WorldWideScience

Sample records for modeling cell biology

  1. Spatial Modeling Tools for Cell Biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    2006-10-01

    34 iv Figure 5.1: Computational results for a diffusion problem on planar square thin film............ 36 Figure 5.2... Wisc . Open Microscopy Env. Pre-CoBi Model Lib. CFDRC CoBi Tools CFDRC CoBi Tools Simulation Environment JigCell Tools Figure 4.1: Cell biology

  2. An electrostatic model for biological cell division

    CERN Document Server

    Faraggi, Eshel

    2010-01-01

    Probably the most fundamental processes for biological systems is their ability to create themselves through the use of cell division and cell differentiation. In this work a simple physical model is proposed for biological cell division. The model consists of a positive ionic gradient across the cell membrane, and concentration of charge at the nodes of the spindle and on the chromosomes. A simple calculation, based on Coulomb's Law, shows that under such circumstances a chromosome will tend to break up to its constituent chromatids and that the chromatids will be separated by a distance that is an order of thirty percent of the distance between the spindle nodes. Further repulsion between the nodes will tend to stretch the cell and eventually break the cell membrane between the separated chromatids, leading to cell division. The importance of this work is in continuing the understanding of the electromagnetic basis of cell division and providing it with an analytical model. A central implication of this and...

  3. Stochasticity in cell biology: Modeling across levels

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pedraza, Juan Manuel

    2009-03-01

    Effective modeling of biological processes requires focusing on a particular level of description, and this requires summarizing de details of lower levels into effective variables and properly accounting for the constrains that other levels impose. In the context of stochasticity in gene expression, I will show how the details of the stochastic process can be characterized by a few effective parameters, which facilitates modeling but complicates interpretation of current experiments. I will show how the resulting noise can provide advantageous or deleterious phenotypic fluctuation and how noise control in the copy number control system of plasmids can change the selective pressures. This system illustrates the direct connection between molecular dynamics and evolutionary dynamics.

  4. Mechanistic modeling confronts the complexity of molecular cell biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phair, Robert D

    2014-11-05

    Mechanistic modeling has the potential to transform how cell biologists contend with the inescapable complexity of modern biology. I am a physiologist-electrical engineer-systems biologist who has been working at the level of cell biology for the past 24 years. This perspective aims 1) to convey why we build models, 2) to enumerate the major approaches to modeling and their philosophical differences, 3) to address some recurrent concerns raised by experimentalists, and then 4) to imagine a future in which teams of experimentalists and modelers build-and subject to exhaustive experimental tests-models covering the entire spectrum from molecular cell biology to human pathophysiology. There is, in my view, no technical obstacle to this future, but it will require some plasticity in the biological research mind-set.

  5. Towards a whole-cell modeling approach for synthetic biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Purcell, Oliver; Jain, Bonny; Karr, Jonathan R.; Covert, Markus W.; Lu, Timothy K.

    2013-06-01

    Despite rapid advances over the last decade, synthetic biology lacks the predictive tools needed to enable rational design. Unlike established engineering disciplines, the engineering of synthetic gene circuits still relies heavily on experimental trial-and-error, a time-consuming and inefficient process that slows down the biological design cycle. This reliance on experimental tuning is because current modeling approaches are unable to make reliable predictions about the in vivo behavior of synthetic circuits. A major reason for this lack of predictability is that current models view circuits in isolation, ignoring the vast number of complex cellular processes that impinge on the dynamics of the synthetic circuit and vice versa. To address this problem, we present a modeling approach for the design of synthetic circuits in the context of cellular networks. Using the recently published whole-cell model of Mycoplasma genitalium, we examined the effect of adding genes into the host genome. We also investigated how codon usage correlates with gene expression and find agreement with existing experimental results. Finally, we successfully implemented a synthetic Goodwin oscillator in the whole-cell model. We provide an updated software framework for the whole-cell model that lays the foundation for the integration of whole-cell models with synthetic gene circuit models. This software framework is made freely available to the community to enable future extensions. We envision that this approach will be critical to transforming the field of synthetic biology into a rational and predictive engineering discipline.

  6. Multiway modeling and analysis in stem cell systems biology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vandenberg Scott L

    2008-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-08-03

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

  8. Modeling cell-in-cell structure into its biological significance

    OpenAIRE

    He, M-f; Wang, S.; Wang, Y; Wang, X-N.

    2013-01-01

    Although cell-in-cell structure was noted 100 years ago, the molecular mechanisms of ‘entering' and the destination of cell-in-cell remain largely unclear. It takes place among the same type of cells (homotypic cell-in-cell) or different types of cells (heterotypic cell-in-cell). Cell-in-cell formation affects both effector cells and their host cells in multiple aspects, while cell-in-cell death is under more intensive investigation. Given that cell-in-cell has an important role in maintainin...

  9. Human pluripotent stem cells: an emerging model in developmental biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Zengrong; Huangfu, Danwei

    2013-02-01

    Developmental biology has long benefited from studies of classic model organisms. Recently, human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs), including human embryonic stem cells and human induced pluripotent stem cells, have emerged as a new model system that offers unique advantages for developmental studies. Here, we discuss how studies of hPSCs can complement classic approaches using model organisms, and how hPSCs can be used to recapitulate aspects of human embryonic development 'in a dish'. We also summarize some of the recently developed genetic tools that greatly facilitate the interrogation of gene function during hPSC differentiation. With the development of high-throughput screening technologies, hPSCs have the potential to revolutionize gene discovery in mammalian development.

  10. Towards Modelling and Simulation of Crowded Environments in Cell Biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bittig, Arne T.; Jeschke, Matthias; Uhrmacher, Adelinde M.

    2010-09-01

    In modelling and simulation of cell biological processes, spatial homogeneity in the distribution of components is a common but not always valid assumption. Spatial simulation methods differ in computational effort and accuracy, and usually rely on tool-specific input formats for model specification. A clear separation between modelling and simulation allows a declarative model specification thereby facilitating reuse of models and exploiting different simulators. We outline a modelling formalism covering both stochastic spatial simulation at the population level and simulation of individual entities moving in continuous space as well as the combination thereof. A multi-level spatial simulator is presented that combines populations of small particles simulated according to the Next Subvolume Method with individually represented large particles following Brownian motion. This approach entails several challenges that need to be overcome, but nicely balances between calculation effort and required levels of detail.

  11. Theories and models on the biological of cells in space

    Science.gov (United States)

    Todd, P.; Klaus, D. M.

    1996-01-01

    A wide variety of observations on cells in space, admittedly made under constraining and unnatural conditions in may cases, have led to experimental results that were surprising or unexpected. Reproducibility, freedom from artifacts, and plausibility must be considered in all cases, even when results are not surprising. The papers in symposium on 'Theories and Models on the Biology of Cells in Space' are dedicated to the subject of the plausibility of cellular responses to gravity -- inertial accelerations between 0 and 9.8 m/sq s and higher. The mechanical phenomena inside the cell, the gravitactic locomotion of single eukaryotic and prokaryotic cells, and the effects of inertial unloading on cellular physiology are addressed in theoretical and experimental studies.

  12. Theories and models on the Biology of Cells in Space

    Science.gov (United States)

    Todd, P.; Klaus, D. M.

    A wide variety of observations on cells in space, admittedly made under constraining and unnatural conditions in many cases, have led to experimental results that were surprising or unexpected. Reproducibility, freedom from artifacts, and plausibility must be considered in all cases, even when results are not surprising. The papers in the symposium on ``Theories and Models on the Biology of Cells in Space'' are dedicated to the subject of theplausibility of cellular responses to gravity -- inertial accelerations between 0 and 9.8 m/s^2 and higher. The mechanical phenomena inside the cell, the gravitactic locomotion of single eukaryotic and prokaryotic cells, and the effects of inertial unloading on cellular physiology are addressed in theoretical and experimental studies.

  13. Micrasterias as a Model System in Plant Cell Biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lütz-Meindl, Ursula

    2016-01-01

    The unicellular freshwater alga Micrasterias denticulata is an exceptional organism due to its complex star-shaped, highly symmetric morphology and has thus attracted the interest of researchers for many decades. As a member of the Streptophyta, Micrasterias is not only genetically closely related to higher land plants but shares common features with them in many physiological and cell biological aspects. These facts, together with its considerable cell size of about 200 μm, its modest cultivation conditions and the uncomplicated accessibility particularly to any microscopic techniques, make Micrasterias a very well suited cell biological plant model system. The review focuses particularly on cell wall formation and composition, dictyosomal structure and function, cytoskeleton control of growth and morphogenesis as well as on ionic regulation and signal transduction. It has been also shown in the recent years that Micrasterias is a highly sensitive indicator for environmental stress impact such as heavy metals, high salinity, oxidative stress or starvation. Stress induced organelle degradation, autophagy, adaption and detoxification mechanisms have moved in the center of interest and have been investigated with modern microscopic techniques such as 3-D- and analytical electron microscopy as well as with biochemical, physiological and molecular approaches. This review is intended to summarize and discuss the most important results obtained in Micrasterias in the last 20 years and to compare the results to similar processes in higher plant cells. PMID:27462330

  14. Micrasterias as a model system in plant cell biology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ursula Luetz-Meindl

    2016-07-01

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

  15. cellPACK: A Virtual Mesoscope to Model and Visualize Structural Systems Biology

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

    cellPACK assembles computational models of the biological mesoscale, an intermediate scale (10−7–10−8m) between molecular and cellular biology. cellPACK’s modular architecture unites existing and novel packing algorithms to generate, visualize and analyze comprehensive 3D models of complex biological environments that integrate data from multiple experimental systems biology and structural biology sources. cellPACK is currently available as open source code, with tools for validation of models and with recipes and models for five biological systems: blood plasma, cytoplasm, synaptic vesicles, HIV and a mycoplasma cell. We have applied cellPACK to model distributions of HIV envelope protein to test several hypotheses for consistency with experimental observations. Biologists, educators, and outreach specialists can interact with cellPACK models, develop new recipes and perform packing experiments through scripting and graphical user interfaces at http://cellPACK.org. PMID:25437435

  16. Synthetic biology of minimal living cells: primitive cell models and semi-synthetic cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stano, Pasquale

    2010-09-01

    This article summarizes a contribution presented at the ESF 2009 Synthetic Biology focused on the concept of the minimal requirement for life and on the issue of constructive (synthetic) approaches in biological research. The attempts to define minimal life within the framework of autopoietic theory are firstly described, and a short report on the development of autopoietic chemical systems based on fatty acid vesicles, which are relevant as primitive cell models is given. These studies can be used as a starting point for the construction of more complex systems, firstly being inspired by possible origins of life scenarioes (and therefore by considering primitive functions), then by considering an approach based on modern biomacromolecular-encoded functions. At this aim, semi-synthetic minimal cells are defined as those man-made vesicle-based systems that are composed of the minimal number of genes, proteins, biomolecules and which can be defined as living. Recent achievements on minimal sized semi-synthetic cells are then discussed, and the kind of information obtained is recognized as being distinctively derived by a constructive approach. Synthetic biology is therefore a fundamental tool for gaining basic knowledge about biosystems, and it should not be confined at all to the engineering side.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Oliveira, Mayara Lustosa; Galembeck, Eduardo

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Oliveira, Mayara Lustosa; Galembeck, Eduardo

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-07-01

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

  20. Mathematical models in cell biology and cancer chemotherapy

    CERN Document Server

    Eisen, Martin

    1979-01-01

    The purpose of this book is to show how mathematics can be applied to improve cancer chemotherapy. Unfortunately, most drugs used in treating cancer kill both normal and abnormal cells. However, more cancer cells than normal cells can be destroyed by the drug because tumor cells usually exhibit different growth kinetics than normal cells. To capitalize on this last fact, cell kinetics must be studied by formulating mathematical models of normal and abnormal cell growth. These models allow the therapeutic and harmful effects of cancer drugs to be simulated quantitatively. The combined cell and drug models can be used to study the effects of different methods of administering drugs. The least harmful method of drug administration, according to a given criterion, can be found by applying optimal control theory. The prerequisites for reading this book are an elementary knowledge of ordinary differential equations, probability, statistics, and linear algebra. In order to make this book self-contained, a chapter on...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paula Jouhten

    2012-10-01

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

  2. A Human Corneal Epithelial Cell Line Model for Limbal Stem Cell Biology and Limbal Immunobiology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shaharuddin, Bakiah; Ahmad, Sajjad; Md Latar, Nani; Ali, Simi; Meeson, Annette

    2016-10-14

    : Limbal stem cell (LSC) deficiency is a visually debilitating condition caused by abnormal maintenance of LSCs. It is treated by transplantation of donor-derived limbal epithelial cells (LECs), the success of which depends on the presence and quality of LSCs within the transplant. Understanding the immunobiological responses of these cells within the transplants could improve cell engraftment and survival. However, human corneal rings used as a source of LSCs are not always readily available for research purposes. As an alternative, we hypothesized that a human telomerase-immortalized corneal epithelial cell (HTCEC) line could be used as a model for studying LSC immunobiology. HTCEC constitutively expressed human leukocyte antigen (HLA) class I but not class II molecules. However, when stimulated by interferon-γ, HTCECs then expressed HLA class II antigens. Some HTCECs were also migratory in response to CXCL12 and expressed stem cell markers, Nanog, Oct4, and Sox2. In addition because both HTCECs and LECs contain side population (SP) cells, which are an enriched LSC population, we used these SP cells to show that some HTCEC SP cells coexpressed ABCG2 and ABCB5. HTCEC SP and non-side population (NSP) cells also expressed CXCR4, but the SP cells expressed higher levels. Both were capable of colony formation, but the NSP colonies were smaller and contained fewer cells. In addition, HTCECs expressed ΔNp63α. These results suggest the HTCEC line is a useful model for further understanding LSC biology by using an in vitro approach without reliance on a supply of human tissue. Limbal stem cell deficiency is a painful eye condition caused by abnormal maintenance of limbal stem cells. It is treated by transplantation of limbal epithelial cells derived from human tissue. The success of this treatment depends of the quality of the cells transplanted; however, some transplants fail. Understanding more about the immunobiology of these cells within the transplants could

  3. Systems cell biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-09-15

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

  4. Systems Modelling and the Development of Coherent Understanding of Cell Biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Verhoeff, Roald P.; Waarlo, Arend Jan; Boersma, Kerst Th.

    2008-01-01

    This article reports on educational design research concerning a learning and teaching strategy for cell biology in upper-secondary education introducing "systems modelling" as a key competence. The strategy consists of four modelling phases in which students subsequently develop models of free-living cells, a general two-dimensional model of…

  5. Systems Modelling and the Development of Coherent Understanding of Cell Biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Verhoeff, Roald P.; Waarlo, Arend Jan; Boersma, Kerst Th.

    2008-01-01

    This article reports on educational design research concerning a learning and teaching strategy for cell biology in upper-secondary education introducing "systems modelling" as a key competence. The strategy consists of four modelling phases in which students subsequently develop models of free-living cells, a general two-dimensional model of…

  6. Modeling human risk: Cell & molecular biology in context

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1997-06-01

    It is anticipated that early in the next century manned missions into outer space will occur, with a mission to Mars scheduled between 2015 and 2020. However, before such missions can be undertaken, a realistic estimation of the potential risks to the flight crews is required. One of the uncertainties remaining in this risk estimation is that posed by the effects of exposure to the radiation environment of outer space. Although the composition of this environment is fairly well understood, the biological effects arising from exposure to it are not. The reasons for this are three-fold: (1) A small but highly significant component of the radiation spectrum in outer space consists of highly charged, high energy (HZE) particles which are not routinely experienced on earth, and for which there are insufficient data on biological effects; (2) Most studies on the biological effects of radiation to date have been high-dose, high dose-rate, whereas in space, with the exception of solar particle events, radiation exposures will be low-dose, low dose-rate; (3) Although it has been established that the virtual absence of gravity in space has a profound effect on human physiology, it is not clear whether these effects will act synergistically with those of radiation exposure. A select panel will evaluate the utilizing experiments and models to accurately predict the risks associated with exposure to HZE particles. Topics of research include cellular and tissue response, health effects associated with radiation damage, model animal systems, and critical markers of Radiation response.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mosca Ettore

    2007-08-01

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

  8. A modeling and simulation language for biological cells with coupled mechanical and chemical processes

    OpenAIRE

    Somogyi, Endre; Glazier, James A.

    2017-01-01

    Biological cells are the prototypical example of active matter. Cells sense and respond to mechanical, chemical and electrical environmental stimuli with a range of behaviors, including dynamic changes in morphology and mechanical properties, chemical uptake and secretion, cell differentiation, proliferation, death, or migration. Modeling and simulation of such dynamic phenomena poses a number of computational challenges. A modeling language to describe cellular dynamics must be able to natur...

  9. Particle-based model to simulate the micromechanics of biological cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Liedekerke, P.; Tijskens, E.; Ramon, H.; Ghysels, P.; Samaey, G.; Roose, D.

    2010-06-01

    This paper is concerned with addressing how biological cells react to mechanical impulse. We propose a particle based model to numerically study the mechanical response of these cells with subcellular detail. The model focuses on a plant cell in which two important features are present: (1) the cell’s interior liquidlike phase inducing hydrodynamic phenomena, and (2) the cell wall, a viscoelastic solid membrane that encloses the protoplast. In this particle modeling framework, the cell fluid is modeled by a standard smoothed particle hydrodynamics (SPH) technique. For the viscoelastic solid phase (cell wall), a discrete element method (DEM) is proposed. The cell wall hydraulic conductivity (permeability) is built in through a constitutive relation in the SPH formulation. Simulations show that the SPH-DEM model is in reasonable agreement with compression experiments on an in vitro cell and with analytical models for the basic dynamical modes of a spherical liquid filled shell. We have performed simulations to explore more complex situations such as relaxation and impact, thereby considering two cell types: a stiff plant type and a soft animal-like type. Their particular behavior (force transmission) as a function of protoplasm and cell wall viscosity is discussed. We also show that the mechanics during and after cell failure can be modeled adequately. This methodology has large flexibility and opens possibilities to quantify problems dealing with the response of biological cells to mechanical impulses, e.g., impact, and the prediction of damage on a (sub)cellular scale.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Oksana eKaidanovich-Beilin

    2011-11-01

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

  11. Soft particle analysis of electrokinetics of biological cells and their model systems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kimiko Makino and Hiroyuki Ohshima

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available In this article, we review the applications of a novel theory (Ohshima 2009 Sci. Technol. Adv. Mater. 10 063001 to the analysis of electrokinetic data for various soft particles, that is, particles covered with an ion-permeable surface layer of polyelectrolytes. Soft particles discussed in this review include various biological cells and hydrogel-coated particles as a model of biological cells. Cellular transformations increase the concentration of sialic acid of glycoproteins and are associated with blocked biosynthesis of glycolipids and aberrant expression of the developmentally programmed biosynthetic pathway. The change in shape or biological function of cells may affect their surface properties and can be detected by electrokinetic measurements. The experimental results were analyzed with Ohshima's electrokinetic formula for soft particles and soft surfaces. As a model system, hydrogel surfaces that mimic biological surfaces were also prepared and their surface properties were studied.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paluch, Ewa K

    2015-12-01

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

  13. Proteomics-based systems biology modeling of bovine germinal vesicle stage oocyte and cumulus cell interaction.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Divyaswetha Peddinti

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Oocytes are the female gametes which establish the program of life after fertilization. Interactions between oocyte and the surrounding cumulus cells at germinal vesicle (GV stage are considered essential for proper maturation or 'programming' of oocytes, which is crucial for normal fertilization and embryonic development. However, despite its importance, little is known about the molecular events and pathways involved in this bidirectional communication. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We used differential detergent fractionation multidimensional protein identification technology (DDF-Mud PIT on bovine GV oocyte and cumulus cells and identified 811 and 1247 proteins in GV oocyte and cumulus cells, respectively; 371 proteins were significantly differentially expressed between each cell type. Systems biology modeling, which included Gene Ontology (GO and canonical genetic pathway analysis, showed that cumulus cells have higher expression of proteins involved in cell communication, generation of precursor metabolites and energy, as well as transport than GV oocytes. Our data also suggests a hypothesis that oocytes may depend on the presence of cumulus cells to generate specific cellular signals to coordinate their growth and maturation. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Systems biology modeling of bovine oocytes and cumulus cells in the context of GO and protein interaction networks identified the signaling pathways associated with the proteins involved in cell-to-cell signaling biological process that may have implications in oocyte competence and maturation. This first comprehensive systems biology modeling of bovine oocytes and cumulus cell proteomes not only provides a foundation for signaling and cell physiology at the GV stage of oocyte development, but are also valuable for comparative studies of other stages of oocyte development at the molecular level.

  14. Fostering synergy between cell biology and systems biology

    OpenAIRE

    2015-01-01

    In the shared pursuit of elucidating detailed mechanisms of cell function, systems biology presents a natural complement to ongoing efforts in cell biology. Systems biology aims to characterize biological systems through integrated and quantitative modeling of cellular information. The process of model building and analysis provides value through synthesizing and cataloging information about cells and molecules; predicting mechanisms and identifying generalizable themes; generating hypotheses...

  15. [Experimental models in oncology: contribution of cell culture on understanding the biology of cancer].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cruz, Mariana; Enes, Margarida; Pereira, Marta; Dourado, Marília; Sarmento Ribeiro, Ana Bela

    2009-01-01

    In the beginning of the 20th century, tissue culture was started with the aim of studying the behaviour of animal cells in normal and stress conditions. The cell study at molecular level depends on their capacity of growing and how they can be manipulated in laboratory. In vitro cell culture allows us the possibility of studying biological key processes, such as growth, differentiation and cell death, and also to do genetic manipulations essential to the knowledge of structure and genes function. Human stem cells culture provides strategies to circumvent other models' deficiencies. It seems that cancer stem cells remain quiescent until activation by appropriated micro-environmental stimulation. Several studies reveal that different cancer types could be due to stem cell malignant transformations. Removal of these cells is essential to the development of more effective cancer therapies for advanced disease. On the other hand, dendritic cells modified in culture may be used as a therapeutic vaccine in order to induce tumour withdraw.

  16. The planarian flatworm: an in vivo model for stem cell biology and nervous system regeneration

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luca Gentile

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Planarian flatworms are an exception among bilaterians in that they possess a large pool of adult stem cells that enables them to promptly regenerate any part of their body, including the brain. Although known for two centuries for their remarkable regenerative capabilities, planarians have only recently emerged as an attractive model for studying regeneration and stem cell biology. This revival is due in part to the availability of a sequenced genome and the development of new technologies, such as RNA interference and next-generation sequencing, which facilitate studies of planarian regeneration at the molecular level. Here, we highlight why planarians are an exciting tool in the study of regeneration and its underlying stem cell biology in vivo, and discuss the potential promises and current limitations of this model organism for stem cell research and regenerative medicine.

  17. [Cell biology and cosmetology].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Traniello, S; Cavalletti, T

    1991-01-01

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

  18. Microscopy Images as Interactive Tools in Cell Modeling and Cell Biology Education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Araujo-Jorge, Tania C.; Cardona, Tania S.; Mendes, Claudia L. S.; Henriques-Pons, Andrea; Meirelles, Rosane M. S.; Coutinho, Claudia M. L. M.; Aguiar, Luiz Edmundo V.; Meirelles, Maria de Nazareth L.; de Castro, Solange L.; Barbosa, Helene S.; Luz, Mauricio R. M. P.

    2004-01-01

    The advent of genomics, proteomics, and microarray technology has brought much excitement to science, both in teaching and in learning. The public is eager to know about the processes of life. In the present context of the explosive growth of scientific information, a major challenge of modern cell biology is to popularize basic concepts of…

  19. Model for biological communication in a nanofabricated cell-mimic driven by stochastic resonance

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Karig, David K [ORNL; Siuti, Piro [ORNL; Dar, Roy D. [University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UTK); Retterer, Scott T [ORNL; Doktycz, Mitchel John [ORNL; Simpson, Michael L [ORNL

    2011-01-01

    Cells offer natural examples of highly efficient networks of nanomachines. Accordingly, both intracellular and intercellular communication mechanisms in nature are looked to as a source of inspiration and instruction for engineered nanocommunication. Harnessing biological functionality in this manner requires an interdisciplinary approach that integrates systems biology, synthetic biology, and nanofabrication. Recent years have seen the amassing of a tremendous wealth of data from the sequencing of new organisms and from high throughput expression experiments. At the same time, a deeper fundamental understanding of individual cell function has been developed, as exemplified by the growth of fields such as noise biology, which seeks to characterize the role of noise in gene expression. The availability of well characterized biological components coupled with a deeper understanding of cell function has led to efforts to engineer both living cells and to create bio-like functionality in non-living substrates in the field of synthetic biology. Here, we present a model system that exemplifies the synergism between these realms of research. We propose a synthetic gene network for operation in a nanofabricated cell mimic array that propagates a biomolecular signal over long distances using the phenomenon of stochastic resonance. Our system consists of a bacterial quorum sensing signal molecule, a bistable genetic switch triggered by this signal, and an array of nanofabricated cell mimic wells that contain the genetic system. An optimal level of noise in the system helps to propagate a time-varying AHL signal over long distances through the array of mimics. This noise level is determined both by the system volume and by the parameters of the genetic network. Our proposed genetically driven stochastic resonance system serves as a testbed for exploring the potential harnessing of gene expression noise to aid in the transmission of a time-varying molecular signal.

  20. The female gametophyte: an emerging model for cell type-specific systems biology in plant development

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marc William Schmid

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Systems biology, a holistic approach describing a system emerging from the interactions of its molecular components, critically depends on accurate qualitative determination and quantitative measurements of these components. Development and improvement of large-scale profiling methods (omics now facilitates comprehensive measurements of many relevant molecules. For multicellular organisms, such as animals, fungi, algae, and plants, the complexity of the system is augmented by the presence of specialized cell types and organs, and a complex interplay within and between them. Cell type-specific analyses are therefore crucial for the understanding of developmental processes and environmental responses. This review first gives an overview of current methods used for large-scale profiling of specific cell types exemplified by recent advances in plant biology. The focus then lies on suitable model systems to study plant development and cell type specification. We introduce the female gametophyte of flowering plants as an ideal model to study fundamental developmental processes. Moreover, the female reproductive lineage is of importance for the emergence of evolutionary novelties such as an unequal parental contribution to the tissue nurturing the embryo or the clonal production of seeds by asexual reproduction (apomixis. Understanding these processes is not only interesting from a developmental or evolutionary perspective, but bears great potential for further crop improvement and the simplification of breeding efforts. We finally highlight novel methods, which are already available or which will likely soon facilitate large-scale profiling of the specific cell types of the female gametophyte in both model and non-model species. We conclude that it may take only few years until an evolutionary systems biology approach toward female gametogenesis may decipher some of its biologically most interesting and economically most valuable processes.

  1. A model of cell biological signaling predicts a phase transition of signaling and provides mathematical formulae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsuruyama, Tatsuaki

    2014-01-01

    A biological signal is transmitted by interactions between signaling molecules in the cell. To date, there have been extensive studies regarding signaling pathways using numerical simulation of kinetic equations that are based on equations of continuity and Fick's law. To obtain a mathematical formulation of cell signaling, we propose a stability kinetic model of cell biological signaling of a simple two-parameter model based on the kinetics of the diffusion-limiting step. In the present model, the signaling is regulated by the binding of a cofactor, such as ATP. Non-linearity of the kinetics is given by the diffusion fluctuation in the interaction between signaling molecules, which is different from previous works that hypothesized autocatalytic reactions. Numerical simulations showed the presence of a critical concentration of the cofactor beyond which the cell signaling molecule concentration is altered in a chaos-like oscillation with frequency, which is similar to a discontinuous phase transition in physics. Notably, we found that the frequency is given by the logarithm function of the difference of the outside cofactor concentration from the critical concentration. This implies that the outside alteration of the cofactor concentration is transformed into the oscillatory alteration of cell inner signaling. Further, mathematical stability kinetic analysis predicted a discontinuous dynamic phase transition in the critical state at which the cofactor concentration is equivalent to the critical concentration. In conclusion, the present model illustrates a unique feature of cell signaling, and the stability analysis may provide an analytical framework of the cell signaling system and a novel formulation of biological signaling.

  2. Phenotypic evolutionary models in stem cell biology: replacement, quiescence, and variability.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marc Mangel

    Full Text Available Phenotypic evolutionary models have been used with great success in many areas of biology, but thus far have not been applied to the study of stem cells except for investigations of cancer. We develop a framework that allows such modeling techniques to be applied to stem cells more generally. The fundamental modeling structure is the stochastic kinetics of stem cells in their niche and of transit amplifying and fully differentiated cells elsewhere in the organism, with positive and negative feedback. This formulation allows graded signals to be turned into all or nothing responses, and shows the importance of looking beyond the niche for understanding how stem cells behave. Using the deterministic version of this framework, we show how competition between different stem cell lines can be analyzed, and under what circumstances stem cells in a niche will be replaced by other stem cells with different phenotypic characteristics. Using the stochastic version of our framework and state dependent life history theory, we show that the optimal behavior of a focal stem cell will involve long periods of quiescence and that a population of identical stem cells will show great variability in the times at which activity occurs; we compare our results with classic ones on quiescence and variability in the hematopoietic system.

  3. Muscle Stem Cells: A Model System for Adult Stem Cell Biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cornelison, Ddw; Perdiguero, Eusebio

    2017-01-01

    Skeletal muscle stem cells, originally termed satellite cells for their position adjacent to differentiated muscle fibers, are absolutely required for the process of skeletal muscle repair and regeneration. In the last decade, satellite cells have become one of the most studied adult stem cell systems and have emerged as a standard model not only in the field of stem cell-driven tissue regeneration but also in stem cell dysfunction and aging. Here, we provide background in the field and discuss recent advances in our understanding of muscle stem cell function and dysfunction, particularly in the case of aging, and the potential involvement of muscle stem cells in genetic diseases such as the muscular dystrophies.

  4. Preface of the "Symposium on Mathematical Models and Methods to investigate Heterogeneity in Cell and Cell Population Biology"

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clairambault, Jean

    2016-06-01

    This session investigates hot topics related to mathematical representations of cell and cell population dynamics in biology and medicine, in particular, but not only, with applications to cancer. Methods in mathematical modelling and analysis, and in statistical inference using single-cell and cell population data, should contribute to focus this session on heterogeneity in cell populations. Among other methods are proposed: a) Intracellular protein dynamics and gene regulatory networks using ordinary/partial/delay differential equations (ODEs, PDEs, DDEs); b) Representation of cell population dynamics using agent-based models (ABMs) and/or PDEs; c) Hybrid models and multiscale models to integrate single-cell dynamics into cell population behaviour; d) Structured cell population dynamics and asymptotic evolution w.r.t. relevant traits; e) Heterogeneity in cancer cell populations: origin, evolution, phylogeny and methods of reconstruction; f) Drug resistance as an evolutionary phenotype: predicting and overcoming it in therapeutics; g) Theoretical therapeutic optimisation of combined drug treatments in cancer cell populations and in populations of other organisms, such as bacteria.

  5. Cell biology perspectives in phage biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ansaldi, Mireille

    2012-01-01

    Cellular biology has long been restricted to large cellular organisms. However, as the resolution of microscopic methods increased, it became possible to study smaller cells, in particular bacterial cells. Bacteriophage biology is one aspect of bacterial cell biology that has recently gained insight from cell biology. Despite their small size, bacteriophages could be successfully labeled and their cycle studied in the host cells. This review aims to put together, although non-extensively, several cell biology studies that recently pushed the elucidation of key mechanisms in phage biology, such as the lysis-lysogeny decision in temperate phages or genome replication and transcription, one step further.

  6. Artefactual effects of oxygen on cell culture models of cellular senescence and stem cell biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toussaint, Olivier; Weemaels, Geoffroy; Debacq-Chainiaux, Florence; Scharffetter-Kochanek, Karin; Wlaschek, Meinhard

    2011-02-01

    In life sciences, modelling of the in vivo conditions using in vitro models is an important tool to generate knowledge. Although aerobic organisms including mammals depend on accurate oxygen tension, mimicking physiological conditions in cell culture experiments is not very common. Due to the need for simple technical and experimental design, the requirement for simulating the in vivo oxygen tension parameters has been neglected over long time. Fortunately, due to increasing knowledge in recent years the attention has shifted towards this scientific demand. In this short review, we summarize data substantiating the necessity to adequately mimic physiological oxygen tension using cell culture models in life science research. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  7. Biologically-directed modeling reflects cytolytic clearance of SIV-infected cells in vivo in macaques.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    W David Wick

    Full Text Available The disappointing outcomes of cellular immune-based vaccines against HIV-1 despite strong evidence for the protective role of CD8⁺ T lymphocytes (CTLs has prompted revisiting the mechanisms of cellular immunity. Prior data from experiments examining the kinetics of Simian Immunodeficiency Virus (SIV clearance in infected macaques with or without in vivo CD8 depletion were interpreted as refuting the concept that CTLs suppress SIV/HIV by direct killing of infected cells. Here we briefly review the biological evidence for CTL cytolytic activity in viral infections, and utilize biologically-directed modeling to assess the possibility of a killing mechanism for the antiviral effect of CTLs, taking into account the generation, proliferation, and survival of activated CD4⁺ and CD8⁺ T lymphocytes, as well as the life cycle of the virus. Our analyses of the published macaque data using these models support a killing mechanism, when one considers T lymphocyte and HIV-1 lifecycles, and factors such as the eclipse period before release of virions by infected cells, an exponential pattern of virion production by infected cells, and a variable lifespan for acutely infected cells. We conclude that for SIV/HIV pathogenesis, CTLs deserve their reputation as being cytolytic.

  8. Historical perspectives in fat cell biology: the fat cell as a model for the investigation of hormonal and metabolic pathways.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lafontan, Max

    2012-01-15

    For many years, there was little interest in the biochemistry or physiology of adipose tissue. It is now well recognized that adipocytes play an important dynamic role in metabolic regulation. They are able to sense metabolic states via their ability to perceive a large number of nervous and hormonal signals. They are also able to produce hormones, called adipokines, that affect nutrient intake, metabolism and energy expenditure. The report by Rodbell in 1964 that intact fat cells can be obtained by collagenase digestion of adipose tissue revolutionized studies on the hormonal regulation and metabolism of the fat cell. In the context of the advent of systems biology in the field of cell biology, the present seems an appropriate time to look back at the global contribution of the fat cell to cell biology knowledge. This review focuses on the very early approaches that used the fat cell as a tool to discover and understand various cellular mechanisms. Attention essentially focuses on the early investigations revealing the major contribution of mature fat cells and also fat cells originating from adipose cell lines to the discovery of major events related to hormone action (hormone receptors and transduction pathways involved in hormonal signaling) and mechanisms involved in metabolite processing (hexose uptake and uptake, storage, and efflux of fatty acids). Dormant preadipocytes exist in the stroma-vascular fraction of the adipose tissue of rodents and humans; cell culture systems have proven to be valuable models for the study of the processes involved in the formation of new fat cells. Finally, more recent insights into adipocyte secretion, a completely new role with major metabolic impact, are also briefly summarized.

  9. Mathematical modeling of cancer cell invasion of tissue: biological insight from mathematical analysis and computational simulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andasari, Vivi; Gerisch, Alf; Lolas, Georgios; South, Andrew P; Chaplain, Mark A J

    2011-07-01

    The ability of cancer cells to break out of tissue compartments and invade locally gives solid tumours a defining deadly characteristic. One of the first steps of invasion is the remodelling of the surrounding tissue or extracellular matrix (ECM) and a major part of this process is the over-expression of proteolytic enzymes, such as the urokinase-type plasminogen activator (uPA) and matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), by the cancer cells to break down ECM proteins. Degradation of the matrix enables the cancer cells to migrate through the tissue and subsequently to spread to secondary sites in the body, a process known as metastasis. In this paper we undertake an analysis of a mathematical model of cancer cell invasion of tissue, or ECM, which focuses on the role of the urokinase plasminogen activation system. The model consists of a system of five reaction-diffusion-taxis partial differential equations describing the interactions between cancer cells, uPA, uPA inhibitors, plasmin and the host tissue. Cancer cells react chemotactically and haptotactically to the spatio-temporal effects of the uPA system. The results obtained from computational simulations carried out on the model equations produce dynamic heterogeneous spatio-temporal solutions and using linear stability analysis we show that this is caused by a taxis-driven instability of a spatially homogeneous steady-state. Finally we consider the biological implications of the model results, draw parallels with clinical samples and laboratory based models of cancer cell invasion using three-dimensional invasion assay, and go on to discuss future development of the model.

  10. Networks in Cell Biology

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-05-01

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

  11. Condition-dependent cell volume and concentration of Escherichia coli to facilitate data conversion for systems biology modeling

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Volkmer, Benjamin; Heinemann, Matthias

    2011-01-01

    Systems biology modeling typically requires quantitative experimental data such as intracellular concentrations or copy numbers per cell. In order to convert population-averaging omics measurement data to intracellular concentrations or cellular copy numbers, the total cell volume and number of cell

  12. Molecular systems biology of Sic1 in yeast cell cycle regulation through multiscale modeling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barberis, Matteo

    2012-01-01

    Cell cycle control is highly regulated to guarantee the precise timing of events essential for cell growth, i.e., DNA replication onset and cell division. Failure of this control plays a role in cancer and molecules called cyclin-dependent kinase (Cdk) inhibitors (Ckis) exploit a critical function in cell cycle timing. Here we present a multiscale modeling where experimental and computational studies have been employed to investigate structure, function and temporal dynamics of the Cki Sic1 that regulates cell cycle progression in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Structural analyses reveal molecular details of the interaction between Sic1 and Cdk/cyclin complexes, and biochemical investigation reveals Sic1 function in analogy to its human counterpart p27(Kip1), whose deregulation leads to failure in timing of kinase activation and, therefore, to cancer. Following these findings, a bottom-up systems biology approach has been developed to characterize modular networks addressing Sic1 regulatory function. Through complementary experimentation and modeling, we suggest a mechanism that underlies Sic1 function in controlling temporal waves of cyclins to ensure correct timing of the phase-specific Cdk activities.

  13. Biological effects of desert dust in respiratory epithelial cells and a murine model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ghio, Andrew J.; Kummarapurugu, Suryanaren T.; Tong, Haiyan; Soukup, Joleen M.; Dailey, Lisa A.; Boykin, Elizabeth; Gilmour, M. Ian; Ingram, Peter; Roggli, Victor L.; Goldstein, Harland L.; Reynolds, Richard L.

    2014-01-01

    As a result of the challenge of recent dust storms to public health, we tested the postulate that desert dust collected in the southwestern United States imparts a biological effect in respiratory epithelial cells and an animal model. Two samples of surface sediment were collected from separate dust sources in northeastern Arizona. Analysis of the PM20 fraction demonstrated that the majority of both dust samples were quartz and clay minerals (total SiO2 of 52 and 57%). Using respiratory epithelial and monocytic cell lines, the two desert dusts increased oxidant generation, measured by Amplex Red fluorescence, along with carbon black (a control particle), silica, and NIST 1649 (an ambient air pollution particle). Cell oxidant generation was greatest following exposures to silica and the desert dusts. Similarly, changes in RNA for superoxide dismutase-1, heme oxygenase-1, and cyclooxygenase-2 were also greatest after silica and the desert dusts supporting an oxidative stress after cell exposure. Silica, desert dusts, and the ambient air pollution particle NIST 1649 demonstrated a capacity to activate the p38 and ERK1/2 pathways and release pro-inflammatory mediators. Mice, instilled with the same particles, showed the greatest lavage concentrations of pro-inflammatory mediators, neutrophils, and lung injury following silica and desert dusts. We conclude that, comparable to other particles, desert dusts have a capacity to (1) influence oxidative stress and release of pro-inflammatory mediators in respiratory epithelial cells and (2) provoke an inflammatory injury in the lower respiratory tract of an animal model. The biological effects of desert dusts approximated those of silica.

  14. Translational environmental biology: cell biology informing conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Traylor-Knowles, Nikki; Palumbi, Stephen R

    2014-05-01

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

  15. Using Osteoclast Differentiation as a Model for Gene Discovery in an Undergraduate Cell Biology Laboratory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Birnbaum, Mark J.; Picco, Jenna; Clements, Meghan; Witwicka, Hanna; Yang, Meiheng; Hoey, Margaret T.; Odgren, Paul R.

    2010-01-01

    A key goal of molecular/cell biology/biotechnology is to identify essential genes in virtually every physiological process to uncover basic mechanisms of cell function and to establish potential targets of drug therapy combating human disease. This article describes a semester-long, project-oriented molecular/cellular/biotechnology laboratory…

  16. Using Osteoclast Differentiation as a Model for Gene Discovery in an Undergraduate Cell Biology Laboratory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Birnbaum, Mark J.; Picco, Jenna; Clements, Meghan; Witwicka, Hanna; Yang, Meiheng; Hoey, Margaret T.; Odgren, Paul R.

    2010-01-01

    A key goal of molecular/cell biology/biotechnology is to identify essential genes in virtually every physiological process to uncover basic mechanisms of cell function and to establish potential targets of drug therapy combating human disease. This article describes a semester-long, project-oriented molecular/cellular/biotechnology laboratory…

  17. Human and murine model cell lines for dendritic cell biology evaluated.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Helden, S.F.G. van; Leeuwen, F.N. van; Figdor, C.G.

    2008-01-01

    Dendritic cells (DCs) are specialized antigen presenting cells that link innate and adaptive immune responses. As key mediators of T cell dependent immunity, DCs are considered primary targets for initiating immune responses in infectious diseases and cancer. Conversely, DCs can also play an importa

  18. Biology of Schwann cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  19. Laboratory of Biological Modeling

    Data.gov (United States)

    Federal Laboratory Consortium — The Laboratory of Biological Modeling is defined by both its methodologies and its areas of application. We use mathematical modeling in many forms and apply it to...

  20. Laboratory of Biological Modeling

    Data.gov (United States)

    Federal Laboratory Consortium — The Laboratory of Biological Modeling is defined by both its methodologies and its areas of application. We use mathematical modeling in many forms and apply it to a...

  1. Nano-QSAR in cell biology: Model of cell viability as a mathematical function of available eclectic data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toropova, Alla P; Toropov, Andrey A

    2017-03-07

    The prediction of biochemical endpoints is an important task of the modern medicinal chemistry, cell biology, and nanotechnology. Simplified molecular input-line entry system (SMILES) is a tool for representation of the molecular structure. In particular, SMILES can be used to build up the quantitative structure - property/activity relationships (QSPRs/QSARs). The QSPR/QSAR is a tool to predict an endpoint for a new substance, which has not been examined in experiment. Quasi-SMILES are representation of eclectic data related to an endpoint. In contrast to traditional SMILES, which are representation of the molecular structure, the quasi-SMILES are representation of conditions (in principle, the molecular structure also can be taken into account in quasi-SMILES). In this work, the quasi-SMILES were used to build up model for cell viability under impact of the metal-oxides nanoparticles by means of the CORAL software (http://www.insilico.eu/coral). The eclectic data for the quasi-SMILES are (i) molecular structure of metals-oxides; (ii) concentration of the nanoparticles; and (iii) the size of nanoparticles. The significance of different eclectic facts has been estimated. Mechanistic interpretation and the domain of applicability for the model are suggested. The statistical quality of the models is satisfactory for three different random distribution of available data into the training (sub-training and calibration) and the validation sets. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Model system for plant cell biology: GFP imaging in living onion epidermal cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scott, A.; Wyatt, S.; Tsou, P. L.; Robertson, D.; Allen, N. S.

    1999-01-01

    The ability to visualize organelle localization and dynamics is very useful in studying cellular physiological events. Until recently, this has been accomplished using a variety of staining methods. However, staining can give inaccurate information due to nonspecific staining, diffusion of the stain or through toxic effects. The ability to target green fluorescent protein (GFP) to various organelles allows for specific labeling of organelles in vivo. The disadvantages of GFP thus far have been the time and money involved in developing stable transformants or maintaining cell cultures for transient expression. In this paper, we present a rapid transient expression system using onion epidermal peels. We have localized GFP to various cellular compartments (including the cell wall) to illustrate the utility of this method and to visualize dynamics of these compartments. The onion epidermis has large, living, transparent cells in a monolayer, making them ideal for visualizing GFP. This method is easy and inexpensive, and it allows for testing of new GFP fusion proteins in a living tissue to determine deleterious effects and the ability to express before stable transformants are attempted.

  3. Model system for plant cell biology: GFP imaging in living onion epidermal cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scott, A.; Wyatt, S.; Tsou, P. L.; Robertson, D.; Allen, N. S.

    1999-01-01

    The ability to visualize organelle localization and dynamics is very useful in studying cellular physiological events. Until recently, this has been accomplished using a variety of staining methods. However, staining can give inaccurate information due to nonspecific staining, diffusion of the stain or through toxic effects. The ability to target green fluorescent protein (GFP) to various organelles allows for specific labeling of organelles in vivo. The disadvantages of GFP thus far have been the time and money involved in developing stable transformants or maintaining cell cultures for transient expression. In this paper, we present a rapid transient expression system using onion epidermal peels. We have localized GFP to various cellular compartments (including the cell wall) to illustrate the utility of this method and to visualize dynamics of these compartments. The onion epidermis has large, living, transparent cells in a monolayer, making them ideal for visualizing GFP. This method is easy and inexpensive, and it allows for testing of new GFP fusion proteins in a living tissue to determine deleterious effects and the ability to express before stable transformants are attempted.

  4. Mesangial cell biology

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2012-05-15

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

  5. Human cell structure-driven model construction for predicting protein subcellular location from biological images.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shao, Wei; Liu, Mingxia; Zhang, Daoqiang

    2016-01-01

    The systematic study of subcellular location pattern is very important for fully characterizing the human proteome. Nowadays, with the great advances in automated microscopic imaging, accurate bioimage-based classification methods to predict protein subcellular locations are highly desired. All existing models were constructed on the independent parallel hypothesis, where the cellular component classes are positioned independently in a multi-class classification engine. The important structural information of cellular compartments is missed. To deal with this problem for developing more accurate models, we proposed a novel cell structure-driven classifier construction approach (SC-PSorter) by employing the prior biological structural information in the learning model. Specifically, the structural relationship among the cellular components is reflected by a new codeword matrix under the error correcting output coding framework. Then, we construct multiple SC-PSorter-based classifiers corresponding to the columns of the error correcting output coding codeword matrix using a multi-kernel support vector machine classification approach. Finally, we perform the classifier ensemble by combining those multiple SC-PSorter-based classifiers via majority voting. We evaluate our method on a collection of 1636 immunohistochemistry images from the Human Protein Atlas database. The experimental results show that our method achieves an overall accuracy of 89.0%, which is 6.4% higher than the state-of-the-art method. The dataset and code can be downloaded from https://github.com/shaoweinuaa/. dqzhang@nuaa.edu.cn Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  6. Multiscale models and stochastic simulation methods for computing rare but key binding events in cell biology

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Guerrier, C. [Applied Mathematics and Computational Biology, IBENS, Ecole Normale Supérieure, 46 rue d' Ulm, 75005 Paris (France); Holcman, D., E-mail: david.holcman@ens.fr [Applied Mathematics and Computational Biology, IBENS, Ecole Normale Supérieure, 46 rue d' Ulm, 75005 Paris (France); Mathematical Institute, Oxford OX2 6GG, Newton Institute (United Kingdom)

    2017-07-01

    The main difficulty in simulating diffusion processes at a molecular level in cell microdomains is due to the multiple scales involving nano- to micrometers. Few to many particles have to be simulated and simultaneously tracked while there are exploring a large portion of the space for binding small targets, such as buffers or active sites. Bridging the small and large spatial scales is achieved by rare events representing Brownian particles finding small targets and characterized by long-time distribution. These rare events are the bottleneck of numerical simulations. A naive stochastic simulation requires running many Brownian particles together, which is computationally greedy and inefficient. Solving the associated partial differential equations is also difficult due to the time dependent boundary conditions, narrow passages and mixed boundary conditions at small windows. We present here two reduced modeling approaches for a fast computation of diffusing fluxes in microdomains. The first approach is based on a Markov mass-action law equations coupled to a Markov chain. The second is a Gillespie's method based on the narrow escape theory for coarse-graining the geometry of the domain into Poissonian rates. The main application concerns diffusion in cellular biology, where we compute as an example the distribution of arrival times of calcium ions to small hidden targets to trigger vesicular release.

  7. Multiscale models and stochastic simulation methods for computing rare but key binding events in cell biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guerrier, C.; Holcman, D.

    2017-07-01

    The main difficulty in simulating diffusion processes at a molecular level in cell microdomains is due to the multiple scales involving nano- to micrometers. Few to many particles have to be simulated and simultaneously tracked while there are exploring a large portion of the space for binding small targets, such as buffers or active sites. Bridging the small and large spatial scales is achieved by rare events representing Brownian particles finding small targets and characterized by long-time distribution. These rare events are the bottleneck of numerical simulations. A naive stochastic simulation requires running many Brownian particles together, which is computationally greedy and inefficient. Solving the associated partial differential equations is also difficult due to the time dependent boundary conditions, narrow passages and mixed boundary conditions at small windows. We present here two reduced modeling approaches for a fast computation of diffusing fluxes in microdomains. The first approach is based on a Markov mass-action law equations coupled to a Markov chain. The second is a Gillespie's method based on the narrow escape theory for coarse-graining the geometry of the domain into Poissonian rates. The main application concerns diffusion in cellular biology, where we compute as an example the distribution of arrival times of calcium ions to small hidden targets to trigger vesicular release.

  8. Fostering synergy between cell biology and systems biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-08-01

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

  9. The cell biology of aging

    Science.gov (United States)

    DiLoreto, Race; Murphy, Coleen T.

    2015-01-01

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

  10. Significance of stromal-1 and stromal-2 signatures and biologic prognostic model in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abdou, Asmaa Gaber; Asaad, Nancy; Kandil, Mona; Shabaan, Mohammed; Shams, Asmaa

    2017-01-01

    Objective : Diffuse Large B Cell Lymphoma (DLBCL) is a heterogeneous group of tumors with different biological and clinical characteristics that have diverse clinical outcomes and response to therapy. Stromal-1 signature of tumor microenvironment of DLBCL represents extracellular matrix deposition and histiocytic infiltrate, whereas stromal-2 represents angiogenesis that could affect tumor progression. Methods : The aim of the present study is to assess the significance of stromal-1 signature using SPARC-1 and stromal-2 signature using CD31 expression and then finally to construct biologic prognostic model (BPM) in 60 cases of DLBCL via immunohistochemistry. Results : Microvessel density (PBPM showed that 42 cases (70%) were of low biologic score (0–1) and 18 cases (30%) were of high biologic score (2–3). Low BPM cases showed less probability for splenic involvement (P=0.04) and a higher rate of complete response to therapy compared with high score cases (P=0.08). Conclusions : The DLBCL microenvironment could modulate tumor progression behavior since angiogenesis and SPARC positive stromal cells promote dissemination by association with spleen involvement and capsular invasion. Biologic prognostic models, including modified BPM, which considered cell origin of DLBCL and stromal signature pathways, could determine DLBCL progression and response to therapy. PMID:28607806

  11. Illuminating Cell Biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    2002-01-01

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

  12. Studying cell biology in the skin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morrow, Angel; Lechler, Terry

    2015-01-01

    Advances in cell biology have often been driven by studies in diverse organisms and cell types. Although there are technical reasons for why different cell types are used, there are also important physiological reasons. For example, ultrastructural studies of vesicle transport were aided by the use of professional secretory cell types. The use of tissues/primary cells has the advantage not only of using cells that are adapted to the use of certain cell biological machinery, but also of highlighting the physiological roles of this machinery. Here we discuss advantages of the skin as a model system. We discuss both advances in cell biology that used the skin as a driving force and future prospects for use of the skin to understand basic cell biology. A unique combination of characteristics and tools makes the skin a useful in vivo model system for many cell biologists. PMID:26564861

  13. On the importance of modelling the internal spatial dynamics of biological cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sayyid, Faiz; Kalvala, Sara

    2016-07-01

    Spatial effects such as cell shape have very often been considered negligible in models of cellular pathways, and many existing simulation infrastructures do not take such effects into consideration. Recent experimental results are reversing this judgement by showing that very small spatial variations can make a big difference in the fate of a cell. This is particularly the case when considering eukaryotic cells, which have a complex physical structure and many subtle control mechanisms, but bacteria are also interesting for the huge variation in shape both between species and in different phases of their lifecycle. In this work we perform simulations that measure the effect of three common bacterial shapes on the behaviour of model cellular pathways. To perform these experiments we develop ReDi-Cell, a highly scalable GPGPU cell simulation infrastructure for the modelling of cellular pathways in spatially detailed environments. ReDi-Cell is validated against known-good simulations, prior to its use in new work. We then use ReDi-Cell to conduct novel experiments that demonstrate the effect that three common bacterial shapes (Cocci, Bacilli and Spirilli) have on the behaviour of model cellular pathways. Pathway wavefront shape, pathway concentration gradients, and chemical species distribution are measured in the three different shapes. We also quantify the impact of internal cellular clutter on the same pathways. Through this work we show that variations in the shape or configuration of these common cell shapes alter model cell behaviour.

  14. Tumoral stem cell reprogramming as a driver of cancer: Theory, biological models, implications in cancer therapy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vicente-Dueñas, Carolina; Hauer, Julia; Ruiz-Roca, Lucía; Ingenhag, Deborah; Rodríguez-Meira, Alba; Auer, Franziska; Borkhardt, Arndt; Sánchez-García, Isidro

    2015-06-01

    Cancer is a clonal malignant disease originated in a single cell and characterized by the accumulation of partially differentiated cells that are phenotypically reminiscent of normal stages of differentiation. According to current models, therapeutic strategies that block oncogene activity are likely to selectively target tumor cells. However, recent evidences have revealed that cancer stem cells could arise through a tumor stem cell reprogramming mechanism, suggesting that genetic lesions that initiate the cancer process might be dispensable for tumor progression and maintenance. This review addresses the impact of these results toward a better understanding of cancer development and proposes new approaches to treat cancer in the future.

  15. Systems Biology and Stem Cell Pluripotency

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mashayekhi, Kaveh; Hall, Vanessa; Freude, Kristine

    2016-01-01

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

  16. Building a better cell trap: Applying Lagrangian modeling to the design of microfluidic devices for cell biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Min-Cheol; Wang, Zhanhui; Lam, Raymond H. W.; Thorsen, Todd

    2008-02-01

    In this report, we show how computational fluid dynamics can be applied to the design of efficient hydrodynamic cell traps in microfluidic devices. Modeled hydrodynamic trap designs included a large, multiple-aperture "C-type" sieve for trapping hundreds of cells, flat single-aperture arrays for single cells, and "U-type" hydrodynamic structures with one or two apertures to confine small clusters of cells (˜10-15 cells per trap). Using 3T3 cells as a model system, the motion of each individual cell was calculated using a one-way coupled Lagrangian method. The cell was assumed to be a solid sphere, and interactions with other cells were only considered when a cell sedimented in the trap. The ordinary differential equations were solved along the cell trajectory for the three components of the velocity and location vector by using the Rosenbrock method based on an adaptive time-stepping technique. Validation of the predictive value of modeling, using 3T3 cells flowed through microfluidic devices containing "U-type sieves" under the simulation flow parameters, showed excellent agreement between experiment and simulation with respect to cell number per trap and the uniformity of cell distribution within individual microchambers. For applications such as on-chip cell culture or high-throughput screening of cell populations within a lab-on-a-chip environment, Lagrangian simulations have the potential to greatly simplify the design process.

  17. Integrating cell biology, image analysis, and computational mechanical modeling to analyze the contributions of cellulose and xyloglucan to stomatal function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rui, Yue; Yi, Hojae; Kandemir, Baris; Wang, James Z; Puri, Virendra M; Anderson, Charles T

    2016-06-01

    Cell walls are likely to be essential determinants of the amazing strength and flexibility of the guard cells that surround each stomatal pore in plants, but surprisingly little is known about cell wall composition, organization, and dynamics in guard cells. Recent analyses of cell wall organization and stomatal function in the guard cells of Arabidopsis thaliana mutants with defects in cellulose and xyloglucan have allowed for the development of new hypotheses about the relative contributions of these components to guard cell function. Advanced image analysis methods can allow for the automated detection of key structures, such as microtubules (MTs) and Cellulose Synthesis Complexes (CSCs), in guard cells, to help determine their contributions to stomatal function. A major challenge in the mechanical modeling of dynamic biological structures, such as guard cell walls, is to connect nanoscale features (e.g., wall polymers and their molecular interactions) with cell-scale mechanics; this challenge can be addressed by applying multiscale computational modeling that spans multiple spatial scales and physical attributes for cell walls.

  18. Unicellular eukaryotes as models in cell and molecular biology: critical appraisal of their past and future value.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simon, Martin; Plattner, Helmut

    2014-01-01

    Unicellular eukaryotes have been appreciated as model systems for the analysis of crucial questions in cell and molecular biology. This includes Dictyostelium (chemotaxis, amoeboid movement, phagocytosis), Tetrahymena (telomere structure, telomerase function), Paramecium (variant surface antigens, exocytosis, phagocytosis cycle) or both ciliates (ciliary beat regulation, surface pattern formation), Chlamydomonas (flagellar biogenesis and beat), and yeast (S. cerevisiae) for innumerable aspects. Nowadays many problems may be tackled with "higher" eukaryotic/metazoan cells for which full genomic information as well as domain databases, etc., were available long before protozoa. Established molecular tools, commercial antibodies, and established pharmacology are additional advantages available for higher eukaryotic cells. Moreover, an increasing number of inherited genetic disturbances in humans have become elucidated and can serve as new models. Among lower eukaryotes, yeast will remain a standard model because of its peculiarities, including its reduced genome and availability in the haploid form. But do protists still have a future as models? This touches not only the basic understanding of biology but also practical aspects of research, such as fund raising. As we try to scrutinize, due to specific advantages some protozoa should and will remain favorable models for analyzing novel genes or specific aspects of cell structure and function. Outstanding examples are epigenetic phenomena-a field of rising interest.

  19. Computational Tools for Stem Cell Biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bian, Qin; Cahan, Patrick

    2016-12-01

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

  20. Multiscale dynamics of biological cells with chemotactic interactions: from a discrete stochastic model to a continuous description

    CERN Document Server

    Alber, M; Glimm, T; Lushnikov, P M; Alber, Mark; Chen, Nan; Glimm, Tilmann; Lushnikov, Pavel M.

    2006-01-01

    The Cellular Potts Model (CPM) has been used for simulating various biological phenomena such as differential adhesion, fruiting body formation of the slime mold Dictyostelium discoideum, angiogenesis, cancer invasion, chondrogenesis in embryonic vertebrate limbs, and many others. In this paper, we derive continuous limit of discrete one dimensional CPM with the chemotactic interactions between cells in the form of a Fokker-Planck equation for the evolution of the cell probability density function. This equation is then reduced to the classical macroscopic Keller-Segel model. In particular, all coefficients of the Keller-Segel model are obtained from parameters of the CPM. Theoretical results are verified numerically by comparing Monte Carlo simulations for the CPM with numerics for the Keller-Segel model.

  1. Connecting alveolate cell biology with trophic ecology in the marine plankton using the ciliate Favella as a model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Echevarria, Michael L; Wolfe, Gordon V; Strom, Suzanne L; Taylor, Alison R

    2014-10-01

    Planktonic alveolates (ciliates and dinoflagellates), key trophic links in marine planktonic communities, exhibit complex behaviors that are underappreciated by microbiologists and ecologists. Furthermore, the physiological mechanisms underlying these behaviors are still poorly understood except in a few freshwater model ciliates, which are significantly different in cell structure and behavior than marine planktonic species. Here, we argue for an interdisciplinary research approach to connect physiological mechanisms with population-level outcomes of behaviors. Presenting the tintinnid ciliate Favella as a model alveolate, we review its population ecology, behavior, and cellular/molecular biology in the context of sensory biology and synthesize past research and current findings to construct a conceptual model describing the sensory biology of Favella. We discuss how emerging genomic information and new technical methods for integrating research across different levels of biological organization are paving the way for rapid advance. These research approaches will yield a deeper understanding of the role that planktonic alveolates may play in biogeochemical cycles, and how they may respond to future ocean conditions.

  2. Numerical Approach to Spatial Deterministic-Stochastic Models Arising in Cell Biology.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James C Schaff

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Hybrid deterministic-stochastic methods provide an efficient alternative to a fully stochastic treatment of models which include components with disparate levels of stochasticity. However, general-purpose hybrid solvers for spatially resolved simulations of reaction-diffusion systems are not widely available. Here we describe fundamentals of a general-purpose spatial hybrid method. The method generates realizations of a spatially inhomogeneous hybrid system by appropriately integrating capabilities of a deterministic partial differential equation solver with a popular particle-based stochastic simulator, Smoldyn. Rigorous validation of the algorithm is detailed, using a simple model of calcium 'sparks' as a testbed. The solver is then applied to a deterministic-stochastic model of spontaneous emergence of cell polarity. The approach is general enough to be implemented within biologist-friendly software frameworks such as Virtual Cell.

  3. Evaluation of the oscillatory interference model of grid cell firing through analysis and measured period variance of some biological oscillators.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zilli, Eric A; Yoshida, Motoharu; Tahvildari, Babak; Giocomo, Lisa M; Hasselmo, Michael E

    2009-11-01

    Models of the hexagonally arrayed spatial activity pattern of grid cell firing in the literature generally fall into two main categories: continuous attractor models or oscillatory interference models. Burak and Fiete (2009, PLoS Comput Biol) recently examined noise in two continuous attractor models, but did not consider oscillatory interference models in detail. Here we analyze an oscillatory interference model to examine the effects of noise on its stability and spatial firing properties. We show analytically that the square of the drift in encoded position due to noise is proportional to time and inversely proportional to the number of oscillators. We also show there is a relatively fixed breakdown point, independent of many parameters of the model, past which noise overwhelms the spatial signal. Based on this result, we show that a pair of oscillators are expected to maintain a stable grid for approximately t = 5mu(3)/(4pisigma)(2) seconds where mu is the mean period of an oscillator in seconds and sigma(2) its variance in seconds(2). We apply this criterion to recordings of individual persistent spiking neurons in postsubiculum (dorsal presubiculum) and layers III and V of entorhinal cortex, to subthreshold membrane potential oscillation recordings in layer II stellate cells of medial entorhinal cortex and to values from the literature regarding medial septum theta bursting cells. All oscillators examined have expected stability times far below those seen in experimental recordings of grid cells, suggesting the examined biological oscillators are unfit as a substrate for current implementations of oscillatory interference models. However, oscillatory interference models can tolerate small amounts of noise, suggesting the utility of circuit level effects which might reduce oscillator variability. Further implications for grid cell models are discussed.

  4. Evaluation of the oscillatory interference model of grid cell firing through analysis and measured period variance of some biological oscillators.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eric A Zilli

    2009-11-01

    Full Text Available Models of the hexagonally arrayed spatial activity pattern of grid cell firing in the literature generally fall into two main categories: continuous attractor models or oscillatory interference models. Burak and Fiete (2009, PLoS Comput Biol recently examined noise in two continuous attractor models, but did not consider oscillatory interference models in detail. Here we analyze an oscillatory interference model to examine the effects of noise on its stability and spatial firing properties. We show analytically that the square of the drift in encoded position due to noise is proportional to time and inversely proportional to the number of oscillators. We also show there is a relatively fixed breakdown point, independent of many parameters of the model, past which noise overwhelms the spatial signal. Based on this result, we show that a pair of oscillators are expected to maintain a stable grid for approximately t = 5mu(3/(4pisigma(2 seconds where mu is the mean period of an oscillator in seconds and sigma(2 its variance in seconds(2. We apply this criterion to recordings of individual persistent spiking neurons in postsubiculum (dorsal presubiculum and layers III and V of entorhinal cortex, to subthreshold membrane potential oscillation recordings in layer II stellate cells of medial entorhinal cortex and to values from the literature regarding medial septum theta bursting cells. All oscillators examined have expected stability times far below those seen in experimental recordings of grid cells, suggesting the examined biological oscillators are unfit as a substrate for current implementations of oscillatory interference models. However, oscillatory interference models can tolerate small amounts of noise, suggesting the utility of circuit level effects which might reduce oscillator variability. Further implications for grid cell models are discussed.

  5. Mammalian synthetic biology for studying the cell.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-02

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

  6. Studying cell biology in the skin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morrow, Angel; Lechler, Terry

    2015-11-15

    Advances in cell biology have often been driven by studies in diverse organisms and cell types. Although there are technical reasons for why different cell types are used, there are also important physiological reasons. For example, ultrastructural studies of vesicle transport were aided by the use of professional secretory cell types. The use of tissues/primary cells has the advantage not only of using cells that are adapted to the use of certain cell biological machinery, but also of highlighting the physiological roles of this machinery. Here we discuss advantages of the skin as a model system. We discuss both advances in cell biology that used the skin as a driving force and future prospects for use of the skin to understand basic cell biology. A unique combination of characteristics and tools makes the skin a useful in vivo model system for many cell biologists. © 2015 Morrow and Lechler. This article is distributed by The American Society for Cell Biology under license from the author(s). Two months after publication it is available to the public under an Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike 3.0 Unported Creative Commons License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0).

  7. Interaction of Clostridium perfringens epsilon-toxin with biological and model membranes: A putative protein receptor in cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manni, Marco M; Sot, Jesús; Goñi, Félix M

    2015-03-01

    Epsilon-toxin (ETX) is a powerful toxin produced by some strains of Clostridium perfringens (classified as types B and D) that is responsible for enterotoxemia in animals. ETX forms pores through the plasma membrane of eukaryotic cells, consisting of a β-barrel of 14 amphipathic β-strands. ETX shows a high specificity for certain cell lines, of which Madin-Darby canine kidney (MDCK) is the first sensitive cell line identified and the most studied one. The aim of this study was to establish the role of lipids in the toxicity caused by ETX and the correlation of its activity in model and biological membranes. In MDCK cells, using cell counting and confocal microscopy, we have observed that the toxin causes cell death mediated by toxin binding to plasma membrane. Moreover, ETX binds and permeabilizes the membranes of giant plasma membrane vesicles (GPMV). However, little effect is observed on protein-free vesicles. The data suggest the essential role of a protein receptor for the toxin in cell membranes.

  8. ECO-BIOLOGICAL SYSTEM MODELING

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. I. Burak

    2015-01-01

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

  9. Cytoskeletal Strains in Modeled Optohydrodynamically Stressed Healthy and Diseased Biological Cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sean S. Kohles

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Controlled external chemomechanical stimuli have been shown to influence cellular and tissue regeneration/degeneration, especially with regards to distinct disease sequelae or health maintenance. Recently, a unique three-dimensional stress state was mathematically derived to describe the experimental stresses applied to isolated living cells suspended in an optohydrodynamic trap (optical tweezers combined with microfluidics. These formulae were previously developed in two and three dimensions from the fundamental equations describing creeping flows past a suspended sphere. The objective of the current study is to determine the full-field cellular strain response due to the applied three-dimensional stress environment through a multiphysics computational simulation. In this investigation, the multiscale cytoskeletal structures are modeled as homogeneous, isotropic, and linearly elastic. The resulting computational biophysics can be directly compared with experimental strain measurements, other modeling interpretations of cellular mechanics including the liquid drop theory, and biokinetic models of biomolecule dynamics. The described multiphysics computational framework will facilitate more realistic cytoskeletal model interpretations, whose intracellular structures can be distinctly defined, including the cellular membrane substructures, nucleus, and organelles.

  10. Mechanics rules cell biology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wang James HC

    2010-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Cells in the musculoskeletal system are subjected to various mechanical forces in vivo. Years of research have shown that these mechanical forces, including tension and compression, greatly influence various cellular functions such as gene expression, cell proliferation and differentiation, and secretion of matrix proteins. Cells also use mechanotransduction mechanisms to convert mechanical signals into a cascade of cellular and molecular events. This mini-review provides an overview of cell mechanobiology to highlight the notion that mechanics, mainly in the form of mechanical forces, dictates cell behaviors in terms of both cellular mechanobiological responses and mechanotransduction.

  11. Teaching Real Data Interpretation with Models (TRIM): Analysis of Student Dialogue in a Large-Enrollment Cell and Developmental Biology Course

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zagallo, Patricia; Meddleton, Shanice; Bolger, Molly S.

    2016-01-01

    We present our design for a cell biology course to integrate content with scientific practices, specifically data interpretation and model-based reasoning. A 2-year research project within this course allowed us to understand how students interpret authentic biological data in this setting. Through analysis of written work, we measured the extent…

  12. Teaching Real Data Interpretation with Models (TRIM): Analysis of Student Dialogue in a Large-Enrollment Cell and Developmental Biology Course

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zagallo, Patricia; Meddleton, Shanice; Bolger, Molly S.

    2016-01-01

    We present our design for a cell biology course to integrate content with scientific practices, specifically data interpretation and model-based reasoning. A 2-year research project within this course allowed us to understand how students interpret authentic biological data in this setting. Through analysis of written work, we measured the extent…

  13. Molecular biology of the cell

    CERN Document Server

    Alberts, Bruce; Lewis, Julian

    2000-01-01

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

  14. Biological atomism and cell theory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nicholson, Daniel J

    2010-09-01

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

  15. Immunotherapy for Alzheimer's disease: harnessing our knowledge of T cell biology using a cholesterol-fed rabbit model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coico, Richard; Woodruff-Pak, Diana S

    2008-12-01

    This timely special issue of the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease provides the opportunity to examine interfaces between basic science and clinical medicine using animal models to develop more effective therapies for the treatment and, ideally, prevention of Alzheimer's disease (AD). That some patients with AD enrolled in a clinical trial to inoculate against amyloid-beta (Abeta) experienced a misdirected polarization of Th cells reminds us that our knowledge of T cell biology, immune regulation, and the precise functional properties of adjuvants is incomplete. We review this knowledge and consider the advantages of the rabbit for immunological studies. The langomorph species is proximate to primates on the phylogenetic scale, its amino acid sequence of Abeta is 97% identical to the human Abeta sequence, and the rabbit model system is extensively characterized on a form of associative learning with parallels in normal aging in rabbits and humans that is severely impaired in human AD. Cholesterol-fed rabbits treated with Abeta immunotherapy generate high titer anti-Abeta responses. The cholesterol-fed rabbit model of AD with its close parallels to human genetics and physiology, along with its validity from molecular to cognitive levels as a model of human AD, provides a promising vehicle for development of immunotherapies.

  16. When cell biology meets theory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gonzalez-Gaitan, Marcos

    2015-01-01

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

  17. When cell biology meets theory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gonzalez-Gaitan, Marcos; Roux, Aurélien

    2015-09-28

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

  18. Validation of systems biology models

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hasdemir, D.

    2015-01-01

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

  19. Theories and models of the biology of the cell in space--an introduction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cogoli, A.; Cogoli-Greuter, M.

    1994-01-01

    The World Space Congress 1992 took place after two Spacelab flights with important biological payloads on board, the SLS-1 (June 1991) and IML-1 (January 1992) missions respectively. Interesting experiments were carried out in 1991 also on the Shuttle middeck and on the sounding rocket MASER 4. The highlights of the investigations on these missions together with the results of relevant ground-based research were presented at the symposium.

  20. Issues in Biological Shape Modelling

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hilger, Klaus Baggesen

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

  1. Integrating interactive computational modeling in biology curricula.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Helikar, Tomáš; Cutucache, Christine E; Dahlquist, Lauren M; Herek, Tyler A; Larson, Joshua J; Rogers, Jim A

    2015-03-01

    While the use of computer tools to simulate complex processes such as computer circuits is normal practice in fields like engineering, the majority of life sciences/biological sciences courses continue to rely on the traditional textbook and memorization approach. To address this issue, we explored the use of the Cell Collective platform as a novel, interactive, and evolving pedagogical tool to foster student engagement, creativity, and higher-level thinking. Cell Collective is a Web-based platform used to create and simulate dynamical models of various biological processes. Students can create models of cells, diseases, or pathways themselves or explore existing models. This technology was implemented in both undergraduate and graduate courses as a pilot study to determine the feasibility of such software at the university level. First, a new (In Silico Biology) class was developed to enable students to learn biology by "building and breaking it" via computer models and their simulations. This class and technology also provide a non-intimidating way to incorporate mathematical and computational concepts into a class with students who have a limited mathematical background. Second, we used the technology to mediate the use of simulations and modeling modules as a learning tool for traditional biological concepts, such as T cell differentiation or cell cycle regulation, in existing biology courses. Results of this pilot application suggest that there is promise in the use of computational modeling and software tools such as Cell Collective to provide new teaching methods in biology and contribute to the implementation of the "Vision and Change" call to action in undergraduate biology education by providing a hands-on approach to biology.

  2. Integrating interactive computational modeling in biology curricula.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tomáš Helikar

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available While the use of computer tools to simulate complex processes such as computer circuits is normal practice in fields like engineering, the majority of life sciences/biological sciences courses continue to rely on the traditional textbook and memorization approach. To address this issue, we explored the use of the Cell Collective platform as a novel, interactive, and evolving pedagogical tool to foster student engagement, creativity, and higher-level thinking. Cell Collective is a Web-based platform used to create and simulate dynamical models of various biological processes. Students can create models of cells, diseases, or pathways themselves or explore existing models. This technology was implemented in both undergraduate and graduate courses as a pilot study to determine the feasibility of such software at the university level. First, a new (In Silico Biology class was developed to enable students to learn biology by "building and breaking it" via computer models and their simulations. This class and technology also provide a non-intimidating way to incorporate mathematical and computational concepts into a class with students who have a limited mathematical background. Second, we used the technology to mediate the use of simulations and modeling modules as a learning tool for traditional biological concepts, such as T cell differentiation or cell cycle regulation, in existing biology courses. Results of this pilot application suggest that there is promise in the use of computational modeling and software tools such as Cell Collective to provide new teaching methods in biology and contribute to the implementation of the "Vision and Change" call to action in undergraduate biology education by providing a hands-on approach to biology.

  3. Teaching Cell Biology in Primary Schools

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francele de Abreu Carlan

    2014-01-01

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

  4. Issues in Biological Shape Modelling

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hilger, Klaus Baggesen

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

  5. Rhomboids, signalling and cell biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Freeman, Matthew

    2016-06-15

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

  6. Cell biology of neuronal endocytosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parton, R G; Dotti, C G

    1993-09-01

    Endocytosis is the process by which cells take in fluid and components of the plasma membrane. In this way cells obtain nutrients and trophic factors, retrieve membrane proteins for degradation, and sample their environment. In neuronal cells endocytosis is essential for the recycling of membrane after neurotransmitter release and plays a critical role during early developmental stages. Moreover, alterations of the endocytic pathway have been attributed a crucial role in the pathophysiology of certain neurological diseases. Although well characterized at the ultrastructural level, little is known of the dynamics and molecular organization of the neuronal endocytic pathways. In this respect most of our knowledge comes from studies of non-neuronal cells. In this review we will examine the endocytic pathways in neurons from a cell biological viewpoint by making comparisons with non-neuronal cells and in particular with another polarized cell, the epithelial cell.

  7. Instance-Based Generative Biological Shape Modeling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peng, Tao; Wang, Wei; Rohde, Gustavo K; Murphy, Robert F

    2009-01-01

    Biological shape modeling is an essential task that is required for systems biology efforts to simulate complex cell behaviors. Statistical learning methods have been used to build generative shape models based on reconstructive shape parameters extracted from microscope image collections. However, such parametric modeling approaches are usually limited to simple shapes and easily-modeled parameter distributions. Moreover, to maximize the reconstruction accuracy, significant effort is required to design models for specific datasets or patterns. We have therefore developed an instance-based approach to model biological shapes within a shape space built upon diffeomorphic measurement. We also designed a recursive interpolation algorithm to probabilistically synthesize new shape instances using the shape space model and the original instances. The method is quite generalizable and therefore can be applied to most nuclear, cell and protein object shapes, in both 2D and 3D.

  8. Cell biology experiments conducted in space

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taylor, G. R.

    1977-01-01

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

  9. Cell biology experiments conducted in space

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taylor, G. R.

    1977-01-01

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

  10. Physics in Cell Biology: Actin as a Model System for Polymer Physics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frey, Erwin

    Living cells are soft bodies of a characteristic form, but endowed with a capacity for a steady turnover of their structures. Both of these material properties, i.e. recovery of the shape after an external stress has been imposed and dynamic structural reorganization, are essential for many cellular phenomena. The structural element responsible for the extraordinary mechanical and dynamical properties of eukaryotic cells is a three-dimensional assembly of protein fibers, the cytoskeleton. These fibers are semiflexible polymers with a stiffness intermediate between rigid rods and freely jointed chains. We discuss the statistical mechanics of individual semiflexible polymers and analyze the viscoelastic properties of solutions and cross linked networks of these biopolymers.

  11. Cell biology of fat storage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cohen, Paul; Spiegelman, Bruce M

    2016-08-15

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

  12. Fluorescence nanoscopy in cell biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sahl, Steffen J; Hell, Stefan W; Jakobs, Stefan

    2017-09-06

    Fluorescence nanoscopy uniquely combines minimally invasive optical access to the internal nanoscale structure and dynamics of cells and tissues with molecular detection specificity. While the basic physical principles of 'super-resolution' imaging were discovered in the 1990s, with initial experimental demonstrations following in 2000, the broad application of super-resolution imaging to address cell-biological questions has only more recently emerged. Nanoscopy approaches have begun to facilitate discoveries in cell biology and to add new knowledge. One current direction for method improvement is the ambition to quantitatively account for each molecule under investigation and assess true molecular colocalization patterns via multi-colour analyses. In pursuing this goal, the labelling of individual molecules to enable their visualization has emerged as a central challenge. Extending nanoscale imaging into (sliced) tissue and whole-animal contexts is a further goal. In this Review we describe the successes to date and discuss current obstacles and possibilities for further development.

  13. Textbook Errors & Misconceptions in Biology: Cell Metabolism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Storey, Richard D.

    1991-01-01

    The idea that errors and misconceptions in biology textbooks are often slow to be discovered and corrected is discussed. Selected errors, misconceptions, and topics of confusion about cell metabolism are described. Fermentation, respiration, Krebs cycle, pentose phosphate pathway, uniformity of catabolism, and metabolic pathways as models are…

  14. Textbook Errors & Misconceptions in Biology: Cell Metabolism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Storey, Richard D.

    1991-01-01

    The idea that errors and misconceptions in biology textbooks are often slow to be discovered and corrected is discussed. Selected errors, misconceptions, and topics of confusion about cell metabolism are described. Fermentation, respiration, Krebs cycle, pentose phosphate pathway, uniformity of catabolism, and metabolic pathways as models are…

  15. Mathematical modeling of biological processes

    CERN Document Server

    Friedman, Avner

    2014-01-01

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

  16. Systems biology modeling reveals a possible mechanism of the tumor cell death upon oncogene inactivation in EGFR addicted cancers.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jian-Ping Zhou

    Full Text Available Despite many evidences supporting the concept of "oncogene addiction" and many hypotheses rationalizing it, there is still a lack of detailed understanding to the precise molecular mechanism underlying oncogene addiction. In this account, we developed a mathematic model of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR associated signaling network, which involves EGFR-driving proliferation/pro-survival signaling pathways Ras/extracellular-signal-regulated kinase (ERK and phosphoinositol-3 kinase (PI3K/AKT, and pro-apoptotic signaling pathway apoptosis signal-regulating kinase 1 (ASK1/p38. In the setting of sustained EGFR activation, the simulation results show a persistent high level of proliferation/pro-survival effectors phospho-ERK and phospho-AKT, and a basal level of pro-apoptotic effector phospho-p38. The potential of p38 activation (apoptotic potential due to the elevated level of reactive oxygen species (ROS is largely suppressed by the negative crosstalk between PI3K/AKT and ASK1/p38 pathways. Upon acute EGFR inactivation, the survival signals decay rapidly, followed by a fast increase of the apoptotic signal due to the release of apoptotic potential. Overall, our systems biology modeling together with experimental validations reveals that inhibition of survival signals and concomitant release of apoptotic potential jointly contribute to the tumor cell death following the inhibition of addicted oncogene in EGFR addicted cancers.

  17. Stochastic processes in cell biology

    CERN Document Server

    Bressloff, Paul C

    2014-01-01

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

  18. Track structure in biological models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Curtis, S B

    1986-01-01

    High-energy heavy ions in the galactic cosmic radiation (HZE particles) may pose a special risk during long term manned space flights outside the sheltering confines of the earth's geomagnetic field. These particles are highly ionizing, and they and their nuclear secondaries can penetrate many centimeters of body tissue. The three dimensional patterns of ionizations they create as they lose energy are referred to as their track structure. Several models of biological action on mammalian cells attempt to treat track structure or related quantities in their formulation. The methods by which they do this are reviewed. The proximity function is introduced in connection with the theory of Dual Radiation Action (DRA). The ion-gamma kill (IGK) model introduces the radial energy-density distribution, which is a smooth function characterizing both the magnitude and extension of a charged particle track. The lethal, potentially lethal (LPL) model introduces lambda, the mean distance between relevant ion clusters or biochemical species along the track. Since very localized energy depositions (within approximately 10 nm) are emphasized, the proximity function as defined in the DRA model is not of utility in characterizing track structure in the LPL formulation.

  19. Laser interaction with biological material mathematical modeling

    CERN Document Server

    Kulikov, Kirill

    2014-01-01

    This book covers the principles of laser interaction with biological cells and tissues of varying degrees of organization. The problems of biomedical diagnostics are considered. Scattering of laser irradiation of blood cells is modeled for biological structures (dermis, epidermis, vascular plexus). An analytic theory is provided which is based on solving the wave equation for the electromagnetic field. It allows the accurate analysis of interference effects arising from the partial superposition of scattered waves. Treated topics of mathematical modeling are: optical characterization of biological tissue with large-scale and small-scale inhomogeneities in the layers, heating blood vessel under laser irradiation incident on the outer surface of the skin and thermo-chemical denaturation of biological structures at the example of human skin.

  20. Establishment and Characterization of a Human Small Cell Osteosarcoma Cancer Stem Cell Line: A New Possible In Vitro Model for Discovering Small Cell Osteosarcoma Biology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gaia Palmini

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Osteosarcoma (OSA is the most common primary malignant bone tumor, usually arising in the long bones of children and young adults. There are different subtypes of OSA, among which we find the conventional OS (also called medullary or central osteosarcoma which has a high grade of malignancy and an incidence of 80%. There are different subtypes of high grade OS like chondroblastic, fibroblastic, osteoblastic, telangiectatic, and the small cell osteosarcoma (SCO. In this study, for the first time, we have isolated, established, and characterized a cell line of cancer stem cells (CSCs from a human SCO. First of all, we have established a primary finite cell line of SCO, from which we have isolated the CSCs by the sphere formation assay. We have proved their in vitro mesenchymal and embryonic stem phenotype. Additionally, we have showed their neoplastic phenotype, since the original tumor bulk is a high grade osteosarcoma. This research demonstrates the existence of CSCs also in human primary SCO and highlights the establishment of this particular stabilized cancer stem cell line. This will represent a first step into the study of the biology of these cells to discover new molecular targets molecules for new incisive therapeutic strategies against this highly aggressive OSA.

  1. Celebrating Plant Cells: A Special Issue on Plant Cell Biology

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2007-01-01

    @@ A special issue on plant cell biology is long overdue for JIPB! In the last two decades or so, the plant biology community has been thrilled by explosive discoveries regarding the molecular and genetic basis of plant growth, development, and responses to the environment, largely owing to recent maturation of model systems like Arabidopsis thaliana and the rice Oryza sativa, as well as the rapid development of high throughput technologies associated with genomics and proteomics.

  2. Cell biology of mitotic recombination

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lisby, Michael; Rothstein, Rodney

    2015-01-01

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

  3. Basic statistics in cell biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vaux, David L

    2014-01-01

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

  4. Biological impact of human embryonic stem cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martín, Miguel; Menéndez, Pablo

    2012-01-01

    Research on human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) and induced pluripotent (iPS) stem cells is currently a field of great potential in biomedicine. These cells represent a highly valuable tool for developmental biology studies, disease models, and drug screening and toxicity. The ultimate goal of hESCs and iPS cell research is the treatment of diseases or disorders for which there is currently no treatment or existing therapies are only partially effective. Despite the disproportionate short-term hopes generated, which are putting too much pressure on scientists, the international scientific community is making rapid progress in understanding hESCs and iPS cells. Nonetheless, great efforts have to be made to provide an answer to still quite basic questions concerning their biology. Moreover, translation to clinical applications in cell replacement therapy requires prior solution to ethical barriers. The recent development of iPS cells has provided a strong alternative to overcome ethical issues concerning hESCs. However, an in-depth characterization of their genetic and epigenetic features, as well as their differentiation potential still remains to be undertaken. This chapter will describe, precisely, what the critical issues are, where scientific and ethical barriers stand, and how we are to overcome them. Only then, we shall finally discover whether hESCs and iPS cells will allow building reproducible disease models, and whether they really are a safe tool, with great potential for regenerative medicine.

  5. Laboratory of Cell and Molecular Biology

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  6. Atomic force microscopy in cell biology

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    LU Zhexue; ZHANG Zhiling; PANG Daiwen

    2005-01-01

    The history, characteristic, operation modes and coupling techniques of atomic force microscopy (AFM) are introduced. Then the application in cell biology is reviewed in four aspects: cell immobilization methods, cell imaging, force spectrum study and cell manipulation. And the prospect of AFM application in cell biology is discussed.

  7. Recent progress in histochemistry and cell biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hübner, Stefan; Efthymiadis, Athina

    2012-04-01

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

  8. Modelling biological pathway dynamics with Timed Automata

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schivo, Stefano; Scholma, Jetse; Wanders, B.; Urquidi Camacho, R.A.; van der Vet, P.E.; Karperien, Hermanus Bernardus Johannes; Langerak, Romanus; van de Pol, Jan Cornelis; Post, Janine Nicole

    2012-01-01

    When analysing complex interaction networks occurring in biological cells, a biologist needs computational support in order to understand the effects of signalling molecules (e.g. growth factors, drugs). ANIMO (Analysis of Networks with Interactive MOdelling) is a tool that allows the user to create

  9. [Biological mutualism, concepts and models].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perru, Olivier

    2011-01-01

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

  10. Emerging molecular approaches in stem cell biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jaishankar, Amritha; Vrana, Kent

    2009-04-01

    Stem cells are characterized by their ability to self-renew and differentiate into multiple adult cell types. Although substantial progress has been made over the last decade in understanding stem cell biology, recent technological advances in molecular and systems biology may hold the key to unraveling the mystery behind stem cell self-renewal and plasticity. The most notable of these advances is the ability to generate induced pluripotent cells from somatic cells. In this review, we discuss our current understanding of molecular similarities and differences among various stem cell types. Moreover, we survey the current state of systems biology and forecast future needs and direction in the stem cell field.

  11. Kinetic Modeling of Biological Systems

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2009-04-21

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

  12. From biological membranes to biomimetic model membranes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eeman, M.

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Biological membranes play an essential role in the cellular protection as well as in the control and the transport of nutrients. Many mechanisms such as molecular recognition, enzymatic catalysis, cellular adhesion and membrane fusion take place into the biological membranes. In 1972, Singer et al. provided a membrane model, called fluid mosaic model, in which each leaflet of the bilayer is formed by a homogeneous environment of lipids in a fluid state including globular assembling of proteins and glycoproteins. Since its conception in 1972, many developments were brought to this model in terms of composition and molecular organization. The main development of the fluid mosaic model was made by Simons et al. (1997 and Brown et al. (1997 who suggested that membrane lipids are organized into lateral microdomains (or lipid rafts with a specific composition and a molecular dynamic that are different to the composition and the dynamic of the surrounding liquid crystalline phase. The discovery of a phase separation in the plane of the membrane has induced an explosion in the research efforts related to the biology of cell membranes but also in the development of new technologies for the study of these biological systems. Due to the high complexity of biological membranes and in order to investigate the biological processes that occur on the membrane surface or within the membrane lipid bilayer, a large number of studies are performed using biomimicking model membranes. This paper aims at revisiting the fundamental properties of biological membranes in terms of membrane composition, membrane dynamic and molecular organization, as well as at describing the most common biomimicking models that are frequently used for investigating biological processes such as membrane fusion, membrane trafficking, pore formation as well as membrane interactions at a molecular level.

  13. Mathematical models in biological discovery

    CERN Document Server

    Walter, Charles

    1977-01-01

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

  14. Teaching biology with model organisms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keeley, Dolores A.

    The purpose of this study is to identify and use model organisms that represent each of the kingdoms biologists use to classify organisms, while experiencing the process of science through guided inquiry. The model organisms will be the basis for studying the four high school life science core ideas as identified by the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS): LS1-From molecules to organisms, LS2-Ecosystems, LS3- Heredity, and LS4- Biological Evolution. NGSS also have identified four categories of science and engineering practices which include developing and using models and planning and carrying out investigations. The living organisms will be utilized to increase student interest and knowledge within the discipline of Biology. Pre-test and posttest analysis utilizing student t-test analysis supported the hypothesis. This study shows increased student learning as a result of using living organisms as models for classification and working in an inquiry-based learning environment.

  15. Cardiac fibroblast-derived extracellular matrix (biomatrix) as a model for the studies of cardiac primitive cell biological properties in normal and pathological adult human heart.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castaldo, Clotilde; Di Meglio, Franca; Miraglia, Rita; Sacco, Anna Maria; Romano, Veronica; Bancone, Ciro; Della Corte, Alessandro; Montagnani, Stefania; Nurzynska, Daria

    2013-01-01

    Cardiac tissue regeneration is guided by stem cells and their microenvironment. It has been recently described that both cardiac stem/primitive cells and extracellular matrix (ECM) change in pathological conditions. This study describes the method for the production of ECM typical of adult human heart in the normal and pathological conditions (ischemic heart disease) and highlights the potential use of cardiac fibroblast-derived ECM for in vitro studies of the interactions between ECM components and cardiac primitive cells responsible for tissue regeneration. Fibroblasts isolated from adult human normal and pathological heart with ischemic cardiomyopathy were cultured to obtain extracellular matrix (biomatrix), composed of typical extracellular matrix proteins, such as collagen and fibronectin, and matricellular proteins, laminin, and tenascin. After decellularization, this substrate was used to assess biological properties of cardiac primitive cells: proliferation and migration were stimulated by biomatrix from normal heart, while both types of biomatrix protected cardiac primitive cells from apoptosis. Our model can be used for studies of cell-matrix interactions and help to determine the biochemical cues that regulate cardiac primitive cell biological properties and guide cardiac tissue regeneration.

  16. Cardiac Fibroblast-Derived Extracellular Matrix (Biomatrix as a Model for the Studies of Cardiac Primitive Cell Biological Properties in Normal and Pathological Adult Human Heart

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Clotilde Castaldo

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Cardiac tissue regeneration is guided by stem cells and their microenvironment. It has been recently described that both cardiac stem/primitive cells and extracellular matrix (ECM change in pathological conditions. This study describes the method for the production of ECM typical of adult human heart in the normal and pathological conditions (ischemic heart disease and highlights the potential use of cardiac fibroblast-derived ECM for in vitro studies of the interactions between ECM components and cardiac primitive cells responsible for tissue regeneration. Fibroblasts isolated from adult human normal and pathological heart with ischemic cardiomyopathy were cultured to obtain extracellular matrix (biomatrix, composed of typical extracellular matrix proteins, such as collagen and fibronectin, and matricellular proteins, laminin, and tenascin. After decellularization, this substrate was used to assess biological properties of cardiac primitive cells: proliferation and migration were stimulated by biomatrix from normal heart, while both types of biomatrix protected cardiac primitive cells from apoptosis. Our model can be used for studies of cell-matrix interactions and help to determine the biochemical cues that regulate cardiac primitive cell biological properties and guide cardiac tissue regeneration.

  17. Systems Biology for Organotypic Cell Cultures

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2016-08-04

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-12-02

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

  19. Agent-based modelling in synthetic biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gorochowski, Thomas E

    2016-11-30

    Biological systems exhibit complex behaviours that emerge at many different levels of organization. These span the regulation of gene expression within single cells to the use of quorum sensing to co-ordinate the action of entire bacterial colonies. Synthetic biology aims to make the engineering of biology easier, offering an opportunity to control natural systems and develop new synthetic systems with useful prescribed behaviours. However, in many cases, it is not understood how individual cells should be programmed to ensure the emergence of a required collective behaviour. Agent-based modelling aims to tackle this problem, offering a framework in which to simulate such systems and explore cellular design rules. In this article, I review the use of agent-based models in synthetic biology, outline the available computational tools, and provide details on recently engineered biological systems that are amenable to this approach. I further highlight the challenges facing this methodology and some of the potential future directions. © 2016 The Author(s).

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fletcher, Eugene; Krivoruchko, Anastasia; Nielsen, Jens

    2016-06-01

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

  1. Teaching Real Data Interpretation with Models (TRIM): Analysis of Student Dialogue in a Large-Enrollment Cell and Developmental Biology Course.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zagallo, Patricia; Meddleton, Shanice; Bolger, Molly S

    2016-01-01

    We present our design for a cell biology course to integrate content with scientific practices, specifically data interpretation and model-based reasoning. A 2-yr research project within this course allowed us to understand how students interpret authentic biological data in this setting. Through analysis of written work, we measured the extent to which students' data interpretations were valid and/or generative. By analyzing small-group audio recordings during in-class activities, we demonstrated how students used instructor-provided models to build and refine data interpretations. Often, students used models to broaden the scope of data interpretations, tying conclusions to a biological significance. Coding analysis revealed several strategies and challenges that were common among students in this collaborative setting. Spontaneous argumentation was present in 82% of transcripts, suggesting that data interpretation using models may be a way to elicit this important disciplinary practice. Argumentation dialogue included frequent co-construction of claims backed by evidence from data. Other common strategies included collaborative decoding of data representations and noticing data patterns before making interpretive claims. Focusing on irrelevant data patterns was the most common challenge. Our findings provide evidence to support the feasibility of supporting students' data-interpretation skills within a large lecture course.

  2. Enhancement of intracellular concentration and biological activity of PNA after conjugation with a cell-penetrating synthetic model peptide.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oehlke, Johannes; Wallukat, Gerd; Wolf, Yvonne; Ehrlich, Angelika; Wiesner, Burkhard; Berger, Hartmut; Bienert, Michael

    2004-07-01

    In order to evaluate the ability of the cell-penetrating alpha-helical amphipathic model peptide KLALKLALKALKAALKLA-NH(2) (MAP) to deliver peptide nucleic acids (PNAs) into mammalian cells, MAP was covalently linked to the 12-mer PNA 5'-GGAGCAGGAAAG-3' directed against the mRNA of the nociceptin/orphanin FQ receptor. The cellular uptake of both the naked PNA and its MAP-conjugate was studied by means of capillary electrophoresis combined with laser-induced fluorescence detection, confocal laser scanning microscopy and fluorescence-activated cell sorting. Incubation with the fluorescein-labelled PNA-peptide conjugate led to three- and eightfold higher intracellular concentrations in neonatal rat cardiomyocytes and CHO cells, respectively, than found after exposure of the cells to the naked PNA. Correspondingly, pretreatment of spontaneously-beating neonatal rat cardiomyocytes with the PNA-peptide conjugate and the naked PNA slowed down the positive chronotropic effect elicited by the neuropeptide nociceptin by 10- and twofold, respectively. The main reasons for the higher bioavailability of the PNA-peptide conjugate were found to be a more rapid cellular uptake in combination with a lowered re-export and resistance against influences of serum.

  3. The ecology and evolutionary biology of cancer: a review of mathematical models of necrosis and tumor cell diversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagy, John D

    2005-04-01

    Recent evidence elucidating the relationship between parenchyma cells and otherwise "healthy" cells in malignant neoplasms is forcing cancer biologists to expand beyond the genome-centered, "one-renegade-cell" theory of cancer. As it becomes more and more clear that malignant transformation is context dependent, the usefulness of an evolutionary ecology-based theory of malignant neoplasia becomes increasingly clear. This review attempts to synthesize various theoretical structures built by mathematical oncologists into potential explanations of necrosis and cellular diversity, including both total cell diversity within a tumor and cellular pleomorphism within the parenchyma. The role of natural selection in necrosis and pleomorphism is also examined. The major hypotheses suggested as explanations of these phenomena are outlined in the conclusions section of this review. In every case, mathematical oncologists have built potentially valuable models that yield insight into the causes of necrosis, cell diversity, and nearly every other aspect of malignancy; most make predictions ultimately testable in the lab or clinic. Unfortunately, these advances have gone largely unexploited by the empirical community. Possible reasons why are considered.

  4. Time lags in biological models

    CERN Document Server

    MacDonald, Norman

    1978-01-01

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

  5. Systems biology and integrative physiological modelling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hester, Robert L; Iliescu, Radu; Summers, Richard; Coleman, Thomas G

    2011-03-01

    Over the last 10 years, 'Systems Biology' has focused on the integration of biology and medicine with information technology and computation. The current challenge is to use the discoveries of the last 20 years, such as genomics and proteomics, to develop targeted therapeutical strategies. These strategies are the result of understanding the aetiologies of complex diseases. Scientists predict the data will make personalized medicine rapidly available. However, the data need to be considered as a highly complex system comprising multiple inputs and feedback mechanisms. Translational medicine requires the functional and conceptual linkage of genetics to proteins, proteins to cells, cells to organs, organs to systems and systems to the organism. To help understand the complex integration of these systems, a mathematical model of the entire human body, which accurately links the functioning of all organs and systems together, could provide a framework for the development and testing of new hypotheses that will be important in clinical outcomes. There are several efforts to develop a 'Human Physiome', with the strengths and weaknesses of each being presented here. The development of a 'Human Model', with verification, documentation and validation of the underlying and integrative responses, is essential to provide a usable environment. Future development of a 'Human Model' requires integrative physiologists working in collaboration with other scientists, who have expertise in all areas of human biology, to develop the most accurate and usable human model.

  6. Label-Free Biosensors for Cell Biology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ye Fang

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Label-free biosensors for studying cell biology have finally come of age. Recent developments have advanced the biosensors from low throughput and high maintenance research tools to high throughput and low maintenance screening platforms. In parallel, the biosensors have evolved from an analytical tool solely for molecular interaction analysis to powerful platforms for studying cell biology at the whole cell level. This paper presents historical development, detection principles, and applications in cell biology of label-free biosensors. Future perspectives are also discussed.

  7. Open source bioimage informatics for cell biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swedlow, Jason R; Eliceiri, Kevin W

    2009-11-01

    Significant technical advances in imaging, molecular biology and genomics have fueled a revolution in cell biology, in that the molecular and structural processes of the cell are now visualized and measured routinely. Driving much of this recent development has been the advent of computational tools for the acquisition, visualization, analysis and dissemination of these datasets. These tools collectively make up a new subfield of computational biology called bioimage informatics, which is facilitated by open source approaches. We discuss why open source tools for image informatics in cell biology are needed, some of the key general attributes of what make an open source imaging application successful, and point to opportunities for further operability that should greatly accelerate future cell biology discovery.

  8. Lipid Rafts in Mast Cell Biology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adriana Maria Mariano Silveira e Souza

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Mast cells have long been recognized to have a direct and critical role in allergic and inflammatory reactions. In allergic diseases, these cells exert both local and systemic responses, including allergic rhinitis and anaphylaxis. Mast cell mediators are also related to many chronic inflammatory conditions. Besides the roles in pathological conditions, the biological functions of mast cells include roles in innate immunity, involvement in host defense mechanisms against parasites, immunomodulation of the immune system, tissue repair, and angiogenesis. Despite their growing significance in physiological and pathological conditions, much still remains to be learned about mast cell biology. This paper presents evidence that lipid rafts or raft components modulate many of the biological processes in mast cells, such as degranulation and endocytosis, play a role in mast cell development and recruitment, and contribute to the overall preservation of mast cell structure and organization.

  9. C22-bronchial and T7-alveolar epithelial cell lines of the immortomouse are excellent murine cell culture model systems to study pulmonary peroxisome biology and metabolism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karnati, Srikanth; Palaniswamy, Saranya; Alam, Mohammad Rashedul; Oruqaj, Gani; Stamme, Cordula; Baumgart-Vogt, Eveline

    2016-03-01

    In pulmonary research, temperature-sensitive immortalized cell lines derived from the lung of the "immortomouse" (H-2k(b)-tsA58 transgenic mouse), such as C22 club cells and T7 alveolar epithelial cells type II (AECII), are frequently used cell culture models to study CC10 metabolism and surfactant synthesis. Even though peroxisomes are highly abundant in club cells and AECII and might fulfill important metabolic functions therein, these organelles have never been investigated in C22 and T7 cells. Therefore, we have characterized the peroxisomal compartment and its associated gene transcription in these cell lines. Our results show that peroxisomes are highly abundant in C22 and T7 cells, harboring a common set of enzymes, however, exhibiting specific differences in protein composition and gene expression patterns, similar to the ones observed in club cells and AECII in situ in the lung. C22 cells contain a lower number of larger peroxisomes, whereas T7 cells possess more numerous tubular peroxisomes, reflected also by higher levels of PEX11 proteins. Moreover, C22 cells harbor relatively higher amounts of catalase and antioxidative enzymes in distinct subcellular compartments, whereas T7 cells exhibit higher levels of ABCD3 and plasmalogen synthesizing enzymes as well as nuclear receptors of the PPAR family. This study suggest that the C22 and T7 cell lines of the immortomouse lung are useful models to study the regulation and metabolic function of the peroxisomal compartment and its alterations by paracrine factors in club cells and AECII.

  10. Spherical Cancer Models in Tumor Biology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Louis-Bastien Weiswald

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Three-dimensional (3D in vitro models have been used in cancer research as an intermediate model between in vitro cancer cell line cultures and in vivo tumor. Spherical cancer models represent major 3D in vitro models that have been described over the past 4 decades. These models have gained popularity in cancer stem cell research using tumorospheres. Thus, it is crucial to define and clarify the different spherical cancer models thus far described. Here, we focus on in vitro multicellular spheres used in cancer research. All these spherelike structures are characterized by their well-rounded shape, the presence of cancer cells, and their capacity to be maintained as free-floating cultures. We propose a rational classification of the four most commonly used spherical cancer models in cancer research based on culture methods for obtaining them and on subsequent differences in sphere biology: the multicellular tumor spheroid model, first described in the early 70s and obtained by culture of cancer cell lines under nonadherent conditions; tumorospheres, a model of cancer stem cell expansion established in a serum-free medium supplemented with growth factors; tissue-derived tumor spheres and organotypic multicellular spheroids, obtained by tumor tissue mechanical dissociation and cutting. In addition, we describe their applications to and interest in cancer research; in particular, we describe their contribution to chemoresistance, radioresistance, tumorigenicity, and invasion and migration studies. Although these models share a common 3D conformation, each displays its own intrinsic properties. Therefore, the most relevant spherical cancer model must be carefully selected, as a function of the study aim and cancer type.

  11. BIOLOGICALLY INSPIRED HARDWARE CELL ARCHITECTURE

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    2010-01-01

    Disclosed is a system comprising: - a reconfigurable hardware platform; - a plurality of hardware units defined as cells adapted to be programmed to provide self-organization and self-maintenance of the system by means of implementing a program expressed in a programming language defined as DNA...... language, where each cell is adapted to communicate with one or more other cells in the system, and where the system further comprises a converter program adapted to convert keywords from the DNA language to a binary DNA code; where the self-organisation comprises that the DNA code is transmitted to one...... or more of the cells, and each of the one or more cells is adapted to determine its function in the system; where if a fault occurs in a first cell and the first cell ceases to perform its function, self-maintenance is performed by that the system transmits information to the cells that the first cell has...

  12. Chemical approaches to studying stem cell biology

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Wenlin Li; Kai Jiang; Wanguo Wei; Yan Shi; Sheng Ding

    2013-01-01

    Stem cells,including both pluripotent stem cells and multipotent somatic stem cells,hold great potential for interrogating the mechanisms of tissue development,homeostasis and pathology,and for treating numerous devastating diseases.Establishment of in vitro platforms to faithfully maintain and precisely manipulate stem cell fates is essential to understand the basic mechanisms of stem cell biology,and to translate stem cells into regenerative medicine.Chemical approaches have recently provided a number of small molecules that can be used to control cell selfrenewal,lineage differentiation,reprogramming and regeneration.These chemical modulators have been proven to be versatile tools for probing stem cell biology and manipulating cell fates toward desired outcomes.Ultimately,this strategy is promising to be a new frontier for drug development aimed at endogenous stem cell modulation.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  14. Histochemical, Biochemical and Cell Biological aspects of tail regeneration in lizard, an amniote model for studies on tissue regeneration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alibardi, Lorenzo

    2014-01-01

    and inflammatory course, an inspiring model for understanding failure of tissue regeneration in higher vertebrates and humans. The participation of 5-Bromo-deoxyuridine (5BrdU) long retention cells, indicated as putative stem cells, for the following regeneration is analyzed and it shows that different tissue sites of the original tail contain putative stem cells that are likely activated from the wounding signal. In particular, the permanence of stem cells in the central canal of the spinal cord can explain the limited but important neurogenesis present in the caudal but also in the lumbar-thoracic spinal cord. In the latter, the limited number of glial and neurons regenerated is however sufficient to recover some limited hind limb movement after injury or spinal transection. Finally, the presence of stem cells in the spinal cord, in the regenerative blastema and skin allow to use these organs as a source of cells for studies on gene activation during cell differentiation in the new spinal cord, tail and in the epidermis. The above information form the basic knowledge for the future molecular studies on the specific gene activation capable to determine tail regeneration in lizards, and more in general genes involved in the reactivation of regeneration process in amniotes and humans.

  15. Toward Network Biology in E. coli Cell.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mori, Hirotada; Takeuchi, Rikiya; Otsuka, Yuta; Bowden, Steven; Yokoyama, Katsushi; Muto, Ai; Libourel, Igor; Wanner, Barry L

    2015-01-01

    E. coli has been a critically important model research organism for more than 50 years, particularly in molecular biology. In 1997, the E. coli draft genome sequence was published. Post-genomic techniques and resources were then developed that allowed E. coli to become a model organism for systems biology. Progress made since publication of the E. coli genome sequence will be summarized.

  16. ``Physical Concepts in Cell Biology,'' an upper level interdisciplinary course in cell biophysics/mathematical biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vavylonis, Dimitrios

    2009-03-01

    I will describe my experience in developing an interdisciplinary biophysics course addressed to students at the upper undergraduate and graduate level, in collaboration with colleagues in physics and biology. The students had a background in physics, biology and engineering, and for many the course was their first exposure to interdisciplinary topics. The course did not depend on a formal knowledge of equilibrium statistical mechanics. Instead, the approach was based on dynamics. I used diffusion as a universal ``long time'' law to illustrate scaling concepts. The importance of statistics and proper counting of states/paths was introduced by calculating the maximum accuracy with which bacteria can measure the concentration of diffuse chemicals. The use of quantitative concepts and methods was introduced through specific biological examples, focusing on model organisms and extremes at the cell level. Examples included microtubule dynamic instability, the search and capture model, molecular motor cooperativity in muscle cells, mitotic spindle oscillations in C. elegans, polymerization forces and propulsion of pathogenic bacteria, Brownian ratchets, bacterial cell division and MinD oscillations.

  17. Integrating systems biology models and biomedical ontologies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    de Bono Bernard

    2011-08-01

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

  18. Integrating systems biology models and biomedical ontologies

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-01-01

    Background Systems biology is an approach to biology that emphasizes the structure and dynamic behavior of biological systems and the interactions that occur within them. To succeed, systems biology crucially depends on the accessibility and integration of data across domains and levels of granularity. Biomedical ontologies were developed to facilitate such an integration of data and are often used to annotate biosimulation models in systems biology. Results We provide a framework to integrate representations of in silico systems biology with those of in vivo biology as described by biomedical ontologies and demonstrate this framework using the Systems Biology Markup Language. We developed the SBML Harvester software that automatically converts annotated SBML models into OWL and we apply our software to those biosimulation models that are contained in the BioModels Database. We utilize the resulting knowledge base for complex biological queries that can bridge levels of granularity, verify models based on the biological phenomenon they represent and provide a means to establish a basic qualitative layer on which to express the semantics of biosimulation models. Conclusions We establish an information flow between biomedical ontologies and biosimulation models and we demonstrate that the integration of annotated biosimulation models and biomedical ontologies enables the verification of models as well as expressive queries. Establishing a bi-directional information flow between systems biology and biomedical ontologies has the potential to enable large-scale analyses of biological systems that span levels of granularity from molecules to organisms. PMID:21835028

  19. Building a path in cell biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Voeltz, Gia; Cheeseman, Iain

    2012-11-01

    Setting up a new lab is an exciting but challenging prospect. We discuss our experiences in finding a path to tackle some of the key current questions in cell biology and the hurdles that we have encountered along the way.

  20. A chemist building paths to cell biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weibel, Douglas B

    2013-11-01

    Galileo is reported to have stated, "Measure what is measurable and make measurable what is not so." My group's trajectory in cell biology has closely followed this philosophy, although it took some searching to find this path.

  1. Cell Biology of Prokaryotic Organelles

    OpenAIRE

    Murat, Dorothee; Byrne, Meghan; Komeili, Arash

    2010-01-01

    Mounting evidence in recent years has challenged the dogma that prokaryotes are simple and undefined cells devoid of an organized subcellular architecture. In fact, proteins once thought to be the purely eukaryotic inventions, including relatives of actin and tubulin control prokaryotic cell shape, DNA segregation, and cytokinesis. Similarly, compartmentalization, commonly noted as a distinguishing feature of eukaryotic cells, is also prevalent in the prokaryotic world in the form of protein-...

  2. Biological Fuel Cells and Membranes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ghassemi, Zahra; Slaughter, Gymama

    2017-01-17

    Biofuel cells have been widely used to generate bioelectricity. Early biofuel cells employ a semi-permeable membrane to separate the anodic and cathodic compartments. The impact of different membrane materials and compositions has also been explored. Some membrane materials are employed strictly as membrane separators, while some have gained significant attention in the immobilization of enzymes or microorganisms within or behind the membrane at the electrode surface. The membrane material affects the transfer rate of the chemical species (e.g., fuel, oxygen molecules, and products) involved in the chemical reaction, which in turn has an impact on the performance of the biofuel cell. For enzymatic biofuel cells, Nafion, modified Nafion, and chitosan membranes have been used widely and continue to hold great promise in the long-term stability of enzymes and microorganisms encapsulated within them. This article provides a review of the most widely used membrane materials in the development of enzymatic and microbial biofuel cells.

  3. Quantitative cell biology: the essential role of theory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howard, Jonathon

    2014-11-05

    Quantitative biology is a hot area, as evidenced by the recent establishment of institutes, graduate programs, and conferences with that name. But what is quantitative biology? What should it be? And how can it contribute to solving the big questions in biology? The past decade has seen very rapid development of quantitative experimental techniques, especially at the single-molecule and single-cell levels. In this essay, I argue that quantitative biology is much more than just the quantitation of these experimental results. Instead, it should be the application of the scientific method by which measurement is directed toward testing theories. In this view, quantitative biology is the recognition that theory and models play critical roles in biology, as they do in physics and engineering. By tying together experiment and theory, quantitative biology promises a deeper understanding of underlying mechanisms, when the theory works, or to new discoveries, when it does not.

  4. Cell biology of prokaryotic organelles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murat, Dorothee; Byrne, Meghan; Komeili, Arash

    2010-10-01

    Mounting evidence in recent years has challenged the dogma that prokaryotes are simple and undefined cells devoid of an organized subcellular architecture. In fact, proteins once thought to be the purely eukaryotic inventions, including relatives of actin and tubulin control prokaryotic cell shape, DNA segregation, and cytokinesis. Similarly, compartmentalization, commonly noted as a distinguishing feature of eukaryotic cells, is also prevalent in the prokaryotic world in the form of protein-bounded and lipid-bounded organelles. In this article we highlight some of these prokaryotic organelles and discuss the current knowledge on their ultrastructure and the molecular mechanisms of their biogenesis and maintenance.

  5. Peroxisystem: harnessing systems cell biology to study peroxisomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schuldiner, Maya; Zalckvar, Einat

    2015-04-01

    In recent years, high-throughput experimentation with quantitative analysis and modelling of cells, recently dubbed systems cell biology, has been harnessed to study the organisation and dynamics of simple biological systems. Here, we suggest that the peroxisome, a fascinating dynamic organelle, can be used as a good candidate for studying a complete biological system. We discuss several aspects of peroxisomes that can be studied using high-throughput systematic approaches and be integrated into a predictive model. Such approaches can be used in the future to study and understand how a more complex biological system, like a cell and maybe even ultimately a whole organism, works. © 2015 Société Française des Microscopies and Société de Biologie Cellulaire de France. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Camacho, Diogo Mayo

    2007-01-01

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

  7. Interfacing nanostructures to biological cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Xing; Bertozzi, Carolyn R.; Zettl, Alexander K.

    2012-09-04

    Disclosed herein are methods and materials by which nanostructures such as carbon nanotubes, nanorods, etc. are bound to lectins and/or polysaccharides and prepared for administration to cells. Also disclosed are complexes comprising glycosylated nanostructures, which bind selectively to cells expressing glycosylated surface molecules recognized by the lectin. Exemplified is a complex comprising a carbon nanotube functionalized with a lipid-like alkane, linked to a polymer bearing repeated .alpha.-N-acetylgalactosamine sugar groups. This complex is shown to selectively adhere to the surface of living cells, without toxicity. In the exemplified embodiment, adherence is mediated by a multivalent lectin, which binds both to the cells and the .alpha.-N-acetylgalactosamine groups on the nanostructure.

  8. Biologically based multistage modeling of radiation effects

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    William Hazelton; Suresh Moolgavkar; E. Georg Luebeck

    2005-08-30

    This past year we have made substantial progress in modeling the contribution of homeostatic regulation to low-dose radiation effects and carcinogenesis. We have worked to refine and apply our multistage carcinogenesis models to explicitly incorporate cell cycle states, simple and complex damage, checkpoint delay, slow and fast repair, differentiation, and apoptosis to study the effects of low-dose ionizing radiation in mouse intestinal crypts, as well as in other tissues. We have one paper accepted for publication in ''Advances in Space Research'', and another manuscript in preparation describing this work. I also wrote a chapter describing our combined cell-cycle and multistage carcinogenesis model that will be published in a book on stochastic carcinogenesis models edited by Wei-Yuan Tan. In addition, we organized and held a workshop on ''Biologically Based Modeling of Human Health Effects of Low dose Ionizing Radiation'', July 28-29, 2005 at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, Washington. We had over 20 participants, including Mary Helen Barcellos-Hoff as keynote speaker, talks by most of the low-dose modelers in the DOE low-dose program, experimentalists including Les Redpath (and Mary Helen), Noelle Metting from DOE, and Tony Brooks. It appears that homeostatic regulation may be central to understanding low-dose radiation phenomena. The primary effects of ionizing radiation (IR) are cell killing, delayed cell cycling, and induction of mutations. However, homeostatic regulation causes cells that are killed or damaged by IR to eventually be replaced. Cells with an initiating mutation may have a replacement advantage, leading to clonal expansion of these initiated cells. Thus we have focused particularly on modeling effects that disturb homeostatic regulation as early steps in the carcinogenic process. There are two primary considerations that support our focus on homeostatic regulation. First, a number of

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noisa, Parinya; Raivio, Taneli

    2014-09-01

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

  10. An Audiovisual Program in Cell Biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fedoroff, Sergey; Opel, William

    1978-01-01

    A subtopic of cell biology, the structure and function of cell membranes, has been developed as a series of seven self-instructional slide-tape units and tested in five medical schools. Organization of advisers, analysis and definition of objectives and content, and development and evaluation of scripts and storyboards are discussed. (Author/LBH)

  11. Cell biology: More than skin deep

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fuchs, Elaine

    2015-01-01

    In studying how stem cells make and maintain tissues, nearly every chapter of a cell biology textbook is of interest. The field even allows us to venture where no chapters have yet been written. In studying this basic problem, we are continually bombarded by nature’s surprises and challenges. PMID:26056136

  12. Halomonas desiderata as a bacterial model to predict the possible biological nitrate reduction in concrete cells of nuclear waste disposals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alquier, Marjorie; Kassim, Caroline; Bertron, Alexandra; Sablayrolles, Caroline; Rafrafi, Yan; Albrecht, Achim; Erable, Benjamin

    2014-01-01

    After closure of a waste disposal cell in a repository for radioactive waste, resaturation is likely to cause the release of soluble species contained in cement and bituminous matrices, such as ionic species (nitrates, sulfates, calcium and alkaline ions, etc.), organic matter (mainly organic acids), or gases (from steel containers and reinforced concrete structures as well as from radiolysis within the waste packages). However, in the presence of nitrates in the near-field of waste, the waste cell can initiate oxidative conditions leading to enhanced mobility of redox-sensitive radionuclides (RN). In biotic conditions and in the presence of organic matter and/or hydrogen as electron donors, nitrates may be microbiologically reduced, allowing a return to reducing conditions that promote the safety of storage. Our work aims to analyze the possible microbial reactivity of nitrates at the bitumen - concrete interface in conditions as close as possible to radioactive waste storage conditions in order (i) to evaluate the nitrate reaction kinetics; (ii) to identify the by-products (NO2(-), NH4(+), N2, N2O, etc.); and (iii) to discriminate between the roles of planktonic bacteria and those adhering as a biofilm structure in the denitrifying activity. Leaching experiments on solid matrices (bitumen and cement pastes) were first implemented to define the physicochemical conditions that microorganisms are likely to meet at the bitumen-concrete interface, e.g. highly alkaline pH conditions (10 < pH < 11) imposed by the cement matrix. The screening of a range of anaerobic denitrifying bacterial strains led us to select Halomonas desiderata as a model bacterium capable of catalyzing the reaction of nitrate reduction in these particular conditions of pH. The denitrifying activity of H. desiderata was quantified in a batch bioreactor in the presence of solid matrices and/or leachate from bitumen and cement matrices. Denitrification was relatively fast in the presence of cement

  13. Cell biology solves mysteries of reproduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sutovsky, Peter

    2012-09-01

    Reproduction and fertility have been objects of keen inquiry since the dawn of humanity. Medieval anatomists provided the first accurate depictions of the female reproductive system, and early microscopists were fascinated by the magnified sight of sperm cells. Initial successes were achieved in the in vitro fertilization of frogs and the artificial insemination of dogs. Gamete and embryo research was in the cradle of modern cell biology, providing the first evidence of the multi-cellular composition of living beings and pointing out the importance of chromosomes for heredity. In the 20th century, reproductive research paved the way for the study of the cytoskeleton, cell signaling, and the cell cycle. In the last three decades, the advent of reproductive cell biology has brought us human in vitro fertilization, animal cloning, and human and animal embryonic stem cells. It has contributed to the development of transgenesis, proteomics, genomics, and epigenetics. This Special Issue represents a sample of the various areas of reproductive biology, with emphasis on molecular and cell biological aspects. Advances in spermatology, ovarian function, fertilization, and maternal-fetal interactions are discussed within the framework of fertility and diseases such as endometriosis and diabetes.

  14. TinkerCell: modular CAD tool for synthetic biology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bergmann Frank T

    2009-10-01

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

  15. Measuring cell identity in noisy biological systems

    OpenAIRE

    Kenneth D Birnbaum; Kussell, Edo

    2011-01-01

    Global gene expression measurements are increasingly obtained as a function of cell type, spatial position within a tissue and other biologically meaningful coordinates. Such data should enable quantitative analysis of the cell-type specificity of gene expression, but such analyses can often be confounded by the presence of noise. We introduce a specificity measure Spec that quantifies the information in a gene's complete expression profile regarding any given cell type, and an uncertainty me...

  16. The evolving biology of cell reprogramming

    OpenAIRE

    Wilmut, Ian; Sullivan, Gareth; Chambers, Ian

    2011-01-01

    Modern stem cell biology has achieved a transformation that was thought by many to be every bit as unattainable as the ancient alchemists' dream of transforming base metals into gold. Exciting opportunities arise from the process known as ‘cellular reprogramming’ in which cells can be reliably changed from one tissue type to another. This is enabling novel approaches to more deeply investigate the fundamental basis of cell identity. In addition, new opportunities have also been created to stu...

  17. Cell Science and Cell Biology Research at MSFC: Summary

    Science.gov (United States)

    2003-01-01

    The common theme of these research programs is that they investigate regulation of gene expression in cells, and ultimately gene expression is controlled by the macromolecular interactions between regulatory proteins and DNA. The NASA Critical Path Roadmap identifies Muscle Alterations and Atrophy and Radiation Effects as Very Serious Risks and Severe Risks, respectively, in long term space flights. The specific problem addressed by Dr. Young's research ("Skeletal Muscle Atrophy and Muscle Cell Signaling") is that skeletal muscle loss in space cannot be prevented by vigorous exercise. Aerobic skeletal muscles (i.e., red muscles) undergo the most extensive atrophy during long-term space flight. Of the many different potential avenues for preventing muscle atrophy, Dr. Young has chosen to study the beta-adrenergic receptor (betaAR) pathway. The reason for this choice is that a family of compounds called betaAR agonists will preferentially cause an increase in muscle mass of aerobic muscles (i.e., red muscle) in animals, potentially providing a specific pharmacological solution to muscle loss in microgravity. In addition, muscle atrophy is a widespread medical problem in neuromuscular diseases, spinal cord injury, lack of exercise, aging, and any disease requiring prolonged bedridden status. Skeletal muscle cells in cell culture are utilized as a model system to study this problem. Dr. Richmond's research ("Radiation & Cancer Biology of Mammary Cells in Culture") is directed toward developing a laboratory model for use in risk assessment of cancer caused by space radiation. This research is unique because a human model will be developed utilizing human mammary cells that are highly susceptible to tumor development. This approach is preferential over using animal cells because of problems in comparing radiation-induced cancers between humans and animals.

  18. Cell Science and Cell Biology Research at MSFC: Summary

    Science.gov (United States)

    2003-01-01

    The common theme of these research programs is that they investigate regulation of gene expression in cells, and ultimately gene expression is controlled by the macromolecular interactions between regulatory proteins and DNA. The NASA Critical Path Roadmap identifies Muscle Alterations and Atrophy and Radiation Effects as Very Serious Risks and Severe Risks, respectively, in long term space flights. The specific problem addressed by Dr. Young's research ("Skeletal Muscle Atrophy and Muscle Cell Signaling") is that skeletal muscle loss in space cannot be prevented by vigorous exercise. Aerobic skeletal muscles (i.e., red muscles) undergo the most extensive atrophy during long-term space flight. Of the many different potential avenues for preventing muscle atrophy, Dr. Young has chosen to study the beta-adrenergic receptor (betaAR) pathway. The reason for this choice is that a family of compounds called betaAR agonists will preferentially cause an increase in muscle mass of aerobic muscles (i.e., red muscle) in animals, potentially providing a specific pharmacological solution to muscle loss in microgravity. In addition, muscle atrophy is a widespread medical problem in neuromuscular diseases, spinal cord injury, lack of exercise, aging, and any disease requiring prolonged bedridden status. Skeletal muscle cells in cell culture are utilized as a model system to study this problem. Dr. Richmond's research ("Radiation & Cancer Biology of Mammary Cells in Culture") is directed toward developing a laboratory model for use in risk assessment of cancer caused by space radiation. This research is unique because a human model will be developed utilizing human mammary cells that are highly susceptible to tumor development. This approach is preferential over using animal cells because of problems in comparing radiation-induced cancers between humans and animals.

  19. Progeria: translational insights from cell biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gordon, Leslie B; Cao, Kan; Collins, Francis S

    2012-10-01

    Cell biologists love to think outside the box, pursuing many surprising twists and unexpected turns in their quest to unravel the mysteries of how cells work. But can cell biologists think outside the bench? We are certain that they can, and clearly some already do. To encourage more cell biologists to venture into the realm of translational research on a regular basis, we would like to share a handful of the many lessons that we have learned in our effort to develop experimental treatments for Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome (HGPS), an endeavor that many view as a "poster child" for how basic cell biology can be translated to the clinic.

  20. Role of inositol phospholipid signaling in natural killer cell biology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew eGumbleton

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available Natural Killer (NK cells are important in the host defense against malignancy and infection. At a cellular level NK cells are activated when signals from activating receptors exceed signaling from inhibitory receptors. At a molecular level NK cells undergo an education process to prevent autoimmunity. Mouse models have shown important roles for inositol phospholipid signaling in lymphocytes. NK cells from mice with deletion in different members of the PI3K signaling pathway have defective development, natural killer cell repertoire expression (NKRR and effector function. Here we review the role of inositol phospholipid signaling in NK cell biology.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pollard, Steven M

    2016-11-15

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

  2. Multi-scale modelling and simulation in systems biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dada, Joseph O; Mendes, Pedro

    2011-02-01

    The aim of systems biology is to describe and understand biology at a global scale where biological functions are recognised as a result of complex mechanisms that happen at several scales, from the molecular to the ecosystem. Modelling and simulation are computational tools that are invaluable for description, prediction and understanding these mechanisms in a quantitative and integrative way. Therefore the study of biological functions is greatly aided by multi-scale methods that enable the coupling and simulation of models spanning several spatial and temporal scales. Various methods have been developed for solving multi-scale problems in many scientific disciplines, and are applicable to continuum based modelling techniques, in which the relationship between system properties is expressed with continuous mathematical equations or discrete modelling techniques that are based on individual units to model the heterogeneous microscopic elements such as individuals or cells. In this review, we survey these multi-scale methods and explore their application in systems biology.

  3. Embryonic stem cells: prospects for developmental biology and cell therapy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wobus, Anna M; Boheler, Kenneth R

    2005-04-01

    Stem cells represent natural units of embryonic development and tissue regeneration. Embryonic stem (ES) cells, in particular, possess a nearly unlimited self-renewal capacity and developmental potential to differentiate into virtually any cell type of an organism. Mouse ES cells, which are established as permanent cell lines from early embryos, can be regarded as a versatile biological system that has led to major advances in cell and developmental biology. Human ES cell lines, which have recently been derived, may additionally serve as an unlimited source of cells for regenerative medicine. Before therapeutic applications can be realized, important problems must be resolved. Ethical issues surround the derivation of human ES cells from in vitro fertilized blastocysts. Current techniques for directed differentiation into somatic cell populations remain inefficient and yield heterogeneous cell populations. Transplanted ES cell progeny may not function normally in organs, might retain tumorigenic potential, and could be rejected immunologically. The number of human ES cell lines available for research may also be insufficient to adequately determine their therapeutic potential. Recent molecular and cellular advances with mouse ES cells, however, portend the successful use of these cells in therapeutics. This review therefore focuses both on mouse and human ES cells with respect to in vitro propagation and differentiation as well as their use in basic cell and developmental biology and toxicology and presents prospects for human ES cells in tissue regeneration and transplantation.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-15

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

  5. Prion potency in stem cells biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lopes, Marilene H; Santos, Tiago G

    2012-01-01

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

  6. More on Grandmother Cells and the Biological Implausibility of PDP Models of Cognition: A Reply to Plaut and McClelland (2010) and Quian Quiroga and Kreiman (2010)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bowers, Jeffrey S.

    2010-01-01

    Plaut and McClelland (2010) and Quian Quiroga and Kreiman both challenged my characterization of localist and distributed representations. They also challenged the biological plausibility of grandmother cells on conceptual and empirical grounds. This reply addresses these issues in turn. The premise of my argument is that grandmother cells in…

  7. Cell biology. Metabolic control of cell death.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Green, Douglas R; Galluzzi, Lorenzo; Kroemer, Guido

    2014-09-19

    Beyond their contribution to basic metabolism, the major cellular organelles, in particular mitochondria, can determine whether cells respond to stress in an adaptive or suicidal manner. Thus, mitochondria can continuously adapt their shape to changing bioenergetic demands as they are subjected to quality control by autophagy, or they can undergo a lethal permeabilization process that initiates apoptosis. Along similar lines, multiple proteins involved in metabolic circuitries, including oxidative phosphorylation and transport of metabolites across membranes, may participate in the regulated or catastrophic dismantling of organelles. Many factors that were initially characterized as cell death regulators are now known to physically or functionally interact with metabolic enzymes. Thus, several metabolic cues regulate the propensity of cells to activate self-destructive programs, in part by acting on nutrient sensors. This suggests the existence of "metabolic checkpoints" that dictate cell fate in response to metabolic fluctuations. Here, we discuss recent insights into the intersection between metabolism and cell death regulation that have major implications for the comprehension and manipulation of unwarranted cell loss.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Owens, T; Zeine, R

    1989-01-01

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

  9. Recent advances in hematopoietic stem cell biology

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2004-01-01

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

  10. Nanotechnologies and chemical tools for cell biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Xing

    This dissertation describes several nanotechnologies and chemical tools that I have developed to probe living cells. Chapter one gives a brief overview on the current status of biomedical and biotechnological applications of carbon nanotubes (CNTs). In this chapter, strategies for functionalization of CNTs with emphasis on biological applications are reviewed. Representative developments in biosensing, bioimaging, intracellular delivery, and tissue engineering are presented. Recent studies on toxicity of CNTs are also discussed. Chapter two describes the development of a nanoscale cell injector for delivery of cargo to the interior of living cells without physiological harm. A CNT attached to an atomic force microscope tip was functionalized with cargo via a disulfide linker. Penetration of cell membranes with this "nanoneedle", followed by reductive cleavage of the disulfide bonds within the cell's interior, resulted in the release of cargo inside the cells. Chapter three presents a biomimetic functionalization strategy for interfacing CNTs with biological systems. The potential biological applications of CNTs have been limited by their insolubility in aqueous environment and their intrinsic toxicity. We developed a biomimetic surface modification of CNTs using glycosylated polymers designed to mimic natural cell surface mucin glycoproteins interactions. Chapter four further extends the biomimetic strategy for functionalization of CNTs to glycosylated dendrimers. We developed a new class of amphiphilic bifunctional glycodendrimers that comprised carbohydrate units displayed in the periphery and a pyrene tail that bound to SWNT surface via pi-pi interactions. The glycodendrimer-coated CNTs were soluble in water, and noncytotoxic. We also demonstrated that the coated CNTs could interface with biological systems including proteins and cells. Chapter five presents a biosensing application of glycodenderimer-coated CNTs. SWNTN-FETs coated with glycodendrimers were

  11. The biology of cancer stem cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lobo, Neethan A; Shimono, Yohei; Qian, Dalong; Clarke, Michael F

    2007-01-01

    Cancers originally develop from normal cells that gain the ability to proliferate aberrantly and eventually turn malignant. These cancerous cells then grow clonally into tumors and eventually have the potential to metastasize. A central question in cancer biology is, which cells can be transformed to form tumors? Recent studies elucidated the presence of cancer stem cells that have the exclusive ability to regenerate tumors. These cancer stem cells share many characteristics with normal stem cells, including self-renewal and differentiation. With the growing evidence that cancer stem cells exist in a wide array of tumors, it is becoming increasingly important to understand the molecular mechanisms that regulate self-renewal and differentiation because corruption of genes involved in these pathways likely participates in tumor growth. This new paradigm of oncogenesis has been validated in a growing list of tumors. Studies of normal and cancer stem cells from the same tissue have shed light on the ontogeny of tumors. That signaling pathways such as Bmi1 and Wnt have similar effects in normal and cancer stem cell self-renewal suggests that common molecular pathways regulate both populations. Understanding the biology of cancer stem cells will contribute to the identification of molecular targets important for future therapies.

  12. Wnt Signaling in Cancer Stem Cell Biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Sousa E Melo, Felipe; Vermeulen, Louis

    2016-06-27

    Aberrant regulation of Wnt signaling is a common theme seen across many tumor types. Decades of research have unraveled the epigenetic and genetic alterations that result in elevated Wnt pathway activity. More recently, it has become apparent that Wnt signaling levels identify stem-like tumor cells that are responsible for fueling tumor growth. As therapeutic targeting of these tumor stem cells is an intense area of investigation, a concise understanding on how Wnt activity relates to cancer stem cell traits is needed. This review attempts at summarizing the intricacies between Wnt signaling and cancer stem cell biology with a special emphasis on colorectal cancer.

  13. Revealing the Functions of Tenascin-C in 3-D Breast Cancer Models Using Cell Biological and In Silico Approaches

    Science.gov (United States)

    2007-03-01

    the malignant phenotype. Cancer Cell 2005;8(3):241-54. 25. Ferguson JE, Schor AM, Howell A, Ferguson MW. Tenascin distribution in the normal human...Sci U S A 2005;102(12):4324-9. 78. Soriano JV, Pepper MS, Nakamura T, Orci L, Montesano R. Hepatocyte growth factor stimulates extensive development

  14. ML-Space: Hybrid Spatial Gillespie and Particle Simulation of Multi-level Rule-based Models in Cell Biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bittig, Arne; Uhrmacher, Adelinde

    2016-08-03

    Spatio-temporal dynamics of cellular processes can be simulated at different levels of detail, from (deterministic) partial differential equations via the spatial Stochastic Simulation algorithm to tracking Brownian trajectories of individual particles. We present a spatial simulation approach for multi-level rule-based models, which includes dynamically hierarchically nested cellular compartments and entities. Our approach ML-Space combines discrete compartmental dynamics, stochastic spatial approaches in discrete space, and particles moving in continuous space. The rule-based specification language of ML-Space supports concise and compact descriptions of models and to adapt the spatial resolution of models easily.

  15. Mathematical and computational modeling in biology at multiple scales

    OpenAIRE

    Tuszynski, Jack A; Winter, Philip; White, Diana; Tseng, Chih-Yuan; Sahu, Kamlesh K.; Gentile, Francesco; Spasevska, Ivana; Omar, Sara Ibrahim; Nayebi, Niloofar; Churchill, Cassandra DM; Klobukowski, Mariusz; El-Magd, Rabab M Abou

    2014-01-01

    A variety of topics are reviewed in the area of mathematical and computational modeling in biology, covering the range of scales from populations of organisms to electrons in atoms. The use of maximum entropy as an inference tool in the fields of biology and drug discovery is discussed. Mathematical and computational methods and models in the areas of epidemiology, cell physiology and cancer are surveyed. The technique of molecular dynamics is covered, with special attention to force fields f...

  16. CMOS based sensor for dielectric spectroscopy of biological cell suspension

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guha, S.; Schmalz, K.; Meliani, C.; Wenger, Ch

    2013-04-01

    In this work we investigate the use of microwave frequency range to measure the concentration of cells in a biological cell suspension. A theoretical model is discussed and the advantage of high frequency, which is to avoid dispersion mechanisms due to the cell parameters at lower frequencies (for example membrane capacitance), has been described. Interdigitated capacitor (IDC) has been proposed as the sensor for analysing the concentration of a cell species in the suspension. The read-out circuit is a VCO using the IDC and a pair of inductors as resonator. The capacitance of the IDC which is the function of the permittivity of the biological cell suspension determines the resonant frequency of the LC tank oscillator. Thus the concentration of cells in a solution, affecting its permittivity, is read out as the frequency of the oscillator.

  17. Building multivariate systems biology models

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  18. Correlating the morphological and light scattering properties of biological cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moran, Marina

    The scattered light pattern from a biological cell is greatly influenced by the internal structure and optical properties of the cell. This research project examines the relationships between the morphological and scattering properties of biological cells through numerical simulations. The mains goals are: (1) to develop a procedure to analytically model biological cells, (2) to quantitatively study the effects of a range of cell characteristics on the features of the light scattering patterns, and (3) to classify cells based on the features of their light scattering patterns. A procedure to create an analytical cell model was developed which extracted structural information from the confocal microscopic images of cells and allowed for the alteration of the cell structure in a controlled and systematic way. The influence of cell surface roughness, nuclear size, and mitochondrial volume density, spatial distribution, size and shape on the light scattering patterns was studied through numerical simulations of light scattering using the Discrete Dipole Approximation. It was found that the light scattering intensity in the scattering angle range of 25° to 45° responded to changes in the surface fluctuation of the cell and the range of 90° to 110° was well suited for characterization of mitochondrial density and nuclear size. A comparison of light scattering pattern analysis methods revealed that the angular distribution of the scattered light and Gabor filters were most helpful in differentiating between the cell characteristics. In addition, a measured increase in the Gabor energy of the light scattering patterns in response to an increase in the complexity of the cell models suggested that a complex nuclear structure and mitochondria should be included when modeling biological cells for light scattering simulations. Analysis of the scattering pattern features with Gabor filters resulted in discrimination of the cell models according to cell surface roughness

  19. Multiscale mechanical modeling of soft biological tissues

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stylianopoulos, Triantafyllos

    2008-10-01

    Soft biological tissues include both native and artificial tissues. In the human body, tissues like the articular cartilage, arterial wall, and heart valve leaflets are examples of structures composed of an underlying network of collagen fibers, cells, proteins and molecules. Artificial tissues are less complex than native tissues and mainly consist of a fiber polymer network with the intent of replacing lost or damaged tissue. Understanding of the mechanical function of these materials is essential for many clinical treatments (e.g. arterial clamping, angioplasty), diseases (e.g. arteriosclerosis) and tissue engineering applications (e.g. engineered blood vessels or heart valves). This thesis presents the derivation and application of a multiscale methodology to describe the macroscopic mechanical function of soft biological tissues incorporating directly their structural architecture. The model, which is based on volume averaging theory, accounts for structural parameters such as the network volume fraction and orientation, the realignment of the fibers in response to strain, the interactions among the fibers and the interactions between the fibers and the interstitial fluid in order to predict the overall tissue behavior. Therefore, instead of using a constitutive equation to relate strain to stress, the tissue microstructure is modeled within a representative volume element (RVE) and the macroscopic response at any point in the tissue is determined by solving a micromechanics problem in the RVE. The model was applied successfully to acellular collagen gels, native blood vessels, and electrospun polyurethane scaffolds and provided accurate predictions for permeability calculations in isotropic and oriented fiber networks. The agreement of model predictions with experimentally determined mechanical properties provided insights into the mechanics of tissues and tissue constructs, while discrepancies revealed limitations of the model framework.

  20. A three-dimensional cell culture model to study the mechano-biological behavior in periodontal ligament regeneration.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Oortgiesen, D.A.W.; Yu, N.; Bronckers, A.L.; Yang, F.; Walboomers, X.F.; Jansen, J.A.

    2012-01-01

    Periodontitis is a disease affecting the supporting structures of the teeth, which can eventually result in tooth loss. A three-dimensional (3D) tissue culture model was developed that may serve to grow a 3D construct that not only transplants into defective periodontal sites, but also allows to exa

  1. A three-dimensional cell culture model to study the mechano-biological behavior in periodontal ligament regeneration

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Oortgiesen, D.A.W.; Yu, N.; Bronckers, A.L.J.J.; Yang, F.; Walboomers, X.F.; Jansen, J.A.

    2012-01-01

    Periodontitis is a disease affecting the supporting structures of the teeth, which can eventually result in tooth loss. A three-dimensional (3D) tissue culture model was developed that may serve to grow a 3D construct that not only transplants into defective periodontal sites, but also allows to exa

  2. Ion channels regulating mast cell biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ashmole, I; Bradding, P

    2013-05-01

    Mast cells play a central role in the pathophysiology of asthma and related allergic conditions. Mast cell activation leads to the degranulation of preformed mediators such as histamine and the secretion of newly synthesised proinflammatory mediators such as leukotrienes and cytokines. Excess release of these mediators contributes to allergic disease states. An influx of extracellular Ca2+ is essential for mast cell mediator release. From the Ca2+ channels that mediate this influx, to the K+ , Cl- and transient receptor potential channels that set the cell membrane potential and regulate Ca2+ influx, ion channels play a critical role in mast cell biology. In this review we provide an overview of our current knowledge of ion channel expression and function in mast cells with an emphasis on how channels interact to regulate Ca2+ signalling.

  3. Asmparts: assembly of biological model parts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodrigo, Guillermo; Carrera, Javier; Jaramillo, Alfonso

    2007-12-01

    We propose a new computational tool to produce models of biological systems by assembling models from biological parts. Our software not only takes advantage of modularity, but it also enforces standardisation in part characterisation by considering a model of each part. We have used model parts in SBML to design transcriptional networks. Our software is open source, it works in linux and windows platforms, and it could be used to automatically produce models in a server. Our tool not only facilitates model design, but it will also help to promote the establishment of a registry of model parts.

  4. Electron Tomography in Plant Cell Biology

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2007-01-01

    This review focuses on the contribution of electron tomography-based techniques to our understanding of cellular processes in plant cells. Electron microscopy techniques have evolved to provide better three-dimensional resolution and improved preservation of the subcellular components. In particular, the combination of cryofixation/freeze substitution and electron tomography have allowed plant cell biologists to image organelles and macromolecular complexes in their native cellular context with unprecedented three-dimensional resolution (4-7 nm). Until now, electron tomography has been applied in plant cell biology for the study of cytokinesis, Golgi structure and trafficking, formation of plant endosome/prevacuolar compartments, and organization of photosynthetic membranes. We discuss in this review the new insights that these tomographic studies have brought to the plant biology field.

  5. Textbook Errors and Misconceptions in Biology: Cell Energetics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Storey, Richard D.

    1992-01-01

    Discusses misconceptions and outdated models appearing in biology textbooks for concepts involving bioenergetics and chemical reactions; adenosine triphosphate (ATP) as the energy currency of cells; the myth of high energy phosphate bonds; structural properties of ATP; ATP production from respiration and fermentation; ATP as an energy storage…

  6. Stochastic models of cell motility

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gradinaru, Cristian

    2012-01-01

    Cell motility and migration are central to the development and maintenance of multicellular organisms, and errors during this process can lead to major diseases. Consequently, the mechanisms and phenomenology of cell motility are currently under intense study. In recent years, a new...... interdisciplinary field focusing on the study of biological processes at the nanoscale level, with a range of technological applications in medicine and biological research, has emerged. The work presented in this thesis is at the interface of cell biology, image processing, and stochastic modeling. The stochastic...... models introduced here are based on persistent random motion, which I apply to real-life studies of cell motility on flat and nanostructured surfaces. These models aim to predict the time-dependent position of cell centroids in a stochastic manner, and conversely determine directly from experimental...

  7. Stem Cells: A Renaissance in Human Biology Research.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Jun; Izpisua Belmonte, Juan Carlos

    2016-06-16

    The understanding of human biology and how it relates to that of other species represents an ancient quest. Limited access to human material, particularly during early development, has restricted researchers to only scratching the surface of this inherently challenging subject. Recent technological innovations, such as single cell "omics" and human stem cell derivation, have now greatly accelerated our ability to gain insights into uniquely human biology. The opportunities afforded to delve molecularly into scarce material and to model human embryogenesis and pathophysiological processes are leading to new insights of human development and are changing our understanding of disease and choice of therapy options.

  8. Piecewise deterministic processes in biological models

    CERN Document Server

    Rudnicki, Ryszard

    2017-01-01

    This book presents a concise introduction to piecewise deterministic Markov processes (PDMPs), with particular emphasis on their applications to biological models. Further, it presents examples of biological phenomena, such as gene activity and population growth, where different types of PDMPs appear: continuous time Markov chains, deterministic processes with jumps, processes with switching dynamics, and point processes. Subsequent chapters present the necessary tools from the theory of stochastic processes and semigroups of linear operators, as well as theoretical results concerning the long-time behaviour of stochastic semigroups induced by PDMPs and their applications to biological models. As such, the book offers a valuable resource for mathematicians and biologists alike. The first group will find new biological models that lead to interesting and often new mathematical questions, while the second can observe how to include seemingly disparate biological processes into a unified mathematical theory, and...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goldstein, Lawrence S B

    2012-11-12

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

  10. Modeling and biological control of mosquitoes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lord, Cynthia C

    2007-01-01

    Models can be useful at many different levels when considering complex issues such as biological control of mosquitoes. At an early stage, exploratory models are valuable in exploring the characteristics of an ideal biological control agent and for guidance in data collection. When more data are available, models can be used to explore alternative control strategies and the likelihood of success. There are few modeling studies that explicitly consider biological control in mosquitoes; however, there have been many theoretical studies of biological control in other insect systems and of mosquitoes and mosquito-borne diseases in general. Examples are used here to illustrate important aspects of designing, using and interpreting models. The stability properties of a model are valuable in assessing the potential of a biological control agent, but may not be relevant to a mosquito population with frequent environmental perturbations. The time scale and goal of proposed control strategies are important considerations when analyzing a model. The underlying biology of the mosquito host and the biological control agent must be carefully considered when deciding what to include in a model. Factors such as density dependent population growth in the host, the searching efficiency and aggregation of a natural enemy, and the resource base of both have been shown to influence the stability and dynamics of the interaction. Including existing mosquito control practices into a model is useful if biological control is proposed for locations with current insecticidal control. The development of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) strategies can be enhanced using modeling techniques, as a wide variety of options can be simulated and examined. Models can also be valuable in comparing alternate routes of disease transmission and to investigate the level of control needed to reduce transmission.

  11. Integer Programming Models for Computational Biology Problems

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Giuseppe Lancia

    2004-01-01

    The recent years have seen an impressive increase in the use of Integer Programming models for the solution of optimization problems originating in Molecular Biology. In this survey, some of the most successful Integer Programming approaches are described, while a broad overview of application areas being is given in modern Computational Molecular Biology.

  12. Progeria: Translational insights from cell biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gordon, Leslie B.; Cao, Kan

    2012-01-01

    Cell biologists love to think outside the box, pursuing many surprising twists and unexpected turns in their quest to unravel the mysteries of how cells work. But can cell biologists think outside the bench? We are certain that they can, and clearly some already do. To encourage more cell biologists to venture into the realm of translational research on a regular basis, we would like to share a handful of the many lessons that we have learned in our effort to develop experimental treatments for Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome (HGPS), an endeavor that many view as a “poster child” for how basic cell biology can be translated to the clinic. PMID:23027899

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Owens, T; Zeine, R

    1989-01-01

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

  14. Cells — An Open Access Journal of Cell Biology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shu-Kun Lin

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available To expand the open access publishing project of our newly founded company MDPI [1,2] based in Basel, Switzerland, we are in the process of launching new journals. Based on our success in running journals that represent key areas in science and technology, such as Molecules [3], Sensors [4], Energies [5], Viruses [6], Pharmaceuticals [7], Cancers [8] and Toxins [9], we are launching a new journal entitled Cells. It is an open access journal combining cell biology, molecular biology and biophysics, toward an understanding of cell structure, function and interactions. [...

  15. Femtosecond fabricated surfaces for cell biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Day, Daniel; Gu, Min

    2010-08-01

    Microfabrication using femtosecond pulse lasers is enabling access to a range of structures, surfaces and materials that was not previously available for scientific and engineering applications. The ability to produce micrometre sized features directly in polymer and metal substrates is demonstrated with applications in cell biology. The size, shape and aspect ratio of the etched features can be precisely controlled through the manipulation of the fluence of the laser etching process with respect to the properties of the target material. Femtosecond laser etching of poly(methyl methacrylate) and aluminium substrates has enabled the production of micrometre resolution moulds that can be accurately replicated using soft lithography. The moulded surfaces are used in the imaging of T cells and demonstrate the improved ability to observe biological events over time periods greater than 10 h. These results indicate the great potential femtosecond pulse lasers may have in the future manufacturing of microstructured surfaces and devices.

  16. Dictyostelium discoideum: Molecular approaches to cell biology

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Spudich, J.A.

    1987-01-01

    The central point of this book is to present Dictyostelium as a valuable eukaryotic organism for those interested in molecular studies that require a combined biochemical, structural, and genetic approach. The book is not meant to be a comprehensive compilation of all methods involving Dictyostelium, but instead is a selective set of chapters that demonstrates the utility of the organism for molecular approaches to interesting cell biological problems.

  17. The cell biology of fat expansion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rutkowski, Joseph M; Stern, Jennifer H; Scherer, Philipp E

    2015-03-02

    Adipose tissue is a complex, multicellular organ that profoundly influences the function of nearly all other organ systems through its diverse metabolite and adipokine secretome. Adipocytes are the primary cell type of adipose tissue and play a key role in maintaining energy homeostasis. The efficiency with which adipose tissue responds to whole-body energetic demands reflects the ability of adipocytes to adapt to an altered nutrient environment, and has profound systemic implications. Deciphering adipocyte cell biology is an important component of understanding how the aberrant physiology of expanding adipose tissue contributes to the metabolic dysregulation associated with obesity. © 2015 Rutkowski et al.

  18. The cell biology of fat expansion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rutkowski, Joseph M.; Stern, Jennifer H.

    2015-01-01

    Adipose tissue is a complex, multicellular organ that profoundly influences the function of nearly all other organ systems through its diverse metabolite and adipokine secretome. Adipocytes are the primary cell type of adipose tissue and play a key role in maintaining energy homeostasis. The efficiency with which adipose tissue responds to whole-body energetic demands reflects the ability of adipocytes to adapt to an altered nutrient environment, and has profound systemic implications. Deciphering adipocyte cell biology is an important component of understanding how the aberrant physiology of expanding adipose tissue contributes to the metabolic dysregulation associated with obesity. PMID:25733711

  19. Biological cell manipulation by magnetic nanoparticles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Frederick Gertz

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available We report a manipulation of biological cells (erythrocytes by magnetite (Fe3O4 nanoparticles in the presence of a magnetic field. The experiment was accomplished on the top of a micro-electromagnet consisting of two magnetic field generating contours. An electric current flowing through the contour(s produces a non-uniform magnetic field, which is about 1.4 mT/μm in strength at 100 mA current in the vicinity of the current-carrying wire. In responses to the magnetic field, magnetic nanoparticles move towards the systems energy minima. In turn, magnetic nanoparticles drag biological cells in the same direction. We present experimental data showing cell manipulation through the control of electric current. This technique allows us to capture and move cells located in the vicinity (10-20 microns of the current-carrying wires. One of the most interesting results shows a periodic motion of erythrocytes between the two conducting contours, whose frequency is controlled by an electric circuit. The obtained results demonstrate the feasibility of non-destructive cell manipulation by magnetic nanoparticles with micrometer-scale precision.

  20. Autophagic regulation of smooth muscle cell biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salabei, Joshua K.; Hill, Bradford G.

    2014-01-01

    Autophagy regulates the metabolism, survival, and function of numerous cell types, including those comprising the cardiovascular system. In the vasculature, changes in autophagy have been documented in atherosclerotic and restenotic lesions and in hypertensive vessels. The biology of vascular smooth muscle cells appears particularly sensitive to changes in the autophagic program. Recent evidence indicates that stimuli or stressors evoked during the course of vascular disease can regulate autophagic activity, resulting in modulation of VSMC phenotype and viability. In particular, certain growth factors and cytokines, oxygen tension, and pharmacological drugs have been shown to trigger autophagy in smooth muscle cells. Importantly, each of these stimuli has a redox component, typically associated with changes in the abundance of reactive oxygen, nitrogen, or lipid species. Collective findings support the hypothesis that autophagy plays a critical role in vascular remodeling by regulating smooth muscle cell phenotype transitions and by influencing the cellular response to stress. In this graphical review, we summarize current knowledge on the role of autophagy in the biology of the smooth muscle cell in (patho)physiology. PMID:25544597

  1. Autophagic regulation of smooth muscle cell biology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joshua K. Salabei

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Autophagy regulates the metabolism, survival, and function of numerous cell types, including those comprising the cardiovascular system. In the vasculature, changes in autophagy have been documented in atherosclerotic and restenotic lesions and in hypertensive vessels. The biology of vascular smooth muscle cells appears particularly sensitive to changes in the autophagic program. Recent evidence indicates that stimuli or stressors evoked during the course of vascular disease can regulate autophagic activity, resulting in modulation of VSMC phenotype and viability. In particular, certain growth factors and cytokines, oxygen tension, and pharmacological drugs have been shown to trigger autophagy in smooth muscle cells. Importantly, each of these stimuli has a redox component, typically associated with changes in the abundance of reactive oxygen, nitrogen, or lipid species. Collective findings support the hypothesis that autophagy plays a critical role in vascular remodeling by regulating smooth muscle cell phenotype transitions and by influencing the cellular response to stress. In this graphical review, we summarize current knowledge on the role of autophagy in the biology of the smooth muscle cell in (pathophysiology.

  2. Setting Parameters for Biological Models With ANIMO

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schivo, Stefano; Scholma, Jetse; Karperien, Hermanus Bernardus Johannes; Post, Janine Nicole; van de Pol, Jan Cornelis; Langerak, Romanus; André, Étienne; Frehse, Goran

    2014-01-01

    ANIMO (Analysis of Networks with Interactive MOdeling) is a software for modeling biological networks, such as e.g. signaling, metabolic or gene networks. An ANIMO model is essentially the sum of a network topology and a number of interaction parameters. The topology describes the interactions

  3. Quantum biological channel modeling and capacity calculation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Djordjevic, Ivan B

    2012-12-10

    Quantum mechanics has an important role in photosynthesis, magnetoreception, and evolution. There were many attempts in an effort to explain the structure of genetic code and transfer of information from DNA to protein by using the concepts of quantum mechanics. The existing biological quantum channel models are not sufficiently general to incorporate all relevant contributions responsible for imperfect protein synthesis. Moreover, the problem of determination of quantum biological channel capacity is still an open problem. To solve these problems, we construct the operator-sum representation of biological channel based on codon basekets (basis vectors), and determine the quantum channel model suitable for study of the quantum biological channel capacity and beyond. The transcription process, DNA point mutations, insertions, deletions, and translation are interpreted as the quantum noise processes. The various types of quantum errors are classified into several broad categories: (i) storage errors that occur in DNA itself as it represents an imperfect storage of genetic information, (ii) replication errors introduced during DNA replication process, (iii) transcription errors introduced during DNA to mRNA transcription, and (iv) translation errors introduced during the translation process. By using this model, we determine the biological quantum channel capacity and compare it against corresponding classical biological channel capacity. We demonstrate that the quantum biological channel capacity is higher than the classical one, for a coherent quantum channel model, suggesting that quantum effects have an important role in biological systems. The proposed model is of crucial importance towards future study of quantum DNA error correction, developing quantum mechanical model of aging, developing the quantum mechanical models for tumors/cancer, and study of intracellular dynamics in general.

  4. Quantum Biological Channel Modeling and Capacity Calculation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ivan B. Djordjevic

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Quantum mechanics has an important role in photosynthesis, magnetoreception, and evolution. There were many attempts in an effort to explain the structure of genetic code and transfer of information from DNA to protein by using the concepts of quantum mechanics. The existing biological quantum channel models are not sufficiently general to incorporate all relevant contributions responsible for imperfect protein synthesis. Moreover, the problem of determination of quantum biological channel capacity is still an open problem. To solve these problems, we construct the operator-sum representation of biological channel based on codon basekets (basis vectors, and determine the quantum channel model suitable for study of the quantum biological channel capacity and beyond. The transcription process, DNA point mutations, insertions, deletions, and translation are interpreted as the quantum noise processes. The various types of quantum errors are classified into several broad categories: (i storage errors that occur in DNA itself as it represents an imperfect storage of genetic information, (ii replication errors introduced during DNA replication process, (iii transcription errors introduced during DNA to mRNA transcription, and (iv translation errors introduced during the translation process. By using this model, we determine the biological quantum channel capacity and compare it against corresponding classical biological channel capacity. We demonstrate that the quantum biological channel capacity is higher than the classical one, for a coherent quantum channel model, suggesting that quantum effects have an important role in biological systems. The proposed model is of crucial importance towards future study of quantum DNA error correction, developing quantum mechanical model of aging, developing the quantum mechanical models for tumors/cancer, and study of intracellular dynamics in general.

  5. Systems biology approaches to understanding stem cell fate choice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peltier, J; Schaffer, D V

    2010-01-01

    Stem cells have the capability to self-renew and maintain their undifferentiated state or to differentiate into one or more specialised cell types. Stem cell expansion and manipulation ex vivo is a promising approach for engineering cell replacement therapies, and endogenous stem cells represent potential drugable targets for tissue repair. Before we can harness stem cells' therapeutic potential, we must first understand the intracellular mechanisms controlling their fate choices. These mechanisms involve complex signal transduction and gene regulation networks that feature, for example, intricate feed-forward loops, feedback loops and cross-talk between multiple signalling pathways. Systems biology applies computational and experimental approaches to investigate the emergent behaviour of collections of molecules and strives to explain how these numerous components interact to regulate molecular, cellular and organismal behaviour. Here we review systems biology, and in particular computational, efforts to understand the intracellular mechanisms of stem cell fate choice. We first discuss deterministic and stochastic models that synthesise molecular knowledge into mathematical formalism, enable simulation of important system behaviours and stimulate further experimentation. In addition, statistical analyses such as Bayesian networks and principal components analysis (PCA)/partial least squares (PLS) regression can distill large datasets into more readily managed networks and principal components that provide insights into the critical aspects and components of regulatory networks. Collectively, integrating modelling with experimentation has strong potential for enabling a deeper understanding of stem cell fate choice and thereby aiding the development of therapies to harness stem cells' therapeutic potential.

  6. Stem cell genome-to-systems biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chia, Na-Yu; Ng, Huck-Hui

    2012-01-01

    Stem cells are capable of extended proliferation and concomitantly differentiating into a plethora of specialized cell types that render them apropos for their usage as a form of regenerative medicine for cell replacement therapies. The molecular processes that underlie the ability for stem cells to self-renew and differentiate have been intriguing, and elucidating the intricacies within the genome is pertinent to enhance our understanding of stem cells. Systems biology is emerging as a crucial field in the study of the sophisticated nature of stem cells, through the adoption of multidisciplinary approaches which couple high-throughput experimental techniques with computational and mathematical analysis. This allows for the determination of the molecular constituents that govern stem cell characteristics and conjointly with functional validations via genetic perturbation and protein location binding analysis necessitate the construction of the complex transcriptional regulatory network. With the elucidation of protein-protein interaction, protein-DNA regulation, microRNA involvement as well as the epigenetic modifications, it is possible to comprehend the defining features of stem cells at the system level. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

  7. Modeling growth in biological materials

    OpenAIRE

    Jones, Gareth Wyn; Chapman, S. Jonathan

    2012-01-01

    The biomechanical modeling of growing tissues has recently become an area of intense interest. In particular, the interplay between growth patterns and mechanical stress is of great importance, with possible applications to arterial mechanics, embryo morphogenesis, tumor development, and bone remodeling. This review aims to give an overview of the theories that have been used to model these phenomena, categorized according to whether the tissue is considered as a continuum object or a collect...

  8. Measurements and interpretations of light scattering from intact biological cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, Jeremy D.

    Visible light interacts with biological cells primarily through elastic scattering. The details of how cells scatter light depend on their morphology and their substructures. In this thesis we first present a series of experiments and models to discern the specific contributions of certain sub-cellular constituents to whole-cell scattering. Exploiting the findings of those studies, we report on experiments within model systems of cell death that demonstrate the potential of light scattering measurements as a tool in modern biology. Instrumentation capable of exploiting the findings of this thesis from a biology-relevant microscopy platform is designed and developed. A Mie theory based interpretation of light scattering signals originating from a collection of particles with a broad size distribution is developed. Upon applying this model to scattering data from intact cells, we find that it robustly extracts the size scale of dominant light scattering particles, suggests that scattering measurements are sensitive primarily to mitochondrial and lysosomal morphology, and unites conflicting results in the literature. Using this model as a basis, we present a collection of studies in which we use various strategies of photodynamic therapy (PDT) as a biophysical tool to perturb mitochondria and lysosomes, and observe the effects of these perturbations on whole-cell scattering. Through these experiments, we are able to discern the individual contributions of mitochondria and lysosomes to whole-cell light scattering, and demonstrate that mitochondria are responsible for roughly 80% of the scattering signal. Results of experiments aimed at demonstrating the potential role that light scattering measurements have to play in future studies of cell death biology are presented. We first show that mitochondrial-PDT-induced morphology changes measured with light scattering map into the cell killing efficacy of the therapy. We next demonstrate that mitochondrial

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-06-15

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

  10. Biological transportation networks: Modeling and simulation

    KAUST Repository

    Albi, Giacomo

    2015-09-15

    We present a model for biological network formation originally introduced by Cai and Hu [Adaptation and optimization of biological transport networks, Phys. Rev. Lett. 111 (2013) 138701]. The modeling of fluid transportation (e.g., leaf venation and angiogenesis) and ion transportation networks (e.g., neural networks) is explained in detail and basic analytical features like the gradient flow structure of the fluid transportation network model and the impact of the model parameters on the geometry and topology of network formation are analyzed. We also present a numerical finite-element based discretization scheme and discuss sample cases of network formation simulations.

  11. Stem cells - biological update and cell therapy progress.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Girlovanu, Mihai; Susman, Sergiu; Soritau, Olga; Rus-Ciuca, Dan; Melincovici, Carmen; Constantin, Anne-Marie; Mihu, Carmen Mihaela

    2015-01-01

    In recent years, the advances in stem cell research have suggested that the human body may have a higher plasticity than it was originally expected. Until now, four categories of stem cells were isolated and cultured in vivo: embryonic stem cells, fetal stem cells, adult stem cells and induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs). Although multiple studies were published, several issues concerning the stem cells are still debated, such as: the molecular mechanisms of differentiation, the methods to prevent teratoma formation or the ethical and religious issues regarding especially the embryonic stem cell research. The direct differentiation of stem cells into specialized cells: cardiac myocytes, neural cells, pancreatic islets cells, may represent an option in treating incurable diseases such as: neurodegenerative diseases, type I diabetes, hematologic or cardiac diseases. Nevertheless, stem cell-based therapies, based on stem cell transplantation, remain mainly at the experimental stages and their major limitation is the development of teratoma and cancer after transplantation. The induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) represent a prime candidate for future cell therapy research because of their significant self-renewal and differentiation potential and the lack of ethical issues. This article presents an overview of the biological advances in the study of stem cells and the current progress made in the field of regenerative medicine.

  12. Bridging Physics and Biology Teaching through Modeling

    CERN Document Server

    Hoskinson, Anne-Marie; Zwickl, Benjamin M; Hinko, Kathleen; Caballero, Marcos D

    2013-01-01

    As the frontiers of biology become increasingly interdisciplinary, the physics education community has engaged in ongoing efforts to make physics classes more relevant to life sciences majors. These efforts are complicated by the many apparent differences between these fields, including the types of systems that each studies, the behavior of those systems, the kinds of measurements that each makes, and the role of mathematics in each field. Nonetheless, physics and biology are both fundamental sciences that rely on observations and measurements to construct models of the natural world. In the present theoretical article, we propose that efforts to bridge the teaching of these two disciplines must emphasize shared scientific practices, particularly scientific modeling. We define modeling using language common to both disciplines and highlight how an understanding of the modeling process can help reconcile apparent differences between physics and biology. We elaborate how models can be used for explanatory, pre...

  13. Structured population models in biology and epidemiology

    CERN Document Server

    Ruan, Shigui

    2008-01-01

    This book consists of six chapters written by leading researchers in mathematical biology. These chapters present recent and important developments in the study of structured population models in biology and epidemiology. Topics include population models structured by age, size, and spatial position; size-structured models for metapopulations, macroparasitc diseases, and prion proliferation; models for transmission of microparasites between host populations living on non-coincident spatial domains; spatiotemporal patterns of disease spread; method of aggregation of variables in population dynamics; and biofilm models. It is suitable as a textbook for a mathematical biology course or a summer school at the advanced undergraduate and graduate level. It can also serve as a reference book for researchers looking for either interesting and specific problems to work on or useful techniques and discussions of some particular problems.

  14. The Strategies of Modeling in Biology Education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Svoboda, Julia; Passmore, Cynthia

    2013-01-01

    Modeling, like inquiry more generally, is not a single method, but rather a complex suite of strategies. Philosophers of biology, citing the diverse aims, interests, and disciplinary cultures of biologists, argue that modeling is best understood in the context of its epistemic aims and cognitive payoffs. In the science education literature, modeling has been discussed in a variety of ways, but often without explicit reference to the diversity of roles models play in scientific practice. We aim to expand and bring clarity to the myriad uses of models in science by presenting a framework from philosopher of biology Jay Odenbaugh that describes five pragmatic strategies of model use in the biological sciences. We then present illustrative examples of each of these roles from an empirical study of an undergraduate biological modeling curriculum, which highlight how students used models to help them frame their research question, explore ideas, and refine their conceptual understanding in an educational setting. Our aim is to begin to explicate the definition of modeling in science in a way that will allow educators and curriculum developers to make informed choices about how and for what purpose modeling enters science classrooms.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mermelstein, Claudia; Costa, Manoel Luis

    2017-04-01

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

  16. 100 years after Smoluchowski: stochastic processes in cell biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holcman, D.; Schuss, Z.

    2017-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Franchi, Federico; Rodriguez-Porcel, Martin

    2017-01-01

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

  18. Tensegrity I. Cell structure and hierarchical systems biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ingber, Donald E.

    2003-01-01

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

  19. Tensegrity I. Cell structure and hierarchical systems biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ingber, Donald E.

    2003-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-09-01

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

  1. Stem cell biology and drug discovery

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Haston Kelly M

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract There are many reasons to be interested in stem cells, one of the most prominent being their potential use in finding better drugs to treat human disease. This article focuses on how this may be implemented. Recent advances in the production of reprogrammed adult cells and their regulated differentiation to disease-relevant cells are presented, and diseases that have been modeled using these methods are discussed. Remaining difficulties are highlighted, as are new therapeutic insights that have emerged.

  2. Interdisciplinary Team Science in Cell Biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horwitz, Rick

    2016-11-01

    The cell is complex. With its multitude of components, spatial-temporal character, and gene expression diversity, it is challenging to comprehend the cell as an integrated system and to develop models that predict its behaviors. I suggest an approach to address this issue, involving system level data analysis, large scale team science, and philanthropy. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    CAIO M.M. CORDOVA

    2016-01-01

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

  5. Unified Data Model for Biological Data

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Muhammad Idrees

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available A data model empowers us to store, retrieve and manipulate data in a unified way. We consider the biological data consists of DNA (De-Oxyribonucleic Acid, RNA (Ribonucleic Acid and protein structures. In our Bioinformatics Lab (Bioinformatics Lab, Alkhawarizmi Institute of Computer Science, University of Engineering & Technology, Lahore, Pakistan, we have already proposed two data models for DNA and protein structures individually. In this paper, we propose a unified data model by using the data models of TOS (Temporal Object Oriented System after making some necessary modifications to this data model and our already proposed the two data models. This proposed unified data model can be used for the modeling and maintaining the biological data (i.e. DNA, RNA and protein structures, in a single unified way

  6. Cell biology: at the center of modern biomedicine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Budde, Priya Prakash; Williams, Elizabeth H; Misteli, Tom

    2012-10-01

    How does basic cell biology contribute to biomedicine? A new series of Features in JCB provides a cross section of compelling examples of how basic cell biology findings can lead to therapeutics. These articles highlight the fruitful, essential, and increasingly prominent bridge that exists between cell biology and the clinic.

  7. Advances in Retinal Stem Cell Biology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrea S Viczian

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Tremendous progress has been made in recent years to generate retinal cells from pluripotent cell sources. These advances provide hope for those suffering from blindness due to lost retinal cells. Understanding the intrinsic genetic network in model organisms, like fly and frog, has led to a better understanding of the extrinsic signaling pathways necessary for retinal progenitor cell formation in mouse and human cell cultures. This review focuses on the culture methods used by different groups, which has culminated in the generation of laminated retinal tissue from both embryonic and induced pluripotent cells. The review also briefly describes advances made in transplantation studies using donor retinal progenitor and cultured retinal cells.

  8. Biology and relevance of human acute myeloid leukemia stem cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas, Daniel; Majeti, Ravindra

    2017-03-23

    Evidence of human acute myeloid leukemia stem cells (AML LSCs) was first reported nearly 2 decades ago through the identification of rare subpopulations of engrafting cells in xenotransplantation assays. These AML LSCs were shown to reside at the apex of a cellular hierarchy that initiates and maintains the disease, exhibiting properties of self-renewal, cell cycle quiescence, and chemoresistance. This cancer stem cell model offers an explanation for chemotherapy resistance and disease relapse and implies that approaches to treatment must eradicate LSCs for cure. More recently, a number of studies have both refined and expanded our understanding of LSCs and intrapatient heterogeneity in AML using improved xenotransplant models, genome-scale analyses, and experimental manipulation of primary patient cells. Here, we review these studies with a focus on the immunophenotype, biological properties, epigenetics, genetics, and clinical associations of human AML LSCs and discuss critical questions that need to be addressed in future research. © 2017 by The American Society of Hematology.

  9. Mesoscopic models of biological membranes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Venturoli, M.; Sperotto, Maria Maddalena; Kranenburg, M.;

    2006-01-01

    , as model systems to understand the fundamental properties of biomembranes. The properties of lipid bilayers can be studied at different time and length scales. For some properties it is sufficient to envision a membrane as an elastic sheet, while for others it is important to take into account the details...... of the individual atoms. In this review, we focus on an intermediate level, where groups of atoms are lumped into pseudo-particles to arrive at a coarse-grained, or mesoscopic, description of a bilayer, which is subsequently studied using molecular simulation. The aim of this review is to compare various strategies...

  10. Introduction to stochastic models in biology

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    2013-01-01

    This chapter is concerned with continuous time processes, which are often modeled as a system of ordinary differential equations (ODEs). These models assume that the observed dynamics are driven exclusively by internal, deterministic mechanisms. However, real biological systems will always be exp...

  11. Introduction to stochastic models in biology

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ditlevsen, Susanne; Samson, Adeline

    2013-01-01

    be exposed to influences that are not completely understood or not feasible to model explicitly. Ignoring these phenomena in the modeling may affect the analysis of the studied biological systems. Therefore there is an increasing need to extend the deterministic models to models that embrace more complex...... variations in the dynamics. A way of modeling these elements is by including stochastic influences or noise. A natural extension of a deterministic differential equations model is a system of stochastic differential equations (SDEs), where relevant parameters are modeled as suitable stochastic processes......, or stochastic processes are added to the driving system equations. This approach assumes that the dynamics are partly driven by noise....

  12. Notions of similarity for computational biology models

    KAUST Repository

    Waltemath, Dagmar

    2016-03-21

    Computational models used in biology are rapidly increasing in complexity, size, and numbers. To build such large models, researchers need to rely on software tools for model retrieval, model combination, and version control. These tools need to be able to quantify the differences and similarities between computational models. However, depending on the specific application, the notion of similarity may greatly vary. A general notion of model similarity, applicable to various types of models, is still missing. Here, we introduce a general notion of quantitative model similarities, survey the use of existing model comparison methods in model building and management, and discuss potential applications of model comparison. To frame model comparison as a general problem, we describe a theoretical approach to defining and computing similarities based on different model aspects. Potentially relevant aspects of a model comprise its references to biological entities, network structure, mathematical equations and parameters, and dynamic behaviour. Future similarity measures could combine these model aspects in flexible, problem-specific ways in order to mimic users\\' intuition about model similarity, and to support complex model searches in databases.

  13. Biophysical mechanisms complementing "classical" cell biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Funk, Richard H W

    2018-01-01

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

  14. Micro and nanoplatforms for biological cell analysis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2010-01-01

    In this paper some of the technological platforms developed in our group for biological cell analysis will be highlighted. The paper first presents a short introduction pinpointing the advantages of using micro and nano technology in cellular studies. The issues of requiring transient analysis...... studies mimicking the in vivo situation is presented and an example of surface modification for cellular growth is described. Then novel electronic sensor platforms are discussed and an example of a nanosensor with electronic readout is given utilizing both micro- and nanotechnology. Finally an example...

  15. Cell biology and EMF safety standards.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blank, Martin

    2015-01-01

    Living cells react defensively and start to synthesize stress proteins when exposed to potentially harmful stimuli. Electromagnetic fields (EMF) are among the many different environmental stimuli that initiate stress protein synthesis. Although there is greater energy transfer and heating due to EMF at higher frequencies, there is no greater stress response. The cellular stress response is far more sensitive to EMF than to an increase in temperature. It should be obvious that an EMF safety standard should be based on the more sensitive, natural biological response.

  16. Extending the knowledge in histochemistry and cell biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heupel, Wolfgang-Moritz; Drenckhahn, Detlev

    2010-01-01

    Central to modern Histochemistry and Cell Biology stands the need for visualization of cellular and molecular processes. In the past several years, a variety of techniques has been achieved bridging traditional light microscopy, fluorescence microscopy and electron microscopy with powerful software-based post-processing and computer modeling. Researchers now have various tools available to investigate problems of interest from bird's- up to worm's-eye of view, focusing on tissues, cells, proteins or finally single molecules. Applications of new approaches in combination with well-established traditional techniques of mRNA, DNA or protein analysis have led to enlightening and prudent studies which have paved the way toward a better understanding of not only physiological but also pathological processes in the field of cell biology. This review is intended to summarize articles standing for the progress made in "histo-biochemical" techniques and their manifold applications.

  17. The cell biology of Tobacco mosaic virus replication and movement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Chengke; Nelson, Richard S

    2013-01-01

    Successful systemic infection of a plant by Tobacco mosaic virus (TMV) requires three processes that repeat over time: initial establishment and accumulation in invaded cells, intercellular movement, and systemic transport. Accumulation and intercellular movement of TMV necessarily involves intracellular transport by complexes containing virus and host proteins and virus RNA during a dynamic process that can be visualized. Multiple membranes appear to assist TMV accumulation, while membranes, microfilaments and microtubules appear to assist TMV movement. Here we review cell biological studies that describe TMV-membrane, -cytoskeleton, and -other host protein interactions which influence virus accumulation and movement in leaves and callus tissue. The importance of understanding the developmental phase of the infection in relationship to the observed virus-membrane or -host protein interaction is emphasized. Utilizing the latest observations of TMV-membrane and -host protein interactions within our evolving understanding of the infection ontogeny, a model for TMV accumulation and intracellular spread in a cell biological context is provided.

  18. Biologic characteristics of fibroblast cells cultured from the knee ligaments

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    陈鸿辉; 唐毅; 李斯明; 沈雁; 刘向荣; 钟灿灿

    2002-01-01

    Objective: To culture fibroblast cells from the kneeligaments and to study the biological characteristics of thesecells.Methods: Cells of the anterior cruciate ligament(ACL) and the medial collateral ligament (MCL) fromNew Zealand white rabbit were cultured in vitro. Cellulargrowth and expression of the collagen were analyzed.Moreover, an in vitro wound closure model was establishedand the healing of the ACL and the MCL cells wascompared.Results: Maximal growth for all these cells wereobtained with Dulbecco's modified Eagle's mediumsupplemented with 10% fetal bovine serum, but RPMI 1640and Ham's F12 media were not suitable to maintain thesecells. Morphology of both ACL and MCL cells from NewZealand white rabbit was alike in vitro, but the MCL cellsgrew faster than the ACL cells. Both cell types producedsimilar amount of collagen in culture, but the ratio ofcollage type I to type III produced by ACL cells was higherthan that produced by MCL cells. Wound closure assayshowed that at 36 hours after injury, cell-free zones createdin the ACL cultures were occupied partially by the ACLcells; in contrast, the wounded zone in the MCL cultureswas almost completely covered by the cells.Conclusions: Although the ACL cells and the MCLcells from New Zealand white rabbit show similarappearance in morphology in culture, the cellular growthand the biochemical synthesis of collagen as well as thehealing in vitro were significantly different. Thesedifferences in intrinsic properties of the two types of cells invitro might contribute to the differential healing potentialsof these ligaments in vivo.

  19. Heart-on-a-chip based on stem cell biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jastrzebska, Elzbieta; Tomecka, Ewelina; Jesion, Iwona

    2016-01-15

    Heart diseases are one of the main causes of death around the world. The great challenge for scientists is to develop new therapeutic methods for these types of ailments. Stem cells (SCs) therapy could be one of a promising technique used for renewal of cardiac cells and treatment of heart diseases. Conventional in vitro techniques utilized for investigation of heart regeneration do not mimic natural cardiac physiology. Lab-on-a-chip systems may be the solution which could allow the creation of a heart muscle model, enabling the growth of cardiac cells in conditions similar to in vivo conditions. Microsystems can be also used for differentiation of stem cells into heart cells, successfully. It will help better understand of proliferation and regeneration ability of these cells. In this review, we present Heart-on-a-chip systems based on cardiac cell culture and stem cell biology. This review begins with the description of the physiological environment and the functions of the heart. Next, we shortly described conventional techniques of stem cells differentiation into the cardiac cells. This review is mostly focused on describing Lab-on-a-chip systems for cardiac tissue engineering. Therefore, in the next part of this article, the microsystems for both cardiac cell culture and SCs differentiation into cardiac cells are described. The section about SCs differentiation into the heart cells is divided in sections describing biochemical, physical and mechanical stimulations. Finally, we outline present challenges and future research concerning Heart-on-a-chip based on stem cell biology. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  20. Designer nanoparticle: nanobiotechnology tool for cell biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thimiri Govinda Raj, Deepak B.; Khan, Niamat Ali

    2016-09-01

    This article discusses the use of nanotechnology for subcellular compartment isolation and its application towards subcellular omics. This technology review significantly contributes to our understanding on use of nanotechnology for subcellular systems biology. Here we elaborate nanobiotechnology approach of using superparamagnetic nanoparticles (SPMNPs) optimized with different surface coatings for subcellular organelle isolation. Using pulse-chase approach, we review that SPMNPs interacted differently with the cell depending on its surface functionalization. The article focuses on the use of functionalized-SPMNPs as a nanobiotechnology tool to isolate high quality (both purity and yield) plasma membranes and endosomes or lysosomes. Such nanobiotechnology tool can be applied in generating subcellular compartment inventories. As a future perspective, this strategy could be applied in areas such as immunology, cancer and stem cell research.

  1. Can molecular cell biology explain chromosome motions?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gagliardi L

    2011-05-01

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

  2. Functional model of biological neural networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lo, James Ting-Ho

    2010-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hodgman, C Eric; Jewett, Michael C

    2012-05-01

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

  4. Modeling biological rhythms in failure time data

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Myles James D

    2006-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The human body exhibits a variety of biological rhythms. There are patterns that correspond, among others, to the daily wake/sleep cycle, a yearly seasonal cycle and, in women, the menstrual cycle. Sine/cosine functions are often used to model biological patterns for continuous data, but this model is not appropriate for analysis of biological rhythms in failure time data. Methods We adapt the cosinor method to the proportional hazards model and present a method to provide an estimate and confidence interval of the time when the minimum hazard is achieved. We then apply this model to data taken from a clinical trial of adjuvant of pre-menopausal breast cancer patients. Results The application of this technique to the breast cancer data revealed that the optimal day for pre-resection incisional or excisional biopsy of 28-day cycle (i. e. the day associated with the lowest recurrence rate is day 8 with 95% confidence interval of 4–12 days. We found that older age, fewer positive nodes, smaller tumor size, and experimental treatment were predictive of longer relapse-free survival. Conclusion In this paper we have described a method for modeling failure time data with an underlying biological rhythm. The advantage of adapting a cosinor model to proportional hazards model is its ability to model right censored data. We have presented a method to provide an estimate and confidence interval of the day in the menstrual cycle where the minimum hazard is achieved. This method is not limited to breast cancer data, and may be applied to any biological rhythms linked to right censored data.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-08-14

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

  6. Modelling biological complexity: a physical scientist's perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coveney, Peter V; Fowler, Philip W

    2005-09-22

    We discuss the modern approaches of complexity and self-organization to understanding dynamical systems and how these concepts can inform current interest in systems biology. From the perspective of a physical scientist, it is especially interesting to examine how the differing weights given to philosophies of science in the physical and biological sciences impact the application of the study of complexity. We briefly describe how the dynamics of the heart and circadian rhythms, canonical examples of systems biology, are modelled by sets of nonlinear coupled differential equations, which have to be solved numerically. A major difficulty with this approach is that all the parameters within these equations are not usually known. Coupled models that include biomolecular detail could help solve this problem. Coupling models across large ranges of length- and time-scales is central to describing complex systems and therefore to biology. Such coupling may be performed in at least two different ways, which we refer to as hierarchical and hybrid multiscale modelling. While limited progress has been made in the former case, the latter is only beginning to be addressed systematically. These modelling methods are expected to bring numerous benefits to biology, for example, the properties of a system could be studied over a wider range of length- and time-scales, a key aim of systems biology. Multiscale models couple behaviour at the molecular biological level to that at the cellular level, thereby providing a route for calculating many unknown parameters as well as investigating the effects at, for example, the cellular level, of small changes at the biomolecular level, such as a genetic mutation or the presence of a drug. The modelling and simulation of biomolecular systems is itself very computationally intensive; we describe a recently developed hybrid continuum-molecular model, HybridMD, and its associated molecular insertion algorithm, which point the way towards the

  7. Cell Wall Biology: Perspectives from Cell Wall Imaging

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Kieran J.D.Lee; Susan E.Marcus; J.Paul Knox

    2011-01-01

    Polysaccharide-rich plant cell walls are important biomaterials that underpin plant growth,are major repositories for photosynthetically accumulated carbon,and,in addition,impact greatly on the human use of plants. Land plant cell walls contain in the region of a dozen major polysaccharide structures that are mostly encompassed by cellulose,hemicelluloses,and pectic polysaccharides. During the evolution of land plants,polysaccharide diversification appears to have largely involved structural elaboration and diversification within these polysaccharide groups. Cell wall chemistry is well advanced and a current phase of cell wall science is aimed at placing the complex polysaccharide chemistry in cellular contexts and developing a detailed understanding of cell wall biology. Imaging cell wall glycomes is a challenging area but recent developments in the establishment of cell wall molecular probe panels and their use in high throughput procedures are leading to rapid advances in the molecular understanding of the spatial heterogeneity of individual cell walls and also cell wall differences at taxonomic levels. The challenge now is to integrate this knowledge of cell wall heterogeneity with an understanding of the molecular and physiological mechanisms that underpin cell wall properties and functions.

  8. Stem cell biology and cell transplantation therapy in the retina.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Osakada, Fumitaka; Hirami, Yasuhiko; Takahashi, Masayo

    2010-01-01

    Embryonic stem (ES) cells, which are derived from the inner cell mass of mammalian blastocyst stage embryos, have the ability to differentiate into any cell type in the body and to grow indefinitely while maintaining pluripotency. During development, cells undergo progressive and irreversible differentiation into specialized adult cell types. Remarkably, in spite of this restriction in potential, adult somatic cells can be reprogrammed and returned to the naive state of pluripotency found in the early embryo simply by forcing expression of a defined set of transcription factors. These induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells are molecularly and functionally equivalent to ES cells and provide powerful in vitro models for development, disease, and drug screening, as well as material for cell replacement therapy. Since functional impairment results from cell loss in most central nervous system (CNS) diseases, recovery of lost cells is an important treatment strategy. Although adult neurogenesis occurs in restricted regions, the CNS has poor potential for regeneration to compensate for cell loss. Thus, cell transplantation into damaged or diseased CNS tissues is a promising approach to treating various neurodegenerative disorders. Transplantation of photoreceptors or retinal pigment epithelium cells derived from human ES cells can restore some visual function. Patient-specific iPS cells may lead to customized cell therapy. However, regeneration of retinal function will require a detailed understanding of eye development, visual system circuitry, and retinal degeneration pathology. Here, we review the current progress in retinal regeneration, focusing on the therapeutic potential of pluripotent stem cells.

  9. High-Content Screening for Quantitative Cell Biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mattiazzi Usaj, Mojca; Styles, Erin B; Verster, Adrian J; Friesen, Helena; Boone, Charles; Andrews, Brenda J

    2016-08-01

    High-content screening (HCS), which combines automated fluorescence microscopy with quantitative image analysis, allows the acquisition of unbiased multiparametric data at the single cell level. This approach has been used to address diverse biological questions and identify a plethora of quantitative phenotypes of varying complexity in numerous different model systems. Here, we describe some recent applications of HCS, ranging from the identification of genes required for specific biological processes to the characterization of genetic interactions. We review the steps involved in the design of useful biological assays and automated image analysis, and describe major challenges associated with each. Additionally, we highlight emerging technologies and future challenges, and discuss how the field of HCS might be enhanced in the future.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-01-01

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

  11. Post-16 Biology--Some Model Approaches?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lock, Roger

    1997-01-01

    Outlines alternative approaches to the teaching of difficult concepts in A-level biology which may help student learning by making abstract ideas more concrete and accessible. Examples include models, posters, and poems for illustrating meiosis, mitosis, genetic mutations, and protein synthesis. (DDR)

  12. The Penna Model of Biological Aging

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. Stauffer

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available This review deals with computer simulation of biological aging, particularly with the Penna model of 1995. They are based on the mutation accumulation theory of half a century ago. The results agree well with demographical reality, and also with the seemingly contradictory influence of predators on the aging of prey.

  13. Ultrafast spectroscopy of model biological membranes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ghosh, Avishek

    2009-01-01

    In this PhD thesis, I have described the novel time-resolved sum-frequency generation (TR-SFG) spectroscopic technique that I developed during the course of my PhD research and used it study the ultrafast vibrational, structural and orientational dynamics of water molecules at model biological membr

  14. Photoactive molecules for applications in molecular imaging and cell biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shao, Qing; Xing, Bengang

    2010-08-01

    Photoactive technology has proven successful for non-invasive regulation of biological activities and processes in living cells. With the light-directed generation of biomaterials or signals, mechanisms in cell biology can be investigated at the molecular level with spatial and temporal resolution. In this tutorial review, we aim to introduce the important applications of photoactive molecules for elucidating cell biology on aspects of protein engineering, fluorescence labelling, gene regulation and cell physiological functions.

  15. Topological Quantum Computation and Error Correction by Biological Cells

    CERN Document Server

    Lofthouse, J T

    2005-01-01

    A Topological examination of phospholipid dynamics in the Far from Equilibrium state has demonstrated that metabolically active cells use waste heat to generate spatially patterned membrane flows by forced convection and shear. This paper explains the resemblance between this nonlinear membrane model and Witten Kitaev type Topological Quantum Computation systems, and demonstrates how this self-organising membrane enables biological cells to circumvent the decoherence problem, perform error correction procedures, and produce classical level output as shielded current flow through cytoskeletal protein conduit. Cellular outputs are shown to be Turing compatible as they are determined by computable in principle hydromagnetic fluid flows, and importantly, are Adaptive from an Evolutionary perspective.

  16. Multi-level and hybrid modelling approaches for systems biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bardini, R; Politano, G; Benso, A; Di Carlo, S

    2017-01-01

    During the last decades, high-throughput techniques allowed for the extraction of a huge amount of data from biological systems, unveiling more of their underling complexity. Biological systems encompass a wide range of space and time scales, functioning according to flexible hierarchies of mechanisms making an intertwined and dynamic interplay of regulations. This becomes particularly evident in processes such as ontogenesis, where regulative assets change according to process context and timing, making structural phenotype and architectural complexities emerge from a single cell, through local interactions. The information collected from biological systems are naturally organized according to the functional levels composing the system itself. In systems biology, biological information often comes from overlapping but different scientific domains, each one having its own way of representing phenomena under study. That is, the different parts of the system to be modelled may be described with different formalisms. For a model to have improved accuracy and capability for making a good knowledge base, it is good to comprise different system levels, suitably handling the relative formalisms. Models which are both multi-level and hybrid satisfy both these requirements, making a very useful tool in computational systems biology. This paper reviews some of the main contributions in this field.

  17. Synthetic biology outside the cell: linking computational tools to cell-free systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  18. The biology of circulating tumor cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pantel, K; Speicher, M R

    2016-03-10

    Metastasis is a biologically complex process consisting of numerous stochastic events which may tremendously differ across various cancer types. Circulating tumor cells (CTCs) are cells that are shed from primary tumors and metastatic deposits into the blood stream. CTCs bear a tremendous potential to improve our understanding of steps involved in the metastatic cascade, starting from intravasation of tumor cells into the circulation until the formation of clinically detectable metastasis. These efforts were propelled by novel high-resolution approaches to dissect the genomes and transcriptomes of CTCs. Furthermore, capturing of viable CTCs has paved the way for innovative culturing technologies to study fundamental characteristics of CTCs such as invasiveness, their kinetics and responses to selection barriers, such as given therapies. Hence the study of CTCs is not only instrumental as a basic research tool, but also allows the serial monitoring of tumor genotypes and may therefore provide predictive and prognostic biomarkers for clinicians. Here, we review how CTCs have contributed to significant insights into the metastatic process and how they may be utilized in clinical practice.

  19. Statistical Model Checking for Biological Systems

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    David, Alexandre; Larsen, Kim Guldstrand; Legay, Axel

    2014-01-01

    Statistical Model Checking (SMC) is a highly scalable simulation-based verification approach for testing and estimating the probability that a stochastic system satisfies a given linear temporal property. The technique has been applied to (discrete and continuous time) Markov chains, stochastic...... proved very useful for identifying interesting properties of biological systems. Our aim is to offer the best of the two worlds: optimal domain specific interfaces and formalisms suited to biology combined with powerful SMC analysis techniques for stochastic and hybrid systems. This goal is obtained...

  20. Biologicals and Fetal Cell Therapy for Wound and Scar Management

    OpenAIRE

    Hirt-Burri, Nathalie; Ramelet, Albert-Adrien; Raffoul, Wassim; de Buys Roessingh, Anthony; Scaletta, Corinne; Pioletti, Dominique; Applegate, Lee Ann

    2011-01-01

    Few biopharmaceutical preparations developed from biologicals are available for tissue regeneration and scar management. When developing biological treatments with cellular therapy, selection of cell types and establishment of consistent cell banks are crucial steps in whole-cell bioprocessing. Various cell types have been used in treatment of wounds to reduce scar to date including autolog and allogenic skin cells, platelets, placenta, and amniotic extracts. Experience with fetal cells show ...

  1. Cell biology apps for Apple devices.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stark, Louisa A

    2012-01-01

    Apps for touch-pad devices hold promise for guiding and supporting learning. Students may use them in the classroom or on their own for didactic instruction, just-in-time learning, or review. Since Apple touch-pad devices (i.e., iPad and iPhone) have a substantial share of the touch-pad device market (Campbell, 2012), this Feature will explore cell biology apps available from the App Store. My review includes iPad and iPhone apps available in June 2012, but does not include courses, lectures, podcasts, audiobooks, texts, or other books. I rated each app on a five-point scale (1 star = lowest; 5 stars = highest) for educational and production values; I also provide an overall score.

  2. Dynamics of mathematical models in biology bringing mathematics to life

    CERN Document Server

    Zazzu, Valeria; Guarracino, Mario

    2016-01-01

    This volume focuses on contributions from both the mathematics and life science community surrounding the concepts of time and dynamicity of nature, two significant elements which are often overlooked in modeling process to avoid exponential computations. The book is divided into three distinct parts: dynamics of genomes and genetic variation, dynamics of motifs, and dynamics of biological networks. Chapters included in dynamics of genomes and genetic variation analyze the molecular mechanisms and evolutionary processes that shape the structure and function of genomes and those that govern genome dynamics. The dynamics of motifs portion of the volume provides an overview of current methods for motif searching in DNA, RNA and proteins, a key process to discover emergent properties of cells, tissues, and organisms. The part devoted to the dynamics of biological networks covers networks aptly discusses networks in complex biological functions and activities that interpret processes in cells. Moreover, chapters i...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-08-25

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

  4. Biology Students’ Initial Mental Model about Microorganism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamdiyati, Y.; Sudargo, F.; Redjeki, S.; Fitriani, A.

    2017-02-01

    The purpose of this study was to identify biology students’ initial mental model about microorganism. This research used descriptive method with 32 sixth semester biology students at Biology Education Departement-Universitas Pendidikan Indonesia as its respondents. Data was taken at the beginning of the 6th semester before respondents endure microbiology course. Instrument used to assess mental model was drawing-writing test in which it contains concepts such as structure of bacteria, archaea, virus, and fungi. Students were asked to describe their imagination about the structure of microorganisms and subsequently asked to explain the structure of microorganisms in writing through open-ended questions. Students’ response was then compared to scientists or experts’ mental models as the targeted mental model. Student mental models were categorized into five levels (levels 1-5), namely “there is no drawing/writing,” “wrong or irrelevant drawing/writing of question,” “partially correct drawing/writing,” “the drawing/writing that has some deficiencies,” and “completely correct and complete drawing/writing.” Results showed that the level of mental models through drawing or writing about the four concepts were varied. The highest level of mental models through drawing (D5) was found in the concept of bacteria, while the highest level of mental models through writing (W3) was found in the concept of bacteria, virus, and fungi. Mental model levels most commonly found in each concept through drawing-writing tests (D/W) were bacteria (D2/W2), Archaea (D1/W1 and D2/W2), virus (D3/W3), and fungi (D2/W1). From these results it is advisable to improve lectures and assessment strategy to enhance or complement students’ mental models about microorganisms.

  5. Boolean Models of Biological Processes Explain Cascade-Like Behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Hao; Wang, Guanyu; Simha, Rahul; Du, Chenghang; Zeng, Chen

    2016-01-29

    Biological networks play a key role in determining biological function and therefore, an understanding of their structure and dynamics is of central interest in systems biology. In Boolean models of such networks, the status of each molecule is either "on" or "off" and along with the molecules interact with each other, their individual status changes from "on" to "off" or vice-versa and the system of molecules in the network collectively go through a sequence of changes in state. This sequence of changes is termed a biological process. In this paper, we examine the common perception that events in biomolecular networks occur sequentially, in a cascade-like manner, and ask whether this is likely to be an inherent property. In further investigations of the budding and fission yeast cell-cycle, we identify two generic dynamical rules. A Boolean system that complies with these rules will automatically have a certain robustness. By considering the biological requirements in robustness and designability, we show that those Boolean dynamical systems, compared to an arbitrary dynamical system, statistically present the characteristics of cascadeness and sequentiality, as observed in the budding and fission yeast cell- cycle. These results suggest that cascade-like behavior might be an intrinsic property of biological processes.

  6. Modeling drug- and chemical- induced hepatotoxicity with systems biology approaches

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sudin eBhattacharya

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available We provide an overview of computational systems biology approaches as applied to the study of chemical- and drug-induced toxicity. The concept of ‘toxicity pathways’ is described in the context of the 2007 US National Academies of Science report, Toxicity testing in the 21st Century: A Vision and A Strategy. Pathway mapping and modeling based on network biology concepts are a key component of the vision laid out in this report for a more biologically-based analysis of dose-response behavior and the safety of chemicals and drugs. We focus on toxicity of the liver (hepatotoxicity – a complex phenotypic response with contributions from a number of different cell types and biological processes. We describe three case studies of complementary multi-scale computational modeling approaches to understand perturbation of toxicity pathways in the human liver as a result of exposure to environmental contaminants and specific drugs. One approach involves development of a spatial, multicellular virtual tissue model of the liver lobule that combines molecular circuits in individual hepatocytes with cell-cell interactions and blood-mediated transport of toxicants through hepatic sinusoids, to enable quantitative, mechanistic prediction of hepatic dose-response for activation of the AhR toxicity pathway. Simultaneously, methods are being developing to extract quantitative maps of intracellular signaling and transcriptional regulatory networks perturbed by environmental contaminants, using a combination of gene expression and genome-wide protein-DNA interaction data. A predictive physiological model (DILIsymTM to understand drug-induced liver injury (DILI, the most common adverse event leading to termination of clinical development programs and regulatory actions on drugs, is also described. The model initially focuses on reactive metabolite-induced DILI in response to administration of acetaminophen, and spans multiple biological scales.

  7. From cell biology to the microbiome: An intentional infinite loop

    OpenAIRE

    Garrett, Wendy S

    2015-01-01

    Cell biology is the study of the structure and function of the unit or units of living organisms. Enabled by current and evolving technologies, cell biologists today are embracing new scientific challenges that span many disciplines. The eclectic nature of cell biology is core to its future and remains its enduring legacy.

  8. From cell biology to the microbiome: An intentional infinite loop.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garrett, Wendy S

    2015-07-01

    Cell biology is the study of the structure and function of the unit or units of living organisms. Enabled by current and evolving technologies, cell biologists today are embracing new scientific challenges that span many disciplines. The eclectic nature of cell biology is core to its future and remains its enduring legacy.

  9. Institute for Multiscale Modeling of Biological Interactions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Paulaitis, Michael E; Garcia-Moreno, Bertrand; Lenhoff, Abraham

    2009-12-26

    The Institute for Multiscale Modeling of Biological Interactions (IMMBI) has two primary goals: Foster interdisciplinary collaborations among faculty and their research laboratories that will lead to novel applications of multiscale simulation and modeling methods in the biological sciences and engineering; and Building on the unique biophysical/biology-based engineering foundations of the participating faculty, train scientists and engineers to apply computational methods that collectively span multiple time and length scales of biological organization. The success of IMMBI will be defined by the following: Size and quality of the applicant pool for pre-doctoral and post-doctoral fellows; Academic performance; Quality of the pre-doctoral and post-doctoral research; Impact of the research broadly and to the DOE (ASCR program) mission; Distinction of the next career step for pre-doctoral and post-doctoral fellows; and Faculty collaborations that result from IMMBI activities. Specific details about accomplishments during the three years of DOE support for IMMBI have been documented in Annual Progress Reports (April 2005, June 2006, and March 2007) and a Report for a National Academy of Sciences Review (October 2005) that were submitted to DOE on the dates indicated. An overview of these accomplishments is provided.

  10. Cell Biology of Thiazide Bone Effects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gamba, Gerardo; Riccardi, Daniela

    2008-09-01

    The thiazide-sensitive Na+:Cl- cotransporter (NCC) is the major pathway for salt reabsorption in the mammalian kidney. The activity of NCC is not only related to salt metabolism, but also to calcium and magnesium homeostasis due to the inverse relationship between NCC activity and calcium reabsorption. Hence, the thiazide-type diuretics that specifically block NCC have been used for years, not only for treatment of hypertension and edematous disease, but also for the management of renal stone disease. Epidemiological studies have shown that chronic thiazide treatment is associated with higher bone mineral density and reduced risk of bone fractures, which can only partly be explained in terms of their effects on the kidney. In this regard, we have recently shown that NCC is expressed in bone cells and that inhibition of NCC in bone, either by thiazides or by reduction of NCC protein with specific siRNA, is associated with increased mineralization in vitro. These observations open a field of study to begin to understand the cell biology of the beneficial effects of thiazides in bone.

  11. Integrating cell biology and proteomic approaches in plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takáč, Tomáš; Šamajová, Olga; Šamaj, Jozef

    2017-04-22

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

  12. Computational cell biology at the home of the helix.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ward, Jonathan J; Nédélec, Francois J

    2010-06-01

    The Computational Cell Biology Conference, held jointly by the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and the Wellcome Trust, was convened in the grand surroundings of Hinxton Hall near Cambridge, UK. The high quality of the research presented at the meeting confirmed that the field of computational cell biology is maturing rapidly, which mirrors the progression of cell biology from being mostly descriptive to a more quantitative discipline.

  13. Marrow-isolated adult multilineage inducible cells embedded within a biologically-inspired construct promote recovery in a mouse model of peripheral vascular disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grau-Monge, Cristina; Delcroix, Gaëtan J-R; Bonnin-Marquez, Andrea; Valdes, Mike; Awadallah, Ead Lewis Mazen; Quevedo, Daniel F; Armour, Maxime R; Montero, Ramon B; Schiller, Paul C; Andreopoulos, Fotios M; D'Ippolito, Gianluca

    2017-02-17

    Peripheral vascular disease is one of the major vascular complications in individuals suffering from diabetes and in the elderly that is associated with significant burden in terms of morbidity and mortality. Stem cell therapy is being tested as an attractive alternative to traditional surgery to prevent and treat this disorder. The goal of this study was to enhance the protective and reparative potential of marrow-isolated adult multilineage inducible (MIAMI) cells by incorporating them within a bio-inspired construct (BIC) made of two layers of gelatin B electrospun nanofibers. We hypothesized that the BIC would enhance MIAMI cell survival and engraftment, ultimately leading to a better functional recovery of the injured limb in our mouse model of critical limb ischemia compared to MIAMI cells used alone. Our study demonstrated that MIAMI cell-seeded BIC resulted in a wide range of positive outcomes with an almost full recovery of blood flow in the injured limb, thereby limiting the extent of ischemia and necrosis. Functional recovery was also the greatest when MIAMI cells were combined with BICs, compared to MIAMI cells alone or BICs in the absence of cells. Histology was performed 28 days after grafting the animals to explore the mechanisms at the source of these positive outcomes. We observed that our critical limb ischemia model induces an extensive loss of muscular fibers that are replaced by intermuscular adipose tissue (IMAT), together with a highly disorganized vascular structure. The use of MIAMI cells-seeded BIC prevented IMAT infiltration with some clear evidence of muscular fibers regeneration.

  14. Biology of Metastatic Renal Cell Carcinoma

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michele Milella, Alessandra Felici

    2011-01-01

    cell biology and tumor-host interactions may hold the key to future advances in such a complex and challenging disease.

  15. Computational Biology: Modeling Chronic Renal Allograft Injury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stegall, Mark D; Borrows, Richard

    2015-01-01

    New approaches are needed to develop more effective interventions to prevent long-term rejection of organ allografts. Computational biology provides a powerful tool to assess the large amount of complex data that is generated in longitudinal studies in this area. This manuscript outlines how our two groups are using mathematical modeling to analyze predictors of graft loss using both clinical and experimental data and how we plan to expand this approach to investigate specific mechanisms of chronic renal allograft injury.

  16. In Vivo Models to Study Chemokine Biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amaral, F A; Boff, D; Teixeira, M M

    2016-01-01

    Chemokines are essential mediators of leukocyte movement in vivo. In vitro assays of leukocyte migration cannot mimic the complex interactions with other cell types and matrix needed for cells to extravasate and migrate into tissues. Therefore, in vivo strategies to study the effects and potential relevance of chemokines for the migration of particular leukocyte subsets are necessary. Here, we describe methods to study the effects and endogenous role of chemokine in mice. Advantages and pitfalls of particular models are discussed and we focus on description in model's joint and pleural cavity inflammation and the effects and relevance of CXCR2 and CCR2 ligands on cell migration.

  17. From biology to mathematical models and back: teaching modeling to biology students, and biology to math and engineering students.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chiel, Hillel J; McManus, Jeffrey M; Shaw, Kendrick M

    2010-01-01

    We describe the development of a course to teach modeling and mathematical analysis skills to students of biology and to teach biology to students with strong backgrounds in mathematics, physics, or engineering. The two groups of students have different ways of learning material and often have strong negative feelings toward the area of knowledge that they find difficult. To give students a sense of mastery in each area, several complementary approaches are used in the course: 1) a "live" textbook that allows students to explore models and mathematical processes interactively; 2) benchmark problems providing key skills on which students make continuous progress; 3) assignment of students to teams of two throughout the semester; 4) regular one-on-one interactions with instructors throughout the semester; and 5) a term project in which students reconstruct, analyze, extend, and then write in detail about a recently published biological model. Based on student evaluations and comments, an attitude survey, and the quality of the students' term papers, the course has significantly increased the ability and willingness of biology students to use mathematical concepts and modeling tools to understand biological systems, and it has significantly enhanced engineering students' appreciation of biology.

  18. From Biology to Mathematical Models and Back: Teaching Modeling to Biology Students, and Biology to Math and Engineering Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    McManus, Jeffrey M.; Shaw, Kendrick M.

    2010-01-01

    We describe the development of a course to teach modeling and mathematical analysis skills to students of biology and to teach biology to students with strong backgrounds in mathematics, physics, or engineering. The two groups of students have different ways of learning material and often have strong negative feelings toward the area of knowledge that they find difficult. To give students a sense of mastery in each area, several complementary approaches are used in the course: 1) a “live” textbook that allows students to explore models and mathematical processes interactively; 2) benchmark problems providing key skills on which students make continuous progress; 3) assignment of students to teams of two throughout the semester; 4) regular one-on-one interactions with instructors throughout the semester; and 5) a term project in which students reconstruct, analyze, extend, and then write in detail about a recently published biological model. Based on student evaluations and comments, an attitude survey, and the quality of the students' term papers, the course has significantly increased the ability and willingness of biology students to use mathematical concepts and modeling tools to understand biological systems, and it has significantly enhanced engineering students' appreciation of biology. PMID:20810957

  19. Stem cells: Biology and clinical potential

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    ajl yemi

    2011-12-30

    Dec 30, 2011 ... divisions to self renew or undergo terminal differentiation, or they may ... cells, hematopoietic stem cells and cancer cells conti- ..... as vascular endothelial cells, neurocytes, lung cells and ..... Patient-specific embryonic stem.

  20. Falsifying Oscillation Properties of Parametric Biological Models

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thao Dang

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available We propose an approach to falsification of oscillation properties of parametric biological models, based on the recently developed techniques for testing continuous and hybrid systems. In this approach, an oscillation property can be specified using a hybrid automaton, which is then used to guide the exploration in the state and input spaces to search for the behaviors that do not satisfy the property. We illustrate the approach with the Laub-Loomis model for spontaneous oscillations during the aggregation stage of Dictyostelium.

  1. Cell Division in the Light of Modeling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bellaïche, Yohanns

    2016-09-26

    Theoretical modeling is central to elucidating underlying principles of emergent properties of complex systems. In cell and developmental biology, the last 15 years have witnessed a convergence of empirical and modeling approaches for fresh perspectives. The role of cell division in coordinating size, shape, and fate in particular illustrates the ever-growing impact of modeling.

  2. Genome Annotation in a Community College Cell Biology Lab

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beagley, C. Timothy

    2013-01-01

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

  3. Genome Annotation in a Community College Cell Biology Lab

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beagley, C. Timothy

    2013-01-01

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

  4. Effect of amino acid supplementation on titer and glycosylation distribution in hybridoma cell cultures-Systems biology-based interpretation using genome-scale metabolic flux balance model and multivariate data analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reimonn, Thomas M; Park, Seo-Young; Agarabi, Cyrus D; Brorson, Kurt A; Yoon, Seongkyu

    2016-09-01

    Genome-scale flux balance analysis (FBA) is a powerful systems biology tool to characterize intracellular reaction fluxes during cell cultures. FBA estimates intracellular reaction rates by optimizing an objective function, subject to the constraints of a metabolic model and media uptake/excretion rates. A dynamic extension to FBA, dynamic flux balance analysis (DFBA), can calculate intracellular reaction fluxes as they change during cell cultures. In a previous study by Read et al. (2013), a series of informed amino acid supplementation experiments were performed on twelve parallel murine hybridoma cell cultures, and this data was leveraged for further analysis (Read et al., Biotechnol Prog. 2013;29:745-753). In order to understand the effects of media changes on the model murine hybridoma cell line, a systems biology approach is applied in the current study. Dynamic flux balance analysis was performed using a genome-scale mouse metabolic model, and multivariate data analysis was used for interpretation. The calculated reaction fluxes were examined using partial least squares and partial least squares discriminant analysis. The results indicate media supplementation increases product yield because it raises nutrient levels extending the growth phase, and the increased cell density allows for greater culture performance. At the same time, the directed supplementation does not change the overall metabolism of the cells. This supports the conclusion that product quality, as measured by glycoform assays, remains unchanged because the metabolism remains in a similar state. Additionally, the DFBA shows that metabolic state varies more at the beginning of the culture but less by the middle of the growth phase, possibly due to stress on the cells during inoculation. © 2016 American Institute of Chemical Engineers Biotechnol. Prog., 32:1163-1173, 2016.

  5. Obstructive renal injury: from fluid mechanics to molecular cell biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ucero, Alvaro C; Gonçalves, Sara; Benito-Martin, Alberto; Santamaría, Beatriz; Ramos, Adrian M; Berzal, Sergio; Ruiz-Ortega, Marta; Egido, Jesus; Ortiz, Alberto

    2010-01-01

    Urinary tract obstruction is a frequent cause of renal impairment. The physiopathology of obstructive nephropathy has long been viewed as a mere mechanical problem. However, recent advances in cell and systems biology have disclosed a complex physiopathology involving a high number of molecular mediators of injury that lead to cellular processes of apoptotic cell death, cell injury leading to inflammation and resultant fibrosis. Functional studies in animal models of ureteral obstruction using a variety of techniques that include genetically modified animals have disclosed an important role for the renin-angiotensin system, transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1) and other mediators of inflammation in this process. In addition, high throughput techniques such as proteomics and transcriptomics have identified potential biomarkers that may guide clinical decision-making. PMID:24198613

  6. Obstructive renal injury: from fluid mechanics to molecular cell biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ucero, Alvaro C; Gonçalves, Sara; Benito-Martin, Alberto; Santamaría, Beatriz; Ramos, Adrian M; Berzal, Sergio; Ruiz-Ortega, Marta; Egido, Jesus; Ortiz, Alberto

    2010-04-22

    Urinary tract obstruction is a frequent cause of renal impairment. The physiopathology of obstructive nephropathy has long been viewed as a mere mechanical problem. However, recent advances in cell and systems biology have disclosed a complex physiopathology involving a high number of molecular mediators of injury that lead to cellular processes of apoptotic cell death, cell injury leading to inflammation and resultant fibrosis. Functional studies in animal models of ureteral obstruction using a variety of techniques that include genetically modified animals have disclosed an important role for the renin-angiotensin system, transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1) and other mediators of inflammation in this process. In addition, high throughput techniques such as proteomics and transcriptomics have identified potential biomarkers that may guide clinical decision-making.

  7. Synthetic biology: programming cells for biomedical applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hörner, Maximilian; Reischmann, Nadine; Weber, Wilfried

    2012-01-01

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

  8. Modelling symbiosis in biological and social systems

    CERN Document Server

    Yukalov, V I; Sornette, D

    2010-01-01

    We introduce a general mathematical model of symbiosis between different entities by taking into account the influence of each species on the carrying capacities of the others. The modeled entities can pertain to biological and ecological societies or to social, economic and financial societies. Our model includes three basic types: symbiosis with direct mutual interactions, symbiosis with asymmetric interactions, and symbiosis without direct interactions. In all cases, we provide a complete classification of all admissible dynamical regimes. The proposed model of symbiosis turned out to be very rich, as it exhibits four qualitatively different regimes: convergence to stationary states, unbounded exponential growth, finite-time singularity, and finite-time death or extinction of species.

  9. Continuum Modeling of Biological Network Formation

    KAUST Repository

    Albi, Giacomo

    2017-04-10

    We present an overview of recent analytical and numerical results for the elliptic–parabolic system of partial differential equations proposed by Hu and Cai, which models the formation of biological transportation networks. The model describes the pressure field using a Darcy type equation and the dynamics of the conductance network under pressure force effects. Randomness in the material structure is represented by a linear diffusion term and conductance relaxation by an algebraic decay term. We first introduce micro- and mesoscopic models and show how they are connected to the macroscopic PDE system. Then, we provide an overview of analytical results for the PDE model, focusing mainly on the existence of weak and mild solutions and analysis of the steady states. The analytical part is complemented by extensive numerical simulations. We propose a discretization based on finite elements and study the qualitative properties of network structures for various parameter values.

  10. No question about exciting questions in cell biology.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas D Pollard

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Although we have a good grasp of many important processes in cell biology, including knowledge of many molecules involved and how they interact with each other, we still do not understand most of the dynamical features that are the essence of living systems. Fortunately, we now have the ability to dissect biological systems in enough detail to understand their dynamics, including the use of mathematical models to account for past observations and predict future experiments. This deep level of mechanistic understanding should be our goal—not simply to satisfy our scientific curiosity, but also to understand the causes of disease well enough to predict risks, make early diagnoses, and treat effectively. Many big questions remain to be answered before we reach this goal of understanding cellular dynamics.

  11. No question about exciting questions in cell biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pollard, Thomas D

    2013-12-01

    Although we have a good grasp of many important processes in cell biology, including knowledge of many molecules involved and how they interact with each other, we still do not understand most of the dynamical features that are the essence of living systems. Fortunately, we now have the ability to dissect biological systems in enough detail to understand their dynamics, including the use of mathematical models to account for past observations and predict future experiments. This deep level of mechanistic understanding should be our goal—not simply to satisfy our scientific curiosity, but also to understand the causes of disease well enough to predict risks, make early diagnoses, and treat effectively. Many big questions remain to be answered before we reach this goal of understanding cellular dynamics.

  12. Cancer systems biology and modeling: microscopic scale and multiscale approaches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Masoudi-Nejad, Ali; Bidkhori, Gholamreza; Hosseini Ashtiani, Saman; Najafi, Ali; Bozorgmehr, Joseph H; Wang, Edwin

    2015-02-01

    Cancer has become known as a complex and systematic disease on macroscopic, mesoscopic and microscopic scales. Systems biology employs state-of-the-art computational theories and high-throughput experimental data to model and simulate complex biological procedures such as cancer, which involves genetic and epigenetic, in addition to intracellular and extracellular complex interaction networks. In this paper, different systems biology modeling techniques such as systems of differential equations, stochastic methods, Boolean networks, Petri nets, cellular automata methods and agent-based systems are concisely discussed. We have compared the mentioned formalisms and tried to address the span of applicability they can bear on emerging cancer modeling and simulation approaches. Different scales of cancer modeling, namely, microscopic, mesoscopic and macroscopic scales are explained followed by an illustration of angiogenesis in microscopic scale of the cancer modeling. Then, the modeling of cancer cell proliferation and survival are examined on a microscopic scale and the modeling of multiscale tumor growth is explained along with its advantages.

  13. Biological Aging - Criteria for Modeling and a New Mechanistic Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pletcher, Scott D.; Neuhauser, Claudia

    To stimulate interaction and collaboration across scientific fields, we introduce a minimum set of biological criteria that theoretical models of aging should satisfy. We review results of several recent experiments that examined changes in age-specific mortality rates caused by genetic and environmental manipulation. The empirical data from these experiments is then used to test mathematical models of aging from several different disciplines, including molecular biology, reliability theory, physics, and evolutionary biology/population genetics. We find that none of the current models are consistent with all of the published experimental findings. To provide an example of how our criteria might be applied in practice, we develop a new conceptual model of aging that is consistent with our observations.

  14. Obstructive renal injury: from fluid mechanics to molecular cell biology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alvaro C Ucero

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available Alvaro C Ucero1,*, Sara Gonçalves2,*, Alberto Benito-Martin1, Beatriz Santamaría1, Adrian M Ramos1, Sergio Berzal1, Marta Ruiz-Ortega1, Jesus Egido1, Alberto Ortiz11Fundación Jiménez Díaz, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Fundación Renal Iñigo Alvarez de Toledo, Madrid, Spain; 2Nefrologia e Transplantação Renal, Hospital de Santa Maria EPE, Lisbon, Portugal *Both authors contributed equally to the manuscriptAbstract: Urinary tract obstruction is a frequent cause of renal impairment. The physiopathology of obstructive nephropathy has long been viewed as a mere mechanical problem. However, recent advances in cell and systems biology have disclosed a complex physiopathology involving a high number of molecular mediators of injury that lead to cellular processes of apoptotic cell death, cell injury leading to inflammation and resultant fibrosis. Functional studies in animal models of ureteral obstruction using a variety of techniques that include genetically modified animals have disclosed an important role for the renin-angiotensin system, transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1 and other mediators of inflammation in this process. In addition, high throughput techniques such as proteomics and transcriptomics have identified potential biomarkers that may guide clinical decision-making.Keywords: urinary tract obstruction, renal injury, fluid mechanics, molecular cell biology

  15. The state of the union: the cell biology of fertilization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evans, Janice P; Florman, Harvey M

    2002-10-01

    Fertilization is the process by which sperm and egg unite. An expanded understanding of the mechanisms that underlie these events has provided insights into an important aspect of early development and also has proven to be a valuable model in which to study cellular function. In addition, many emerging strategies for contraception and for the treatment of infertility are based on the mechanism of gamete interaction. Here, we discuss the cell and molecular biology of mammalian fertilization, highlight selected recent breakthroughs and attempt to identify key unanswered questions.

  16. Unit testing, model validation, and biological simulation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watts, Mark D.; Ghayoomie, S. Vahid; Larson, Stephen D.; Gerkin, Richard C.

    2016-01-01

    The growth of the software industry has gone hand in hand with the development of tools and cultural practices for ensuring the reliability of complex pieces of software. These tools and practices are now acknowledged to be essential to the management of modern software. As computational models and methods have become increasingly common in the biological sciences, it is important to examine how these practices can accelerate biological software development and improve research quality. In this article, we give a focused case study of our experience with the practices of unit testing and test-driven development in OpenWorm, an open-science project aimed at modeling Caenorhabditis elegans. We identify and discuss the challenges of incorporating test-driven development into a heterogeneous, data-driven project, as well as the role of model validation tests, a category of tests unique to software which expresses scientific models. PMID:27635225

  17. Heuristic approaches to models and modeling in systems biology

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    MacLeod, Miles

    2016-01-01

    Prediction and control sufficient for reliable medical and other interventions are prominent aims of modeling in systems biology. The short-term attainment of these goals has played a strong role in projecting the importance and value of the field. In this paper I identify the standard models must m

  18. Theodor Bücher Lecture. Metabolomics, modelling and machine learning in systems biology - towards an understanding of the languages of cells. Delivered on 3 July 2005 at the 30th FEBS Congress and the 9th IUBMB conference in Budapest.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kell, Douglas B

    2006-03-01

    The newly emerging field of systems biology involves a judicious interplay between high-throughput 'wet' experimentation, computational modelling and technology development, coupled to the world of ideas and theory. This interplay involves iterative cycles, such that systems biology is not at all confined to hypothesis-dependent studies, with intelligent, principled, hypothesis-generating studies being of high importance and consequently very far from aimless fishing expeditions. I seek to illustrate each of these facets. Novel technology development in metabolomics can increase substantially the dynamic range and number of metabolites that one can detect, and these can be exploited as disease markers and in the consequent and principled generation of hypotheses that are consistent with the data and achieve this in a value-free manner. Much of classical biochemistry and signalling pathway analysis has concentrated on the analyses of changes in the concentrations of intermediates, with 'local' equations - such as that of Michaelis and Menten v=(Vmax x S)/(S+K m) - that describe individual steps being based solely on the instantaneous values of these concentrations. Recent work using single cells (that are not subject to the intellectually unsupportable averaging of the variable displayed by heterogeneous cells possessing nonlinear kinetics) has led to the recognition that some protein signalling pathways may encode their signals not (just) as concentrations (AM or amplitude-modulated in a radio analogy) but via changes in the dynamics of those concentrations (the signals are FM or frequency-modulated). This contributes in principle to a straightforward solution of the crosstalk problem, leads to a profound reassessment of how to understand the downstream effects of dynamic changes in the concentrations of elements in these pathways, and stresses the role of signal processing (and not merely the intermediates) in biological signalling. It is this signal processing

  19. A Diagnostic Assessment for Introductory Molecular and Cell Biology

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  20. A Diagnostic Assessment for Introductory Molecular and Cell Biology

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  1. Cell Biology and Microbiology: A Continuous Cross-Feeding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pizarro-Cerdá, Javier; Cossart, Pascale

    2016-07-01

    Microbiology and cell biology both involve the study of cells, albeit at different levels of complexity and scale. Interactions between both fields during the past 25 years have led to major conceptual and technological advances that have reshaped the whole biology landscape and its biomedical applications.

  2. The Histochemistry and Cell Biology compendium: a review of 2012.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taatjes, Douglas J; Roth, Jürgen

    2013-06-01

    The year 2012 was another exciting year for Histochemistry and Cell Biology. Innovations in immunohistochemical techniques and microscopy-based imaging have provided the means for advances in the field of cell biology. Over 130 manuscripts were published in the journal during 2012, representing methodological advancements, pathobiology of disease, and cell and tissue biology. This annual review of the manuscripts published in the previous year in Histochemistry and Cell Biology serves as an abbreviated reference for the readership to quickly peruse and discern trends in the field over the past year. The review has been broadly divided into multiple sections encompassing topics such as method advancements, subcellular components, extracellular matrix, and organ systems. We hope that the creation of this subdivision will serve to guide the reader to a specific topic of interest, while simultaneously providing a concise and easily accessible encapsulation of other topics in the broad area of Histochemistry and Cell Biology.

  3. Modeling delayed processes in biological systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feng, Jingchen; Sevier, Stuart A.; Huang, Bin; Jia, Dongya; Levine, Herbert

    2016-09-01

    Delayed processes are ubiquitous in biological systems and are often characterized by delay differential equations (DDEs) and their extension to include stochastic effects. DDEs do not explicitly incorporate intermediate states associated with a delayed process but instead use an estimated average delay time. In an effort to examine the validity of this approach, we study systems with significant delays by explicitly incorporating intermediate steps. We show that such explicit models often yield significantly different equilibrium distributions and transition times as compared to DDEs with deterministic delay values. Additionally, different explicit models with qualitatively different dynamics can give rise to the same DDEs revealing important ambiguities. We also show that DDE-based predictions of oscillatory behavior may fail for the corresponding explicit model.

  4. Topological data analysis of biological aggregation models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Topaz, Chad M; Ziegelmeier, Lori; Halverson, Tom

    2015-01-01

    We apply tools from topological data analysis to two mathematical models inspired by biological aggregations such as bird flocks, fish schools, and insect swarms. Our data consists of numerical simulation output from the models of Vicsek and D'Orsogna. These models are dynamical systems describing the movement of agents who interact via alignment, attraction, and/or repulsion. Each simulation time frame is a point cloud in position-velocity space. We analyze the topological structure of these point clouds, interpreting the persistent homology by calculating the first few Betti numbers. These Betti numbers count connected components, topological circles, and trapped volumes present in the data. To interpret our results, we introduce a visualization that displays Betti numbers over simulation time and topological persistence scale. We compare our topological results to order parameters typically used to quantify the global behavior of aggregations, such as polarization and angular momentum. The topological calculations reveal events and structure not captured by the order parameters.

  5. Modeling the Biological Diversity of Pig Carcasses

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Erbou, Søren Gylling Hemmingsen

    This thesis applies methods from medical image analysis for modeling the biological diversity of pig carcasses. The Danish meat industry is very focused on improving product quality and productivity by optimizing the use of the carcasses and increasing productivity in the abattoirs. In order...... for extracting and modeling meaningful information from the vast amount of information available from non-invasive imaging data. The lean meat percentage (LMP) is a common standard for measuring the quality of pig carcasses. Measuring the LMP using CT and using this as a reference for calibration of online...... equipment is investigated, without the need for a calibration against a less accurate manual dissection. The rest of the contributions regard the construction and use of point distribution models (PDM). PDM’s are able to capture the shape variation of a population of shapes, in this case a 3D surface...

  6. Quasi – biological model of radiogenic cancer morbidity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. T. Gubin

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The methods: Linear differential equations were used to formalize contemporary assumptions of self –sustaining tissue cell kinetics under the impact of adverse factors, on the formation and repairing of cell “pre-cancer” defects, on inheritance and retaining such defects in daughter cells which results in malignant neoplasms, on age-dependent impairment of human body’s function to eliminate such cells.The results: The model reproduces the well-known regularities of radiogenic cancer morbidity increase depending on instantaneous radiation exposure age and on attained age: the relative reduction at increased radiation age which the model attributes to age decrease of stem cells, relative reduction at increased time after radiation induced by “sorting out” of cells with “pre-cancer” defects, absolute increase with age proportional to natural cause mortality rate.The relevance of the developed quasi-biological model is displayed via comparison to the ICRP model for radiogenic increase of solid carcinomas’ morbidity after single radiation exposure. The latter model had been developed after Japanese cohort observations. For both genders high goodness-of-fit was achieved between the models at values of Gompertz’ law factor which had been defined for men and women in this cohort via selecting the value of the only free parameter indicating age-dependent exponential retardation of stem cells’ division.The conclusion: The proposed model suggests that the estimation of radiogenic risk inter-population transfer can be done on the basis of the data on age-dependent mortality intensity increase from all natural causes. The model also creates the premises for inter-species transfer of risk following the well-known parameters of cell populations’ kinetics in animal’s organs and tissues and Gompertz’s law parameters. This model is applicable also for analyses of age-dependent changes of background cancer morbidity. 

  7. Anomalous transport in the crowded world of biological cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Höfling, Felix; Franosch, Thomas

    2013-04-01

    A ubiquitous observation in cell biology is that the diffusive motion of macromolecules and organelles is anomalous, and a description simply based on the conventional diffusion equation with diffusion constants measured in dilute solution fails. This is commonly attributed to macromolecular crowding in the interior of cells and in cellular membranes, summarizing their densely packed and heterogeneous structures. The most familiar phenomenon is a sublinear, power-law increase of the mean-square displacement (MSD) as a function of the lag time, but there are other manifestations like strongly reduced and time-dependent diffusion coefficients, persistent correlations in time, non-Gaussian distributions of spatial displacements, heterogeneous diffusion and a fraction of immobile particles. After a general introduction to the statistical description of slow, anomalous transport, we summarize some widely used theoretical models: Gaussian models like fractional Brownian motion and Langevin equations for visco-elastic media, the continuous-time random walk model, and the Lorentz model describing obstructed transport in a heterogeneous environment. Particular emphasis is put on the spatio-temporal properties of the transport in terms of two-point correlation functions, dynamic scaling behaviour, and how the models are distinguished by their propagators even if the MSDs are identical. Then, we review the theory underlying commonly applied experimental techniques in the presence of anomalous transport like single-particle tracking, fluorescence correlation spectroscopy (FCS) and fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP). We report on the large body of recent experimental evidence for anomalous transport in crowded biological media: in cyto- and nucleoplasm as well as in cellular membranes, complemented by in vitro experiments where a variety of model systems mimic physiological crowding conditions. Finally, computer simulations are discussed which play an important

  8. A quick guide to light microscopy in cell biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thorn, Kurt

    2016-01-01

    Light microscopy is a key tool in modern cell biology. Light microscopy has several features that make it ideally suited for imaging biology in living cells: the resolution is well-matched to the sizes of subcellular structures, a diverse range of available fluorescent probes makes it possible to mark proteins, organelles, and other structures for imaging, and the relatively nonperturbing nature of light means that living cells can be imaged for long periods of time to follow their dynamics. Here I provide a brief introduction to using light microscopy in cell biology, with particular emphasis on factors to be considered when starting microscopy experiments. PMID:26768859

  9. In vivo cell biology of cancer cells visualized with fluorescent proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoffman, Robert M

    2005-01-01

    This chapter describes a new cell biology where the behavior of individual cells can be visualized in the living animal. Previously it has been demonstrated that fluorescent proteins can be used for whole-body imaging of metastatic tumor growth, bacterial infection, and gene expression. An example of the new cell biology is dual-color fluorescence imaging using red fluorescent protein (RFP)-expressing tumors transplanted in green fluorescent protein (GFP)-expressing transgenic mice. These models show with great clarity the details of tumor-stroma interactions and especially tumor-induced angiogenesis, tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes, stromal fibroblasts, and macrophages. Another example is the color coding of cells with RFP or GFP such that both cell types can be simultaneously visualized in vivo. Stem cells can also be visualized and tracked in vivo. Mice in which the regulatory elements of the stem cell marker nestin drive GFP expression enable nascent vasculature to be visualized interacting with transplanted RFP-expressing cancer cells. Nestin-driven GFP expression can also be used to visualize hair follicle stem cells. Dual-color cells expressing GFP in the nucleus and RFP in the cytoplasm enable real-time visualization of nuclear-cytoplasm dynamics including cell cycle events and apoptosis. Highly elongated cancer cells in capillaries in living mice were observed within skin flaps. The migration velocities of the cancer cells in the capillaries were measured by capturing images of the dual-color fluorescent cells over time. The cells in the capillaries elongated to fit the width of these vessels. The use of the dual-color cancer cells differentially labeled in the cytoplasm and nucleus and associated fluorescent imaging provide a powerful tool to understand the mechanism of cancer cell migration and deformation in small vessels.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wright, Robin; Boggs, James

    2002-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wright, Robin; Boggs, James

    2002-01-01

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

  12. Modelling biological invasions: Individual to population scales at interfaces

    KAUST Repository

    Belmonte-Beitia, J.

    2013-10-01

    Extracting the population level behaviour of biological systems from that of the individual is critical in understanding dynamics across multiple scales and thus has been the subject of numerous investigations. Here, the influence of spatial heterogeneity in such contexts is explored for interfaces with a separation of the length scales characterising the individual and the interface, a situation that can arise in applications involving cellular modelling. As an illustrative example, we consider cell movement between white and grey matter in the brain which may be relevant in considering the invasive dynamics of glioma. We show that while one can safely neglect intrinsic noise, at least when considering glioma cell invasion, profound differences in population behaviours emerge in the presence of interfaces with only subtle alterations in the dynamics at the individual level. Transport driven by local cell sensing generates predictions of cell accumulations along interfaces where cell motility changes. This behaviour is not predicted with the commonly used Fickian diffusion transport model, but can be extracted from preliminary observations of specific cell lines in recent, novel, cryo-imaging. Consequently, these findings suggest a need to consider the impact of individual behaviour, spatial heterogeneity and especially interfaces in experimental and modelling frameworks of cellular dynamics, for instance in the characterisation of glioma cell motility. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

  13. Physical models of cell motility

    CERN Document Server

    2016-01-01

    This book surveys the most recent advances in physics-inspired cell movement models. This synergetic, cross-disciplinary effort to increase the fidelity of computational algorithms will lead to a better understanding of the complex biomechanics of cell movement, and stimulate progress in research on related active matter systems, from suspensions of bacteria and synthetic swimmers to cell tissues and cytoskeleton.Cell motility and collective motion are among the most important themes in biology and statistical physics of out-of-equilibrium systems, and crucial for morphogenesis, wound healing, and immune response in eukaryotic organisms. It is also relevant for the development of effective treatment strategies for diseases such as cancer, and for the design of bioactive surfaces for cell sorting and manipulation. Substrate-based cell motility is, however, a very complex process as regulatory pathways and physical force generation mechanisms are intertwined. To understand the interplay between adhesion, force ...

  14. Reaction of long-lived radicals and vitamin C in γ-irradiated mammalian cells and their model system at 295 K. Tunneling reaction in biological system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matsumoto, Takuro; Miyazaki, Tetsuo; Kosugi, Yoshio; Kumada, Takayuki; Koyama, Sinji; Kodama, Seiji; Watanabe, Masami

    1997-05-01

    When golden hamster embryo (GHE) cells or concentrated albumin solution (0.1 kg dm -3) that is a model system of cells is irradiated with γ-rays at 295 K, organic radicals produced can be observed by ESR. The organic radicals survive at both 295 and 310 K for such a long time as 20 h. The long-lived radicals in GHE cells and the albumin solution react with vitamin C by the rate constants of 0.007 dm 3 mol -1 s -1 and 0.014 dm 3 mol -1 s -1, respectively. The long-lived radicals in human cells cause gene mutation, which is suppressed by addition of vitamin C. The isotope effect on the rate constant ( k) for the reaction of the long-lived radicals and vitamin C has been studied in the albumin solution by use of protonated vitamin C and deuterated vitamin C. The isotope effect ( kH/ kD) was more than 20 ≈ 50 and was interpreted in terms of tunneling reaction.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sathish ePeriyasamy

    2013-12-01

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

  16. Ferrokinetics: a biologic model for plasma iron exchange in man.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cook, J D; Marsaglia, G; Eschbach, J W; Funk, D D; Finch, C A

    1970-02-01

    A method is presented for calculating internal iron kinetics. An early reflux associated with extravascular exchange and a late reflux associated with erythropoiesis are described. A biologic model of iron exchange is proposed in which erythron iron turnover is divided into an effective portion (iron fixed in circulating red cells) and wastage iron of erythropoiesis (late reflux). Nonerythroid iron exchange also has a fixed portion (parenchymal uptake) and an early reflux (lymphatic circuit), both of which correlate in amount with the amount of plasma iron. Ferrokinetic measurements in normal subjects and in various pathologic states are presented to validate the model.

  17. Single cell induced optical confinement in biological lasers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karl, M.; Dietrich, C. P.; Schubert, M.; Samuel, I. D. W.; Turnbull, G. A.; Gather, M. C.

    2017-03-01

    Biological single cell lasers have shown great potential for fundamental research and next generation sensing applications. In this study, the potential of fluorescent biological cells as refractive index landscapes and active optical elements is investigated using a combined Fourier- and hyperspectral imaging technique. We show that the refractive index contrast between cell and surrounding leads to 3D confinement of photons inside living cells. The Fourier- and real-space emission characteristics of these biological lasers are closely related and can be predicted from one another. Investigations of the lasing threshold for different energy and momentum position in Fourier-space give insight into the fundamental creation of longitudinal and transverse lasing modes within the cell. These findings corroborate the potential of living biological materials for precision engineering of photonic structures and may pave the way towards low threshold polariton lasing from single cells.

  18. Cell biology: Death drags down the neighbourhood

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vasquez, Claudia G.; Martin, Adam C.

    2015-02-01

    An analysis of dying cells reveals that they play an active part in modifying tissue shape by pulling on neighbouring cells. This induces neighbouring cells to contract at their apices, which results in tissue folding. See Letter p.245

  19. The cell biology of Tobacco mosaic virus replication and movement

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chengke eLiu

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available Successful systemic infection of a plant by Tobacco mosaic virus (TMV requires three processes that repeat over time: initial establishment and accumulation in invaded cells, intercellular movement and systemic transport. Accumulation and intercellular movement of TMV necessarily involves intracellular transport by complexes containing virus and host proteins and virus RNA during a dynamic process that can be visualized. Multiple membranes appear to assist TMV accumulation, while membranes, microfilaments and microtubules appear to assist TMV movement. Here we review cell biological studies that describe TMV-membrane, -cytoskeleton and -other host protein interactions which influence virus accumulation and movement in leaves and callus tissue. The importance of understanding the developmental phase of the infection in relationship to the observed virus-membrane or -host protein interaction is emphasized. Utilizing the latest observations of TMV-membrane and -host protein interactions within our evolving understanding of the infection ontogeny, a model for TMV accumulation and intracellular spread in a cell biological context is provided.

  20. Causal biological network database: a comprehensive platform of causal biological network models focused on the pulmonary and vascular systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boué, Stéphanie; Talikka, Marja; Westra, Jurjen Willem; Hayes, William; Di Fabio, Anselmo; Park, Jennifer; Schlage, Walter K; Sewer, Alain; Fields, Brett; Ansari, Sam; Martin, Florian; Veljkovic, Emilija; Kenney, Renee; Peitsch, Manuel C; Hoeng, Julia

    2015-01-01

    With the wealth of publications and data available, powerful and transparent computational approaches are required to represent measured data and scientific knowledge in a computable and searchable format. We developed a set of biological network models, scripted in the Biological Expression Language, that reflect causal signaling pathways across a wide range of biological processes, including cell fate, cell stress, cell proliferation, inflammation, tissue repair and angiogenesis in the pulmonary and cardiovascular context. This comprehensive collection of networks is now freely available to the scientific community in a centralized web-based repository, the Causal Biological Network database, which is composed of over 120 manually curated and well annotated biological network models and can be accessed at http://causalbionet.com. The website accesses a MongoDB, which stores all versions of the networks as JSON objects and allows users to search for genes, proteins, biological processes, small molecules and keywords in the network descriptions to retrieve biological networks of interest. The content of the networks can be visualized and browsed. Nodes and edges can be filtered and all supporting evidence for the edges can be browsed and is linked to the original articles in PubMed. Moreover, networks may be downloaded for further visualization and evaluation. Database URL: http://causalbionet.com

  1. ACTIVE AND PARTICIPATORY METHODS IN BIOLOGY: MODELING

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brînduşa-Antonela SBÎRCEA

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available By using active and participatory methods it is hoped that pupils will not only come to a deeper understanding of the issues involved, but also that their motivation will be heightened. Pupil involvement in their learning is essential. Moreover, by using a variety of teaching techniques, we can help students make sense of the world in different ways, increasing the likelihood that they will develop a conceptual understanding. The teacher must be a good facilitator, monitoring and supporting group dynamics. Modeling is an instructional strategy in which the teacher demonstrates a new concept or approach to learning and pupils learn by observing. In the teaching of biology the didactic materials are fundamental tools in the teaching-learning process. Reading about scientific concepts or having a teacher explain them is not enough. Research has shown that modeling can be used across disciplines and in all grade and ability level classrooms. Using this type of instruction, teachers encourage learning.

  2. Documentation of TRU biological transport model (BIOTRAN)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gallegos, A.F.; Garcia, B.J.; Sutton, C.M.

    1980-01-01

    Inclusive of Appendices, this document describes the purpose, rationale, construction, and operation of a biological transport model (BIOTRAN). This model is used to predict the flow of transuranic elements (TRU) through specified plant and animal environments using biomass as a vector. The appendices are: (A) Flows of moisture, biomass, and TRU; (B) Intermediate variables affecting flows; (C) Mnemonic equivalents (code) for variables; (D) Variable library (code); (E) BIOTRAN code (Fortran); (F) Plants simulated; (G) BIOTRAN code documentation; (H) Operating instructions for BIOTRAN code. The main text is presented with a specific format which uses a minimum of space, yet is adequate for tracking most relationships from their first appearance to their formulation in the code. Because relationships are treated individually in this manner, and rely heavily on Appendix material for understanding, it is advised that the reader familiarize himself with these materials before proceeding with the main text.

  3. Model Checking the Biological Model of Membrane Computing with Probabilistic Symbolic Model Checker by Using Two Biological Systems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ravie c. Muniyandi

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Problem statement: Membrane computing formalism has provided better modeling capabilities for biological systems in comparison to conventional mathematical models. Model checking could be used to reason about the biological system in detail and with precision by verifying formally whether membrane computing model meets the properties of the system. Approach: This study was carried to investigate the preservation of properties of two biological systems that had been modeled and simulated in membrane computing by a method of model checking using PRISM. The two biological systems were prey-predator population and signal processing in the legend-receptor networks of protein TGF-ß. Results: The model checking of membrane computing model of the biological systems with five different properties showed that the properties of the biological systems could be preserved in the membrane computing model. Conclusion: Membrane computing model not only provides a better approach in representing and simulating a biological system but also able to sustain the basic properties of the system.

  4. A methodology to annotate systems biology markup language models with the synthetic biology open language.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roehner, Nicholas; Myers, Chris J

    2014-02-21

    Recently, we have begun to witness the potential of synthetic biology, noted here in the form of bacteria and yeast that have been genetically engineered to produce biofuels, manufacture drug precursors, and even invade tumor cells. The success of these projects, however, has often failed in translation and application to new projects, a problem exacerbated by a lack of engineering standards that combine descriptions of the structure and function of DNA. To address this need, this paper describes a methodology to connect the systems biology markup language (SBML) to the synthetic biology open language (SBOL), existing standards that describe biochemical models and DNA components, respectively. Our methodology involves first annotating SBML model elements such as species and reactions with SBOL DNA components. A graph is then constructed from the model, with vertices corresponding to elements within the model and edges corresponding to the cause-and-effect relationships between these elements. Lastly, the graph is traversed to assemble the annotating DNA components into a composite DNA component, which is used to annotate the model itself and can be referenced by other composite models and DNA components. In this way, our methodology can be used to build up a hierarchical library of models annotated with DNA components. Such a library is a useful input to any future genetic technology mapping algorithm that would automate the process of composing DNA components to satisfy a behavioral specification. Our methodology for SBML-to-SBOL annotation is implemented in the latest version of our genetic design automation (GDA) software tool, iBioSim.

  5. Advancing cell biology through proteomics in space and time (PROSPECTS)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lamond, A.I.; Uhlen, M.; Horning, S.

    2012-01-01

    a range of sensitive and quantitative approaches for measuring protein structures and dynamics that promise to revolutionize our understanding of cell biology and molecular mechanisms in both human cells and model organisms. The Proteomics Specification in Time and Space (PROSPECTS) Network is a unique EU......-funded project that brings together leading European research groups, spanning from instrumentation to biomedicine, in a collaborative five year initiative to develop new methods and applications for the functional analysis of cellular proteins. This special issue of Molecular and Cellular Proteomics presents 16...... research papers reporting major recent progress by the PROSPECTS groups, including improvements to the resolution and sensitivity of the Orbitrap family of mass spectrometers, systematic detection of proteins using highly characterized antibody collections, and new methods for absolute as well as relative...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fletcher, Eugene; Krivoruchko, Anastasia; Nielsen, Jens

    2016-01-01

    Engineering industrial cell factories to effectively yield a desired product while dealing with industrially relevant stresses is usually the most challenging step in the development of industrial production of chemicals using microbial fermentation processes. Using synthetic biology tools...

  7. Cytoview: Development of a cell modelling framework

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Prashant Khodade; Samta Malhotra; Nirmal Kumar; M Sriram Iyengar; N Balakrishnan; Nagasuma Chandra

    2007-08-01

    The biological cell, a natural self-contained unit of prime biological importance, is an enormously complex machine that can be understood at many levels. A higher-level perspective of the entire cell requires integration of various features into coherent, biologically meaningful descriptions. There are some efforts to model cells based on their genome, proteome or metabolome descriptions. However, there are no established methods as yet to describe cell morphologies, capture similarities and differences between different cells or between healthy and disease states. Here we report a framework to model various aspects of a cell and integrate knowledge encoded at different levels of abstraction, with cell morphologies at one end to atomic structures at the other. The different issues that have been addressed are ontologies, feature description and model building. The framework describes dotted representations and tree data structures to integrate diverse pieces of data and parametric models enabling size, shape and location descriptions. The framework serves as a first step in integrating different levels of data available for a biological cell and has the potential to lead to development of computational models in our pursuit to model cell structure and function, from which several applications can flow out.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karig, David K

    2017-02-19

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

  9. Embryonic stem cell biology: insights from molecular imaging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sallam, Karim; Wu, Joseph C

    2010-01-01

    Embryonic stem (ES) cells have therapeutic potential in disorders of cellular loss such as myocardial infarction, type I diabetes and neurodegenerative disorders. ES cell biology in living subjects was largely poorly understood until incorporation of molecular imaging into the field. Reporter gene imaging works by integrating a reporter gene into ES cells and using a reporter probe to induce a signal detectable by normal imaging modalities. Reporter gene imaging allows for longitudinal tracking of ES cells within the same host for a prolonged period of time. This has advantages over postmortem immunohistochemistry and traditional imaging modalities. The advantages include expression of reporter gene is limited to viable cells, expression is conserved between generations of dividing cells, and expression can be linked to a specific population of cells. These advantages were especially useful in studying a dynamic cell population such as ES cells and proved useful in elucidating the biology of ES cells. Reporter gene imaging identified poor integration of differentiated ES cells transplanted into host tissue as well as delayed donor cell death as reasons for poor long-term survival in vivo. This imaging technology also confirmed that ES cells indeed have immunogenic properties that factor into cell survival and differentiation. Finally, reporter gene imaging improved our understanding of the neoplastic risk of undifferentiated ES cells in forming teratomas. Despite such advances, much remains to be understood about ES cell biology to translate this technology to the bedside, and reporter gene imaging will certainly play a key role in formulating this understanding.

  10. The biology of innate lymphoid cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Artis, David; Spits, Hergen

    2015-01-15

    The innate immune system is composed of a diverse array of evolutionarily ancient haematopoietic cell types, including dendritic cells, monocytes, macrophages and granulocytes. These cell populations collaborate with each other, with the adaptive immune system and with non-haematopoietic cells to promote immunity, inflammation and tissue repair. Innate lymphoid cells are the most recently identified constituents of the innate immune system and have been the focus of intense investigation over the past five years. We summarize the studies that formally identified innate lymphoid cells and highlight their emerging roles in controlling tissue homeostasis in the context of infection, chronic inflammation, metabolic disease and cancer.

  11. A Color-Opponency Based Biological Model for Color Constancy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yongjie Li

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Color constancy is the ability of the human visual system to adaptively correct color-biased scenes under different illuminants. Most of the existing color constancy models are nonphysiologically plausible. Among the limited biological models, the great majority is Retinex and its variations, and only two or three models directly simulate the feature of color-opponency, but only of the very earliest stages of visual pathway, i.e., the single-opponent mechanisms involved at the levels of retinal ganglion cells and lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN neurons. Considering the extensive physiological evidences supporting that both the single-opponent cells in retina and LGN and the double-opponent neurons in primary visual cortex (V1 are the building blocks for color constancy, in this study we construct a color-opponency based color constancy model by simulating the opponent fashions of both the single-opponent and double-opponent cells in a forward manner. As for the spatial structure of the receptive fields (RF, both the classical RF (CRF center and the nonclassical RF (nCRF surround are taken into account for all the cells. The proposed model was tested on several typical image databases commonly used for performance evaluation of color constancy methods, and exciting results were achieved.

  12. Cell and molecular biology of epidermal growth factor receptor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ceresa, Brian P; Peterson, Joanne L

    2014-01-01

    The epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) has been one of the most intensely studied cell surface receptors due to its well-established roles in developmental biology, tissue homeostasis, and cancer biology. The EGFR has been critical for creating paradigms for numerous aspects of cell biology, such as ligand binding, signal transduction, and membrane trafficking. Despite this history of discovery, there is a continual stream of evidence that only the surface has been scratched. New ways of receptor regulation continue to be identified, each of which is a potential molecular target for manipulating EGFR signaling and the resultant changes in cell and tissue biology. This chapter is an update on EGFR-mediated signaling, and describes some recent developments in the regulation of receptor biology.

  13. Stem cells: a plant biology perspective

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Scheres, B.J.G.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/07493662X

    2005-01-01

    A recent meeting at the Juan March Foundation in Madrid, Spain brought together plant biologists to discuss the characteristics of plant stem cells that are unique and those that are shared by stem cells from the animal kingdom

  14. Stem cells: a plant biology perspective

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Scheres, B.J.G.

    2005-01-01

    A recent meeting at the Juan March Foundation in Madrid, Spain brought together plant biologists to discuss the characteristics of plant stem cells that are unique and those that are shared by stem cells from the animal kingdom

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Melton, Douglas A

    2016-01-01

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

  16. Chemistry and biology of the compounds that modulate cell migration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tashiro, Etsu; Imoto, Masaya

    2016-03-01

    Cell migration is a fundamental step for embryonic development, wound repair, immune responses, and tumor cell invasion and metastasis. Extensive studies have attempted to reveal the molecular mechanisms behind cell migration; however, they remain largely unclear. Bioactive compounds that modulate cell migration show promise as not only extremely powerful tools for studying the mechanisms behind cell migration but also as drug seeds for chemotherapy against tumor metastasis. Therefore, we have screened cell migration inhibitors and analyzed their mechanisms for the inhibition of cell migration. In this mini-review, we introduce our chemical and biological studies of three cell migration inhibitors: moverastin, UTKO1, and BU-4664L.

  17. Machine learning in cell biology - teaching computers to recognize phenotypes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sommer, Christoph; Gerlich, Daniel W

    2013-12-15

    Recent advances in microscope automation provide new opportunities for high-throughput cell biology, such as image-based screening. High-complex image analysis tasks often make the implementation of static and predefined processing rules a cumbersome effort. Machine-learning methods, instead, seek to use intrinsic data structure, as well as the expert annotations of biologists to infer models that can be used to solve versatile data analysis tasks. Here, we explain how machine-learning methods work and what needs to be considered for their successful application in cell biology. We outline how microscopy images can be converted into a data representation suitable for machine learning, and then introduce various state-of-the-art machine-learning algorithms, highlighting recent applications in image-based screening. Our Commentary aims to provide the biologist with a guide to the application of machine learning to microscopy assays and we therefore include extensive discussion on how to optimize experimental workflow as well as the data analysis pipeline.

  18. iPS-Cinderella Story in Cell Biology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Editorial

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available As we step through the frontiers of modern Science, we are all witnesses to the Cinderella story repeating itself in the form of the iPS. The process of re-programming adult somatic cells to derive Induced Pluripotent stem cells (iPS with the wand of transcription factors and then differentiating them back to adult somatic cells resembles the transformation of Cinderella from a Cinder girl to princess and back to a Cinder girl after the ball; but the iPS-Cinderella is the most fascinating thing ever in cell biology!From the day iPS first made its headlines when it was first produced by Shinya Yamanaka at Kyoto University in Japan, Stem Cell scientists all over the world are re- doing their experiments so far done using other sources like embryonic and adult Stem cells with the iPS cells exploring their potential to the fullest. A Stem Cell science news page without this magic word of iPS is difficult to imagine these days and Scientists have been successful in growing most of the adult Cell types from iPS cells.iPS cells was the key to solve the problems of Immune rejection and Immunosupression required when using other allogeneic Stem cell types which had baffled scientists previously. But the issues raised by scientists about the use of viruses and Oncogenes in producing iPS cells were made groundless when scientists in February 2008 published the discovery of a technique that could remove oncogenes after the induction of pluripotency and now it is possible to induce pluripotency using plasmid transfection, piggyback transposon system and piggyback transposon system combined with a non viral vector system. The word of the day is pIPS which are protein-induced Pluripotent stem cells which are iPS cells that were generated without any genetic alteration of the adult cell. This research by the group of Sheng Ding in La Jolla, California made public in April 2009 showed that the generation of poly-arginine anchors was sufficient to induce

  19. Current view of mesenchymal stem cells biology (brief review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maslova O. A.

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Although mesenchymal stem cells (MSC are in a focus of attention, some aspects of their biology are still unclear. This paper is a review of current research on MSC biology. The use of MSC in regenerative medicine is also briefly discussed.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  2. Cell Biology: Cohesin Rings Leave Loose Ends

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skibbens, Robert V.

    2016-01-01

    Cohesins function in almost all aspects of chromosome biology. Two new studies confirm that a subset of cohesin subunits form a flexible but compressed ring that can be opened through degradation. X-ray crystallography supports potentially differing regulation of subunit associations. PMID:25649818

  3. Bacterial cell biology outside the streetlight.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bulgheresi, Silvia

    2016-09-01

    As much as vertical transmission of microbial symbionts requires their deep integration into the host reproductive and developmental biology, symbiotic lifestyle might profoundly affect bacterial growth and proliferation. This review describes the reproductive oddities displayed by bacteria associated - more or less intimately - with multicellular eukaryotes.

  4. Computational Modeling of Biological Systems From Molecules to Pathways

    CERN Document Server

    2012-01-01

    Computational modeling is emerging as a powerful new approach for studying and manipulating biological systems. Many diverse methods have been developed to model, visualize, and rationally alter these systems at various length scales, from atomic resolution to the level of cellular pathways. Processes taking place at larger time and length scales, such as molecular evolution, have also greatly benefited from new breeds of computational approaches. Computational Modeling of Biological Systems: From Molecules to Pathways provides an overview of established computational methods for the modeling of biologically and medically relevant systems. It is suitable for researchers and professionals working in the fields of biophysics, computational biology, systems biology, and molecular medicine.

  5. Probing bacterial cell biology using image cytometry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cass, Julie A; Stylianidou, Stella; Kuwada, Nathan J; Traxler, Beth; Wiggins, Paul A

    2017-03-01

    Advances in automated fluorescence microscopy have made snapshot and time-lapse imaging of bacterial cells commonplace, yet fundamental challenges remain in analysis. The vast quantity of data collected in high-throughput experiments requires a fast and reliable automated method to analyze fluorescence intensity and localization, cell morphology and proliferation as well as other descriptors. Inspired by effective yet tractable methods of population-level analysis using flow cytometry, we have developed a framework and tools for facilitating analogous analyses in image cytometry. These tools can both visualize and gate (generate subpopulations) more than 70 cell descriptors, including cell size, age and fluorescence. The method is well suited to multi-well imaging, analysis of bacterial cultures with high cell density (thousands of cells per frame) and complete cell cycle imaging. We give a brief description of the analysis of four distinct applications to emphasize the broad applicability of the tool.

  6. Advancing cell biology through proteomics in space and time (PROSPECTS).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lamond, Angus I; Uhlen, Mathias; Horning, Stevan; Makarov, Alexander; Robinson, Carol V; Serrano, Luis; Hartl, F Ulrich; Baumeister, Wolfgang; Werenskiold, Anne Katrin; Andersen, Jens S; Vorm, Ole; Linial, Michal; Aebersold, Ruedi; Mann, Matthias

    2012-03-01

    The term "proteomics" encompasses the large-scale detection and analysis of proteins and their post-translational modifications. Driven by major improvements in mass spectrometric instrumentation, methodology, and data analysis, the proteomics field has burgeoned in recent years. It now provides a range of sensitive and quantitative approaches for measuring protein structures and dynamics that promise to revolutionize our understanding of cell biology and molecular mechanisms in both human cells and model organisms. The Proteomics Specification in Time and Space (PROSPECTS) Network is a unique EU-funded project that brings together leading European research groups, spanning from instrumentation to biomedicine, in a collaborative five year initiative to develop new methods and applications for the functional analysis of cellular proteins. This special issue of Molecular and Cellular Proteomics presents 16 research papers reporting major recent progress by the PROSPECTS groups, including improvements to the resolution and sensitivity of the Orbitrap family of mass spectrometers, systematic detection of proteins using highly characterized antibody collections, and new methods for absolute as well as relative quantification of protein levels. Manuscripts in this issue exemplify approaches for performing quantitative measurements of cell proteomes and for studying their dynamic responses to perturbation, both during normal cellular responses and in disease mechanisms. Here we present a perspective on how the proteomics field is moving beyond simply identifying proteins with high sensitivity toward providing a powerful and versatile set of assay systems for characterizing proteome dynamics and thereby creating a new "third generation" proteomics strategy that offers an indispensible tool for cell biology and molecular medicine.

  7. Basic science through engineering? Synthetic modeling and the idea of biology-inspired engineering.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knuuttila, Tarja; Loettgers, Andrea

    2013-06-01

    Synthetic biology is often understood in terms of the pursuit for well-characterized biological parts to create synthetic wholes. Accordingly, it has typically been conceived of as an engineering dominated and application oriented field. We argue that the relationship of synthetic biology to engineering is far more nuanced than that and involves a sophisticated epistemic dimension, as shown by the recent practice of synthetic modeling. Synthetic models are engineered genetic networks that are implanted in a natural cell environment. Their construction is typically combined with experiments on model organisms as well as mathematical modeling and simulation. What is especially interesting about this combinational modeling practice is that, apart from greater integration between these different epistemic activities, it has also led to the questioning of some central assumptions and notions on which synthetic biology is based. As a result synthetic biology is in the process of becoming more "biology inspired."

  8. The Cell Biology of Fission Yeast Septation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    García Cortés, Juan C; Ramos, Mariona; Osumi, Masako; Pérez, Pilar; Ribas, Juan Carlos

    2016-09-01

    In animal cells, cytokinesis requires the formation of a cleavage furrow that divides the cell into two daughter cells. Furrow formation is achieved by constriction of an actomyosin ring that invaginates the plasma membrane. However, fungal cells contain a rigid extracellular cell wall surrounding the plasma membrane; thus, fungal cytokinesis also requires the formation of a special septum wall structure between the dividing cells. The septum biosynthesis must be strictly coordinated with the deposition of new plasma membrane material and actomyosin ring closure and must occur in such a way that no breach in the cell wall occurs at any time. Because of the high turgor pressure in the fungal cell, even a minor local defect might lead to cell lysis and death. Here we review our knowledge of the septum structure in the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe and of the recent advances in our understanding of the relationship between septum biosynthesis and actomyosin ring constriction and how the two collaborate to build a cross-walled septum able to support the high turgor pressure of the cell. In addition, we discuss the importance of the septum biosynthesis for the steady ingression of the cleavage furrow.

  9. Cell Division and Evolution of Biological Tissues

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

  10. Model checking biological systems described using ambient calculus

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mardare, Radu Iulian; Priami, Corrado; Qualia, Paola;

    2005-01-01

    Model checking biological systems described using ambient calculus. In Proc. of the second International Workshop on Computational Methods in Systems Biology (CMSB04), Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics 3082:85-103, Springer, 2005.......Model checking biological systems described using ambient calculus. In Proc. of the second International Workshop on Computational Methods in Systems Biology (CMSB04), Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics 3082:85-103, Springer, 2005....

  11. Biology at a single cell level

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Mthunzi, P

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available brain ? Non- renewing cell type ? Neurons difficult to transfect with established protocols ? Susceptible to degenerative disorders: - Parkinson?s disease - Multiple sclerosis - Alzheimer's disease http...

  12. Generating Systems Biology Markup Language Models from the Synthetic Biology Open Language.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roehner, Nicholas; Zhang, Zhen; Nguyen, Tramy; Myers, Chris J

    2015-08-21

    In the context of synthetic biology, model generation is the automated process of constructing biochemical models based on genetic designs. This paper discusses the use cases for model generation in genetic design automation (GDA) software tools and introduces the foundational concepts of standards and model annotation that make this process useful. Finally, this paper presents an implementation of model generation in the GDA software tool iBioSim and provides an example of generating a Systems Biology Markup Language (SBML) model from a design of a 4-input AND sensor written in the Synthetic Biology Open Language (SBOL).

  13. Glial cell biology in the Great Lakes region.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feinstein, Douglas L; Skoff, Robert P

    2016-03-31

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

  14. Translating Stem Cell Biology Into Drug Discovery

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singeç, Ilyas; Simeonov, Anton

    2016-01-01

    Pluripotent stem cell research has made extraordinary progress over the last decade. The robustness of nuclear reprogramming of somatic cells into induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) has created entirely novel opportunities for drug discovery and personalized regenerative medicine. Patient- and disease-specific iPSCs can be expanded indefinitely and differentiated into relevant cell types of different organ systems. As the utilization of iPSCs is becoming a key enabling technology across various scientific disciplines, there are still important challenges that need to be addressed. Here we review the current state and reflect on the issues that the stem cell and translational communities are facing in bringing iPSCs closer to clinical application.

  15. Towards understanding cellular structure biology: In-cell NMR.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rahman, Safikur; Byun, Younhwa; Hassan, Md Imtaiyaz; Kim, Jihoe; Kumar, Vijay

    2017-05-01

    To watch biological macromolecules perform their functions inside the living cells is the dream of any biologists. In-cell nuclear magnetic resonance is a branch of biomolecular NMR spectroscopy that can be used to observe the structures, interactions and dynamics of these molecules in the living cells at atomic level. In principle, in-cell NMR can be applied to different cellular systems to achieve biologically relevant structural and functional information. In this review, we summarize the existing approaches in this field and discuss its applications in protein interactions, folding, stability and post-translational modifications. We hope this review will emphasize the effectiveness of in-cell NMR for studies of intricate biological processes and for structural analysis in cellular environments. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qian, Tongcheng; Wang, Yingxiao

    2010-10-01

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

  17. Numerical simulation of dielectric spectra of aqueous suspensions of non-spheroidal differently shaped biological cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    di Biasio, Antonio; Ambrosone, Luigi; Cametti, Cesare

    2009-01-01

    The effect of shape on the dielectric and conductometric spectra of aqueous suspensions of non-spheroidal biological cells has been investigated by means of numerical simulation methods. This work extends our previous investigation directed to biological cell systems where a superficial electric charge distribution is present on the outer interface of the cell membrane. This generalization results in a more composite dielectric spectra, where a low-frequency and a high-frequency contribution are expected. We consider different geometries, from ellipsoids, discoids, pear-shaped vesicles, cup-shaped vesicles to budded vesicles, which model a biological cell during different processes of biological relevance. The overview of the evolution of the dielectric spectra with the progressive change in the cell shape, maintaining constant the electrical properties of the different media involved and the fractional volume of the dispersed cells, offers a preliminary opportunity to separate contributions derived exclusively from the geometry to those due to the bulk and/or interface polarizations. These aspects are particularly relevant since dielectric spectroscopy of biological cell suspensions has proved its effectiveness in the characterization of the passive electrical properties of the cell membrane and also in controlled manipulations of biological systems.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Novickij Vitalij

    2014-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Novickij, Vitalij; Grainys, Audrius; Novickij, Jurij; Tolvaisiene, Sonata; Markovskaja, Svetlana

    2014-10-01

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

  20. Cell-free biology: exploiting the interface between synthetic biology and synthetic chemistry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harris, D Calvin; Jewett, Michael C

    2012-10-01

    Just as synthetic organic chemistry once revolutionized the ability of chemists to build molecules (including those that did not exist in nature) following a basic set of design rules, cell-free synthetic biology is beginning to provide an improved toolbox and faster process for not only harnessing but also expanding the chemistry of life. At the interface between chemistry and biology, research in cell-free synthetic systems is proceeding in two different directions: using synthetic biology for synthetic chemistry and using synthetic chemistry to reprogram or mimic biology. In the coming years, the impact of advances inspired by these approaches will make possible the synthesis of nonbiological polymers having new backbone compositions, new chemical properties, new structures, and new functions.

  1. Human mammary microenvironment better regulates the biology of human breast cancer in humanized mouse model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zheng, Ming-Jie; Wang, Jue; Xu, Lu; Zha, Xiao-Ming; Zhao, Yi; Ling, Li-Jun; Wang, Shui

    2015-02-01

    During the past decades, many efforts have been made in mimicking the clinical progress of human cancer in mouse models. Previously, we developed a human breast tissue-derived (HB) mouse model. Theoretically, it may mimic the interactions between "species-specific" mammary microenvironment of human origin and human breast cancer cells. However, detailed evidences are absent. The present study (in vivo, cellular, and molecular experiments) was designed to explore the regulatory role of human mammary microenvironment in the progress of human breast cancer cells. Subcutaneous (SUB), mammary fat pad (MFP), and HB mouse models were developed for in vivo comparisons. Then, the orthotopic tumor masses from three different mouse models were collected for primary culture. Finally, the biology of primary cultured human breast cancer cells was compared by cellular and molecular experiments. Results of in vivo mouse models indicated that human breast cancer cells grew better in human mammary microenvironment. Cellular and molecular experiments confirmed that primary cultured human breast cancer cells from HB mouse model showed a better proliferative and anti-apoptotic biology than those from SUB to MFP mouse models. Meanwhile, primary cultured human breast cancer cells from HB mouse model also obtained the migratory and invasive biology for "species-specific" tissue metastasis to human tissues. Comprehensive analyses suggest that "species-specific" mammary microenvironment of human origin better regulates the biology of human breast cancer cells in our humanized mouse model of breast cancer, which is more consistent with the clinical progress of human breast cancer.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  3. Transport of Schisandra chinensis extract and its biologically-active constituents across Caco-2 cell monolayers - an in-vitro model of intestinal transport.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Madgula, Vamsi L M; Avula, Bharathi; Choi, Young W; Pullela, Srinivas V; Khan, Ikhlas A; Walker, Larry A; Khan, Shabana I

    2008-03-01

    We have determined the intestinal transport of Schisandra chinensis extract and its lignans (gomisin A, gomisin N and schisandrin C) in the Caco-2 cell monolayer model. The transport across monolayers was examined for 2 h in absorptive and secretory directions. Quantitation of lignans was performed by HPLC. Out of the three lignans, gomisin A exhibited bi-directional transport, with P(app) values in the range of 25-29 x 10(-6) cm s(-1), indicating a passive diffusion. Gomisin N, mixture and Schisandra extract displayed a higher transport in the secretory direction with efflux ratios in the range of 2.2-5.2. The efflux was decreased in the presence of inhibitors of multidrug resistance protein (MRP) transporter (MK-571) and P-glycoprotein (verapamil) indicating a possible involvement of an efflux pump and MRP in the transport of Schisandra lignans. Poor transport of schisandrin C was observed which could not be quantitated. The permeability of gomisin A in the isolated form was significantly different compared with the mixture or extract.

  4. Manipulation of biological cells with a microelectromagnet matrix

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Hakho; Hunt, Tom P.; Westervelt, Robert M.

    2004-03-01

    Microscopic manipulation of biological cells was demonstrated with a microelectromagnet matrix. The matrix has two layers of straight Au wires, aligned perpendicular to each other, that are covered with insulating layers [1]. Strong and localized magnetic fields by the matrix allow the stable micromanipulation of magnetically tagged biological cells in a fluid. Moreover, by adjusting current in each wire, a microelectromagnet matrix can create versatile magnetic field patterns for the independent and simultaneous manipulation of multiple cells. In this talk, we present the manipulation of magnetically tagged yeast cells in micron length scales with a matrix. Single or multiple cells were trapped, continuously moved and rotated in a fluid; a viable cell was separated from nonviable ones and was independently moved for cell sorting. [1] C.S. Lee, H. Lee and R.M. Westervelt, Appl. Phys. Lett. 79, 3308 (2001)

  5. Biological models for automatic target detection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schachter, Bruce

    2008-04-01

    Humans are better at detecting targets in literal imagery than any known algorithm. Recent advances in modeling visual processes have resulted from f-MRI brain imaging with humans and the use of more invasive techniques with monkeys. There are four startling new discoveries. 1) The visual cortex does not simply process an incoming image. It constructs a physics based model of the image. 2) Coarse category classification and range-to-target are estimated quickly - possibly through the dorsal pathway of the visual cortex, combining rapid coarse processing of image data with expectations and goals. This data is then fed back to lower levels to resize the target and enhance the recognition process feeding forward through the ventral pathway. 3) Giant photosensitive retinal ganglion cells provide data for maintaining circadian rhythm (time-of-day) and modeling the physics of the light source. 4) Five filter types implemented by the neurons of the primary visual cortex have been determined. A computer model for automatic target detection has been developed based upon these recent discoveries. It uses an artificial neural network architecture with multiple feed-forward and feedback paths. Our implementation's efficiency derives from the observation that any 2-D filter kernel can be approximated by a sum of 2-D box functions. And, a 2-D box function easily decomposes into two 1-D box functions. Further efficiency is obtained by decomposing the largest neural filter into a high pass filter and a more sparsely sampled low pass filter.

  6. Toward university modeling instruction--biology: adapting curricular frameworks from physics to biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manthey, Seth; Brewe, Eric

    2013-06-01

    University Modeling Instruction (UMI) is an approach to curriculum and pedagogy that focuses instruction on engaging students in building, validating, and deploying scientific models. Modeling Instruction has been successfully implemented in both high school and university physics courses. Studies within the physics education research (PER) community have identified UMI's positive impacts on learning gains, equity, attitudinal shifts, and self-efficacy. While the success of this pedagogical approach has been recognized within the physics community, the use of models and modeling practices is still being developed for biology. Drawing from the existing research on UMI in physics, we describe the theoretical foundations of UMI and how UMI can be adapted to include an emphasis on models and modeling for undergraduate introductory biology courses. In particular, we discuss our ongoing work to develop a framework for the first semester of a two-semester introductory biology course sequence by identifying the essential basic models for an introductory biology course sequence.

  7. Molecular biology of cantharidin in cancer cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rauh, Rolf; Kahl, Stefan; Boechzelt, Herbert; Bauer, Rudolf; Kaina, Bernd; Efferth, Thomas

    2007-07-04

    Herbal medicine is one of the forms of traditional medical practice. Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and traditional Vietnamese medicine (TVM) are well-known for their long-standing tradition of herbal medicine. Secreted by many species of blister beetle, most notably by the 'Spanish fly' (Lytta vesicatoria), cantharidin inhibits protein phosphatases 1 and 2A (PP1, PP2A). Blister beetle has been used in Asian traditional medicine to treat Molluscum contagiosum virus (MCV) infections and associated warts, and is now also used for cancer treatment. A combination of both genomic and postgenomic techniques was used in our studies to identify candidate genes affecting sensitivity or resistance to cantharidin. Cantharidin was not found to be related to multidrug resistance phenotype, suggesting its potential usefulness for the treatment of refractory tumors. Oxidative stress response genes diminish the activity of cantharidin by inducing DNA strand breaks which may be subject to base excision repair and induce apoptosis in a p53- and Bcl2-dependent manner. Cantharidin is one of many natural products used in traditional Chinese medicine and traditional Vietnamese medicine for cancer treatment. Combined methods of pharmaceutical biology and molecular biology can help elucidate modes of action of these natural products.

  8. Molecular biology of cantharidin in cancer cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bauer Rudolf

    2007-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Herbal medicine is one of the forms of traditional medical practice. Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM and traditional Vietnamese medicine (TVM are well-known for their long-standing tradition of herbal medicine. Secreted by many species of blister beetle, most notably by the 'Spanish fly' (Lytta vesicatoria, cantharidin inhibits protein phosphatases 1 and 2A (PP1, PP2A. Blister beetle has been used in Asian traditional medicine to treat Molluscum contagiosum virus (MCV infections and associated warts, and is now also used for cancer treatment. A combination of both genomic and postgenomic techniques was used in our studies to identify candidate genes affecting sensitivity or resistance to cantharidin. Cantharidin was not found to be related to multidrug resistance phenotype, suggesting its potential usefulness for the treatment of refractory tumors. Oxidative stress response genes diminish the activity of cantharidin by inducing DNA strand breaks which may be subject to base excision repair and induce apoptosis in a p53- and Bcl2-dependent manner. Cantharidin is one of many natural products used in traditional Chinese medicine and traditional Vietnamese medicine for cancer treatment. Combined methods of pharmaceutical biology and molecular biology can help elucidate modes of action of these natural products.

  9. SulfoSYS (Sulfolobus Systems Biology) : towards a silicon cell model for the central carbohydrate metabolism of the archaeon Sulfolobus solfataricus under temperature variation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Albers, Sonja-Verena; Birkeland, Nils-Kare; Driessen, Arnold J. M.; Gertig, Susanne; Haferkamp, Patrick; Klenk, Hans-Peter; Kouril, Theresa; Manica, Andrea; Pham, Trong K.; Ruoff, Peter; Schleper, Christa; Schomburg, Dietmar; Sharkey, Kieran J.; Siebers, Bettina; Sierocinski, Pawel; Steuer, Ralf; van der Oost, John; Westerhoff, Hans V.; Wieloch, Patricia; Wright, Phillip C.; Zaparty, Melanie; Birkeland, Nils-Kåre

    2009-01-01

    SulfoSYS (Sulfolobus Systems Biology) focuses on the study of the CCM (central carbohydrate metabolism) of Sulfolobus solfataricus and its regulation under temperature variation at the systems level. in Archaea, carbohydrates are metabolized by modifications of the classical pathways known from Bact

  10. SulfoSYS (Sulfolobus Systems Biology): towards a silicon cell model for the central carbohydrate metabolism of the archaeon Sulfolobus solfataricus under temperature variation.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Albers, S.V.; Birkeland, N.K.; Driessen, A.J.; Gertig, S.; Haferkamp, P.; Klenk, H.P.; Kouril, T.; Manica, A.; Pham, T.K.; Ruoff, P.; Schleper, C.; Schomburg, D.; Sharkey, K.J.; Siebers, A.G.; Sierocinski, P.; Steuer, R.; Oost, J. van der; Westerhoff, H.V.; Wieloch, P.; Wright, P.C.; Zaparty, M.

    2009-01-01

    SulfoSYS (Sulfolobus Systems Biology) focuses on the study of the CCM (central carbohydrate metabolism) of Sulfolobus solfataricus and its regulation under temperature variation at the systems level. In Archaea, carbohydrates are metabolized by modifications of the classical pathways known from Bact

  11. SulfoSYS (Sulfolobus Systems Biology): towards a silicon cell model for the central carbohydrate metabolism of the archaeon Sulfolobus solfataricus under temperature variation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Albers, S.V.; Birkeland, N.K.; Driessen, A.J.M.; Gertig, S.; Haferkamp, P.; Klenk, H.P.; Kouril, T.; Manica, A.; Pham, T.K.; Ruoff, P.; Schleper, C.; Schomburg, D.; Sharkey, K.; Siebers, B.; Sierocinski, P.; Steur, R.; Oost, van der J.; Westerhoff, H.V.; Wieloch, P.; Wright, P.C.; Zaparty, M.

    2009-01-01

    SulfoSYS (Sulfolobus Systems Biology) focuses on the study of the CCM (central carbohydrate metabolism) of Sulfolobus solfataricus and its regulation under temperature variation at the systems level. In Archaea, carbohydrates are metabolized by modifications of the classical pathways known from Bact

  12. INTERVAL OBSERVER FOR A BIOLOGICAL REACTOR MODEL

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. A. Kharkovskaia

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available The method of an interval observer design for nonlinear systems with parametric uncertainties is considered. The interval observer synthesis problem for systems with varying parameters consists in the following. If there is the uncertainty restraint for the state values of the system, limiting the initial conditions of the system and the set of admissible values for the vector of unknown parameters and inputs, the interval existence condition for the estimations of the system state variables, containing the actual state at a given time, needs to be held valid over the whole considered time segment as well. Conditions of the interval observers design for the considered class of systems are shown. They are: limitation of the input and state, the existence of a majorizing function defining the uncertainty vector for the system, Lipschitz continuity or finiteness of this function, the existence of an observer gain with the suitable Lyapunov matrix. The main condition for design of such a device is cooperativity of the interval estimation error dynamics. An individual observer gain matrix selection problem is considered. In order to ensure the property of cooperativity for interval estimation error dynamics, a static transformation of coordinates is proposed. The proposed algorithm is demonstrated by computer modeling of the biological reactor. Possible applications of these interval estimation systems are the spheres of robust control, where the presence of various types of uncertainties in the system dynamics is assumed, biotechnology and environmental systems and processes, mechatronics and robotics, etc.

  13. Oscillation and stability of delay models in biology

    CERN Document Server

    Agarwal, Ravi P; Saker, Samir H

    2014-01-01

    Environmental variation plays an important role in many biological and ecological dynamical systems. This monograph focuses on the study of oscillation and the stability of delay models occurring in biology. The book presents recent research results on the qualitative behavior of mathematical models under different physical and environmental conditions, covering dynamics including the distribution and consumption of food. Researchers in the fields of mathematical modeling, mathematical biology, and population dynamics will be particularly interested in this material.

  14. Microfluidics meet cell biology: bridging the gap by validation and application of microscale techniques for cell biological assays.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paguirigan, Amy L; Beebe, David J

    2008-09-01

    Microscale techniques have been applied to biological assays for nearly two decades, but haven't been widely integrated as common tools in biological laboratories. The significant differences between several physical phenomena at the microscale versus the macroscale have been exploited to provide a variety of new types of assays (such as gradient production or spatial cell patterning). However, the use of these devices by biologists seems to be limited by issues regarding biological validation, ease of use, and the limited available readouts for assays done using microtechnology. Critical validation work has been done recently that highlights the current challenges for microfluidic methods and suggest ways in which future devices might be improved to better integrate with biological assays. With more validation and improved designs, microscale techniques hold immense promise as a platform to study aspects of cell biology that are not possible using current macroscale techniques.

  15. Manipulation of biological cells using a microelectromagnet matrix

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, H.; Purdon, A. M.; Westervelt, R. M.

    2004-08-01

    Noninvasive manipulation of biological cells inside a microfluidic channel was demonstrated using a microelectromagnet matrix. The matrix consists of two layers of straight Au wires, aligned perpendicular to each other, that are covered by insulating layers. By adjusting the current in each independent wire, the microelectromagnet matrix can create versatile magnetic field patterns to control the motion of individual cells in fluid. Single or multiple yeast cells attached to magnetic beads were trapped, continuously moved and rotated, and a viable cell was separated from nonviable cells for cell sorting.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-03-01

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

  17. The shifting geography and language of cell biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mayor, Satyajit

    2015-05-11

    With the increase in scientific activity globally, the geographical focus of basic research is shifting away from the West. At the same time, multidisciplinary approaches are uncovering new layers in our understanding of how cells work. How will these trends affect cell biology in the near future?

  18. Morphogenesis and pattern formation in biological systems experiments and models

    CERN Document Server

    Noji, Sumihare; Ueno, Naoto; Maini, Philip

    2003-01-01

    A central goal of current biology is to decode the mechanisms that underlie the processes of morphogenesis and pattern formation. Concerned with the analysis of those phenomena, this book covers a broad range of research fields, including developmental biology, molecular biology, plant morphogenesis, ecology, epidemiology, medicine, paleontology, evolutionary biology, mathematical biology, and computational biology. In Morphogenesis and Pattern Formation in Biological Systems: Experiments and Models, experimental and theoretical aspects of biology are integrated for the construction and investigation of models of complex processes. This collection of articles on the latest advances by leading researchers not only brings together work from a wide spectrum of disciplines, but also provides a stepping-stone to the creation of new areas of discovery.

  19. Shedding light on biology of bacterial cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schneider, Johannes P; Basler, Marek

    2016-11-05

    To understand basic principles of living organisms one has to know many different properties of all cellular components, their mutual interactions but also their amounts and spatial organization. Live-cell imaging is one possible approach to obtain such data. To get multiple snapshots of a cellular process, the imaging approach has to be gentle enough to not disrupt basic functions of the cell but also have high temporal and spatial resolution to detect and describe the changes. Light microscopy has become a method of choice and since its early development over 300 years ago revolutionized our understanding of living organisms. As most cellular components are indistinguishable from the rest of the cellular contents, the second revolution came from a discovery of specific labelling techniques, such as fusions to fluorescent proteins that allowed specific tracking of a component of interest. Currently, several different tags can be tracked independently and this allows us to simultaneously monitor the dynamics of several cellular components and from the correlation of their dynamics to infer their respective functions. It is, therefore, not surprising that live-cell fluorescence microscopy significantly advanced our understanding of basic cellular processes. Current cameras are fast enough to detect changes with millisecond time resolution and are sensitive enough to detect even a few photons per pixel. Together with constant improvement of properties of fluorescent tags, it is now possible to track single molecules in living cells over an extended period of time with a great temporal resolution. The parallel development of new illumination and detection techniques allowed breaking the diffraction barrier and thus further pushed the resolution limit of light microscopy. In this review, we would like to cover recent advances in live-cell imaging technology relevant to bacterial cells and provide a few examples of research that has been possible due to imaging

  20. Shedding light on biology of bacterial cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-01-01

    To understand basic principles of living organisms one has to know many different properties of all cellular components, their mutual interactions but also their amounts and spatial organization. Live-cell imaging is one possible approach to obtain such data. To get multiple snapshots of a cellular process, the imaging approach has to be gentle enough to not disrupt basic functions of the cell but also have high temporal and spatial resolution to detect and describe the changes. Light microscopy has become a method of choice and since its early development over 300 years ago revolutionized our understanding of living organisms. As most cellular components are indistinguishable from the rest of the cellular contents, the second revolution came from a discovery of specific labelling techniques, such as fusions to fluorescent proteins that allowed specific tracking of a component of interest. Currently, several different tags can be tracked independently and this allows us to simultaneously monitor the dynamics of several cellular components and from the correlation of their dynamics to infer their respective functions. It is, therefore, not surprising that live-cell fluorescence microscopy significantly advanced our understanding of basic cellular processes. Current cameras are fast enough to detect changes with millisecond time resolution and are sensitive enough to detect even a few photons per pixel. Together with constant improvement of properties of fluorescent tags, it is now possible to track single molecules in living cells over an extended period of time with a great temporal resolution. The parallel development of new illumination and detection techniques allowed breaking the diffraction barrier and thus further pushed the resolution limit of light microscopy. In this review, we would like to cover recent advances in live-cell imaging technology relevant to bacterial cells and provide a few examples of research that has been possible due to imaging. This

  1. The circadian clock and cell cycle: interconnected biological circuits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Masri, Selma; Cervantes, Marlene; Sassone-Corsi, Paolo

    2013-12-01

    The circadian clock governs biological timekeeping on a systemic level, helping to regulate and maintain physiological processes, including endocrine and metabolic pathways with a periodicity of 24-hours. Disruption within the circadian clock machinery has been linked to numerous pathological conditions, including cancer, suggesting that clock-dependent regulation of the cell cycle is an essential control mechanism. This review will highlight recent advances on the 'gating' controls of the circadian clock at various checkpoints of the cell cycle and also how the cell cycle can influence biological rhythms. The reciprocal influence that the circadian clock and cell cycle exert on each other suggests that these intertwined biological circuits are essential and multiple regulatory/control steps have been instated to ensure proper timekeeping.

  2. The cell biology of TRIM5α.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lukic, Zana; Campbell, Edward M

    2012-03-01

    The tripartite motif (TRIM)-containing proteins are involved in many cellular functions such as cell signaling, apoptosis, cell differentiation, and immune modulation. TRIM5 proteins, including TRIM5α and TRIM-Cyp, are known to possess antiretroviral activity against many different retroviruses. Besides being retroviral restriction factors, TRIM5 proteins participate in other cellular functions that have recently emerged in the study of TRIM5α. In this review, we discuss properties of TRIM5α such as cytoplasmic body formation, protein turnover, and trafficking. Also, we discuss recent insights into innate immune modulation mediated by TRIM5α, highlighting the various functions TRIM5α has in cellular processes.

  3. Non-linear rheology in a model biological tissue

    CERN Document Server

    Matoz-Fernandez, D A; Barrat, Jean-Louis; Bertin, Eric; Martens, Kirsten

    2016-01-01

    Mechanical signaling plays a key role in biological processes like embryo development and cancer growth. One prominent way to probe mechanical properties of tissues is to study their response to externally applied forces. Using a particle-based model featuring random apoptosis and environment-dependent division rates, we evidence a crossover from linear flow to a shear-thinning regime with increasing shear rate. To rationalize this non-linear flow we derive a theoretical mean-field scenario that accounts for the interplay of mechanical and active noise in local stresses. These noises are respectively generated by the elastic response of the cell matrix to cell rearrangements and by the internal activity.

  4. Modelling biological and chemically induced precipitation of calcium phosphate in enhanced biological phosphorus removal systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barat, R; Montoya, T; Seco, A; Ferrer, J

    2011-06-01

    The biologically induced precipitation processes can be important in wastewater treatment, in particular treating raw wastewater with high calcium concentration combined with Enhanced Biological Phosphorus Removal. Currently, there is little information and experience in modelling jointly biological and chemical processes. This paper presents a calcium phosphate precipitation model and its inclusion in the Activated Sludge Model No 2d (ASM2d). The proposed precipitation model considers that aqueous phase reactions quickly achieve the chemical equilibrium and that aqueous-solid change is kinetically governed. The model was calibrated using data from four experiments in a Sequencing Batch Reactor (SBR) operated for EBPR and finally validated with two experiments. The precipitation model proposed was able to reproduce the dynamics of amorphous calcium phosphate (ACP) formation and later crystallization to hydroxyapatite (HAP) under different scenarios. The model successfully characterised the EBPR performance of the SBR, including the biological, physical and chemical processes.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  6. Synthetic biology of cyanobacterial cell factories

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Angermayr, S.A.

    2014-01-01

    In the field of microbial biotechnology rational design approaches are employed for the generation of microbial cells with desired functions, such as the ability to produce precursor molecules for biofuels or bioplastics. In essence, that is the introduction of a (new) biosynthetic pathway into a mi

  7. Cell Biology: ERADicating Survival with BOK.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chipuk, Jerry Edward; Luna-Vargas, Mark P

    2016-06-01

    Mechanistic insights into the function of the pro-apoptotic BCL-2 family member BOK have remained elusive. A recent study shows that healthy cells constitutively degrade BOK via the ER-associated degradation and ubiquitin-proteasome pathways; following proteasome inhibition, BOK is stabilized to initiate a unique pro-apoptotic death program.

  8. Cell biology of homologous recombination in yeast

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Eckert-Boulet, Nadine Valerie; Rothstein, Rodney; Lisby, Michael

    2011-01-01

    Homologous recombination is an important pathway for error-free repair of DNA lesions, such as single- and double-strand breaks, and for rescue of collapsed replication forks. Here, we describe protocols for live cell imaging of single-lesion recombination events in the yeast Saccharomyces...

  9. Biology and physics of cell shape changes in development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paluch, Ewa; Heisenberg, Carl-Philipp

    2009-09-15

    Together with cell growth, division and death, changes in cell shape are of central importance for tissue morphogenesis during development. Cell shape is the product of a cell's material and active properties balanced by external forces. Control of cell shape, therefore, relies on both tight regulation of intracellular mechanics and the cell's physical interaction with its environment. In this review, we first discuss the biological and physical mechanisms of cell shape control. We next examine a number of developmental processes in which cell shape change - either individually or in a coordinated manner - drives embryonic morphogenesis and discuss how cell shape is controlled in these processes. Finally, we emphasize that cell shape control during tissue morphogenesis can only be fully understood by using a combination of cellular, molecular, developmental and biophysical approaches.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-18

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

  11. Grasping the nature of the cell interior: from Physiological Chemistry to Chemical Biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kyne, Ciara; Crowley, Peter B

    2016-08-01

    Current models of the cell interior emphasise its crowded, chemically complex and dynamically organised structure. Although the chemical composition of cells is known, the cooperative intermolecular interactions that govern cell ultrastructure are poorly understood. A major goal of biochemistry is to capture these myriad interactions in vivo. We consider the landmark discoveries that have shaped this objective, starting from the vitalist framework established by early natural philosophers. Through this historical revisionism, we extract important lessons for the bioinspired chemists of today. Scientific specialisation tends to insulate seminal ideas and hamper the unification of paradigms across biology. Therefore, we call for interdisciplinary collaboration in grappling with the complex cell interior. Recent successes in integrative structural biology and chemical biology demonstrate the power of hybrid approaches. The future roles of the (bio)chemist and model systems are also discussed as starting points for in vivo explorations. © 2016 Federation of European Biochemical Societies.

  12. Pattern formation in biological fluids II: cell deformation in shear fields evidences convective membrane organisation

    CERN Document Server

    Lofthouse, J

    2004-01-01

    The mechanical behaviour and symmetry-breaking shape deformation of red blood cells subjected to shear flows is used to demonstrate that far from being random fluids, both the membrane and cytoplasm of every biological cell undergo spatially organised convective and shear driven flows when the cell maintains a Near Equilibrium state through continuousmetabolic activity. The model demonstrates that fluid bifurcation events drive cell shape changes, rather than a Meccano like cytoskeletal structure, and represents a significant Gestalt shift in models of cell mechanics.

  13. Mutagenic Effects of Iron Oxide Nanoparticles on Biological Cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dissanayake, Niluka M; Current, Kelley M; Obare, Sherine O

    2015-09-30

    In recent years, there has been an increased interest in the design and use of iron oxide materials with nanoscale dimensions for magnetic, catalytic, biomedical, and electronic applications. The increased manufacture and use of iron oxide nanoparticles (IONPs) in consumer products as well as industrial processes is expected to lead to the unintentional release of IONPs into the environment. The impact of IONPs on the environment and on biological species is not well understood but remains a concern due to the increased chemical reactivity of nanoparticles relative to their bulk counterparts. This review article describes the impact of IONPs on cellular genetic components. The mutagenic impact of IONPs may damage an organism's ability to develop or reproduce. To date, there has been experimental evidence of IONPs having mutagenic interactions on human cell lines including lymphoblastoids, fibroblasts, microvascular endothelial cells, bone marrow cells, lung epithelial cells, alveolar type II like epithelial cells, bronchial fibroblasts, skin epithelial cells, hepatocytes, cerebral endothelial cells, fibrosarcoma cells, breast carcinoma cells, lung carcinoma cells, and cervix carcinoma cells. Other cell lines including the Chinese hamster ovary cells, mouse fibroblast cells, murine fibroblast cells, Mytilus galloprovincialis sperm cells, mice lung cells, murine alveolar macrophages, mice hepatic and renal tissue cells, and vero cells have also shown mutagenic effects upon exposure to IONPs. We further show the influence of IONPs on microorganisms in the presence and absence of dissolved organic carbon. The results shed light on the OPEN ACCESS Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16 23483 transformations IONPs undergo in the environment and the nature of the potential mutagenic impact on biological cells.

  14. Siri of the cell: what biology could learn from the iPhone.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carvunis, Anne-Ruxandra; Ideker, Trey

    2014-04-24

    Modern genomics is very efficient at mapping genes and gene networks, but how to transform these maps into predictive models of the cell remains unclear. Recent progress in computer science, embodied by intelligent agents such as Siri, inspires an approach for moving from networks to multiscale models able to predict a range of cellular phenotypes and answer biological questions.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  17. Single-cell sequencing in stem cell biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wen, Lu; Tang, Fuchou

    2016-04-15

    Cell-to-cell variation and heterogeneity are fundamental and intrinsic characteristics of stem cell populations, but these differences are masked when bulk cells are used for omic analysis. Single-cell sequencing technologies serve as powerful tools to dissect cellular heterogeneity comprehensively and to identify distinct phenotypic cell types, even within a 'homogeneous' stem cell population. These technologies, including single-cell genome, epigenome, and transcriptome sequencing technologies, have been developing rapidly in recent years. The application of these methods to different types of stem cells, including pluripotent stem cells and tissue-specific stem cells, has led to exciting new findings in the stem cell field. In this review, we discuss the recent progress as well as future perspectives in the methodologies and applications of single-cell omic sequencing technologies.

  18. Laboratory investigations in cell biology. Second edition

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bregman, A.A.

    1987-01-01

    This text contains 18 lab projects that explore the structural, biochemical, and physiological nature of eukaryotic cells. Topics are largely traditional, however, several investigations employ new methodologies. Offers extended coverage of biochemistry. Materials have been selected for availability and ease of handling: e.g. Project 4 - extraction of DNA and RNA done with calf liver, Project 9 - succinate dehydrogenase activity studied in mitochondria isolated from cauliflower. There is more procedural detail than found in most lab manuals, negating the need for constant instructional details. And a variety of methodologies is introduced, such as Cytochemistry, Spectrophotometry, Electrophoresis, Cell Fractionation, silver staining of active sites of RNA transcription, and many more. Pages are perforated for collecting and grading.

  19. Environmental scanning electron microscopy in cell biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGregor, J E; Staniewicz, L T L; Guthrie Neé Kirk, S E; Donald, A M

    2013-01-01

    Environmental scanning electron microscopy (ESEM) (1) is an imaging technique which allows hydrated, insulating samples to be imaged under an electron beam. The resolution afforded by this technique is higher than conventional optical microscopy but lower than conventional scanning electron microscopy (CSEM). The major advantage of the technique is the minimal sample preparation needed, making ESEM quick to use and the images less susceptible to the artifacts that the extensive sample preparation usually required for CSEM may introduce. Careful manipulation of both the humidity in the microscope chamber and the beam energy are nevertheless essential to prevent dehydration and beam damage artifacts. In some circumstances it is possible to image live cells in the ESEM (2).In the following sections we introduce the fundamental principles of ESEM imaging before presenting imaging protocols for plant epidermis, mammalian cells, and bacteria. In the first two cases samples are imaged using the secondary electron (topographic) signal, whereas a transmission technique is employed to image bacteria.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1999-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1999-01-01

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

  2. The cell biology of fat expansion

    OpenAIRE

    Rutkowski, Joseph M.; Stern, Jennifer H.; Scherer, Philipp E.

    2015-01-01

    Adipose tissue is a complex, multicellular organ that profoundly influences the function of nearly all other organ systems through its diverse metabolite and adipokine secretome. Adipocytes are the primary cell type of adipose tissue and play a key role in maintaining energy homeostasis. The efficiency with which adipose tissue responds to whole-body energetic demands reflects the ability of adipocytes to adapt to an altered nutrient environment, and has profound systemic implications. Deciph...

  3. Endothelial progenitor cell biology in ankylosing spondylitis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Verma, Inderjeet; Syngle, Ashit; Krishan, Pawan

    2015-03-01

    Endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) are unique populations which have reparative potential in overcoming endothelial damage and reducing cardiovascular risk. Patients with ankylosing spondylitis (AS) have increased risk of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. The aim of this study was to investigate the endothelial progenitor cell population in AS patients and its potential relationships with disease variables. Endothelial progenitor cells were measured in peripheral blood samples from 20 AS and 20 healthy controls by flow cytometry on the basis of CD34 and CD133 expression. Disease activity was evaluated by using Bath Ankylosing Spondylitis Disease Activity Index (BASDAI). Functional ability was monitored by using Bath Ankylosing Spondylitis Functional Index (BASFI). EPCs were depleted in AS patients as compared to healthy controls (CD34(+) /CD133(+) : 0.027 ± 0.010% vs. 0.044 ± 0.011%, P < 0.001). EPC depletions were significantly associated with disease duration (r = -0.52, P = 0.01), BASDAI (r = -0.45, P = 0.04) and C-reactive protein (r = -0.5, P = 0.01). This is the first study to demonstrate endothelial progenitor cell depletion in AS patients. EPC depletions inversely correlate with disease duration, disease activity and inflammation, suggesting the pivotal role of inflammation in depletion of EPCs. EPC would possibly also serve as a therapeutic target for preventing cardiovascular disease in AS. © 2014 Asia Pacific League of Associations for Rheumatology and Wiley Publishing Asia Pty Ltd.

  4. Systems-biology dissection of eukaryotic cell growth

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrews Justen

    2010-05-01

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

  5. Challenges in structural approaches to cell modeling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Im, Wonpil; Liang, Jie; Olson, Arthur; Zhou, Huan-Xiang; Vajda, Sandor; Vakser, Ilya A

    2016-07-31

    Computational modeling is essential for structural characterization of biomolecular mechanisms across the broad spectrum of scales. Adequate understanding of biomolecular mechanisms inherently involves our ability to model them. Structural modeling of individual biomolecules and their interactions has been rapidly progressing. However, in terms of the broader picture, the focus is shifting toward larger systems, up to the level of a cell. Such modeling involves a more dynamic and realistic representation of the interactomes in vivo, in a crowded cellular environment, as well as membranes and membrane proteins, and other cellular components. Structural modeling of a cell complements computational approaches to cellular mechanisms based on differential equations, graph models, and other techniques to model biological networks, imaging data, etc. Structural modeling along with other computational and experimental approaches will provide a fundamental understanding of life at the molecular level and lead to important applications to biology and medicine. A cross section of diverse approaches presented in this review illustrates the developing shift from the structural modeling of individual molecules to that of cell biology. Studies in several related areas are covered: biological networks; automated construction of three-dimensional cell models using experimental data; modeling of protein complexes; prediction of non-specific and transient protein interactions; thermodynamic and kinetic effects of crowding; cellular membrane modeling; and modeling of chromosomes. The review presents an expert opinion on the current state-of-the-art in these various aspects of structural modeling in cellular biology, and the prospects of future developments in this emerging field. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Modeling of biological doses and mechanical effects on bone transduction

    CERN Document Server

    Rieger, Romain; Jennane, Rachid; 10.1016/j.jtbi.2011.01.003

    2012-01-01

    Shear stress, hormones like parathyroid and mineral elements like calcium mediate the amplitude of stimulus signal which affects the rate of bone remodeling. The current study investigates the theoretical effects of different metabolic doses in stimulus signal level on bone. The model was built considering the osteocyte as the sensing center mediated by coupled mechanical shear stress and some biological factors. The proposed enhanced model was developed based on previously published works dealing with different aspects of bone transduction. It describes the effects of physiological doses variations of Calcium, Parathyroid Hormone, Nitric Oxide and Prostaglandin E2 on the stimulus level sensed by osteocytes in response to applied shear stress generated by interstitial fluid flow. We retained the metabolic factors (Parathyroid Hormone, Nitric Oxide, and Prostaglandin E2) as parameters of bone cell mechanosensitivity because stimulation/inhibition of induced pathways stimulates osteogenic response in vivo. We t...

  7. OFFl Models: Novel Schema for Dynamical Modeling of Biological Systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ogbunugafor, C Brandon; Robinson, Sean P

    2016-01-01

    Flow diagrams are a common tool used to help build and interpret models of dynamical systems, often in biological contexts such as consumer-resource models and similar compartmental models. Typically, their usage is intuitive and informal. Here, we present a formalized version of flow diagrams as a kind of weighted directed graph which follow a strict grammar, which translate into a system of ordinary differential equations (ODEs) by a single unambiguous rule, and which have an equivalent representation as a relational database. (We abbreviate this schema of "ODEs and formalized flow diagrams" as OFFL.) Drawing a diagram within this strict grammar encourages a mental discipline on the part of the modeler in which all dynamical processes of a system are thought of as interactions between dynamical species that draw parcels from one or more source species and deposit them into target species according to a set of transformation rules. From these rules, the net rate of change for each species can be derived. The modeling schema can therefore be understood as both an epistemic and practical heuristic for modeling, serving both as an organizational framework for the model building process and as a mechanism for deriving ODEs. All steps of the schema beyond the initial scientific (intuitive, creative) abstraction of natural observations into model variables are algorithmic and easily carried out by a computer, thus enabling the future development of a dedicated software implementation. Such tools would empower the modeler to consider significantly more complex models than practical limitations might have otherwise proscribed, since the modeling framework itself manages that complexity on the modeler's behalf. In this report, we describe the chief motivations for OFFL, carefully outline its implementation, and utilize a range of classic examples from ecology and epidemiology to showcase its features.

  8. OFFl Models: Novel Schema for Dynamical Modeling of Biological Systems.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C Brandon Ogbunugafor

    Full Text Available Flow diagrams are a common tool used to help build and interpret models of dynamical systems, often in biological contexts such as consumer-resource models and similar compartmental models. Typically, their usage is intuitive and informal. Here, we present a formalized version of flow diagrams as a kind of weighted directed graph which follow a strict grammar, which translate into a system of ordinary differential equations (ODEs by a single unambiguous rule, and which have an equivalent representation as a relational database. (We abbreviate this schema of "ODEs and formalized flow diagrams" as OFFL. Drawing a diagram within this strict grammar encourages a mental discipline on the part of the modeler in which all dynamical processes of a system are thought of as interactions between dynamical species that draw parcels from one or more source species and deposit them into target species according to a set of transformation rules. From these rules, the net rate of change for each species can be derived. The modeling schema can therefore be understood as both an epistemic and practical heuristic for modeling, serving both as an organizational framework for the model building process and as a mechanism for deriving ODEs. All steps of the schema beyond the initial scientific (intuitive, creative abstraction of natural observations into model variables are algorithmic and easily carried out by a computer, thus enabling the future development of a dedicated software implementation. Such tools would empower the modeler to consider significantly more complex models than practical limitations might have otherwise proscribed, since the modeling framework itself manages that complexity on the modeler's behalf. In this report, we describe the chief motivations for OFFL, carefully outline its implementation, and utilize a range of classic examples from ecology and epidemiology to showcase its features.

  9. Revision history aware repositories of computational models of biological systems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nickerson David P

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Building repositories of computational models of biological systems ensures that published models are available for both education and further research, and can provide a source of smaller, previously verified models to integrate into a larger model. One problem with earlier repositories has been the limitations in facilities to record the revision history of models. Often, these facilities are limited to a linear series of versions which were deposited in the repository. This is problematic for several reasons. Firstly, there are many instances in the history of biological systems modelling where an 'ancestral' model is modified by different groups to create many different models. With a linear series of versions, if the changes made to one model are merged into another model, the merge appears as a single item in the history. This hides useful revision history information, and also makes further merges much more difficult, as there is no record of which changes have or have not already been merged. In addition, a long series of individual changes made outside of the repository are also all merged into a single revision when they are put back into the repository, making it difficult to separate out individual changes. Furthermore, many earlier repositories only retain the revision history of individual files, rather than of a group of files. This is an important limitation to overcome, because some types of models, such as CellML 1.1 models, can be developed as a collection of modules, each in a separate file. The need for revision history is widely recognised for computer software, and a lot of work has gone into developing version control systems and distributed version control systems (DVCSs for tracking the revision history. However, to date, there has been no published research on how DVCSs can be applied to repositories of computational models of biological systems. Results We have extended the Physiome Model

  10. Linear aggregation theory in cell biology

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hill, T.L.

    1987-01-01

    This is an account of the theory, probability, and thermodynamics of linear aggregation. The emphasis is on basic principles illustrated by simple models, not on particular applications or polymers. The general physical aggregate systems - attached single-stranded polymers, single-stranded polymers modified by a second component, long multistranded polymers, attached multistranded polymers - are given extensive treatment. Also included are a discussion of the GTPase and ATPase activity accompanying the aggregation of microtubules and action, and the properties of the kinetic two-phase model of the end of a microtubule.

  11. Mechanisms of bacterial morphogenesis: evolutionary cell biology approaches provide new insights.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Chao; Caccamo, Paul D; Brun, Yves V

    2015-04-01

    How Darwin's "endless forms most beautiful" have evolved remains one of the most exciting questions in biology. The significant variety of bacterial shapes is most likely due to the specific advantages they confer with respect to the diverse environments they occupy. While our understanding of the mechanisms generating relatively simple shapes has improved tremendously in the last few years, the molecular mechanisms underlying the generation of complex shapes and the evolution of shape diversity are largely unknown. The emerging field of bacterial evolutionary cell biology provides a novel strategy to answer this question in a comparative phylogenetic framework. This relatively novel approach provides hypotheses and insights into cell biological mechanisms, such as morphogenesis, and their evolution that would have been difficult to obtain by studying only model organisms. We discuss the necessary steps, challenges, and impact of integrating "evolutionary thinking" into bacterial cell biology in the genomic era.

  12. Finding the key - cell biology and science education.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Kenneth R

    2010-12-01

    No international research community, cell biology included, can exist without an educational community to renew and replenish it. Unfortunately, cell biology researchers frequently regard their work as independent of the process of education and see little reason to reach out to science teachers. For cell biology to continue to prosper, I argue that researchers must support education in at least three ways. First, we must view education and research as part of a single scientific community. Second, we should take advantage of new technologies to connect the research laboratory to the classroom. Finally, we must take the initiative in defending the integrity of science teaching, particularly when education is under attack for political or religious reasons.

  13. New Materials for Biological Fuel Cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-04-01

    researchers, for example, have utilized CNTs to increase the surface area of electrodes, to improve the conductivity of porous scaffolds for biofilm... biopolymer chitosan, aids dispersion of various nanomaterials, including graphene, easing the formation of thin film electrodes. Again the model

  14. Molecular cell biology of androgen receptor signalling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bennett, Nigel C; Gardiner, Robert A; Hooper, John D; Johnson, David W; Gobe, Glenda C

    2010-06-01

    The classical action of androgen receptor (AR) is to regulate gene transcriptional processes via AR nuclear translocation, response element binding and recruitment of, or crosstalk with, transcription factors. AR also utilises non-classical, non-genomic mechanisms of signal transduction. These precede gene transcription or protein synthesis, and involve steroid-induced modulation of cytoplasmic or cell membrane-bound regulatory proteins. Despite many decades of investigation, the role of AR in gene regulation of cells and tissues remains only partially characterised. AR exerts most of its effects in sex hormone-dependent tissues of the body, but the receptor is also expressed in many tissues not previously thought to be androgen sensitive. Thus it is likely that a complex, more over-arching, role for AR exists. Each AR domain co-ordinates a multitude of individual and vital roles via a diverse array of interacting partner molecules that are necessary for cellular and tissue development and maintenance. Aberrant AR activity, promoted by mutations or binding partner misregulation, can present as many clinical manifestations including androgen insensitivity syndrome and prostate cancer. In the case of malignant prostate cancer, treatment generally revolves around androgen deprivation therapies designed to interfere with AR action and the androgen signalling axis. Androgen therapies for prostate cancer often fail, highlighting a real need for increased research into AR function.

  15. Concise Review: Asymmetric Cell Divisions in Stem Cell Biology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Florian Murke

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Somatic stem cells are rare cells with unique properties residing in many organs and tissues. They are undifferentiated cells responsible for tissue regeneration and homeostasis, and contain both the capacity to self-renew in order to maintain their stem cell potential and to differentiate towards tissue-specific, specialized cells. However, the knowledge about the mechanisms controlling somatic stem cell fate decisions remains sparse. One mechanism which has been described to control daughter cell fates in selected somatic stem cell systems is the process of asymmetric cell division (ACD. ACD is a tightly regulated and evolutionary conserved process allowing a single stem or progenitor cell to produce two differently specified daughter cells. In this concise review, we will summarize and discuss current concepts about the process of ACD as well as different ACD modes. Finally, we will recapitulate the current knowledge and our recent findings about ACD in human hematopoiesis.

  16. OFFl Models: Novel Schema for Dynamical Modeling of Biological Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-01-01

    Flow diagrams are a common tool used to help build and interpret models of dynamical systems, often in biological contexts such as consumer-resource models and similar compartmental models. Typically, their usage is intuitive and informal. Here, we present a formalized version of flow diagrams as a kind of weighted directed graph which follow a strict grammar, which translate into a system of ordinary differential equations (ODEs) by a single unambiguous rule, and which have an equivalent representation as a relational database. (We abbreviate this schema of “ODEs and formalized flow diagrams” as OFFL.) Drawing a diagram within this strict grammar encourages a mental discipline on the part of the modeler in which all dynamical processes of a system are thought of as interactions between dynamical species that draw parcels from one or more source species and deposit them into target species according to a set of transformation rules. From these rules, the net rate of change for each species can be derived. The modeling schema can therefore be understood as both an epistemic and practical heuristic for modeling, serving both as an organizational framework for the model building process and as a mechanism for deriving ODEs. All steps of the schema beyond the initial scientific (intuitive, creative) abstraction of natural observations into model variables are algorithmic and easily carried out by a computer, thus enabling the future development of a dedicated software implementation. Such tools would empower the modeler to consider significantly more complex models than practical limitations might have otherwise proscribed, since the modeling framework itself manages that complexity on the modeler’s behalf. In this report, we describe the chief motivations for OFFL, carefully outline its implementation, and utilize a range of classic examples from ecology and epidemiology to showcase its features. PMID:27270918

  17. Biological Influence of Deuterium on Procariotic and Eukaryotic Cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Oleg Mosin

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Biologic influence of deuterium (D on cells of various taxonomic groups of prokaryotic and eukaryotic microorganisms realizing methylotrophic, chemoheterotrophic, photo-organotrophic, and photosynthetic ways of assimilation of carbon substrates are investigated at growth on media with heavy water (D2О. The method of step by step adaptation technique of cells to D2О was developed, consisting in plating of cells on 2 % agarose nutrient media containing increasing gradient of concentration of D2О (from 0 up to 98 % D2O and the subsequent selection of stable to D2O cells. In the result of that technique were obtained adapted to maximum concentration of D2O cells, biological material of which instead of hydrogen contained deuterium with levels of enrichment 92–97,5 at.% D.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  19. Modeling of Biological Intelligence for SCM System Optimization

    OpenAIRE

    Shengyong Chen; Yujun Zheng; Carlo Cattani; Wanliang Wang

    2012-01-01

    This article summarizes some methods from biological intelligence for modeling and optimization of supply chain management (SCM) systems, including genetic algorithms, evolutionary programming, differential evolution, swarm intelligence, artificial immune, and other biological intelligence related methods. An SCM system is adaptive, dynamic, open self-organizing, which is maintained by flows of information, materials, goods, funds, and energy. Traditional methods for modeling and optimizing c...

  20. Electromechanics: An analytic solution for graded biological cell.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chan, Kin Lok; Yu, K. W.

    2007-03-01

    Electromechanics of graded material has been established recently to study the effective response of inhomogeneous graded spherical particles under an external ac electric field.[1, 2]Such particles having a complex dielectric profile varies along the radius of the particles. The gradation in the colloidal particles is modeled by assuming both the dielectric and conductivity vary along the radius. More precisely, both the dielectric and conductivity function are assumed to be a isotopic linear function dependence on the radius variable r, namely, ɛ(r)=ɛ(0)+A1r, σ(r)=σ(0)+A2r.In this talk, we will present the exact analytical solutions of the dipole moment of such particle in terms of the hypergeometric functions, and the effective electric response in dilute limit. Moreover, we applied the dielectric dispersion spectral representation (DDSR) to study the Debye Behavior of the cell. Our exact results may be applied to graded biological cell suspensions, as their interior must be inhomogeneous in nature. [1] En-Bo Wei, L. Dong, K. W. Yu, Journal of Applied Physics 99, 054101(2006) [2] L. Dong, Mikko Karttunen, K. W. Yu, Phys. Rev. E, Vol. 72, art. no. 016613 (2005)

  1. Molecular biology of testicular germ cell tumors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gonzalez-Exposito, R; Merino, M; Aguayo, C

    2016-06-01

    Testicular germ cell tumors (TGCTs) are the most common solid tumors in young adult men. They constitute a unique pathology because of their embryonic and germ origin and their special behavior. Genetic predisposition, environmental factors involved in their development and genetic aberrations have been under study in many works throughout the last years trying to explain the susceptibility and the transformation mechanism of TGCTs. Despite the high rate of cure in this type of tumors because its particular sensitivity to cisplatin, there are tumors resistant to chemotherapy for which it is needed to find new therapies. In the present work, it has been carried out a literature review on the most important molecular aspects involved in the onset and development of such tumors, as well as a review of the major developments regarding prognostic factors, new prognostic biomarkers and the possibility of new targeted therapies.

  2. SU-F-BRD-16: Relative Biological Effectiveness of Double-Strand Break Induction for Modeling Cell Survival in Pristine Proton Beams of Different Dose-Averaged Linear Energy Transfers

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Peeler, C; Bronk, L [UT MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX (United States); UT Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Houston, Houston, TX (United States); Taleei, R; Guan, F; Patel, D; Titt, U; Mirkovic, D; Grosshans, D; Mohan, R [UT MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX (United States); Stewart, R [University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA (United States)

    2015-06-15

    Purpose: High throughput in vitro experiments assessing cell survival following proton radiation indicate that both the alpha and the beta parameters of the linear quadratic model increase with increasing proton linear energy transfer (LET). We investigated the relative biological effectiveness (RBE) of double-strand break (DSB) induction as a means of explaining the experimental results. Methods: Experiments were performed with two lung cancer cell lines and a range of proton LET values (0.94 – 19.4 keV/µm) using an experimental apparatus designed to irradiate cells in a 96 well plate such that each column encounters protons of different dose-averaged LET (LETd). Traditional linear quadratic survival curve fitting was performed, and alpha, beta, and RBE values obtained. Survival curves were also fit with a model incorporating RBE of DSB induction as the sole fit parameter. Fitted values of the RBE of DSB induction were then compared to values obtained using Monte Carlo Damage Simulation (MCDS) software and energy spectra calculated with Geant4. Other parameters including alpha, beta, and number of DSBs were compared to those obtained from traditional fitting. Results: Survival curve fitting with RBE of DSB induction yielded alpha and beta parameters that increase with proton LETd, which follows from the standard method of fitting; however, relying on a single fit parameter provided more consistent trends. The fitted values of RBE of DSB induction increased beyond what is predicted from MCDS data above proton LETd of approximately 10 keV/µm. Conclusion: In order to accurately model in vitro proton irradiation experiments performed with high throughput methods, the RBE of DSB induction must increase more rapidly than predicted by MCDS above LETd of 10 keV/µm. This can be explained by considering the increased complexity of DSBs or the nature of intra-track pairwise DSB interactions in this range of LETd values. NIH Grant 2U19CA021239-35.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-09-23

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

  4. Primary culture of glial cells from mouse sympathetic cervical ganglion: a valuable tool for studying glial cell biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Almeida-Leite, Camila Megale; Arantes, Rosa Maria Esteves

    2010-12-15

    Central nervous system glial cells as astrocytes and microglia have been investigated in vitro and many intracellular pathways have been clarified upon various stimuli. Peripheral glial cells, however, are not as deeply investigated in vitro despite its importance role in inflammatory and neurodegenerative diseases. Based on our previous experience of culturing neuronal cells, our objective was to standardize and morphologically characterize a primary culture of mouse superior cervical ganglion glial cells in order to obtain a useful tool to study peripheral glial cell biology. Superior cervical ganglia from neonatal C57BL6 mice were enzymatically and mechanically dissociated and cells were plated on diluted Matrigel coated wells in a final concentration of 10,000cells/well. Five to 8 days post plating, glial cell cultures were fixed for morphological and immunocytochemical characterization. Glial cells showed a flat and irregular shape, two or three long cytoplasm processes, and round, oval or long shaped nuclei, with regular outline. Cell proliferation and mitosis were detected both qualitative and quantitatively. Glial cells were able to maintain their phenotype in our culture model including immunoreactivity against glial cell marker GFAP. This is the first description of immunocytochemical characterization of mouse sympathetic cervical ganglion glial cells in primary culture. This work discusses the uses and limitations of our model as a tool to study many aspects of peripheral glial cell biology. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  5. Modeling Co-evolution of Speech and Biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Boer, Bart

    2016-04-01

    Two computer simulations are investigated that model interaction of cultural evolution of language and biological evolution of adaptations to language. Both are agent-based models in which a population of agents imitates each other using realistic vowels. The agents evolve under selective pressure for good imitation. In one model, the evolution of the vocal tract is modeled; in the other, a cognitive mechanism for perceiving speech accurately is modeled. In both cases, biological adaptations to using and learning speech evolve, even though the system of speech sounds itself changes at a more rapid time scale than biological evolution. However, the fact that the available acoustic space is used maximally (a self-organized result of cultural evolution) is constant, and therefore biological evolution does have a stable target. This work shows that when cultural and biological traits are continuous, their co-evolution may lead to cognitive adaptations that are strong enough to detect empirically.

  6. Stem cell-based biological tooth repair and regeneration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Volponi, Ana Angelova; Pang, Yvonne; Sharpe, Paul T

    2010-12-01

    Teeth exhibit limited repair in response to damage, and dental pulp stem cells probably provide a source of cells to replace those damaged and to facilitate repair. Stem cells in other parts of the tooth, such as the periodontal ligament and growing roots, play more dynamic roles in tooth function and development. Dental stem cells can be obtained with ease, making them an attractive source of autologous stem cells for use in restoring vital pulp tissue removed because of infection, in regeneration of periodontal ligament lost in periodontal disease, and for generation of complete or partial tooth structures to form biological implants. As dental stem cells share properties with mesenchymal stem cells, there is also considerable interest in their wider potential to treat disorders involving mesenchymal (or indeed non-mesenchymal) cell derivatives, such as in Parkinson's disease.

  7. Apoptotic cell clearance: basic biology and therapeutic potential.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poon, Ivan K H; Lucas, Christopher D; Rossi, Adriano G; Ravichandran, Kodi S

    2014-03-01

    The prompt removal of apoptotic cells by phagocytes is important for maintaining tissue homeostasis. The molecular and cellular events that underpin apoptotic cell recognition and uptake, and the subsequent biological responses, are increasingly better defined. The detection and disposal of apoptotic cells generally promote an anti-inflammatory response at the tissue level, as well as immunological tolerance. Consequently, defects in apoptotic cell clearance have been linked with various inflammatory diseases and autoimmunity. Conversely, under certain conditions, such as the killing of tumour cells by specific cell-death inducers, the recognition of apoptotic tumour cells can promote an immunogenic response and antitumour immunity. Here, we review the current understanding of the complex process of apoptotic cell clearance in physiology and pathology, and discuss how this knowledge could be harnessed for new therapeutic strategies.

  8. Model cell membranes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Günther-Pomorski, Thomas; Nylander, Tommy; Cardenas Gomez, Marite

    2014-01-01

    The high complexity of biological membranes has motivated the development and application of a wide range of model membrane systems to study biochemical and biophysical aspects of membranes in situ under well defined conditions. The aim is to provide fundamental understanding of processes...... controlled by membrane structure, permeability and curvature as well as membrane proteins by using a wide range of biochemical, biophysical and microscopic techniques. This review gives an overview of some currently used model biomembrane systems. We will also discuss some key membrane protein properties...... that are relevant for protein-membrane interactions in terms of protein structure and how it is affected by membrane composition, phase behavior and curvature....

  9. Natural killer cell biology: an update and future directions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campbell, Kerry S; Hasegawa, Jun

    2013-09-01

    Natural killer (NK) cells constitute a minor subset of normal lymphocytes that initiate innate immune responses toward tumor and virus-infected cells. They can mediate spontaneous cytotoxicity toward these abnormal cells and rapidly secrete numerous cytokines and chemokines to promote subsequent adaptive immune responses. Significant progress has been made in the past 2 decades to improve our understanding of NK cell biology. Here we review recent discoveries, including a better comprehension of the "education" of NK cells to achieve functional competence during their maturation and the discovery of "memory" responses by NK cells, suggesting that they might also contribute to adaptive immunity. The improved understanding of NK cell biology has forged greater awareness that these cells play integral early roles in immune responses. In addition, several promising clinical therapies have been used to exploit NK cell functions in treating patients with cancer. As our molecular understanding improves, these and future immunotherapies should continue to provide promising strategies to exploit the unique functions of NK cells to treat cancer, infections, and other pathologic conditions.

  10. The Emerging Role of PEDF in Stem Cell Biology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mina Elahy

    2012-01-01

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

  11. Orbital rotation of biological cells using two fibre probes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, J.; Liu, X.; Zhang, Y.; Li, B.

    2017-03-01

    We report the orbital rotation of biological cells using two tapered fibre probes. We launched laser beams into the probes at a wavelength of 980 nm and rotated 5 µm-diameter yeast cells and 13.5 µm-diameter human leukemic K562 by optical force. The rotation period varied from 1.59 to 2.41 s for the yeast cells and was 4.83 s for the human leukemic K562. The rotation direction of the cells can be controlled by adjusting the position of the two probes. The experimental results were interpreted by theoretical analysis and numerical simulations.

  12. T Regulatory Cell Biology in Health and Disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alroqi, Fayhan J; Chatila, Talal A

    2016-04-01

    Regulatory T (Treg) cells that express the transcription factor forkhead box protein P3 (FOXP3) play an essential role in enforcing immune tolerance to self tissues, regulating host-commensal flora interaction, and facilitating tissue repair. Their deficiency and/or dysfunction trigger unbridled autoimmunity and inflammation. A growing number of monogenic defects have been recognized that adversely impact Treg cell development, differentiation, and/or function, leading to heritable diseases of immune dysregulation and autoimmunity. In this article, we review recent insights into Treg cell biology and function, with particular attention to lessons learned from newly recognized clinical disorders of Treg cell deficiency.

  13. Integrative multicellular biological modeling: a case study of 3D epidermal development using GPU algorithms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christley Scott

    2010-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Simulation of sophisticated biological models requires considerable computational power. These models typically integrate together numerous biological phenomena such as spatially-explicit heterogeneous cells, cell-cell interactions, cell-environment interactions and intracellular gene networks. The recent advent of programming for graphical processing units (GPU opens up the possibility of developing more integrative, detailed and predictive biological models while at the same time decreasing the computational cost to simulate those models. Results We construct a 3D model of epidermal development and provide a set of GPU algorithms that executes significantly faster than sequential central processing unit (CPU code. We provide a parallel implementation of the subcellular element method for individual cells residing in a lattice-free spatial environment. Each cell in our epidermal model includes an internal gene network, which integrates cellular interaction of Notch signaling together with environmental interaction of basement membrane adhesion, to specify cellular state and behaviors such as growth and division. We take a pedagogical approach to describing how modeling methods are efficiently implemented on the GPU including memory layout of data structures and functional decomposition. We discuss various programmatic issues and provide a set of design guidelines for GPU programming that are instructive to avoid common pitfalls as well as to extract performance from the GPU architecture. Conclusions We demonstrate that GPU algorithms represent a significant technological advance for the simulation of complex biological models. We further demonstrate with our epidermal model that the integration of multiple complex modeling methods for heterogeneous multicellular biological processes is both feasible and computationally tractable using this new technology. We hope that the provided algorithms and source code will be a

  14. Cell biology of the Koji mold Aspergillus oryzae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kitamoto, Katsuhiko

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  16. Innate immune pattern recognition: a cell biological perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brubaker, Sky W; Bonham, Kevin S; Zanoni, Ivan; Kagan, Jonathan C

    2015-01-01

    Receptors of the innate immune system detect conserved determinants of microbial and viral origin. Activation of these receptors initiates signaling events that culminate in an effective immune response. Recently, the view that innate immune signaling events rely on and operate within a complex cellular infrastructure has become an important framework for understanding the regulation of innate immunity. Compartmentalization within this infrastructure provides the cell with the ability to assign spatial information to microbial detection and regulate immune responses. Several cell biological processes play a role in the regulation of innate signaling responses; at the same time, innate signaling can engage cellular processes as a form of defense or to promote immunological memory. In this review, we highlight these aspects of cell biology in pattern-recognition receptor signaling by focusing on signals that originate from the cell surface, from endosomal compartments, and from within the cytosol.

  17. Cell biological regulation of division fate in vertebrate neuroepithelial cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Willardsen, Minde I; Link, Brian A

    2011-08-01

    The developing nervous system derives from neuroepithelial progenitor cells that divide to generate all of the mature neuronal types. For the proper complement of cell types to form, the progenitors must produce postmitotic cells, yet also replenish the progenitor pool. Progenitor divisions can be classified into three general types: symmetric proliferative (producing two progenitors), asymmetric neurogenic (producing one progenitor and one postmitotic cell), and symmetric neurogenic (producing two postmitotic cells). The appropriate ratios for these modes of cell division require intrinsic polarity, which is one of the characteristics that define neuroepithelial progenitor cells. The type of division an individual progenitor undergoes can be influenced by cellular features, or behaviors, which are heterogeneous within the population of progenitors. Here we review three key cellular parameters, asymmetric inheritance, cell cycle kinetics, and interkinetic nuclear migration, and the possible mechanisms for how these features influence progenitor fates. Copyright © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  18. Information Literacy in Biology Education: An Example from an Advanced Cell Biology Course

    Science.gov (United States)

    2005-01-01

    Information literacy skills are critically important for the undergraduate biology student. The ability to find, understand, evaluate, and use information, whether from the scientific literature or from Web resources, is essential for a good understanding of a topic and for the conduct of research. A project in which students receive information literacy instruction and then proceed to select, update, and write about a current research topic in an upper-level cell biology course is described. Students research the chosen topic using paper and electronic resources, generate a list of relevant articles, prepare abstracts based on papers read, and, finally, prepare a “state-of-the-art” paper on the topic. This approach, which extends over most of one semester, has resulted in a number of well-researched and well-written papers that incorporate some of the latest research in cell biology. The steps in this project have also led to students who are prepared to address future projects on new and complex topics. The project is part of an undergraduate course in cell biology, but parts of the assignments can be modified to fit a variety of subject areas and levels. PMID:16341261

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davila, Marco L; Sadelain, Michel

    2016-07-01

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

  20. A unified cell biological perspective on axon-myelin injury

    OpenAIRE

    Simons, Mikael; Misgeld, Thomas; Kerschensteiner, Martin

    2014-01-01

    Demyelination and axon loss are pathological hallmarks of the neuroinflammatory disorder multiple sclerosis (MS). Although we have an increasingly detailed understanding of how immune cells can damage axons and myelin individually, we lack a unified view of how the axon–myelin unit as a whole is affected by immune-mediated attack. In this review, we propose that as a result of the tight cell biological interconnection of axons and myelin, damage to either can spread, which might convert a loc...

  1. Micro and nano-platforms for biological cell analysis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2011-01-01

    In this paper some technological platforms developed for biological cell analysis will be presented and compared to existing systems. In brief, we present a novel micro cell culture chamber based on diffusion feeding of cells, into which cells can be introduced and extracted after culturing using...... normal pipettes, thus making it readily usable for clinical laboratories. To enhance the functionality of such a chamber we have been investigating the use of active or passive 3D surface modifications. Active modifications involve miniature electrodes able to record electrical or electrochemical signals...... from the cells, while passive modifications involve the presence of a peptide nanotube based scaffold for the cell culturing that mimics the in vivo environment. Two applications involving fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) analysis and cancer cell sorting are presented, as examples of further...

  2. Computer Models and Automata Theory in Biology and Medicine

    CERN Document Server

    Baianu, I C

    2004-01-01

    The applications of computers to biological and biomedical problem solving goes back to the very beginnings of computer science, automata theory [1], and mathematical biology [2]. With the advent of more versatile and powerful computers, biological and biomedical applications of computers have proliferated so rapidly that it would be virtually impossible to compile a comprehensive review of all developments in this field. Limitations of computer simulations in biology have also come under close scrutiny, and claims have been made that biological systems have limited information processing power [3]. Such general conjectures do not, however, deter biologists and biomedical researchers from developing new computer applications in biology and medicine. Microprocessors are being widely employed in biological laboratories both for automatic data acquisition/processing and modeling; one particular area, which is of great biomedical interest, involves fast digital image processing and is already established for rout...

  3. Cell biology and genetics of minimal change disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saleem, Moin A; Kobayashi, Yasuko

    2016-01-01

    Minimal change disease (MCD) is an important cause of nephrotic syndrome and is characterized by massive proteinuria and hypoalbuminemia, resulting in edema and hypercholesterolemia. The podocyte plays a key role in filtration and its disruption results in a dramatic loss of function leading to proteinuria. Immunologic disturbance has been suggested in the pathogenesis of MCD. Because of its clinical features, such as recurrent relapse/remission course, steroid response in most patients, and rare familial cases, a genetic defect has been thought to be less likely in MCD. Recent progress in whole-exome sequencing reveals pathogenic mutations in familial cases in steroid-sensitive nephrotic syndrome (SSNS) and sheds light on possible mechanisms and key molecules in podocytes in MCD. On the other hand, in the majority of cases, the existence of circulating permeability factors has been implicated along with T lymphocyte dysfunction. Observations of benefit with rituximab added B cell involvement to the disease. Animal models are unsatisfactory, and the humanized mouse may be a good model that well reflects MCD pathophysiology to investigate suggested "T cell dysfunction" directly related to podocytes in vivo. Several candidate circulating factors and their effects on podocytes have been proposed but are still not sufficient to explain whole mechanisms and clinical features in MCD. Another circulating factor disease is focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS), and it is not clear if this is a distinct entity, or on the same spectrum, implicating the same circulating factor(s). These patients are mostly steroid resistant and often have a rapid relapse after transplantation. In clinical practice, predicting relapse or disease activity and response to steroids is important and is an area where novel biomarkers can be developed based on our growing knowledge of podocyte signaling pathways. In this review, we discuss recent findings in genetics and podocyte biology in MCD.

  4. Cell biology and genetics of minimal change disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saleem, Moin A.; Kobayashi, Yasuko

    2016-01-01

    Minimal change disease (MCD) is an important cause of nephrotic syndrome and is characterized by massive proteinuria and hypoalbuminemia, resulting in edema and hypercholesterolemia. The podocyte plays a key role in filtration and its disruption results in a dramatic loss of function leading to proteinuria. Immunologic disturbance has been suggested in the pathogenesis of MCD. Because of its clinical features, such as recurrent relapse/remission course, steroid response in most patients, and rare familial cases, a genetic defect has been thought to be less likely in MCD. Recent progress in whole-exome sequencing reveals pathogenic mutations in familial cases in steroid-sensitive nephrotic syndrome (SSNS) and sheds light on possible mechanisms and key molecules in podocytes in MCD. On the other hand, in the majority of cases, the existence of circulating permeability factors has been implicated along with T lymphocyte dysfunction. Observations of benefit with rituximab added B cell involvement to the disease. Animal models are unsatisfactory, and the humanized mouse may be a good model that well reflects MCD pathophysiology to investigate suggested “T cell dysfunction” directly related to podocytes in vivo. Several candidate circulating factors and their effects on podocytes have been proposed but are still not sufficient to explain whole mechanisms and clinical features in MCD. Another circulating factor disease is focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS), and it is not clear if this is a distinct entity, or on the same spectrum, implicating the same circulating factor(s). These patients are mostly steroid resistant and often have a rapid relapse after transplantation. In clinical practice, predicting relapse or disease activity and response to steroids is important and is an area where novel biomarkers can be developed based on our growing knowledge of podocyte signaling pathways. In this review, we discuss recent findings in genetics and podocyte biology in

  5. A guide to numerical modelling in systems biology

    CERN Document Server

    Deuflhard, Peter

    2015-01-01

    This book is intended for students of computational systems biology with only a limited background in mathematics. Typical books on systems biology merely mention algorithmic approaches, but without offering a deeper understanding. On the other hand, mathematical books are typically unreadable for computational biologists. The authors of the present book have worked hard to fill this gap. The result is not a book on systems biology, but on computational methods in systems biology. This book originated from courses taught by the authors at Freie Universität Berlin. The guiding idea of the courses was to convey those mathematical insights that are indispensable for systems biology, teaching the necessary mathematical prerequisites by means of many illustrative examples and without any theorems. The three chapters cover the mathematical modelling of biochemical and physiological processes, numerical simulation of the dynamics of biological networks, and identification of model parameters by means of comparisons...

  6. The cell biology of HIV-1 and other retroviruses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mouland Andrew J

    2006-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract In recognition of the growing influence of cell biology in retrovirus research, we recently organized a Summer conference sponsored by the American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB on the Cell Biology of HIV-1 and other Retroviruses (July 20–23, 2006, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia. The meeting brought together a number of leading investigators interested in the interplay between cell biology and retrovirology with an emphasis on presentation of new and unpublished data. The conference was arranged from early to late events in the virus replication cycle, with sessions on viral fusion, entry, and transmission; post-entry restrictions to retroviral infection; nuclear import and integration; gene expression/regulation of retroviral Gag and genomic RNA; and assembly/release. In this review, we will attempt to touch briefly on some of the highlights of the conference, and will emphasize themes and trends that emerged at the meeting. Meeting report The conference began with a keynote address from W. Sundquist on the biochemistry of HIV-1 budding. This presentation will be described in the section on Assembly and Release of Retroviruses.

  7. Teaching cell and molecular biology for gender equity.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-01-01

    Science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields, including cell biology, are characterized by the "leaky pipeline" syndrome in which, over time, women leave the discipline. The pipeline itself and the pond into which it empties may not be neutral. Explicating invisible norms, attitudes, and practices by integrating social studies of science into science education may be the necessary first step in helping female students persist in STEM disciplines. In 2003 and 2004, a sophomore Cell and Molecular Biology course at Virginia Tech (Blacksburg, VA) was taught integrating social studies of science with standard material. The course was successfully implemented, teaching students factual content while increasing awareness of the cultures of science and their self-confidence in engaging with the subject. Course evaluation data indicated that females in particular perceived greater gains in logical thinking and problem-solving abilities than females in a traditional cell biology course. Consistent with K-12 studies, males in this class were likely to view scientists as male only, whereas females viewed scientists as male and female. This pilot project demonstrates that social studies can be integrated successfully in a cell biology course. Longitudinal studies of this cohort of students will indicate whether this approach contributes to the retention of women in the field.

  8. Human mesenchymal stromal cells : biological characterization and clinical application

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bernardo, Maria Ester

    2010-01-01

    This thesis focuses on the characterization of the biological and functional properties of human mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs), isolated from different tissue sources. The differentiation capacity of MSCs from fetal and adult tissues has been tested and compared. Umbilical cord blood (UCB) has be

  9. Teaching Cell and Molecular Biology for Gender Equity

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-01-01

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

  10. A short guide to technology development in cell biology

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    B. van Steensel (Bas)

    2015-01-01

    textabstractNew technologies drive progress in many research fields, including cell biology. Much of technological innovation comes from "bottom-up" efforts by individual students and postdocs. However, technology development can be challenging, and a successful outcome depends on many factors. This

  11. The time is right: proteome biology of stem cells.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Whetton, A.D.; Williamson, A.J.K.; Krijgsveld, J.; Lee, B.H.; Lemischka, I.; Oh, S.; Pera, M.; Mummery, C.L.; Heck, A.J.R.

    2008-01-01

    In stem cell biology, there is a growing need for advanced technologies that may help to unravel the molecular mechanisms of self-renewal and differentiation. Proteomics, the comprehensive analysis of proteins, is such an emerging technique. To facilitate interactions between specialists in

  12. Visualisation of the information resources for cell biology

    OpenAIRE

    Malchanau, Andrei; Nijholt, Anton; Roosendaal, Hans E.

    2005-01-01

    Intelligent multimodal interfaces can facilitate scientists in utilising available information resources. Combining scientific visualisations with interactive and intelligent tools can help create a “habitable” information space. Development of such tools remains largely iterative. We discuss an ongoing implementation of intelligent interactive visualisation of information resources in cell biology.

  13. Teaching Cell and Molecular Biology for Gender Equity

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-01-01

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

  14. A short guide to technology development in cell biology

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    B. van Steensel (Bas)

    2015-01-01

    textabstractNew technologies drive progress in many research fields, including cell biology. Much of technological innovation comes from "bottom-up" efforts by individual students and postdocs. However, technology development can be challenging, and a successful outcome depends on many factors. This

  15. Biology 23. Unit One -- The Cell: Structure and Physiology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nederland Independent School District, TX.

    GRADES OR AGES: Not given. SUBJECT MATTER: Biology, the structure and physiology of the cell. ORGANIZATION AND PHYSICAL APPEARANCE: There are four sections: a) objectives for the unit, b) bibliography, c) activities, and d) evaluation. The guide is directed to the student rather than the teacher. The guide is mimeographed and stapled, with no…

  16. The time is right: proteome biology of stem cells.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Whetton, A.D.; Williamson, A.J.K.; Krijgsveld, J.; Lee, B.H.; Lemischka, I.; Oh, S.; Pera, M.; Mummery, C.L.; Heck, A.J.R.

    2008-01-01

    In stem cell biology, there is a growing need for advanced technologies that may help to unravel the molecular mechanisms of self-renewal and differentiation. Proteomics, the comprehensive analysis of proteins, is such an emerging technique. To facilitate interactions between specialists in proteomi

  17. The Palade symposium: celebrating cell biology at its best.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmid, Sandra L; Farquhar, Marilyn G

    2010-07-15

    A symposium was held at the University of California, San Diego, to honor the contributions of Nobel Laureate, George Palade, to cell biology. The speakers included Günter Blobel, on the structure and function of nuclear pore complexes; Peter Walter, on the unfolded protein response in health and disease; Randy Schekman, on human disease-linked mutations in the COPII machinery; Scott Emr, on the regulation of plasma membrane composition by selective endocytosis; Roger Kornberg, on the structure and function of the transcription machinery; Peter Novick, on the regulation of rab GTPases along the secretory pathway; Jim Spudich, on the mechanism of the enigmatic myosin VI motor; and Joe Goldstein, on the function of the Niemann-Pick C (NPC)-linked gene products, NPC1 and NPC2, in cholesterol transport. Their work showcased the multidisciplinary nature, diversity, and vitality of cell biology. In the words of George Palade, their talks also illustrated "how cell biology could be used to understand disease and how disease could be used to discover normal cell biology." An integrated understanding of the cellular machinery will be essential in tackling the plethora of questions and challenges posed by completion of the human genome and for understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying human disease.

  18. Mesenchymal stem cells: cell biology and potential use in therapy

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kassem, Moustapha; Kristiansen, Malthe; Abdallah, Basem M

    2004-01-01

    are currently available for isolation of the mesenchymal stem cells based on their physical and immunological characteristics. Because of the ease of their isolation and their extensive differentiation potential, mesenchymal stem cells are among the first stem cell types to be introduced in the clinic. Recent...... studies have demonstrated that the life span of mesenchymal stem cells in vitro can be extended by increasing the levels of telomerase expression in the cells and thus allowing culture of large number of cells needed for therapy. In addition, it has been shown that it is possible to culture the cells...... for generalized diseases, local implantation for local tissue defects, as a vehicle for genes in gene therapy protocols or to generate transplantable tissues and organs in tissue engineering protocols. The results of these initial trials are very encouraging and several clinical trials are under way to study...

  19. Epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT): A biological process in the development, stem cell differentiation, and tumorigenesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Tong; You, Yanan; Jiang, Hua; Wang, Zack Z

    2017-12-01

    The lineage transition between epithelium and mesenchyme is a process known as epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), by which polarized epithelial cells lose their adhesion property and obtain mesenchymal cell phenotypes. EMT is a biological process that is often involved in embryogenesis and diseases, such as cancer invasion and metastasis. The EMT and the reverse process, mesenchymal-epithelial transition (MET), also play important roles in stem cell differentiation and de-differentiation (or reprogramming). In this review, we will discuss current research progress of EMT in embryonic development, cellular differentiation and reprogramming, and cancer progression, all of which are representative models for researches of stem cell biology in normal and in diseases. Understanding of EMT and MET may help to identify specific markers to distinguish normal stem cells from cancer stem cells in future. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  20. Molecularly engineered surfaces for cell biology: from static to dynamic surfaces.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gooding, J Justin; Parker, Stephen G; Lu, Yong; Gaus, Katharina

    2014-04-01

    Surfaces with a well-defined presentation of ligands for receptors on the cell membrane can serve as models of the extracellular matrix for studying cell adhesion or as model cell surfaces for exploring cell-cell contacts. Because such surfaces can provide exquisite control over, for example, the density of these ligands or when the ligands are presented to the cell, they provide a very precise strategy for understanding the mechanisms by which cells respond to external adhesive cues. In the present feature article, we present an overview of the basic biology of cell adhesion before discussing surfaces that have a static presentation of immobile ligands. We outline the biological information that such surfaces have given us, before progressing to recently developed switchable surfaces and surfaces that mimic the lipid bilayer, having adhesive ligands that can move around the membrane and be remodeled by the cell. Finally, the feature article closes with some of the biological information that these new types of surfaces could provide.

  1. Stem cell biology and regenerative medicine for neonatal lung diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kang, Martin; Thébaud, Bernard

    2017-09-18

    Lung diseases remain one of the main causes of morbidity and mortality in neonates. Cell therapy and regenerative medicine have the potential to revolutionize the management of life-threatening and debilitating lung diseases that currently lack effective treatments. Over the past decade, the repair capabilities of stem/progenitor cells has been harnessed to prevent/rescue lung damage in experimental neonatal lung diseases. Mesenchymal stromal cells and amnion epithelial cells exert pleiotropic effects and represent ideal therapeutic cells for bronchopulmonary dysplasia, a multifactorial disease. Endothelial progenitor cells are optimally suited to promote lung vascular growth and attenuate pulmonary hypertension in infants with congenital diaphragmatic hernia or a vascular bronchopulmonary dysplasia phenotype. Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) are one of the most exciting breakthroughs of the past decade. Patient-specific iPSCs can be derived from somatic cells and differentiated into any cell type. iPSCs can be capitalized upon to develop personalized regenerative cell products for surfactant protein deficiencies-lethal lung disorders without treatment-that affect a single gene in a single cell type and thus lend themselves to phenotype-specific cell replacement. While the clinical translation has begun, more needs to be learned about the biology of these repair cells to make this translation successful.Pediatric Research accepted article preview online, 18 September 2017. doi:10.1038/pr.2017.232.

  2. Biological characteristics of cell lines of human dental alveolus

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    陈世璋; 黄靖香; 孙明学; 赵斌

    2003-01-01

    Objective To investigate the biological characteristics of cell lines of healthy and diseased human dental alveoli. Methods Primary cell lines from either healthy or diseased human dental alveoli were obtained. Two cell lines, H-258 and H-171 derived from healthy and diseased human tissues respectively, were selected for morphological study and research on their growth and aging, using cell counting, and histochemical and immunohistochemical staining. Results Primary cell lines were successfully established from innormal dental alveoli. After freezing and thawing for three times, cell growth was continued and no morphological alterations were observed. The doubling time was 53.4 hours and mean division index (MDI) was 4‰. Cells were kept normal after twenty generations with no obvious reduction of doubling time and MDI. Of twenty-six primary cell lines derived from healthy human dental alveoli, only three cell lines achieved generation. After freezing and thawing for twice, cultured cells were still alive at a decreased growth speed, with doubling time of 85.9 hours and MDI of 3‰. Both cell lines, H-171 and H-258, shared the characteristics of osteoblast. Conclusions Primary cell lines of diseased human dental alveoli show greater growth potential. All cell lines of dental alveoli share characteristics of osteoblast. The technique we developed may be put into practice for the treatment of abnormal dental alveoli.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vojvodić Svetlana

    2010-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eftimie, Raluca

    2015-03-01

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

  5. Characterization of mast cell secretory granules and their cell biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Azouz, Nurit Pereg; Hammel, Ilan; Sagi-Eisenberg, Ronit

    2014-10-01

    Exocytosis and secretion of secretory granule (SG) contained inflammatory mediators is the primary mechanism by which mast cells exert their protective immune responses in host defense, as well as their pathological functions in allergic reactions and anaphylaxis. Despite their central role in mast cell function, the molecular mechanisms underlying the biogenesis and secretion of mast cell SGs remain largely unresolved. Early studies have established the lysosomal nature of the mast cell SGs and implicated SG homotypic fusion as an important step occurring during both their biogenesis and compound secretion. However, the molecular mechanisms that account for key features of this process largely remain to be defined. A novel high-resolution imaging based methodology allowed us to screen Rab GTPases for their phenotypic and functional impact and identify Rab networks that regulate mast cell secretion. This screen has identified Rab5 as a novel regulator of homotypic fusion of the mast cell SGs that thereby regulates their size and cargo composition.

  6. International Conference in Computational Cell Biology: From the Past to the Future

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-09-12

    International Conference in Computational Cell Biology : from the past to the future The first International Conference on Computational Cell ...their latest research and discussed challenges in computational cell biology research and education. The views, opinions and/or findings contained in...International Conference in Computational Cell Biology : from the past to the future Report Title The first International Conference on Computational Cell

  7. Single Cell Analysis: From Technology to Biology and Medicine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pan, Xinghua

    2014-01-01

    Single-cell analysis heralds a new era that allows "omics" analysis, notably genomics, transcriptomics, epigenomics and proteomics at the single-cell level. It enables the identification of the minor subpopulations that may play a critical role in a biological process of a population of cells, which conventionally are regarded as homogeneous. It provides an ultra-sensitive tool to clarify specific molecular mechanisms and pathways and reveal the nature of cell heterogeneity. It also facilitates the clinical investigation of patients when a very low quantity or a single cell is available for analysis, such as noninvasive prenatal diagnosis and cancer screening, and genetic evaluation for in vitro fertilization. Within a few short years, single-cell analysis, especially whole genomic sequencing and transcriptomic sequencing, is becoming robust and broadly accessible, although not yet a routine practice. Here, with single cell RNA-seq emphasized, an overview of the discipline, progresses, and prospects of single-cell analysis and its applications in biology and medicine are given with a series of logic and theoretical considerations.

  8. Hydraulic fracturing in cells and tissues: fracking meets cell biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arroyo, Marino; Trepat, Xavier

    2016-12-06

    The animal body is largely made of water. A small fraction of body water is freely flowing in blood and lymph, but most of it is trapped in hydrogels such as the extracellular matrix (ECM), the cytoskeleton, and chromatin. Besides providing a medium for biological molecules to diffuse, water trapped in hydrogels plays a fundamental mechanical role. This role is well captured by the theory of poroelasticity, which explains how any deformation applied to a hydrogel causes pressure gradients and water flows, much like compressing a sponge squeezes water out of it. Here we review recent evidence that poroelastic pressures and flows can fracture essential biological barriers such as the nuclear envelope, the cellular cortex, and epithelial layers. This type of fracture is known in engineering literature as hydraulic fracturing or 'fracking'.

  9. Immune Checkpoint Blockade Biology in Mouse Models of Glioblastoma.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yeo, Alan T; Charest, Alain

    2017-09-01

    Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM) is a highly malignant primary brain cancer that is associated with abysmal prognosis. The median survival of GBM patients is ∼15 months and there have not been any significant advance in therapies in over a decade, leaving treatment options limited. There is clearly an unmet need for GBM treatment. Immunotherapies are treatments based on usurping the power of the host's immune system to recognize and eliminate cancer cells. They have recently proven to be a successful strategy for combating a variety of cancers. Of the various types of immunotherapies, checkpoint blockade approaches have thus far produced significant clinical responses in several cancers including melanoma, non small-cell lung cancer, renal cancer, and prostate cancer. This review focuses on the biological rationale for using checkpoint blockade immunotherapeutic approaches in primary brain cancer and an up-to-date summary of current and ongoing checkpoint inhibitors-based clinical trials for malignant glioma. In addition, we expand on new concepts for further improving checkpoint blockade treatments, with a particular focus on the advantages of using genetically engineered mouse models for studies of immunotherapies in GBM. J. Cell. Biochem. 118: 2516-2527, 2017. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  10. Isolation and biological characterization of chicken amnion epithelial cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Y. Gao

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Amniotic epithelial cells (AECs express Oct4, Nanog and Sox-2, which are necessary for maintaining the undifferentiated state of pluripotent stem cells. AECs additionally express CK19, which is a specific marker of epithelial cells, both in vivo and in vitro. In this research, we investigated the biological characteristics and potential for cell therapy of AECs from 6-day-old chicken embryos. We induced the AECs to differentiate into pancreatic islet-like cells (endoderm, adipocytes and osteoblasts (mesoderm and neural-like cells (ectoderm, and used immunofluorescence and RT-PCR to detect the expression of AECs specific markers. To assess the differentiation capacity of AECs, passage 3 cells were induced to differentiate into adipocytes, osteoblasts, pancreatic islet-like cells and neural-like cells. The AEC markers, Oct4, Nanog, Sox-2 and CK19, were all positively expressed. Cloning efficiency decreased with increasing passage number. Passage 3 AECs were successfully induced to differentiate into pancreatic islet-like cells, osteoblasts, adipocytes, and neural-like cells. These results suggested that AECs isolated from chicken embryos exhibited the characteristics of the multipotent stem cells. AECs may therefore be ideal candidates for cellular transplantation therapy and tissue engineering.

  11. Bovine mammary stem cells: Cell biology meets production agriculture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mammary stem cells (MaSC) provide for net growth, renewal and turnover of mammary epithelial cells, and are therefore potential targets for strategies to increase production efficiency. Appropriate regulation of MaSC can potentially benefit milk yield, persistency, dry period management and tissue ...

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Braam, Stefan Robbert

    2010-01-01

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

  13. Uncertainty in biology a computational modeling approach

    CERN Document Server

    Gomez-Cabrero, David

    2016-01-01

    Computational modeling of biomedical processes is gaining more and more weight in the current research into the etiology of biomedical problems and potential treatment strategies.  Computational modeling allows to reduce, refine and replace animal experimentation as well as to translate findings obtained in these experiments to the human background. However these biomedical problems are inherently complex with a myriad of influencing factors, which strongly complicates the model building and validation process.  This book wants to address four main issues related to the building and validation of computational models of biomedical processes: Modeling establishment under uncertainty Model selection and parameter fitting Sensitivity analysis and model adaptation Model predictions under uncertainty In each of the abovementioned areas, the book discusses a number of key-techniques by means of a general theoretical description followed by one or more practical examples.  This book is intended for graduate stude...

  14. Cystitis: From Urothelial Cell Biology to Clinical Applications

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gilho Lee

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Cystitis is a urinary bladder disease with many causes and symptoms. The severity of cystitis ranges from mild lower abdominal discomfort to life-threatening haemorrhagic cystitis. The course of disease is often chronic or recurrent. Although cystitis represents huge economical and medical burden throughout the world and in many cases treatments are ineffective, the mechanisms of its origin and development as well as measures for effective treatment are still poorly understood. However, many studies have demonstrated that urothelial dysfunction plays a crucial role. In the present review we first discuss fundamental issues of urothelial cell biology, which is the core for comprehension of cystitis. Then we focus on many forms of cystitis, its current treatments, and advances in its research. Additionally we review haemorrhagic cystitis with one of the leading causative agents being chemotherapeutic drug cyclophosphamide and summarise its management strategies. At the end we describe an excellent and widely used animal model of cyclophosphamide induced cystitis, which gives researches the opportunity to get a better insight into the mechanisms involved and possibility to develop new therapy approaches.

  15. Sustainable model building the role of standards and biological semantics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krause, Falko; Schulz, Marvin; Swainston, Neil; Liebermeister, Wolfram

    2011-01-01

    Systems biology models can be reused within new simulation scenarios, as parts of more complex models or as sources of biochemical knowledge. Reusability does not come by itself but has to be ensured while creating a model. Most important, models should be designed to remain valid in different contexts-for example, for different experimental conditions-and be published in a standardized and well-documented form. Creating reusable models is worthwhile, but it requires some efforts when a model is developed, implemented, documented, and published. Minimum requirements for published systems biology models have been formulated by the MIRIAM initiative. Main criteria are completeness of information and documentation, availability of machine-readable models in standard formats, and semantic annotations connecting the model elements with entries in biological Web resources. In this chapter, we discuss the assumptions behind bottom-up modeling; present important standards like MIRIAM, the Systems Biology Markup Language (SBML), and the Systems Biology Graphical Notation (SBGN); and describe software tools and services for handling semantic annotations. Finally, we show how standards can facilitate the construction of large metabolic network models.

  16. Cdc48: A Swiss Army Knife of Cell Biology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guem Hee Baek

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Cdc48 (also called VCP and p97 is an abundant protein that plays essential regulatory functions in a broad array of cellular processes. Working with various cofactors, Cdc48 utilizes its ATPase activity to promote the assembly and disassembly of protein complexes. Here, we review key biological functions and regulation of Cdc48 in ubiquitin-related events. Given the broad employment of Cdc48 in cell biology and its intimate ties to human diseases (e.g., amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, studies of Cdc48 will bring significant insights into the mechanism and function of ubiquitin in health and diseases.

  17. Modeling the Shapes of Cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garimella, Umadevi I.; Robertson, Belinda M.

    2015-01-01

    A solid understanding of the structure and function of cells can help establish the foundation for learning advanced concepts in the biological sciences. The concept of the cell is introduced in middle school life science courses and is continued at the undergraduate level in college (NRC 2012; Reece et al. 2014). Cells are introduced to students…

  18. Modeling the Shapes of Cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garimella, Umadevi I.; Robertson, Belinda M.

    2015-01-01

    A solid understanding of the structure and function of cells can help establish the foundation for learning advanced concepts in the biological sciences. The concept of the cell is introduced in middle school life science courses and is continued at the undergraduate level in college (NRC 2012; Reece et al. 2014). Cells are introduced to students…

  19. Cell biology of mesangial cells: the third cell that maintains the glomerular capillary.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kurihara, Hidetake; Sakai, Tatsuo

    2017-03-01

    The renal glomerulus consists of glomerular endothelial cells, podocytes, and mesangial cells, which cooperate with each other for glomerular filtration. We have produced monoclonal antibodies against glomerular cells in order to identify different types of glomerular cells. Among these antibodies, the E30 clone specifically recognizes the Thy1.1 molecule expressed on mesangial cells. An injection of this antibody into rats resulted in mesangial cell-specific injury within 15 min, and induced mesangial proliferative glomerulonephritis in a reproducible manner. We examined the role of mesangial cells in glomerular function using several experimental tools, including an E30-induced nephritis model, mesangial cell culture, and the deletion of specific genes. Herein, we describe the characterization of E30-induced nephritis, formation of the glomerular capillary network, mesangial matrix turnover, and intercellular signaling between glomerular cells. New molecules that are involved in a wide variety of mesangial cell functions are also introduced.

  20. Extracellular Vesicles: Evolving Factors in Stem Cell Biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nawaz, Muhammad; Fatima, Farah; Vallabhaneni, Krishna C.; Penfornis, Patrice; Valadi, Hadi; Ekström, Karin; Kholia, Sharad; Whitt, Jason D.; Fernandes, Joseph D.; Pochampally, Radhika; Squire, Jeremy A.; Camussi, Giovanni

    2016-01-01

    Stem cells are proposed to continuously secrete trophic factors that potentially serve as mediators of autocrine and paracrine activities, associated with reprogramming of the tumor microenvironment, tissue regeneration, and repair. Hitherto, significant efforts have been made to understand the level of underlying paracrine activities influenced by stem cell secreted trophic factors, as little is known about these interactions. Recent findings, however, elucidate this role by reporting the effects of stem cell derived extracellular vesicles (EVs) that mimic the phenotypes of the cells from which they originate. Exchange of genetic information utilizing persistent bidirectional communication mediated by stem cell-EVs could regulate stemness, self-renewal, and differentiation in stem cells and their subpopulations. This review therefore discusses stem cell-EVs as evolving communication factors in stem cell biology, focusing on how they regulate cell fates by inducing persistent and prolonged genetic reprogramming of resident cells in a paracrine fashion. In addition, we address the role of stem cell-secreted vesicles in shaping the tumor microenvironment and immunomodulation and in their ability to stimulate endogenous repair processes during tissue damage. Collectively, these functions ensure an enormous potential for future therapies. PMID:26649044