lutein, its enzyme-catalyzing ε-cyclization is still unknown.

  9. Characterization of the Diamond-like Carbon Based Functionally Gradient Film

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2002-01-01

    Diamond-like carbon coatings have been used as solid lubricating coatings in vacuum technology for their goodphysical and chemical properties. In this paper, the hybrid technique of unbalanced magnetron sputtering and plasmaimmersion ion implantation (PIll) was adopted to fabricate diamond-like carbon-based functionally gradient film,N/TiN/Ti(N,C)/DLC, on the 304 stainless steel substrate. The film was characterized by using Raman spectroscopyand glancing X-ray diffraction (GXRD), and the topography and surface roughness of the film was observed usingAFM. The mechanical properties of the film were evaluated by nano-indentation. The results showed that the surfaceroughness of the film was approximately 0.732 nm. The hardness and elastic modulus, fracture toughness andinterfacial fracture toughness of N/TiN/Ti(N,C)/DLC functionally gradient film were about 19.84 GPa, 190.03 GPa,3.75 MPa.m1/2 and 5.68 MPa@m1/2, respectively. Compared with that of DLC monolayer and C/TiC/DLC multilayer,this DLC gradient film has better qualities as a solid lubricating coating.

  10. Cloning and functional characterization of three new pheromone receptors from the diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Yipeng; Liu, Yang; Jiang, Xingchuan; Wang, Guirong

    The highly specialized olfactory receptor neurons (ORNs) on the antennae of male moths can recognize blends of several pheromone components. In previous studies, a total of six candidate pheromone receptor (PR) genes were cloned and functionally characterized in the diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella. In the present work, we report on three novel candidate pheromone receptor genes: PxylOR8, PxylOR41, and PxylOR45 in the same species. Gene expression analysis revealed that PxylOR8 is specifically expressed in female adult antennae, while PxylOR41 and PxylOR45 are expressed in antennae in both sexes, but with a male bias. In situ hybridization revealed that PxylOR8, PxylOR41 and PxylOR45 are localized in long trichoid sensilla. Functional analyses on the three pheromone receptor genes were then performed using the heterologous expression system of Xenopus oocytes. PxylOR41 was tuned to two minor pheromone components Z9-14:Ac, Z9-14:OH, and their analog Z9-14:Ald. PxylOR8 and PxylOR45 did not respond to any tested pheromone components and analogs. These results may contribute to clarifying how pheromone detection works in P. xylostella. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Functional characterization of CCR in birch (Betula platyphylla × Betula pendula) through overexpression and suppression analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Wenbo; Wei, Rui; Chen, Su; Jiang, Jing; Li, Huiyu; Huang, Haijiao; Yang, Guang; Wang, Shuo; Wei, Hairong; Liu, Guifeng

    2015-06-01

    We cloned a Cinnamoyl-CoA Reductase gene (BpCCR1) from an apical meristem and first internode of Betula platyphylla and characterized its functions in lignin biosynthesis, wood formation and tree growth through transgenic approaches. We generated overexpression and suppression transgenic lines and analyzed them in comparison with the wild-type in terms of lignin content, anatomical characteristics, height and biomass. We found that BpCCR1 overexpression could increase lignin content up to 14.6%, and its underexpression decreased lignin content by 6.3%. Surprisingly, modification of BpCCR1 expression led to conspicuous changes in wood characteristics, including xylem vessel number and arrangement, and secondary wall thickness. The growth of transgenic trees in terms of height was also significantly influenced by the modification of BpCCR1 genes. We discuss the functions of BpCCR1 in the context of a phylogenetic tree built with CCR genes from multiple species. © 2014 Scandinavian Plant Physiology Society.

  12. Morphologic, cytometric and functional characterization of the common octopus (Octopus vulgaris) hemocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castellanos-Martínez, S; Prado-Alvarez, M; Lobo-da-Cunha, A; Azevedo, C; Gestal, C

    2014-05-01

    The hemocytes of Octopus vulgaris were morphologically and functionally characterized. Light and electron microscopy (TEM and SEM), and flow cytometry analyses revealed the existence of two hemocyte populations. Large granulocytes showed U-shaped nucleus, a mean of 11.6 μm±1.2 in diameter with basophilic granules, polysaccharide and lysosomic deposits in the cytoplasm. Small granulocytes measured a mean of 8.1 μm±0.7 in diameter, and have a round nucleus occupying almost the entire cell and few or not granules in the cytoplasm. Flow cytometry analysis showed that large granulocytes are the principal cells that develop phagocytosis of latex beads (rising up to 56%) and ROS after zymosan stimulation. Zymosan induced the highest production of both ROS and NO. This study is the first tread towards understanding the O. vulgaris immune system by applying new tools to provide a most comprehensive morpho-functional study of their hemocytes. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Functional characterization of the vitellogenin promoter in the silkworm, Bombyx mori.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, J; Wang, Y Q; Li, Z Q; Ling, L; Zeng, B S; You, L; Chen, Y Z; Aslam, A F M; Huang, Y P; Tan, A J

    2014-10-01

    Genetic transformation and genome editing technologies have been successfully established in the lepidopteran insect model, the domesticated silkworm, Bombyx mori, providing great potential for functional genomics and practical applications. However, the current lack of cis-regulatory elements in B. mori gene manipulation research limits further exploitation in functional gene analysis. In the present study, we characterized a B. mori endogenous promoter, Bmvgp, which is a 798-bp DNA sequence adjacent to the 5'-end of the vitellogenin gene (Bmvg). PiggyBac-based transgenic analysis shows that Bmvgp precisely directs expression of a reporter gene, enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP), in a sex-, tissue- and stage-specific manner. In transgenic animals, EGFP expression can be detected in the female fat body from larval-pupal ecdysis to the following pupal and adult stage. Furthermore, in vitro and in vivo experiments revealed that EGFP expression can be activated by 20-hydroxyecdysone, which is consistent with endogenous Bmvg expression. These data indicate that Bmvgp is an effective endogenous cis-regulatory element in B. mori. © 2014 The Royal Entomological Society.

  14. Functional Characterization of a Novel Class of Morantel-Sensitive Acetylcholine Receptors in Nematodes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Courtot, Elise; Charvet, Claude L.; Beech, Robin N.; Harmache, Abdallah; Wolstenholme, Adrian J.; Holden-Dye, Lindy; O’Connor, Vincent; Peineau, Nicolas; Woods, Debra J.; Neveu, Cedric

    2015-01-01

    Acetylcholine receptors are pentameric ligand–gated channels involved in excitatory neuro-transmission in both vertebrates and invertebrates. In nematodes, they represent major targets for cholinergic agonist or antagonist anthelmintic drugs. Despite the large diversity of acetylcholine-receptor subunit genes present in nematodes, only a few receptor subtypes have been characterized so far. Interestingly, parasitic nematodes affecting human or animal health possess two closely related members of this gene family, acr-26 and acr-27 that are essentially absent in free-living or plant parasitic species. Using the pathogenic parasitic nematode of ruminants, Haemonchus contortus, as a model, we found that Hco-ACR-26 and Hco-ACR-27 are co-expressed in body muscle cells. We demonstrated that co-expression of Hco-ACR-26 and Hco-ACR-27 in Xenopus laevis oocytes led to the functional expression of an acetylcholine-receptor highly sensitive to the anthelmintics morantel and pyrantel. Importantly we also reported that ACR-26 and ACR-27, from the distantly related parasitic nematode of horses, Parascaris equorum, also formed a functional acetylcholine-receptor highly sensitive to these two drugs. In Caenorhabditis elegans, a free-living model nematode, we demonstrated that heterologous expression of the H. contortus and P. equorum receptors drastically increased its sensitivity to morantel and pyrantel, mirroring the pharmacological properties observed in Xenopus oocytes. Our results are the first to describe significant molecular determinants of a novel class of nematode body wall muscle AChR. PMID:26625142

  15. 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.

  16. Functional characterization of duplicated Suppressor of Overexpression of Constans 1-like genes in petunia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Preston, Jill C; Jorgensen, Stacy A; Jha, Suryatapa G

    2014-01-01

    Flowering time is strictly controlled by a combination of internal and external signals that match seed set with favorable environmental conditions. In the model plant species Arabidopsis thaliana (Brassicaceae), many of the genes underlying development and evolution of flowering have been discovered. However, much remains unknown about how conserved the flowering gene networks are in plants with different growth habits, gene duplication histories, and distributions. Here we functionally characterize three homologs of the flowering gene Suppressor Of Overexpression of Constans 1 (SOC1) in the short-lived perennial Petunia hybrida (petunia, Solanaceae). Similar to A. thaliana soc1 mutants, co-silencing of duplicated petunia SOC1-like genes results in late flowering. This phenotype is most severe when all three SOC1-like genes are silenced. Furthermore, expression levels of the SOC1-like genes Unshaven (UNS) and Floral Binding Protein 21 (FBP21), but not FBP28, are positively correlated with developmental age. In contrast to A. thaliana, petunia SOC1-like gene expression did not increase with longer photoperiods, and FBP28 transcripts were actually more abundant under short days. Despite evidence of functional redundancy, differential spatio-temporal expression data suggest that SOC1-like genes might fine-tune petunia flowering in response to photoperiod and developmental stage. This likely resulted from modification of SOC1-like gene regulatory elements following recent duplication, and is a possible mechanism to ensure flowering under both inductive and non-inductive photoperiods.

  17. Functional characterization of duplicated Suppressor of Overexpression of Constans 1-like genes in petunia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jill C Preston

    Full Text Available Flowering time is strictly controlled by a combination of internal and external signals that match seed set with favorable environmental conditions. In the model plant species Arabidopsis thaliana (Brassicaceae, many of the genes underlying development and evolution of flowering have been discovered. However, much remains unknown about how conserved the flowering gene networks are in plants with different growth habits, gene duplication histories, and distributions. Here we functionally characterize three homologs of the flowering gene Suppressor Of Overexpression of Constans 1 (SOC1 in the short-lived perennial Petunia hybrida (petunia, Solanaceae. Similar to A. thaliana soc1 mutants, co-silencing of duplicated petunia SOC1-like genes results in late flowering. This phenotype is most severe when all three SOC1-like genes are silenced. Furthermore, expression levels of the SOC1-like genes Unshaven (UNS and Floral Binding Protein 21 (FBP21, but not FBP28, are positively correlated with developmental age. In contrast to A. thaliana, petunia SOC1-like gene expression did not increase with longer photoperiods, and FBP28 transcripts were actually more abundant under short days. Despite evidence of functional redundancy, differential spatio-temporal expression data suggest that SOC1-like genes might fine-tune petunia flowering in response to photoperiod and developmental stage. This likely resulted from modification of SOC1-like gene regulatory elements following recent duplication, and is a possible mechanism to ensure flowering under both inductive and non-inductive photoperiods.

  18. Identification and Functional Characterization of the Glycogen Synthesis Related Gene Glycogenin in Pacific Oysters (Crassostrea gigas).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Busu; Meng, Jie; Li, Li; Liu, Sheng; Wang, Ting; Zhang, Guofan

    2017-09-06

    High glycogen levels in the Pacific oyster (Crassostrea gigas) contribute to its flavor, quality, and hardiness. Glycogenin (CgGN) is the priming glucosyltransferase that initiates glycogen biosynthesis. We characterized the full sequence and function of C. gigas CgGN. Three CgGN isoforms (CgGN-α, β, and γ) containing alternative exon regions were isolated. CgGN expression varied seasonally in the adductor muscle and gonadal area and was the highest in the adductor muscle. Autoglycosylation of CgGN can interact with glycogen synthase (CgGS) to complete glycogen synthesis. Subcellular localization analysis showed that CgGN isoforms and CgGS were located in the cytoplasm. Additionally, a site-directed mutagenesis experiment revealed that the Tyr200Phe and Tyr202Phe mutations could affect CgGN autoglycosylation. This is the first study of glycogenin function in marine bivalves. These findings will improve our understanding of glycogen synthesis and accumulation mechanisms in mollusks. The data are potentially useful for breeding high-glycogen oysters.

  19. Synthesis and characterization of functionalized methacrylates for coatings and biomedical applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shemper, Bianca Sadicoff

    The research presented in this dissertation involves the design of polymers for biomaterials and for coatings applications. The development of non-wettable, hard UV-curing, or reactive coatings is discussed. The biomaterials section involves the syntheses of linear and star-like polymers of the functionalized monomer poly(propylene glycol) monomethacrylate (PPGM) via atom transfer radical polymerization (ATRP) (Chapter II). Its copolymerization with a perfluoroalkyl ethyl methacrylate monomer (1H,1H,2H,2H-heptadecafluorodecyl methacrylate) and the syntheses of linear and star-like amphiphilic copolymers containing the fluorinated monomer and poly(ethyleneglycol) methyl ether methacrylate (MPEGMA) are discussed in Chapter III. The four-arm amphiphilic block copolymer obtained showed unique associative properties leading to micellization in selective solvents. Chapter IV includes research involving the design of films with low surface energy by incorporating fluorine into the polymer. The synthesis, characterization and polymerization of a perfluoroalkylether-substituted methacrylic acid (C8F7) are discussed, and the properties of coatings obtained after its photopolymerization on different substrates are evaluated to confirm formation of low-surface energy polymeric coatings. Subsequently, hard coatings based on methyl (alpha-hydroxymethyl)acrylate (MHMA) were prepared via photopolymerization using UV-light. Firstly, mechanistic investigations into the photopolymerization behavior of (alpha-hydroxymethyl)acrylates (RHMA's) are reported (Chapter V). RHMA derivatives were photopolymerized with various multifunctional acrylates and methacrylates and the effect of crosslinker type and degree of functionality on photopolymerization rates and conversions was investigated. Then, in Chapter VI the synthesis of a series of new crosslinkers is described and their photopolymerization kinetics was investigated in bulk. The effect of these novel crosslinkers on the

  20. Functional characterization of neurotransmitter activation and modulation in a nematode model ligand-gated ion channel.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heusser, Stephanie A; Yoluk, Özge; Klement, Göran; Riederer, Erika A; Lindahl, Erik; Howard, Rebecca J

    2016-07-01

    The superfamily of pentameric ligand-gated ion channels includes neurotransmitter receptors that mediate fast synaptic transmission in vertebrates, and are targets for drugs including alcohols, anesthetics, benzodiazepines, and anticonvulsants. However, the mechanisms of ion channel opening, gating, and modulation in these receptors leave many open questions, despite their pharmacological importance. Subtle conformational changes in both the extracellular and transmembrane domains are likely to influence channel opening, but have been difficult to characterize given the limited structural data available for human membrane proteins. Recent crystal structures of a modified Caenorhabditis elegans glutamate-gated chloride channel (GluCl) in multiple states offer an appealing model system for structure-function studies. However, the pharmacology of the crystallographic GluCl construct is not well established. To establish the functional relevance of this system, we used two-electrode voltage-clamp electrophysiology in Xenopus oocytes to characterize activation of crystallographic and native-like GluCl constructs by L-glutamate and ivermectin. We also tested modulation by ethanol and other anesthetic agents, and used site-directed mutagenesis to explore the role of a region of Loop F which was implicated in ligand gating by molecular dynamics simulations. Our findings indicate that the crystallographic construct functionally models concentration-dependent agonism and allosteric modulation of pharmacologically relevant receptors. Specific substitutions at residue Leu174 in loop F altered direct L-glutamate activation, consistent with computational evidence for this region's role in ligand binding. These insights demonstrate conservation of activation and modulation properties in this receptor family, and establish a framework for GluCl as a model system, including new possibilities for drug discovery. In this study, we elucidate the validity of a modified glutamate

  1. Isolation and functional characterization of the novel Clostridium botulinum neurotoxin A8 subtype.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Skadi Kull

    Full Text Available Botulism is a severe neurological disease caused by the complex family of botulinum neurotoxins (BoNT. Based on the different serotypes known today, a classification of serotype variants termed subtypes has been proposed according to sequence diversity and immunological properties. However, the relevance of BoNT subtypes is currently not well understood. Here we describe the isolation of a novel Clostridium botulinum strain from a food-borne botulism outbreak near Chemnitz, Germany. Comparison of its botulinum neurotoxin gene sequence with published sequences identified it to be a novel subtype within the BoNT/A serotype designated BoNT/A8. The neurotoxin gene is located within an ha-orfX+ cluster and showed highest homology to BoNT/A1, A2, A5, and A6. Unexpectedly, we found an arginine insertion located in the HC domain of the heavy chain, which is unique compared to all other BoNT/A subtypes known so far. Functional characterization revealed that the binding characteristics to its main neuronal protein receptor SV2C seemed unaffected, whereas binding to membrane-incorporated gangliosides was reduced in comparison to BoNT/A1. Moreover, we found significantly lower enzymatic activity of the natural, full-length neurotoxin and the recombinant light chain of BoNT/A8 compared to BoNT/A1 in different endopeptidase assays. Both reduced ganglioside binding and enzymatic activity may contribute to the considerably lower biological activity of BoNT/A8 as measured in a mouse phrenic nerve hemidiaphragm assay. Despite its reduced activity the novel BoNT/A8 subtype caused severe botulism in a 63-year-old male. To our knowledge, this is the first description and a comprehensive characterization of a novel BoNT/A subtype which combines genetic information on the neurotoxin gene cluster with an in-depth functional analysis using different technical approaches. Our results show that subtyping of BoNT is highly relevant and that understanding of the detailed

  2. Isolation and functional characterization of the novel Clostridium botulinum neurotoxin A8 subtype.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kull, Skadi; Schulz, K Melanie; Weisemann, Jasmin; Kirchner, Sebastian; Schreiber, Tanja; Bollenbach, Alexander; Dabrowski, P Wojtek; Nitsche, Andreas; Kalb, Suzanne R; Dorner, Martin B; Barr, John R; Rummel, Andreas; Dorner, Brigitte G

    2015-01-01

    Botulism is a severe neurological disease caused by the complex family of botulinum neurotoxins (BoNT). Based on the different serotypes known today, a classification of serotype variants termed subtypes has been proposed according to sequence diversity and immunological properties. However, the relevance of BoNT subtypes is currently not well understood. Here we describe the isolation of a novel Clostridium botulinum strain from a food-borne botulism outbreak near Chemnitz, Germany. Comparison of its botulinum neurotoxin gene sequence with published sequences identified it to be a novel subtype within the BoNT/A serotype designated BoNT/A8. The neurotoxin gene is located within an ha-orfX+ cluster and showed highest homology to BoNT/A1, A2, A5, and A6. Unexpectedly, we found an arginine insertion located in the HC domain of the heavy chain, which is unique compared to all other BoNT/A subtypes known so far. Functional characterization revealed that the binding characteristics to its main neuronal protein receptor SV2C seemed unaffected, whereas binding to membrane-incorporated gangliosides was reduced in comparison to BoNT/A1. Moreover, we found significantly lower enzymatic activity of the natural, full-length neurotoxin and the recombinant light chain of BoNT/A8 compared to BoNT/A1 in different endopeptidase assays. Both reduced ganglioside binding and enzymatic activity may contribute to the considerably lower biological activity of BoNT/A8 as measured in a mouse phrenic nerve hemidiaphragm assay. Despite its reduced activity the novel BoNT/A8 subtype caused severe botulism in a 63-year-old male. To our knowledge, this is the first description and a comprehensive characterization of a novel BoNT/A subtype which combines genetic information on the neurotoxin gene cluster with an in-depth functional analysis using different technical approaches. Our results show that subtyping of BoNT is highly relevant and that understanding of the detailed toxin function might

  3. Structural, functional and evolutionary characterization of major drought transcription factors families in maize

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mittal, Shikha; Banduni, Pooja; Mallikarjuna, Mallana G.; Rao, Atmakuri R.; Jain, Prashant A.; Dash, Prasanta K.; Thirunavukkarasu, Nepolean

    2018-05-01

    Drought is one of the major threats to maize production. In order to improve the production and to breed tolerant hybrids, understanding the genes and regulatory mechanisms during drought stress is important. Transcription factors (TFs) play a major role in gene regulation and many TFs have been identified in response to drought stress. In our experiment, a set of 15 major TF families comprising 1436 genes was structurally and functionally characterized using in-silico tools and a gene expression assay. All 1436 genes were mapped on 10 chromosome of maize. The functional annotation indicated the involvement of these genes in ABA signaling, ROS scavenging, photosynthesis, stomatal regulation, and sucrose metabolism. Duplication was identified as the primary force in divergence and expansion of TF families. Phylogenetic relationship was developed individually for each TF family as well as combined TF families. Phylogenetic analysis grouped the TF family of genes into TF-specific and mixed groups. Phylogenetic analysis of genes belonging to various TF families suggested that the origin of TFs occurred in the lineage of maize evolution. Gene structure analysis revealed that more number of genes were intron-rich as compared to intronless genes. Drought-responsive CRE’s such as ABREA, ABREB, DRE1 and DRECRTCOREAT have been identified. Expression and interaction analyses identified leaf-specific bZIP TF, GRMZM2G140355, as a potential contributor toward drought tolerance in maize. We also analyzed protein-protein interaction network of 269 drought-responsive genes belonging to different drought-related TFs. The information generated on structural and functional characteristics, expression and interaction of the drought-related TF families will be useful to decipher the drought tolerance mechanisms and to derive drought-tolerant genotypes in maize.

  4. Fabrication and characterization of all-covalent nanocomposite functionalized screen-printed voltammetric sensors

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jasmin, Jean-Philippe; Cannizzo, Caroline; Dumas, Eddy; Chaussé, Annie

    2014-01-01

    Highlights: • Screen printed electrodes were covalently functionalized by gold nanoparticles. • The covalent grafting of AuNPs was achieved via diazonium salt chemistry. • Two grafting methods and two types of AuNPs were compared. • Carboxylate ligands were grafted on these nanostructured electrodes. • Good preliminary responses towards lead analysis were obtained by SW-ASV. - Abstract: We report in this paper an all-covalent method to obtain highly nanostructured carbon screen printed electrodes (SPEs) bearing gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) functionalized by complexing groups using diazonium salts chemistry. SPEs were first modified with 4-aminophenyl functions (SPE-Ph-NH 2 ). The amino moieties were then converted into diazonium salts (SPE-Ph-N 2 + Cl − ). These reactive SPEs were then used to immobilize AuNPs by electrochemical or spontaneous method. The spontaneous method proved to be a more efficient grafting approach. Two types of AuNPs suspensions were compared: AuNPs obtained via the well-known Turkevich method, citrate-stabilized and having a diameter of about 20 nm, and AuNPs obtained by the method recently described by Eah et al., stabilizer-free with an average diameter of 4 nm. We show that the size of the Au-NPs, their concentration and their surface properties are key parameters that affect the electrochemical properties of the final nanostructured SPEs. The covalent grafting of 4-carboxyphenyl ligands through diazonium chemistry, able to complex metallic cations, at the surface of SPE-Ph-AuNPs allowed their use for the detection of Pb(II). Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy, Cyclic Voltammetry, Scanning Electron Microscopy, Rutherford Backscattering and X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy were used to characterize these nanostructured materials

  5. Molecular characterization of the llama FGF5 gene and identification of putative loss of function mutations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daverio, M S; Vidal-Rioja, L; Frank, E N; Di Rocco, F

    2017-12-01

    Llama, the most numerous domestic camelid in Argentina, has good fiber-production ability. Although a few genes related to other productive traits have been characterized, the molecular genetic basis of fiber growth control in camelids is still poorly understood. Fibroblast growth factor 5 (FGF5) is a secreted signaling protein that controls hair growth in humans and other mammals. Mutations in the FGF5 gene have been associated with long-hair phenotypes in several species. Here, we sequenced the llama FGF5 gene, which consists of three exons encoding 813 bp. cDNA analysis from hair follicles revealed the expression of two FGF5 alternative spliced transcripts, in one of which exon 2 is absent. DNA variation analysis showed four polymorphisms in the coding region: a synonymous SNP (c.210A>G), a single base deletion (c.348delA), a 12-bp insertion (c.351_352insCATATAACATAG) and a non-sense mutation (c.499C>T). The deletion was always found together with the insertion forming a haplotype and producing a putative truncated protein of 123 amino acids. The c.499C>T mutation also leads to a premature stop codon at position 168. In both cases, critical functional domains of FGF5, including one heparin binding site, are lost. All animals analyzed were homozygous for one of the deleterious mutations or compound heterozygous for both (i.e. c.348delA, c.351_352insCATATAACATAG/c.499T). Sequencing of guanaco samples showed that the FGF5 gene encodes a full-length 270-amino acid protein. These results suggest that FGF5 is likely functional in short-haired wild species and non-functional in the domestic fiber-producing species, the llama. © 2017 Stichting International Foundation for Animal Genetics.

  6. HERMES: towards an integrated toolbox to characterize functional and effective brain connectivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niso, Guiomar; Bruña, Ricardo; Pereda, Ernesto; Gutiérrez, Ricardo; Bajo, Ricardo; Maestú, Fernando; del-Pozo, Francisco

    2013-10-01

    The analysis of the interdependence between time series has become an important field of research in the last years, mainly as a result of advances in the characterization of dynamical systems from the signals they produce, the introduction of concepts such as generalized and phase synchronization and the application of information theory to time series analysis. In neurophysiology, different analytical tools stemming from these concepts have added to the 'traditional' set of linear methods, which includes the cross-correlation and the coherency function in the time and frequency domain, respectively, or more elaborated tools such as Granger Causality.This increase in the number of approaches to tackle the existence of functional (FC) or effective connectivity (EC) between two (or among many) neural networks, along with the mathematical complexity of the corresponding time series analysis tools, makes it desirable to arrange them into a unified-easy-to-use software package. The goal is to allow neuroscientists, neurophysiologists and researchers from related fields to easily access and make use of these analysis methods from a single integrated toolbox.Here we present HERMES ( http://hermes.ctb.upm.es ), a toolbox for the Matlab® environment (The Mathworks, Inc), which is designed to study functional and effective brain connectivity from neurophysiological data such as multivariate EEG and/or MEG records. It includes also visualization tools and statistical methods to address the problem of multiple comparisons. We believe that this toolbox will be very helpful to all the researchers working in the emerging field of brain connectivity analysis.

  7. Identification and Functional Characterization of the Caenorhabditis elegans Riboflavin Transporters rft-1 and rft-2

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biswas, Arundhati; Elmatari, Daniel; Rothman, Jason; LaMunyon, Craig W.; Said, Hamid M.

    2013-01-01

    Two potential orthologs of the human riboflavin transporter 3 (hRFVT3) were identified in the C. elegans genome, Y47D7A.16 and Y47D7A.14, which share 33.7 and 30.5% identity, respectively, with hRFVT3. The genes are tandemly arranged, and we assign them the names rft-1 (for Y47D7A.16) and rft-2 (for Y47D7A.14). Functional characterization of the coding sequences in a heterologous expression system demonstrated that both were specific riboflavin transporters, although the rft-1 encoded protein had greater transport activity. A more detailed examination of rft-1 showed its transport of riboflavin to have an acidic pH dependence, saturability (apparent Km = 1.4±0.5 µM), inhibition by riboflavin analogues, and Na+ independence. The expression of rft-1 mRNA was relatively higher in young larvae than in adults, and mRNA expression dropped in response to RF supplementation. Knocking down the two transporters individually via RNA interference resulted in a severe loss of fertility that was compounded in a double knockdown. Transcriptional fusions constructed with two fluorophores (rft-1::GFP, and rft-2::mCherry) indicated that rft-1 is expressed in the intestine and a small subset of neuronal support cells along the entire length of the animal. Expression of rft-2 is localized mainly to the intestine and pharynx. We also observed a drop in the expression of the two reporters in animals that were maintained in high riboflavin levels. These results report for the first time the identification of two riboflavin transporters in C. elegans and demonstrate their expression and importance to metabolic function in worms. Absence of transporter function renders worms sterile, making them useful in understanding human disease associated with mutations in hRFVT3. PMID:23483992

  8. Characterization of the Structural and Functional Changes in the Myocardium Following Focal Ischemia-Reperfusion Injury

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ojha, Navdeep; Roy, Sashwati; Radtke, Jared; Simonetti, Orlando; Gnyawali, Surya; Zweier, Jay L.; Kuppusamy, Periannan; Sen, Chandan K.

    2015-01-01

    High resolution (11.7T) cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and histological approaches have been employed in tandem to characterize the secondary damage suffered by the murine myocardium following the initial insult caused by ischemia-reperfusion (IR). IR induced changes in the myocardium were examined in five separate groups at the following time-points after IR: 1h, 1d, 3d, 7d and 14 d. Infarct volume increased from 1h to 1d post-IR. Over time, loss of myocardial function was observed to be associated with increased infarct volume and worsened regional wall motion. In the infarct region, IR caused a decrease in end-systolic thickness coupled with small changes in end-diastolic thickness, leading to massive wall thickening abnormalities. In addition, compromised wall thickening was also observed in left ventricular regions adjacent to the infarct region. A tight correlation (r2 = 0.86) between measured MRI and triphenyltetrazolium chloride (TTC) infarct volumes was noted. Our observation that until day 3 post-IR, the infarct size as measured by TTC staining and MRI were much larger than the myocyte-silent regions in trichrome or H&E stained sections is consistent with the literature and leads to the conclusion that at such early phase the infarct site contains structurally intact myocytes that are functionally compromised. Over time, such affected myocytes were noted to structurally disappear resulting in consistent infarct sizes obtained from MRI, TTC as well as trichrome and hematoxylin/eosin analyses on day 7 following IR. Myocardial remodeling following IR includes secondary myocyte death followed by loss of cardiac function over time. PMID:18375718

  9. Design, fabrication and characterization of multi-guard-ring furnished p+n-n+ silicon strip detectors for future HEP experiments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lalwani, Kavita; Jain, Geetika; Dalal, Ranjeet; Ranjan, Kirti; Bhardwaj, Ashutosh

    2016-07-01

    Si detectors, in various configurations (strips and pixels), have been playing a key role in High Energy Physics (HEP) experiments due to their excellent vertexing and high precision tracking information. In future HEP experiments like upgrade of the Compact Muon Solenoid experiment (CMS) at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), CERN and the proposed International Linear Collider (ILC), the Si tracking detectors will be operated in a very harsh radiation environment, which leads to both surface and bulk damage in Si detectors which in turn changes their electrical properties, i.e. change in the full depletion voltage, increase in the leakage current and decrease in the charge collection efficiency. In order to achieve the long term durability of Si-detectors in future HEP experiments, it is required to operate these detectors at very high reverse biases, beyond the full depletion voltage, thus requiring higher detector breakdown voltage. Delhi University (DU) is involved in the design, fabrication and characterization of multi-guard-ring furnished ac-coupled, single sided, p+n-n+ Si strip detectors for future HEP experiments. The design has been optimized using a two-dimensional numerical device simulation program (TCAD-Silvaco). The Si strip detectors are fabricated with eight-layers mask process using the planar fabrication technology by Bharat Electronic Lab (BEL), India. Further an electrical characterization set-up is established at DU to ensure the quality performance of fabricated Si strip detectors and test structures. In this work measurement results on non irradiated Si Strip detectors and test structures with multi-guard-rings using Current Voltage (IV) and Capacitance Voltage (CV) characterization set-ups are discussed. The effect of various design parameters, for example guard-ring spacing, number of guard-rings and metal overhang on breakdown voltage of test structures have been studied.

  10. Detailed Functional and Proteomic Characterization of Fludarabine Resistance in Mantle Cell Lymphoma Cells.

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    Lucie Lorkova

    Full Text Available Mantle cell lymphoma (MCL is a chronically relapsing aggressive type of B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma considered incurable by currently used treatment approaches. Fludarabine is a purine analog clinically still widely used in the therapy of relapsed MCL. Molecular mechanisms of fludarabine resistance have not, however, been studied in the setting of MCL so far. We therefore derived fludarabine-resistant MCL cells (Mino/FR and performed their detailed functional and proteomic characterization compared to the original fludarabine sensitive cells (Mino. We demonstrated that Mino/FR were highly cross-resistant to other antinucleosides (cytarabine, cladribine, gemcitabine and to an inhibitor of Bruton tyrosine kinase (BTK ibrutinib. Sensitivity to other types of anti-lymphoma agents was altered only mildly (methotrexate, doxorubicin, bortezomib or remained unaffacted (cisplatin, bendamustine. The detailed proteomic analysis of Mino/FR compared to Mino cells unveiled over 300 differentially expressed proteins. Mino/FR were characterized by the marked downregulation of deoxycytidine kinase (dCK and BTK (thus explaining the observed crossresistance to antinucleosides and ibrutinib, but also by the upregulation of several enzymes of de novo nucleotide synthesis, as well as the up-regulation of the numerous proteins of DNA repair and replication. The significant upregulation of the key antiapoptotic protein Bcl-2 in Mino/FR cells was associated with the markedly increased sensitivity of the fludarabine-resistant MCL cells to Bcl-2-specific inhibitor ABT199 compared to fludarabine-sensitive cells. Our data thus demonstrate that a detailed molecular analysis of drug-resistant tumor cells can indeed open a way to personalized therapy of resistant malignancies.

  11. Cloning and Functional Characterization of Cycloartenol Synthase from the Red Seaweed Laurencia dendroidea.

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    Gabriela Calegario

    Full Text Available The red seaweed Laurencia dendroidea belongs to the Rhodophyta, a phylum of eukaryotic algae that is widely distributed across the oceans and that constitute an important source of bioactive specialized metabolites. Laurencia species have been studied since 1950 and were found to contain a plethora of specialized metabolites, mainly halogenated sesquiterpenes, diterpenes and triterpenes that possess a broad spectrum of pharmacological and ecological activities. The first committed step in the biosynthesis of triterpenes is the cyclization of 2,3-oxidosqualene, an enzymatic reaction carried out by oxidosqualene cyclases (OSCs, giving rise to a broad range of different compounds, such as the sterol precursors cycloartenol and lanosterol, or triterpene precursors such as cucurbitadienol and β-amyrin. Here, we cloned and characterized the first OSC from a red seaweed. The OSC gene was identified through mining of a L. dendroidea transcriptome dataset and subsequently cloned and heterologously expressed in yeast for functional characterization, which indicated that the corresponding enzyme cyclizes 2,3-oxidosqualene to the sterol precursor cycloartenol. Accordingly, the gene was named L. dendroidea cycloartenol synthase (LdCAS. A phylogenetic analysis using OSCs genes from plants, fungi and algae revealed that LdCAS grouped together with OSCs from other red algae, suggesting that cycloartenol could be the common product of the OSC in red seaweeds. Furthermore, profiling of L. dendroidea revealed cholesterol as the major sterol accumulating in this species, implicating red seaweeds contain a 'hybrid' sterol synthesis pathway in which the phytosterol precursor cycloartenol is converted into the major animal sterol cholesterol.

  12. Characterization and functional analysis of the Paralichthys olivaceus prdm1 gene promoter.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Peizhen; Wang, Bo; Cao, Dandan; Liu, Yuezhong; Zhang, Quanqi; Wang, Xubo

    2017-10-01

    PR domain containing protein 1 (Prdm1) is a transcriptional repressor identified in various species and plays multiple important roles in immune response and embryonic development. However, little is known about the transcriptional regulation of the prdm1 gene. This study aims to characterize the promoter of Paralichthys olivaceus prdm1 (Po-prdm1) gene and determine the regulatory mechanism of Po-prdm1 expression. A 2000bp-long 5'-flanking region (translation initiation site designated as +1) of the Po-prdm1 gene was isolated and characterized. The regulatory elements in this fragment were then investigated and many putative transcription factor (TF) binding sites involved in immunity and multiple tissue development were identified. A 5'-deletion analysis was then conducted, and the ability of the deletion mutants to promote luciferase and green fluorescent protein (GFP) expression in a flounder gill cell line was examined. The results revealed that the minimal promoter is located in the region between -446 and -13bp, and the region between -1415 and -13bp enhanced the promoter activity. Site-directed mutation analysis was subsequently performed on the putative regulatory elements sites, and the results indicated that FOXP1, MSX and BCL6 binding sites play negative functional roles in the regulation of the Po-prdm1 expression in FG cells. In vivo analysis demonstrated that a GFP reporter gene containing 1.4kb-long promoter fragment (-1415/-13) was expressed in the head and trunk muscle fibres of transient transgenic zebrafish embryos. Our study provided the basic information for the exploration of Po-prdm1 regulation and expression. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Characterizing land subsidence mechanisms as a function of urban basin geohazards using space geodesy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bawden, G. W.

    2016-12-01

    Land subsidence in urban basins will likely become a more significant geohazard in many of the global sedimentary basins as population growth, resource availability, and climate change compound natural and anthropogenic contributors that influence basin elevation. Coastal basins are at the greatest risk where land subsidence is additive to sea level rise, thereby increasing the rate of exposure to coastal populations. Land surface elevation change is a function of many different parameters, including: elastic and inelastic surface response to managed and natural groundwater levels; anthropogenic activities (hydrocarbon extraction, wastewater injection, fracking, geothermal production, and mass redistribution); local tectonic deformation and regional tectonic drivers (such as repeated uplift and subsidence cycles above subduction zones); climate change (influencing the timing, magnitude, nature and duration of seasonal/annual precipitation and permafrost extent); material properties of the basin sediments (influencing susceptibility to soil compaction, oxidization, and dissolution); post glacial rebound; isostatic flexure associated with sea-level and local mass changes; and large scale gravitational processes (such as growth faults and landslides). Geodetic measurements, such as InSAR and GPS, help track spatial and temporal changes in both relative and absolute basin elevation thereby helping to characterize the mechanism(s) driving the geohazards. In addition to a number of commercial radar satellites, European Space Agency's Sentinel-1a/b satellites are beginning to provide a wealth of data over many basin targets with C-band (5.5 cm wavelength). The NISAR (NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar) L-band (24 cm wavelength) mission (anticipated 2021 launch) will image nearly every basin globally every 12 days and data from the mission will help characterize land subsidence and many other solid-Earth and hydrologic geohazards that impact urban basins.

  14. A Combination of CRISPR/Cas9 and Standardized RNAi as a Versatile Platform for the Characterization of Gene Function

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    Sebastian Wissel

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Traditional loss-of-function studies in Drosophila suffer from a number of shortcomings, including off-target effects in the case of RNA interference (RNAi or the stochastic nature of mosaic clonal analysis. Here, we describe minimal in vivo GFP interference (miGFPi as a versatile strategy to characterize gene function and to conduct highly stringent, cell type-specific loss-of-function experiments in Drosophila. miGFPi combines CRISPR/Cas9-mediated tagging of genes at their endogenous locus with an immunotag and an exogenous 21 nucleotide RNAi effector sequence with the use of a single reagent, highly validated RNAi line targeting this sequence. We demonstrate the utility and time effectiveness of this method by characterizing the function of the Polymerase I (Pol I-associated transcription factor Tif-1a, and the previously uncharacterized gene MESR4, in the Drosophila female germline stem cell lineage. In addition, we show that miGFPi serves as a powerful technique to functionally characterize individual isoforms of a gene. We exemplify this aspect of miGFPi by studying isoform-specific loss-of-function phenotypes of the longitudinals lacking (lola gene in neural stem cells. Altogether, the miGFPi strategy constitutes a generalized loss-of-function approach that is amenable to the study of the function of all genes in the genome in a stringent and highly time effective manner.

  15. Polyester textile functionalization through incorporation of pH/thermo-responsive microgels. Part II: polyester functionalization and characterization

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Glampedaki, P.; Calvimontes, A.; Dutschk, Victoria; Warmoeskerken, Marinus

    2012-01-01

    A new approach to functionalize the surface of polyester textiles is described in this study. Functionalization was achieved by incorporating pH/temperature-responsive polyelectrolyte microgels into the textile surface layer using UV irradiation. The aim of functionalization was to regulate

  16. Characterization of bacterial functional groups and microbial activity in microcosms with glyphosate application

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moyano, Sofia; Bonetto, Mariana; Baigorria, Tomas; Pegoraro, Vanesa; Ortiz, Jimena; Faggioli, Valeria; Conde, Belen; Cazorla, Cristian; Boccolini, Monica

    2017-04-01

    Glyphosate is a worldwide used herbicide as c. 90% of transgenic crops are tolerant to it. Microbial degradation of glyphosate molecule in soil is considered the most important process that determines its persistence in the environment. However, the impact of this herbicide on target groups of soil biota remains poorly understood. Our objective was to characterize the abundance of bacterial groups and global microbial activity, under controlled conditions with application of increasing doses of glyphosate. A bioassay was carried out in microcosms using an agricultural soil (Typic Argiudoll) with registered history of glyphosate application from National Institute of Agricultural Technology (INTA, EEA Marcos Juarez, Argentina). Glyphosate of commercial formulation (74.7%) was used and the following treatments were evaluated: Soil without glyphosate (control), and Soil with doses equivalent to 1.12 and 11.2 kg ai ha-1. Microbiological parameters were estimated at 3, 7, 14 and 21 days after herbicide application by counting heterotrophic, cellulolytic, nitrogen fixing (N), and nitrifying bacteria; and fluorescein diacetate hydrolysis (FDA), microbial respiration (MR) and microbial biomass (C-BM). The N cycle related bacteria showed greater sensitivity to glyphosate with significant increases in abundance. On the other hand the C cycle parameters were strongly conditioned by the time elapsed since the application of the herbicide, as did the MR. The FDA declined with the highest dose, while the C-BM was not affected. Therefore, we conclude that in the studied experimental conditions glyphosate stimulated bacterial growth (i.e. target abundances) representing a source of N, C and nutrients. On the other hand, enzymatic activity (FDA) decreased when glyphosate was applied in the highest dose, whereas, it had no effect on the MR nor C-BM, which could be attributable to the organic matter content of the soil. However, future research in field conditions is necessary, for

  17. Characterization, expression patterns and functional analysis of the MAPK and MAPKK genes in watermelon (Citrullus lanatus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Song, Qiuming; Li, Dayong; Dai, Yi; Liu, Shixia; Huang, Lei; Hong, Yongbo; Zhang, Huijuan; Song, Fengming

    2015-12-23

    Mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) cascades, which consist of three functionally associated protein kinases, namely MEKKs, MKKs and MPKs, are universal signaling modules in all eukaryotes and have been shown to play critical roles in many physiological and biochemical processes in plants. However, little or nothing is known about the MPK and MKK families in watermelon. In the present study, we performed a systematic characterization of the ClMPK and ClMKK families including the identification and nomenclature, chromosomal localization, phylogenetic relationships, ClMPK-ClMKK interactions, expression patterns in different tissues and in response to abiotic and biotic stress and transient expression-based functional analysis for their roles in disease resistance. Genome-wide survey identified fifteen ClMPK and six ClMKK genes in watermelon genome and phylogenetic analysis revealed that both of the ClMPK and ClMKK families can be classified into four distinct groups. Yeast two-hybrid assays demonstrated significant interactions between members of the ClMPK and ClMKK families, defining putative ClMKK2-1/ClMKK6-ClMPK4-1/ClMPK4-2/ClMPK13 and ClMKK5-ClMPK6 cascades. Most of the members in the ClMPK and ClMKK families showed differential expression patterns in different tissues and in response to abiotic (e.g. drought, salt, cold and heat treatments) and biotic (e.g. infection of Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. niveum) stresses. Transient expression of ClMPK1, ClMPK4-2 and ClMPK7 in Nicotiana benthamiana resulted in enhanced resistance to Botrytis cinerea and upregulated expression of defense genes while transient expression of ClMPK6 and ClMKK2-2 led to increased susceptibility to B. cinerea. Furthermore, transient expression of ClMPK7 also led to hypersensitive response (HR)-like cell death and significant accumulation of H2O2 in N. benthamiana. We identified fifteen ClMPK and six ClMKK genes from watermelon and analyzed their phylogenetic relationships, expression

  18. Does functional MRI detect activation in white matter? A review of emerging evidence, issues, and future directions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gawryluk, Jodie R.; Mazerolle, Erin L.; D'Arcy, Ryan C. N.

    2014-01-01

    Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) is a non-invasive technique that allows for visualization of activated brain regions. Until recently, fMRI studies have focused on gray matter. There are two main reasons white matter fMRI remains controversial: (1) the blood oxygen level dependent (BOLD) fMRI signal depends on cerebral blood flow and volume, which are lower in white matter than gray matter and (2) fMRI signal has been associated with post-synaptic potentials (mainly localized in gray matter) as opposed to action potentials (the primary type of neural activity in white matter). Despite these observations, there is no direct evidence against measuring fMRI activation in white matter and reports of fMRI activation in white matter continue to increase. The questions underlying white matter fMRI activation are important. White matter fMRI activation has the potential to greatly expand the breadth of brain connectivity research, as well as improve the assessment and diagnosis of white matter and connectivity disorders. The current review provides an overview of the motivation to investigate white matter fMRI activation, as well as the published evidence of this phenomenon. We speculate on possible neurophysiologic bases of white matter fMRI signals, and discuss potential explanations for why reports of white matter fMRI activation are relatively scarce. We end with a discussion of future basic and clinical research directions in the study of white matter fMRI. PMID:25152709

  19. Characterization of regional left ventricular function in nonhuman primates using magnetic resonance imaging biomarkers: a test-retest repeatability and inter-subject variability study.

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    Smita Sampath

    Full Text Available Pre-clinical animal models are important to study the fundamental biological and functional mechanisms involved in the longitudinal evolution of heart failure (HF. Particularly, large animal models, like nonhuman primates (NHPs, that possess greater physiological, biochemical, and phylogenetic similarity to humans are gaining interest. To assess the translatability of these models into human diseases, imaging biomarkers play a significant role in non-invasive phenotyping, prediction of downstream remodeling, and evaluation of novel experimental therapeutics. This paper sheds insight into NHP cardiac function through the quantification of magnetic resonance (MR imaging biomarkers that comprehensively characterize the spatiotemporal dynamics of left ventricular (LV systolic pumping and LV diastolic relaxation. MR tagging and phase contrast (PC imaging were used to quantify NHP cardiac strain and flow. Temporal inter-relationships between rotational mechanics, myocardial strain and LV chamber flow are presented, and functional biomarkers are evaluated through test-retest repeatability and inter subject variability analyses. The temporal trends observed in strain and flow was similar to published data in humans. Our results indicate a dominant dimension based pumping during early systole, followed by a torsion dominant pumping action during late systole. Early diastole is characterized by close to 65% of untwist, the remainder of which likely contributes to efficient filling during atrial kick. Our data reveal that moderate to good intra-subject repeatability was observed for peak strain, strain-rates, E/circumferential strain-rate (CSR ratio, E/longitudinal strain-rate (LSR ratio, and deceleration time. The inter-subject variability was high for strain dyssynchrony, diastolic strain-rates, peak torsion and peak untwist rate. We have successfully characterized cardiac function in NHPs using MR imaging. Peak strain, average systolic strain

  20. Characterizing functional lung heterogeneity in COPD using reference equations for CT scan-measured lobar volumes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Come, Carolyn E; Diaz, Alejandro A; Curran-Everett, Douglas; Muralidhar, Nivedita; Hersh, Craig P; Zach, Jordan A; Schroeder, Joyce; Lynch, David A; Celli, Bartolome; Washko, George R

    2013-06-01

    CT scanning is increasingly used to characterize COPD. Although it is possible to obtain CT scan-measured lung lobe volumes, normal ranges remain unknown. Using COPDGene data, we developed reference equations for lobar volumes at maximal inflation (total lung capacity [TLC]) and relaxed exhalation (approximating functional residual capacity [FRC]). Linear regression was used to develop race-specific (non-Hispanic white [NHW], African American) reference equations for lobar volumes. Covariates included height and sex. Models were developed in a derivation cohort of 469 subjects with normal pulmonary function and validated in 546 similar subjects. These cohorts were combined to produce final prediction equations, which were applied to 2,191 subjects with old GOLD (Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease) stage II to IV COPD. In the derivation cohort, women had smaller lobar volumes than men. Height positively correlated with lobar volumes. Adjusting for height, NHWs had larger total lung and lobar volumes at TLC than African Americans; at FRC, NHWs only had larger lower lobes. Age and weight had no effect on lobar volumes at TLC but had small effects at FRC. In subjects with COPD at TLC, upper lobes exceeded 100% of predicted values in GOLD II disease; lower lobes were only inflated to this degree in subjects with GOLD IV disease. At FRC, gas trapping was severe irrespective of disease severity and appeared uniform across the lobes. Reference equations for lobar volumes may be useful in assessing regional lung dysfunction and how it changes in response to pharmacologic therapies and surgical or endoscopic lung volume reduction.

  1. Phenotypic, ultra-structural, and functional characterization of bovine peripheral blood dendritic cell subsets.

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    Janet J Sei

    Full Text Available Dendritic cells (DC are multi-functional cells that bridge the gap between innate and adaptive immune systems. In bovine, significant information is lacking on the precise identity and role of peripheral blood DC subsets. In this study, we identify and characterize bovine peripheral blood DC subsets directly ex vivo, without further in vitro manipulation. Multi-color flow cytometric analysis revealed that three DC subsets could be identified. Bovine plasmacytoid DC were phenotypically identified by a unique pattern of cell surface protein expression including CD4, exhibited an extensive endoplasmic reticulum and Golgi apparatus, efficiently internalized and degraded exogenous antigen, and were the only peripheral blood cells specialized in the production of type I IFN following activation with Toll-like receptor (TLR agonists. Conventional DC were identified by expression of a different pattern of cell surface proteins including CD11c, MHC class II, and CD80, among others, the display of extensive dendritic protrusions on their plasma membrane, expression of very high levels of MHC class II and co-stimulatory molecules, efficient internalization and degradation of exogenous antigen, and ready production of detectable levels of TNF-alpha in response to TLR activation. Our investigations also revealed a third novel DC subset that may be a precursor of conventional DC that were MHC class II+ and CD11c-. These cells exhibited a smooth plasma membrane with a rounded nucleus, produced TNF-alpha in response to TLR-activation (albeit lower than CD11c+ DC, and were the least efficient in internalization/degradation of exogenous antigen. These studies define three bovine blood DC subsets with distinct phenotypic and functional characteristics which can be analyzed during immune responses to pathogens and vaccinations of cattle.

  2. Cloning, functional characterization and genomic organization of 1,8-cineole synthases from Lavandula.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Demissie, Zerihun A; Cella, Monica A; Sarker, Lukman S; Thompson, Travis J; Rheault, Mark R; Mahmoud, Soheil S

    2012-07-01

    Several members of the genus Lavandula produce valuable essential oils (EOs) that are primarily constituted of the low molecular weight isoprenoids, particularly monoterpenes. We isolated over 8,000 ESTs from the glandular trichomes of L. x intermedia flowers (where bulk of the EO is synthesized) to facilitate the discovery of genes that control the biosynthesis of EO constituents. The expression profile of these ESTs in L. x intermedia and its parents L. angustifolia and L. latifolia was established using microarrays. The resulting data highlighted a differentially expressed, previously uncharacterized cDNA with strong homology to known 1,8-cineole synthase (CINS) genes. The ORF, excluding the transit peptide, of this cDNA was expressed in E. coli, purified by Ni-NTA agarose affinity chromatography and functionally characterized in vitro. The ca. 63 kDa bacterially produced recombinant protein, designated L. x intermedia CINS (LiCINS), converted geranyl diphosphate (the linear monoterpene precursor) primarily to 1,8-cineole with K ( m ) and k ( cat ) values of 5.75 μM and 8.8 × 10(-3) s(-1), respectively. The genomic DNA of CINS in the studied Lavandula species had identical exon-intron architecture and coding sequences, except for a single polymorphic nucleotide in the L. angustifolia ortholog which did not alter protein function. Additional nucleotide variations restricted to L. angustifolia introns were also observed, suggesting that LiCINS was most likely inherited from L. latifolia. The LiCINS mRNA levels paralleled the 1,8-cineole content in mature flowers of the three lavender species, and in developmental stages of L. x intermedia inflorescence indicating that the production of 1,8 cineole in Lavandula is most likely controlled through transcriptional regulation of LiCINS.

  3. Characterization of phospholipase C gamma enzymes with gain-of-function mutations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Everett, Katy L; Bunney, Tom D; Yoon, Youngdae; Rodrigues-Lima, Fernando; Harris, Richard; Driscoll, Paul C; Abe, Koichiro; Fuchs, Helmut; de Angelis, Martin Hrabé; Yu, Philipp; Cho, Wohnwa; Katan, Matilda

    2009-08-21

    Phospholipase C gamma isozymes (PLC gamma 1 and PLC gamma 2) have a crucial role in the regulation of a variety of cellular functions. Both enzymes have also been implicated in signaling events underlying aberrant cellular responses. Using N-ethyl-N-nitrosourea (ENU) mutagenesis, we have recently identified single point mutations in murine PLC gamma 2 that lead to spontaneous inflammation and autoimmunity. Here we describe further, mechanistic characterization of two gain-of-function mutations, D993G and Y495C, designated as ALI5 and ALI14. The residue Asp-993, mutated in ALI5, is a conserved residue in the catalytic domain of PLC enzymes. Analysis of PLC gamma 1 and PLC gamma 2 with point mutations of this residue showed that removal of the negative charge enhanced PLC activity in response to EGF stimulation or activation by Rac. Measurements of PLC activity in vitro and analysis of membrane binding have suggested that ALI5-type mutations facilitate membrane interactions without compromising substrate binding and hydrolysis. The residue mutated in ALI14 (Tyr-495) is within the spPH domain. Replacement of this residue had no effect on folding of the domain and enhanced Rac activation of PLC gamma 2 without increasing Rac binding. Importantly, the activation of the ALI14-PLC gamma 2 and corresponding PLC gamma 1 variants was enhanced in response to EGF stimulation and bypassed the requirement for phosphorylation of critical tyrosine residues. ALI5- and ALI14-type mutations affected basal activity only slightly; however, their combination resulted in a constitutively active PLC. Based on these data, we suggest that each mutation could compromise auto-inhibition in the inactive PLC, facilitating the activation process; in addition, ALI5-type mutations could enhance membrane interaction in the activated state.

  4. Functional properties and structural characterization of rice δ1-pyrroline-5-carboxylate reductase

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Giuseppe eForlani

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available The majority of plant species accumulate high intracellular levels of proline to cope with hyperosmotic stress conditions. Proline synthesis from glutamate is tightly regulated at both the transcriptional and the translational levels, yet little is known about the mechanisms for post-translational regulation of the enzymatic activities involved. The gene coding in rice (Oryza sativa L. for δ1-pyrroline-5-carboxylate (P5C reductase, the enzyme that catalyzes the second and final step in this pathway, was isolated and expressed in E. coli. The structural and functional properties of the affinity-purified protein were characterized. As for most species, rice P5C reductase was able to use in vitro either NADH or NADPH as the electron donor. However, strikingly different effects of cations and anions were found depending on the pyridine nucleotide used, namely inhibition of NADH-dependent activity and stimulation of NADPH-dependent activity. Moreover, physiological concentrations of proline and NADP+ were strongly inhibitory for the NADH-dependent reaction, whereas the NADPH-dependent activity was mildly affected. Our results suggest that only NADPH may be used in vivo and that stress-dependent variations in ion homeostasis and NADPH/NADP+ ratio could modulate enzyme activity, being functional in promoting proline accumulation and potentially also adjusting NADPH consumption during the defense against hyperosmotic stress. The apparent molecular weight of the native protein observed in size exclusion chromatography indicated a high oligomerization state. We also report the first crystal structure of a plant P5C reductase at 3.40-Å resolution, showing a decameric quaternary assembly. Based on the structure, it was possible to identify dynamic structural differences among rice, human and bacterial enzymes.

  5. Construction and functional characterization of double and triple mutants of parallel beta-bulge of ubiquitin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharma, Mrinal; Prabha, C Ratna

    2011-12-01

    Ubiquitin, a small eukaryotic protein serving as a post-translational modification on many important proteins, plays central role in cellular homeostasis and cell cycle regulation. Ubiquitin features two beta-bulges, the second beta-bulge, located at the C-terminal region of the protein along with type II turn, holds 3 residues Glu64(1), Ser65(2) and Gln2(X). Percent frequency of occurrence of such a sequence in parallel beta-bulge is very low. However, the sequence and structure have been conserved in ubiquitin through out the evolution. Present study involves replacement of residues in unusual beta-bulge of ubiquitin by introducing mutations in combination through site directed mutagenesis, generating double and triple mutants and their functional characterization. Mutant ubiquitins cloned in yeast expression vector YEp96 tested for growth profile, viability assay and heat stress complementation study have revealed significant decrease in growth rate, loss of viability and non-complementation of heat sensitive phenotype with UbE64G-S65D and UbQ2N-E64G-S65D mutations. However, UbQ2N-S65D did not show any negative effects in the above assays. Present results show that, replacement of residues in beta-bulge of ubiquitin exerts severe effects on growth and viability in Saccharomyces cerevisiae due to functional failure of the mutant ubiquitins UbE64G-S65D and UbQ2N-E64G-S65D.

  6. Functional characterization of the Woronin body protein WscA of the pathogenic mold Aspergillus fumigatus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leonhardt, Yannik; Beck, Julia; Ebel, Frank

    2016-05-01

    Woronin bodies are fungal-specific organelles that seal damaged hyphal compartments and thereby contribute to the stress resistance and virulence of filamentous fungi. In this study, we have characterized the Aspergillus fumigatus Woronin body protein WscA. WscA is homologous to Neurospora crassa WSC, a protein that was shown to be important for biogenesis, segregation and positioning of Woronin bodies. WscA and WSC both belong to the Mpv17/PMP22 family of peroxisomal membrane proteins. An A. fumigatus ΔwscA mutant is unable to form Woronin bodies, and HexA, the protein that forms the crystal-like core of Woronin bodies, accumulates in large peroxisomes instead. The ΔwscA mutant showed no defect in segregation of HexA containing organelles, as has been reported for the corresponding N. crassa mutant. In the peroxisomes of the A. fumigatus mutant, HexA assembles into compact, donut-shaped structures. Experiments with GFP fusion proteins revealed that WscA function is highly sensitive to these modifications, in particular to an N-terminal fusion of GFP. In N. crassa, WSC was shown to be essentially required for Woronin body positioning, but the respective domain is not conserved in most other Pezizomycotina, including A. fumigatus. We have recently found evidence that HexA may have a direct role in WB positioning, since a HexA-GFP fusion protein, lacking a functional PTS1 motif, is efficiently recruited to the septal pore. In the current study we show that this targeting of HexA-GFP is independent of WscA. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  7. Structural and functional characterization of a multifunctional alanine-rich peptide analogue from Pleuronectes americanus.

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    Ludovico Migliolo

    Full Text Available Recently, defense peptides that are able to act against several targets have been characterized. The present work focuses on structural and functional evaluation of the peptide analogue Pa-MAP, previously isolated as an antifreeze peptide from Pleuronectes americanus. Pa-MAP showed activities against different targets such as tumoral cells in culture (CACO-2, MCF-7 and HCT-116, bacteria (Escherichia coli ATCC 8739 and Staphylococcus aureus ATCC 25923, viruses (HSV-1 and HSV-2 and fungi (Candida parapsilosis ATCC 22019, Trichophyton mentagrophytes (28d&E and T. rubrum (327. This peptide did not show toxicity against mammalian cells such as erythrocytes, Vero and RAW 264.7 cells. Molecular mechanism of action was related to hydrophobic residues, since only the terminal amino group is charged at pH 7 as confirmed by potentiometric titration. In order to shed some light on its structure-function relations, in vitro and in silico assays were carried out using circular dichroism and molecular dynamics. Furthermore, Pa-MAP showed partial unfolding of the peptide changes in a wide pH (3 to 11 and temperature (25 to 95°C ranges, although it might not reach complete unfolding at 95°C, suggesting a high conformational stability. This peptide also showed a conformational transition with a partial α-helical fold in water and a full α-helical core in SDS and TFE environments. These results were corroborated by spectral data measured at 222 nm and by 50 ns dynamic simulation. In conclusion, data reported here show that Pa-MAP is a potential candidate for drug design against pathogenic microorganisms due to its structural stability and wide activity against a range of targets.

  8. Structurally and functionally characterized in vitro model of rabbit vocal fold epithelium.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mizuta, Masanobu; Kurita, Takashi; Kimball, Emily E; Rousseau, Bernard

    2017-06-01

    In this paper, we describe a method for primary culture of a well differentiated electrically tight rabbit vocal fold epithelial cell multilayer and the measurement of transepithelial electrical resistance (TEER) for the evaluation of epithelial barrier function in vitro. Rabbit larynges were harvested and enzymatically treated to isolate vocal fold epithelial cells and to establish primary culture. Vocal fold epithelial cells were co-cultured with mitomycin C-treated feeder cells on collagen-coated plates. After 10-14 days in primary culture, cells were passaged and cultured until they achieved 70-90% confluence on collagen-coated plates. Epithelial cells were then passaged onto collagen-coated cell culture inserts using 4.5cm 2 membrane filters (1.0μm pore size) with 10% fetal bovine serum or 30μg/mL bovine pituitary extract to investigate the effects of growth-promoting additives on TEER. Additional experiments were performed to investigate optimal seeding density (1.1, 2.2, 4.4, or 8.9×10 5 cells/cm 2 ), the effect of co-culture with feeder cells, and the effect of passage number on epithelial barrier function. Characterization of in vitro cultures was performed using hematoxylin and eosin staining and immunostaining for vocal fold epithelial cell markers and tight junctions. Results revealed higher TEER in cells supplemented with fetal bovine serum compared to bovine pituitary extract. TEER was highest in cells passaged at a seeding density of 2.2×10 4 cells/cm 2 , and TEER was higher in cells at passage two than passage three. Ultrastructural experiments revealed a well-differentiated epithelial cell multilayer, expressing the epithelial cell markers CK13, CK14 and the tight junction proteins occludin and ZO-1. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  9. Characterization of maximally random jammed sphere packings. III. Transport and electromagnetic properties via correlation functions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klatt, Michael A.; Torquato, Salvatore

    2018-01-01

    In the first two papers of this series, we characterized the structure of maximally random jammed (MRJ) sphere packings across length scales by computing a variety of different correlation functions, spectral functions, hole probabilities, and local density fluctuations. From the remarkable structural features of the MRJ packings, especially its disordered hyperuniformity, exceptional physical properties can be expected. Here we employ these structural descriptors to estimate effective transport and electromagnetic properties via rigorous bounds, exact expansions, and accurate analytical approximation formulas. These property formulas include interfacial bounds as well as universal scaling laws for the mean survival time and the fluid permeability. We also estimate the principal relaxation time associated with Brownian motion among perfectly absorbing traps. For the propagation of electromagnetic waves in the long-wavelength limit, we show that a dispersion of dielectric MRJ spheres within a matrix of another dielectric material forms, to a very good approximation, a dissipationless disordered and isotropic two-phase medium for any phase dielectric contrast ratio. We compare the effective properties of the MRJ sphere packings to those of overlapping spheres, equilibrium hard-sphere packings, and lattices of hard spheres. Moreover, we generalize results to micro- and macroscopically anisotropic packings of spheroids with tensorial effective properties. The analytic bounds predict the qualitative trend in the physical properties associated with these structures, which provides guidance to more time-consuming simulations and experiments. They especially provide impetus for experiments to design materials with unique bulk properties resulting from hyperuniformity, including structural-color and color-sensing applications.

  10. Functional characterization of carboxylesterase gene mutations involved in Aphis gossypii resistance to organophosphate insecticides.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gong, Y-H; Ai, G-M; Li, M; Shi, X-Y; Diao, Q-Y; Gao, X-W

    2017-12-01

    Carboxylesterases (CarEs) play an important role in detoxifying insecticides in insects. Over-expression and structural modification of CarEs have been implicated in the development of organophosphate (OP) insecticide resistance in insects. A previous study identified four nonsynonymous mutations (resulting in four amino acid residue substitutions) in the open reading frame of the carboxylesterase gene of resistant cotton aphids compared to the omethoate susceptible strain, which has possibly influenced the development of resistance to omethoate (a systemic OP insecticide). The current study further characterized the function of these mutations, both alone and in combination, in the hydrolysis of OP insecticides. The metabolism results suggest that the combination of four mutations, mainly existing in the laboratory-selected OP-resistant cotton aphid population, increased the OP hydrolase activity (approximately twofold) at the cost of detectable carboxylesterase activity. The functional studies of single or multiple mutations suggest the positive effect of H104R, A128V and T333P on the acquisition of OP hydrolase activity, especially the combination of H104R with A128V or T333P. K484R substitution decreased both the OP hydrolase activity and the CarE activity, indicating that this mutation primarily drives the negative effect on the acquisition of OP hydrolase activity amongst these four mutations in the resistant strain. The modelling and docking results are basically consistent with the metabolic results, which strongly suggest that the structural gene modification is the molecular basis for the OP resistance in this laboratory-selected cotton aphid strain. © 2017 The Royal Entomological Society.

  11. Episodic Memory and Episodic Future Thinking Impairments in High-Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder: An Underlying Difficulty With Scene Construction or Self-Projection?

    OpenAIRE

    Lind, Sophie E.; Williams, David M.; Bowler, Dermot M.; Peel, Anna

    2013-01-01

    Objective: There appears to be a common network of brain regions that underlie the ability to recall\\ud past personal experiences (episodic memory) and the ability to imagine possible future personal\\ud experiences (episodic future thinking). At the cognitive level, these abilities are thought to rely on\\ud “scene construction” (the ability to bind together multimodal elements of a scene in mind—\\ud dependent on hippocampal functioning) and temporal “self-projection” (the ability to mentally\\...

  12. Dairy products and the Maillard reaction: A promising future for extensive food characterization by integrated proteomics studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arena, Simona; Renzone, Giovanni; D'Ambrosio, Chiara; Salzano, Anna Maria; Scaloni, Andrea

    2017-03-15

    Heating of milk and dairy products is done using various technological processes with the aim of preserving microbiological safety and extending shelf-life. These treatments result in chemical modifications in milk proteins, mainly generated as a result of the Maillard reaction. Recently, different bottom-up proteomic methods have been applied to characterize the nature of these structural changes and the modified amino acids in model protein systems and/or isolated components from thermally-treated milk samples. On the other hand, different gel-based and shotgun proteomic methods have been utilized to assign glycation, oxidation and glycoxidation protein targets in diverse heated milks. These data are essential to rationalize eventual, different nutritional, antimicrobial, cell stimulative and antigenic properties of milk products, because humans ingest large quantities of corresponding thermally modified proteins on a daily basis and these molecules also occur in pharmaceuticals and cosmetics. This review provides an updated picture of the procedures developed for the proteomic characterization of variably-heated milk products, highlighting their limits as result of concomitant factors, such as the multiplicity and the different concentration of the compounds to be detected. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Isolation and functional characterization of Lycopene β-cyclase (CYC-B promoter from Solanum habrochaites

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chinnusamy Viswanathan

    2010-04-01

    to -437 bp 5' to ATG led to significant increase in the activity of GUS in the transgenic plants. Promoter deletion analysis led to the identification of a short promoter region (-436 bp to ATG that exhibited a higher promoter strength but similar developmental expression pattern as compared with the full-length ShCYC-B promoter. Conclusion Functional characterization of the full-length ShCYC-B promoter and its deletion fragments in transient expression system in fruto as well as in stable transgenic tomato revealed that the promoter is developmentally regulated and its expression is upregulated in chromoplast-rich flowers and fruits. Our study identified a short promoter region with functional activity and developmental expression pattern similar to that of the full-length ShCYC-B promoter. This 436 bp promoter region can be used in promoter::reporter fusion molecular genetic screens to identify mutants impaired in CYC-B expression, and thus can be a valuable tool in understanding carotenoid metabolism in tomato. Moreover, this short promoter region of ShCYC-B may be useful in genetic engineering of carotenoid content and other agronomic traits in tomato fruits.

  14. Rapid Discovery and Functional Characterization of Terpene Synthases from Four Endophytic Xylariaceae.

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    Weihua Wu

    Full Text Available Endophytic fungi are ubiquitous plant endosymbionts that establish complex and poorly understood relationships with their host organisms. Many endophytic fungi are known to produce a wide spectrum of volatile organic compounds (VOCs with potential energy applications, which have been described as "mycodiesel". Many of these mycodiesel hydrocarbons are terpenes, a chemically diverse class of compounds produced by many plants, fungi, and bacteria. Due to their high energy densities, terpenes, such as pinene and bisabolene, are actively being investigated as potential "drop-in" biofuels for replacing diesel and aviation fuel. In this study, we rapidly discovered and characterized 26 terpene synthases (TPSs derived from four endophytic fungi known to produce mycodiesel hydrocarbons. The TPS genes were expressed in an E. coli strain harboring a heterologous mevalonate pathway designed to enhance terpene production, and their product profiles were determined using Solid Phase Micro-Extraction (SPME and GC-MS. Out of the 26 TPS's profiled, 12 TPS's were functional, with the majority of them exhibiting both monoterpene and sesquiterpene synthase activity.

  15. Identification, Functional Characterization, and Evolution of Terpene Synthases from a Basal Dicot1[OPEN

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yahyaa, Mosaab; Matsuba, Yuki; Brandt, Wolfgang; Doron-Faigenboim, Adi; Bar, Einat; McClain, Alan; Davidovich-Rikanati, Rachel; Lewinsohn, Efraim; Pichersky, Eran; Ibdah, Mwafaq

    2015-01-01

    Bay laurel (Laurus nobilis) is an agriculturally and economically important dioecious tree in the basal dicot family Lauraceae used in food and drugs and in the cosmetics industry. Bay leaves, with their abundant monoterpenes and sesquiterpenes, are used to impart flavor and aroma to food, and have also drawn attention in recent years because of their potential pharmaceutical applications. To identify terpene synthases (TPSs) involved in the production of these volatile terpenes, we performed RNA sequencing to profile the transcriptome of L. nobilis leaves. Bioinformatic analysis led to the identification of eight TPS complementary DNAs. We characterized the enzymes encoded by three of these complementary DNAs: a monoterpene synthase that belongs to the TPS-b clade catalyzes the formation of mostly 1,8-cineole; a sesquiterpene synthase belonging to the TPS-a clade catalyzes the formation of mainly cadinenes; and a diterpene synthase of the TPS-e/f clade catalyzes the formation of geranyllinalool. Comparison of the sequences of these three TPSs indicated that the TPS-a and TPS-b clades of the TPS gene family evolved early in the evolution of the angiosperm lineage, and that geranyllinalool synthase activity is the likely ancestral function in angiosperms of genes belonging to an ancient TPS-e/f subclade that diverged from the kaurene synthase gene lineages before the split of angiosperms and gymnosperms. PMID:26157114

  16. Functional characterization of the Drosophila MRP (mitochondrial RNA processing) RNA gene.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schneider, Mary D; Bains, Anupinder K; Rajendra, T K; Dominski, Zbigniew; Matera, A Gregory; Simmonds, Andrew J

    2010-11-01

    MRP RNA is a noncoding RNA component of RNase mitochondrial RNA processing (MRP), a multi-protein eukaryotic endoribonuclease reported to function in multiple cellular processes, including ribosomal RNA processing, mitochondrial DNA replication, and cell cycle regulation. A recent study predicted a potential Drosophila ortholog of MRP RNA (CR33682) by computer-based genome analysis. We have confirmed the expression of this gene and characterized the phenotype associated with this locus. Flies with mutations that specifically affect MRP RNA show defects in growth and development that begin in the early larval period and end in larval death during the second instar stage. We present several lines of evidence demonstrating a role for Drosophila MRP RNA in rRNA processing. The nuclear fraction of Drosophila MRP RNA localizes to the nucleolus. Further, a mutant strain shows defects in rRNA processing that include a defect in 5.8S rRNA processing, typical of MRP RNA mutants in other species, as well as defects in early stages of rRNA processing.

  17. Biochemical and Functional Characterization of Parawixia bistriata Spider Venom with Potential Proteolytic and Larvicidal Activities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gimenez, Gizeli S.; Coutinho-Neto, Antonio; Kayano, Anderson M.; Simões-Silva, Rodrigo; Trindade, Frances; de Almeida e Silva, Alexandre; Marcussi, Silvana; da Silva, Saulo L.; Fernandes, Carla F. C.; Zuliani, Juliana P.; Calderon, Leonardo A.; Soares, Andreimar M.; Stábeli, Rodrigo G.

    2014-01-01

    Toxins purified from the venom of spiders have high potential to be studied pharmacologically and biochemically. These biomolecules may have biotechnological and therapeutic applications. This study aimed to evaluate the protein content of Parawixia bistriata venom and functionally characterize its proteins that have potential for biotechnological applications. The crude venom showed no phospholipase, hemorrhagic, or anti-Leishmania activities attesting to low genotoxicity and discrete antifungal activity for C. albicans. However the following activities were observed: anticoagulation, edema, myotoxicity and proteolysis on casein, azo-collagen, and fibrinogen. The chromatographic and electrophoretic profiles of the proteins revealed a predominance of acidic, neutral, and polar proteins, highlighting the presence of proteins with high molecular masses. Five fractions were collected using cation exchange chromatography, with the P4 fraction standing out as that of the highest purity. All fractions showed proteolytic activity. The crude venom and fractions P1, P2, and P3 showed larvicidal effects on A. aegypti. Fraction P4 showed the presence of a possible metalloprotease (60 kDa) that has high proteolytic activity on azo-collagen and was inhibited by EDTA. The results presented in this study demonstrate the presence of proteins in the venom of P. bistriata with potential for biotechnological applications. PMID:24895632

  18. Cellulose aerogels functionalized with polypyrrole and silver nanoparticles: In-situ synthesis, characterization and antibacterial activity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wan, Caichao; Li, Jian

    2016-08-01

    Green porous and lightweight cellulose aerogels have been considered as promising candidates to substitute some petrochemical host materials to support various nanomaterials. In this work, waste wheat straw was collected as feedstock to fabricate cellulose hydrogels, and a green inexpensive NaOH/polyethylene glycol solution was used as cellulose solvent. Prior to freeze-drying treatment, the cellulose hydrogels were integrated with polypyrrole and silver nanoparticles by easily-operated in-situ oxidative polymerization of pyrrole using silver ions as oxidizing agent. The tri-component hybrid aerogels were characterized by scanning electron microscope, transmission electron microscope, energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy, selected area electron diffraction, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, and X-ray diffraction. Moreover, the antibacterial activity of the hybrid aerogels against Escherichia coli (Gram-negative), Staphylococcus aureus (Gram-positive) and Listeria monocytogenes (intracellular bacteria) was qualitatively and quantitatively investigated by parallel streak method and determination of minimal inhibitory concentration, respectively. This work provides an example of combining cellulose aerogels with nanomaterials, and helps to develop novel forms of cellulose-based functional materials. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Molecular Cloning and Functional Characterization of a Dihydroflavonol 4-Reductase from Vitis bellula.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Yue; Peng, Qingzhong; Li, Kegang; Xie, De-Yu

    2018-04-10

    Vitis bellula is a new grape crop in southern China. Berries of this species are rich in antioxidative anthocyanins and proanthocyanidins. This study reports cloning and functional characterization of a cDNA encoding a V. bellula dihydroflavonol reductase (VbDFR) involved in the biosynthesis of anthocyanins and proanthocyanidins. A cDNA including 1014 bp was cloned from young leaves and its open reading frame (ORF) was deduced encoding 337 amino acids, highly similar to V. vinifera DFR (VvDFR). Green florescence protein fusion and confocal microscopy analysis determined the cytosolic localization of VbDFR in plant cells. A soluble recombinant VbDFR was induced and purified from E. coli for enzyme assay. In the presence of NADPH, the recombinant enzyme catalyzed dihydrokaempferol (DHK) and dihydroquercetin (DHQ) to their corresponding leucoanthocyanidins. The VbDFR cDNA was introduced into tobacco plants via Agrobacterium -mediated transformation. The overexpression of VbDFR increased anthocyanin production in flowers. Anthocyanin hydrolysis and chromatographic analysis revealed that transgenic flowers produced pelargonidin and delphinidin, which were not detected in control flowers. These data demonstrated that the overexpression of VbDFR produced new tobacco anthocyanidins. In summary, all data demonstrate that VbDFR is a useful gene to provide three types of substrates for metabolic engineering of anthocyanins and proanthocyanidins in grape crops and other crops.

  20. Molecular Cloning and Functional Characterization of a Dihydroflavonol 4-Reductase from Vitis bellula

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yue Zhu

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Vitis bellula is a new grape crop in southern China. Berries of this species are rich in antioxidative anthocyanins and proanthocyanidins. This study reports cloning and functional characterization of a cDNA encoding a V. bellula dihydroflavonol reductase (VbDFR involved in the biosynthesis of anthocyanins and proanthocyanidins. A cDNA including 1014 bp was cloned from young leaves and its open reading frame (ORF was deduced encoding 337 amino acids, highly similar to V. vinifera DFR (VvDFR. Green florescence protein fusion and confocal microscopy analysis determined the cytosolic localization of VbDFR in plant cells. A soluble recombinant VbDFR was induced and purified from E. coli for enzyme assay. In the presence of NADPH, the recombinant enzyme catalyzed dihydrokaempferol (DHK and dihydroquercetin (DHQ to their corresponding leucoanthocyanidins. The VbDFR cDNA was introduced into tobacco plants via Agrobacterium-mediated transformation. The overexpression of VbDFR increased anthocyanin production in flowers. Anthocyanin hydrolysis and chromatographic analysis revealed that transgenic flowers produced pelargonidin and delphinidin, which were not detected in control flowers. These data demonstrated that the overexpression of VbDFR produced new tobacco anthocyanidins. In summary, all data demonstrate that VbDFR is a useful gene to provide three types of substrates for metabolic engineering of anthocyanins and proanthocyanidins in grape crops and other crops.

  1. Synthesis and characterization of functionalized CNTs using soya and milk protein

    Science.gov (United States)

    saxena, Sanjay; ranu, Rachana; Hait, Chandan; Priya, Shruti

    2014-10-01

    Nanotechnology is the study of the phenomenon and manipulation of matter at atomic and molecular scale to enhance their older property and generate several new properties. Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are one of the most commonly mentioned building blocks of nanotechnology. CNTs are very prevalent in today's world of medical research and are being highly researched in the fields of efficient drug delivery and bio sensing methods for disease treatment and health monitoring. There are number of methods for synthesizing CNTs. This is a biological method for synthesis of CNTs in which protein is used as carbon source and amino acids present in protein form complex with metal salt. The CNTs synthesized are then characterized and functionalized using techniques such as transmission electron microscopy, Fourier transform infra-red, nuclear magnetic resonance, ultra-violet visible spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction, etc. The properties of the synthesized CNTs are studied with the help of techniques such as thermo-gravimetric analysis, differential thermal analysis, and vibrating sample magnetometer, etc.

  2. Evaluation and functional characterization of a biosurfactant produced by Lactobacillus plantarum CFR 2194.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Madhu, Arenahalli Ningegowda; Prapulla, Siddalingaiya Gurudutt

    2014-02-01

    The study details the investigations on the ability of Lactobacillus plantarum CFR 2194, an isolate from kanjika, a rice-based ayurvedic fermented product, to produce biosurfactant. Surfactant production, as a function of fermentation time, indicates that the maximum production occurred at 72 h under stationary conditions. Isolation, partial purification, and characterization of the biosurfactant produced have been carried out, and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) spectra demonstrated that biosurfactants were constituted by protein and polysaccharide fractions, i.e., possessed the structure typical of glycoprotein, which is affected by the medium composition and the phase of growth of the biosurfactant-synthesizing strain. Critical micelle concentration (cmc) of the biosurfactant was found to be 6 g l(-1). The emulsification index (EI), emulsification activity (EA), and emulsion stability (ES) values of the biosurfactant have confirmed its emulsification property. Aqueous fractions of the produced biosurfactant exhibited a significant antimicrobial activity against the food-borne pathogenic species: Escherichia coli ATCC 31705, E. coli MTCC 108, Salmonella typhi, Yersinia enterocolitica MTCC 859, and Staphylococcus aureus F 722. More importantly, the biosurfactant from L. plantarum showed antiadhesive property against above food-borne pathogens. The results thus indicate the potential for developing strategies to prevent microbial colonization of food contact surfaces and health-care prosthesis using these biosurfactants.

  3. Functional characterization of the modified melanocortin peptides responsible for ligand selectivity at the human melanocortin receptors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Min; Georgeson, Keith E; Harmon, Carroll M; Haskell-Luevano, Carrie; Yang, Yingkui

    2006-11-01

    The melanocortin system plays an important role in energy homeostasis as well as skin pigmentation, steroidogenesis and exocrine gland function. In this study, we examined eight Ac-His-Phe-Arg-Trp-NH(2) tetrapeptides that were modified at the Phe position and pharmacologically characterized their activities at the human MCR wild-types and their mutants. Our results indicate that at the hMC1R, all D stereochemical modified residues at the Phe position of peptides increase cAMP production in a dose-dependent manner. At the hMC3R, the DPhe peptide dose dependently increases cAMP production but all other three tetrapeptides were not. At the hMC4R, both the DPhe and DNal(1') peptides induce cAMP production. However, both DTyr and DNal(2') were not able to induce cAMP production. Further studies indicated that at the hMC1R M128L mutant receptor, the all D-configured tetrapeptides reduce their potencies as compared to that of hMC1R wild-type. However, at the hMC3R and hMC4R L165M and L133M mutant receptors, the DNal(2') and DTyr tetrapeptides possess agonist activity. These findings indicate that DPhe in tetrapeptide plays an important role in ligand selectivity and specific residue TM3 of the melanocortin receptors is crucial for ligand selectivity.

  4. Molecular cloning and functional characterization of porcine cyclic GMP-AMP synthase.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Jiang; Chu, Beibei; Du, Lili; Han, Yingqian; Zhang, Xuemei; Fan, Shuangshuang; Wang, Yueying; Yang, Guoyu

    2015-06-01

    Cyclic GMP-AMP synthase (cGAS), which belongs to the nucleotidyltransferase family, recognizes cytosolic DNA and induces the type I interferon (IFN) pathway through the synthesis of the second messenger cGAMP. In this study, porcine cGAS (p-cGAS) was identified and its tissue distribution, subcellular localization, and functions in innate immunity were characterized. The coding sequence of p-cGAS is 1494 bp long, encodes 497 amino acids, and is most similar (74%) to Bos taurus cGAS. p-cGAS mRNA is abundant in the spleen, duodenum, jejunum, and ileum. The subcellular distribution of p-cGAS is not only in the cytosol, but also on the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) membrane. The overexpression of wild-type p-cGAS in porcine kidney epithelial cells, but not its catalytically inactive mutants, induced IFN-β expression, which was dependent on STING and IRF3. However, the downregulation of p-cGAS by RNA interference markedly reduced IFN-β expression after pseudorabies virus (PRV) infection or poly(dA:dT) transfection. These results demonstrate that p-cGAS is an important DNA sensor, required for IFN-β activation. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Wsbnd Cu functionally graded material: Low temperature fabrication and mechanical characterization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yusefi, Ali; Parvin, Nader; Mohammadi, Hossein

    2018-04-01

    In this study, we fabricated and characterized a Wsbnd Cu functionally graded material (FGM) with 11 layers, including a pure copper layer. Samples were prepared by mixing a mechanically alloyed Nisbnd Mnsbnd Cu powder with W and Cu powders, stacking the powders, pressing the stacked layers, and finally sintering at 1000 °C. The utilization of a Nisbnd Mnsbnd Cu system may reduce the cost but without losing the good sintering behavior and physical and mechanical properties. The composition of the material was analyzed based on scanning electron microscopy images and by energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy mapping, which indicated that in the presence of Ni and Mn, the Cu atoms could diffuse into the W particles. All of the layers had a very high relative density, thereby indicating their densification and excellent sintering behavior. We also found that the porosity values in the Cu phase remained unchanged at approximately 2.39% across the FGM. Mechanical measurements showed that the hardness (72%), modulus of elasticity (61%), and ultimate tensile strength (58%) increased with the W content across the Wsbnd Cu FGM, whereas the fracture toughness (KIC) varied in the opposite manner (minimum of 4.52 MPa/m0.5).

  6. Molecular cloning and functional characterization of borneol dehydrogenase from the glandular trichomes of Lavandula x intermedia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sarker, Lukman S; Galata, Mariana; Demissie, Zerihun A; Mahmoud, Soheil S

    2012-12-15

    Several varieties of Lavandula x intermedia (lavandins) are cultivated for their essential oils (EOs) for use in cosmetic, hygiene and personal care products. These EOs are mainly constituted of monoterpenes including camphor, which contributes an off odor reducing the olfactory appeal of the oil. We have recently constructed a cDNA library from the glandular trichomes (the sites of EO synthesis) of L. x intermedia plants. Here, we describe the cloning of a borneol dehydrogenase cDNA (LiBDH) from this library. The 780 bp open reading frame of the cDNA encoded a 259 amino acid short chain alcohol dehydrogenase with a predicted molecular mass of ca. 27.5 kDa. The recombinant LiBDH was expressed in Escherichia coli, purified by Ni-NTA agarose affinity chromatography, and functionally characterized in vitro. The bacterially produced enzyme specifically converted borneol to camphor as the only product with K(m) and k(cat) values of 53 μM and 4.0 × 10(-4) s(-1), respectively. The LiBDH transcripts were specifically expressed in glandular trichomes of mature flowers indicating that like other Lavandula monoterpene synthases the expression of this gene is regulated in a tissue-specific manner. The cloning of LiBDH has far reaching implications in improving the quality of Lavandula EOs through metabolic engineering. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Selective recognition of palladium based on functional mono phthalocyanines; synthesis, characterization and photophysical properties

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yaraşir, M. Nilüfer; Aytekin, Ahmet [Department of Chemistry, Sakarya University, TR54187 Serdivan, Sakarya (Turkey); Kandaz, Mehmet, E-mail: mkandaz@sakarya.edu.tr [Department of Chemistry, Sakarya University, TR54187 Serdivan, Sakarya (Turkey); Güney, Orhan [Istanbul Technical University, Department of Chemistry, 34469 Maslak, Istanbul (Turkey)

    2016-09-15

    We report the synthesis and photophysical properties of 4,5-bis(2-((Z)-(3-hydroxynaphthalen-2-yl) methyleneamino)phenylthio)phthalonitrile ligand (SB) and its star-type functional zincphthalocyanine (SB-ZnPc) compound obtained by the condensation of 2,3,9,10,16,17,23,24-octakis-(2-aminophenylthio)zincphthlocyanines (A-ZnPc) and 1-hydroxy-2-naphthaldehyde (HNA). Each compound was purified and characterized by elemental analysis, FTIR, {sup 1}H NMR, {sup 13}C NMR, UV/vis and MS (Maldi-TOF) spectral data. SB-ZnPc bearing fluorescent SB moieties on the periphery shows selective palladium ion sensing behavior by acting as hard core upon interaction. Electronic spectra of the SB-ZnPc displays pronounced changes in both absorption and fluorescence spectra upon interaction with Pd{sup 2+} ion. The fluorescence of the SB-ZnPc compound is effectively quenched by treatment with Pd{sup 2+} in THF solution. The solvent effect on the photophysical properties of the SB-ZnPc and interference effect of foreign metal ions were also investigated.

  8. Functional Characterization of a Flavonoid Glycosyltransferase in Sweet Orange (Citrus sinensis).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Xiaogang; Lin, Cailing; Ma, Xiaodi; Tan, Yan; Wang, Jiuzhao; Zeng, Ming

    2018-01-01

    Fruits of sweet orange ( Citrus sinensis ), a popular commercial Citrus species, contain high concentrations of flavonoids beneficial to human health. These fruits predominantly accumulate O -glycosylated flavonoids, in which the disaccharides [neohesperidose (rhamnosyl-α-1,2-glucose) or rutinose (rhamnosyl-α-1,6-glucose)] are linked to the flavonoid aglycones through the 3- or 7-hydroxyl sites. The biotransformation of the flavonoid aglycones into O -rutinosides or O -neohesperidosides in the Citrus plants usually consists of two glycosylation reactions involving a series of uridine diphosphate-sugar dependent glycosyltransferases (UGTs). Although several genes encoding flavonoid UGTs have been functionally characterized in the Citrus plants, full elucidation of the flavonoid glycosylation process remains elusive. Based on the available genomic and transcriptome data, we isolated a UGT with a high expression level in the sweet orange fruits that possibly encodes a flavonoid glucosyltransferase and/or rhamnosyltransferase. Biochemical analyses revealed that a broad range of flavonoid substrates could be glucosylated at their 3- and/or 7-hydrogen sites by the recombinant enzyme, including hesperetin, naringenin, diosmetin, quercetin, and kaempferol. Furthermore, overexpression of the gene could significantly increase the accumulations of quercetin 7- O -rhamnoside, quercetin 7- O -glucoside, and kaempferol 7- O -glucoside, implying that the enzyme has flavonoid 7- O -glucosyltransferase and 7- O -rhamnosyltransferase activities in vivo .

  9. Genomic organization, tissue distribution and functional characterization of the rat Pate gene cluster.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Angireddy Rajesh

    Full Text Available The cysteine rich prostate and testis expressed (Pate proteins identified till date are thought to resemble the three fingered protein/urokinase-type plasminogen activator receptor proteins. In this study, for the first time, we report the identification, cloning and characterization of rat Pate gene cluster and also determine the expression pattern. The rat Pate genes are clustered on chromosome 8 and their predicted proteins retained the ten cysteine signature characteristic to TFP/Ly-6 protein family. PATE and PATE-F three dimensional protein structure was found to be similar to that of the toxin bucandin. Though Pate gene expression is thought to be prostate and testis specific, we observed that rat Pate genes are also expressed in seminal vesicle and epididymis and in tissues beyond the male reproductive tract. In the developing rats (20-60 day old, expression of Pate genes seem to be androgen dependent in the epididymis and testis. In the adult rat, androgen ablation resulted in down regulation of the majority of Pate genes in the epididymides. PATE and PATE-F proteins were found to be expressed abundantly in the male reproductive tract of rats and on the sperm. Recombinant PATE protein exhibited potent antibacterial activity, whereas PATE-F did not exhibit any antibacterial activity. Pate expression was induced in the epididymides when challenged with LPS. Based on our results, we conclude that rat PATE proteins may contribute to the reproductive and defense functions.

  10. Preparation and characterization of functional poly(vinylidene fluoride) (PVDF) membranes with ultraviolet-absorbing property

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dong, Li; Liu, Xiangdong; Xiong, Zhengrong; Sheng, Dekun; Lin, Changhong; Zhou, Yan; Yang, Yuming

    2018-06-01

    We first reported a strategy to prepare functional poly(vinylidene fluoride) (PVDF) membranes with excellent ultraviolet-absorbing property through chemically induced grafting. Herein, the polymerizable ultraviolet (UV) absorber 2-hydroxy-4-(3-methacryloxy-2-hydroxylpropoxy) benzophenone (BPMA) made by ourselves was grafted onto the PVDF chains that have been pretreated with tetraethylammonium hydroxide (TEAH) alkaline solution. Moreover, the effect of experiment conditions such as the alkali and monomer concentrations, alkali treatment time on the UV-absorbing property of the obtained PVDF-g-PBPMA membranes were studied in detail. The chemical structure of the modified membranes was confirmed by 1H NMR, FT-IR and XPS measurements. Meanwhile, the thermal and UV-absorbing properties were characterized by TGA, DSC and UV-Vis spectrophotometer, respectively. The results indicated that BPMA side chains were successfully introduced onto PVDF backbones. Most importantly, the obtained PVDF-g-PBPMA membranes exhibited excellent UV-absorbing property. The transmittance of UV light at 300 nm decreased to as low as 0.02% and the UV light below 388 nm could be completely absorbed by the PVDF-g-PBPMA membrane made under optimal condition.

  11. Polyglycerol-functionalized nanodiamond as a platform for gene delivery: Derivatization, characterization, and hybridization with DNA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Li Zhao

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available A gene vector consisting of nanodiamond, polyglycerol, and basic polypeptide (ND-PG-BPP has been designed, synthesized, and characterized. The ND-PG-BPP was synthesized by PG functionalization of ND through ring-opening polymerization of glycidol on the ND surface, multistep organic transformations (–OH → –OTs (tosylate → –N3 in the PG layer, and click conjugation of the basic polypeptides (Arg8, Lys8 or His8 terminated with propargyl glycine. The ND-PG-BPP exhibited good dispersibility in water (>1.0 mg/mL and positive zeta potential ranging from +14.2 mV to +44.1 mV at neutral pH in Milli-Q water. It was confirmed by gel retardation assay that ND-PG-Arg8 and ND-PG-Lys8 with higher zeta potential hybridized with plasmid DNA (pDNA through electrostatic attraction, making them promising as nonviral vectors for gene delivery.

  12. Functional characterization of Citrus macrophylla BOR1 as a boron transporter.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cañon, Paola; Aquea, Felipe; Rodríguez-Hoces de la Guardia, Amparo; Arce-Johnson, Patricio

    2013-11-01

    Plants have evolved to develop an efficient system of boron uptake and transport using a range of efflux carriers named BOR proteins. In this work we isolated and characterized a boron transporter of citrus (Citrus macrophylla), which was named CmBOR1 for its high homology to AtBOR1. CmBOR1 has 4403 bp and 12 exons. Its coding region has 2145 bp and encodes for a protein of 714 amino acids. CmBOR1 possesses the molecular features of BORs such as an anion exchanger domain and the presence of 10 transmembrane domains. Functional analysis in yeast indicated that CmBOR1 has an efflux boron transporter activity, and transformants have increased tolerance to excess boron. CmBOR1 is expressed in leaves, stem and flowers and shows the greatest accumulation in roots. The transcript accumulation was significantly increased under boron deficiency conditions in shoots. In contrast, the accumulation of the transcript did not change in boron toxicity conditions. Finally, we observed that constitutive expression of CmBOR1 was able to increase tolerance to boron deficiency conditions in Arabidopsis thaliana, suggesting that CmBOR1 is a xylem loading boron transporter. Based on these results, it was determined that CmBOR1 encodes a boric acid/borate transporter involved in tolerance to boron deficiency in plants. © 2013 Scandinavian Plant Physiology Society.

  13. Synthesis and Characterization of Rh-Co Butterfly Clusters Capped by Functionally Substituted 1-Alkynes

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    朱保华; 胡斌; 张伟强; 边治国; 赵全义; 殷元骐; 孙杰

    2003-01-01

    By the reactions of [Rh2Co2(CO)12] 1 with functionally substituted alkyne ligands HC≡CR 2 (R = FeCp2) and 3 (R = 2-OH-C6H4COOCH2), respectively in n-hexane at room temperature, two new cluster derivatives [Rh2Co2(CO)6(μ-CO)4(μ4, η2-HC≡CR)] 4 (R = FeCp2) and 5 (R = 2-OH-C6H4COOCH2) were obtained respectively. The alkyne was inserted into the Co-Co bond of cluster 1 to give two butterfly clusters. Cluster 4 has been determined by single-crystal X-ray diffraction. Crystallographic data: C22H10Co2FeO10Rh2, Mr = 813.83, orthorhombic, space group P212121, a = 11.5318(7), b = 12.6572(7), c = 17.018(1) A。, V = 2483.9(3) A。3, Z = 4, Dc = 2.176 g/cm3, F(000) = 1568, μ = 3.233 mm-1, the final R = 0.0366 and wR = 0.0899 for 5367 observed reflections with I > 2σ(I). The two clusters have also been characterized by elemental analysis, IR and 1H-NMR spectroscopy.

  14. Expression, purification and functional characterization of AmiA of acetamidase operon of Mycobacterium smegmatis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sundararaman, Balaji; Palaniyandi, Kannan; Venkatesan, Arunkumar; Narayanan, Sujatha

    2014-11-01

    Regulation of gene expression is one of the mechanisms of virulence in pathogenic organisms. In this context, we would like to understand the gene regulation of acetamidase enzyme of Mycobacterium smegmatis, which is the first reported inducible enzyme in mycobacteria. The acetamidase is highly inducible and the expression of this enzyme is increased 100-fold when the substrate acetamide is added. The acetamidase structural gene (amiE) is found immediately downstream of three predicted open reading frames (ORFs). Three of these genes along with a divergently expressed ORF are predicted to form an operon and involved in the regulation of acetamidase enzyme. Here we report expression, purification and functional characterization of AmiA which is one of these predicted ORFs. Electrophoretic mobility shift assays showed that AmiA binds to the region between the amiA and amiD near the predicted promoter (P2). Over-expression of AmiA significantly lowered the expression of acetamidase compared to the wild type as demonstrated by qRT-PCR and SDS-PAGE. We conclude that AmiA binds near P2 promoter and acts as a repressor in the regulation of acetamidase operon. The described work is a further step forward toward broadening the knowledge on understanding of the complex gene regulatory mechanism of Mycobacterium sp. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  15. Polyglycerol-functionalized nanodiamond as a platform for gene delivery: Derivatization, characterization, and hybridization with DNA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Li; Nakae, Yuki; Qin, Hongmei; Ito, Tadamasa; Kimura, Takahide; Kojima, Hideto; Chan, Lawrence

    2014-01-01

    Summary A gene vector consisting of nanodiamond, polyglycerol, and basic polypeptide (ND-PG-BPP) has been designed, synthesized, and characterized. The ND-PG-BPP was synthesized by PG functionalization of ND through ring-opening polymerization of glycidol on the ND surface, multistep organic transformations (–OH → –OTs (tosylate) → –N3) in the PG layer, and click conjugation of the basic polypeptides (Arg8, Lys8 or His8) terminated with propargyl glycine. The ND-PG-BPP exhibited good dispersibility in water (>1.0 mg/mL) and positive zeta potential ranging from +14.2 mV to +44.1 mV at neutral pH in Milli-Q water. It was confirmed by gel retardation assay that ND-PG-Arg8 and ND-PG-Lys8 with higher zeta potential hybridized with plasmid DNA (pDNA) through electrostatic attraction, making them promising as nonviral vectors for gene delivery. PMID:24778723

  16. In vivo functional and morphological characterization of bone and striated muscle microcirculation in NSG mice.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Haider Mussawy

    Full Text Available Organ-specific microcirculation plays a central role in tumor growth, tumor cell homing, tissue engineering, and wound healing. Mouse models are widely used to study these processes; however, these mouse strains often possess unique microhemodynamic parameters, making it difficult to directly compare experiments. The full functional characterization of bone and striated muscle microcirculatory parameters in non-obese diabetic-severe combined immunodeficiency/y-chain; NOD-Prkds IL2rg (NSG mice has not yet been reported. Here, we established either a dorsal skinfold chamber or femur window in NSG mice (n = 23, allowing direct analysis of microcirculatory parameters in vivo by intravital fluorescence microscopy at 7, 14, 21, and 28 days after chamber preparation. Organ-specific differences were observed. Bone had a significantly lower vessel density but a higher vessel diameter than striated muscle. Bone also showed higher effective vascular permeability than striated muscle. The centerline velocity values were similar in the femur window and dorsal skinfold chamber, with a higher volumetric blood flow in bone. Interestingly, bone and striated muscle showed similar tissue perfusion rates. Knowledge of physiological microhemodynamic values of bone and striated muscle in NSG mice makes it possible to analyze pathophysiological processes at these anatomic sites, such as tumor growth, tumor metastasis, and tumor microcirculation, as well as the response to therapeutic agents.

  17. Hydroxypropylation of pigeon pea (cajanus cajan) starch: Preparation, functional characterizations and enzymatic digestibility

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lawal, O.S.

    2008-05-01

    Hydroxypropyl starch derivatives were prepared from pigeon pea starch (NPPS) which is an unconventional starch source. Functional parameters and characterization of both native and modified starches were carried out. The starch granules appeared oval or elliptical in shape with sizes ranging from 7 - 40 μm in width and 10 . 30 μm in length. Hydroxypropylation did not alter the shape of the starch granules in a pronounced way. Generally, the x-ray diffractograms of both native and hydroxypropyl derivatives showed the 'C' pattern. However, slight reductions were observed in the intensity of starches after modification. At all temperatures studied (30 - 90 deg. C), swelling and solubility of hydroxypropylated starches were higher than the NPPS. Progressive increases in swelling capacity and solubility were observed as the MS increased among the hydroxypropylated starches. Hydroxypropylation reduced starch paste turbidity on storage. Also, studies showed that syneresis reduced after hydroxypropylation. In addition, syneresis reduced as the MS of the hydroxypropyl starches increased. The results indicate that pasting temperature and peak temperature reduced after modification but peak viscosity increased in hydroxypropylated starch derivatives compared with the native starch. Setback reduced in hydroxypropylated starches compared with the native starch. Enthalpy of gelatinization and percentage retrogradation reduced after hydroxypropylation and progressive reductions were observed as the MS increased among the starch derivatives. Hydroxypropylation increased enzymatic digestibility. (author)

  18. Functionalized cyclopentadienyl rhodium(III) bipyridine complexes: synthesis, characterization, and catalytic application in hydrogenation of ketones.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Wan-Hui; Suna, Yuki; Himeda, Yuichiro; Muckerman, James T; Fujita, Etsuko

    2013-07-14

    A series of highly functionalized cyclopentadienyl rhodium(III) complexes, [Cp'Rh(bpy)Br](ClO4) (Cp' = substituted cyclopentadienyl), was synthesized from various multi-substituted cyclopentadienes (Cp'H). [Rh(cod)Cl]2 and Cp'H were firstly converted to [Cp'Rh(cod)] complexes, which were then treated with Br2 to give the rhodium(III) dibromides [Cp'RhBr2]2. The novel complexes [Cp'Rh(bpy)Br](ClO4) were obtained readily by the reaction of 2,2'-bipyridine with [Cp'RhBr2]2. These rhodium complexes [Cp'Rh(bpy)Br](ClO4) were fully characterized and utilized in the hydrogenation of cyclohexanone and acetophenone with generally high yields, but they did not exhibit the same reactivity trends for the two substrate ketones. The different activity of these complexes for the different substrates may be due to the influence of the substituents on the Cp' rings.

  19. Phylogenetic diversity and functional characterization of the Manila clam microbiota: a culture-based approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leite, Laura; Jude-Lemeilleur, Florence; Raymond, Natalie; Henriques, Isabel; Garabetian, Frédéric; Alves, Artur

    2017-09-01

    According to the hologenome theory, the microbiota contributes to the fitness of the holobiont having an important role in its adaptation, survival, development, health, and evolution. Environmental stress also affects the microbiota and its capability to assist the holobiont in coping with stress factors. Here, we analyzed the diversity of cultivable bacteria associated with Manila clam tissues (mantle, gills, hemolymph) in two non-contaminated sites (Portugal and France) and one metal-contaminated site (Portugal). A total of 240 isolates were obtained. Representative isolates (n = 198) of the overall diversity were identified by 16S rDNA sequencing and subjected to functional characterization. Isolates affiliated with Proteobacteria, Actinobacteria, Firmicutes, and Bacteroidetes. Proteobacteria (mostly Pseudoalteromonadaceae and Vibrionaceae) were dominant in non-contaminated sites while Actinobacteria (mostly Microbacteriaceae) dominated in the metal-contaminated site. The main factor affecting the microbiota composition was contamination. No significant differences were observed between clam tissues and geographic regions. Several isolates tested positive for antibacterial activity, biofilm formation, protease, and siderophore production. The results show that the Manila clam harbors a diverse microbiota that may contribute to clam protection and overall fitness, as well as to its adaptation to stressful environments. In addition, the Manila clam microbiota is revealed as a promising source of novel probiotics with potential application in aquaculture.

  20. Functional characterization of dI6 interneurons in the neonatal mouse spinal cord.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dyck, Jason; Lanuza, Guillermo M; Gosgnach, Simon

    2012-06-01

    Our understanding of the neural control of locomotion has been greatly enhanced by the ability to identify and manipulate genetically defined populations of interneurons that comprise the locomotor central pattern generator (CPG). To date, the dI6 interneurons are one of the few populations that settle in the ventral region of the postnatal spinal cord that have not been investigated. In the present study, we utilized a novel transgenic mouse line to electrophysiologically characterize dI6 interneurons located close to the central canal and study their function during fictive locomotion. The majority of dI6 cells investigated were found to be rhythmically active during fictive locomotion and could be divided into two electrophysiologically distinct populations of interneurons. The first population fired rhythmic trains of action potentials that were loosely coupled to ventral root output and contained several intrinsic membrane properties of rhythm-generating neurons, raising the possibility that these cells may be involved in the generation of rhythmic activity in the locomotor CPG. The second population fired rhythmic trains of action potentials that were tightly coupled to ventral root output and lacked intrinsic oscillatory mechanisms, indicating that these neurons may be driven by a rhythm-generating network. Together these results indicate that dI6 neurons comprise an important component of the locomotor CPG that participate in multiple facets of motor behavior.

  1. Development of DNA affinity techniques for the functional characterization of purified RNA polymerase II transcription factors

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Garfinkel, S.; Thompson, J.A.; Cohen, R.B.; Brendler, T.; Safer, B.

    1987-01-01

    Affinity adsorption, precipitation, and partitioning techniques have been developed to purify and characterize RNA Pol II transcription components from whole cell extracts (WCE) (HeLa) and nuclear extracts (K562). The titration of these extracts with multicopy constructs of the Ad2 MLP but not pUC8, inhibits transcriptional activity. DNA-binding factors precipitated by this technique are greatly enriched by centrifugation. Using this approach, factors binding to the upstream promoter sequence (UPS) of the Ad2 MLP have been rapidly isolated by Mono Q, Mono S, and DNA affinity chromatography. By U.V. crosslinking to nucleotides containing specific 32 P-phosphodiester bonds within the recognition sequence, this factor is identified as a M/sub r/ = 45,000 polypeptide. To generate an assay system for the functional evaluation of single transcription components, a similar approach using synthetic oligonucleotide sequences spanning single promoter binding sites has been developed. The addition of a synthetic 63-mer containing the UPS element of the Ad2 MLP to HeLa WCE inhibited transcription by 60%. The addition of partially purified UPS binding protein, but not RNA Pol II, restored transcriptional activity. The addition of synthetic oligonucleotides containing other regulatory sequences not present in the Ad2 MLP was without effect

  2. Identification and functional characterization of a solute carrier family 15, member 4 gene in Litopenaeus vannamei.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Yong-Gui; Yuan, Kai; Zhang, Ze-Zhi; Yuan, Feng-Hua; Weng, Shao-Ping; Yue, Hai-Tao; He, Jian-Guo; Chen, Yi-Hong

    2016-04-01

    Innate immunity in shrimp is important in resisting bacterial infection. The NF-κB pathway is pivotal in such an immune response. This study cloned and functionally characterized the solute carrier family (SLC) 15 member A 4 (LvSLC15A4) gene in Litopenaeus vannamei. The open reading frame of LvSLC15A4 is 1, 902 bp long and encodes a putative 633-amino acid protein, which is localized in the plasma membrane and intracellular vesicular compartments. Results of the reporter gene assay showed that LvSLC15A4 upregulated NF-κB target genes, including the immediate-early gene 1 of white spot syndrome virus, as well as several antimicrobial peptide genes, such as pen4, CecA, AttA, and Mtk in S2 cells. Moreover, knocked-down expression of LvSLC15A4 reduced pen4 expression in L. vannamei. LvSLC15A4 down-regulation also increased the cumulative mortality of Vibrio parahemolyticus-infected L. vannamei. Furthermore, LvSLC15A4 expression was induced by unfolded protein response (UPR) in L. vannamei hematocytes. These results suggest that LvSLC15A4 participates in L. vannamei innate immunity via the NF-κB pathway and thus may be related to UPR. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Structural, Functional, and Clinical Characterization of a Novel PTPN11 Mutation Cluster Underlying Noonan Syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pannone, Luca; Bocchinfuso, Gianfranco; Flex, Elisabetta; Rossi, Cesare; Baldassarre, Giuseppina; Lissewski, Christina; Pantaleoni, Francesca; Consoli, Federica; Lepri, Francesca; Magliozzi, Monia; Anselmi, Massimiliano; Delle Vigne, Silvia; Sorge, Giovanni; Karaer, Kadri; Cuturilo, Goran; Sartorio, Alessandro; Tinschert, Sigrid; Accadia, Maria; Digilio, Maria C; Zampino, Giuseppe; De Luca, Alessandro; Cavé, Hélène; Zenker, Martin; Gelb, Bruce D; Dallapiccola, Bruno; Stella, Lorenzo; Ferrero, Giovanni B; Martinelli, Simone; Tartaglia, Marco

    2017-04-01

    Germline mutations in PTPN11, the gene encoding the Src-homology 2 (SH2) domain-containing protein tyrosine phosphatase (SHP2), cause Noonan syndrome (NS), a relatively common, clinically variable, multisystem disorder. Here, we report on the identification of five different PTPN11 missense changes affecting residues Leu 261 , Leu 262 , and Arg 265 in 16 unrelated individuals with clinical diagnosis of NS or with features suggestive for this disorder, specifying a novel disease-causing mutation cluster. Expression of the mutant proteins in HEK293T cells documented their activating role on MAPK signaling. Structural data predicted a gain-of-function role of substitutions at residues Leu 262 and Arg 265 exerted by disruption of the N-SH2/PTP autoinhibitory interaction. Molecular dynamics simulations suggested a more complex behavior for changes affecting Leu 261 , with possible impact on SHP2's catalytic activity/selectivity and proper interaction of the PTP domain with the regulatory SH2 domains. Consistent with that, biochemical data indicated that substitutions at codons 262 and 265 increased the catalytic activity of the phosphatase, while those affecting codon 261 were only moderately activating but impacted substrate specificity. Remarkably, these mutations underlie a relatively mild form of NS characterized by low prevalence of cardiac defects, short stature, and cognitive and behavioral issues, as well as less evident typical facial features. © 2017 WILEY PERIODICALS, INC.

  4. Synthesis and characterization of new functionalized polymer-Fe3O4 nanocomposite particles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Bukowska

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available In this study, Fe3O4 nanoparticles (NPs were functionalized with copolymer or terpolymer bearing glycidyl methacrylate (GMA moieties making them suitable for potential applications as drug delivery systems (DDS. For this purpose, the surface of magnetic nanoparticles was first coated with 3-(trimethoxysilyl propyl methacrylate (MPS by a silanization reaction to introduce reactive methacrylate groups onto the surface. Subsequently, monomers were grafted onto the surface of modified-MPS particles via two polymerization methods: seed emulsion (GMA, divinylbenzene, DVB, and styrene, S and distillation – precipitation (GMA and DVB. The obtained nanocomposite particles were characterized by FTIR (Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, DR UV-Vis (diffuse reflectance ultraviolet – visible spectroscopy, TEM (transmission electron microscopy combined with EDS (energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy analysis and DLS (dynamic light scattering. FTIR spectroscopy showed that indeed a polymer – Fe3O4@MPS composite was obtained. TEM and EDS analysis showed that the seed emulsion method resulted in nanosized, 100 nm Fe3O4@MPS core/polymer shell NPs, forming long chains. On the contrary, the distillation – precipitation method caused the formation of an inverted structure, i.e. polymer core coated by a Fe3O4@MPS shell, which exhibited a very coarse size distribution varying from several hundreds to over 2 µm.

  5. Characterization of Phase Transition in Heisenberg Fluids from Density Functional Theory

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Li Liangsheng; Li Li; Chen Xiaosong

    2009-01-01

    The phase transition of Heisenberg fluid has been investigated with the density functional theory in mean-field approximation (MF). The matrix of the second derivatives of the grand canonical potential Ω with respect to the particle density fluctuations and the magnetization fluctuations has been investigated and diagonalized. The smallest eigenvalue being 0 signalizes the phase instability and the related eigenvector characterizes this phase transition. We find a Curie line where the order parameter is pure magnetization and a spinodal where the order parameter is a mixture of particle density and magnetization. Along the spinodal, the character of phase instability changes continuously from predominant condensation to predominant ferromagnetic phase transition with the decrease of total density. The spinodal meets the Curie line at the critical endpoint with the reduced density ρ* = ρσ 3 = 0.224 and the reduced temperature T* = kT/ element of = 1.87 (σ is the diameter of Heisenberg hard sphere and element of is the coupling constant).

  6. Plasma facing materials and components for future fusion devices - development, characterization and performance under fusion specific loading conditions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Linke, J. [Forschungszentrum Juelich (Germany). Inst. fuer Plasmaphysik

    2006-04-15

    The plasma exposed components in existing and future fusion devices are strongly affected by the plasma material interaction processes. These mechanisms have a strong influence on the plasma performance; in addition they have major impact on the lifetime of the plasma facing armour and the joining interface between the plasma facing material (PFM) and the heat sink. Besides physical and chemical sputtering processes, high heat quasi-stationary fluxes during normal and intense thermal transients are of serious concern for the engineers who develop reliable wall components. In addition, the material and component degradation due to intense fluxes of energetic neutrons is another critical issue in D-T-burning fusion devices which requires extensive RandD. This paper presents an overview on the materials development and joining, the testing of PFMs and components, and the analysis of the neutron irradiation induced degradation.

  7. Plasma facing materials and components for future fusion devices - development, characterization and performance under fusion specific loading conditions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Linke, J.

    2006-01-01

    The plasma exposed components in existing and future fusion devices are strongly affected by the plasma material interaction processes. These mechanisms have a strong influence on the plasma performance; in addition they have major impact on the lifetime of the plasma facing armour and the joining interface between the plasma facing material (PFM) and the heat sink. Besides physical and chemical sputtering processes, high heat quasi-stationary fluxes during normal and intense thermal transients are of serious concern for the engineers who develop reliable wall components. In addition, the material and component degradation due to intense fluxes of energetic neutrons is another critical issue in D-T-burning fusion devices which requires extensive RandD. This paper presents an overview on the materials development and joining, the testing of PFMs and components, and the analysis of the neutron irradiation induced degradation

  8. Plasma facing materials and components for future fusion devices—development, characterization and performance under fusion specific loading conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Linke, J.

    2006-04-01

    The plasma exposed components in existing and future fusion devices are strongly affected by the plasma material interaction processes. These mechanisms have a strong influence on the plasma performance; in addition they have major impact on the lifetime of the plasma facing armour and the joining interface between the plasma facing material (PFM) and the heat sink. Besides physical and chemical sputtering processes, high heat quasi-stationary fluxes during normal and intense thermal transients are of serious concern for the engineers who develop reliable wall components. In addition, the material and component degradation due to intense fluxes of energetic neutrons is another critical issue in D-T-burning fusion devices which requires extensive R&D. This paper presents an overview on the materials development and joining, the testing of PFMs and components, and the analysis of the neutron irradiation induced degradation.

  9. Statistical Modelling and Characterization of Experimental mm-Wave Indoor Channels for Future 5G Wireless Communication Networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Al-Samman, A M; Rahman, T A; Azmi, M H; Hindia, M N; Khan, I; Hanafi, E

    This paper presents an experimental characterization of millimeter-wave (mm-wave) channels in the 6.5 GHz, 10.5 GHz, 15 GHz, 19 GHz, 28 GHz and 38 GHz frequency bands in an indoor corridor environment. More than 4,000 power delay profiles were measured across the bands using an omnidirectional transmitter antenna and a highly directional horn receiver antenna for both co- and cross-polarized antenna configurations. This paper develops a new path-loss model to account for the frequency attenuation with distance, which we term the frequency attenuation (FA) path-loss model and introduce a frequency-dependent attenuation factor. The large-scale path loss was characterized based on both new and well-known path-loss models. A general and less complex method is also proposed to estimate the cross-polarization discrimination (XPD) factor of close-in reference distance with the XPD (CIX) and ABG with the XPD (ABGX) path-loss models to avoid the computational complexity of minimum mean square error (MMSE) approach. Moreover, small-scale parameters such as root mean square (RMS) delay spread, mean excess (MN-EX) delay, dispersion factors and maximum excess (MAX-EX) delay parameters were used to characterize the multipath channel dispersion. Multiple statistical distributions for RMS delay spread were also investigated. The results show that our proposed models are simpler and more physically-based than other well-known models. The path-loss exponents for all studied models are smaller than that of the free-space model by values in the range of 0.1 to 1.4 for all measured frequencies. The RMS delay spread values varied between 0.2 ns and 13.8 ns, and the dispersion factor values were less than 1 for all measured frequencies. The exponential and Weibull probability distribution models best fit the RMS delay spread empirical distribution for all of the measured frequencies in all scenarios.

  10. In vitro characterization of two different atmospheric plasma jet chemical functionalizations of titanium surfaces

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mussano, F., E-mail: federico.mussano@unito.it [CIR Dental School, Department of Surgical Sciences UNITO, via Nizza 230, 10126, Turin (Italy); Genova, T. [CIR Dental School, Department of Surgical Sciences UNITO, via Nizza 230, 10126, Turin (Italy); Department of Life Sciences and Systems Biology, UNITO, via Accademia Albertina 13, 10123, Turin (Italy); Verga Falzacappa, E. [Department of Molecular Science and Nanosystems, UNIVE, Via Torino 155, 30170, Venezia (Italy); Nadir srl, Via Torino 155, 30170 Venezia (Italy); Scopece, P. [Nadir srl, Via Torino 155, 30170 Venezia (Italy); Munaron, L. [Department of Life Sciences and Systems Biology, UNITO, via Accademia Albertina 13, 10123, Turin (Italy); Centre for Nanostructured Interfaces and Surfaces (NIS) (Italy); Rivolo, P.; Mandracci, P. [Politecnico di Torino, Department of Applied Science and Technology, Materials and Microsoystems Laboratory (ChiLab), Corso Duca degli Abruzzi 24, 10129, Torino (Italy); Benedetti, A. [Department of Molecular Science and Nanosystems, UNIVE, Via Torino 155, 30170, Venezia (Italy); Carossa, S. [CIR Dental School, Department of Surgical Sciences UNITO, via Nizza 230, 10126, Turin (Italy); Patelli, A. [Department of Physics and Astronomy, UNIPD, via Marzolo 8, 35122 Padova (Italy)

    2017-07-01

    Highlights: • NH{sub 2}-Ti and COOH/R-Ti obtained via atmospheric plasma jet RF-APPJ portable equipment. • Higher quantity of adsorbed proteins and improved cell adhesion on treated surfaces. • More tapered and elongated cells on NH{sub 2}-Ti compared to COOH/R-Ti. • Higher osteocalcin expression on NH{sub 2}-Ti. - Abstract: Plasma surface activation and plasma polymers deposition are promising technologies capable to modulate biologically relevant surface features of biomaterials. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the biological effects of two different surface modifications, i.e. amine (NH{sub 2}-Ti) and carboxylic/esteric (COOH/R-Ti) functionalities obtained from 3-aminopropyltriethoxysilane (3-APTES) and methylmethacrylate (MMA) precursors, respectively, through an atmospheric plasma jet RF-APPJ portable equipment. The coatings were characterized by Scanning Electron Microscopy, FT-IR spectroscopy, XPS and surface energy calculations. Stability in water and after UV sterilization were also verified. The pre-osteoblastic murine cell line MC3T3-E1 was used to perform the in-vitro tests. The treated samples showed a higher quantity of adsorbed proteins and improved osteoblast cells adhesion on the surfaces compared to the pristine titanium, in particular the COOH/R-Ti led to a nearly two-fold improvement. Cell proliferation on coated samples was initially (at 24 h) lower than on titanium control, while, at 48 h, COOH/R-Ti reached the proliferation rate of pristine titanium. Cells grown on NH{sub 2}-Ti were more tapered and elongated in shape with lower areas than on COOH/R-Ti enriched surfaces. Finally, NH{sub 2}-Ti significantly enhanced osteocalcin production, starting from 14 days, while COOH/R-Ti had this effect only from 21 days. Notably, NH{sub 2}-Ti was more efficient than COOH/R-Ti at 21 days. The amine functionality elicited the most relevant osteogenic effect in terms of osteocalcin expression, thus establishing an interesting correlation

  11. Characterization of Aeromonas hydrophila wound pathotypes by comparative genomic and functional analyses of virulence genes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grim, Christopher J; Kozlova, Elena V; Sha, Jian; Fitts, Eric C; van Lier, Christina J; Kirtley, Michelle L; Joseph, Sandeep J; Read, Timothy D; Burd, Eileen M; Tall, Ben D; Joseph, Sam W; Horneman, Amy J; Chopra, Ashok K; Shak, Joshua R

    2013-04-23

    Aeromonas hydrophila has increasingly been implicated as a virulent and antibiotic-resistant etiologic agent in various human diseases. In a previously published case report, we described a subject with a polymicrobial wound infection that included a persistent and aggressive strain of A. hydrophila (E1), as well as a more antibiotic-resistant strain of A. hydrophila (E2). To better understand the differences between pathogenic and environmental strains of A. hydrophila, we conducted comparative genomic and functional analyses of virulence-associated genes of these two wound isolates (E1 and E2), the environmental type strain A. hydrophila ATCC 7966(T), and four other isolates belonging to A. aquariorum, A. veronii, A. salmonicida, and A. caviae. Full-genome sequencing of strains E1 and E2 revealed extensive differences between the two and strain ATCC 7966(T). The more persistent wound infection strain, E1, harbored coding sequences for a cytotoxic enterotoxin (Act), a type 3 secretion system (T3SS), flagella, hemolysins, and a homolog of exotoxin A found in Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Corresponding phenotypic analyses with A. hydrophila ATCC 7966(T) and SSU as reference strains demonstrated the functionality of these virulence genes, with strain E1 displaying enhanced swimming and swarming motility, lateral flagella on electron microscopy, the presence of T3SS effector AexU, and enhanced lethality in a mouse model of Aeromonas infection. By combining sequence-based analysis and functional assays, we characterized an A. hydrophila pathotype, exemplified by strain E1, that exhibited increased virulence in a mouse model of infection, likely because of encapsulation, enhanced motility, toxin secretion, and cellular toxicity. Aeromonas hydrophila is a common aquatic bacterium that has increasingly been implicated in serious human infections. While many determinants of virulence have been identified in Aeromonas, rapid identification of pathogenic versus nonpathogenic

  12. Water-dispersible triethylenetetramine-functionalized graphene: Preparation, characterization and application as an amperometric glucose sensor

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ren, Qunxiang; Feng, Li; Fan, Ronghua; Ge, Xin; Sun, Yingying, E-mail: syyxiluda@hotmail.com

    2016-11-01

    The triethylenetetramine-functionalized graphene (TFGn) was prepared using graphene oxide (GO) and triethylenetetramine as raw materials through a one-step reaction under alkaline condition. The triethylenetetramine not only acted as cross-linker to combine GO, but also as reductant of GO. The TFGn was characterized by its ultraviolet spectrum (UV), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), X-ray diffraction (XRD), Raman spectroscopy and Scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The results showed that triethylenetetramine was successfully grafted onto the surface of the GO through covalent bonding between amine and epoxy groups. The resultant TFGn was uniformly dispersed in water over several weeks, suggesting that the introduction of amino groups greatly increased the hydrophilicity of TFGn. The triethylenetetramine-functionalized graphene was then applied to fabricate glucose biosensors with IO{sub 4}{sup −} oxidized glucose oxidase (GOx) through layer-by-layer (LBL) self-assembly by the covalent bonding between the aldehyde groups of GOx and amino groups of TFGn. The gold electrodes modified with the (GOx/TFGn){sub n} multilayer films were studied by cyclic voltammetry (CV) and showed outstanding electrocatalytical response to the oxidation of glucose when ferrocenemethanol was used as an artificial redox mediator. The response increased with an increasing number of GOx/TFGn bilayers, indicating that the analytical performance, such as the sensitivity of the glucose biosensor, could be adjusted by tuning the number of deposited GOx/TFGn bilayers. The linear response range of the biosensor constructed with six bilayers of GOx/TFGn to the concentration of glucose can extend to at least 8 mM with a sensitivity of 19.9 μA mM{sup −1} cm{sup −2}. In addition, the sensor exhibited good stability due to the covalent interactions between the GOx and TFGn. - Highlights: • Water-dispersible triethylenetetramine-functionalized

  13. Geotechnical characterization through in situ and laboratory tests of several geological formations present in the route of the Future Fix Connection between Spain and Morocco through Gibraltar Strait

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Perucho Martinez, A.; Diez Torres, J. A.; Muniz Menendez, M.; Cano Linares, H.; Ruiz Fonticiella, J. M.

    2015-01-01

    CEDEX and SECEGSA (Sociedad Española para la Comunicación Fija a través del Estrecho de Gibraltar), Have been collaborating since a few decades ago to study different technical aspects related to the Fix Connection through the Gibraltar Strait, mainly in relation to the geological and geotechnical properties of the different formations present in the route. In order to do so, many studies of geotechnical characterization of materials, in situ and laboratory testing campaigns have been carried out. Furthermore, they have participated in some Expertise Committees carrying out some advice work related to studies performed by other organizations. This paper presents a brief description of the most relevant aspects of the main geological and geotechnical studies performed related to this Project of the Future Fix Connection and obtained through the study of SECEGSAs extensive data base. Moreover, it includes a synopsis of the geotechnical characterization carried out through in situ and laboratory tests on different Miocene and Eocene formations from the Algeciras Unit, present in the route of the future Fix Connection between Spain and gibraltar through the Gibraltar Strait. (Author)

  14. Characterization of bacterial communities and functions of two submerged soils from San Vitale park (Italy)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mocali, Stefano; Chiellini, Carolina; Lagomarsino, Alessandra; Ferronato, Chiara; Vittori Antisari, Livia; Vianello, Gilmo

    2015-04-01

    Subaqueous soils has been introduced in the last edition of the Keys to Soil Taxonomy (Soil surveystaff, 2014), to describe soils covered by a water column of up to 2.5 m where different pedogenetic processes can be recognized. However, the role of bacterial community structure and function in such environments and its potential use as pedogenetic indicator is still largely unknown. Two submerged soils (WAS-2 and WAS-4) were collected from San Vitale park (Italy), a site where the evolution of the landscape from subaqueous wetland to interdunal and dunal system, and the interfacing of freshwater with saltwater, made this site particularly suitable for examining the pedogenetic indicators which can characterize and predict the soil hydromorphism in trasitional ecosystems. The two soils were classified and their physicochemical and morphological features were investigated. Selective media were used to isolate both culturable aerobic and anaerobic (microaerophilic) bacteria associated with each horizon. In WAS-2 seven horizons were identified (depths 4-0, 0-6, 6-13, 13-20, 20-36, 36-59/60, and 59/60-83 cm) while in WAS-4, five horizons were identified (depths 0-14, 14-20, 20-40, 40-45, 45-100 cm) for a total of 12 horizons (samples). For each sample, aerobic bacterial plate count was performed on solid LB medium, coupled with microaerophilic bacterial plate count either on SA500 minimal medium and AYE medium (0.5% soft agar each). Molecular identification (16S rRNA gene sequencing) of ~100 strains isolated from each of the three used medium was performed, for a total of ~300 strains for each sample. To complete the characterization of the microbial communities in all horizons, Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) analysis was carried out with 454 platform on each of the 12 samples. Moreover, the N2O and CH4 emissions were determined from each pedon. All the parameters were used to highlight the similarities and the differences between and within the pedons. The results

  15. Structural and functional characterization of Reston Ebola virus VP35 interferon inhibitory domain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leung, Daisy W; Shabman, Reed S; Farahbakhsh, Mina; Prins, Kathleen C; Borek, Dominika M; Wang, Tianjiao; Mühlberger, Elke; Basler, Christopher F; Amarasinghe, Gaya K

    2010-06-11

    Ebolaviruses are causative agents of lethal hemorrhagic fever in humans and nonhuman primates. Among the filoviruses characterized thus far, Reston Ebola virus (REBOV) is the only Ebola virus that is nonpathogenic to humans despite the fact that REBOV can cause lethal disease in nonhuman primates. Previous studies also suggest that REBOV is less effective at inhibiting host innate immune responses than Zaire Ebola virus (ZEBOV) or Marburg virus. Virally encoded VP35 protein is critical for immune suppression, but an understanding of the relative contributions of VP35 proteins from REBOV and other filoviruses is currently lacking. In order to address this question, we characterized the REBOV VP35 interferon inhibitory domain (IID) using structural, biochemical, and virological studies. These studies reveal differences in double-stranded RNA binding and interferon inhibition between the two species. These observed differences are likely due to increased stability and loss of flexibility in REBOV VP35 IID, as demonstrated by thermal shift stability assays. Consistent with this finding, the 1.71-A crystal structure of REBOV VP35 IID reveals that it is highly similar to that of ZEBOV VP35 IID, with an overall backbone r.m.s.d. of 0.64 A, but contains an additional helical element at the linker between the two subdomains of VP35 IID. Mutations near the linker, including swapping sequences between REBOV and ZEBOV, reveal that the linker sequence has limited tolerance for variability. Together with the previously solved ligand-free and double-stranded-RNA-bound forms of ZEBOV VP35 IID structures, our current studies on REBOV VP35 IID reinforce the importance of VP35 in immune suppression. Functional differences observed between REBOV and ZEBOV VP35 proteins may contribute to observed differences in pathogenicity, but these are unlikely to be the major determinant. However, the high level of similarity in structure and the low tolerance for sequence variability, coupled

  16. 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

  17. Characterization of terrestrial hydrothermal alteration products with Mars analog instrumentation: Implications for current and future rover investigations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Black, Sarah R.; Hynek, Brian M.

    2018-06-01

    host a wide range of microbial life here on Earth-are of high interest and it is likely that future rovers will encounter similar mineral assemblages. Therefore, future rovers would benefit from using a combination of these methods and expanding the VSWIR sampling range to the full 300-2500 nm to conduct a comprehensive mineralogical investigation.

  18. Characterizing and engineering tunable spin functionality inside indium arsenide/gallium arsenide quantum dot molecules

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Weiwen

    The continual downsizing of the basic functional units used in the electronics industry has motivated the study of the quantum computation and related topics. To overcome the limitations of classical physics and engineering, some unique quantum mechanical features, especially entanglement and superpositions have begun to be considered as important properties for future bits. Including these quantum mechanical features is attractive because the ability to utilize quantum mechanics can dramatically enhance computational power. Among the various ways of constructing the basic building blocks for quantum computation, we are particularly interested in using spins inside epitaxially grown InAs/GaAs quantum dot molecules as quantum bits (qubits). The ability to design and engineer nanostructures with tailored quantum properties is critical to engineering quantum computers and other novel electro-optical devices and is one of the key challenges for scaling up new ideas for device application. In this thesis, we will focus on how the structure and composition of quantum dot molecules can be used to control spin properties and charge interactions. Tunable spin and charge properties can enable new, more scalable, methods of initializing and manipulating quantum information. In this thesis, we demonstrate one method to enable electric-field tunability of Zeeman splitting for a single electron spin inside a quantum dot molecules by using heterostructure engineering techniques to modify the barrier that separates quantum dots. We describe how these structural changes to the quantum dot molecules also change charge interactions and propose ways to use this effect to enable accurate measurement of coulomb interactions and possibly charge occupancy inside these complicated quantum dot molecules.

  19. Fabrication, characterization, and functionalization of dual carbon electrodes as probes for scanning electrochemical microscopy (SECM).

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKelvey, Kim; Nadappuram, Binoy Paulose; Actis, Paolo; Takahashi, Yasufumi; Korchev, Yuri E; Matsue, Tomokazu; Robinson, Colin; Unwin, Patrick R

    2013-08-06

    Dual carbon electrodes (DCEs) are quickly, easily, and cheaply fabricated by depositing pyrolytic carbon into a quartz theta nanopipet. The size of DCEs can be controlled by adjusting the pulling parameters used to make the nanopipet. When operated in generation/collection (G/C) mode, the small separation between the electrodes leads to reasonable collection efficiencies of ca. 30%. A three-dimensional finite element method (FEM) simulation is developed to predict the current response of these electrodes as a means of estimating the probe geometry. Voltammetric measurements at individual electrodes combined with generation/collection measurements provide a reasonable guide to the electrode size. DCEs are employed in a scanning electrochemical microscopy (SECM) configuration, and their use for both approach curves and imaging is considered. G/C approach curve measurements are shown to be particularly sensitive to the nature of the substrate, with insulating surfaces leading to enhanced collection efficiencies, whereas conducting surfaces lead to a decrease of collection efficiency. As a proof-of-concept, DCEs are further used to locally generate an artificial electron acceptor and to follow the flux of this species and its reduced form during photosynthesis at isolated thylakoid membranes. In addition, 2-dimensional images of a single thylakoid membrane are reported and analyzed to demonstrate the high sensitivity of G/C measurements to localized surface processes. It is finally shown that individual nanometer-size electrodes can be functionalized through the selective deposition of platinum on one of the two electrodes in a DCE while leaving the other one unmodified. This provides an indication of the future versatility of this type of probe for nanoscale measurements and imaging.

  20. The genus Romboutsia : genomic and functional characterization of novel bacteria dedicated to life in the intestinal tract

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gerritsen, J.

    2015-01-01

    The genus Romboutsia: genomic and functional characterization of novel bacteria dedicated to life in the intestinal tract

    PhD thesis Jacoline Gerritsen, 2015

    Abstract

    Humans, like other mammals, are not single-species organisms, but they

  1. Characterization of the serotonin transporter knockout rat : A selective change in the functioning of the serotonergic system

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Homberg, J. R.; Olivier, J.D.A.; Smits, B. M. G.; Mul, J. D.; Mudde, J.; Verheul, M.; Nieuwenhuizen, O. F. M.; Cools, A. R.; Ronken, E; Cremers, Thomas; Schoffelmeere, A. N. M.; Ellenbroeik, B. A.; Cuppen, E.

    2007-01-01

    Serotonergic signaling is involved in many neurobiological processes and disturbed 5-HT homeostasis is implicated in a variety of psychiatric and addictive disorders. Here, we describe the functional characterization of the serotonin transporter (SERT) knockout rat model, that is generated by

  2. Characterization of the sero